The Comfort Of Sleep

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I soon found myself teetering on the edge of a deep depression-hole, listening intently to the siren song wafting up from below. Each note resonated more deeply than the last, snaking around me like an enchanted silver rope, tugging gently. Entranced, I sat down and dangled one foot over the rim and then the other, tentatively, delicately at first. Then, kicking at the air with more enthusiasm, I pushed back against the ground and let myself drop over.

It’s comfortable down here. The music drowns out most of the thoughts that led me to the edge in the first place. The embrace of the mossy surface is warm and familiar. Blue walls softly glowing diffuse the dark. It doesn’t matter that are no stars above to navigate a course, because there’s no need to go anywhere. The lack of air doesn’t concern me because there’s no need to breathe. The song invites me to let my lids drift down. There’s less to fear in my dreams. Sleep is all that matters.

I’ll sleep as long as it will let me. Actual sleep, not the sleep of the dead; nor the waking somnolence of the world above. I shall be a bear; sleeping a resting sleep, peacefully dormant, my head down, all of my bones in alignment; my body still but for the soft woosh of breath. I will weave a blanket of dreaming sleep, the sleep of escape. I’ll languish, that I might yet rejuvenate, to climb out of this pit, my little nest, ready to fight.

In this moment, I am lulled by the song. I cannot move. I cannot eat. My thoughts are still. For now, I sleep.


Depression is a THING for many of us. We all have different ways of, hopefully, coping and surviving. Writing is one of my ways. I wrote a lot last year, but was too depressed to post it. Sleeping is another coping mechanism. This year, I’ve been sleeping a lot. I haven’t been able to work, which means there is little else to do but worry, be hungry, sleep and read.

I’ve experienced a lot of trials in my life which have resulted in an endless wrestling match with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My depression has always been resistant to medication because it’s largely situational and due to things I cannot control like job loss, homelessness, illness, abuse and poverty. Sarcasm helps, humor is a brilliant tool and finding joy here and there throws spite arrows that bite and sting morosity, keeping it at bay for a while. I’m always struggling, however, and eventually, I get worn down enough that my barriers break. Depression roars in like a rogue elephant, careening down the streets of my brain, trumpeting destruction, flipping neurons and stomping on hope with its mighty feet.

Sleeping is good. Retreat is good. As long as the escape really does result in rejuvenation. Our nation was asleep and that has gave us more and more serious things to get depressed about. The temptation to go back to sleep is really tempting. The reality is, if we don’t deal with depression, the unfairness of the world, the destruction of the environment, the greed and the vicious bullying at all, it will only become less and less manageable. Finding a balance is key. Let yourself sleep when you are tired. Whatever you are battling will still be there when you get up. Just make sure you get up, even if you don’t feel like it.  Rejuvenate, then get up and fight again.


Looking for images to put with these blogs can be almost as daunting as trying to guess what tags will find readers. This time I was searching for various things related to sleep, caves, abysses, hibernation) I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I came across before finding that perfect bear above:

By the way, the bear photo is from this interesting Time article about whether or not bears truly hibernate. (Spoiler; they probably don’t) 

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I went down a rabbit hole reading about the cave homes, history and evolution of the Italian city of Matera, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. This New Yorker article in particular is a good read! 

This gif of awesome popped up in the header of a review about an intriguing book series about lesbian pirates.  I could watch it all day! I may have to check out these books though my reading list is extremely bloated.
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I also found this fascinating SLATE blog about sleep called, The Drift. As a hopeless insomniac (yes, I know this seems ironic since I  can also sleep for days once I finally do fall asleep) I am going to enjoy digging into this!

I almost used this one (left) of a girl about to stroll off a cliff, which Slate’s blog above, modified. I just really liked it! I didn’t consider the man with a briefcase, but he amused me. While I was stumbling around I found another amusing WordPress writing blog, Lion Around Writing with a nifty little piece about an abyss.

And then things got odd. I ended up with a couple of photos of old, b&w film actresses because of the keywords. This still of Mary Boland from 1915’s lost silent film, The Edge Of The Abyss just struck me. Her face is so lovely and soft, yet her gaze is so firm and direct. This was her film debut.

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From IMDB: “Lively, buxom character actress Mary Boland made a name for herself playing vacuous or pixelated motherly types during the 1930’s. One of her most memorable performances was as the addle-brained Mrs. Rimplegar of Three Cornered Moon (1933), who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because he seemed like ‘such a nice young man’. She also made a series of popular homespun comedies under contract to Paramount, in which she co-starred opposite Charles Ruggles. She was notable as a social snob in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), the oversexed and alcoholic Countess DeLave in The Women (1939) and as Mrs.Bennett in MGM’s classic Pride and Prejudice (1940). For all her scatty or matronly character roles in the movies, Mary Boland had once been a star comedienne on Broadway.” (The original ’39, The Women, by the way, is worth a watch. I believe Netflix has it on DVD.)

I guess the 1915 bit linked some photos of the ridiculously lovely, Ann Sheridan, who was born in 1915. She had the amazing ability to go from a simple, fresh faced girl next door to drop dead, worldly glamour. She was in many films and could sing beautifully as well. Her career spanned more than 30 years, right up until her death. She was only 51 when she died of cancer. HERE is a list of Ann Sheridan films.

 

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll try to post some of my backlog from 2018 and some new stuff this year, if I can stay awake.

 

 

 

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I Howl At The Moon

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fenrir eating the moon
I howl at the moon and I’m howling at you
I’m wearing the rain and I’m wrapped up in night
Oh I’m singing for stars that are hiding their light
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I’m wielding a flame that is flickering white
Burning me deep, every breath is a bite
Feel the heat through miles, I know you do
A need, like a notion, a blue-black devotion so true

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I howl at the moon and I’m howling at you

I dig in the dirt and I’m digging for you
Prying under the stones ’til I’m covered in moss
Oh I’m singing to creatures that are born at a loss
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I‘m lost in a crystal that glows with each thought
Dazzling me, every movement a fight
Feel the depths that I’m stuck in, I know you do
Taking root, lost to motion,  muddy devotion, like glue

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I dig in the dirt and I’m digging for you

I reach for the stars and I’m reaching for you
I’m holding the void and I’m coated in rust
I’m growling for lost bloom and holding my lust
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I’m dowsing for water that is gossamer blue
Washing me clean, every drop is my truth
Feel like drowning again, I know you do
A drop like an ocean, a sea green devotion so true

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I reach for the stars and I’m reaching for you

I danced in the flames and I’m dancing from you
I’m burning alive and I’m crowned in the bright
Oh I’m singeing my feathers but not giving up flight
I’m keeping it down and I’m seeing it through

I’m clutching an ember that will not go out
And I am transforming, each cell, every bone
Feel the heat through miles, I know you do
Releasing a note,  piercing clearly and true

I won’t need to tell you, you already knew
I danced in the flames and I’m dancing from you

LM 2013 – 2018

* I picked this up again after forgetting about it. Who knows, it may still not be finished.
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Pestilence

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This is another installment that is part of something that has been percolating for a long time. It started with a shorter piece, The Miracle and there is a lot more to come. The working title for this collection is called, Vessels. I was having a terrible time finding the right image until I stumbled across Jenny Marie’s beautiful Pestilence illustration and while this isn’t my character, it sets the perfect mood. I think you will agree.

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Click image for link Artist is Jenny Marie aka Autonoe on Deviant Art

 

Pestilence appraised her reflection in the mirror. The very corner of her lip curled in an almost imperceptible smirk of approval. She dipped a brush into the little pot of powder on the table in front of her and swept a shimmer of violet across the pale skin of her eyelids. Next, charcoal liner for a touch of smoke and finally a quick whisk through her lashes with the mascara wand. Her eyes; bright green glass, shattered and reassembled, seemed to be swimming in the soft cloud of colors she’d framed them with. Reaching into the top drawer of her vanity she pulled out her comb. It was carved from the back of a tortoise and inlaid with silver. Something had died so that she could comb her dead hair. This amused her.

She ran the teeth slowly through the sleek icy bob. How long had she had she had this comb? She remembered that it was an antique. A gift from her mother, perhaps? Or maybe it had been passed down when her mother died. A piece of dead turtle from her dead mother to comb her dead hair. She laughed softly, white rectangles peeking out from behind rose colored lips and creamy skin. She slid a small clip into the hair just above her left ear. The elaborate little piece was carved, a dragonfly curled around a rose, delicate and detailed. In the center of the rose was a tiny skull. It was her favorite.

On the way out of the house, she gave herself  final inspection in the hallway mirror. She ran her hands over her blue sheath dress and slipped on her coat, its crisp lines were echoed in the sharp triangle of her clutch. She smiled again. Whenever she smiled, she felt a buzzing, a rattle against the back of her teeth. She knew it must be her imagination, but she sensed a thousand flies beating their wings against the pristine enamel, pushing to get out. Sometimes she felt that she literally had frogs in her throat, but she had never seen one. She found the thought of being a creature full of other creatures more entertaining than macabre.

She had snakes sliding through her veins as well, their venom hissing through the arteries to her heart;  invisible, but very real. Nobody knew, least of all Pestilence, who had been named Selene. Selene lived up to her name, cool as the moon, calm as the surface of the reflecting pond in the atrium where she spent an hour meditating every other afternoon. As far as anyone knew she was a lovely girl who added a certain elegance and grace to any room she entered. She was a woman who could turn heads in blue jeans or Prada. She made people uneasy and yet, charmed them with her warmth. She didn’t put on airs. She was the air; a flawless  breeze.

Selene was the witty and gorgeous guest you wanted next to you at your event table. She was the most charming date of whom no parent could find fault. She donated to charity. She held season tickets to the ballet. She did yoga. She was always eager to pitch in when her church asked for volunteers. She drove an expensive, but not too ostentatious car. She never shared her love of dead things in polite company, even feigned the proper touch of disgust should a gruesome topic ever enter a conversation. She was a perfectly lovely girl.

And she was teeming with death and disease.

 

ADDITIONS

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Art by Bob Canada, click illustration for more

There’s a backstory to this. I have a friend, writer J.D. Robinson aka Scamper, who among the plethora of interesting articles he loads in his feed, often posts to say he is writing science fiction. I usually counter that I am also writing (I am. Evidently there is some strange synchronicity between writers) and sometimes, if I am lucky, a humorous exchange ensues which just makes the crush my brain has on his brain more intractable. Thank Gods his brain is not from Scotland. (If you don’t get that reference, you should read my blog more often)

Me: Am Writing Poetry. Much less interesting than writing Sci Fi.
Scamper: Throw in some aliens, then we’ll see.
Me: Well, it’s open to interpretation. It could include aliens. *sigh* I only came here tonight to, “read the articles.” Now I feel challenged!
Scamper: Beh. I’m no poet. Aliens should be everywhere, I suppose.
Me: Challenge accepted! Never challenge a sleep challenged free verse poet unless you want a silly poem because I can’t resist spouting off some nonsense on the fly!

ADDITIONS

Things are always better
When you add a secret ingredient
Seven herbs and spices
A subtle flash of heat
Shake the cocktail, stir it twice
Add something green to the soup
The guests will rave every time
And they’ll wonder
Leave them guessing
Swirl it in
Mix it up
Something unexpected
A unique twist on a classic dish
It’ll be out of this world
If I take your advice
To “Throw in some aliens”
Then we’ll see
Everyone’s sure to want
My recipe

LM 2017

I was rewarded with “Stellar Work!” and “theremin sounds” This made my brain happy. I probably had to remind it about the Scotland thing to calm it down. What can I say? I get a lot of brain crushes. I also like to riff off other creative people and to collaborate.

By the way, if you or anyone you know likes to read, YA Science Fiction. you should check out J.D. Robinson’s book, The Hole In The World. He just came out with an updated edition and it’s available in paperback and for Kindle. Like many writers, Scamper hates promoting his own work, so running across this poem was a good reason to give it a shout out! I highly recommend it as it is an excellent read!

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Balls!

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My inner 12 year old enjoys the abundance of balls in the kitchen right now. My roomie’s mom likes to send him things like huge tins of almond rocha and boxes of Ferrero Rocher candy, the chocolate hazelnut balls wrapped in gold foil. This leads to lots of jokes about holding my roommate’s balls, eating his balls, enjoying them and so forth. (Hey now, note the disclaimer of inner immaturity above)

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A few nights ago I was making some sort of rice and leftover mystery bean soup/chili I found in the freezer thing. As I’m working my magic, I pop a chocolate ball in my mouth. Yum! Well, my roommate also usually keeps bags of meatballs in the freezer…… you can see where this is headed, right?

J: (Walks in, opens freezer) You know, you can add some of these if you want.
Me: Oh my god! What do you want me to do with these? I’ve already got one of your balls in my mouth right now!
J: (Snorts) Just put them in the toaster oven.
Me: ALL OF THEM?
J: Sure. That would be good.
Me: How long do you want them in for? The package says 30 minutes.
J: They’re already cooked.
Me: So you want me to try warming your balls for what, 20 minutes?
J: That sounds good.
Me: That’s what HE said!

Never gets old!

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Anyway, dinner was quite tasty mmmm. We enjoyed my roommate’s tasty balls!

It seems like balls were just everywhere this week. The next day, I had boba tea and sucked a lot of balls, gelatinous but firm, into my mouth.

Then this happened:

I was just minding my own business watching season Two of,  Sneaky Pete on Amazon, when the internet glitched for a moment.

The scene: Giovanni Ribisi stepping out of the shower and when surprised, he quickly covers his naughty bits. Then he removes his hands and….

Frozen, full frontal.

Um…..For a moment, I feel like a perv, but then I think of all the opportunities men have taken to freeze (in the old days) VHS tapes of Jamie Lee Curtis (and other actresses) nude in films and now just do screen grabs and somehow 10 seconds of staring at naked man junk attached to a nice bod (which may or may not actually be Giovanni Ribisi’s) doesn’t feel so gratuitous.

Um. Thanks Comcast, Amazon, Internet fairies…I guess?

Balls. Everything full circle.

Thoughts on Loneliness

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I’m not lonely. I just feel lonely in this moment.

lonliness in the moment

Why are we humans so afraid of being alone?
Why do we perceive loneliness as an undesirable thing?
Why is the act of taking or being given a moment of solitude where our hands, eyes, mouth, mind and heart aren’t busy so disconcerting?
Why is an uncomfortable feeling automatically viewed as negative or detrimental by so many of us?

Loneliness in the moment is a good thing. A moment passes.
The loneliness reminds us of our desires, our needs.
It allows us to feel grateful for moments that are shared, moments that are full.
It guides us, gives us perspective.
Loneliness is contemplation.
Loneliness has been the fuel for periods of productivity, personal growth and great art.
When loneliness is shared through art, we all can identify with it because loneliness is a universally shared feeling. Experiencing loneliness is a big part of what it is to be human. It drives our desire to reach out.

Loneliness is what we choose make of it. We can embrace it and put it to good use or we can spiral down into it until we are lost!

I recently saw an article that conflated the correlation between loneliness and shorter life span to not having a love relationship and shorter lifespan. It completely missed how many people in relationships are heartbreakingly lonely. I am not involved in a  romantic relationship at the moment. Sure, there is part of me that would like to be, and oh do I miss sex which for me needs meaningful connection if I’m going to enjoy it, but the realities of the situation are that I do not get out much to meet people, online dating is an additional layer of hell for people my age.  I would rather hold out for someone who actually sees me for the amazing person I am with all my flaws and all of my glories and will treat me with respect and be able to feel the same about a partner than settle simply because I do not want to be alone. I have wasted a lot of time putting up with partners dumping abuse and baggage on me, I think it’s reasonable to prefer being single to doing that again.

But none of this means I am fully alone or that 24/7 loneliness is a given. Yes, I am lonely, but it is usually fleeting. There is so much that is not lonely about my life. My loneliness is not hollow, it is rich and present. I have learned to see it as a gift.

Disclaimer: This does not mean I have stopped hoping for a Scottish husband (or lady). You’ll have to pull this fantasy from my cold dead hands. *Those who know me are aware of my lifelong desire to visit and move to Scotland. There is also a running theory that the reason I have not found my true love is that they live in Scotland and I, alas am stuck here.