I am Dumb.

Every time I finish writing a post, the other side of the coin starts to shine so brightly that I feel the need to either scrap what I wrote, or else write a second post completely contradicting it.

Recently, I wrote a post called “Projection” in which I painted myself as a smart person pretending to be dumb. But I lied. The truth is I am a dumb person pretending to be smart. 

At the time though, I was just sick of people who think they are intelligent because they eat quail eggs and pretend to read Shakespeare. Look, I know who Phillip of Macedon is and once asked a man for directions to the beach in French! So find someone else to condescend on.

Nevertheless, when it comes to what matters most- practical things- I actually am an idiot. I have no idea how the world operates.

How does money work? Taxes? Automobiles? How do people hook up in bars? Or walk into a dark alley and come back with a bag of drugs? Why is Ryan Gosling considered sexy? What clothes make you seem intelligent? What expression should you make when a friend tells you she is gay?

Why do people visit gynecologists? What papers should be filled out on a regular basis to not get arrested? Can you pour unused paint down the drain? What do you do with the body when someone dies? How can you safely flatter someone without accidentally offending them at the same time? (Hint-don’t complement them on their second chin.)

How do you change oil? Buy a house? Choose the right moment to pepper spray a stranger? Should you scream if a man leaps out of the bushes to grab you? What lines does a person have to cross to officially be a pervert? How do you activate a phone so it will call people? Or keep yourself from going unconscious under fluorescent lights?

What are you supposed to feel when you go to a U2 concert that makes it worth 200 dollars? Why should you travel to see the Eiffel Tower rather than admiring a telephone pole? How do you buy a plane ticket? Will the stewardess ask you for identifying information? How do you get that identifying information and what sorts of identifying information will you need to acquire it?

Even people on welfare amaze me with their worldliness… how does a person get welfare? What offices do they go to and what do they say to the officers? I imagine there would be so many forms to fill out and hoops to jump through that it would be just as easy to get a job at NASA.

I don’t know why I have trouble with these sorts of things, but no matter how much effort I put into increasingly my worldly intelligence, it doesn’t seem to help. For example, I can’t seem to memorize my address and zip code no matter what I do. I even made up a perverted song to help me remember it, but somehow the song gets scrambled in my head.

And being dumb (in a practical sense) worries me a lot, since I frequently feel my survival hanging by a few thin threads. And so I devote a lot of energy to “practivizing” myself but it never seems to help. For every little skill I gain, two slip out the other side.

Being practical is probably a state of mind, more than a set of skills & facts. So how can I get into this mindset? By carrying country stones in my pocket? (Stones are practical, aren’t they?) Eating dry wheat toast? (The texture seems practical somehow.) Wearing more brown colored clothes?

I think that last idea is the most practical of all. Brown is such a practical color. I used to have the idea that a person could become more practical by dressing up like a potato while singing songs about them, but now it seems to me that simply wearing a brown shirt would be a much more practical approach. Or perhaps a simple brown ribbon, tied around the wrist.

Fiery Chunks

For a while things were going poorly in my domestic life. A dark and moody spirit filled the house. Then I remembered how the problems began when I removed all bright colors from my home to replace them with shades of black and purple. I can’t remember why I did this, exactly. I think I was trying to open a portal to the world where spirits live in the hopes of gaining magical powers.  At any rate, at a certain point magical powers seem less appealing than the ability to live a normal happy life. So I removed these dark colors, replaced them with yellow & other shades of cheer, and life seemed to pick up again.*

I am beginning to think the secret to surviving in West Virginia may be decorating in a colorful, chunky style, with plenty of homemade crafts and colors from warm end of the spectrum. Earthiness combined with fire.

My natural tendency, of course, would be to surround myself with all things delicate & dainty. But I don’t think lavender lace has the muscle to push through this heavy mountainous energy. And ultimately decoration is about survival, not self-expression.

Every environment presents us with challenges to our spirit. Sunny ones melt our brains, while cold ones freeze our hearts. Deserts dry out our emotions while moisture bogs us down. Plains fill us with desolation and rounded mountains with inertia. Here in West Virginia, a moist and mountainous environment, heaviness and inertia are the demons we wrestle with.

This mostly challenges men** since this squishy thickness makes it hard to be brisk and productive. It is a great place to be a woman, however, because so many of the spiritual and emotional diseases that plague other parts of America don’t exist here.

Mountain mamas don’t get ribs removed to fit into the latest fashion. They don’t see themselves as objects or obsess over the “male gaze.”  People here rarely seek meaning through career success, but rather through connections to God, family and nature.

But for men, this West Virginia environment is challenging. It is hard to get that dry, crispy feeling which allows people to think objectively. Hence why we are plagued by functionality problems- poverty, divorce, drugs, decay and disorganization. There isn’t enough yang energy for men to get their bearings.

So, what is the solution to all this? Decorating in a chunky colorful fashion, of course. This will obliterate all environmental challenges and turn West Virginia into a heaven on Earth. I hope. Stay tuned & I will let you know how it works.

* These statements seemed true at the time I made them (yesterday).

** For people who enjoy qualifications, when I refer to men, I am also referring to the masculine side in us all.

Hello Again, Blog Post Friend

Well hello, blog post. I told you I would turn to you as a friend when there are no physical friends to be found. So here I am. How much can I confide in you, I don’t know. My life has been a toggle between transparency and invisibility. I don’t know the right place to draw the line. Sharing yourself can feel icky, but living incognito can be dangerous, making it that much easier for someone to lock you in their basement without anyone noticing.

Although I have written a lot of blog posts, they are usually from my brain, the only part of the body that can be safely shared. I guess that is why we have art, to share those parts of ourselves which are taboo to put into plain words.

I am trying to start drinking alcohol. Maybe it will provide a space for me to connect with those parts of myself that have no home in daily life. You are not supposed to drink alone, however, so maybe I will drink with you. I am fairly intoxicated right now, and it is making me cry to realize how homeless my feelings have become. Life is playing a role to please others and maintain harmony. Survival depends upon it.

In my case, my role is easy. Nobody expects anything of me. My only task is to have no desires, no emotions, and be mildly happy all the time. To never want or need anything. To be okay with constant stillness & isolation, to never need fun or adventure beyond a monthly trip to Walmart. To never be chaotic or make unexpected noises. Basically, to be a librarian.

But I can’t take it anymore. The pressure is building up and I feel like a kernel of corn who can’t stop himself from blowing. I want to get on the bus and just go somewhere. But where? The only place I can think of is the library. And I hate libraries. All those thick boring books with their gray waves. It feels like being surrounded by stones. It is hard for me to stay conscious in a library for more than a few minutes.

I want to be surrounded by a different type of wave. Bright waves. Fun waves. Romantic waves. The waves of adventure and boldness. No more sleepy, snoozy, waves filling the air 24/7.

But my horoscope predicts this state of affairs (caused by Neptune-the planet of insane asylums- afflicting my domestic realm) will continue for another 10 months. So far it has lasted for 2 years. So what do I do? Continue to bang my head against the wall in a vain effort to change what can’t be changed? Yes. I think that is what I will do.

As I mentioned before, the circumstances causing me to go insane is living alone with my husband who works from home, but sleeps through the day while working at night. To make matters worse, when he isn’t working or sleeping, he likes to lie down by himself in a dark room to think. He says this is the most important part of his work, and I’m sure he is right, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am going insane. He is the sort of person who never really needs to have fun or let loose, and while I admire this about him, it doesn’t change the fact that I am going nuts.

He doesn’t understand though, how I can be impacted by his actions when we are separate people. If he chooses to spend all sunlit hours lying horizontal in the darkness, what does that have to do with me? How can it possibly impact my state of mind? To me, however, the impact is self-evident. Wouldn’t anyone notice a difference between living in a circus versus a cemetery? A sunny day versus a cloudy one? Doesn’t everyone need to be cheered by the vital presence of others every now and then?

And now I am breaking another taboo by mentioning James. You are allowed to talk about yourself, but you can’t talk about anyone else, which basically means you can’t really talk about yourself either. Relationship issues are private and must be worked out in secret between the two people, which basically means they can’t be worked out at all. There is always someone with less power in a relationship, isn’t there? And for them the privacy of marriage only turns it into a death trap.

Maybe it would be better if relationships were opened up for public scrutiny, at least to some extent. On the other hand, everyone needs a secret garden where their inner self can live away from prying eyes. And that is what the domestic realm is supposed to be. So I do value the gag order placed on discussing domestic problems even though I am breaking it.

But I shouldn’t do that. So instead I will do the right thing. Swallow deeply, smile bigly and turn to magic for the answers. The one friend who has been there for man since the beginning of time, his secrets taught to us through our best friends- the grains. The staffs of life.

Feeding Slippers some corn eggs. Despite my domestic grumblings, you must remember that for many years my dream was to live in a big old house with a dog and tons of dishes. Now that dream has come true. But the planet who gave me that dream (when he spent 7 years travelling through the House of Domesticity) has moved on into the House of Fun & Romance. So now I find myself caring about things- such as fun- which before seemed stupid & pointless.
Adding more dishes to my collection. I am always convinced that a new color of dishes will be the cure for what ails me. I love to shop. Shopping + car rides are probably the only true hobbies I have.
Shopping at Fiestaware with Slippers. Luckily for me, shopping is Slipper’s favorite hobby as well. Spending an hour in a store where she can walk around and sniff everything is her idea of paradise. Mine too.

Hi, how are you are?

Hi, how are you? I have been feeling weird, as though I have reached the end up some rope and there is no rope left to move forward with. The person I am used to being feels foreign to me.

Recently, I lost all my friends, probably due to Mars- the God of War- making his way through my House of Relationships. This forced me to detox from my relational self and once the detox was complete, I couldn’t relate anymore to my personality. I am, once again, a person without a personality, a crab without a shell.

And I feel aimless. Life feels dry and pointless. All I want is an adventure. But it is this restless feeling that usually leads me straight to the hospital, rather than standing atop Everest, an intoxicating breeze through my hair.

Everything is a swirl. I have written a million blog posts recently, but by the time I get to the end, my thoughts have shifted so far I can no longer relate to anything I said. Then I delete it. This will probably be deleted to, we will see. Word salad.

It feels like I have already done everything there is to do. I know this can’t be true, and yet every road *feels* like a road I have seen before. Why is this?

We all live in a reality, I guess, and that reality has parameters. Eventually, you get a sense of where the parameters lie.

Sure, there are books I have yet to read, but I feel like anything they say will fall within the parameters of the world I already know. Boring. I want to open a book and have a dragon pop out. He will  whisper in my ear where I can find buried treasure. I will go to dig it up and thus begin an adventure of epic proportions, dissolving my sense of reality and replacing it with something magical & expansive.

I know it can be done. To step outside the walls of your reality into a world that is fresh and new.  But how? I’m sure I could figure it out, if only my brain could step outside this swirling wind.

Here is a picture, for people who can’t stand words without pictures. These are some deadnettles I picked from the yard to make into deadnettle vinegar. I don’t know what I will do with it. Some people say it cures allergies, or maybe I will use it to clean the house. But deadnettles were covering the whole front yard this spring and I felt like it had to be a sign. Don’t you believe that the plants with the physical or magical qualities you need the most will find a way of making it to your door?