skonen_blades: (hamused)
The more clarity I achieve, the stupider I know I am. It’s not that there’s a door unlocking inside me or that I’m falling deeper and deeper through the levels of my own life. I don’t have visitations from flowery growths of suspense and handlings. I have sharp turns in well-lit tunnels that bring me to new chapters. I have ‘top-down’ moments where I feel as if I’m lifted up above my own life and for a few moments, I can see the whole shape of it, see it for what it really is. It’s in these moments where I feel super lucid but also like I’m dreaming hard. I see the track. I see where I am. I don’t see how long I’ve got but I feel like I get an accurate check on how I’m doing. It goes a lot deeper than any old report card.

I’m experiencing things that so many humans have experienced before yet I feel alone. I think that’s the fulcrum for the seesaw of humanity. I know Audrey is unique. I know Sonja is unique. I know I am unique. But I know that our struggles and delights with each other as a family would be familiar to any other family on the planet and to families before Christ. Will be familiar to families centuries from now, maybe. My joy at seeing my daughter laugh is mine and mine alone yet is it also a father’s joy, every father’s joy. I feel common and included all at the same time. I feel lonely and special all at the same time. This is the duality, I think, of existence.

Waves. Fire. Branches. Always repeating and never repeating. So too with humans.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
There is a reason in video games
Why lives look like hearts and they don’t look like brains
Love is what gives us all life while we’re here
Brains are fantastic but I think it’s clear
That brains, while quite useful, are computery
They just sort of think. They don’t feel much, you see.
But hearts now, they’re passionate, foolish, and strong
They don’t know their right from their left or their wrong
When playing a video game, at the start
YOU get some lives and they’re shaped like a heart
If YOU lose too many too quickly, you die
Your body collapses and then there you lie
But the NEXT time you play when you get to the part
That once was too hard and would take your poor heart
You know how to dodge, or jump, or defend
And if you keep playing, you get to the end
At least of that level. Cause there’s always more.
But the more that you play and the higher you score
The more hearts you get and the longer you love
Hearts fit a life like a hand fits a glove
‘Cause they’re what’s inside and they just keep on giving
Without your heart then you can’t go on living
A literal truth but a metaphor, too.
If you allow yourself (when you feel blue)
To IGnore your heart and pretend it’s not there
THAT all that you have in your chest is just air
Then one, you’re a liar and two, you can’t do it
The heart won’t be smothered. I’ve effing been through it.
Love can’t be beaten and can’t be contained.
It takes too much effort and makes a life strained.
Love that’s denied is a blight on the soul
Because you can’t turn your heart into a hole
No quarter asked for and no quarter given
You say you’re alive but I don’t think that’s livin’
If you fight your heart, when you win then you lose
No matter the person and no matter whose
Heart takes a beating, it always beats back
Hearts always fight when they feel an attack
Or else they leap or they duck or they run
The only thing hearts like to play for is fun
Your brain’s the controller. Your hands have the skills
So dive down those valleys and run up those hills
Press all the buttons and move left and right
Practice your loving all day and all night
Loving and games are unique in this way.
You only get better the more that you PLAY.
I’ve got some quarters rolled up in a tube
In my pocket and yes, I am happy to see you
Let’s have a two-player, co-op, turn-based
Side-scrolling platformer medium-paced
RPG flash game with magic gold rings
Your BRAIN knows the words but it’s YOUR heart that sings
So remember this moral this Valentine’s day
To be better at love then play, player, play.
And remember when playing to lead with your heart
Up down left right B A start

skonen_blades: (hamused)
Lightning wouldn’t kill us if we were better conduits.
That’s what it’s like with some ideas. They burn us to the ground when we can’t handle their brilliance. Or an insight that drives us mad. A top-down moment where our lives are laid out like easy-to-read maps and it’s so obvious and so sad that it breaks us.
Like knowing exactly what humanity needs to stop eating itself and destroying the earth but not knowing how to accomplish it.
Imagination can think us around corners and through the eyes of needles. Imagination can help us see through walls.
But it’s also the curse that binds us.
It is a weight we can’t swim above. It’s our ability to think that ironically keeps us from true, lasting enlightenment.
We are contradiction engines and it’s misery that fuels our flights into the future.
Happiness can guide us but it’s what we can stand that sets the rules. Where we want to go isn’t as concrete as what we won’t do to get there. And you might surprise yourself.
I’m no prophet but I’d say dark times are ahead.
Also good times but those dark times are going to suck.
Stay strong and remember that lightning needs a conductor. Listen to the orchestra and once in a while, try to dictate the tune.

skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
I believe in a god who lives in corners.

It’s not sacrilege.

It perches at wall and ceiling intersections, staring at us when we’re falling, staring at us when we’re floating.

Repeated chases in our minds, our haunted eyes, cycles of licorice regret coating our numb throats. Our greetings stuck to frozen voices left unsaid when the opportunity arose. Our fatalistic conversation with conjecture, turning probability over in our minds, estimating our own chances.

We decrease or maintain.

This is not a god who watches victories. This is a god who watches the struggle and the moments of calm in between the shopping cart crashes. It’s unconcerned with happiness. It’s indifferent to shouts of enthusiastic joy.

This is a god that likes the glue that holds life together. It values the mortar in between the bricks. It smells your dance with the unknown and gorges on the steps you take.

It’s not a parasite and it does not control your motions. It has no vested interest in the outcome of what you’re going through (because we are all going through something).

It anchors where the angles meet and watches us, disappearing when we look for it. Hiding from us when we stare straight at it. It’s the opposite of the sun. It’s the antipassive voice. It’s not omniscient but it’s everywhere.

It’s rooted where the shadows gather, the spout to the other places.

This god lives with us.

It does not record to scan later. It has no concept of future or past. It’s not some interstellar dimensional CCTV.

It lives in the now and it craves our fight.

It’s watching you right now and it will not intervene. But know that your choices or even your inaction will keep it alive. Your success will not. It’s not about outcomes.

It lives off of living.

skonen_blades: (bounder)
There’s an 8 track. There’s a birdcage. There’s a bubble of soup. There’s a signature. There’s a corkboard with thumbtacks arranging half of a life. Here are schedules and numbers being added to calculate net worth. Here is a movie from 1982. Here are homemade efforts. Here is a stereo.

The distance between the edges of the chasm is one leap. The distance from the bottom of the rope to the top is one rope’s worth of effort. The distance around this hug is arms. They distance between here and success is trying. The distance between no degree and degree is school. “The shortest distance between two people is a story”. The distance between knowing and not knowing is learning. The distance between birth and death is life.

I am a cup burglar. I am a secret hoarder. I am a catalogue sniffer. I am an adding machine. My unconscious weighs my days and adds stacks to other stacks. The calendar is a treadmill, not a ladder. There are no days. Each day is unique. There is no Tuesday after Tuesday after Tuesday. One o clock does not exist. All paths are new and watches try to force us to forget that.

I am a collage. My inside-out truths match the mixture of tea and coffee in my cup. My time is up. But time is an illusion. So I am stretched calmly like a settling sheet over the distance between now and then. I am allegory. I draw my own parallels. I align to no comparisons. I put the past in a sound proof room and I muffle the future. The long game must be tackled in very small achievements. Empires are built by ants.

skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
You are not your gender. You are not your race. You are not your occupation. You are not the country you were born in. You are not the language you speak. You are not even your name. Who are you? When you try to answer this, you see the need, nay, the logical explanation for the existence of the soul.

You are more than the electrical impulses that give you your thoughts and move your limbs. You are more than a being that can interact with this world physically. You are more than the animals, for better or for worse. Who are you? When you try to answer this, you see the need, nay, the logical explanation for want of a purpose.

Then you see that the journey is the purpose. The question is the answer. We are here to quest. We are here not just to struggle, but to strive toward. The fact that what we strive towards is unknowable is the reason we strive. The search is the end. The constant movement is the destination. It’s a contradiction that fits.

All questions lead to more questions. That is as much a function of the universe as it is a function of our own perspective. We have not found out how large the universe is and we have not found its smallest particle. The ladder is endless up and down and the road is endless in all directions as far as we’re concerned. Both ends of the telescope do nothing but expand our base of queries.

Imagination bridges gaps. Stories gives us answers. Myths teach us and give us reasons. A person with answers seems powerful because answers calm us. Without satisfactory answers, we turn faster and faster. We become smarter to dampen the curiousity with more knowledge. We turn to drugs to cotton our ears to the pull of wanting to know. We memorize religious books and tell ourselves that strength lies in belief, damming up the need for facts, facts, more facts. The yawning abyss is exactly this.

What calms the journey is direction. Your journey may take you to the stars, to the intricacies of language, to atoms, to your own inner workings, to the physical and metaphysical. It may take you to places on maps either real or imagined. It can take you on quests for peace through several paths.

This holy grail of balance is what comes in and out of focus for us. What gets us out of bed in the morning is not our awareness of time passing, our bodies decaying. It is the question. As innate as eye colour. It is bred into us and seemingly, only us.

It is why our life form is insane. It is our greatest strength and our greatest flaw. With no curiousity, we would be at peace. This is why we are damned. This is why we are holy.

They say that getting there is half the fun. Since getting there is all we do, then that is why we feel we are missing out on half of something.

skonen_blades: (Default)
“Wow, you’re so small,” said the pink humanoid creature looking at me. It had created eyes for itself and a very primitive nervous system to replicate as many human senses as it could. It had used me as a model but standing here looking at it was nothing like looking into a mirror.

When the creature looked back behind itself at the pink ocean, it used its brand new vocal cords to start screaming.

The pink ocean on the surface of Steinaway-9 was glutted with life according to our sensors but all recon missions had confirmed that the ocean was empty. Nothing was swimming in the pink fluid. It wasn’t until we got down to the microscopic level that we found that it was full of dendrites and what looked like neurons with more receptors that usual.

Our science team captain, Dr. Renoir, mentioned that it might just be one giant life form. The planet had a population of one and we were looking at it.

There were a few islands scattered around and I was part of the away team that shuttled down to the surface to take samples and attempt communication.

Touch was all it took. There was nothing infectious in the pink soup and I’d been sterilized. I took off my glove and put my hand in the water.

I shook hands with a world.

A giant child-like peaceful mind said hello to me. I felt it shuffling through my mind. All of my secrets were catalogued. All of my memories were examined. My training was picked up, looked at, and mulled over. My life and by extension my experience of the human race was completely devoured and extrapolated upon.

I jerked my hand out of the water and stumbled back.

The other members of the away team came up to steady me and see if I was okay.

“Yes. Yes. I’m fine.” I answered. I knew a serious debriefing was going to be necessary.

Near the shore, the water turned frothy. Vanessa took out her weapon and pointed it at the disturbance. I told her to stand down to but keep the weapon drawn.

Like a candle melting in reverse, I saw a human body boil up out of the ocean and assemble itself out of pink slime. When it was finished, it opened its pink eyes and took a step out of the water onto the beach. It took its first breath, looked at me, and smiled.

That was thirty seconds ago. Now it was screaming.

For the first time in the history of the planet, there was a population of two.

The mind I had encountered was an innocent mind and I could tell this experience was terrifying. A sense of otherness, a sense of division, a sense of us and them, the concept of loneliness, the concept of privacy, the concept of being many organisms, and a terrifying sense of being small came crashing down on this poor creature all at once. It was like being left at kindergarten for the first time but on a universal scale.

The ocean trembled. A large wave rose up and came crashing down on the creature, dragging it out to sea. It flailed and dissolved, re-absorbed into its home.

All around us, the ocean started to ripple. I saw a shockwave of unrest spread out from our island as the information from that being’s experience was transmitted to the entire creature.

“Let’s get out of here.” I said to my away team.

We sprinted for our shuttle.

skonen_blades: (haBUUH)
It was that time again. Time for the aliens to mate. I was the first human allowed to watch.

The Kurisk were a unique race. Their minds had raced forth early on while their bodies remained on the bottom rungs of the evolutionary ladder. The Kurisk had become adept at building and smelting and extrapolating when most races were figuring out how to walk upright and club each other.

They enhanced their primitive appendages with wooden and then clay prosthetics, enabling them to make more complex tools, enabling them to make more complex machinery. They built carapaces for themselves out of metal. They built heaters for themselves inside those carapaces to enable exploration of the polar regions. Then they built self-contained breathing apparatus for trips below the water. They built communication arrays inside their increasingly armoured husks.

After that, they added wings and flocked to the sky. After that, gunpowder and kinetic weapons to protect themselves from skyborne predators. After that, they added rockets and escaped their planet’s gravity.

When food became a problem, they managed to make adjustments to themselves to live off of solar and gravitational power while in space and geothermal power while on planets without nutrients. One of them flew near a gas giant and transmitted a blueprint to all his fellow Kurisk about an idea for improvements to survive such an atmosphere. The discovery of lasers was an evolutionary leap.

Every new set of planetary circumstances they came in contact with caused them to race back home and add a new layer to their shells. They were quick learners.

No one knew what their original forms looked like. They were permanently sealed in their massive shells.

Masters of language translators and pleasant to talk to, the Kurisk were curious and inquisitive. A good thing, too. If they’d been warlike, they would have been formidable. They held patents on most of the technology in the universe. They hadn’t yet mastered Faster Than Light or Transport Technology but it was only a matter of time.

In some places, they were referred to simply as The Improvers.

While each Kurisk varied a tiny bit, they tried to remain identical and to keep all of their improvements up to date across their entire race. This made it impossible to tell them apart. Only the Kurisk themselves could do that.

Every six years, they needed to return home to mate. This was the only time they came out of their shells. As a Universal Geographic reporter, they let me visit their world to witness and record what no other race had seen. They saw my own human curiousity mirrored in theirs.

I was about to see a naked Kurisk.

A Kurisk with the designation Arentally, my friend who gotten me this job, was interested in a Kurisk named Mortenoj. Mortenoj was fertile and Arentally was ready. With an agreement passed between their arrays, they started to undress.

It took an entire day. Pressurized suits were collapsed slowly. Eggshell-thin casings were retracted. Reactors were powered down. Connections were waterfall-triggered to regress and bodypit faceplates were folded under and away. Hoses were detached. Complicated suture arrangements and biomechanical virus defenders were temporarily dissolved.

And there, at the center of the enormous, open, bloomed flower of intricate machinery, sat my friend, Arentally. He flopped forward onto the ground with a grunt. Sort of a cross between a vivid green slug and an blue octopus. Utterly disgusting. He couldn’t speak to me or see me without his equipment. He waved a weak tentacle and slithered towards the smell of his mate.

Mortenoj was also out of her shell. The two of them clumsily found each other, sliding across the ground, and entwined. It was very messy and noisy.

I filmed the whole thing with a frown on my face and tried to remain professional.

skonen_blades: (meh)
The grey ghost of no-longer used subway tunnels echo with footsteps. Eyes the colour of brake lights sweep the halls for any signs of life. A hair, perhaps. Some old skin cells. The civilization that lived here is long gone.

The metal creature walking through the tunnel had to reconfigure to fit inside. It walks softly on seventeen legs. It has no name for itself. It is an extension of the star dwellers that fell through this atmosphere and found a richness of data to fill memory banks. The only thing better than a dead civilization is a living civilization but at least there was no threat here.

Not just cataloguing, not just recording. Cross-referencing. Extrapolating. That’s what the creature was doing. At its core was a neutronium half-dwarf star tightly wound around a pinprick of a black hole. The creature had thousands of this planets’s orbits to investigate the fallen buildings.

It looked as if the indigenous life had tried to divorce itself from its origins on this planet. Structures that were at odds with their surroundings yet made from them. Rock cut into pieces and then stacked into square shapes to provide shelter. Everything changed. Everything translated.

Whatever destroyed them didn’t destroy the plant life and the insects or even the mammals. In the wake of whatever cataclysm claimed them, the natural order of this planet surged back.

Green moss covers everything on the surface. From space, the planet is two colours. Blue oceans and green continents. The creature has taken aerial surveillance of all of it, much to the shock of alarm of the other sky dwellers.

But here, underground, in the old tunnels that must have been used for transportation, the life remains untouched like a tomb. Whatever functioning electrical conduits the creature walks close to light up like spirits at a séance. Video cameras, control panels, track-light switches, and security lights all glow and spark as the creature walks past.

Still no bodies. By the creature’s estimation, nothing recorded so far could have built this civilization. It wants to find the creators. It wants to find the one responsible.

So far nothing.

The creature will walk and record and presume until it finds something it can look at.

skonen_blades: (gahyuk)
It’s too bad we can’t do everything we want to do. There is not enough time in one life span. Choices must be made even if that choice is inaction. I believe this to be the central tragedy in life and also its saving grace.

The paradox of life is this: the universal thing about all our journeys is how personal they are. The one thing we all have in common is our uniqueness.

The thing to remember, and the thing to hold above all else, is that there is no reward. Not after, not during. I’m not saying that good things don’t happen, just that they come and go. I find this belief to be very centering.

Robert Burns said “Oh what a gift that God could gie us, to see ourselves as others see us.” The image I have in my head of me is almost definitely not what people see. I think that goes for all of us. For the most part, we remain impervious to our own powers of introspection. There are religions based around getting better at it. It’s that prevalent.

It feels like organization is the enemy of creativity but it isn’t. This is the dance of conscious creation. I say conscious creation because I’m not talking about a flower blooming. I’m talking about humans assembling to create something out of nothing. It needs goals and those goals need to be ordered into a schedule. The greater the project, the more organization is needed. Organization can be the air for creativity’s fire. If there’s too much organization, though, it can smother the fire. That is true.

Is there such a thing as a right-wing artist? There must be. I don’t mean an artist merely employed by the right-wing. I mean a hardcore republican artist that has a talent for painting landscapes or writing poetry. I wonder what it is about the left-leaning liberals that are generally more creative. I wonder if there’s a connection between imagination and compassion.

Time limits forces our personal journeys to be specific. With no reward and a limited ability to look inside, we must create and by creating, we explore. We must have a plan. We must imagine ourselves in others’ shoes to achieve humanity.

If we are all connected, I believe it’s because we’re all living in the same ecosystem and we have the above things in common.

skonen_blades: (Default)
There is a tremendous amount of other life in the universe.

The universe is encrusted, moldy, infested, slushy, teeming, and stuffed with life. The amount of life in the universe is staggering. Much as the earth is populated with a bewildering array of lifeforms developed to take up refuge and thrive in the most bizarre of niches, so too does life perform on other planets.

The segmented iceworms who would evaporate from the touch of a human hand on far-away iceballs. The gas-giant sparrow clusters and tectonic-plate-sized manta rays that lurk deeper. Algae that lives under constantly shifting volcanic plates. Spores that float dormant and content in vast reef schools through space. Entire asteroids of silicate life that steer themselves by committee like herds of sheep.

There are no sets of temperatures, gas composition, gravity, radiation or light that completely precludes life. Anywhere in the galaxy. We are engulfed and surrounded by it.

The one thing that all life besides us has in common is this. It speaks no language and has no conscious thought. It knows fear, the urge to reproduce, affection, and the thousand other instinctual gifts that any natural life is heir to but it does not think. It does not reason. It does not question. It has no sense of self or sense of God. It merely lives.

Our television programs that spew out into the universe have contacted over five hundred million species of aliens. But those ideas and tv scripts have hit other life forms the way that sunlight hits a fox.

Giant centipedes with massive, radio-receiving antlers get our shows and shake their heads at the noise and paw the ground. Old reruns of Three’s Company tumble through the photo-voltaic flake crystal storms of fibre-optic minnows on dark blue ammonia shores, lighting them up in waves of colour that play havoc with their mating rituals. Broadcasts of old black and white films cause entire herds of black spheres on tiny moons near a distant planet to stop rolling, all sense of direction disrupted. Saturday Night Live reruns from the early eighties are cutting tiger-stripe swathes through the flimsiest space-webs of solar sail creatures astronomical units wide drifting in space. Reality television is causing one planet's dominant predators to enter hibernation early, triggering a continent-wide shift in the ecosystem.

We are contacting, inundating, and even harming millions of races daily. All to no effect other than the casual ebb and flow of natural selection. The universe is crowded.

But we are alone.

skonen_blades: (borg)
My model number is SAN7-8V/. That’s San-seven, eight-vee-slash. Slashers, they called us. Fierce name for a gang of decorations.

We were the featured models voted ‘best’ and allowed to be built by the birthing factories after that cycle’s design competition sixteen orbits ago. During that time, a neo-aestheticism was taking place. The Great Construction had passed and The War was yet to come. My model was a symbol of that middle era. A symbol of hope and the ability to create something of pure beauty without much utilitarian use. It was a time of peace all over the world, my birth was.

Because of that, I’m white curved polymers spun around plasticable mesh anchored to minimalist jointwork. A sheen of seranano makes sure I’m constantly shiny. I am graceful and pretty to look at.

I can’t lift more than average, I have no factory-issue weaponry other than my few sharp edges, and I am not exceptionally intelligent. My applications for upgrades are granted on a ‘for those according to their need’ basis so I’m rejected more times than not unless it’s related to my job.

My job. I should say my jobs, plural. There have been a lot. I was built to be pretty but not for a purpose. I was too fragile for the reactor floor and I lacked the hull tensile strength for atmospheric re-entry. I worked my way down the chain of importance to here.

I was a snail-catcher. I watched the skies through the telescopes for slower-than-light vehicles of non-silicate origins. So far, there had been none. I had no co-workers. The other models of my year were all destroyed during The War, useless as we were. Bright white makes for horrible camoflauge and dumbness equals death.

So now I watched the skies for snails. Sometimes, I didn’t log my findings for milliseconds, hoping for a bit of punishment to liven things up. Nothing. I powered down for three cycles once just to see what would happen. Nothing.

I wondered if there are searchers like me out there, eyes and ears pointed towards the skies, just waiting.

I wondered that until three days ago.

I noticed something. It was definitely STL and it was headed close to our planet. Scans said it was ferro-class 2 but hollow. It was spewing smoke of its propulsion core. I saw no cognitive arrays but I did sense a spray of radio waves coming off of it. I called up my communicator viewscreen, floated it in front of me and set it to two-way.

A choking pink thing blocked the screen from the metal life I could see in the background. The choking pink thing was making sonic noises that were being amplified by the array. That was the radio noise. I spoke to the metal but heard nothing back, just the barking of the pink thing. I didn’t know how the life-form was supposed to hear me above the pink thing.

Smoke was filled the screen. The pink thing stopped making noises. The radio waves stopped.

I continued to send messages to the creature but it drifted aimlessly now. It was going to miss our planet and continue past. I issued a request for retrieval from space command but they classified it as a meteorite and deemed it unnecessary.

That was three days ago. I am haunted by the experience but I no longer feel bad.

There is life out there more useless than me.

skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
This life, this illusion, our photographs and hair gel and fear of the end times, are all architecture caught in the act of a lightning strike. We understand that film moves at 24 frames per second to create the illusion of motion but we don’t know how fast reality splits to fool us. Each newscaster takes up smoking because they know the end times have been happening ever since we developed language.

Hardwood floors don’t matter any more than carpets. Cupcakes won’t help us. The loose ends are life. This panic we harvest and soothe has the same math as moths hitting light bulbs, food that never goes bad, and lottery-ticket logic. DNA is a recipe that echoes, entrenched in our own circuitry. It’s the lipstick we wear on our own laughter. It’s a divorce in a martini glass. We’re adding spices to the meal with a picture of Paris in the background.

We all teach ourselves magic tricks to pass the time. We misunderstand everything. Christmas lights make every 2am relationship conversation glow. I can’t catch food in my mouth when I throw it in the air, for example. We’re going to the scene of the crime, now, live, in this bookcase we call a stage. You’re a dirty microphone turning all of this sound into an experience that you can bottle up, fly away from, or throw back at the world. I, myself, will have boiled antlers and a nice chianti.

I was raised to believe that women knew what they wanted, knew what they were thinking, and were driven. I have found that to be incorrect on many occasions. I think that women were raised to think the same thing about men. I think a lot of problems have resulted in the face of this. I think my right hand is married to my heart and my left hand is married to my brain. I think the purest form of expression is dance. I think forever’s not so long.

inspired by the short film Forever's Not So Long.

skonen_blades: (heymac)
It’s the corners that trick us, that force us to pay attention. I’m not even sure what kind of price can be called unfair when weighed against the sheer privilege of being alive. DNA is AND backwards. We are living conjunctions in a mirror, flipped reflections linking back and back to our ancestors, all the way back to the period at the beginning of universe.

I’ve been married eighteen times. Cut me open and count the rings. If I’m a magician then cut me in half, shuffle me, pull a rabbit out of my mouth and make me disappear. Nothing up my sleeves except laughter. The people on the oars of my heart mutinied.

The evil thing about evil is that it doesn’t know the difference between good and evil. The evil thing about good is that it does. And since it does, it can judge. Couple that with the rate of things, the terrifying speed of life, and it becomes apparent how slippery morality can become.

You stuffed summer’s body into a toybox in the attic. It’s like an oven up there. In the winter, when I opened the box and the attic was a fridge, summer had become a mannequin. You remind that the best thing about unstable compounds is that they’re explosive. I whispered your name into the sidewalk.

Everybody in here looks better than they did 20 years from now. Keep running.

skonen_blades: (incredulous)
Radiohead. I don’t have the words but I have attempts.

I am reborn. He calls the tune. By reborn I mean baptized in the unending sheets of blood-temperature rain at the Thunderbird stadium. By ‘he’ I mean Thom Yorke. I am soaked to the bone. We, all twenty thousand of us, had fun. Not in spite of the rain, but because of it. It was quintessentially Vancouver.

My tears mixed with the slickness on my shining face, turned up to the gospel of a band that never even veered near to playing Creep. And the crowd was grateful for it. I felt myself experience moments of bliss. I was far from the only one crying openly. There were thousands of people. Thom Yorke was right there in front of me. It was raining steadily on the steaming, smiling crowd. It was intense.

I felt something similar when watching Sharon Jones and Dap Kings at the Commodore back in February. Like I was in the presence of true magic, true artistry, true legend. I tell people that if everything happens for a reason and that I came back to Vancouver to be close to my father while he died, then I also was pulled here so that I could see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings in concert at the Commodore.

Not that I’m equating the two events in my life. But I’m glad in parts of my very soul for both experiences. That’s how amazing Sharon Jones and Dap Kings were in concert.

I felt that again tonight. The rain, the people I went with, the people I met there, all of it. I feel like it was the high-water mark in an already incredible summer.

A woman I was desperately in love with in a different city married someone else two weeks ago. This concert made up for it. That’s what I’m talking about.

On Saturday, I dressed as a zombie at noon and then as a rampaging space beast in a play that night.

On Sunday, a woman killed two giant crabs in my kitchen, cooked them, and then we pigged out on them and got good and drunk while slathering our fingers in garlic butter, crab meat and smiles. Afterwards, we watched The Princess Bride and Labyrinth.

On Monday, I read poetry to a packed house at Café Deux Soleils. Living legend Shane Koyczan was there. Afterwards, he shook my hand, called me by name, and said that I had done a good job. I practically floated home in a trance.

And now tonight. Radiohead in the rain for two hours of solid transcendence.

These are typical experiences in these hot months. This is only the latest batch of days in a summer that is threatening to be the best summer I have ever experienced in my short life.

I am grateful and stunned and filled with love.

skonen_blades: (sniffle)
All people are stories. You have been a paragraph in me. Years have been turned, paper-thin day after paper-thin day, by your finger tips. Every word has dropped from your lips in between quotation marks, letter by letter, into the wet pages of my narrative.

We are all books. Chapter breaks that have nothing to do with birthdays form around plot points and cliff hanger endings. The problems of rambling, proper grammar, and vocabulary are unaffected by alcohol or age. Your love was prose and poetry.

We are divorced from the meat of our existence. We are almost entirely made of notions. This is what makes magic possible. We are the sunlight and the magnifying glass. You were a sudden twist that caused my heart to leap out of the anxious alliteration and into a co-written script for eighty breathtaking pages.

We are intangible tales given physical form. This is the soul. This is why we are more than the sum of our parts. This is why we have no editors. We are what is happening. We scrawl, print, write, type and yell our irony to the dust jackets under the covers. You and I corrected each other’s diction.

We are bound by life and death. Earth is a library. I miss you.

skonen_blades: (dark)
Real Life:

Are there two tribes of people?

I see vacancy in a lot of eyes that I envy sometimes. But not really. Just wistfully.

Am I just more sensitive to the input of the world? Is my experience what everybody experiences but doesn’t talk about? When I walk down busy streets and I see people doing things that I would never ever do and act in ways that I would never act, I wonder.

I heard recently that there was an overlap of the homo sapiens and the Neanderthals. That they mated. That our race might have two strains running through it.

I see that some people lack the capability for introspection and self-correction. The concept that they might be wrong about their beliefs is foreign to them and will never cross their minds. It makes me think that if I didn't question myself, that I wouldn't push forward or ever change. That maybe doubt is what leads us to being more than we were, to being human.

I wonder about nature versus nurture. The origins of our race are lost to supposition and best guesses.

Like the etymology of slang terms.

I also remember the Germans putting forth "concrete proof" that the shape of a Jew’s skull proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were lower on the evolutionary scale than an Aryan.

That makes me feel like the closer I get to feeling like there are two kinds of people in the world or that some people are better than others, the more I feel like a Nazi.

My brother had a dream where he and I were super heroes. We were in the Hall of Justice with the other heroes. They were in a circle with their hands in the middle making a ‘circle of power’ or something like that to activate their powers in a true ‘Avengers Assemble!’ battle cry before they fought the bad guys. My brother didn’t feel like joining in and I was trying to convince him to do it. He said that I convinced him to do it in the end.

Just the thought of him having this dream brings tears to my eyes.

skonen_blades: (whysure)
Stitches in time hold seconds together.
Love makes a comforter of the years.

All money is red, cold, and damp to the touch;
Coagulated bill-scabs of hard choices and unseen agony.

There are people born whose moods can darken continents.
Their furrowed brows start wars.

Give the warriors to the flames.
Throw the weaklings in the water.

Necks that taste of sugar and salt.
Mouths that taste of licorice and pepper.

If gunshots are metronomes, then her high heels are stabbing the paper seconds that separate us, rifle shots on a hardwood floor.

Life is a stripper with a snowflake tattoo.

skonen_blades: (notdrunk)
Stone stairs with backs swayed from centuries of feet look back at me from my memories, daring me to walk up. Every apartment I lived in over there was older than Canada.

There’s a saying there. They say that Europeans think that a hundred miles is a long distance while North Americans think that a hundred years is a long time. I think that’s true.

My Scottish friend’s faces would blanch when I told them that it was a twelve-hour bus ride from my hometown of Vancouver to the place where I grew up in Nelson and that it was no big deal to me, that it was something I did more than a few times a year.

And that after twelve hours on a bus, I was still in the same province and there are ten provinces and three territories.

When I first moved to Edinburgh, the sense of history was astounding. I took a tour of the Edinburgh castle and at some point they mentioned that the first recorded mention of a structure there was in 850 BC or something. As far back as anyone cares to look, there has always been a structure on this naturally occurring defendable position.

According to logic, there must have been a time when there was no castle there but according to recorded history, there has always been a castle of some description there. I like that contradiction a lot.

There have been more than a few castles built there before this last one as battles have raged and governments have changed hands but any record of a time when there was no castle has been lost in the mists of time.

There are a lot of places like that in the UK and Europe; things that, according to history, have always been there.

I was talking to an Italian friend over there and he was saying this it was a bit of a drag having every single crumbling building in Rome being protected. He said it’s like a museum. There are bathrooms in Rome that were around at the same time as Christ. He said that living in a place with so much history gives one the impression that everything has been done.

He was envious of my new country and our population’s belief that anyone could do anything if they put their mind to it. He liked that we still had a frontier mentality, a thrilling sense of personal control and ability that almost bordered on a sense of entitlement. He said that it was different from most of Europe’s steadfast belief that there is nothing new under sun.

It was an interesting viewpoint. I’m sure it’s not true of all people over there but the centuries and sometimes the millennia confronted me time and time again while I was over there. I really did get the feeling that anything I could think of or attempt would be unoriginal and that every single aspect of love, life and creativity was a cliché.

To me, that made any attempt to express creativity that much more important but it was an interesting feeling.

skonen_blades: (borg)
Laughter followed us up out of the dream. Out of that sewer. Each syllable was like a sharpened jigsaw puzzle piece looking to fit under skin. A stench of cotton candy wafted up from the hole. To this day, I stay away from anything with sugar in it. The taste of sweet things brings the episode back strong.

It was a flood in a shoestore. She held me close and we jumped out of the plane and into moral oblivion. The joke of my life started with ‘guy walks into a bar’. It’s not over yet but it’s hilarious as long as I can afford to keep telling it.

I used to sell tires. I can’t find anything in my fridge. I might get evicted soon. Even the way the light is glinting off the buildings is making me think of her.

Every soft edge I see or feel makes me think of her curves. Every pillow, every tin can, every curving train track, every cloud, every time a child hugs a pet.

Every angle makes me think of her broken bones. Her body down there on the sidewalk, forty-two floors below, making a human swastika of splayed limbs. The shout of red like a flicked paintbrush onto the street bringing home the fact that we are so very fragile.

Increasingly, I see this life as a dress rehearsal.



skonen_blades: (Default)

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