Category Archives: Odd Thoughts

Red Dust Lover

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I wrote this in response to this beautiful post by @inkskinned.
It started off as a comparison between ‘seasons’ for the rest of the world and the Australian seasons. It ended up becoming a sort of therapeutic self-love thing. My healthy self writing about my sick self. Shh.


When they say their lovers are like the seasons, it takes me a moment to remember that their seasons are not like mine. I’ve never thought of her as being like the seasons- but then, I have, I have, I’ve thought it to myself on quiet nights when I watch her sleep, her expressive face stilled, body sanguine, naked, uncovered. Sweat-slick at 3 am we do not touch, the overhead fan creaking with exertion. Our seasons are not divided into quarters. There is no clear winter in her, no autumn, no falling golden leaves.

My love, she’s red dust and blooming acacia. She’s a wide sandy grin on the coast at sunset, in September, when it’s warm enough to swim but not hot enough to coax the cicadas into song. Her laughter is the creaking of the gum trees, and her kisses, her whispers, are the susurrus rippling through their leaves. She is soft and precious, like the orchids we find on our evening walks.

By November there’s a cloying stickiness to her love. She grasps for my hands despite the humidity and overhead the clouds rumble. It’s hard enough to breathe and like the flies she clings to me and I slick her from my skin- I love her, yes, I love her, please, enough, enough already, enough!
The sky flashes and over the crashing waves I hear her thunder, a crack in the depths of her that shakes the windows of my soul. Unbeknownst to me, lightning far away strikes bright the first bushfire of the season.

As quickly as they came, the storms pass, seemingly overnight. Left in their wake is a dryness that yellows grass and leaves me rasping in her presence. Her eyes are hard. Her voice is something crueller than cold. At least cold is wet, at least ice will soothe the parched lips of the lonely and the lost. I seek her but I am blinded by the brilliant light of her; I reach for her and find only vapour. She is a mirage, far from me, beautiful and devastating. The crispness of her conversation pricks me. Her barbs hook and catch and carry with me through the days.
We fall to silence. It’s too hot, too dry, for me to speak.

She burns.
We are taught in summer to clear a boundary around all we hold dear. We strip the land of life, we soak it with water, we plan our escape. We burn in advance. We pray that this year we will be passed over for the inevitable destruction. I follow the guidelines as closely as I can, careful to maintain control as I lay my boundaries before her. The silence is stifling. Across my lonely distance I watch her tremble in the sunlight.
When finally she does erupt, the flames are devastating. She is summer in full swing: the fire in her obliterates all it touches, and spreads, and devours. She rages without cease. Charred scars remain wherever she sweeps, smoke billowing on the horizon, and when her gaze settles on me I am already choking long before I feel the searing pain.

When January comes, and it does quite suddenly, I find her smouldering in the remains of all we built together. Her face is streaked with ashes. She is dripping, almost extinguished, no longer considered a threat now that there is nothing left for her to burn. She looks about herself like a child. She doesn’t know why she razed so much. She doesn’t even know what sparked the onslaught. All she knows is that it began, and raged, and ended.

More fires spark, here and there, as the months cool, but none of them with anything of the devastation of her summer fury. We sift through the remains of last year’s world, listing the names of those lost, salvaging memories. We lift water to eachother’s lips as the cleansing rains sweep in again. The Doctor, that ocean breeze named for the relief it brings, cools our skin. I hold her as she trembles through the shock of cold nights. I braid white wildflowers in her hair with each new day.
Those who survived the bushfires return. They survey the damage just as we did and a few of them leave, finding little worth saving. Those who do remain, however, band together. They help us rebuild.
In March, when the heat finally breaks, she sobs an apology.
They chuckle gently and murmur, “This is part of loving you.”

You don’t live in Australia and expect safety. You take the suffocating heat and deadly summers with the balmy days and sweet blue beaches. I love her even though she is like the seasons because when April and May roll around, bursts of hardy green break the scorched earth. Seeds released in the flames- seeds that are only released in the flames- sprout and bring new life to the ragged landscape. Our autumn and winter are not seasons of death and stillness. They are rich with new life. They are the salve to the aching wounds of our summers. They are resilient beauty, thriving in the chaos.

And there is nothing more beautiful than my red dust lover after the burn.

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Alive – The Glut

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I like living, I really do. I’m hopeful. I hope the world learns from history and things are actually getting better and we just can’t see it yet.
I’m hopeful for a future where things are different and good and that humanity is evolving toward a better, kinder existence. I don’t actually believe so, but I hope so, and that’s close enough.

Today is a nice day, it’s sunny and clear and I’m talking to a beautiful woman across the other side of the world who tells me she loves me and has such a big heart and is excited about going to dinner with another beautiful woman

And there are colourful yarns and I’m listening to music, music that is so bountiful I could listen to a new song every three minutes and never ever have to repeat one

And I am healthy, and relatively young, and I have touched and been touched by some of the most brilliant minds ever to be totally unappreciated by the world, and there is art, centuries of art, cataloguing all that the human race has ever done

There is architecture and philosophy and poetry and cooking tv shows and Gordon fucking Ramsay and christmas carols which I hate except for when I don’t and people crying at airports and orgasms and news anchors who burst into tears on live television because they saw a picture of a dusty young boy pulled from the wreckage of his home and

metal rulers and movies about slavery that make me cry at 2 in the morning and memes and stupid articles about Apple headphone jacks and beach breezes and a Cute Pancake Girl who may stay or go but right now she kisses me

And family, blood and found and chosen, and pretzel sticks, and drinking water from rivers and bacteria and very pretty rocks and very plain rocks and wine bottles being recycled into glass walls for glass houses and cruel politicians and the goddamn KKK and whirling planets and songs about Voids and boys with body issues and girls who write porn

And dalmatians and pallas cats and wine and anthrax and
This world is a glut, my loves.

None of it matters, and all of it matters. Everything hurts and there is joy all around. We’re all going to die someday. The whole human race will die someday and all of this? Everything? This is all history that we’ll leave behind, and whether we’re alone in the universe or if there’s some kind of life out there, these abstract passing functions of our existence will outlast us.
Is there a word for being simultaneously hopeless and hopeful?

This is what we are. Neither good, nor bad, just… Alive.
For a brief moment. Alive.

Harmonising

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And again, and again, the nowhere place, the liminal space,
Again with these halfway words
Within, without, holding, beholding, witnessing I suppose
But what
What beyond fixation and fascination and the push
This the pressure inside me that builds like orgasm
But when I grasp it, it fades, it eases, it
Falls folds up into itself.
Like towels being pulled from my mouth it heaves up from my stomach
Behind my ribs
Suffocating and thick, scraping
Each retch like forceps, metal at my teeth, fabric in my throat.

Urging me to sleep
I’d rather make use of this
This, I waste on vomiting words to friends
Describing prophesy, watching like birds
The non-fluid dribbling from my lips I offer, cupped in tremble-steady hands,
Palms upraised, wrists dripping, water or blood or something else altogether.
Like dreaming this, absence, I think, focus
And nausea and hunger and
This desire to tear out- at- my womb
Self-evisceration.

Clarity of vision like lucidity but
Alice down the rabbit hole
He never described the way it feels like suffocation
Lungs pulling hard on mirrored glass before it bursts

Peaches and cream fingertips
Cold and welted
Pull through or push against.

Spine screech
Like trains on rails or a fumbled bow on too-tight strings
Do I arch my back and offer my throat or
Do I curl over and inverse-gasp groan
Bite down hard, grind teeth, rend flesh or
Crack open my ribs and expose cat gut-cardiac muscle to the air?

 

 

Observation

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It’s  a little cold to be wearing this dress, but I don’t mind the chill. One leg is uncomfortably warm anyway, perched precariously close to the heater. I’m watching waves of goosebumps roll across the skin of my forearms. They tingle. I guess my body can’t figure out whether to cool down or warm up.

I’ve got half dreams and semi-stories lingering on the walls of my mind and I’m not sure what to do with them. I spend so much time sitting at this desk these days, and so little of that time is spent writing. It’s almost like the part of me that wanted to be an author buried itself somewhere in a dusty nook at the back of my mind, never to be seen again. I tell myself that it’s simply because I haven’t found my story yet. Something about being unable to tell a story I haven’t lived, but I know that’s nonsense. True for some, I suppose, but the stories used to pour from me. I hadn’t lived as much then. Why the silence now? Perhaps I’ve done too much living.

Perhaps my well has gone dry. Hopefully not quite as dry as Hemingway’s.

Most of the scenes playing themselves out behind my eyes aren’t new. They’re old tales, brief flickers of love and lust, fascination with other human beings. Sometimes they’re not even human, just beings, sentient creatures, human-like, human enough. Perhaps that’s where things went wrong. I lost that fascination. Now I’m just like everyone else: waiting for someone to come along, to sweep away the bitterness, to restore my faith in what humanity could be. To remind me what love could be.

I don’t think it will happen. I don’t think it ever does, to anyone.

Human enough.

Am I human enough?

Am I too human, perhaps?

Where has my imagination gone?

There’s silence in the other room. Intermittent. Interrupted by brief guitar. He’s good, I’ll give him that. He’s talented. Talented in a true sense of the word, an inborn trait, an innate ability to achieve in almost anything he puts his mind to. It’s an irony that he hates himself quite so much, not because he can’t see his brilliance, but because that’s what everyone else sees too. That’s all anyone sees.

I have that familiar creeping craving for physical contact, comfort of some kind, but I’m not sure if the asking is worth his indignation should he be disinclined. The answer will almost definitely be no and I feel that if he says no too often, I’ll somehow matter less and irritate him more.

Best not to, then, I think, and save the asking for another night when it’s not so much a want as a need.

I wonder if there was ever a time when curling up with me wasn’t tinged with obligation. I’m sure there must have been, I’ve had other lovers, lovers who actually loved me, but such is the nature of my brain that I can’t remember what has been and only what is. What is, right now, is a lot of time spent alone, and a little time spent with someone who would rather be alone.

Perhaps that’s why my desire to write has been so absent. I tend to write love and longing. Cravings for adventure, for the land, for the touch of someone new and sweet to the taste. I don’t feel that much myself anymore. I wonder if writing is a kind of pharmakon, a cure and a poison, depending on the dose. Am I unable to feel these things because I do not write them, or am I unable to write them because I do not feel them? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Outside the night is full and warm and buzzing with noise. It’s only a Tuesday night but the world is still so very much alive, and I still feel the pull to go wandering. It’s not safe alone, I know, but the current is still there, tugging at my heartstrings like fishing line. There’s so much inspiration to be found under the night sky. Is it fear or laziness that keeps me from it, I wonder? When did either gain enough power over me to determine my actions, to deter me from my adventures?

Spring crickets have begun their song, and I can still smell the fresh cut grass from earlier this morning. I don’t know what phase the moon is in, or if I can see the stars. They might be covered by clouds. I could get up right now and go look, just to know, but I don’t. My left leg itches with the heat of the heater. My right arm tingles with the cold. There’s silence in the other room. This is how it will be, until I go to bed.

I could change it. Will I, though?
I suppose that, there, is the question.

Emotional Landscapes

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Sometimes I feel as though I am blinded by emotion. As though each feeling is a shaft of light, and I have the brightest torch shining directly at my eyes. I find my way through a world I can’t see, as I am seeing too much of it all at once- I let my hands guide me, I knock my shins and stub my toes and stumble at the edge of the stage. I reach out and I grasp on to others as though their movements through a world I cannot see will keep me from the pain and confusion I am experiencing. It doesn’t, naturally. Most of the time I just end up hurting them as well. I’ll either hold on to them too tightly, or pull them down with me when I fall.
I can’t see. That is, I can’t feel the world through my emotions. I feel altogether too much all at once. I can’t even tell what direction the ‘light’ is coming from, only that I am dazzled and overwhelmed. I could close my eyes and block out the light entirely, but then, that would just be another kind of blindness. It would be more comfortable but also dark, a self-imposed impairment to my senses. I am afraid of the dark. I fear it would leave me cold and helpless. I have been experimenting with closing my eyes but they have been open for so long now that doing so hurts just as much. I am not very good at feeling nothing. It’s a little too much like being nothing, and when you can imagine what the world looks like without you in it… things start to get dangerous.
People like me are landmines for those who can moderate their emotions. I understand why we are to be avoided. When every feeling is like an unexpected camera flash it gets tiresome quickly. You have to be ready to be a stumbling block and a makeshift ladder, simultaneously the thing that trips us up and keeps us from falling. I understand, I truly do.
What I am learning now, however, is that it’s not the effort people are afraid of. It’s the exposure. If we can’t see, we find our way through our other senses. We feel everything or nothing. When I am with someone, I have to learn their thoughts and feelings by touch. I can’t keep my distance, because otherwise you might as well not even be there. You are wiped out, just like the rest of the world. To be emotionally involved with me, you have to be as emotionally exposed as I am. Think of an encounter with someone where instead of just looking at you, they have to touch you to identify you. There is no personal space. You can’t maintain a respectable and respectful distance. If they are to see you, they have to touch you, and that is the way it is with me and those like me. We cannot see you, only feel you. We are contagious raw nerves, live wires, wild hands searching in the bright light or the unfathomable dark.
Who in their right minds could stand to be as exposed as we are? As I am?
Who could handle that kind of intimacy and honesty, when it’s so obvious to those who watch us flailing about in our blindness that we are obviously completely out of control?
I wish I could describe the relief that comes with having a piece of the world take shape when I’ve been stumbling blindly for so long. I wish I could describe what it’s like to feel the world through another person, to run my metaphorical hands over their emotional landscapes. How much trust and wonder and joy and fear there is in touching other human beings. What it’s like to have friends and loved ones who dance close and then away again, so all you experience of them are flickers and flutters and temporary brushes against your extended fingertips. That when you’re not directly connected to them, you can’t tell where they are or if they’re even there at all.
Not to mention finding someone else as blinded as you are, and the emotional overload that comes with two people trying to experience eachother all at once. From nothing to everything, or everything to nothing? It’s madness.
Those of us who don’t break our necks navigating the emotional wilderness learn to live in a world so full of sensory information that we lose our senses. We learn to survive. We learn how to guess where someone is in our world without touching them, even though we crave to know them. I am trying to learn. I’m trying to find that strange thing people call self-respect that to me just seems like loneliness. Maybe one day I’ll stand on my own and not have to grasp the arms of those near to me to be sure of who they are.
I have to admit, I don’t want to. I want to touch the minds and hearts of everyone I meet. I want to learn who they are, to feel them, to feel with them.
I hope one day someone will be brave enough to let me.
In the mean time, I’m trying to be okay being alone.

Hush, the loop.

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Somehow we clash, we come together. The violence of our selves fuses us and forms a functional machine.

You with your lethargy, the clarity of your sharp blue eyes, the smooth movements of your hands, and me with my frenetic energy, the uncertainty in all things that makes up all of what I am. I fluctuate and flex around your sharp edges. You maintain your rigidity, your walls give me form.

I find myself falling asleep in your arms, your lap, your embrace. My eyes flutter closed even as I press my lips to yours. You flush pink. You flush pink.

I sleep. I don’t dream. The sounds of the world filter in and convince me that I am awake, truly awake.

I sleep. You flush pink.

On my dabbling in paganism… A realisation.

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I am a witch who does not work magic.

That isn’t to say I don’t believe in such things- I think magic is what’s unknown. Magic is that thing you don’t understand. If you’ve seen that video of someone crying out at the colours in the rainbow created by sprinkler mist, you’ll understand what I mean. That’s magic. I don’t practice it, but I don’t look down on those who do.

To each their own.

I am a witch who crafts.

I have no use for symbolism and prayer, at least, not by themselves. They have no service in my world. Things that are tangible, that have meaning… That’s where I work.

And it is work.

Make no mistake, so much energy (if energy is your thing, energy is… Hmm, a state of being? It heats and cools and moves the universe, a post for another time) goes into knitting, or cooking, or tending a garden. I think that’s where it takes root, this idea of magic, this metaphorical thing neo-wiccans look for in their little Llewellyn books. Where the history fits. Back when living meant working the lands and storing for winter, where keeping rats from the larder and cold from your joints determined who lived and who died. There wasn’t enough space then for useless things. Don’t get me wrong: back then, faith was far from a useless thing. Many people lived and died for faith.

That’s not the point I’m trying to make.

My craft is the tangible.

My craft is in nutrition, the chemistry that goes into the theobromine in chocolate making you feel good and the dehydration from a night of raucous drinking making you feel bad. A teaspoon of peppermint and some boiled water will settle your stomach, and rosemary will add lustre to your hair if it’s dark, or lemon to brighten the blonde.

I knit. I believe in weaving fibre to provide protection. A good scarf will keep a chill away, and after so many hours have gone into the creation of such a thing, the warmth of love will silence a Black Dog. Surely you’ve had a dark night or two where a soft blanket, made by your grandmother, eases your broken heart. A long journey in a biting winter can be gentled by threadbare gloves, gifted to you by your lover, your sibling, handed down through generations, or simply included as thanks for a far grander purchase. These things hold in them goodness as well as function, and that is where I work, that is why I work. Overlooking these things that are so substantial and intrinsic to my being is why it took me so long to understand. I put the weight in faith, and as a result I slipped and slid into the beliefs of those around me: here Wicca, there Asatru, short brief bursts of Buddhism and Catholicism and Vodoun and Thelema. They didn’t work, and I didn’t understand why.

I think I had to finally be alone to find my own way, and come to peace in myself.

I am a witch, but I don’t work magic.

I am a witch. I work my craft.

Protestation versus Education

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The following is simply a comment I posted in response to this video, posted by a friend of mine on Facebook. I say a few things I feel very strongly about and I figure I should probably keep this blog alive, so in the spirit of trying to start living again, here you go.

Small hints of truth wrapped up in a lot of needless sensationalism.
I can see where you are and how you think, sweets, but this video is not something you want to say sums up your view, because then your view is heavily biased, selective of information, and incapable of change or adaptation.
The thing is, most people do understand the great machine we’re a part of. Most people do grasp these things. The problem is that people don’t like change, and they don’t like a lack of security, and they don’t know how to manage without a world that has been hundreds of years in the making.

Also no, a world without pharmacology would not be better. A world without global trade would not be better. A world without global communication and technology would not be better.
Instead of eradication, you must think in terms of adaptation and gentle change. The aggression in this video, the patronising voice of so many of the people who believe in it… It will get you, and them, nowhere.

You’ll find that if you educate people in how to survive outside of ‘the system’ they will tend to move towards doing so. People don’t like being trapped but they do love the safety provided. If you want change, educate. Teach. Teach skills as hobbies. Teach advanced skills for those who want to take it further. Don’t yell about how broken the system is, everyone already knows that and the people who don’t are the people who don’t want it to change.
So teach. Instead of this video, share TED talks about survivalism. Share pop culture like Naked and Afraid. Show people what cool things you can do with a pocket knife, or how you can make ink from mushrooms, or how to make their own soap. Educate them in how penicillin is made, and what plants work best in their climate. SHOW them the world they could be living in and they’ll do all the work themselves….
All you have to do is provide the start for an autodidact and ask them to teach what they know to others.

Change is happening. It’s just slow, and you can’t push hard. A little information, a little hope, and that’s all you need.

I plan to write more on this.

Maybe I’ll explain soap making, or how my gardening is going. Perhaps I’ll post my plans for my ideal home, or what new things I’ve learned. No doubt, mental illness and autism will show up from time to time. I talk a lot about these things, why not here?

I still write. I’m still writing. I just want to add a little variation to this blog, make it more… blog-like.

SO there you go.

Meltdowns and Rages

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So after having a particularly bad rage day, complete with a meltdown, my friend Jason decided to ask me about it. I found the conversation good to have, and maybe a good run down for anyone who doesn’t experience these horrible emotional occurrences. What follows is the log of the conversation, in case anyone is interested.

Jason: As a person that doesn’t crazy rage. Is it something you are aware of or is it more like a panic attack? It just picks you up and dumps you somewhere else?

Me: Ummm…. I’m not aware of it when it’s happening. I feel.. Simultaneously in control, and not in control. I feel like the rage is valid, but if I try to back off or drop the argument it just sort of goes crazy, like it did today.

Jason: Like you are sort of aware but you don’t really have control… So there is no “I’m just raging” moment until it’s completely over?

Me: Sort of. I could start off as reasonably angry at a thing that’s worth getting angry at, but the moment I try to turn my attention away from it, my emotions and self-control go completely out of whack and start clinging to anything that requires processing, and my rage transfers there.
And because the rage doesn’t make sense, especially if it’s at a person, any kind of attempt to reason with me just makes me worse and tends to trigger other emotions like panic or intense sadness and then it becomes a meltdown and won’t stop until I self harm, sleep, or Liam sings to me. Which doesn’t happen anymore. So today I fell asleep.

Jason: Can you sit with the feelings with out focusing on the thing?

Me: No. Noooo.
It’s a really uncontrollable experience. I have no control over what I’m doing. Even if I realise I’m raging, I literally can’t stop. I can’t go sit somewhere quietly or I’ll have a sort of really angry panic attack where I feel like I’m going to literally claw myself to shreds.

Jason: Maybe channeling? Like punching bag?

Me: I get urges to tear off my flesh with my nails.

Jason: Ok that’s a little like channeling. Just not positive.

Me: I haven’t tried a punching bag, but walking helps sometimes. I walk around in circles for hours. I used to scare Liam because I’d just get up and leave the house and walk to the park or the beach or Lyn’s place.

Jason: Those are good things

Me: Rages and meltdowns are probably where I look the craziest to other people.

Jason: Yeah, because they’re terrifying. Lucky they can’t see what’s actually happening in your head.

Me: Eh… Maybe if they could they would see I’m no actual threat.
Or would understand.
To them it just looks like I suddenly turn on angry bitch mode and tear them a new one for no reason.

Jason: People have trouble processing stuff. Very few even attempt to do it. No warning? For these rages?

Me: No warning at all. It just happens.

Jason: Fuck.

Me: With meltdowns there’s a warning, because that feels like reaching a limit. It can happen really fast, but I show signs of stress and upset before having a meltdown. Rages just turn on like a switch.

Jason: What about general frequency?

Me: Depends. Sometimes I can go months without either. Sometimes they happen less than an hour apart.

Jason: Are you angry first? Or could you be happy patting Hannibal…?

Me: Sometimes. Usually. Usually rages are just anger that lost its anchor. Sometimes they’re a trigger I don’t know about, or a random thought I don’t notice. They’re definitely triggered when I’m trying to talk to someone and my processing gets all mixed up and I can’t think straight. It’s like an immediate reaction to things being out of place, like my brain has glitched and self control fell through the floor.

Jason: Ah ok I get it now. It’s the anchor. Could you have a backup anchor?

Me: Not really. If I can, I don’t know how yet. I used to run anger past Liam or Lyn, but that usually requires they be there in person. When I’m by myself or if I’m non-verbal at the time, it’s a bit of a lost cause.

Jason: What about an object. Like a stress toy or your chewy thing. Or a photo of xena in your wallet?

Me: Hahahaha
Yeah, they help with meltdowns. Meltdowns will turn into shutdowns if I have my stimming things with me.
They don’t help with rages. Most of the time they make rages worse, because I’ll get angry that they’re not helping. Although, chewing things helps with the clawing urges.

Jason: Packet of gum? Cold shower. That pretty much turns your brain off! But needs to be proper cold.

Me: I haven’t tried that, but I will next time. Hopefully I’ll think of it.
Not with meltdowns though. Meltdowns would be horrible in a cold shower.
Meltdowns require curling up somewhere totally removed from stimulation.

Jason: You seem to have meltdowns covered. At least strategy wise.

Me: Yeah. Just need to work on the rages. 😛