lotesse: (Default)
I turn 31 next month, and this past year a lot of things I've wanted have shown up for me. Honestly, if I have one wish for this summer it's that I be able to enjoy them -- I'm still a wee bit shaken by the changes right now, tbh, and working to deal with worries about bad times coming round again.

Work first, then love -- work is good, I'm getting heavy praise for honestly not that much effort?? I met with an old family friend who works on freshwater conservation this afternoon, I guess he needs a writer in a hurry? So maybe this summer will be MBA work and writing for them, and perhaps I won't do any academic/literary writing at all, or not so much. I'm really okay with that -- it's been good for me, transitionally, but the industry that runs parallel to the academic humanities seems infected with the same sickness that's imo overrunning academia -- the pay is shit, the treatment is shit, there's no stability, and it's acceptable to work your people hard without having their backs on anything. Two years ago, it felt important to keep my hand in, keep up on scholarship. Now? Fuckem.

Love. Love is good. Not effortless, and not perfect -- but it's kind of an amazing feeling, learning how to trust someone to have my back like this. I was never this vulnerable with my ex, never as open about my needs, and my god, it's really something, innit, this mutual support gig?

I'm feeling comfortable moving on milestones that I never wanted to share with my ex, even though it hasn't been so very long -- discussed sharing the main body of finances today, getting a joint acct together, and lord but that's something I never ever ever wanted to do with S. I'm not worried in the same way about D. spending out my money selfishly, because seeing me provided for is genuinely important to him -- in fact, I think he's going to be able to help me learn to spend money on myself, which is something I've never got the hang off. I've a pair of new shoes and two new dresses this spring, and am going out in pursuit of a new swimsuit as soon as my period's over -- and it's lovely nice to have new things as needed, really it is.

April was scary for me, because I was medically and financially -- and emotionally -- in a needier place than I had been over the winter, and it was frightening to subject the relationship to the test that S. failed so abjectly -- could I still have worth when not able to play Lady Bountiful? But I needn't have worried.

We're going camping this weekend, for the 1st -- it's just starting to be warm enough to sleep out, here, and he's been asking for a chance to convince me that his method will render sleeping out comfortable enough to make it nice to do. I'm willing to take it on faith.
lotesse: (Default)
baby's first-ever surgery today: bad wisdom tooth out. D's been a tremendous help. by myself for a while now, since he's at work; just had the mama gaggle over, his + mine, which was really nice tbh. it's been a scary few days for me, i'm dreadful at tooth stuff. Did not have a silly reaction to anesthesia, although i'm finding that my typing is not at all accurate at first attempt; left the room on my feet, cried helplessly for about an hour after, then started to feel better. V. nervy about not doing something wrong in terms of aftercare; am planning on holding p. fucking still until D gets home later tonight tbqh

(unrelatedly, take that, Jeff Sessions!)
lotesse: (jane eyre)
-fandom. I wrote Jane Eyre in space fic for yuletide, which was super fun.

As last year, I hope to pub more fic that just the single annual yt work this year; I am hopeful but not making promises. Currently being worked on are Kairos Series and Prydain fic; there's Star Wars OT, BSG classic, and Earthsea fic stubs that I could imaginably finish. We shall see.

-politics. Dealing with it. Still calling/writing people and yelling, bc why not.

-work. I'm getting ready to talk to my new boss (!) about where I'm going to fit in this operation going forward, and I'm excited and nervous and thoughtful about the change. I guess I didn't write here about everything that's gone down irt this job over the last few months -- it turns out that auntie M. hurt herself badly while surfing in Mexico, and I ended up covering for her for over a month while she recovered in hospital, all during the busiest time of the year for the industry. So I'm feeling pretty confident about my position -- these people owe me, big time, for stepping in and saving their bacon. Because of the place my aunt holds in the company, I've been corresponding daily with the CEO/founder, the new owner, and the other managing directors, so I'm coming in at the very top -- and I get the vibe that they really like me, and that they want to make a place for me. Politically speaking, I don't like the industry but am good with the particular individuals; I was at my aunt's house for the election, so I know she was commiserating with the other managing directors about Trump's win. They're nice. They gave me a bonus 50$ amazon gift card for Christmas.

I feel like I could do the work for a while. I like the schedule; the company runs 24/365 on an international clock, so you don't really get days off, but you also don't work for that much time at a go, and things can almost always be moved around with relative ease to clear at least 6 hrs' time. It's a good solution to the problem of emotional exhaustion I've struggled with in doing shift work; I can almost always take a break if I need to, and I don't mind working all the time if I can stop to look after myself without undue bother or embarrassment. tbh I am also very aware that, for my aunt at least, the gig was a great pairing with starting a family; it works well with baby-care and housekeeping schedules, and can be done anywhere with a functional internet connection. A big goal is going to be either getting out from under my aunt in chain of command, or finding ways to safeguard my position; she's a doll, but she's a messy one, and I don't want to be left holding the bag any more than need be.

-reading. It's been Middlemarch all the way down the last week or so; I think it's a reaction to changes in my personal and professional life, the same way it was when I was doing a lot with Middlemarch at the end of my graduate career. I find that the book gives me 2 important permissions/affirmations: that it is all right to lean in to change, and that it is all right to have complicated feelings about even positive changes. I've been feeling noticeably more gentle toward Lydgate this time around, for whatever reason, and more tired with Celia. I continue to find Will Ladislaw an excellent romantic lead, and think the critics are all trippin.

-personal stuff. The thing with D. is continuing to be both delightful and intense; I suppose this is what happens when serious people get together. I'm feeling increasingly comfortable throwing around language like "my boyfriend" in public, which is nice. Fam has been super supportive; my sib gave an official seal of approval over the holiday, and my ma's been doing this adorable nervous awkward attempted reassurance dance that's a bit awful but also basically encouraging.

D's been going through an adjustment, too, I think. My analysis at present is that he'd given up thinking much about his own life trajectory/wants as a result of picking up the main caretaker role for his family during and after his father's death last year, and is now at the place in the process where his self is naturally reasserting itself and its independence. I think he's been feeling very old; but the same way that he's a connection for me back to childhood, I'm being a connection for him, and the new relationship is also becoming the beginning of renewed forward motion. I've been trying to get him to daydream a bit about what he wants to do next, but also trying to maintain distance/not micromanage him; I don't think he wants it, and tbh I don't want to do it.

He's been fucking great about my residual trauma issues; we seem to do best if I'm verbally direct and clear about what's going on and what I need from him, and tbh I'm p. good at doing that, as long as I know that it's safe to admit weakness -- which it really, really has been. I had a full freak-out/flashback/panic attack a few weeks ago, and it was scary for a minute bc it was the moment when the extent of my damage became clear. But he read the links I sent him on CPTSD, and I think it's gonna be ok.


20 May 2016 12:32 pm
lotesse: (Default)
honestly I'm in terrible shape today. I shouldn't be - work's been going really well, until September I'm going to be writing essays about literature and the supernatural, which is amazing - I've got an Andersen story this week, Garth Nix's Sabriel (!) for next - and ever since the weather turned the afterschool childcare work I've been doing has gone from kinda heavy to just delightful -

but I also can't stop crying, and i had an awful punitive dream last night - I wonder if the reason why I hate Dickens so much is that my superego can be distressingly Dickensian, all "let me show you visions of that thing you want so that you can see how you would fuck it up to the harm of innocents." shit. and everything is rubbing me the wrong way; my head aches, my heart aches, my eyes ache. Yesterday morning I heard the mom who lives in the other part of my house spanking her little girl, and the poor baby was crying, and I just about hyperventilated out of my skin.
lotesse: (Default)
I had a peculiar experience last night: I went to work as a nude life-drawing model at a friend's new studio, located in one of the classrooms of my former elementary school, which has been shut down these last seven years.

I attended the school K-5, and then my parents liberated me and let me homeschool for a few years in blessed independence. The last straw was related to art class, as a matter of fact; we had a good art teacher, one of the few good educators in that forsaken building, and my homeroom teacher had kept us all back from art class as punishment for the rowdy behavior of the usual-suspect boys; we were to sit with our heads down on our desks for the period instead. Mother hit the ceiling when she found out; and then one day at breakfast they asked me if I would like to never go back, and it was the best morning of my life.

The building is actually worse than I'd expected it to be, going from memory. It's so tiny; one story, two narrow low cinderblock hallways with ghastly exposed fluorescent lighting down the center. Like something out of a soviet dystopia, or a submarine movie. What a place to pack little children in! It's sort of horrifying to think about.

It wasn't a bad school; I was neglected there, but it was generally benignly, because I was a good clever student and a quiet child by nature. They did say, when they closed the school, that the playground might have been contaminated by industrial waste from a nearby cleaning facility.

It's all arts and community studios now. The classroom where I was made to sit with my head down, missing art, is going to be a yoga studio. It's kind of great; but for me at least there are a lot of ghosts of little children there who, I now realize, were sadder and poorer than I could understand at the time.
lotesse: (open)
Watching Hannibal 1.08.

(I've been feeling frustration and dissatisfaction with my family; I do not know if it is legitimate. I feel as though I am not seen. But I'm less interested in proving the reality than I am in simply noticing the presence of my emotions.)

A (potential, theorized) central tragedy of human life, artfully demonstrated by Bryan Fuller: no one can save you but yourself. Even when it is not reasonable to expect anyone else to save you, help always seems to come with strings. Hannibal wants to Save Will Graham; Alana wants to Save Will Graham; Jack wants Will Graham To Already Have Been Saved so that he can remain useful and able to work. But each of these outside agents have agendas for Will, agendas that are their own and not his.

This is inevitable; how could they not? Only Will can have his own interests at heart purely. But ... he doesn't, I don't think he does. He makes gestures toward survival - he clearly knows where he needs to go vs. where he shouldn't, he tells people things like he's trying to remain accountable for his own well-being - but he doesn't follow through. (and yet, it's his self-sacrificing aspects that I find admirable. what does that say about me?)

I don't know - this all seems quite clear to me, but I've been trying to convince myself that "you've got to cross that lonesome valley, you've got to cross it by yourself" is no kind of a life-philosophy.

I wonder if it's good for me, to live within reach of my parents. I dunno that it really is.
lotesse: (afrofuturist)
--I always find myself wanting to tell someone about, or write about, the times when I experience intense overlays of affect or signification. For me, this is what it's all about, what I read for, what I listen for, what I live for. But they're always so deeply obscure and personal that I'm never sure if they're worth sharing, if the frission of it is something that can be conveyed to people outside of my head.

I'm going to anyway, because this is my journal, and I can be self-indulgent.

The bit from The Dark Is Rising with "Good King Wenceslas" has always been important and central for me. Part of that is that I was a choir girl whose peak event of the year was the holiday concert with the local symphony orchestra; part of it has to do with my general Thing for traditional carols. But it was also about Will and Merriman, alienation and community unlooked-for. Will loses the support of his brother's voice, sings alone as he goes forward, and just as he's wondering what he's going to do to keep the song going by himself Merriman comes in on the joyful king's verse, lyrically offering protection and restoring harmony. The Old Ones aren't always good community for Will - there's a darkly funny way that I think of DiR as the opposite of Harry Potter, where becoming a wizard on your eleventh birthday means leaving your abusive family for a wonderful world of magic, because in his waking Will loses his family, his humanity, and his future, and only gains a set of crochety old absentee mentors. Will Stanton is the eternal graduate student. But in that moment, singing "Good King Wenceslas," Merriman comes through for his pupil. In that moment, at least, Will isn't left alone.

And it means something to me that this is all framed in terms of poverty, generosity, honor, and snow.

So, on the opposite side of the collision--

I keep drawing the Fool card in my tarot, shall I or shan't I, and one of the questions pulling at me now is how much I want to keep fighting to wodge myself into the world versus how much I want to just go be the crazy witch lady at the edge of the woods. And I've been reading a lot of pieces like this one at the Atlantic about reclusive or in-revolt artists who start letting the madness through; the link centers Blackness, touching on Kanye West, Dave Chapelle, Lauryn Hill, and Nina Simone, but Courtney Love and Tori Amos are also artists that are part of this for me, in addition to badgal Rihanna. I grok that there are racialized aspects of this subject position that I can't legitimately lay claim to, but it's been giving me language for the simultaneous turn-away and aggressive-visibility impulses I've been feeling.


I've had a rough few days, dealing with an unusually nasty menstrual period, handling unfamiliar work that I'm less fluent with, and also doing first talks with a new therapist that I'm checking out. So yes, I was watching What Happened, Miss Simone? on Netflix looking for catharsis; but I really wasn't expecting the doc to open with her coming onstage, pushing the edge of her alienation, and sit down at the piano and start playing "Good King Wenceslas." God. The footage is from her 1976 return concert in Switzerland. She casts this beautiful incantation - she draws her limits verbally, hard, and it's awkward, and she does the throw-away gesture over her shoulder, and tells them they have to go with her to the beginning, girlhood. And this is still before the title card.

I recommend the doc, fwiw. It bothered me sometimes that her songs were used so heavily in the soundtrack; it especially nerdled me that "Put A Spell On You" underscored the section on her experience of marital abuse. It's too specific and too general all at once; those songs are standards, not confessional contemp-style singer-songwriter pieces. The civil rights music is different, it belongs in the context.
lotesse: (Default)
this essay at Alas, A Blog about misogyny and academic models and sociobiology is amazing, and I'm going to have to reread it in a moment when I'm not so stirred up; I was interested and nodding along, and then got to the claim that "Both ignore the scale that involves lying naked next to your husband and listening to him say appalling things about his last-boss-but-one, again, and then watching him pick his nose like an eight-year-old, and realizing you’re going to divorce him, even though at that very moment you have no idea how, and life after marriage is a blank, in your imagination, nothing there at all" - and sighed and settled and said oh yes that's right, I know that -

and then the essayist brought in T.H. White and The Book of Merlyn.

why does everything keep connecting back to that
lotesse: (tony)
[personal profile] anghraine tagged me on tumblr - fifteen things that are making me happy right now:
1. winter is far from over; I have a solid three months of snow left to look forward to
2. the myth-type of Persephone, the rape victim married to her rapist, given a cold power by her trauma and her survival but also fundamentally connected with the renewal of spring. she gets stronger and more dangerous by breaking, and i'm connecting with that
3. soft-aesthetic photos of black men with flowerbeards
4. Jim Kirk's face
5. Lip Gallagher's face
6. Mandy Milkovich's dyejob - so cute! and Debbie's haircut
7. I got to see my best friend and not!sister this week when she came home for her mother's 60th birthday
8. I'm no longer involved in any way shape or form with my ex's endless hopeless drama
9. Jim Kirk genderswaps
10. William Shatner genderswapped is kind of what I look like, except for the eye color
11. Marvel 616 Civil War fix-it fic
12. Cara Loup recently uploaded a bunch of her zine-era Han/Luke to the AO3, and it's glorious - and also imo it's cool to spend time in a SW universe where the PT hadn't been made yet and see what people were doing.
13. Anna ([personal profile] starry_diadem) is publishing some of her amazing Battlestar Galactica 1978 fic as with the serial numbers filed off; her worldbuilding work is tremendous, and also I tracked her down a few years ago after a long break from the fandom by recognizing her very distinctive use of the word "gauche" in fic even after she'd changed pseuds, of which I am unreasonably proud.
14. the water-soluble wax pastels are awesome for coloring my mandalas
15. girl you know i listened to the ESB radio serial again the other night and it is some hot shit; no one else can act at all, but Mark Hamill is there, and he goes pretty hard. the exaggerated-noises style that radio dramas always do work really nicely with the film's plotlines; lots of moaning and heavy breathing and whimpering from Luke, it's all very exciting. also they do the Hoth scene that fanwriters always tackle, with Han and Luke overnight in the shelter. they found the worst voice in the world for Vader tho, which is kind of a problem
lotesse: (Default)
One of the biggest and most valuable things I've learned through fannish engagement is just how complex identification actually is; because we're operating outside of the cultural paradigm that assumes identification based on likeness - she's a girl I'm a girl therefore she's automatically my identity character - you can see how much potential variance there is in degrees and types of identification. We talk a lot in fandom about the "do I want to be them or have them?" question. Because there's the identification of "you are the person I want to be," and the "you are everything I hate about myself" identification, and the weird hurt/comfort-y one where you recognize your own pain or strangeness in a character and go about trying to fix it for them in a sideways attempt to bring it right for yourself. Sometimes loving a BSO is like loving a partner, but a lot of the time I find that it's more about loving myself. Or - this is maybe more right - about loving myself the way I would love a partner.

I was reading Slings & Arrows fic a moment ago, and just thinking about how passionately I loved Geoffrey Tennant, and how much he was the person that I wanted my Ex to be able to become, the person he was, in reality, never ever going to be. I - well, he was dark-haired and scruffy and creative and mentally disordered, so I can see where I was going with it. If he'd be Geoffrey, be that creative and powerful and effective, I thought, I could be Ellen, I could have my creativity elevated by and expressed through my partnership. I'm big on power-couple fantasies, and it wasn't a problem for me to chill in the supporting role.

But then I had this weirdly intense and transgressive-feeling thought: that of the two of us, I had really been the most like Geoffrey. I was the one overflowing with creative and intellectual energy. He - he was fucking Claire, pretty much.

Is my tendency to classify Geoffrey Tennant as a love-object, rather than an identity-object, a way of shrinking from a claim of identification with power that I subconsciously find too presumptuous?

When I'm loving Geoffrey Tennant, is that truly me loving on an expression of my own most powerful potential self?

During an energy-reading a few weeks ago the reader said that I was a creative genius. I felt so awkward. I spent years sitting next to my Ex with our writing machines, and he was failing to finish his third draft, but I was finishing better and better fanworks, taking on more ambitious projects, writing solidly and consistently - but he was the writer in our relationship, no question about it, that was what we both said and believed. Why did he get to call himself a writer, and not me? His (unfinished) works had been read by classmates in workshops and that was about it; during the same period of our lives together I was getting positive feedback from the source author on my yuletide story. And he asserted his "creative genius" all the time - so why did I feel so awkward over the same claim applied to myself? Why was I so much more invested in establishing his genius than my own?

I think there's something to the way that female-driven fandom tends to love on heroes rather than inhabit them that's really about gender and the (in)accessibility of power-claims. Not all of it, but something.
lotesse: (Default)
I hate dreaming about my ex; I always wake with this terrible burning urge to get back in contact with him, but I won't I won't I won't. He's the problem not the solution. He's the problem not the solution.

I know why I had the dream, though. I was driving home from my sister's at 2:30 last night, and maybe it was because we'd been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender and I was feeling open and forgiving, but passing through the intersection where he and I both went to elementary school, where the highway that curves around the bay connects to the road that leads to both of our parents' homes, I was struck with this massive quantity of remembered tenderness. Enough, I guess, to carry over into my dreams and make me imagine strange and joyful reunions that will never happen.

He was such a big part of my life. I don't know what to do with my memories.
lotesse: (Default)
It's like I've almost got everything lined up perfectly - but none of it's quite there yet. Deep breaths, self. You know things are gonna have to unsettle a little bit more before you're through.

-housing. I gotta get out of where I'm at, this is not cool. I've been looking for a place up in northern Michigan, up home, and it's soooo frustrating because what I need is to not live around people, but that costs money. I'm emailing right now with a dude who has EXACTLY WHAT I (THINK) I WANT: a 2br house on a farm. he's got other people interested, and I pretty much sent a beg yesterday evening, and have not heard back yet, and I'M CLIMBING THE WALLS because I WANT IT and I want to have everything settled, but true talk I haven't seen the interior or ANYTHING. I JUST WANNA BE SETTLED. I JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO LIVE SOMEWHERE SAFE FOR ME.

-work writing. Every summer, my company puts together a set of introductory essays on a special topic. Last year it was Letters & Diaries, the year before that Manifestos. This year? Stories of Daily Life in Totalitarian Regimes, which seems to mean Red China, the USSR, and Nazi Germany. Girls, I been writing a LOT about Nazi Germany, I'm here doing a workup on Primo Levi, gah. There's a reason why I chose not to specialize in this sort of thing - I don't like looking at it too close, it eats at me. I mean, in a way it's also a (scary) honor, because talk about a literature written in blood. But I would still kind of rather be working on Shakespeare.
lotesse: (Default)
been thinking about violence, misogyny, and mental illness. I think that one of our takeaways as a culture NEEDS to be a re-evaluation of the seriousness of sexist hate speech; don't know that it's gonna happen, because we're so saturated in men's words of sex and gender violence that it's genuinely difficult to take them seriously. I don't want to know how much men hate me. I don't want to know that about them. But to brush aside rape and murder threats as "just internet trolling" is manifestly unsafe. when a man writes that he intends to murder women in an act of entitled "retribution," we need to be aware of the very real possibility that he will do so. nothing incomprehensible about it.

the fact that his mother noticed, understood, called the police on him, but when they came they thought he was "shy" and "polite" and so did nothing, shows that the flip side of the tone argument is also active and insidious: say horrible things in a "civil" way, and people will excuse you. "civility" is a dirty goddamn word.

as always, when a white-passing male pulls this sort of shit, everyone says he's mentally ill. many others have done the important work of showing how this assumption gets the axis of violence in relation to mental illness ass-backwards, indicating us crazy folk as perps when really mentally-ill people are so much more likely to be victims. but I also had the thought, this morning, that ideas about mental illness, violence, and sexism were part of what screwed me over in re: my ex, who was both mentally ill and abusive. When we met he was struggling to function through his OCD; his family hadn't done their research, swung from enabling his neurotic behaviors to asking why he didn't just stop them. he wasn't quite a misogynist, but he was definitely a bitter geeky manchild, and yes the way he talked about the girl he'd been with before bothered me a little. The only reason my mother could ever give me for the way she hit the ceiling when I started seeing him was his mental illness. I wonder, now, if she saw something of what was coming to me, if she perceived his potential for abuse - but because all she could say to me was "not that one he's crazy," and because I saw myself as "crazy," I got tangled up in a whole bunch of stuff about how mentally-ill people are still deserving of love. Not only does the labeling of entitled violence as mental illness contribute to the stigmaticization of non-neurotypicality, it also allows the mis-naming of entitled, violent, or abusive behavior as just mental difference. I'm reminded of Lundy Bancroft's observation in Why Does He Do That that individual therapy can actually make abusers much much worse. In fact, the argument could be made that while the shooter's parents DID get him diagnosed and into therapy, which would have been the right line of action in the case of mental illness, he may have never been crazy at all, just entitled and bitter and willing to damage others in order to ameliorate his own pain. obvs I can't know that, but I do know that I made that mistake with my ex, seeing problems as part of his disorder that we actually part of his assholishness and entitlement.

am finding Dark Angel to be sufficiently man-hating escapist catharsis; recommendations for further misandrist viewing would be appreciated. might have to go whole Hepburn tonight and rewatch Adam's Rib.
lotesse: (faerie)
I'd just nipped on to netflix and put on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in an attempt to get myself out of a snurly mood - I sometimes find, when I'm having a hard time relaxing/engaging, that the multimedia stim of those old movie musicals is really helpful in its sheer intensity & ability to distract - and for the first time ever I noticed that the screenplay is credited to Roald Dahl of all people. So it turns out that while the movie's technically based on an Ian Fleming novel, pretty much everything I love about the movie is Dahl stuff. The name "Truly Scrumptious" - because of course it is, god - and all the stuff in the magical kingdom. It explains the distinctly childs-rights tone of the piece, for sure, and also the relative absence of bad gendered business, and movie's overall sense of humanist gentleness; imo it's the pinnacle of "want Dick VanDyke to be your daddy" filmmaking, and I also have to say that the "doll on the music box" never gets less wonderful. As a kid I picked up on the doll-as-rich-girl metaphor, but now I'm stupid touched by the lack of pretension in the way they turn the plot's fairytale courtship all the way up to where it gets vulnerable and open and sweet on metaphorical registers.

Well, I'm certainly unsnurled now :)

eta: talked on the phone with the best friend who I might still have feelings for who's also currently relocating north. shit we have such intense talks, all these breathing silences. I'm trying to wait on things & not think too much until we've lived around each other for a while; I've never been entirely sure of him, but then again I can so easily imagine us pulling together. We want the same things right now, country life, and by his circle's lights we're both pretty old to not have had children yet. and he's already so much part of my family, and knows & understands us/me. I think at some point one of us is going to have to initiate some emotional honesty, because there's too much we still don't say.
lotesse: (narnia)
Well, today was the last day I'll ever have to be on the university campus. Finish grades next week and then, Khattam-Shud.

Feeling strange and reminiscent today. It's May 1st, Beltane, and god now that I look at the numbers it was exactly ten years ago today that I slept with my Ex for the first time. Waiting for Beltane was my idea. three weeks short of my eighteenth birthday his parents went out of town for a while, so we had a place - in my childhood in a house without doors, worth more than rubies. I got up early that morning and walked down to the creek and made myself a flower crown of myrtle and marsh marigolds; he kept it, dried, for a long time, but somewhere in all the moves it got lost. I wore a blue cotton dress that had been one of my favorites, and after that day I could never find it again.

Now that I think about it, I didn't tell anyone about what I was doing, the precedent already present. I couldn't talk to my mother and none of the other girls I knew were even dating, much less binding themselves close to someone the way I was. I went back in my archive here on this journal to see if I'd written about it, but it looks like I started on LiveJournal about three months after. I felt like a grown-up, not just fretting after it but feeling it, and I bet that's part of what made me start up posting in the first place. I felt like I'd finally arrived.

I did a three-card tarot read on Monday, and it was sort of big. Read more... )
lotesse: (narnia)
You know, there's a (damaged) part of me that really does believe in love virginity - except coming from the opposite angle of the sex-negative fundamentalist doctrine Libby Anne discusses at the above. Instead of fearing that I was in danger of losing the purity and intactness of my heart as a younger girl, I now find myself horribly convinced that, having oddly enough played by (most) of the old rules, having committed myself to forever with my first boyfriend & first sex partner but then having had that go all to hell, I've irretrivably lost the valuable commodity of a virgin heart. I no longer have one to offer. And without one I feel resourceless.

I know that's broken logic, but that's how it feels, right now, deep down inside. I am glad to have language for it, though, & will seek to do some patching. It's a way that I feel out of touch with my age cohort, because I keep finding emotional resonance in the words of older divorcees leaving long-term marriages that few of my friends have had the time to build as of yet.

I do wonder where I picked this stuff up in the first place.
lotesse: (narnia)
I've spent several hours tonight reading Love, Joy, Feminism, by Libby Anne, a blog by a survivor of Christian Patriarchy, and I'm nowhere near through. I didn't expect to find personal connection when I opened a link to her so much as sociocultural analysis, but there are a number of interesting intersections between her experiences and mine: a child of a family-centered family with a lot of closeness and some major boundary issues, a former funny old-fashioned little girl who liked to sew patchwork and wear Laura Ingalls Wilder dresses (and also couldn't afford entrance to the worlds of mall fashion and pop music that my peers inhabited), someone who essentially "married" her very first boyfriend as a young teen. Not to mention my years of decidedly secular but also decidedly oddball homeschooling and the distrust for mainstream culture my parents raised me to. Opposite ideological bent, but same basic set of doctrines: question them, they're not to be trusted. The family way is Best.

There's a weird balance between liberalism and conservatism in being an outsider, I think; I couldn't have been brought up with more radical politics, and certainly in the eyes of Christian Patriarchalists I have been the worst of sinners, but in other ways I recognize the defensive snobbery of the girl-child who wants to believe that she's better than the other girls because she's industrious and family-oriented instead of crass or materialistic, and I'm not sure it mattered that much that my parents were anti-capitalist intellectuals instead of religious fundamentalists, not in the virtuous outsider social psychology of that sort of thing.

But it's awkward, because I still also do often think that the family ways I was raised to ARE Best, really & truly, and I want to be loyal to them.

Relatedly (?), I guess my Mormon childhood bff and intermittent crush object is also moving back up north. I have ... complex? ... feelings about this.
lotesse: (Default)
state of the me: too busy, too stressed. I'm really looking forward to next month, when I'll be out of school (for good! at least for a while) and able to focus on regrouping, recentering, rebuilding. money is bothersome; I'm too paro and anxious to run close to the financial margin for long without getting fretful.

How do you guys talk to people you care about - family chosen or otherwise - about digital support networks? I ask because as a quiet loner people do fuss about me, and I don't feel like I've ever managed to get across just how powerful digital connection can be. I think they see digital networks as a prosthetic, a stand-in for the social life they think I'm too shy or damaged or whatever to seek out. But. I can't even imagine the last decade of my life without internet media fandom and all the wonderful people it's helped me meet and talk to. Mama talks up the benefit of friends who aren't your be-all and end-all, they maybe rub you wrong ways but they're a social group - but I think there's also something intensely marvelous about the way that digital connection seems to short-circuit small talk, the way it plunges you right into the intensest of intimacies.

when I write that here, I'm confident that y'all will feel me. I wish I could figure out how to get normspace folk to do the same.

(I've been consuming media like a mofo in the attempt to conquer my massive piles of grading, so when I am more able to words on the subject I will post about Farscape and Pushing Daisies, both of which are giving me feelings of the most intense and delightful kind. I meant to do that when I opened the entry window but words are apparently feeling slippery.)
lotesse: (north)
this afternoon I let myself test the heft of the idea of walking away from the university - and as soon as I let myself I felt so good. It reminded me of the morning when my parents asked me if I'd like to never have to go back to elementary school, if I'd like to be homeschooled instead.

There's no one here I'm interested in, is the truth - I don't have a social network outside of the university, but increasingly the people inside the university look strange to me. My undergraduate honors thesis was a joy to write because I was working with two wonderful faculty members, women who inspired me and encouraged me and also helped me out when I was low; I can't think but part of my problem with my dissertation prospectus must be the total lack of collaboration or even intellectual community that I'm feeling here. And maybe, maybe it isn't me - maybe this just isn't the right fit, the right way for me to make and build the things I want to.

they pay me nothing, it's not like it would be hard to scrape up an equivalent amount even just through increased freelance work and maybe some tutoring gigs. And right now the idea of going home north to the big lake, being closer by my mother and grandmother - and my sib moved back north last month, too, after ditching her boyfriend, and I feel like if there's anyone in the world can bring me healing it'd be my sib - it sounds real good. I still have an extensive social network of older friends up north, and with my sib around I'd likely pick up some new ones my same age.

so maybe I ditch out after this semester is over, save up some cash over the summer, and when my lease is up in August I get to wave farewell to B-Town. I'm going to sit with it before I commit to anything, yeah, but ...
lotesse: (faerie)
I had two moments, over the weekend, when I felt like I was perfectly accomplishing my job - whatever that means. But I often don't get much out of praise, and these were kind of rare moments when I felt proud and good, and I wanted to write them down observationally, as data points.

The first was with my grandmother. Last month, one of the first communications we got at our seance last month was from Great-Grandmother Annabelle, which isn't surprising considering that she's the strongest psychic we've had in the family, our minister and medium. She said that she was speaking for all the grandmothers when she told us to BE KIND, and said that white feathers would be her manifestation for us. After that I started wearing the sets of feather earrings that I'd accumulated, liking the aesthetic, but not worn out of vague antihipsterism and worried feelings about native appropriation (a concern that my father's family decidedly does not share; they're respectful and educated, but they still fetishize native culture & objects in a way that makes me uncomfortable). I've got a set of actual feathers with coppery bits, and a set of cheap pressed silver ones that are sort of awesomely long and dramatic, and when I went to visit grandmother on my way out of town I was wearing the silver ones. Not only did she notice them right off and ask me about them, she kept delightedly returning to the subject throughout my visit. She was pleased as pie when I told her I'd been wearing real feathers more often; she said that great-grandmother would like to see it, too.

The second affirmation I got indirectly through mama, but it comes from dad. I'd gone up even though I was pretty worn out Friday to support him; he's in a burn-it-all-down temper, frustrated by grandmother being a doofy brat about things of late, but at the same time he loves his people, heart despite will. Talking to mama on the phone, said that I hoped my presence had given him more ability to go & take breaks when he'd needed to - he split out pretty early Sunday afternoon, five or so hours before he'd meant to, I think it all got to be too much. & mama said that I'd helped more than that, that he'd said to her that it was a balm to him to watch my interest and delight in the weird old stuff that his life had been made of, that I was far enough distant from it that I didn't have to be insistently aware of how miserable and screwed-up parts of that hippie bohemian scene had actually been & so could remind him of how authentically excellent other parts were.

(They really were wild, those people. The more I go poking around in their history the more - amazed? - I am. Amazed that any of the kids survived to adulthood, lol, and that they didn't all burn their brains out with hallucinogens, spirit channelling, and Brechtianism. Not that some of them didn't; I turned up a story this time around about the girl who slid into schizophrenia via a ouija board - occasioned by us finding the board that grandfather used to use to predict the Kentucky Derby - and a passel of intensely manic and nonlinear letters sent by another schizophrenic acquaintance. Daddy would say that his mother was ones of the ones lost to booze tho she's living yet; I've been starting to see that for him his family fell apart & ended a long time ago, around when they moved to that grand old house, when the second round of kids was born and they partying started to get hardcore. He told me over the phone last week that he wished I could have met his mama back before that, the way she used to be. I think he's been missing that lost mother for kind of a long time. Would explain his impatience and sometime-animosity toward her now; I think her existential laziness at present both drives him up a wall and breaks his heart.)

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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