Photo Courtesy of Me
If you think I’ve been absent for so long (again) because I’ve been busy finding and getting a life, you’re sorely mistaken. Actually, it’s rather the opposite: I haven’t been around because I’ve been swallowed down deeper and deeper into the swamp of hibernation and have been lying there dormant and silent. I sank to the floor of the swamp sometime in the dead of winter, during January or February maybe, and remained sleeping there undisturbed and unruffled throughout the rest of the season. Meanwhile, the world has been going about its business and everyone has been living their lives and weathering the winter as always. All of the swamp life around me has been flourishing as well; the mallards and sparrows and screech owls have all been attending to their affairs. And I haven’t given much of a damn. I’ve been lying comfortably on the murky bottom, underneath everything, benevolently cloaked by silt and mud and sundew buds and covered by moss, saturated in the rich decaying biomatter seeping into me. It’s been quiet and very stagnant and very warm here and I haven’t had any desire to change things.
A few weeks ago, however, on a rare occasion that I’ve bothered to leave the house, I noticed that things are changing regardless when I visited a nearby stretch of woodland. Continue reading
Instead of writing my freelance piece last night I scribbled out the below garbage in my Procrastination Jottings:
I still can’t write this article. Because my mind is swimming, swimming. Or rather, I’m swimming inside my mind. I’ve noticed I use that metaphor a lot, the swimming metaphor, with reference to my mind and what goes on inside it, and how I inevitably drown in it. I always feel like my mind is a big tank full of all the garbage and remains and gunk that you find washed up on the beach or entrenched into the sea floor, and that I’m stuck in this tank. And I just want, need, to purge my mind of everything, all the junk and putrid debris and detritus. If I were to successfully purge my mind, crack open the tank and dump it all out onto the ground outside, probably I would find a lot of slimy rotting fish and the decaying soft bodies of mollusks inside their shells, milky proteins oozing out and marbling over; abandoned, torn tires; rusty nails from who-knows-what; dead and decomposing horseshoe crabs and limp, flaccid eel bodies; pieces of wooden planks and driftwood of an unknown origin, with grotesque white linchen growing all over it; plastic bottle rings; beer bottles and broken whisky bottles covered and filled with sandy grime, and rusty beer bottle caps; tossed, corroded gasoline cans; brittle and bare grayed feathers from unidentified birds, and the heartbreaking carcass of an injured seagull that fell into the sea; a discolored and lifeless crab tangled inside a broken fishing line; a discarded and rusty crab cage covered in brown seaweed; and piles upon piles of cloudy, dense pebbles and stones and broken shells, all over the place, handfuls upon heavy handfuls and no bottom and no place to push them over to, they scrape my hands when I dig my fingers into them and pierce into my feet when I try to walk. And everything grown over with ripe and pungent algae.
I originally composed these instructions for life and love and human compassion more than a year ago, and posted them on Facebook, back when I had an active Facebook account. Within a few months of joining the Zuckerberg Empire I deactivated my account and now log in only occasionally and briefly when I feel the shameless and irresistible desire to pour over the mundane and intimate aspects of the lives of all those who I loathe, lust, and rabidly, resentfully envy. (And, as a self-proclaimed social media profile voyeur, I sincerely view as a genuine disgrace and a disappointment the degree to which most people have shrewdly put their profiles on tight lockdown in today’s age of Facebook user empowerment.)
Anyway, when I first posted this below list as a “note,” it was a big hit. All of my “friends”–all 19 of them–immediately reacted with either shame or exultant solidarity depending on where they identified themselves with respect to the “things.” I’ve dug the note back up now because I am bemused with the bitter and disgusting irony with which it is still relevant today, more than a year later, after I have given up the good fight of job searching altogether and have moved back in with my parents. In other words, I have followed the recommendation and fulfilled the virulent prophesy of #17 on the list, which is reposted in its entirety below. Continue reading
While holed up in my room, I read this essay in defense of hermithood by someone much more accomplished than me, and felt redeemed for half a minute.
Emma Sokoloff-Rubin: Rules of Travel – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics.
What, I go MIA for 6 weeks and then return to find that half my followers have abandoned me?! Oh, thanks for the loyalty, thanks for sticking around through the hard times, guys (!!).