April Moon: Day 10

Apr. 24th, 2014 01:13 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Secret

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

See also: sacred.

I know two sorts of secrets: the ones that can't be let out because they're too sad and scary; and the ones that aren't yet grown up enough to go out on their own, but which are going to be beautiful and joyful.

I let go of most of my secrets. Some of them weren't even mine; I was carrying them around because I thought I had to. I handed the worst one back. Some of them stopped being true. Some of them I told, and they turned out to have never been true - particularly the one that went nobody must know what a social failure and weirdo I am.

I have one secret left. It is the good and joyful sort, and it's not really a secret, because there are some people who know what it really is. For everyone else: I'm organising a cultural exchange programme for mermaids. It has been tremendous fun and incredibly hard work. Sometimes the mermaids have co-operated; sometimes they have hidden behind rocks and sulked for weeks on end. I have come to understand how different breathing air is from breathing water. Very often I worry that whether the host families on the surface won't appreciate my efforts at all. At the moment I am trying to find the password that will let the mermaids move from sea to air. That's a secret. I'm going to find it, though.

Camino de Santiago: Part 12

Apr. 24th, 2014 12:59 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Except in Church Porches: Astorga to Vega del Valcarce (24th - 28th April 2007)

Yves Massarde: I understand you believe there is some sort of plague coming out of Mali.
Dr Frank Hopper: We don't like to say "plague".
Yves Massarde: What do you think it is, then?
Dr Eva Rojas: A plague. - Sahara, 2005


GENERAL: Away, away!

POLICE: (without moving) Yes, yes, we go.

GENERAL: These pirates slay.

POLICE: Tarantara!

GENERAL: Then do not stay.

POLICE: Tarantara!

GENERAL: Then why this delay?

POLICE: All right, we go.

ALL: Yes, forward on the foe! Yes, forward on the foe!

GENERAL: Yes, but you don't go!

POLICE: We go, we go

ALL: Yes, forward on the foe! Yes, forward on the foe!

GENERAL: Yes, but you don't go!

POLICE: We go, we go

ALL: At last they go! At last they really go! - The Pirates of Penzance - W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan


The next morning we discovered the downside to staying in the wonderful Albergue San Miguel in Hospital de Orbigo. Our rucksacks had been invaded by bedbugs. 'Chinches,' the hospitalero said with resignation, and produced some potent and no doubt deeply environmentally unfriendly spray. We sprayed half-heartedly, promised to do it again later in the evening, and set out.

Warning: even more image-heavy than usual )
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Lien found the next poem, too.

Just once before I die I want someone to make love to me in Cantonese
Indigo Chih-Lien Som

my mother )


Indigo Chih-Lien Som is an American-born Chinese woman describing herself as "garlic-throwing, book-binding, shuttle-throwing cancer and fire horse".

Just once I want to remember, Som wrote. Just once I want. I want with you, said Lien; do you want with me?

Michelle bought a learn-to-speak-Cantonese set.



Source: The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writing by Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women, edited by Sharon Lim-Hing

April Moon: Day 9

Apr. 23rd, 2014 02:38 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Yearning

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

'Tell me, child,' says the poet Bunthorne to the milkmaid Patience, 'do you ever yearn?'

'I earn my living,' she replies.

Which makes me think about my earning and my yearning. I work for an organisation with high ideals, an organisation that's trying to change the world, yearning, if you like, for change. My daily duties, however, are pretty prosaic. I don't think I ever expected anything else: I'd already got my head around the idea that a servant with this clause/makes drudgery divine, that if a job's worth doing it doesn't matter if it's frontline or backroom. Even when it's stuffing a thousand envelopes, there's something at the back of it that's about yearning.

It is tempting to say that earning is yearning in action, but I know well enough that I'm in a privileged position, to be able to think so.

And then yearning does not have to be about action. A wish is an act in itself, even if one then doesn't follow it up with an obvious action. We must be the change we want to see; fine, but we begin not by changing, nor by being, but by wanting. I remember last May, when I was burned out with all my causes, feeling corroded and unappreciated, going to a lecture by Leslie Griffiths, Baron Griffiths of Burry Port, a prominent Methodist. He was angry. He was angry about a whole lot of things, most of which I was angry about too, but which I was just too damn tired to do anything useful about.

I cannot remember what exactly he said, but the effect was to give me space, to let me be angry, to let me want change - yes, to let me yearn - to remove the expectation that I would immediately go out and fix it. I could breathe again.

I've been trying to let myself just want things. To desire a change, an outcome, a quality, and not to be ashamed of desiring it. Not to be afraid that I might not get it. To yearn.

Wednesday What Are You Reading

Apr. 23rd, 2014 02:23 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Currently Reading

The Wayward Bus (John Steinbeck). Wondering whether Pa has read it; it feels as if he ought to have, but I don't remember his ever mentioning it. I am swimming in the gorgeous descriptions and rolling my eyes at the occasional Fail.

Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan) - Christiana is objecting to the fact that robins eat spiders. Good protein on a spider, I'd have thought.


Recently Finished

Abiding (Ben Quash) - never really got into this, and I don't know whether this was because it was too lightweight or too heavy. Some interesting thoughts on the verge of moving house, and some good leads on things I might like to read/watch, but not the Lent book I was looking for.

The Gap in the Curtain (John Buchan) - I am not entirely sure how I feel about this. The first chapter was rather embarrassing, in the same way that the Professor Challenger books get embarrassing when Arthur Conan Doyle gets into spiritualism. The rest of it was great, proper Buchan with adventure and creepiness in more or less equal measures. I'm finding it easiest to think of this as a supernatural AU.

Out of the Blue (Charlotte Bingham) - was dreadful; needed some serious editing. I am ambivalent about 'show, don't tell', but my goodness, I could have done with being told a lot less here.


Up Next

Silence and Honey Cakes (Rowan Williams) - will need to take it back to the library before I leave Surrey.

Life after Life (Kate Atkinson) - is for book club, but I've heard very good things about this and am looking forward to it.


Poetry

A. E. Housman and Leonard Cohen.


Other Media

Rev. gets more and more harrowing, and, as it moves further away from the cringe-humour, easier to watch. (My most painful episode is still the one with the inter-faith football match.)

Listening to a lot of Tom Paxton; also the King's Singers Lord's Prayer sequence/meditation/album/thing.
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Lien found the next poem, after Michelle said she was afraid to introduce Lien to her family.

Loving In The War Years
Cherríe Moraga

Loving you is like living )


Cherríe Moraga describes herself as a 'Xicanadyke'. "I am ever-grateful to feminism for teaching me this," she writes, "that political oppression is always experienced personally by someone."

Love is living dangerously, Moraga wrote. I've got to take you as you come to me. I refuse, said Michelle, to be afraid.


Source: Loving in the War Years, Cherríe L. Moraga

Cryptic Gender

Apr. 23rd, 2014 04:34 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an interesting essay about characters whose gender is not revealed.

Now the fun part is, I have done all the things  here.  I've written male and female characters.  I've written around a dozen sex/gender identities.  Usually I specify them.  Occasionally I don't, and I have done that both deliberately and accidentally.  I've written non-binary genders.  I've even got one whose gender is explicitly identified as "I'm not telling."  All of those things matter.  But they don't matter to every story.  It's okay to get through one and realize that you haven't tagged the character's gender.  It's okay to specify something out of the ordinary, whether that affects the plot or is background parity.  Just know what you're doing.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," and "Green Eggs and Hulk."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, JARVIS, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Bruce Banner.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: This story is mostly fluff, but it has some intense scenes in the middle. Highlight for details. These include dubious consent as Phil and JARVIS discuss what really happened when Agent Coulson hacked his way into Stark Tower, over which Phil has something between a flashback and a panic attack. They also discuss some of the bad things that have happened to Avengers in the past, including various flavors of abuse. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.
Summary: Uncle Phil needs to pick out pajamas for game night. He gets help from an unexpected direction.
Notes: Service. Shopping. Gifts. Artificial intelligence. Computers. Teamwork. Team as family. Friendship. Communication. Hope. Apologies. Forgiveness. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Tony Stark needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27.

Read more... )

Poem: Tweet

Apr. 22nd, 2014 08:04 pm[personal profile] alee_grrl
alee_grrl: Open book with purple iris in crease, text reads poetry (poetry)
After being tasked with managing/updating my employer's twitter account I decided it might be worth creating a personal account as well.

Because I am me, my first tweet was in the form of a poem.

Tweet

succombed to siren's call to sing
of life and beauty distilled
a universe in a burst of song

April Moon: Day 8

Apr. 22nd, 2014 08:24 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Wild

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

I have had Born Free stuck in my head most of today. That, I think, has a lot to do with it. Wild is the opposite of tame is not being in a cage is being free. Freedom is something that I have been thinking about, on and off, this year, but it has been more about being free from the constraints that I place upon myself. (Oh. Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains. Except I don't quite believe that, because being born into chains - literal or metaphorical - is a long way from being born free.)

Wild is somewhere that I'm not ready to go, just yet.

Wild beasts. Les Fauves. Tiger, tiger, burning bright.

We were talking, my housemate, his mother, and I, this morning, about cats we have known; specifically, the cats that came into our families having been neglected in kittenhood, and how they have been alternately affectionate and vicious, as ready to scratch your face as to sit on your knee. That is a difficult place to be, between wildness and tameness, never quite trusting anyone else to look after oneself, and never quite trusting oneself to manage alone.

But then there are wild flowers and wild strawberries. I know a bank whereon the wild thyme grows - actually, it's more of a cliff. And there is something there about going where one pleases, and doing what one pleases.

Wilderness.

I don't know. Lots of stuff here, and it doesn't want to sit down and curl up neatly. Which, I suppose, is not all that surprising.
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Michelle couldn't let Lien's invitation pass, of course. She tracked down and gave to Lien a poem expressing exactly how she'd felt the moment she met Lien.

distractions
Vanessa Marzan Deza

oh excuse me i'm sorry )

Vanessa Marzan Deza is Pinay—Filipina—and writes, according to her bio, "grounded in her particular context as colored and female. It is a conscious act of resistance and creative envisioning."

Let me look away, Deza wrote. I didn't mean to stare, and there is work to do. But I don't want, Michelle told Lien, to look away.


Source: The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writing by Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women, edited by Sharon Lim-Hing

Security Flaws

Apr. 22nd, 2014 04:29 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 A crucial and immovable flaw in many security systems is humans.  If people can't get something to work properly, they will find a way to make it work improperly.  I find that there are a great many places online that I don't think need passwords.  It's just something I don't want to fuck around with for trivial uses.  So either I don't go there, or I work around it.  The problem comes when people do exactly the same thing with a really, really important system.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
April's theme covers Heliopath’s World and Aurora’s World. Enter the April 2014 Raffle by using comments, links, or credits.

Fiction: Aurora’s World: Atecia: Opal: Talking to Margery (part 7) has Haidar talking with Opal about blooming and the social challenges it brings.
Aurora’s World: Atecia: Calix: Felicia Blooming (part 3) has Tuula explaining more about blooming and sensing people who will bloom.

The World Walkers: Quiar: The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments (part 9, 87th continuation) follows up on Peric shredding the mind of the platypus assassin.
The World Walkers: Quiar: The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments (part 9, 88th continuation) shows Peric telling his friends what he has discovered about the counterfeiters.

Other Fiction: Heliopath’s World: Outside Ildieu: Dale: Taking Charge (part 2)
Heliopath’s World: Outside Ildieu: Quartz: Dreaming of Family
Heliopath’s World: Ildieu: Benedict: Studying
Heliopath’s World: Ildieu: Kestrel: Kidnapped (part 5)
Heliopath’s World: Ildieu: Ginevra: Taking Over

Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Mackenzie: The Thieves’ Hideout (part 4)
Aurora’s World: Haerith: Xavia: Making a Decision (part 5)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Mirica: A Thief in the House (part 8)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Jillian: Hunted (part 4)
Aurora’s World: Konir: Amelia: Going Underground (part 2)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Jillian: Hunted (part 5)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Mirica: A Thief in the House (part 9)

April Moon: Day 7

Apr. 21st, 2014 08:40 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Texture

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

This is a good word. I'm not particularly taken with it as a word - it feels a bit impersonal and clinical, much like text and textile - but what it means is all sorts of loveliness.

Dimensions. Heights and depths so close together that you can feel the difference through your fingertips. Differences absorbed at the same time. Shiny smoothness; softness; scratchiness. New-painted nails against my bottom lip (it has always been a good way to feel things: try it). Rough skin on the backs of my knuckles; close Guernsey wool; soft-ridged corduroy; draggy leather; smooth-polished wood; flawless glass, whose texture is almost a sound.

I have just realised the connection with tessitura - the weave of a piece of music, which is similar to the range, but a more helpful thing to know. The range tells you the top and the bottom, but the tessitura is more like the mode than the mean; it tells you what most of the music is like. (There is not a note in Hark the herald-angels, for example, that I cannot sing, but the tessitura is high, and it is exhausting.) Music is similar to objects, I suppose, and the texture of music is a similar all-at-onceness, except it isn't; it's a series of all-at-onces that run together. It happens in time, while conventional texture happens in space.

Dimensions.

Sometimes you absolutely have to look with your fingers.

April Moon: Day 6

Apr. 21st, 2014 08:30 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Nuance

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

Nuance feels like hard work. Tonight I look at the word nuance and think, oh, dear, I haven't got enough of those.

Perhaps it is just having finished what I have finished today, and immediately gone back to the beginning and started to read back through it, and found how lacking in nuance it is. It is good, but already I can see that things are missing, and that things are in there that do not need to be. It feels heavy-handed, slapdash. I can see where I have been lazy, and I can see where I have been clumsy.

Nuance is subtlety, delicacy, lightness, deftness; and I, having completed the biggest and most complex creation of my life, feel flat and heavy. I am pleased with it, but it is done and also not done. Nuance. There may be some more of that tomorrow.

April Moon: Day 5

Apr. 21st, 2014 07:59 pm[personal profile] kafj
kafj: photograph of rainbow-coloured icthus fish brooch (Default)
Focus

What feelings does this word evoke? What sorts of memories does it recall? Which of your senses start to tingle? How would you represent what this word means to you?

I got my camera out on Saturday, the first time in months. I'd made a necklace as a present for somebody, and wanted to take a picture for my portfolio. With the necklace suspended from the window catch, the idea was that the green and pink of the trees outside would blur into a pleasing background for the green and pink beads of the necklace.

It took me several tries to achieve that. The first few, of course, had beautiful sharp leaves and blossoms, with a vague green and pink blur in front.

Yesterday I was pleased that I had my camera to hand. The heavy rain brought a toad out onto the path in the back garden, and I wanted a photo of him. I had to shoot through the french window, and so I have several photos of a toad, overlaid with milky white raindrops.

Focus is a choice. I will concentrate on this thing, and not that. Last week, unexpectedly, I ended up at the pub with some colleagues. One of them said something about multi-tasking. 'Oh,' I said, 'I can't multi-task. I think it's a myth.'

She smiled and admitted that she can't, either, and proved the point a few minutes later: she was looking at something on her phone when somebody spoke to her. She only heard the third time.

When I talked about that necklace I made, I didn't say that I was trying to do it in front of the telly, watching the qualifying for the Chinese grand prix. Hopeless. I made a fantastic necklace, but the finer points of the F1 passed me by completely. I should have known.

One thing at a time. And yet. It is rare for me to do one thing at a time, at least for long. I can focus, but my focus gets tired. However, I can do a succession of things, flitting from one to another, and find after about three hours that I have made significant progress on a lot of them. A kind of roving focus, I suppose. After all, I'm not a camera. It's a lot easier for me to choose. A, and not B. Or, A and then B, and then C, and then D, until they're all done.
alexconall: the Pleiades (Default)
Once there was a girl; once there was a girl. Women, both, really. Her name was Lien; her name was Michelle. After Lien met Michelle, she copied out this poem and gave it to Michelle.


Fragment 31
Sappho tr. Anne Carson

He seems to me equal to gods that man )


Sappho. The most readily recognized queer female poet in the world. Not, probably, the first—that honor may go to Enheduanna, the first poet whose name we know. But the most recognizable name among queer female poets, and Sappho 31 may be her best-known poem.

All is to be dared, Sappho wrote. So Lien dared. But the rest of the poem, unless the last stanza of Catullus 51 is an accurate translation (unlikely), is lost.


Source: If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, Anne Carson
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," and "Green Eggs and Hulk."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, JARVIS, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Bruce Banner.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: This story is mostly fluff, but it has some intense scenes in the middle. Highlight for details. These include dubious consent as Phil and JARVIS discuss what really happened when Agent Coulson hacked his way into Stark Tower, over which Phil has something between a flashback and a panic attack. They also discuss some of the bad things that have happened to Avengers in the past, including various flavors of abuse. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.
Summary: Uncle Phil needs to pick out pajamas for game night. He gets help from an unexpected direction.
Notes: Service. Shopping. Gifts. Artificial intelligence. Computers. Teamwork. Team as family. Friendship. Communication. Hope. Apologies. Forgiveness. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Tony Stark needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25Part 26.

Read more... )

Profile

zirconium: tulip in my front yard, April 2014 (Default)
zirconium

April 2014

S M T W T F S
  123 45
67 8 91011 12
13 1415 16 171819
202122 23242526
27282930   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 24th, 2014 10:14 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios