Aside

An Autumn Night

It wasn’t often the old man had a chance to freely talk. So rare an occasion was it when someone wasn’t clattering noisily about the inn he had one day wandered into, or wreaking havoc through the kitchens. Now, he had the full attention of thirty six men and two young boys. Women didn’t usually come to the bar.

Slowly, as if some adventurer had discovered his mouth a tomb, and was taking great care not to disturb the dust as he lifted the lid, the old man parted his lips to speak. And with a great preceding breath of dust and age, the bent, white-haired, long-faced, time-harrowed soul relayed to them his tale.

The words flowed forth from his mouth in curling, breathy waves, little splashes of sound accenting his consonants and vowels here and there. His countenance seemed to lift as he spoke, hands clasped before him as he leaned forward with his elbows resting on his knees. The language was familiar to many of them, however none of them had commonly spoken in The Old Tongue in ages. The two young boys were oblivious to the meaning of the tale as it spun from his lips, as the language had been outlawed years before they’d been born, but they listened nonetheless intently, captivated and twined within his intricate web of poetry.

And I sat among them as a stranger, not understanding, but feeling as though I didn’t really need to. His gestures and expressions proved to be enough for him to make me feel what he wanted me to feel. And so i simply sat. And I listened. I let the words of this old Bard twist and weave into a stunning pattern before me. I saw it in the faces of every man in the place. Silently I thanked the gods, blessed to have found this delicate and lasting beauty among what is normally such clamor. And still, the old man spoke with fluidity until it was done. Some men wept, attempting to hide it in their shirtsleeves. The Bard simply stood and picked up his cane. The light emanating from the wall-candles flickered warmly against his heavily-lined face. Without another word, the old man left them in their silence.

His words lingered as a song in the ears of everyone in the room.

By one man, thirty eight found connection.

And I watched him go in peace, looking on as the Bard wandered on into the ringing quiet of the night.

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Fish and Band-aids

Despite my having tried to keep it clean, the white interior of the sink is spattered with blood.

The slab of salmon that’s intended for supper smells of salt and water-reek, and the heat of the sun pouring through the kitchen window does nothing to help.

However, though the scent is pervasive and slightly unpleasant, I enjoy the feel of the flesh itself.

It’s a tactile pleasure that one only finds in cold, unprepared meats.

The give and stop of unresistant muscle between my fingers is an interesting sensation.

So I slip off the skin and scatter the scales and slice and slice and slice and stumble with the knife.

The sudden sting in my knuckle is worsened by the fish-juice, and it mingles unfortunately with the blood in the sink.

And I look at the slab and wonder quietly, ‘what kind of sting did you feel?’

I wander away, fingers now redder, and tend to the cut and give it a band-aid; one with little cartoon characters on it from the bathroom upstairs.

Returning to the cutting board, I pause and stare.

My eyes follow the grain of the meat in its beautiful, waving patterns.

Much like myself, with similar, yarn-doll fibers and woven lines of sinew.

The oven beeps to tell me it is heated.

Carefully, I continue to cut.

I Feel Welcome Here

For the longest time, I used DeviantArt as my main outlet for expressing myself. Whether it was through a bit of writing, usually lewd or silly and frivolous, or a journal entry, or the occasional finished and haphazardly scanned and posted drawing, I would give and expect feedback from my watchers. And I had one or two who would occasionally comment. Admittedly, I began at age 13 and was not really very good. I would see my own progression over time and hate what I looked back to see, and the comments left there felt hollow. The people I had known there sort of fell away one by one. I didn’t fit into the community there anymore.

So about a year and a half ago, I found tumblr and leapt into the fray. It felt right. There were so many people. So much art. So much beauty. So many different opinions. So many different demographics.

But there is also a looming blanket of negativity that lies over the good in the community. Too many people on the site pose opinions only to be shot down and told that it’s not okay to think how they think. Or someone would post a piece of art or writing, and receive criticism they didn’t ask for, mostly corrections to tailor it to the critic’s desires. I’ve seen a lot of slander, unnecessary rudeness, and not in a joking manner.

I love the people I follow on tumblr. I still use the site. But I realize I can’t really post any of my writing there and expect anything good to come of it, because someone browsing tags is always gonna be looking for something to criticize.

However here on WordPress, I have browsed blogs and posts and looked into the comments, and seen an overwhelming sense of compassion and genuine interest above any kind of negativity. This site feels like somewhere I can just freely post bits of whatever I feel like writing, and no one will complain that “it doesn’t fit [my] blog” or “[they] don’t want to hear about [my} life.”

In writing this, please don’t misconstrue my meaning to be fishing for comments. I’m simply stating that I really am enjoying the feeling of being a budding member of this community. And I suppose, “thank you” to all the people I don’t personally know who look at my posts and make me feel like I have a voice somewhere.

🙂

Little Thoughts

Here in this turning place, this hall of mirrors, I open my mouth to speak. Seeing myself reflected around every corner, at every drab, imperfect angle, I breathe and feebly attempt to protest. Yet no words seem to form properly, and I find myself stifling my own thoughts for fear of looking worse in every facet. My words are weak, and my thoughts are frail, or so I tell myself. A part of me wants to believe they can impact someone’s life. However whenever I try, whenever I make effort to talk to someone and sympathize, show them my level of empathy and my shared feelings of how this body is portrayed in such a negative and revealing light, I trip and stumble and scrape my face, breaking a mirror, pierced by the shards. And though that mirror is broken, another stands in its place, and I seem to be faced with an endless supply of bodily reflection. Faces. Faces. So many faces. and all are mine. A thousand faces all sharing my same expression of confusion and smothered fear.

So I ask myself who I am, and the mirrors can provide me with no answer.

Then, feeling sluggish and sad for not realizing this earlier, I remember that there is no way that mirrors could possibly reflect what I feel. They cannot know what is inside, though they boast to think they do. They like to whisper things, the conniving critics.

But now I remember this, who am I to feel the need to listen to them any longer.

And here, in this turning place, this hall of fragile mirrors

The image shatters.

Aside

Words, words, words

Sometimes I catch myself complaining about how little I get to sleep, and how tired I feel in the morning. But then I remember that the night before, I was up role-playing with a friend, or just talking about plans for later in the week. This type of role-playing, for those who might not know, is a form of storytelling in which two (or more) parties take on the role of a character and, through descriptive text, much like elaborate stage direction, and conversation, lay out a situation and act it out. In this case, my friend and I each have a character of our own design, as the story focuses on the two, and over the past four months, it has turned into something quick and frivolous into a half-painted canvas. Our writing is filled with the colors that paint this world, and these people who reside in it. The universe is our clay, and gradually we mold it to our liking. From what we believed would be a silly one-off like so many of the things we would write, our story developed, and is developing, into its own being, rich with mythos, foreign races, fantastical creatures, and culture. I’m finding myself only increasingly excited about what is to come, where our paths will take us in this new land, and about the ultimate end of it all, when we transfer our writing into novel form. The two of us hope to have it published at some point, and personally, I have gracious amounts of faith in this one.

This is going to be the one, I think to myself. I’ve never felt so attached to a story-line.

However, I feel neglectful of my other original characters; the more well-rounded ones whom I’ve been working on for over five years. They’re just lying in wait for an actual plot to fall in place for them. I started writing an introduction for them two months ago, but then I stopped again, and never really finished. I lost motivation for that track, and found myself immersed in this beautiful new world I had created with my friend. So it seems my older characters will continue to wait. Waiting and waiting until I find the motivation and the experience level needed to complete the world they live in.

For now, I have a world to continue building. I suppose, in all truth, that a world is never truly done being built. There are too many facets to what makes a society to ever be able to call it “finished.”

And so we will write.

We’ll write, and we’ll draw, and we’ll map this increasingly intricate universe until we can truly call it habitable and dynamic.

(I think I may start posting bits and pieces from it. Little excerpts from the story onto my blog.)

Finding Myself On Buzzfeed

Alena Dillon

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We’ve learned so much in 2014. We learned that Russia has a city that sounds like the name of a blonde telepathic waitress and vampire lover. We learned that Patrick Stewart is gay, and then we learned he isn’t. We learned that Ron and Hermione need marriage counseling, and we’re heartbroken about it. We learned that Alec Baldwin has feelings too. But most importantly, we’ve learned about ourselves.

Take me, for example. Before 2014, I never knew I should live in West Virginia, or that if I were reincarnated as a dog, I’d be a Corgi. I never knew if I fell asleep and woke up in King’s Landing, it would be as Arya Stark. These are critical, life-altering lessons that deserve to be shared with my 508 Facebook friends, both so that they can see me for who I truly am, and so they have the opportunity to become…

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Aside

“Where Do You Get Your Ideas?”

Inspiration is a fickle mistress, as is Sleep. Yet in Sleep sometimes I find Inspiration, if Sleep is so kind as to allot me a dream. With a landscape stretched out as far as my mind will allow, I am free to travel where I please. Perhaps I find myself with my feet sunken into the sand on Catalina Island. There, I can wander the coast, and up the hills, across the fields, into the kelp forests below, and as much in detail as my mind allows me to remember. The beauty is bright, but fleeting, and my heart aches when I feel I am waking up, entering that half-realm where dreaming and reality tend to blend. The ache and the peace mingle and I yearn to stay asleep.

Here, I admit I am a slave to my own passions.

And because of this, I fantasize and daydream with a kind of wist that comes often to me in a wave of heavy, sudden longing. It dissipates quickly, but the aftertaste of want lingers on my tongue. I think, “I’ll run away. If I find time. And the means. And a solid destination.” And thus, the dream is broken and reality takes hold again with its little reminders of things that make dreams possible in this world; Money, Time, Resolve.

And of those three resources, I am equipped with very little, it seems.

So instead, I write. I write to dream. I write to escape. I write to make the world my own. I write when the world presses upon me and I feel my breath tightening. I write to mold a sanctuary of my own. I write to know the people around me, and every facet of them, exactly who they are. I write for me. I write for you. I write to tell a story, as disjointed, sporadic, and sparse as it may at times be.

I am a writer.

And perhaps an author of many things. A word, a poem, a story, a world. Many worlds, at that. Ambiguity, free verse, and poetry are my tools. And with them I find I can carve a niche for myself in the world. Not the one I’ve created, but the one in which we all live. With Imagination and Inspiration and Sleep as my guides, I can create a life for myself. I can affect. I can impact.

Yet I can only hope to leave a mark.