I started writing this post at the beginning of December. Then it got parked because, you know, December hit!
The last two years have been an uncomfortable and strange kind of chaos for so many the world over. Few things have felt light. My three daughters’ birthdays all fall within nine days during the last month. December also marks my grandmother’s birthday and death. The latter happened when I was juggling having my youngest in NICU and protecting my still vulnerable toddler from the stark risks of RSV season. I couldn’t see her before she died. December always feels heavy with gratitude, pain, trauma, distress, anger, conflict; it’s all a dizzying soul ache and more love than I can handle. I don’t want to get stuck when I glance at the clock at certain times through those days, marking deaths and births; the past is reflected in the clockface. But I inevitably, subconsciously glance — it’s always one of those times. Words ring through my mind, with alarms, rushing and deathly silent moments, sensations my body still feels. Muscle memories of energies change everything.
My daughters had such great birthdays this year, even with this shitshow of humanity and how we deal with pandemics. That’s given rise to so much I thought was in the past. There are too many egos putting lives at risk — for arrogance, superiority complexes of conspiracy theorists who think they are somehow in the know, and governments’ superiority complexes; projections of elitism. I have little tolerance for many such things these days. It’s all egocentric. Ego, I wonder what the picture would be like without its existence.
Anyway, I had writing to tie up this month, before the year’s close — a few short stories at the very least. My focus is off-kilter still, and the hours are so very full. The final hours are closing in, and I’ve barely caught a breath.
Solstice has now marked the rebirth of light on this hemisphere, and I’ve been marking out intentions in blood and ink for the moons ahead. This week I will release the ashes of the year behind, putting light into the seeds that can only grow.
I’m not particularly vocal about some things I care deeply about, especially not online. My personality has reactions built on trauma. Speaking up has opened me up to attack (from childhood) so, I clam up tight, retreat inward — standard trauma response. The everyday injustices towards our fellow earthlings is one such horror that I often wish I had the nerve to speak up about more. I stopped consuming the flesh of murdered animals when I was 7 years old. I still feel guilty for the dead on my fork to that point, even if I was just a child raised to be ignorant to their suffering. As a child, the hypocrisy was (is) taught through family, friends, society, schooling, and religion plagued me — how can one preach and teach of love and respect while dining over the mass slaughtered, butchered bodies of other living beings? It made me soul-sick. I despise how much we, as a society, deceive our children. I was deceived. Dairy was the last to be eliminated when I was 30 years old. Much of that was, again, ignorance. I am ashamed; the guilt of the suffering I paid for runs deep. I paid for so many deaths, countless brutalities; I am responsible — the coward who didn’t hold the knife. No single life is worth so many of theirs, especially when one does not depend on their deaths to live. The brutal, bloody, unjust, inhumane, unnecessary deaths of children — of innocent fellow earthlings cannot be justified. Industries built on the systemic enslavement, rape and murder have much to answer for, and it seems never will because the atrocities are too widely accepted. With a blind eye and habits ingrained in children. I can’t take back my part in it; none of us can. All I (we) can do is do better. I’m raising vegan children. I’ve seen parents, such as myself, challenged by general ignorance on the matter. And I’ve had the quizzical looks when this fact has come to light. Why would I raise them any other way? Knowledge is power, right? So then, why wouldn’t I instil in them the truth from the onset? I know it makes society uncomfortable; we’re expected to fall in line, not disrupt the hypocritical peace, not be an inconvenience. That’s it right there; the truth of animal agriculture and the moral imperatives that the word ‘vegan’ rouses in consumers of animal products is that those truths are inconvenient. I don’t care for that. I care for justice and a moral compass that aligns with actions — isn’t that what we should be teaching children and ourselves? Forget the (many) positives of a healthy, vegan lifestyle (because it’s not just a dietary choice) and consider the absurdity of the animal agriculture industry. If I was farming puppies in my garden to kill, skin, gut, and chop up and feed my children, I’d be deemed as evil, cruel, heartless, an unfit parent.… The accepted state of animal agriculture is far worse than that. Consider the proven decline in human health due to the consumption of products from that sector, not to mention the desperate climate crisis — to which this type of production and consumerism holds much of the responsibility. Every action, even when small, everyday ones — every action against this industry matters. And the choice to remain ignorant to it is unforgivable, surely. Yes, my kids are vegan — it is not a choice.
I haven’t written much lately and only have a few short story sub decisions outstanding.
Writing (with a specific purpose) has taken a backseat to everything else. Considering I’ve only been actively submitting work since the tail-end of 2019, this probably shouldn’t be as bothersome as it is (to me). This lull, this deeply uncomfortable, gut-churning, head-aching, creaky death-rattle vibe of a damned lull has created a fracturing within; what’s the harm in another one?
A couple of weeks ago, I could’ve screamed if I wasn’t so agonisingly audio sensitive — which hasn’t resolved yet. I’m sure the screaming would’ve shattered my pain riddled spine. I pictured the exploded shards; the bone shrapnel ripping through muscle and skin. My head hurts. I thought that maybe I needed a hit; a rejection, an acceptable, anything that might kick the cogs into motion — at least that’s where I was last week. Maybe something outward was needed to push a tangible, create type locomotion into motion. Even with that, time is a merciless taunter, and with too much else going on, there’s never enough of it. Though, writing is air. I am dependant on its ability to quench and quell things that nothing else can. I’m co-dependent on the pen even when words are just scrawled onto old paper and shut in a drawer. This digital tapping is a placebo. They say there’s a form of eternity in the code of numbers; to me, the figures are a mirage that melts away like ghosts.
I’ve not been writing (much) — it doesn’t mean I’ve been out of contact with the words. We’ve been serenading in other ways. Ways that should benefit the stories when they get their time again.
Gnashing and gnawing at my innards Viscera shredded; trauma tombs embedded Stitch in bells, weigh down the nauseating flapping Jangle a euphonious jingle Steady placement of chinked shield Conceal agonies.
U-bend blocked There my guilt brims Shame for wishing away rapid cell division Liquor and voluntary scalding Natures way away Life folding poured out Out of Order; terror of disorder
For two, a freshly dug hole The morning after Mourning follows Nipping at heals with the snow A hollow in another garden There, a piece of my heart lays A depression for my first’s succession
She wants to see my torment on display To harvest in morbid grief games Pretend she’s just the same Catfish loss-mother Conspiring tiring Yearning to reap from the suffering leaks of my soul Observe my lamentations trapped in a fishbowl To don a cape, be in control Prodding my wounds, infecting
Imitation empath storing stories Catalogued, indexed, held hostage Latching of grief vampires Sucking ephemeral life’s marrow Chipping stones off my bones
An archaeologist scraping the shovel No delicate brushing of bristles Attention desperation Desecrating my pain Self-appointed steward on my cradle’s grave.
I, oftentimes, have a conflict of mind and motion. In many ways, this current world pandemic crisis has enhanced this, for so many of us. On one hand, it has screamed; it’s time to take stock! Stop! Breathe! On the other, it has created a spiral of fractured thoughts, disconnected and sometimes just altered views of the same things. So many start-stops. Infecting the mind and the overused buzzword ‘wellbeing.’ I hoped to write more complete pieces this year for publishing – more than I have. Instead, I have poetry and paragraphs from different ideas piling up around me. It’s ok, though. Creating something is better than nothing when it comes to any artistic expressive outlet. Right now, here, there’s no rush to finish, no clock ticking at the side of my eye. Though there’s always a clock, a poltergeist sending dread up my spine, keeping me awake while much of my world sleeps around the tick-tock-mind-talking.
For a bit of escapism, I’ve been binge-watching ‘Dark’ – loving the time play in that. Also, currently reading too many things at once as usual, but the stand out is ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline. A tough book to put down – the OASIS, bleak dystopian reality and 80’s nostalgia is lots of fun to get lost in. The soundtrack this week has heavily featured – Tool, Blood Ceremony, The Blood Divine and Paradise Lost.