Yesterday was a good day. I finished "pas-en-arrière, " which only needed me to wait until it was time to finish it. I think I managed the ending I wanted. I did 961 words yesterday. The finished vignette stands at 3,233 words before proofreading. I think the ending's right. Gentle, almost sweet, but not in the treacly, cloying way that too many people mean "sweet." I want to say it has a maturity that most of the Sirenia Digest/Frog Toes and Tentacles pieces lack, but that's probably not true. It's just my favourite of the moment. I think I'll not have Vince illustrate this one, that it will come in #5 without an illustration. It isn't particularly graphic, though it's fairly visual. Maybe you'll understand what I mean when you've read it. It speaks as softly as I can. "pas-en-arrière, " is one of the longer pieces of erotica I've yet written, though not the longest. That would likely be "Pony," which came in at 3,866 words. It's also notable that "pas-en-arrière, " is a true vignette, a single scene. I've played fast and loose with that word, vignette. At any rate, it's done, and I'm glad I didn't rush the ending, and now I'm actually a little ahead for a change. How weird is that?
We had a good walk yesterday and talked to the big orange tom who lives down the street. He carries himself like a thug, but his voice always gives him away, tiny and timid and sweet. There's that word again. Also, I wrote a Wikipedia entry about the ankylosaur Tarchia. I did a little housecleaning. We watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban again. I love the iris shots.
We'll spend most of today preparing for Ostara. We need to drive up to Sandy Springs, to the Phoenix and the Dragon, for a few supplies. I'll spend part of the day polishing my wording of the Ostara ritual I've stitched together from five or six different people's Ostara rituals. I need stones and flowers, jasmine incense and basil seeds. Last night, we worked on some very basic stuff, casting and taking up circles, rending and closing the veil, using the wording from one of Jane Raeburn's rituals. It's the "easy" stuff I worry over the most. The "hard" stuff seems like something I've known all my life, even without knowing that I knew it. I've taken to using my willow wand exclusively until I can find an athame that feels better in my hands. Tonight, I'll do a consecration ritual.
I feel as though the tone of this entry is off somehow. Too much of me still back there in the dreams, I suspect.
I also feel as though I'm walking a thin, strange line these days, balancing witchcraft and art and science. Rationality, empiricism, critical thought in one hand, Wicca and "shamanism" in the other. That leaves no hand free for art, so I suppose it lies in the center, which makes sense. I constantly feel as though I'm some massive contradiction. On the one hand, what else is new? I've spent my life in between one place and another. It's the only thing I do best. Why should things be any different now? On the other hand, I know that, in truth, there is no divide between science and art and magick, except for the walls our minds build from fear and insecurity. Science is a systematized, rigorous observation of Nature. Art is a wild, uncouth celebration of Nature. Magick is the conscious or unconscious veneration of Nature. I'm beginning to see more clearly the points at which these three spheres intersect. I think. Magick, for example, is very much like art. It doesn't come when you call it. It comes when its ready, and you're either there waiting or you're not. And you may well call your whole life, sincerely and with the best of intentions, and never get a glimmer, or it may come to you effortlessly, whether you want it or not. Art's exactly like that. For me, at least. I'm in no danger of abandoning relativity, as it applies to morality or physics. These things are true for me, whatever I am.
Indeed, lately it feels that my greatest hurdle isn't my innately, insistently rational mind, as I first feared, but the tattered vestiges of the Catholic upbringing I thought I'd discarded twenty-something years ago. All those fears that were so deeply instilled in me. I became very angry about this last night. I try not to. I tell myself that the people who put those hateful, fearful, superstitious, prejudicial thoughts in my mind, who almost blinded me to the world around me and inside me (both scientific and magickal), were trying to do good. If I ever had a child — and I know now that's never going to happen, for a variety of reasons — I'm not sure how I would go about keeping it free of my own fears. I only know I'd try. I certainly would not teach it superstition and hatred dressed up as divine revelation.
Sorry. I'm going on and on and on. But it's my journal, to do with as I please. And being the only one awake in the house makes me nervous, and when I'm nervous, I talk too damn much. If this has been TMI, well, I won't apologise for that. There was a poll, after all. Please do have a look at the current eBay auctions, and keep in mind that the "choose your own letter" FT&T auction ends in three days. Okay. It's time to see where this day will lead...
Oh, aoniedesade asked yesterday where I got the images I'm currently using for icons, and I thought others might be curious, so: They came from the website of a Japanese photographer, Naoyuki Iitaka, from a series he did using Shironuri make-up on his models. You can see much more from the series here. It's beautiful stuff.