Picture: Alphonse Mucha, Repos de la Nuit, 1899.
I’ve been existing in a Jungian state of mind for quite some time now, reflecting on the subliminal power of our individual dreams and subconscious psyche.
I just finished reading Patti Smith’s surreal The Year of the Monkey. Weaving a tapestry of dreams and memories and telling her story from somewhere in between, I am reminded of the end of John Keats Ode to a Nightingale:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?
1.THEME: Any themes?
Hiraeth-longing for home
2.ABSENCE: What was missing?
Anti-depressants took me from myself. I stopped.
But now I feel more myself and something is still missing, as it always has been.
3. ADJUST: What are you amid that is almost (but not quite) right? A draft, a relationship, an injury…what needs refinement and attention?
My relationship to myself.
4. NOSTALGIA: What was felt more deeply because it took you back to your past?
In Philadelphia, on South st., in between cheap clothing stores and trashy sex shops there is a rotted wooden store front. There is no longer a sign, and perhaps there never was, you just knew. With dusted display windows side by side of a door that is a always open, the illumination of golden chandeliers invite those curious to a time capsule of opulence, ornate maximalism, and wonderment. Like a penny jar filled to its very brim, every corner and ceiling surface is adorned by medallic fixtures, statues, and shining entities with stories of grandeur. An upstairs, as embellished as the first floor is a darker, Victorian form of its predecessor. Supporting the weight of every silver and gold possible, the floors strength almost serve as reminders of the virility of human creation.
I use to visit this store alone when I wanted to feel as though the world would never change and modernity would cease in the name of conservation and history. It was my hiding place from the despairing meteoric development of Philadelphia.
I walked by last weekend for the first time in several months. The door was open, with dusted display windows on each side. The store was empty and the owner was no longer enveloped by a time past. A part of my city died; a part of my child died.
5. MYSTERY: What happened that doesn’t have an explanation?
A song called Phantom Limb by the Shins played in three different places on a day, from beginning to end. It reminded me of school and it reminded me of ballet, my very own phantom limb.
6. ENCOUNTER:An encounter with a stranger or an acquaintance that resonates.
Yesterday on the bus, I heard the woman across from me cry herself through the Lincoln tunnel and out. I offered her a tissue while others awkwardly pretended not to look at her. She used the tissue to its brink of extinction. I’ve seen myself in that seat on the bus before. Do other people really get that uncomfortable around tears?
Meditations as per Moon Lists
What was felt more deeply because it took you back to your past?
I visited my parent’s home in Philadelphia this past month. It is a beautiful three story rowhome built in the mid 1800s and is the house where I explored the mystery of my childhood. Like any place one calls their “childhood home,” it is synonymous with the dichotomy of safety, melancholy, and pain. My parents are about to lead autonomous, different lives and currently in the process of selling the home. During my most recent visit, the house looked emptier than ever, accentuating the natural light of the home, the inspiration behind the first photographs I ever took. The garden was in full bloom, as it is in my birth month of May. The ushers of Spring, the aromas of lilac and peony, have the power to instantly transport me back to my birthdays past, when I was still under the naive spell of youth and when the memory of family was kinder, happier…
James Salter wrote: “Life is weather, life is meals.” Describe a meaningful moment involving each in the last month.
This April and May, my boyfriend and I have been tirelessly foraging for ramps and morel mushrooms. He is the better cook in the relationship therefore he typically takes on that role for dinner however one rainy night, both of us tired and frustrated, I was the one to make a pasta with the last ramps and morels of the season.
What are you amid that is almost (but not quite) right? A draft, a relationship, an injury…what needs refinement and attention?
I’ve lived a transient lifestyle between two cities over the past year. As other tides have changed in my life, I realized I had to move with it. Recently, I made the decision to permanently relocate to one of the cities, a decision that I fear but have started to feel hopeful for. I have begun to allow myself to think of it as my new home, something I could not accept or do a year ago.
When were you indulgent?
I made sure to donate more than usual to Planned Parenthood and ACLU this month.
When were you self-indulgent?
A quick pop in at Strand Books between castings led me to walk out with four books I’ve had my eyes on for some time now. I try not to buy a new book until I finish the one I previously begun however that rule did not apply to me that day.
6. MINOR SECRETS
Describe something you did in private.(Perhaps not a “secret,” but maybe something that never occurred to you to share…)
I am earnestly learning the guitar in my downtime. It is something I have toyed with for three years now but was not serious enough to improve well. I played the piano and cello when I was younger but took hiatus once ballet became a serious aspiration for me. I understand music in a very reactionary way, I often feel physically moved by it. I am searching for an understanding that is perhaps more cerebral, different from the one that feels inherent to me.
7. PARE BACK
Did you simplify something?
I finally purchased new notebooks for myself: three red, thin, & unlined diaries. I used to journal daily but got so caught up in the momentum of writing something everyday that if I missed a day, I would often miss more, leading me to stop journaling all together. Strange how that happens. For a while I grew accustomed to writing thoughts, notes, and days on random scraps of paper. I don’t know why it took me so long to get back here.
8. CULTURE LIST
What was read, watched, seen, listened to? And consider the ratio between the mediums.
Read: Stranger Music by Leonard Cohen, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, articles on the state abortion bans, various lyrics, & my own writings.
Watched: Non-Fiction by Olivier Assayas, Charlie Says by Mary Harron, Knock Down the House by Rachel Lears, and The Love Witch by Anna Biller. There is another film, A Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Bi Gan, that feels wrong of me to include with the others previously listed. It is one of the most hypnotic, noir, mystical, and mind-bending two and a half hours I have spent. My friend invited me to see it with him, not knowing much about it prior. However, I cannot do justice by simply writing about my fascination and admiration of this masterpiece. You must experience it.
Listened to: Half awake: The birds, bacchian summer mischief, cars on pavement, breaking glass, various city soundscapes.
Awake: Weyes Blood, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Dylan, Sharon Van Etten, Harry Nilsson… and some T-Rex on my birthday. And always podcasts!