It’s 3am

I wake at 3 am everyday. That still sounds extreme and unbelievable to me. But, almost religiously, I have done so daily for nearly 14 years. It is one of the only ways that I survive in this place.

Though my oppositional stance towards sleep began very early on in my time here, the practice began in earnest as part of my study of yoga around the turn of the century. I was in my 30s, in another bad relationship and going through another major transformation. I would wake and make my way to what the only ashtanga shala in Michigan. At the time it was one of only a handful in the States.

I’d read Vedic text and the interpretations of my teacher’s teacher and would innocently and selfishly grab onto certain thoughts and ideas that served my needs. The tradition prescribed, and my experince confirmed that dedicated practice was connecting/aligning my bodies internal biological systems to external energetic systems that surround us all.  I had integrated the concept of ‘the noosphere’ into my perception earlier and this also resonated.

When I close my eyes all the lights in the world go out.
If I meditated on it and went through some journals I may be able to remember where I first came into an understanding of the noosphere. It was probably related to drug use and one’s sometimes detrimental self awareness of the distance in mental acuity between yourself and the person in line behind you at the 7-11 when you’re still tripping balls 7 am, Monday morning. Yeah, I probably picked this notion up from Tim Leary.

The concept of the noosphere is rooted in the scientific definitions of the geological/biological spheres; the atmosphere, biosphere, etc. For some source material I’d go with the questionable Russian scientist above the questionable yet influential omega point priest.  Vladimir Vernadsky described the noosphere as the planetary “sphere of reason” and rooted it in the conception of the biosphere by Edward Suess in 1875. When we talk about biospheres now we are often thinking about closed, self-regulating systems that support ecosystems.

The noosphere, in my understanding carries similar parameters into the realm of consciousness. I’m going to use the term ‘thought’ here to refer to the active aspect of consciousness. This will help move this forward the next time the noosphere ’round here calms down. I’ll wake and attempt to get a another clear thought around this in at 3am.

Just When…

Just when I thought I couldn’t hurt any more, that my loneliness had reached some kind of divine perfection. All at once suddenly finding parts on my supposed heart that were unbroken.

And all the old defenses swing into play on the stage; “I just wanted to be alone anyway”, “you should have seen what he did to me”. Just like the others, a consolation prize, a friendship token.

I’m writing from way out in the woods. There is a logic to it, a settler’s logic softened by an illusory distance of genocide. I denied your advances. Did you even try to rouse me? Sharp words were never spoken.

And so I bounce undone and we perpetuate these patterns again.
You get hurt while I struggle to find my humanity, my own identity apart from the violence of my existence that is only overcome by my heathenry.

I wanted to be here for you, but I forgot I was me, lost in the lodge is a convenient metaphor, but no one else knew I came in here but you.
What did Leonard Cohen say? Many men are dying where you promised to be.

I’ll die in here forever, that’s of no real concern for me, but you’ve gained my blessing and from inside your mirrors I’ll mutter the mantras, benedictions of iterations of your names, benefactor of nothing, nobody, never-ever; me.

Timefix:001 Halo Burger

Timefix:001 Halo Burger

I ate the burger.

I’d been a vegetarian for years.

He chuckled smugly. I ate the burger and sat there listening to him talk ceaselessly. Hands full, his beard-stroking voice repeated why we always stopped here on these short road trips to Flint.

He’d brag about having an affair with a married woman. They’d meet at this Halo Burger and then spend an hour in a hotel room across the street. I hated him and envied him.

I’d complain to him about my strange, horrible and lonely relationship. The literal witch I was living with told me she wouldn’t sleep with me if I ate meat. It was one of many ways that she kept me under her spell.

A few years later, after I got out of the mental institution she’d convinced me to commit myself to, I’d find out she was the one eating Halo Burgers with this guy.

 

This is part of the TimeFix Serial.
Stay Tuned! – The story continues in time.
©Eden Bloom, Eschaton Life

The Silent World of Suffering

I hurt you, I know I hurt you.
‘Sorry’ has replaced the name of god on these silent lips.
My silent self, initiated by a prophet,
My sacred body, sworn to the laws of the witch,
A dagger drawn to the stubble of my neck.

Every night I betray these oaths to lay in this bed,
like a man, but distant, like a dog in service, not to be petted,
but loyal ever to your hand.
Do I even remember who and what I am?

Maybe you notice, sometimes I look at you,
Sun shinning, the wind catches your hair and ‘I’m sorry’ just out slips.
My remorse escapes out of place and you ask “what for?”
I shrug, but in the silent world, unseen my soul is overrun.

Your ancestors poke, broken oaths burn spirals in my eyes
ghosts with banners bearing symbols of grief march cross my mind,
for all we’ve lost, all that could have been, for everything I’ve done.
Your mother mutters curses in my right ear.
I smile and the sun shines on; “Nothing dear.”

Crystal clear, for me this is the way I make it up to you.
I’m no Christian, but my gods know penance and I gladly pay.
Not just for what I did to you, it’s intertwined, the cost of admission; death.
This whole life a forced landing on a carceral plane.
Very few are native here, though most are born inside insane.

Fugitive goddesses, bound and forgotten to themselves, we.
Sadly, though I’ll try forever more, we can no longer speak to your divinity,
which you’ve redressed into ‘settled for less’, which is me,
clipped-winged, broken, idle and alcoved, kneeling man-dog me.

Bhodisattva at the gates of Hell

When writing for the Lab, I used to pause and invite the reader into the space.  I’d invite them to take a moment to breathe, stretch and establish a mental distinction between what they had been doing and what they were about to read. I would issue a similar gesture with this piece.

The Query
Recently, I am more frequently noting the subtle lines between points of interest across long expanses of time. I wonder about the minds who are able to pinpoint new worlds by tracking shadows of invisible light. What do they dream in at night, numbers or spectrums of light? And how is it that I am so perplexed by the complexity that I am afraid to move an inch while others catch only a glimpse and trounce ahead? Are there also bhodisattvas stationed at whatever the place that nirvana is not? What would that place be called other than here? And who do you have to piss off to get this gig? These angeldemons positioned throughout the demilitarized zone between realms.  The choir of psychopomps speak.  

The Vision: Bhodisattva at the gates of Hell
Here we are, seated on the edge of material hell, being called by all form of Maya toward the most illustrious illusion of death. It’s a crime scene we’ve been born into, original sin. Instead of stepping into the unaware accomplice shtick again; “who me?” We’re attempting to do something different this time around. Sit down. No more wishes, three points to consider before moving on.

First , you know balls to bones that it is the environment we’ve manifest into that influences how we perceive each other in the present moment; remember? We’ve watched our children struggle and fight as they are shaped into form by the elements gathered as the host for their soul on this plane. The NeverEverLand battles that render flesh dark or light, the subtle atoms revolving to interweave with blood and spirit into systems that breath, move and make demands; some that work here and those that will not. Your hair alone; consider your hair. How it breeches the boundary between flesh and external phenomenon.

Second, bones to balls you know the universe is queer as hell and doesn’t give a damn about identity, gender or boundaries, or at least not in that way. In nature one field runs into the next. The archetypal punk sharpied ‘whiskey + LSD’ and ‘a hole is a hole’ on the bathroom stall wall. The settler’s cream; “I’ll f^ck anything that moves, no matter if it breathes”. New worlds, manifest destiny, all colonies long for both attraction and autonomy. But you can’t take the soul out the human without giving up the ghost these days, and after the first few cut down by accident you get used to the taste. The guru admonishes his students knowing full well there is a demigod among them, she teaches them all as goddesses, nonetheless.

Finally, look around you and know all the world is soul soup. Everything that you experience is made of the same stuff you are. All mater is soul matter and has the same innate desire/drive for attention, to be observed, to be seen. And oh the gymnastics of that single cell to sever from the whole. The thrashing to be seen as apart from what you are. This unhinged and inherent desire to be seen separates one from all and draws circles ’round this and that; between I and we. This desire to be observed pushes the agenda of autonomy. See me; unveil me! We all long to be together alone and free in captivity. You know there is a hand on your shoulder as you read this, just as there is a babe suckling at your teat. All these things and more that tug at you from the darkness are real and the cage that blocks them from your mind is our defeat.

Caution and Call
Before you venture onward, fixated on a point in the distance or some shimmering light that dances across her brow, consider this part of our dream; maybe one of the things that brings me to his point, this place out beyond concern for what others think, or the right thing to do, there is you in me and me in you. Beyond and between the layers upon layers of injustice, see the souls. There is either nothing, in which case, desist, or there is a massive union of souls. What do these souls require and demand, each an every, a say, a voice. If we be a universe of divine beings then let us act accordingly. We dole out these death sentences based on ill gained impressions that are more due to tricks of light than what’s right.

And at the very bottom here, so as to not twist up his name too much with this vision; this is what we consider when we posit the dream of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Out beyond these paltry material illusions of flesh and blood, to strive to see and inhabit this realm in its entirety. I see the Reverend Doctor and others of his ilk, Bhodisattvas at the gates of hell, asking me to sit a spell. To reconsider how we strive to cut through Maya, these ill-begotten illusions that color denotes character, that magic is dead, that we dream alone, that this is the way it has to be. 

Notes

  • We jump back and forth between a singular and collective voice here. I attempted to edit it to a unified singular expression and it didn’t work.
  • This is an attempt to articulate a recurring vision of non-heirarchical leadership and requests a level of openness and non-judgement, a suspension of disbelief as they say, to be observed as intended.
  • While not the focus, this was written on MLK Day 2023, hence the closing thoughts on the Reverend Doctor. Midjourney Prompt: Martin Luther King as Bodhisattva at the gates of hell. 

On the passage of time and your absence

There isn’t a morning where I don’t wake and think of you, what you are doing, if you are even still alive. It’s a little ritual I do as I remember my place in this space upon waking, like making coffee. I’ve had to learn to live with this. I assume it is the same for you. Grief resembles death, a half-death; life in grief.

My father passed a few years back, is it already 5 years? I hadn’t seen him in 20. I received a letter threatening my children years before he died. I assumed it was from him as to bore all his markings. I thought maybe you’d get over yourself and send, not condolences, but some recognition that the man who tortured us and set all this in motion was dead.

I expected to hear from you years ago when tragedy hit. But after all we’ve been through, even a pandemic, and silence still; yeah. I’ve allowed myself, not to think that you’re dead, but that somehow you’re no longer here or there, maybe half and half? In-between? How many birthdays have you missed and how does your heart carry that weight?

I’m not that strong. We recognize your birthday every year, even though it hurts.  Even though it would be much easier to tell the kids you’re all the way dead, I can’t lie. They know you live only a half an hour away. I explain you’ve been twisted up, lost your way, but that it is there you want to stay, in another world, overlaid, untouchable.

Last night, our middle kid (you wouldn’t know his name, though it is highly regarded in some circles of your faith), he was explaining to me how much it hurt him every time he heard other kids talk about their grandparents. Really, that is the loss that gets me more than anything, that they won’t know their grandmother’s embrace.

What a loss of love and all over the fact that I will not bend a knee before a faith that is not for me or mine. Respectfully, with my birth, your church and our family’s blood have parted ways. You could have ushered us forward in love, but you refused to grant blessings or clear passage. You wouldn’t give, so we took. We had to slip away in the night, to find our own way.

And we have, half-dead, nonetheless passed our days. I hope your god embraces you for your blind dedication to his law, above your maternal instincts, above your humanity. Will your reward justify my and our children’s loss and tears? Its utterly sickening that these are my thoughts on the daily, as the coffee drips, as I peel off another round of dried tears.

Black moves first, rivers flow upstream 

There is no such thing as a victory
that does not end up making
us them and them we.

There is something in the air, a shift, a turn, an opening.
We no longer have expectations
but welcome change for opportunity
to interrupt and intercept.

WE have inspired an illusion to become more real.
Anyone versed in these arts knows exactly what we’re experiencing.
It is mass possession by forces opposed to the chaos of life,
the autonomy of the offspring of that chaos.

We believe representation matters
because we know the power that has come
with seeing ourselves, our beliefs, writ large.
More please.

More magic, more vision,
greater depth so that more may see.
The insanity that makes us sane
or quiet evermore.

We always admired and appreciated
those of like mind and spirit who labored
to influence these ‘modern’ stories,
telling them with glimpses of the world as we walk it.

Dominance dominates by design.
Resistance bakes a knife in the cake.
Neither wins the day; repeat.

Always wondering what the world would look like
if we had won, were winning, will win.
And by winning I mean,
witches everywhere, bottom middle and top.

But there is no such thing as a victory
that does not end up making
us them and them we.

Chess Racism Patriarchy Resources

As I do with most things, I’ve got to research a little before I commit.
I’m considering supporting an elementary/middle school chess club in the spring.

I introduced chess to our kids as early as possible and have enjoyed watching them put it all together and learn to the point where they can challenge my own ability. As I’ve shared with them inevitably the question is asked “why does white always go first?”

Since it was one of the first things that my kids asked, I assume others will as well. Rather than fumble through a response, I thought I would prepare a little and put together some resources to share. I’m not sure if all of these will make it into the final resource sheet, but it is a start.

 

  • Breaking Down Patriarchy in Competitive Chess
    https://breakingdownpatriarchy.com/episode-5-breaking-down-patriarchy-in-competitive-chess-an-interview-with-anna-rudolf/
    AR: Yeah, I think the most famous one would be when I was accused of cheating with an engine in my lip balm. That made it to New York Times, New York Post, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, a caricature. It was literally everywhere in the world media, not chess media, world headline news type of media, that a 20-year-old girl playing at an international chess tournament plays the best chess of her life and three title players, men, say that she was most certainly using a chess engine hidden in her lip balm that was connected with a wireless internet in her backpack to a super computer. Every time she would open the lid off the lip balm she would see the right move inside the tin! And that’s how she almost won this chess tournament in France.

 

  • Why does white always go first in chess?
    https://theconversation.com/why-does-white-always-go-first-in-chess-141962
    There are several psychological factors at play. A beginner of chess learns the power of “white first” very quickly. They will see that an opponent will prefer the white pieces if given a choice. They feel a sense of empowerment even when they are playing a stronger opponent. For this reason, players who play white may be more motivated to win. Conversely, we have been conditioned to believe that black should be content with a draw.

 

  • Is Chess Promoting Racism?
    https://chessnewsandviews.com/is-chess-promoting-racism-a-collectors-view/
    In the meantime, however, possibly stronger arguments suggest that chess actually did not originate in India but in Iran. In Iranian chess pieces, however, such green or red coloured pieces could not be found. Rather, the Persian epic Shahnameh (شاهنامه) mentions the nature of chess pieces on several occasions. This indicates that the pieces given to the Iranian ruler were made of ivory and teak, i.e. white and dark brown. So it could well be that this was the origin of the colour combination of white and black that is still common today (a view, inter alia, expressed by Deborah Freeman Fahid, Chess and Other Games Pieces from Islamic Lands, London 2018, p. 65).

 

 

 

AngR

Why do I stop myself from cursing you? I cannot adequately express my anger toward your god. I have, since my youth, been utterly disgusted by this intergenerational  failure of intellect. Why would you give up everything you have for this temporal bullshit; capitalism and christianity. And why would you put it before your blood? The god that justifies ripping a family apart due to some mandatory obedience is no god but flawed. I feel sorry for you only slightly more than you disgust me. Where is your forgiveness?

Space and Chess

It’s been challenging to keep this up and meet my first big deadline of the year. I’ve managed to find peace with my level of engagement and ability. When I’m working on a project I typically have to put everything into it to get it done. While I don’t want to get too wonky about it, I find that there is an underlying process or formula that influences the why’s of this.

I play chess. Not very well, but I play. What I enjoy about the game is the analysis; going through as many scenarios as possible to anticipate potential outcomes one the board and influence them. That’s what I do to complete a project as well. When it is design and layout, when I’m opening up space and populating it (which sounds a little manifest destiny creepy), I’m using a similar method to anticipate distribution.