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Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 10:26 PM  Leave a Comment  

Hankering


I hanker to seize the joy

This screenshot is a found moment from “Thiruvilayadal,” a Tamil-language religious spectacle film (my *favorite* genre of Indochinese filmmaking) that tells the story of Shiva in an interestingly framed narrative.  The subtitle translation of the line captured above is priceless.

The movie is available on Youtube in its entirety, with somewhat unreliable English subtitles interspersed throughout:

Published in: on September 4, 2011 at 7:26 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)


Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses.

Published in: on September 2, 2011 at 7:15 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Morning Maidens


Dear, you should not stay so late
Twilight is not good for maidens
From Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”

Mirror, mirror, on the stave, who's the prettiest in her grave?

In my 20s, my dearest friend was Vanity.  She brushed my hair, colored my lips and eyes, and chided me for spending time in poorly dressed company.  As I aged, Vanity lost interest in me.  Her daughters, Sloth and Insecurity, began to encourage one another’s ambitions for me. In the golden years of my relationship with Vanity, I would put on a full face of makeup before leaving for the corner store.  Now, I’d call it a banner day if I slather on chapstick.

An interesting side effect is that, because I am less attractive (or declaring myself less interested in attracting, rather), I am nearly invisible to others when in public; easily overlooked beneath the waves of flush female flesh in Vanity’s thrall.

Sometimes I feel guilty for not trying.

Usually, I don’t think of it at all. But when I do, I feel defeated. Because even if I still tried, it feels to me like the USA views an aging woman’s “worth” as less than a youthful one’s… that if I put the same effort in to my appearance that I did as a younger woman, I couldn’t achieve the same effect and would garner pity instead of appreciation.  In fact, Jezebel.com recently wrote about how an aging woman is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

Twilight is not good for maidens, indeed.

Captured at the peak of their hygienic energies: carefully coifed, cosmetics applied… these women are forever beautiful.

A Tree Grows


“In the future, when something comes up, you tell exactly how it happened but write down for yourself the way you think it should have happened. Tell the truth and write the story. Then you won’t get mixed up.”

Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Trees Grow

I took “Writing The Impossible”, a workshop with my hero, Lynda Barry, earlier this year. She taught a method of character and story construction based heavily on memory… we spent hours accessing our earliest recollections of the way carpets smelled and the exact color of the mucus that always leaked from our 4th-grade locker mate’s nose. We would then marry these memories to new stories inspired by randomly chosen words and/or pictures.

Ever since, I’ve been assailed by powerful memories randomly. The slightest trigger will tear space and time, spilling out words and colors from my distant past.

When I saw these two photos, space-time tore again and vomited out the miserable feeling I had reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the first time. Borrowed grudgingly from the Granger Middle School library, that book taught me about ironic distance. I slogged through the melodramatic, moralistic story defensively, careful to sneer every time I started to identify with Francie.

At that age, I was a voracious if non-discriminating reader, snapping up books beyond my years and puzzling over their implications.  I would carry three or four massive tomes out of the library every week.  Invariably, someone would ask “How are you going to read all that in just one week? I didn’t yet understand yet that I was a freak, a reading mutant; able to absorb hundreds of pages in a single hour.

I use a lot of the found things I post here in the creation of new stories, pictures, and daydreams. Sometimes the place I end up is really far from the place I started: marrying a sense-memory of the retention pond field I played in as a girl:

  • insecurity dealing with strangers
  • green grass so wet it molded at the roots and died as it grew–smooshing under my feet, smelling of loam and sweetness
  • Queen Anne’s Lace delicate and soft at the top yet rough enough at the stem to break the skin on my palms when I picked it
  • fear of the alligators I was told lived in the giant sewer grates at the end of the field
  • longing for friends and the way all the sense experiences I wrote before this provided a foil for that longing

…with a fading photograph of a girl whispering into a horse’s ear lead me to draw this:

The day after I posted the above portion of this blog, my friend Logan sent me an article I thought should be acknowledged with this entry. The article meanders around the subject of pleasure lying, medically-induced confabulation, and the creation of art. I found the article’s claim that “Art is a lie whose secret ingredient is truth” to be obvious and axiomatic, but given my particular methods of creation that’s an unavoidable conclusion.

At one point, the article describes brain-damaged chronic confabulators thusly:

“Uncertain, and obscurely distressed by their uncertainty, they are seized by a “compulsion to narrate”: a deep-seated need to shape, order and explain what they do not understand.”

I’ve been watching tons of Star Trek in an effort to view the entirety of the franchise consecutively, from Kirk to Archer (I’m on Janeway now). In the Voyager episode “The Conspiracy”, one character adds an implant that allows her to download all of the information collected on the ship directly to her brain for analysis.  She then proceeds to develop a series of elaborate conspiracy theories.  The episode ends (spoiler alert, LOLOLOLOL) with a doctor pointing out that her mind, though capable of receiving humongous amounts of information, is in fact only human and can therefore only process a small portion of it.  Her conspiracy theories were the fruit of her attempts to comprehend the incomprehensible.

We’re all just humans lost in an incomprehensibly complicated universe, struggling to get our bearings in one way or another… religion, art… and science, and even language: whatever. Every relationship we have–every society we form and culture we have cultivated–as humans, these interpersonal and hierarchal structures are just one more way of trying to bring order to chaos; comprehension to the incomprehensible.

You can call it “art” if you want to be coy. You can call it “lying” if you want to be honest. The truth is that there is no truth; it’s scary and beautiful and it’s the world and it’s our lives, forever and ever.

Lost in Tornado


This is a group for found personal objects gathered in the aftermath of the April multi-tornado disaster in Alabama. I find it both sweet and noble:  Tornado Lost & Found

Published in: on April 30, 2011 at 8:40 PM  Leave a Comment  
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RJB: Star of David Design


Elaborate Star of David design by Rev. Jerry

I don’t recognize any advanced symbolism in this doodle, but it looks vaguely Kabbalistic.  The design on the bottom seems familiar though I can’t place it.

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 1:19 AM  Leave a Comment  
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RJB: Machine


Holy blueprints from Rev. Jerry's archives

Transcript:

My transfer, transducer, and de-demoniger machine.  Also anti-ringing. Rev. Jerry

Rev. Jerry was interested in mechanics and drew many imaginary machines. The purpose of this one? Possibly it detected demonic energy (transducer), then removed the evil from it (de-demoniger?), and transferred the purified energy to Rev. Jerry. Or maybe something else entirely, what do you think it does?

I mean, aside from preventing his ears from ringing.

RJB: Mysterious Birds


Blue ballpoint pen and colored marker on a napkin

These beautiful birds were drawn on a blue napkin and saved by Rev. Jerry.  I’m not convinced at all that he drew them himself, since his drawings tend to be relatively crude and ill-composed; either designs composed of straight lines or childlike scrawls with few details.  The signature in the corner is pretty unintelligible.  I can’t determine if it’s “M.J. Je Brown” or something else entirely. If you have a guess, please let me know.

Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 1:03 AM  Leave a Comment  
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RJB: Purple Journal 6


Transcription:

March 2nd – 1999, 10:05 AM

Dear Blessed Virgin Mary,

All my authority is yours if you pick me up in your ship you showed me in New Port Richey years ago.  I got to keep for you a nice radio tape to tape and equalizer, 220 Swift, microscope kit, and books I wrote that nobody can understand.

Your loving husband.

<Special angel – brunette

Another child-like letter, written in print riddled with hearts and containing an itemized list of special items Rev. Jerry holds dear for his trip to Heaven to live with his wife; a microscope, a radio, a recorder, his secret diaries, and a bullet.

 

.220 Swift shell casing

“New Port Richey” is only about 40 minutes away from Pinellas Park.  This geographical reference supports my postulation that Pinellas County was Rev. Jerry’s home.  Since the Virgin Mary’s ship (a spaceship, I assume; though this is a coastal area; she could have been a pirate) appeared to Rev. Jerry “years ago” I wonder if the New Port Richey area was a previous address for him, a vacation, or mostly insignificant.

Pinellas Park & New Port Richey

Speaking of insignificance… this blog is dedicated to eliminating it.  There is no way to judge the importance of any factor in a diary entry by Rev. Jerry, so I try to examine them all.  I find the most amazing keys to understanding his world sometimes in the smallest of phrases.  And sometimes I just find beauty:

“Books I wrote that nobody can understand…”

The last line in this entry is written in blue pen, while the rest of the entry was in black. Is it recording a vision?

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