a treat, and some thoughts

Here’s a chapter of Rascal that I shared on Patreon yesterday (a public post, for members and non-members).

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AVARITIA

(greed)

You desire, you indulge yourself, you relish good things, tasty things, rich things, colors and textures and scents—in this world.

Of course, it happens in this world.

This “fallen” world, according to some.

It’s not fallen. It’s the world, the real world, our only world.

A world of fire and water, of terrible storms and soft mornings, of loss and grief and joy and pleasure. A world of horrors and wonders.

What hurts us is terrible; what feels good is wonderful. This is natural.

It’s up to us to make this natural world as wonderful as it can be.

This won’t happen as long as we believe in the existence of an intangible, supernatural, otherworldly afterlife where nothing will ever harm us. An inhuman, unnatural world.

If you want to sell the story of invisible realms where everything is “perfect,” you need unhappy people. In this scenario, nothing is more problematic than a person who enjoys life and its pleasures. Even simple pleasures are troublesome.

Being happy and grateful in this world is to disdain the worthier, imaginary, divine panaceas.

Some people believe pleasure in this life is a sign of divine favor and a preview of the truly mind-boggling splendors awaiting humanity in the other world, the phantom dimension. Peddlers of cosmic mansions piously take the money supplied by countless people who hope they’ll start off with an opulent earthly mansion of their own as well.

The majority of religious systems don’t operate like this, though. They say, “Don’t worry too much if your life sucks. The next one will be better… as long as you do and believe what we tell you, that is.” They don’t want people to be utterly miserable, but they don’t want them too at home and content here on earth either.

Pick up your cross. Your begging bowl. Your mental hair shirt.

If you’re oppressed or abused, if you’re being treated abominably, rejoice. It’s a privilege, really, an opportunity, a blessing. Blood and suffering pleases the almighty; it’s his idea of a pleasant aroma. Tortured, stir-fried saints are held up as the most admirable of people, the most worthy of imitation.

If you’ve been abused, if you just barely manage to hold your traumatized mind together, if you’ve been told a million times that you’re worthless, a lot of crazy shit can make sense. A pie in the sky helps you survive and hang on a little longer.

Just remember: don’t be greedy. All the fat is the lord’s. Set your mind on the things above, not on earthly things.

Oh yeah?

Fuck the things that are above.

There are no such things.

Flush that mystical crap down the toilet.

Emancipate yourself. Believe in yourself. Avenge yourself.

Happiness in this world is a combination of luck and doing what you can so you and at least some of your fellow humans live as happy a life as possible. Happiness often requires a great deal of effrontery. You’re in pain, you’re going to die, things don’t go the way you want them to, but you dance all night anyway.

It’s tough. By fuck, life, being alive can be tough. Sometimes it seems like we’re always teetering on the edge of disaster, and we know the end is a breath away.

My philosophy is, have a glass of whiskey, smirk at the camera like a badass smart mouth decked out devil, and when the time comes to go over the edge, to take that final breath, think, well, it wasn’t all bad, was it? This ain’t so bad.

At least I lived. I had a moment.

I’m greedy for that moment. I want what the moment has to offer, all that my moment’s got.

This crucial greed means I figured out what I want, what I want my moment to be all about.

I want all that I’ve got, to be the star I am.

The greed I speak of involves risk. It involves the unknown. No one can decide what your life means for you. You have to decide. You have to choose.

You’re not being swept by a common wave. You’re not afraid of being alone. There’s no universal, one-size-fits-all solution. If you go where everyone else is going, you won’t experience your moment.

You’re drafting your map. Use what you have, change what you can, and create your best life.

Do whatever you can to enrich your life, to exult in yourself.

Each of us is our own ultimate earthly thing.

For too long, it was difficult for me to think this, let alone celebrate it. My mind was in a cage; my heart was bleeding from too many cuts.

It’s never too late to dare to turn your back on all the shit that brought you down.

To reclaim yourself: this is excellent greed.

Regardless of what any abuser tried to drum into you, you belong to yourself.

You’re not anyone’s possession.

You’re the captain of your existence.

Whatever you’ve been through, however much psychological conditioning you’ve endured, if you reach this liberating threshold, you can be sure self-ownership has always been there inside of you. You’ve always been a rascal.

They couldn’t quench your flame entirely. They couldn’t starve it forever.

The day I bust out of the mental jail of self-forgetfulness—of self-neglect and self-hate—the person I am began to shine forth into the world.

An outrageous, confident, inquisitive, playful, genderfluid, flamboyant, girl/boy tomboy.

A person who slowly but surely began to say “no” whenever it was needed. A person who said “yes” when she wanted to say it. My decisions were now in line with self-respect and true wisdom: human wisdom.

I stopped treating myself like a second thought.

No more torture, no more tears. No more damaging attempts to love everyone except myself. I stopped wondering if I was pleasing to a twisted, silent invisible it that required proof of my love by means of cruel, nebulous, and absurd tests. I loved those who deserved my love.

I adorned myself with gold necklaces and was a human being, flesh and bones, blood and water, at home on earth, my real home.

I am of the earth, and I love earthly things. I love myself.

The next few days are going to be impossibly frigid here, ugh. Mr P and I will be comfortably hidden from the elements tomorrow and Monday however, so there’s that.

I enjoy sharing photos on Instagram and I’d say it’s a new form of Livejournal (sort of) for me because a number of the people I knew on Livejournal are on Instagram, but the latter throttles its feed with algorithms or whatever, and of course the textual aspect of Instagram is minute, so… And it’s highly smart phone oriented. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to be glued to those things all the time.

In related news, I’ll definitely be renewing my subscription to The Idler this year.

I started sharing things on Ello again, because it’s one of the few remaining platforms that celebrates the arts, unique, original thinking and creative freedom, and isn’t terrified of flesh.

But, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly, Patreon is my online focus these days. I greatly enjoy using that platform, and I enjoy the exchanges I have with fabulous members there. The enthusiasm and support of members invigorates me, it feels wonderful, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Masterful will be my best book yet. I am discussing Professor Snape in that book, but it’s not exhaustive character analysis by any means; it’s more of a personal memoir.

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the scent of 2019 is in the air

There are a number of things on my 2019 list. Priorities, projects.

The first project: a daily writing journal. I’ve already been writing a page a day in my “daily activities” agenda (next year will be the fifth year I’ve been doing this), so the daily writing journal will be natural and smooth, a non-stressful, non-draining, steady way of working on various writing projects.

I got this journal yesterday at the local dollar store.

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I’ll be sharing much of what this journal will contain with my Patreon members. Which brings me to the 2019 list: Patreon will be one of my main priorities. I update this website blog around once or twice a month, but I write Patreon posts much more often. In 2019, Patreon topics will include my books (obviously), living with PTSD, genderqueerness, creativity, introversion and solitude, the 70s, self-care and self-respect, toys, music, Mozart, violin playing, the art of indulging oneself, living one’s best life… just to name a few.

Apart from cannabis (see “living with PTSD” above), Patreon is one of the top things that have had a beneficial impact on my existence this year. The material/emotional support I get from members who believe in my work and enjoy it, their enthusiasm, contributions, participation, and encouragement—it’s all absolutely priceless to me on many levels.

I have a limited amount of time and energy. Patreon members will enjoy the bulk of my creative efforts and endeavors. A number of my upcoming books (such as Reveries of an Improper Solitudinarian) will only be available to members.

I’ll continue using Twitter to share links to website updates, Patreon posts, and the very occasional tweet and RT. I’m more present on Instagram (although it’s now, alas, owned by the loathsome FB, Instagram was wisely left alone—so far, anyway—which is one of the reasons I still use IG).

Facebunk: my opinion of it remains the same. Dreadful platform. I want nothing to do with it. I won’t bow to it. I’m proud to live my life without it. Oh, and apparently said platform, which is terribly shocked by naughty bits, now also targets “vague suggestive statements” and the mere hint of sexy talk as against its policies or whatever.

“First Tumblr bans NSFW imagery, now Facebook bans NSFW *words*!!” tweeted one user on Wednesday.

Imagine if something like this had happened on Livejournal during its heydays. The furor! Won’t somebody think of the fanfic?? I remember people leaving LJ in protest against less blatant puritan pearl-clutching and “investor-friendly” sanitization/normalization. Now, FB devotees simply swallow the pill and comply.

The “normal” Sunday School nanny Internet: what smashing fun it is. But at least you can keep up with distant relatives you haven’t seen in thirty years, and that kid from Elmsdale Elementary (what’s his name again?), and the intelligence-challenged prom queen who harassed you back at good ol’ Suckballs High. And advertisers know everything about you: convenient! Thank you, O Almighty Facebunk. Peuple, à genoux, attends ta délivraaaaance

Seriously, I have lost touch with friends because I’m not on FB, and more people might know about my work if I were there… but I’m willing to pay the price not to be on that platform. Because I think FB is terrible.

Anyhow.

Rascal: A Manifesto is the foundation of all my upcoming books. No other work of mine means more to me than that one. I’m grateful to everyone who has acquired a copy, read it, shared their impressions of it, recommended it.

Rascal with a new, rapscallion like-minded friend:

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Speaking of naughty things and fabulous books, here’s a lovely tome devilish types will want to add to their library immediately:

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Fred is one of the most delightful fellows you could meet. Buy his book here: Homo Satanis

In other news, tomorrow will be five months since I had the monthly crud. Yep, the whole fertility garbage I never had any use for is well on the way out.

I’m still enjoying my 70s Holiday Extravaganza in a fierce, fierce way. I got a Barbie Townhouse (damn you, Barbie!). It’s wrapped and under the tree: a glorious sight if there ever was one. I will be playing with it.

ETA: well, apparently something might actually be taking place after all these months re: reproductive crud. No wonder I’ve been feeling so lousy and drained these past couple of weeks (it wasn’t only because I had to have my damn right ear irrigated at the clinic again). We’ll see tomorrow but even if there is something, if it’s anything like last time it won’t be much…

And on that charming note, I think it’s time to call it a night a get some rest.

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70s Festive Holiday Extravaganza, tarot, life improvement

Although the past couple of weeks have been a bit tough (many appointments, severe shoulder pain and the anxiety attack that went with it, furnace problem and the PTSD spike that went with it, early snow), my 70s Holiday Bubble has been even more glorious this year than it was last year.

I began right at the start of November. And I’m so glad I did. One month wouldn’t suffice to enjoy the bliss of the Festive 70s environment I created in my cozy home.

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I’ve filled the house with delicious scents and sparkling joy. I’ve gotten boxes of Pot of Gold chocolates, Black Magic, After Eights.

Classic holiday albums have been playing on my turntable, my 1975 Eaton’s Holiday catalogue is on the coffee table. Total Environment delights. Presents are wrapped in cheerful paper and displayed beneath the tree. One of these gifts from me to me (“It’s just what I wanted!”) is something I hadn’t had since I was a kid: a Barbie doll. But not any old Barbie: a stunning, 70s-tastic 2018 Holiday Barbie.

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It’s the perfect touch to my 70s imbued Festive Season.

I love sitting in the living room, with the fireplace station on the television, while gazing at the happiest tree I’ve ever had. The beautiful, glittering, colorful but much smaller tree I had there last year is now in my lair, because this year, one tree simply wasn’t enough.

All of this has been so sweet to me… It’s sumptuous.

In other news, because I’ll be focused on Masterful for the next two or three months, my Stay Home Vagabond zine has been temporarily put on hold (producing it is more time consuming than I’d anticipated, especially since I expanded it); during this book writing and publishing period, my second and third tier Patreon members will receive Quiet Times newsletters and Mini Poster Prints.

As part of my most recent life improvement strategies, one thing I’ll be doing much less effective immediately is social media, specifically Twitter and Instagram. Twitter has become a maelstrom of negativity and downright lunacy, and whatever one shares there is almost immediately swallowed up by the tsunami of input that is Twitter (of course, that’s the idea: it’s so you keep tweeting and trying to stay on top of the endless barrage of tweets, a virtually impossible “task”). I’m exhausted by this. Utterly. I’m sick to death of it. And Instagram is… meh. It’s very app oriented, and I dislike using my smart phone. On top of that, Instagram actively limits the number of followers who actually see one’s posts (unsurprising: the loathsome FB platform acquired IG).

I’m just… I’m so fed up with it all. It’s life draining. It sucks your energy dry. And for what? I’m rather over this internet Sisyphus deal. I’m not interested in trying other platforms (I’ve already done that ad nauseam).

The world of Twitter and the real world, the material world, are two vastly different things, and I much prefer the latter.

Yesterday and the day before, I was in full recuperation mode due to the stress of the last two weeks. I jotted down notes, enjoyed delicious food, watched movies, relaxed. I barely touched social media, and I felt, well, happier in general. I’ve been ambivalent about social media, social networks, for so long, and increasingly so these past few years… From now on, I’ll be using Twitter mostly to share links to my latest Patreon and WordPress (logospilgrim.com) posts. When I do photo sessions with my phone, I’ll share the results on Instagram.

My online activity will center around Patreon and this website. If you like what I do, if you’re interested in my books and art and photography, please follow this website (via WordPress or email) and/or my Patreon account (some of my Patreon posts are accessible to non-members).

When I want to let my thoughts wander and look at happy things online, I’ll be on Pinterest.

My preferred way of staying in touch with friends is by subscribing to their blogs (via email), or becoming a member of or following their Patreon accounts. Note: I don’t do the YouTube thing much.

So, there it is. I’m going to focus on what works for me.

I’ve been getting back to tarot, to reading it professionally (which I did many years ago). This has been a source of immense pleasure to me. Once I picked up the tarot again, I realized how much I’d missed it.

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I created a tarot page here on my website (still under construction), but I will be giving precedence to live readings. I’ll have a limited number of reading appointments per week.

More Masterful news soon. And eventually more Mozart story news as well.

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