quiet professor: now quieter than ever

Last fall, my state of mind was along the lines of, “I don’t think I want to leave the house anymore.”

I made a few efforts to get out of my cozy bubble now and then.

And now…

Well, recent developments have confirmed what I’ve known all my life, which is that the outside world sucks and is best avoided as much as possible.

Mr P and I have been home for almost three weeks, only leaving once to have non-perishable grocery items (especially mental well-being items, such as chips and cake) loaded in the trunk of the car—I’d ordered what we needed on the supermarket’s website.

We didn’t even go in the store and I was anxious. I couldn’t wait to get back home and shut the door.

When I first heard low buzzing sounds about this virus back in February, I thought the whole thing was being blown out of proportion. But by the end of February… my PTSD alarms started blaring, and I began my emergency preparations on the 28th, about two weeks before the shit really hit the fan.

I remember feeling like something of an idiot then as I loaded my cart with necessities; I’d been going around the house, making lists. At the end of February, there was plenty of toilet paper in the stores, and I got roughly three months’ worth. Not a mountain, but not a mere four roll pack either.

I got canned potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, soup, diced tomatoes, and so on… Bags of rice and pasta and frozen chicken and frozen meatballs and frozen vegetables. Toiletries, medication, batteries, Lysol, and all the cat food Potion would need, among other things. Water, beverages. A high stack of mini chocolate bar packs.

I could feel something major was imminent. When you spend your childhood sharpening your sense of danger, you can see it coming well before most other people do.

Mr P was blown away by the efficiency, speed, and meticulousness of my preparations, and applauded what I was doing. Mental illness is a double-edged sword, amirite? I thought of everything. Even so, my stress levels were off the charts and I had trouble breathing due to PTSD-related vocal cord dysfunction, which can mimic asthma (and how fucking perfect is that).

Then, news hit that our Prime Minister’s wife had contracted the virus, and both she and the Prime Minister were in self-isolation.

Suddenly, mayhem broke out in earnest and the stores were swamped. I only briefly went in one of these (and it wasn’t nearly as packed as other places were, because I live in a place that’s more like a town than a city); I ran back out minutes later. People clogging aisles, massive lines, the sounds of laughter… I felt a mixture of acute anxiety and rage because of the clueless obliviousness that encompassed me on all sides.

But I no longer felt like an idiot for having done most of my preparations quite some time before the batshit erupted (if I’d had to deal with the chaos that was going on in stores by mid-March, I would have completely lost my mind). I got a few more items at a smaller, much quieter local store. A few days later, Ontario declared a state of emergency, and to my tremendous relief, Mr P would be home with me until further notice. It’s quite likely he’s going to be here until the middle of May.

I put an indefinite total moratorium on news of any kind, and for the first time in weeks, my chest loosened and I began breathing more easily.

My Leaky Orlando plans are out the window. Not going to happen. I tried, right? Travel is already hard enough on me when things are going well… My desire to travel ever again is pretty much nil at this point.

My life plans are more along the following lines:

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I’ve been writing many updates and sharing thoughts on Patreon. I have very limited amounts of energy these days, and my members are getting it. Every now and then, I post a happy image on Instagram. I haven’t been following Twitter at all, because even when using lists, it’s almost impossible to avoid news.

I’ve been getting tiny snippets of information from select loved ones, and I do know that right now, people aren’t allowed to cross the Ottawa/Outaouais border unless they have a good reason.

Related: extroverts are more of a mystery to me than ever.

Mr P and I are exceedingly happy right here in our home. We have everything we need. We have no interest in socializing. We have our books, music, movies, toys, pastimes. Seclusion.

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As a result of all that’s been happening, I’m having a number of salutary epiphanies.

Such as, I’m sick as fuck of promoting what I write (or attempting to at any rate), of publishing… Masterful has gotten a few great reviews, but getting one’s work out there, especially when said work is unusual, is like speaking during a hurricane—and I have a soft, raspy voice.

It’s like The Smiths sang: “Well if I was you I wouldn’t bother.”

I’m through with repeating myself and gesticulating… When (if) I release a book, I’ll say so here, and those who enjoy what I do will know.

I do have a novel brewing in me, something I haven’t discussed yet. My Patreon members will know about it first, should it materialize.

When it comes out, I’ll just say, here it is. Those who are drawn to the kind of work I do will find it, one way or another.

These are the two books I’ve written so far that are the most important to me. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

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I’ve started drawing again.

It’s relaxing and gratifying and enjoyable.

I’m creating surreal, extremely colorful worlds… 70s-esque dream worlds. Here’s a piece that’s still in progress, featuring Hoppy Bun:

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I’ll be doing a lot more of this type of thing. I’ll have prints and postcards for my Patreon members.

When I was a kid, I spent most of my time by myself, drawing or writing.

I had the right idea.

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Masterful by Logospilgrim

I am utterly overwhelmed, and I can’t wait to share a few drinks with Lorrie at Leaky Orlando 2020, because yes, I will be there.

Lorrie Kim

Masterful:  Severus Snape, A Jar of Cockroaches, and Me by Logospilgrim, published January 28, 2020.  Order from Lulu.com, $18.50.  Also available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Stories change according to who’s doing the reading.

The character of Snape is certainly not for everybody.  Is he irredeemable?  Brave?  Irrelevant?  A source of strength?

As Logospilgrim says in her new book, Masterful, “Those who approach him will interpret his story based on how they’re writing and interpreting their own story.”

Logospilgrim is not trying to persuade anybody to see Snape differently.  In this searing meditation, she is only demonstrating how this process worked for her:  how recognizing the self in a fictional character can anchor people through traumatic upheavals.  As Logospilgrim notes, Snape was able to leave behind his father, who shouted at his mother, as well as fight the influence of a later father figure, Voldemort, who killed…

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more Masterful news

Roughly two days after I approved the book for global distribution, Masterful is already available on amazon!

It is better for me if the book is purchased on lulu, but if that’s not possible for whatever reason, or if you prefer amazon, the book can now be purchased on both sites.

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It’s also listed on Ingram, meaning that you can ask any bookstore to order you a copy, if you prefer going that route.

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Here’s what a reader shared after reading one of the chapters:

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Later today, my friend Diane and I will schedule the “Potions Master handing out the Forbidden Fruit” photo session. This is going to be fun.

In the meantime, here’s a “what’s beneath the frock coat” shot I took last week:

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In other news, yesterday I purchased my copy of the new Slytherin edition of Goblet of Fire. As I flipped through the pages, I felt waves of warmth, joy, and serenity… I will always love these books. They’ll always have profound significance to me. Next will be acquiring (finally) the first four illustrated hardcover editions… Gorgeous books.

Much lies ahead.

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Masterful: now available

In Masterful, part memoir, infernal philosophy, empowering discourse, and bold thoughts about J.K. Rowling’s famed Potions Master, author and Snape lyricist Logospilgrim shares her story of personal fulfillment and liberation, touching on subjects ranging from religion to atheism, PTSD to healing and defiance, self-denial to self-celebration. Outrageous, poignant, insightful, irreverent, Masterful is a singular, audacious work written for outsiders, mavericks, and survivors.

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You can get your copy now on lulu: Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me

It’ll also be available on Amazon at some point in February. But it is better for me if you purchase from lulu.

The morning after publication, I tweeted this:

Slowly waking up. I did wake up early this morning, felt weepy, eventually dozed off again… Happy that it finally happened, that the book is done, and I’ll no doubt cry again when the physical copies arrive and I’m holding one of them in my hands…

I put all that I had in this book. The thought that some may be encouraged by what they read thrills me. I wrote the book for myself, and for those who will be encouraged by words I wish I’d read years ago.

It’s a book that says, celebrate yourself. Become deeply aware of who you are, and walk away from those who would deny you of yourself.

There are time when it’s important and vital to be selfish. There’s such a stigma attached to this word, as though to treat oneself with dignity is tasteless, an abomination; as though to acknowledge our own importance to ourselves is “subpar.”

If I hadn’t finally learned to be important to myself, I wouldn’t be where I am now. When I started treating myself as important, as my top concern, I was able to evolve, to change the things about me that tripped me up. And what I can’t change, even that began to improve.

I’ll exult if some are emboldened by the book. I’ll take great pleasure in their joy. My pleasure is a selfish act, because it does have strings attached: it’s not “selfless.” The enjoyment others experience because of what I’ve written makes my heart do flips, it’s sensual.

I also wrote the book because of another “sin”: pride. I wrote things down, created a book, and I’m putting it out there. I believe I have an ability to write things that move certain people, that I do so with a unique poetry and perspective.

I do repeat this in the book: be proud of yourself. I write about self-preservation, about thriving, about self-reverence. Since I actively began embodying the mindset these attitudes involve, my life is so much more vibrant, joyful, and I have so much more to give.

When I wrote a sentence, I kept daring myself to do it. Over and over from beginning to end. “Be proud, be strong,” I told myself. And whatever weaknesses I have, those are fine too; I learn to juggle what I have gracefully, skillfully. Weaknesses can make you skillful.

The key is to respect yourself. It’s innate, and acquired. I have perfected my self-respect, and continue doing so. In this book, I acknowledged and respected everything about myself: my loves, my anger, my thoughts, my abilities, my failures and triumphs. And I share it all.

This book won’t be for everyone; that’s fine too. I didn’t write it for everyone. It’ll speak to some people; it’s for them. I no longer try to be all things to all people. Those days are over. Because I Am that I Am. I don’t try to squeeze myself into molds where I won’t fit.

And that’s why I have more to give than ever, because I value myself as I am, as I’ve developed. And when a person tells me that what I wrote made them feel good, that it liberated them in some ways, it’s like I freed myself all over again. It’s so powerful.

So again… If you read the book and it delights you, thank you for giving me such pleasure, the pleasure of your delight, of our lives connecting, of the pleasure that comes when minds meet, when lives entwine, leaving both parties true to their individuality. Hail Thyself.

I’m tired, but very happy.

And I’m telling you… this book has bite.

Delectable photo sessions soon, of the Prince of Serpents kind.

I’m strongly considering going to Leaky in Orlando this summer…

Stay tuned.

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Masterful release: January 27

I’m in the final editing stages, almost done.

Masterful will be released on January 27.

I wrote these words about it on Dreamwidth yesterday:

I am extremely proud of my upcoming book, Masterful: Severus Snape, a Jar of Cockroaches, and Me, for so many, many reasons. As I’ve said before, this book is a kind of philosophical memoir wherein I share thoughts about Professor Snape, my emancipation process, sexual identity, PTSD, the legacy of a childhood and adolescence witnessing the most insidious domestic violence and being scarred for life by it, religion as a creative and unconscious means to tackle past trauma, I write about atheism, magic, and so much more… I share what I’m sure will be very controversial thoughts about Severus Snape, namely that he was in no need of “redemption,” and I write some very angry words (another thing that was dangerous and forbidden to me for most of my life: anger). What else was forbidden to me? Freedom. Self-determination. Self-affirmation. My eccentricity. “They painted you black: what of it?” Or, as Nietzsche put it, “The great epochs of our life come when we gain the courage to rechristen our evil as what is best in us.” Those with ears to hear, let them hear.

Yes: I am, once again, active on Dreamwidth, and not just a little but very.

In addition, I signed up for a fanfiction fest.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written fanfic, and even longer since I’ve written erotica.

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The mods emailed me yesterday shortly after I sent my prompt, and I’m good to go.

I have a title for the fic, and I’ve begun writing it. This is going to be fun…

It’s a Snape/Longbottom fic. Severus survived his encounter with Nagini, and Neville is more pleased than ever that he cut its head off with the sword. The kinks? Voyeurism, exhibitionism, masturbation. There will also be a strong psychological component to this story. I won’t say more, except one thing: Neville is a bit of a Black Phillip…

I’ll be doing a Masterful-related, “In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods” photo shoot soon. I did, however, recently take a test shot of the new wig… and you can see a hint of the shimmering green cloak as well.

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Evening Envy Baphomet medallion available at Satanme, purveyors of the finest Satanic products online.

Speaking of fine things, here I am with my copy of Robert J. Leuthold’s dark erotic poetry collection, Obsidian Odes. Think De Sade meets Clive Barker, with a golden Baroque opulence.

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I have quite a few unique books by daring and gifted authors that I’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks/months. I’ve got much to keep up with at the moment.

Quite a lot ahead. Get ready. 2020 is going to be no holds barred.

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What dost thou want?

never had anyone to share anything with, an never wanted no one either, even if i’ve always been searching for sum thing i’ll never find i can at least say i never needed nuthin from no one. regardless of anything i’m right where i want to be, just sum skinny kid drifting throo life like a paper cup blowin down the street in the wind, sum dark abstract shape all alone in the world w/at least a real comprehension of the vast scale of distance between me an the rest of the human race.

you can resign yourself to lonliness but in the end find sanctuary in it. it’s like the infinite dark space between galaxies.

~ Drug Story, U.V. Ray

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Severus Snape has always been problematic.

He’s always been ambiguous and other.

He’s always been troublesome to his creator, J.K. Rowling, who’s never liked him much. Yet without him the wizarding world, and the entire world, would in all probability have been destroyed.

Awkward.

After the final Potter novel was released, a child referred to Professor Snape as a hero, and the tale’s author disagreed, leaving everyone present at the reading rather befuddled. Rowling soon changed her tune, however, and announced that Severus Snape was a “flawed hero.”

Of course he’s a flawed hero: he’s outside the lines. The Half-Blood.

When he first encounters Harry Potter’s mother Lily, this is how Rowling introduces us to him:

His hair was overlong and his clothes were so mismatched that it looked deliberate: too-short jeans, a shabby, overlarge coat that might have belonged to a grown man, an odd smock-like shirt.

And how does he observe Lily, Rowling’s apex of  True Womanhood, the pure one who like a quasi-virginal, unblemished lamb gave her life for her only male child, a.k.a. The Chosen One? “Greedily.” Severus Snape, “Snivellus,” wants something that wasn’t his.

He’s wearing an “odd” smock-like garment: “a loose dress or blouse,” from “Old English smoc ‘woman’s loose-fitting undergarment’.”

As Lily’s sister Petunia told him, “What’s that you’re wearing, anyway? Your mum’s blouse?”

With his “mismatched” clothing, his “overlong” hair, his odd “woman’s undergarment” half-concealed beneath a grown man’s coat, he’s the epitome of what doesn’t fit neatly into a nice, normal box.

He never does fit into that box, ever.

He’s nasty, untrustworthy, from the start. He’s non-binary. He’s not the “real deal.” He’s never quite what he seems to be, is he.

He’s a freak. “It’s good you’re being separated from normal people. It’s for our safety.”

And then we meet the heroes of the tale, James Potter and his cohorts.

“Slytherin?”
One of the boys sharing the compartment, who had shown no interest at all in Lily or Snape until that point, looked round at the word […]
“Who wants to be in Slytherin? I’d think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?” James asked the boy lounging on the seats opposite him, and with a jolt, Harry realized it was Sirius. Sirius did not smile.
“My whole family have been in Slytherin,” he said.
“Blimey,” said James, “and I thought you seemed all right!”
Sirius grinned.
“Maybe I’ll break the tradition. Where are you heading, if you’ve got the choice?”
James lifted an invisible sword.
“ ‘Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!’ Like my dad.”
Snape made a small, disparaging noise.
James turned on him.
“Got a problem with that?”

Sure, fuckhead. The same problem you had with Slytherin.

Maybe it’s fine to be a Slytherin, an outsider, a weirdo, an oddity, an anomaly, a deviation, just as long as you shut the fuck up about it. As long as you’re out of sight.

It’s fine not to fit in the “correct” mold, just as long as you don’t dare to be where you’re not supposed to be.

Wasn’t it the sage Ron Weasley who taught us all that poisonous toadstools don’t change their spots?

What was it that the Moody stand-in told Severus Snape in Goblet of Fire? “I say there are spots that don’t come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d’you know what I mean?”

Again, you’re classified as “X” or “Y” by fearful and limited minds from the beginning, and nothing can change that.

Could it be that Slytherin is so loathsome to such minds because the serpent, the mysterious creature that sheds its skin, is a symbol of transformation? A symbol of power and chaos?

The balanced nature of Professor Severus Snape the horned Baphomet, who points in two different directions, is forever suspicious to proper ones endowed with the clear-cut, iron gleam of “moral courage.”

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Do I feel shut out of the imaginary Hogwarts because of JKR’s opinion about this or that?

Not in the least. Without the reader, Hogwarts and all its mythological elements are stillborn.

Most of all, I am the master of my life, and I shape it as I wish: the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. The bold, creative, daring alchemists who understand “the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron and its shimmering hues” do as well.

We are the forbidden.

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We plant our fields with two different kinds of seed, we wear garments woven of two different kinds of material.

I enjoy that which I enjoy, however I wish. I transform what interests me into the gold of personal relevance. I create myself. I transform myself. I am loyal to myself.

Look at me.

I live deliciously. My long robes billow around me like a pretty dress, and my existence is magic.

I see the world.

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Masterful: first edit

It’s been a very active past couple of months here at Casa Logos.

Unseasonably cold weather, winter tires, plumbing situations, dentist appointments… There have been other major developments, though I’ve only shared them with my Patreon members, as is the case with many things for me online nowadays.

Social media wise, I only use Twitter at this point (apart from Undercroft, for those in the know); I do so on a limited basis as well. I finally quit Instagram because of its policies, which impede a free-flow of exchange and discourage participation in general (they prefer a mostly passive audience open to advertising), because of its censorial FB blandness, because of its maddening dumbphone-centric limitations, and because I’m utterly burned out on social media, thus much more selective of what will get my time and attention.

Less social media has resulted in my being more relaxed and happier. I write, read books, listen to records, watch movies… I do what I love, most of which is analog, tactile, and personally gratifying.

I’m tired of having technology pushed on me; I’m tired of its pervasive, relentless, invasive hunger and demands.

The other day, I went to the mall to get some errands done, and it was fun, even though the place was crowded. I enjoyed getting what I needed and watching clerks put my items in various bags. I enjoyed getting a new scarf at Roots and chatting with the person who helped me find what I was looking for (their scarves are thin, soft, and warm). I enjoyed walking around. I enjoyed placing my stuff in the car.

Masterful is finished: I am now in the midst of the first edit, usually the lengthier and more elaborate edit. This book has been longer in the making than anything I’ve written so far, and it’ll no doubt be my most satisfying book to date.

This week, the weather became a lot milder, and the snow that fell at the beginning of November has melted away, which I don’t mind at all.

In addition to working on my Masterful edit, I’ve enjoyed devoting myself to my 2019 70s Festive Extravaganza. There are gifts under the tree, After Eights in the dining room, and it’s all a source of immense pleasure to me.

I’ve also been adding Baphomet sigils to my collection of infernal jewelry, courtesy of the magnificent Satanme website. Their sigils, and all their products, are first class in every way.

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I will be ordering another beautiful black wig soon, and there will be devilish self-portraits (my Patreon Serpents will see them first, and in some cases, exclusively).

More Masterful news soon.

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on the desirability of being poisonous

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I’ve made this monograph public, but it would normally be a Sublimis Serpentibus tier work. I began writing it yesterday afternoon.

For a long time, I thought the very concept of having a tribe wasn’t a good thing. It excluded. It shut out. It created an “inside” and an “outside,” with the latter being evil.

So I’ve been evil for most of my life.

These days, my answer to that is, so what. I’m an evil outsider.

What of it?

When I went to MISTI-Con (a Harry Potter gathering) in 2013, I attended a presentation that involved a guided visualization exercise. It was quite powerful.

I bought a beautiful leather journal in the dealer’s room, and on the first page, I wrote what I’d experienced during the visualization.

In the Room of Requirement,
I saw Master Severus with his midnight black garments,
his face like brilliant moonlight,
so white.
He was holding a bouquet of white lilies.
He spoke to me.

He said: “Trust me.”

I remember how vivid this experience was, and it turned out to have many more layers of meaning than I understood at the time. Friends and I were sharing our respective visualizations, and when I said the words, “Trust me,” my throat tightened with emotion.

I’d just gone through many upheavals, with yet more to come. Incredible upheavals.

And now, here I am: I’ve surmounted them all. I learned to listen to myself, to trust myself. I was guiding my own footsteps at last. Making my own choices.

The lily’s message is, “Take a regal stance and embrace your own power. Remember that renewal is  just around the corner and that the end of one thing heralds the beginning of another.” (https://www.flowermeaning.com/lilly-flower-meaning/).

I’ve done this as well. It’s been an excellent development.

I’m not only an evil outsider these days… I’m an evil insider, too.

I found my tribe. Its power had flowed in my blood since I was a small child. The tribe of the outsiders, of those who don’t require compulsory weekly meetings and aren’t expected to automatically like each other, but who abide by an infernal esprit de corps that mandates, at the very least, respectful decorum.

What I once mistook as a dislike of tribes was, in fact, a dislike of herds.

A number of herds preach “equality” and “universal love,” and embody neither. That’s because both of these are fiction, the latter being particularly harmful.

For years, I longed to care for all of those who’d been branded as sinners, as the children of perdition, as “the lost.” Although they often were, in theory, part of a herd, it actually wanted nothing of them, while proclaiming the exact opposite. Who could make sense of this? How could I resolve this conundrum, how could I appease the hostile institutions that mistreated those it described as goats?

I believed the solution lay in no grouping whatsoever. Everyone belonged to a whole, whatever that meant.

Loving everyone is a terrible idea. Why should the “children of perdition” love the people, the institutions, the deities that despise them, strip them of their dignity, and brand their foreheads with an indelible mark forever setting them apart from “the beloved”?

There’s no individuality in the herd. “He must increase, and I must decrease.”

Any inkling of thought, of questioning, any deviation is a sign that you’re in danger. You must love with all your mind; no room for yourself there. Blessed is the one who believes without having seen.

No matter where you find yourself in this madhouse, whether it’s within its boundaries, on the doorstep, or outside the front gate, regardless of the shape the madhouse takes, love the one who makes you suffer is the message. Don’t trust yourself. Set aside your legitimate questions, desires, needs. Soon your own thoughts confuse you. You no longer know what hate or love is. “I scourge those I love,” you hear over and over. “Take my yoke upon you and you will find rest.”

It takes strength to free yourself from this insidious lie. A yoke isn’t easy or light. A yoke is nothing but a device meant to subdue and control.

Those who won’t submit or fit in, those whose necks won’t bend, who won’t obey, are evil.

In one way or another, I never submitted. I was always on the edge. I was always the edge itself.

“They went out from us because they were not of us.” Yes, and what of it?

Isn’t that, shouldn’t this rather be a source of pride?

“All are welcome” is a web. Eluding it, or freeing yourself from it, makes you alien. If you’re poisonous, the warden will remove you himself.

Herds have this common characteristic: they’re all the one true flock. The Only People. The world, the universe is for them, about them, ruled by them. All else will perish, be cast out or, in rare instances, assimilated somehow.

A tribe is an association of individuals.

Not everyone is welcomed. This is healthy and realistic. While a tribe has a great deal of variation, it also has a certain cohesion. I have no interest in climbing mountains; why would I join a mountaineering association? A herd drags you up the mountain by force, and frequently throws you right off it. Conversely, think of a herd of mountaineers forcing their way into a book club and knocking everything over by scaling the walls and furniture.

Because I’d been treated abominably, I thought true love meant accepting everyone. The institutions, the deities, the controllers said they did this, but they didn’t. I still believed in the hazy “universal love” falsehood, so I thought, either all were welcome, or none, though my mind indicated a third option. It always did, and for a long time I interpreted the third option as a cosmic union, as bringing all things together in a manner that reduced them to none, as a dissolution of distinctions that somehow preserved the uniqueness of different elements.

What I was really doing was eternally giving “another chance.”

In fact, the third option is that it’s sometimes, even often, preferable for me to shut the door. To walk away. To dig a moat. To raise my sword when necessary. And sometimes, I open the door, I lower the drawbridge, I set two glasses on the table and uncork a bottle of wine.

Welcoming all isn’t possible, and it isn’t desirable.

I already knew this when I was a child. Some things couldn’t be fixed, couldn’t be salvaged. Some people weren’t beneficial, despite their claims to the contrary. My childhood situation was so warped, however, that an urge to undo the harm I endured transmuted itself into a symbolic religious quest. Was there love in the pater horribilis?

When I was finally in a position to grasp what I’d been doing, many things became suddenly clear.

It’s not my job to be a miracle worker. It’s not my job to solve every problem.

Some don’t want me, and lo, there are some I don’t want either. The latter is what it took me years to realize. It took me years to understand I had the power to say no. This happened after I had undertaken to heal some of my wounds, and my mind was no longer clouded by pain.

Some people don’t mesh, and they never will, and that’s how it is.

On the other hand, some people naturally blend, as it were. You know this when it happens. There’s a flow, an exchange, you’re happy. There’s mutual joy, a lovely give and take, a rapport, a camaraderie. That’s not to say you absolutely agree about absolutely everything (another herd characteristic, or so they would have it), but you clinch. It’s most pleasurable. There’s respect.

Nothing obligates me to try to clinch with people who irritate me, or who can’t relate to me at all and vice versa. Or worse, with people who treat me like shit, or utter morons (because yes, there are such people), or people who cause me severe pain or displeasure, or the malignant who would impose themselves on me. Why should I give such persons a minute of my precious time? I do not have to do this.

I don’t force them to do anything; I simply go my way.

From my earliest years, I became tremendously skilled at ignoring those whose sole desire was to compel me to be what they wished me to be: a non-entity at their entire disposal.

If you refuse, behold, the heretic. Burn the heretic!

Some look at you and say, “Poisonous toadstools don’t change their spots.”  They say this sagely when in actuality they don’t have the remotest idea of who you are or what you’re doing.

I say, be a poisonous toadstool to such people. What of it? Perhaps they’ll truly grow wise and leave you alone. These great sages might even learn to Apparate more than half an inch across the room.

Poisonous toadstools, infernal angels of light, tend to be solitary types.

O Solitude, my sweetest choice, as the delightful song goes.

There is, however, a difference between solitude and isolation, and the knowledge that others share our mindset can be a wondrous revelation. Simply reading a book and feeling a bond, yes, I’ve known this as well, can make one’s spirit soar and fill one’s heart and mind with resolve, with meaning.

The House of Slytherin was marked from the start as dubious. There were three Houses… and Slytherin. The hero didn’t wish to be in that House; his parents weren’t in that House; the Headmaster wasn’t in that House.

Yet there were some who were drawn to that House, the forbidden House. The Other House. The House of Pride, Cunning, and Ambition. Words that could be “positive,” but ultimately, for the most part, were dangerous.

Doesn’t it take Pride, Cunning, and Ambition to stand up for yourself?

To stand apart?

When I see the Slytherin Common Room, it looks glorious to me.

Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy fooled Voldemort, the Deficient Lord, and snatched Harry Potter from him in the most harrowing of circumstances.

You’re painted black; what do you do then? Master the Dark Arts. Give them something to talk about, something from which to step away.

I did, and I triumphed at last over all that would have stamped me out. I’ve learned that it’s wise to exclude the ones who disdain you, who have no depth, who would destroy you if they could.

If I’m poisonous to them, it’s no doubt for the better. Some who partake of the toadstool die; but others have visions.

Trusting yourself is the most potent, fearsome, awesome brew there is. Master it. Master yourself.


Since I stopped using Instascam, my Patreon output has drastically increased. When Masterful is released, I’ll share the news on IG, but not much else will happen there (in the event I don’t delete that account).

As I wrote to my Patreon members earlier,

A shelf peek, because you’re special.

I remember days when I had difficulty saying such words, because I didn’t want to leave anyone out. Everyone had to be special to me… but who can live like this? It’s depleting madness.

Now, I know that I don’t have to belong to everyone. Indeed, I won’t.

So I tell you, you’re special. Because it’s true. I delight you, and you delight me.

Here are words about “on the desirability of being poisonous” from my most recent Patreon member:

As someone who’s always been labeled a loner or outsider, this is a fantastic gut-check affirming that we don’t have to be a part of the herd, that it’s okay to be poisonous to some. You’ve said it so well, thank you.

Next up for my Patreon Society members: a short essay entitled, “detritus alchemy.”

Focusing on Masterful this week.

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