I'm the same saberquill as always, but I've moves accounts to start afresh. This is a writing-themed sideblog. My larger universe is over at haveninstitute.tumblr.com
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.
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!
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."
(A few weeks later)
"Phoenix, what is this?"
"Your roommate said you were having a bad day."
"No. I- it works."
"Good. Blow out the candles and make a wish!"
"…Now you’re pushing it."
when you’ve almost finished the chapter
and then you realise the pacing is wrong
THIS JUST HAPPENED TO ME, THOUGH.
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.
… but you’ll still see quite a few of my posts/writing from my trip because I’m still processing/kind of lazy.
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.