A Strange Day on Planet Earth


journal: 5.15.16

I made my first margarita yesterday.  First lesson: Yes, do add equal parts tequila to orange liqueur.  And damn, tequila is strong stuff.  Also it comes in a very large bottle, so this is a relatively cost effective drink.  Except the limes.  Unless one is bequeathed with a lime tree, there is a substantial citrus investment.

It was something of an Ideal Day as the sun was … sunny, and the sky … blue, and these might not sound like unusual circumstances, but it was somehow just the right quantities of warmth and humidity and breeze and goldenness, to make me wish the daytime would never end.  Though it ended ideally too, in deep blue tones and one particularly pointed star.  It was the first night not too chilly to be out, so I sat on the patio with my margarita and said nice things to the moon.


Friday, Saturday, Sunday


Did taxes.  Confirmed feelings toward government.  Discovered rainwater coming into apartment.  Contacted property manager, who sent brusque and noncommittal messages before abruptly ceasing communication.  Confirmed feelings concerning property manager.  Went to Bernie Sanders organizing meeting, where two men enjoyed sounding outraged and superior over points they disagreed with.  Confirmed feelings about unoriginal men.  Discovered the crab apple tree outside apartment is blooming.  Confirmed belief plants are the smartest creatures on the planet.  Cried on the couch for an hour from stress over taxes, property managers, climate change, debt, capitalism, and feelings of futility.  Confirmed crying is good.

Image: from page 20 of A Vade-Mecum for Malt-Worms; or, a Guide to Good-Fellows by Edward Ward, 1866, via British Library on flickr 

journal: 9.5.15

Finding odd comfort in watching the late Christopher Hitchens debate theists on youtube.  I have decided he must have regretted the lame essay on women and humor, so C.H. and I can be square and I can continue in this habit.

It does seem both the old religions and new age enjoy as fuel the endless store of human fear.  Imagine there is randomness, and farce, and pain that is not useful; imagine neither God nor your Higher Self can protect you from it.

But it is not to be imagined, even momentarily, for the people run back to a story that explains how God “chose” to take a young life back to heaven, or that soul just “chose” to have a brief encounter on earth … And then no one has to feel the vulnerability of standing thin-skinned and fallible on the face of a spinning planet.

So many stories and talking over and feverish prayers and fearful candles to avoid what, precisely?  Saturating in the feeling of vulnerability?  That would seem the fundamental prerequisite to growing up. monk-prayer-edited





Image: modified Delacroix, “Monk Prayer” 1821, via Art Gallery ErgsArt on flickr

Environmental Handbook for Non-Scientific Minds

Image taken from page 96 of '[Pre-Adamite Man; or the story of our old planet, etc. [By Mrs. G. J. C. D.]]' | by The British Library

Perhaps, like me, you are aghast over the state of the natural world. This planet grew in rich, mysterious, entwined webs over billions of years. And in the past few hundred, one subset of one species has been feverishly tearing it all apart. Living in a country responsible for much of the carnage, I have felt compelled to protest this fact. Even so, I have been scantly able to explain the mechanisms of destruction. This, because scientific writing is generally dense and jargony, and my mind inclined to shut down the moment it feels it is back in ninth grade science class.

Hence began Environmental Handbook for Non-Scientific Minds: an attempt to document the major throws in terms I could understand. From one non-scientific mind to another, I hope this is a useful template in perplexing times.

For more of this project, please visit Planet Earth Book.

Image: from page 96 of Pre-Adamite Man or The Story of Our Old Planet, by Mrs. G. J. C. Duncans, 1866, via The British Library on flickr

Visits to Dreamland

I read today,

“It is remarkably easy to make the content of dreams conform to expectation … formulate a statement of intent … try visualizing a scene or image as you fall asleep.”

Phil Hine

It made me laugh a little, for the few times I have tried to gently prod my dreams in a particular direction, they ran of shrieking the other way.  I find it interesting this method works for some, yet ceased desiring it long ago.

The other-consciousness has so little space and voice in our modern waking lives, complete abandonment in sleep seems a small and suitable offering.

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I could again place my un(tamed)conscious at the beginning of a particular path and ask her to walk, but the moment my mind surrenders to sleep she would dart up the nearest tree and throw coconuts at my head, then unbind her hair and thrash through the underbrush singing bards and growling.

I can only wake up some hours later and groggily catalogue her sojourn, forever amazed at how much she can accomplish in a single morning.

But I will never again try to direct her steps, as the metaculture constantly realigns mine during waking life.  I will make no -ology of the void, or topographic map of the womb, or extraction plan for a wilderness that does quite well without interference.  It has never asked of me understanding, only reverence.

Image: from page 178 of The Queen of the Arena and Other Stories, illustrated by “Millais and others,” 1880, via The British Library on flickr

Winds and Women

“Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force.”

George Bernard Shaw

I feel those words resonant at the top of the spine, the area headaches tend to grow.  I see the mountains decapitated by coal companies and the loaded gun cabinets of frightened men, and again drop into a cold void contemplating the last breaths of Sandra Bland in a cell patriarchy built.  Every day it seems the self interest of a small set of men deadens the life force of all that is holy on this planet.  My own feet, inclined to dance, feel clumsy and disoriented at each headline.

Yet I know all movement is no more or less than photons stirring, energy recycling through space.  Nuclear fusion makes sunlight and the hydrogen bomb.  Sharpened blades can cut heirloom lettuce just as easily as skin.  And despite the scars covering every inch of my own heart, I continue to know the expressions of energy are infinite and not fixed.  This is the alchemy of human existence: not an abstract “free will,” but the endless direction of anima.

Robert Thornton, The Night-Blowing Cereus, Temple of Flora, Plate 14, 1799 - 1807Robert Thornton, The Night-Blowing Cereus, Temple of Flora, Plate 14, 1799 - 1807

However stupidly the energy is funneled in the monstrous, deadening tunnels of capitalist patriarchy, there always remains the possibility of redirection.

The last time there was a strong wind I saw a tent collapse, and perhaps that same current of air passed through Sandra Bland when she raised her voice to a white man on the side of a remote highway in Texas.  Yes, I worship at the church of the effective power of women.  Because everywhere I hear them shout and sing, energy is transformed again, snatched from the cyclones of death and redirected toward our liberation.

Collective interest backed by force: that is the west wind I cast my prayers onto, knowing long after me another woman will stop in that gale and say her own name.

Image: Robert Thornton, The Night-Blowing Cereus, Temple of Flora, Plate 14, 1799 – 1807, via Abraxas Journal

So Long, New York

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Garden in September

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