5x shadow play

These are a few of the things I have been considering. The list is heavy as is my mind. October has been a difficult mental health month for many of us struggling to exist online, heal, and move forward. The days are getting shorter and the veil is getting thinner. A good time to turn inwards and take stock of the inner ghouls lurking in the shadows of my mind.

  1. Take a trip through sonic landscapes with Shirley & The Pyramids via Raz Mataz
  2. Alan Watts on shadow work
  3. Love After Life via Brain Pickings
  4. How to Reach Out to Someone Who is Struggling via On Being
  5. Wading Through Water: A Guide for Emotional Healing via Hoodwitch
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5x dissolvation

I’ve been turning these seven questions over and over. Here are a few related things that I have turned up in my contemplation. Enjoy

  1. 3 Reasons Why Folks Who Don’t “Look” Non-Binary Can Still Be Non-Binary – Everyday Feminism
  2. Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man via Brain Pickings – although her writing pre-dates the latest wave of non-binary conversation it very neatly captures many of the ideas around the subject I’ve struggled with. That liminal place between gender roles that artists and thinkers frequently occupy.
  3. Noam Chomsky has a new documentary on Netflix called Requiem for the American Dream
  4. The Evolutionary Purpose of the Scorpio in Pluto Generation via Wake Up World
  5. Redefining Death by Geshe Michael Roach via Dr. Joos
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5x haunted hallows

A powerful resin of energy is waiting to be released. Right in my chest. Already a morbidly dark time of year fascinated equally by death and celebration, and my mood is no lighter for it. Unripe fruit spoiled by holy ghosts. Winter’s icy grip at our throats. This hallowed ground where forgotten blood baths lay. Here are some things I’ve been considering in the witching hours.

  1. For Northern Girls via Moontime Warrior an important poem inspired by these tragic events, and breaking today a fifth death
  2. Chelsea Wolfe – Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs via Spotify
  3. New Moon in Scorpio Spells inspired by Pam Bustin who shared this post here
  4. Playing God via Radiolab
  5. Silent Era – Punching Out The Poison via Chelsea Martin of Man Meat infamy
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5x misinterpret me

Why do we choose the words we do and what do they mean? To us, to our friends, to people on the street, and future explorers. There is a magic in language that is itself hard to capture. Ambiguous yet specific; call to mind something particular that you have no way of sharing. We don’t recall the same tree, I can’t articulate your grief, colours are infinitely described as they are seen, will what you call me effect who I am to you? Read this collection before taking a long, quiet walk at night and see what hidden meanings you interpret or misinterpret.

Enjoy

  1. David Whyte on the True Meaning of Friendship, Love, and Heartbreak via Brain Pickings
  2. Daniela Andrade covers Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) so simple yet so much more grave, check her music here
  3. When Choirs Sing Many Hearts Beat As One via NPR – pair with my favourite hymn sung by the Soweto Choir
  4. On prescribing poems for the sick, the dying, and the grief stricken via LitHub
  5. Leading neuroscientists and Buddhists agree: consciousness is everywhere via Lions Roar – the article is a great summary, but if you have an evening to listen to the full conversation between the Dali Lama and Christof Koch it is well worth the investment (link in article).

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I must add this final note, we have lost another great soul, Kazu Ohno founder of Japanese Butoh has died at age 103, my heart grieves, this video soothes it, thanks Lia for sharing.

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Dreaming of the last supper

I dreamt I was a queen poisoned by loves hand, but it was only a role in a grand production, of which I had no say, and yet the blood and bile tasted real.

Before I left the death marked banquet where my subjects and friends entreat me stay I held each of them tenderly to my breast, a solemn goodbye. I would not wither and writhe before their eyes as a spectacle and a farce in hallowed death, instead I retreat to the belly of the castle in the wings, only inviting my newly crowned king to stay with me, whom had just the scene before murdered my true king and master whom I loved dear, and by whose hand I knew the elixir brewed. Yet still tender affection I held for both the actor who played him and for his part, but not enough to spare him witness to what he had wrought. Like a wounded animal I retreated as I felt my stomach lining begin to dissolve.

Just before the fated goblet scene, backstage between my lovers death and mine, we had talked of the sado-masochistic ecstasies of religion, the self abasement of the Catholics, the zealous fire of the baptists. My vengeful soon to be king, or at least the actor playing him, looked at me with such blood thirsty lust as we spoke. I could neither advert my gaze or rebuke him for I understood how our fates were linked and it was in my part to submit both as actor and grieving queen. I was enamored with him and our linked demise, how could I not feel affection and love for someone so central in my life? As the hunter and the hunted; I could feel him licking his chops against my skin as our eyes locked. A moment of give and take. His third to be wife-upon-my-death approached me all hair of mermaid and remarked upon how fierce I seemed in my velvet head, she entreated me to visit them, and teased me with her tales of hostages for sport. We laughed and made merry, this was only a scene change to the main event, backstage at the water cooler, nothing to be thought of. Yet I could feel my time running out as surely as so could she.

When he had murdered my true king it had been after careful cunning and consideration with his true wife, a beautiful and severe sight all dressed in rich red, but her performance was too affected. She kept touching her face and biting her lower lip in such a grandiose show of concern no one could much believe her she cared one way or the other who lived or died. Yet it was this caring that drove her to madness and a quiet death off stage announced by some unnamed messenger boy. A necessary device to urge the murderous king to ally with the young prince, wronged and exiled from his betrothed bride whom the subjects adored. With his fair golden locks shining the way forward no one would see the black heart and cold piercing eyes actually spurring the charge. I watched this scene unfold from the back of the audience with one of the stage hands obsessing about how to best market this tragedy to the paying masses, I helped her take photos of the charming prince, invite them with news of his recent engagement I offered, everyone loves a romance.

Thus began the final act in darkness. I concealed in the wings where I could see nothing. Calling to my love and true king with all my heart, warning him of the fated surprise hid behind the rocks, but it was dark and the storm raged loud, he could not hear me because the play was written thus, but I cried with all my heart anyways. When the deed was done I wept and held the bloodied blade to my chest refusing to return it to the company to be washed and used in the next scene. I wanted to preserve it as the hallowed sacred object that it was, savoring the last drops of my beloved heart. They granted my pathetic wish “we always have another” the stage hand assured me. My fellow players looked on contemptuously and amused as tears stung my eyes and a painful lump welled in my throat.

Fate hung about me closely everywhere I turned. There was very little I could do on or off stage that was not per-ordained. I accepted this with quiet grace and mostly kept to myself, never liking it but not resisting. I played truly from the heart. The love I felt was true, the good byes I said were lasting, my feelings for my vengeful king were both conflicted and tender, my affection for the players and stage hands sincere, I drank knowingly of the poisoned goblet playing my part willingly in my death.

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Waking up from dreams of death 

I dreamt that I carried your body to the day bed all dressed in white. You who had always been so much more grounded, muscular, steadfast. In my arms so fragile and warm. You gave me the key to the door so tiny I could barely pinch it between two fingers. As you seemed to disappear under the piles of blankets I was scared. Scared that I would loose you and all you meant to me. Scared that no one would notice. That it would happen with my help or not. In the dark of a burnt out streetlight I cried for you. As the tears came flowing more quickly fear transformed into dread. A ceremony of unknowable darkness was about to begin, I was being beckoned for it. The air was thick with anticipation as she led me away into the darkness. Calling my name, but never directly looking at me. In a cabin in the woods far, far away from possible help she met me to play a game. Fate hung in the air, tight around my throat, as my eyes struggled to see in the darkness. If I could only win for you, but I knew this was a game of no winning. She left me alone in the dark to choose my fate. Even in this cold expectant darkness sticking to my teeth I fought my consciousness. Crying “no, no, no, no, no, no, no” while I rocked myself into existence under too many covers sweating from exertion. Mind finally awake, but sure I had set into motion the awful game and we all would surely die.

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The man that ate sand

Last night I dreamt of a man fallen to his knees on the rocky beach, shirt untucked, stuffing fistfuls of sand into his mouth. So much sand it streamed between his fingers and over his fists, pouring out of his gaping mouth, but he just kept shovelling faster in a mad frenzy to try to eat all of the sand on the beach. 

He eventually ate so much sand he died of dehydration, but instead of collapsing he just kept scooping up more sand. A zombie lumbering up and down the beach consuming all of the yellow sand he could get his cold hands on frightening the tourists. Unaware of his surroundings he wandered too close to the sea, a huge wave grabbed hold of his body and sucked him out into the grey stormy ocean. he became tangled like a seagull in all the garbage and bits of plastic, and wrapped in a huge Persian rug heavy with salt water made heavier still by the sand that filled his body.

When the ocean spat him back out we hoisted him into a shopping cart, wet rug and all, and wheeled him off to the lab to be examined. We identified him as a 24 year old documentary film maker, poet, and activist from Turkey. My colleague turned to me and said “there was nothing in his application video to suggest he would do this”.

I became aware that he had volunteered for an secret experiment we were conducting. He had wanted to die, so he willingly accepted the risk of participating. He had been thinking of commiting suicide for a long time, but he didn’t want his friends and family to feel responsible, so he had waited until he could die for science. There was no one to blame, he had died a hero. Only I felt responsible for his death. 

How many others had there been?

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