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