Monday

syzygial

My photographer angel, the talented Miss Claire Louisa, is bringing some life back to this here spine. It's nice--no--it's really lovely! to work with somebody in this way, you know? For the small handful of years I've been doing this thing, I've done it largely in a vacuum (with a few super important exceptions! I've had wonderful interactions with Julia and Bethany [whose brainchild I have the great good fortune to be a part of]). It gets lonely. The independence of self-documentation has been really important. Getting up, getting dressed, deciding yes, this is worth showing. But shooting with another human is infinitely more fun. Here are a few we took before Christmastime that I adore. If I were a better editor, I'd distill it down to an image or three, but I'm too excited about all of them, so. 

Today I was talking to a friend about why we use the new year as an excuse (and/or) motivation to renew ourselves. To begin being who we didn't try hard enough to be the year before. We started with the obvious: why wait? Why not always pursue yourself, exactly as you want to be, to the best of your ability?  Why not take each moment by the horns, the balls, the whatever-you-wish, whenever, forever? Carpe that fucking diem, like the t-shirts say. But then, like, look: what are we without our structures and our rituals? I've always pooh-poohed the notion of resolutions, because I wanted to be more than the time, exist outside of it, ahead of it, beat myself to the punch. I want to do it all by instinct, without having to write it down--take myself apart and examine all the little cogs and just know how to put them all back in their right place, no manual required. A human doesn't work that way. Or most don't. This one doesn't. So hey, here, from me to me:

  1. Stick to you aerial regimen, always. Remember the things that pull you through your dark days and nurture the shit out of them. Trust your body to get as strong as you allow it to. 
  2. Continue to be tender. Terrify yourself with the things you're willing to say. Live without apathy and do not be ashamed at being the most embarrassing person you know. 
  3. Take up projects, participate. Be involved with people and their work in the same way you want them to be involved with you and yours. 
  4. Chapbook. Choreography. Creation. Every day, make something. Throw nothing out. 
  5. Be more gregarious. People like you more than you think they do. Hide less, play more. 
  6. Save some money. Put on your big girl pants. Deal with bureaucracy like you were born to do it. Remember that you have a great phone voice; wield it. 
  7. Be a better witch, and don't you dare wait for the planets to align. 

Here's to surviving. Here's to another turn around the sun.


Sunday

0XII

everything is awful, everything is fine
"With light step, as if earth and its trammels had little power to restrain him, a young man in gorgeous vestments pauses at the brink of a precipice among the great heights of the world; he surveys the blue distance before him-its expanse of sky rather than the prospect below[...] The edge which opens on the depth has no terror; it is as if angels were waiting to uphold him, if it came about that he leaped from the height. His countenance is full of intelligence and expectant dream[...] He is a prince of the other world on his travels through this one-all amidst the morning glory, in the keen air. The sun, which shines behind him, knows whence he came, whither he is going, and how he will return by another path after many days."*

"It should be noted (1) that the tree of sacrifice is living wood, with leaves thereon; (2) that the face expresses deep entrancement, not suffering; (3) that the figure, as a whole, suggests life in suspension, but life and not death[...] I will say very simply on my own part that it expresses the relation, in one of its aspects, between the Divine and the Universe."*

sometimes we make things re: pain, re: love, re: being the fool 
we make things for other people (we make ourselves this way, too) and they end up so sharply our own we don't know what to do with them 
why is the pointy end in my chest?
when did that happen?
ow.
we experience our deaths, large and small
we become a kite on fire, continuing to sail 'til we're ash only 
(pre-phoenix rise, i guess, once enough time goes to believe in that sort of thing)
we aspire to be an object of desire/if that means slipping from your hands
(but suspect it works in reverse; we were water, still are, but in a bucket now)
look for artifacts, realize there's nothing you can keep, really, not ever
we speak as though we are mysteries, we are not
we learn to touch without hands or mouths
sparingly, with our eyes
we find corners to become ungentle, unpoet, uneverything
we turn ourselves to oracles: it is less lonely to be at least half symbol 
(1/4 girl, 1/8 crow, 1/8 fatal flaw text messaging)

in deep entrancement, as if angels 


*from The Pictoral Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite
all photos c/o Portraits by Claire (on whose website i'm featured, and with whom i anticipate many future collaborations! i could go on and on about claire, tbh, but for now let's just say that she's taken some of the most beautiful photos of me i've ever seen, the above included, and it's really cool to trust another human to portray you in a way you like and feel is truthful) -- they don't belong to me!

whistles/wrestle/thistles & the kiss

right now is hard, but things are happening
things are happening, but right now is hard
(i know it's all the same, but something changes with which one starts and which one ends. both are true. the hope and the wallow alike)
this is an old outfit, by a week or two. my energy for dressing has been lately mostly fueled by the irl part of it. who will see me and how it will effect them. my heart for intentional self-documentation has been on the wane for a while now. being sad facilitates a lot of crap phone selfies--a lot of searching for the improbable angle where you believe yourself when you defy the hurts you carry--but isn't so generative workwise. i find ten different ways to write the same poem and two songs i can drown in: one for curling up in when alone, another that works a loud glamour, something to stomp down the street to.
it is what it is, but i don't have to like it. (i sound too cold in order not to be too tender, too like a bruise)
god, i feel like i'm fucking vaguebooking a subtweet. this is not my best writing, i'm just spitting to get out the taste.
but anway, whatever, i get to escape into a bigger world for a couple of days at least, and that's a comfort. i'm writing this from the road. i'll have the sea air soon. the soundtrack is good.
  
so i  guess what i'm leading up to, whiny detour aside, is i'm very lucky to have a rad photographer friend to collaborate with and give me something to look forward to, which is a thing that's been happening lately. it's much fun to learn to work with someone else's camera, someone else's eye, and we made some really lovely images together that i'll get to share with you in a couple of days.
♡☆, y'all, i hope all your hearts are warm and safe and full

something tragic/something magic

it's wintering where i am already, a sort of ice mist descending into the valley and seeping in through my bedroom window. in truth, i left the house today bundled all to hell, but for vanity's sake i braved the chill for a few to snap these out in the yard. because! (well, primarily) i needed to to document the supreme sexiness of my new (used) perfect leather jacket. it's a lovely, lovely shade of grey and butter-soft, from doma leather, which is just a haven of droolworthy leather goods. the great blessing of working at a consignment store is sometimes the exact thing you've been searching for comes to you, and it used to be $600, but then somebody got a weird stain under the collar, so you get it for mad cheap. every time i put it on i feel 3000x more ready to face the world. almost all my armor feels soft and looks tough. i like it that way. 
i'm feeling like a lady knight today. a certain lioness, perhaps? this particular outfit is self-referential as motherfuck, but in a faery tale way. most of what i wear is about a feeling i had when i was very small, or a mythology i wanted to inhabit, just translated a little. 
the earring i'm wearing is a special one. the pair was my co-worker's -- i complimented her on them maybe a week or two ago, they were some of her favorites. but yesterday she came up to me holding this one, orphaned from its mate, and gave it to me. she noted that wearing mismatched earrings is pretty much my m.o. and told me she was happy it could still get some love and use. maybe it seems like a small thing to you, but i'm real honored to receive something that somebody loves but can't wear anymore, and quite touched she noticed and remembered an odd little thing about me like that. 

it reminds me of pomegranates and their adjacent tales. it's a talisman. it's a gift. 

i've been rereading margaret atwood's alias grace and it's doing some things to me. the first time i read it, two years ago or so, i did it in one afternoon. i was voracious like once upon a time. coming back to it, though i have the urge to swallow it python-style, i'm doing it in bursts. reading it feels sorta like getting gut-punched while somebody continuously and gently breathes into my mouth, filling my lungs more full than i can on my own. it's not just the story, nor is it the superb writing alone (though obviously those things are heavily in play). it's the way it's nudging me. to write and write more. by now i'm solidly in the habit of writing some crumbs of poems on scraps and notebook corners every day, but it's been a long time since i've wanted to write something big. it's edging its way back in. i'm not saying i'm hard at work on the great american novel or anything. it's just... i'm feeling pulled to try to weave something. something intricate, like bigass unicorn tapestry on a castle wall intricate. it's just a lil flicker of a flame right now, but a warming one. who knows. maybe i'll find myself some kindling.


Tuesday

erstwhilesque

i am all but internettily nonexistent by now -- my semi-defunct laptop mostly hibernates beneath my bed in my new-made faery nest in the wifiless apartment i now call home. life is a lot, post college, though in many ways i feel my world contracting and i don't know how to feel about it yet. there's something to be said about stopping obsessing over being and becoming, something to be said about letting your scope of experience shrink to the practicalities of survival/chilling if it means you can breathe for a moment long enough to learn to extend the breath beyond that moment. so i float on my back next to my little boat, learning the mechanism of my own lungs and gazing up at the sidereal motions, doing little to alter them. i already know how to paddle like mad, and know i will again, but first this: in, out; in

without the constant flux of peers and professors or the weight of institution to react against, i am much becalmed. i've spent seventeen-some-odd years in the mad scuffle of schoolchildhood, and found so much comfort these past few years inside the petulant defiance of self-creation. finding ways to become the spit in the eye of every single thing that ever hurt me, the spit i'd never hazard to launch from my actual mouth into the actual air in pursuit of its actual target. and now? i don't need it as much. there's just less to fling myself against.

which is all just a really fluffed-up way of saying that i'm letting myself be boring and i'm not even mad about it i don't think. i consider myself an ambitious person, one who dreams, but i also know myself to be one who writhes about in this, like, howling chasm of want. i don't want to not want, but i do want to not writhe. or writhe less. so for now my oar is down and here i float.

i am trying to learn to be okay.

that being said, i haven't been doin' diddly! even with my technological impairments, i'm a member of the doll hospital staff, which is maybe one of the loveliest, most important things i've ever had the fortune to be a part of. bethany, our founder, is legitimately one of the smartest and raddest people alive, and has been infinitely patient with my limited time and access to all things Internet. please do check it out and support us if you can!
lovely art by Alyssa Nassner
also, this halloween i got to perform a few aerial pieces with my troupe at a local shindig, which was incredibly fun, and so lucky, as i was able to crawl/dayquil my way out of a week of hell-flu just in time to do the damn thing!

photo by West Turn Picture Co.
lyra duet with my fabulously strong and bendy aerial partner caroline. i'm the swinging one!

photo by West Turn Picture Co.

the final moment of my spoooooooky aerial chains piece to florence and the machine's "girl with one eye"

so anyway, anyway i'm trying to learn to be potent without the rage, to make things without fear, to push myself without shove. and it's taking, as things do, time.

Sunday

stories that never grow old

It's been a long time and everything is different. 

We've paraded, we've boxed, we've left, we've stained the armpits of our shirts with summer sweat.

There's a peculiar force to solitude, it's where I'm mostly living. 

I don't have the time or even the words to tell you all the ways my life has changed, but regardless I've missed this, and I'ma try to be back substantially and often. 





I'm wearing a shirt as pants. A lil hard to walk in (range of motion only a bit more than a pencil skirt). I'm wearing a skirt as a jacket. I'm growing out my hair. The heat makes me feel like my body is melting, but the rest of me is solider than it's been in years. I have nothing grand to tell you today, but I'm sure I'll think of something.

All my love,

what's in front and what's behind

Home is, unequivocally, where the heart is. 
Home is also where the wifi's spotty and the clothing's scarce.


Not having the luxury of a closet forces me to either wear the same jeans every day or get creative, so I cobble together my looks and cross my fingers that they won't fall apart. The conditions invite me to push past the necessary and into the fancifulWhat manner of creature am I today?which is what I want to do all the time anyway. 


Here, I end up indulging much more in the improbable body, the wadded tulle and safety pins body. On vacation, away from school (where looking relatively innocuous is directly linked to what kind of acting opportunities I'll get) I can seek my aesthetic ideals and try to enact them, rather than just thinking about them a lot. Will the ~REAL WORLD~ force me to abandon fashion(ing) altogether? I can't let it! My heart couldn't take it! Making magic in one field shouldn't keep me from making magic in another. 


Yesterday, all swathed in this nonsense, I scoured my favorite local consignment store for treasuresit's the place I'm most likely to procure pieces by the designers whose work I covet most without having to sell any organsand found too many! At least five by Ann Demeulemeester and a lovely Yohji Yamamoto that looked like an eccentric cassock, all far too pricey for my blood (though marked down all to hell). I tried on the Yohji and it was too big for me and tamer than I would have liked (If I'm going to invest in a label, I gotta go ridiculous, y'know? My first Comme purchase, for example, was a great find, and I cherish it, but if I could go back in time I would have been more thoughtful about it)... but I yearned to buy it anyway. Petted it, stared at it lovingly, and pouted aggressively at the price tag. How ridiculous! 


And then I put my own clothes back on and was so, so mad at myself for thirsting that hard for something I wasn't head over heels for, when here I was in a very fucking rad outfit created from bits and bobs around the house. I don't have any tailoring skills and I know less than I want to about the fashion industry, but I'm overflowing with love for the adventure of dressing. Sometimes I get so caught up in the desire to be a part of the sphere, or whatever, a thing that I absolutely do not have the means to achieve or sustain, that I forget that my imagination and enthusiasm are my greatest tools.

So here's to playing dress-up from within your closet, within your means! Here's to constantly reinventing the forms that surround you! Here's to being frugal while never once being "practical"!

I hope your holidays have been happy and wish you all the loveliest things for the new year. <3