I did manage to make a start of Chapter Eight of Daughter of Hounds yesterday. I did 1,352 words, after reading over the last bits of chapters 6 and 7 (and, as was inevitable, making numerous changes). It's an odd start, but I suppose that should come as no surprise. Emmie going from here to there, or from there to here, and passing a lot of distracting might-have-beens in the process. And now I have brought my two main characters, Emmie and Sailor, at last, to the same place and time, here on ms. page 445. Oh, how the critics shall complain about how long that took. Also, Spooky's making me a very witchy new black dress for Dragon*Con, and we ventured out into the humidity to get the right trim at a marvelous fabric shop, where I gawked at peculiar buttons, framed photographs of drag queens, and bolts of cloth that sell for $125 per yard. I thought the latter should be under protection of lock and key and rabid guard dog, not right out in the open where nixars like me can lay their grubby palms upon it. I think the cloth for my dress was only about $3 a yard.
I've been wanting to quote something from Fritz Leiber's 1944 essay on Lovecraft, and I suppose now's as good a time as any:
The universe of modern science engendered a profounder horror in Lovecraft's writings than that stemming from its tremendous distances and its highly probable alien and powerful nonhuman inhabitants. For the chief reason that man fears the universe revealed by materialistic science is that it is a purposeless, soulless place. To quote Lovecraft's "The Silver Key," man can hardly bear the realisation that "the blind cosmos grinds aimlessly on from nothing to something and from something back to nothing again, neither heeding nor knowing the wishes or existence of the minds that flicker for a second now and then in the darkness." In his personal life Lovecraft met the challenge of this hideous realisation by taking refuge in...myths, not because they are true, but because man's mind is habituated to them and therefore finds in them some comfort and support. Recognising that the only meaning in the cosmos is that which man dreams into it, Lovecraft treasured beautiful human dreams, all age-worn things, and the untainted memories of childhood.
Cross reference this with the bit of Jung I quoted on the 22nd, and Ursula K. LeGuin's comments on that which is true versus that which is factual (in The Language of the Night), and you have something very close to my current view of the universe. I would amend Leiber's quote to allow for non-human terrestrial and extraterrestrial minds which also dream meaning into the meaningless universe. All this speaks rather well to my recent thoughts and writings on magick and myth and religion. Again and again, I find myself envying those who actually believe the myths which I can only concede are true, not factual.
But there are always wonders — that which my mind perceives as wonderful — to momentarily distract me from the void. For instance, my thanks to David Lemoine for sending this link to a composite film clip of the Martian dust devils I mentioned on the 24th. It's almost too wonderful for words.
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