Saturday, May 07, 2011


I drove to work yesterday morning and saw a sign that said "Organic Insect Buster". I thought it said "Organic Insect Butter" before a second look.

I wasn't the only one misplacing letters. I posted a link from Mental Floss magazine, and a friend thought it said "Mental Loss". As she said, why advertise the fact by buying a magazine?

I stare at my computer, and words blur before my eyes. I do not wish to admit that I am tired. My eyes are tired; my spirit is not. I look under my shirt, at the remains of my surgical incision. It curves around my nipple like a smile. I am tempted to draw eyes on the other side of my nipple, and make a smiley face. I resist the urge.

I finished an article yesterday evening on magical operations and the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious. I was fishing about for a particular reference, and came across a Catholic catechism site--not the official Vatican site, but clearly one of those Catholic community sites. I glanced at a list of questions from "laity"; they were all the same kinds of sniveling questions I heard when Father Lampert (the exorcist) spoke at Montclair State. "Father, is it true that all yoga practitioners are really devil worshippers?" That sort of thing. With equally bad and ignorant responses. I want to smack the questioners in the face and say, "wake up and stop being an idiot, already!" I want to double-smack the answerers, and say, "Stop feeding people's fear of the unknown!"

Living on the fringes means you have few friends, and are largely invisible. I find myself surprised at certain behaviors of others, behaviors that indicate that I am largely invisible to them. I remind myself that I shouldn't be surprised. This isn't new. I don't live a life that most people I interact with regularly can relate to. Most people in my demographic are married with kids, and discussing normal married-with-kids kind of stuff. They read mainstream books and go to mainstream movies. Even if they're a little off the beaten path, the kinds of things that interest me (largely forbidden, scary, and strange things) don't interest them at all. Similarly, I can't relate to their lifestyle, and can't speak to their issues with personal experience. I don't spend a lot of time with people who don't share my interests, so why should they?

Still, there are days when you crave ordinary conversation, and do mundane things to keep yourself from floating away. Worlds with too many words and thoughts get mixed up, and it's hard to know what's actual and what's potential. Wesley Stace said at the recent WAMFEST that the writing life is a lonely life. You spend a lot of time with your thoughts and ideas.

My non-writing time is often taken up with mundane tasks--keeping up with the housework and the yard, doing the washing, buying groceries, et cetera. Some weekends I am very tired and not in the mood to do all these things. My friends will tell me, "you don't HAVE to do those things." What they don't realize is that I DO have to do those things. I can't tolerate disorder in my life. Sure, to a certain degree, there is a creative chaos that can be wonderful. But not in my house. The bed is made every morning, the sink is never full of dishes, floors are regularly vacuumed and washed, things have to be put away. My home is my oasis, the place where I do my creative work, and where I get away from the rat race. If it's in disarray, then I become depressed. If my relaxation place is also overwhelmed by chaos, then so am I. I operate knowing there's a place to put my feet if my arms get tired.

My love life has a similar psychological trend. I find love, sex, and relationships to be infinitely more complicated than necessary. It's simple for me--either I'm attracted and would take the risk, or I don't. Most of the time I don't. I meet lots of men who I think are terribly interesting and make wonderful friends, but I'm not feeling the magnetism. I hate the social dictum that says that a woman's involvement with a man must necessarily be of a romantic or sexual nature. And the one that says a woman doesn't travel or do anything social alone. I try not to pressure others or put any expectations on them, and I have to say that I like it when others do the same.

I had a dream about a month ago, in which a voice said to me, "You are Sophia, and create the world alone." I was staring at a lush forest behind a waterfall.

I had lunch a couple of weeks ago with one of my former students. He happens to live alone as well, and he says it can be just as difficult for men as for women. The world is designed with the assumption that people live in pairs or groups. Ironically--people I encounter every day live in their own worlds. The social structure doesn't match the social reality. I am suspicious of people who are too ready to accept me as their best friend on sight--they're either drunk or belong to a cult-like Christian group. It's like men who tell you they love you after talking to you for 5 minutes. Somehow I don't accept their sincerity. At the same time, there is something disturbing about the lack of awareness of others that people demonstrate every day. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

Nature is beautiful right now, and the weather is perfect, but the pollen is lethal. I am ever so sleepy. Even the cat is not immune; I hear him snuffling away. Spring is like an hallucination, all the pretty colors viewed through a haze. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, but I'm celebrating it with my mother this evening. Tomorrow I go to New York for a workshop downtown with Lon Milo DuQuette. It is on Goetia, which I have been reading about extensively, so I am most interested to hear what Lon has to say.

For now, I am going to take a nap--and then a long walk.

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