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Les Semaines

99.10.31

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout

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Happy Samhain

There are goblins at my door. Actually, I think they're trying to be Pokémon or something like that, but they all look like giggling goblins, at least the little ones.

This is one of the times of year that I think of Robin Skelton, my poetry mentor who was also a witch, or wicca, or however you like to name it. Witch was just fine with him. He wrote several books on witchcraft, one of which is The Practice of Witchcraft which includes rituals for through the wiccan year. He lists Samhain (an older name for Hallowe'en) as the start of the year and the ritual has to do with blessing households for the year. When we first moved into our house, Robin and his wife Sylvia did a ritual for blessing the house--something I especially wanted, as the house was previously lived in by Christians.

Many people will wonder why I'd want a house blessed after it being inhabited by Christians, but those aren't the same people who have written me, surprised by how very Christian I was at the time of the current Phonosnout entries, and how very Christian I was has a lot to do with me wanting Pagan blessings in my house. It's not that I dislike individual Christians, but I certainly have a residual distrust of fundamentalist, evangelical Christians as a group--on the whole my experience of them has been negative throughout my life and certainly when I considered myself one it went beyond negative into emotional brainwashing and an insidious kind of mental abuse meant to get everyone to behave in a certain authorized way. You can guess how well that went over with me, but I did try, and I did continually beat myself up over failing to be able to toe the line. I did everything right: volunteered at The Mustard Seed where I tried to share Christ with the street kids, only dated Christian boys, went to church every Sunday and to young peoples' groups and to bible studies, stopped listening to music that wasn't overtly Christian (which is why I didn't know there was any good music between about 1976 and 1980), read the Bible and books on how to be a good Christian, limited my reading of non-Christian texts, spent little time with non-Christian friends, tried to convert my parents.... What a crazy time! Sometimes I'm amazed that I survived it and other times I'm amazed that I ever went through it.

Ever since I was a small child I was a pantheist. I have trouble not feeling that everything is alive and part of the spiritual world, and the biggest thing that the kind of Christians I was with at that time do is hate the world and everyone who is not Christian. Oh, nominally they hate the sin and love the sinner, but basically they take no joy in anything other than worship, and several of the churches I went to were stern about that, too. When I look back on it, it was a scary world, and I'm glad I'm out of it. When I look back on it, it seems a time of great darkness and being forced to look on the world bleakly. I feel well out of it.

And while I wouldn't exactly say I'm a witch, I still do believe in blessings and the wicked little goblins at my door. Bless them.

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing

Listening

The disc that has haunted my player most this week is Emily Bezar's new disc four walls bending. It really is delightful, and info about it was just added to her page on The Ectophiles' Guide. A friend also gave me a copy of Dido's, No Angel and while it's not brilliant I like it much more than I thought I would. It hovers on the edge of being too pop for me, but mostly I like it.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Read Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue. A strange collection of stories, only joined by the fact that each main character has a connection with a posited painting by Vermeer. Seemed very disconnected, and the snippets of story seemed a little thin.

I also read Elizabeth Haydon's epic fantasy, Rhapsody--it started a little roughly for me with a very romantic episode, then became quite disjointed, and I kept tripping over awkward phrasing and typos, but gradually I got caught up in the story and characters and all those annoyances faded. By the end of it, I was sorry to leave the characters and the world they lived in, so I guess this means I'll be looking for the next installment. This and George Martin are restoring my faith in the possibilities in the whole epic fantasy thing.

I also wanted to mention a book of poems that I'm loving right now: Dana Levin's In the Surgical Theatre. It's the love of language, and her vision. Reminds me of the richness of Brigid Pegeen Kelly's Song.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

I did work a little on a poem, but didn't manage to get it ready in time for Monday's workshop--it's the first time I'd gone to the meeting without something in hand, a revision at the very least. I just don't seem to have enough time these days. The novel on paper/disk at least is stalled but I do find myself thinking thinking thinking. How can I think about it so much and not write a word? How can I write a word unless I've thought out where I'm going?

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

April 1976

391. Questions

I wonder if i'll ever run out of things to say in here, or will my life hold enough changes to keep writing easy. I wonder how many times i've repeated myself in here? What useless questions!! I wish i knew what was meaningful here, what was meaningful in spending twenty-five hours a week in an institution (school).

392. Why school?

Why school? I'm just wasting my time there; i feel none of my courses are teaching me anything. I'm caring less and less about the work i do there. What a waste of twelve years. I'm just biding my time until graduation--and what point is graduation? This is all very depressing, and unanswerable.

393. Maybe

Maybe it's time to call a retreat. I'll go back, find a place to hide, and take a little time to lick my wounds before i rejoin the battle. Hey, somebody must love me. Maybe he/she/they will run away with me for a while. Escape for a time. Beautiful! (I'm dreaming again.)

394. Today in school

Today in school we had to make a list of the things we liked. The object was to choose one and write a play about it perhaps. Anyway, I made a list and i think i'll share it with you:
  1. Christianity
  2. people
  3. friends, male and female
  4. music (rock, mostly)
  5. drama and acting
  6. WRITING!!
  7. Mustard Seeds
  8. forests, oceans
  9. cool breezes
  10. love (all kinds--agape, platonic, filial, etc.)
  11. riding on the back of motorbikes
  12. England, travelling
  13. poetry
  14. rain
  15. Mediæval literature
  16. English history (chivalry!)
  17. trees
  18. hills
  19. emotions
  20. living, experiencing
The end, everybody inside (to be continued). Anyhow, that is my very incomplete list of likes, some very general, some specific. Most seem pretty general, but i guess that's just the way i operate.

395. Seem to be

I seem to be scribbling pretty rapidly for someone with nothing to say. There's a lot i have to share. But it's all about nothing. The only person who would really find this useful is someone who had never lived (i.e, was never born). I'd like to share this with someone like that. I wonder if i'll ever be able to? Fun to think about.

396. Planning

Today is my day for making impossible plans. Like going to Montreal with Paul and Phil this summer--totally unrealistic, in terms of money, transportation, and parental approval. I know there's no way i'd ever get permission to go.1 Besides, i'd be too much of a drag on Phil and Paul. Still, it's neat to think about. I'd be free and secure. Somehow, something has to be done this summer.

397. Word on a wing

[Quote from David Bowie's song of that title deleted.] Song from Bowie. I have to find out if i can make it. Alone, i mean (well, not entirely) word on a wing... with it life begins. True. Oh wow, maybe one day i'll look back on this and laugh, but i don't fell much like laughing now, not much.

398. Time-wasting

I'm wasting time because i'm too tired to work. Too wrecked to work. Can't do the things i should. Can't... anything. What a strange and mind-burning day. (I wonder if i'll sink or swim...). Y'know, Seed-friends are the only kind to have. I thought i'd mention that seeing as how i haven't for a while.

399. Speculation

I'd like to escape from myself, like run away. Maybe one day i'll just drop everything and make a break for it. (I doubt it--life here is too easy, too secure. I don't have to fend for myself. I don't know where i'd turn if i were suddenly alone. To God of course, but where would He lead me? Where is He leading me now? To my escape?)

400. Chapter 400

Four hundredth chapter, another milestone (f'rout). One hundred chapters, from beginning of March to the end of April. Time is getting shorter and shorter all the time. I wonder if Phono-me has changed. Yes, we've changed several times, actually. For the better? Please?


NOTES

1. The main reason for this was that Phil and Paul were planning in hitchhiking there and back. And when the were there they were going to work with Literature Crusades, evangelizing at the Montreal Expo site.

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