Halfway Here

This year is my big year of Story–and on January 1st, I declared my intention to read (and watch and play) some of the most impactful stories that I’ve been told about.

And with June behind us, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on how far I’ve come.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Sloom

Sloom. Intransitive. British, dialectal. To doze. Become weak. Drift along slowly.

I like the word intransitive. In middle school when I learned the word it didn’t mean much, but now I can tease it apart and dissect its meaning: trans across, in meaning opposite. It does not go across. It’s an action without object.

Adrift is a good word too. Describes the feeling nicely. Adrift in the ocean: a battered raft riding the waves, sun rays beating down, dehydration, head lolling off the side, tongue lapping at the waters–but if it’s salty, it’s like drinking death anyways.

Or maybe adrift in the air: like a bird gliding through an updraft, slung upward, seeing the ground far beneath it, but unable to do anything but lilt in the wind. Or adrift in space: an astronaut untethered, touched not by gravity. Total silence. Absolute abyss.

Or maybe, like me, adrift in my own head.

Continue reading

Meet the Beast

I am a Gemini. I have always known my soul is faceted, my spirit fragmented in many parts. I am the twins. I am the wise child and the simple son. I am the one who succumbs and the one who resists. I am also a product of a childhood built upon Disney and Tolkien: there is good and there is evil, and they are disjoint and easily distinguished.

And yet, as an adult, I now wonder: how different are they? And am I not both?

Continue reading

Burnout

Sometimes it’s like building a bonfire and throwing in all the things you own to fuel the flames. You’re waiting for the fire to burn bright. To burn bright enough to illuminate something just out of sight. You know what you hope to see, but you can’t know for sure.

Yet it doesn’t matter.

Now, tell me why?

Continue reading

Ebb and Flow

It is, perhaps, the Tao of Gemini, the Fate of Twins, the Destiny of Castor and Pollux, or Cain and Abel, Fred and George… that as one rises, the other falls, and within oneself, the rise and fall is constant.

Or perhaps it is yin and yang, thesis/antithesis, Shin and Bet, fire and water, heaven and earth… Duality seems an inextricable part of our universe: Even our bodies bifurcate into left and right, two hands, two feet, two ears, two eyes, two lungs holding our breath (which is, in Kabbalah, the force that passes between fire and water, the Aleph between Shin and Bet, and yet, inside us, even the lungs are broken in two).

For me, at least, the rise and fall seems a symptom of chronic depression: Even while treated and generally manageable, sometimes the cup overflows and it is not abundance but tears that pour down the edges and flood where it stands. Alas. Such is fate.

But what to do with fate? Is the last duality only action and inaction?

Continue reading

I am not a Gryffindor

You might belong in Gryffindor
Where dwell the brave at heart
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart

— the Sorting Hat

I’m a Hufflepuff. Or a Ravenclaw. But a Gryffindor I am not. Where dwell the brave at heart? Daring, nerve, and chivalry? What about their vulnerability?

Continue reading

The End of Unfortune

It is now late evening on January the second of the year two thousand and nineteen. I had said, in declaration of intent, that the thing I would do immediately was finish the Netflix adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Of this, I spoke truly: for now it is done.

But as one tale ends, a new adventure begins, and just as some characters in some story set sail themselves (said simply so as to avoid spoilers), tomorrow I begin a new tale as well: For tomorrow I begin teaching my creative writing elective, and try as I might to plan for it (and I did so today, for hours), I still feel woefully unprepared.

But this is not that story: it is the end of another.

Continue reading

Story: New Years Future

Yesterday I looked back at how Story has driven me. Today, the first day of the new year, I look forward: This is not an outline of goals or resolutions, but a declaration of intent.

There are, I fear, still too many unanswered questions in my life, within my soul, and there has never been (in my lifetime, at least) a more apparent time of open conflict in our country than there is now: As the alchemists said, as above, so below, and I extend this idea to “as around, as within.” Perhaps I cannot quell the conflict around me, but if I can calm the questioning inside, perhaps that feeling will spread outward to others.

And if not, I’ll at least be better prepared to live my best life regardless of the world around me. Let it all fall into chaos: then I shall still stand tall and true.

Continue reading

Story: New Years Past

There is, at our very deepest, a driving force for each of us. It fuels the beating of hearts, the breath filling our lungs, the meter of our feet and the cadence of our speech.

I suppose most people never know their driving force–it’s far too deep, you see, and in a world with an attention span hardly longer than a few seconds, I doubt most of us can hold our breaths long enough to dive so deep within to find it.

But, perhaps, I’ve stumbled upon mine.

Continue reading