1. I am sitting in the National Museum at Trinity College, with the poetry of Yeats ringing in my ears, and I am angry.

    I am fresh from a film chronicling Yeats’ love affairs, his marriage and lovers, his longings.  I am furious in a helpless, silent way where even my words are deserting me.

    It’s not even about Yeats.  I don’t know enough to get properly mad about the man’s life.  It’s about the idea of great men, and how they have stories with spiraling trails of lovers.

    In the Great Man’s story, I have two possible roles.  I can be his safe space, his wife.  I can sacrifice everything to provide him with a home he can avoid and curse and swear stifles him.  I can treat his ailments, nurse his ego, and die every day trying to smooth his way.  In return, I will be a footnote in his autobiography and an obscure essay question.

    Or I could be the muse.  The landscape he paints, the vital energy he drinks to write his words.   I can nod and smile charmingly in pictures, and let him wrap me in poetry, each layer taking me further and further from myself, until even I don’t remember my name.    In return for that, I get immortality as every lonely English majors’ hope, existing forever as a beautiful object, a pick-up line, a vision occurring to someone else.

    Here’s the thing.  For years, I have sighed in hope for a poet to love.  I want to be seen beautiful, to inspire, I suppose.  But I also want to speak in my own voice.  I want collaboration, partnership, and respect as well as love.  I don’t just want someone’s winged words, I want to fly myself.

    And I worry.  Every time people recount the story of the Great Man and the women behind him, the groove is worn deeper.  The patterns repeat, and gain power from the repetition.  I worry that I’ve internalized the concept so thoroughly that I’ll find myself pushing my dreams and hopes aside, little by little, without noticing that I am doing so. 

    I must remember the value of my own voice.

  2. I think one of the greatest gifts writers can give each other is the act of simple witness. To say to each other: I believe you and I believe in you and I want you to keep on keeping on because that’s the only way. Write that story or poem or essay or novel or play or advice column that you feel compelled to write, no matter what the market says.

    Cheryl Strayed, from Buzzfeed Book’sWriterly Friendships: Cheryl Strayed, Lidia Yuknavitch, And Suzy Vitello (via therumpus)

    I believe you and I believe in you. The most powerful things you can say. (via arabellesicardi)

    Shout out to the people who inspire me by listening; I hope I can do the same for you!

    Reblogged from: arabellesicardi
  3. the-sarcastic-robot:

    a-naive-british-love-affair:

    Have you ever wondered what would happen if you lit a whole pack of birthday candles at once? Because I did

    That is the most metal looking cupcake ever

    "Hay, Lucifer, when’s your birthday?"

    "You know I don’t remember."

    "Fine."

    (A few weeks later)

    "Phoenix, what is this?"

    "Happy un-birthday!"

    "…"

    "Your roommate said you were having a bad day."

    "…"

    "Bad idea?"

    "No. I- it works."

    "Good.  Blow out the candles and make a wish!"

    "…Now you’re pushing it."

    Reblogged from: caducus
  4. inksplattersandearlyhours:

    when you’ve almost finished the chapter

    and then you realise the pacing is wrong

    THIS JUST HAPPENED TO ME, THOUGH. 

    Reblogged from: inksplattersandearlyhours
  5. I’m sitting in a museum in Dublin, just having stumbled through an exhibit of art inspired by Theosophical thought.  Honestly, I’m not impressed.  It’s not that the ideas of a Greater Universe that can be understood through arcane science, magic (or magik), and radical cosmology feel silly. Well, not exactly.  I’m a fantasy writer, currently up to my elbows in a book with some rather odd cosmology- I’ve devoted serious though to how to get a demon drunk.  But still, I’ve seen my grandpa so sure of some New Age idea and I’ve seen him hurt when, like faerie gold, it turns out to be dust and leaves.  I want to believe that there is some way to make sense of the universe- magical or scientific, but most days, I barely have the energy to acknowledge the questions, let alone search for the answers. 

    I stumble into the impressionist gallery, hoping to find a few Monet paintings to brag about encountering when I’m back home. Then I see it.  Evening, Achill. Grace Henry.A painting of a simple landscape, at night with a single star. 

    I’m reminded of the night before I turned twenty, catching fireflies on the twilight, just to prove I could.  That night, I realized- this life, with all its complexities, is magical- as much as any fantasy world.  There is no divide between the joy and wonder I get out of the act of watching night fall and the sky fill up with stars and the idea of magic and adventure.

    Later, I told a friend.  He said that this reverie was, at bottom, a spiritual revelation.  I agree.  Looking at this painting, I see then possibilities of that night, the quiet, the dark, the light, the love I felt for the world.  This painting, this moment- more than postmodern alters or films of standing stones- this is the mystical.

  6. … but you’ll still see quite a few of my posts/writing from my trip because I’m still processing/kind of lazy.

  7.     Iris sat on a rocky outcrop, looking out over the Kerry landscape, her expression unreadable.  Mara sat down next to her, tried from the drive.  “You look like you’re thinking about something.” She said, looking at her companion.  Iris nodded.

        “The Christians weren’t the first to expel the Fey, you understand.” She said.  Mara tilted her head.  “Oh they closed a few portals, and happens to time it right to line up with the shutting of the rest, but we weren’t always from the other world, you know.” She sighed. 

        “There was a time we ruled this land, the Tuatha dé Danann, as giants and heroes and gods.” Iris continued “But then the Milesians came and sang the humans’ Ireland into existence, and we had to fell through portals under the hills and under the sea.” she shook her head.  “And then the other humans came, and taught them iron, and called themselves children of Noah, and a bit more of the magic left, and after- well, you probably know the rest.”

        She shook her head and added “I’m not old enough to remember when we wandered these hills, or cousins of these hills perhaps, but still- I carry the stories of how they were before with me in my heart.  I am a living memory of what we once were- and what we can never be again.  It’s not as if we are not powerful- our world is vast, our power greater, but there will always be a part of us that mourns this image of what was, and the world where we first saw the sun.”

        Mara nodded.  “It’s hard to carry a past you don’t remember.” She said.  Iris shook her head.

        “Ah, yours is within your lifetime- it may yet be part of a greater story that you alone can shape.  There is something terribly unsatisfying with struggling to hold the history of a people.” She looked over at Mara and smiled sadly. “Still, I forget- you’ve lost earth in your own way, too.  In that, we are kin- we have both been driven underground.  Now we stand in the sunlight, blinking and unsure how to behave.” Iris said.  Mara looked wry.

        “You never seem at a loss.” Mara said.  Iris laughed.

        “It’s practice, my dear nothing more.  You’re young yet, you don’t understand- half of power is assuming that it’s yours.  The other half is convincing the others you’re right.” She looked at Mara, appraisingly. “You’re five hundred, yes?  Give yourself time, you’ll come to understand.”

        Mara raised her eyebrows.  “Well, ambassador, shall we continue with the tour?”  Iris nodded.

        “Yes, please.  I’m trying to decide which of these mountain I want for my own.” Iris said.  Mara raised her eyebrows.

        “I really hope you’re joking.”  Mara said.

  8. fadeintocase:

naughtyornicechekov:

amandaonwriting:

Suggestions for changing paragraphs

Oh my FuckinDo you realize how annoying it is when you don’t switch paragraphs when a new character is speakingDo you realize how confusing it isI don’t care if they’re using one-word responses at each other, start a new damn paragraph. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHARACTER.

dear christ this.no more walls of text please. please.

I need to work on this.

    fadeintocase:

    naughtyornicechekov:

    amandaonwriting:

    Suggestions for changing paragraphs

    Oh my Fuckin
    Do you realize how annoying it is when you don’t switch paragraphs when a new character is speaking
    Do you realize how confusing it is
    I don’t care if they’re using one-word responses at each other, start a new damn paragraph.
    ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHARACTER.

    dear christ this.
    no more walls of text please. please.

    I need to work on this.

    Reblogged from: caducus
  9. “Well, we’re back in Ireland, and we saw the famous cloth-of-gold vestments in Waterford today.” Mara said, looking tired. 
Ahavah looked concerned. “I would have thought that that would be a bit much holy magic for you both.” She said, biting her lip. 
Mara shook her head.  “It’s been so long since they’ve been used, the charge has almost entirely gone out.” She shrugged.  “Anyway, it was strange.”
“How so?” Ahavah asked.
“Well the history there- these sacred objects were financed by people’s fears of going to Hell, made of cloth of gold and velvet while other people starve, and then hidden because the humans decided that She wants them to kill each other to show how much they love her. I don’t know… just- I honestly don’t miss being able to enter churches most days” Mara said. 
Ahavah’s shoulders slumped. “I know.” She said “If they only understood…they have so much potential!  They could be doing so much more then this if they just tried to find the sacred in each other!” Ahavah looked on the verge of tears.
“Shhhh.” Mara said.  “Look,” she said “I didn’t call you to talk about what I don’t believe in- I came to remind you of what I do.” Ahavah raised her eyebrows.  Mara smiled. “Look, they had this poem that they used in the display, by Yeats. It made me think of you. Listen-”
“Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet…”
As she spoke, Mara reached into a bag beside her, pulled out a cream-colored sweater, unrolled it and held it up to the camera.
“But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.  I saw this and I thought of you. I miss you, love.” Mara finished.  Ahavah was crying, a little.  Mara grinned.  “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Ahavah said.

    “Well, we’re back in Ireland, and we saw the famous cloth-of-gold vestments in Waterford today.” Mara said, looking tired. 

    Ahavah looked concerned. “I would have thought that that would be a bit much holy magic for you both.” She said, biting her lip. 

    Mara shook her head.  “It’s been so long since they’ve been used, the charge has almost entirely gone out.” She shrugged.  “Anyway, it was strange.”

    “How so?” Ahavah asked.

    “Well the history there- these sacred objects were financed by people’s fears of going to Hell, made of cloth of gold and velvet while other people starve, and then hidden because the humans decided that She wants them to kill each other to show how much they love her. I don’t know… just- I honestly don’t miss being able to enter churches most days” Mara said. 

    Ahavah’s shoulders slumped. “I know.” She said “If they only understood…they have so much potential!  They could be doing so much more then this if they just tried to find the sacred in each other!” Ahavah looked on the verge of tears.

    “Shhhh.” Mara said.  “Look,” she said “I didn’t call you to talk about what I don’t believe in- I came to remind you of what I do.” Ahavah raised her eyebrows.  Mara smiled. “Look, they had this poem that they used in the display, by Yeats. It made me think of you. Listen-”

    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

    Enwrought with golden and silver light,

    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

    Of night and light and the half-light,

    I would spread the cloths under your feet…”

    As she spoke, Mara reached into a bag beside her, pulled out a cream-colored sweater, unrolled it and held it up to the camera.

    But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.  I saw this and I thought of you. I miss you, love.” Mara finished.  Ahavah was crying, a little.  Mara grinned.  “I love you.”

    “I love you, too.” Ahavah said.

  10. "Hey, guys, so you remember how I joked about making a flower crown out of flowers grown on consecrated ground?"
"None of us thought you were joking."
(Don’t worry, the abbey was abandoned)

    "Hey, guys, so you remember how I joked about making a flower crown out of flowers grown on consecrated ground?"

    "None of us thought you were joking."

    (Don’t worry, the abbey was abandoned)

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