Today has been very rough, emotionally, in ways I have dreaded and tried to run from. More than once I have worried about drawing attention by the visible signs of being knocked about.

Somehow, maybe, it turned out okay? Or not okay. Lights shone and conversations had and maybe the outcome is for the better. Maybe, I'm not sure, the outcome is acknowledging what already was.

And sometimes I feel like things are better now, and sometimes I get bowled over again and sobbing. And I don't know what the future will be like. But I have hopes, blended with melancholia.
aesmael: (writing things down)
 Grief and getting over people are on my mind recently. When people die, or are lost from your life, our culture hasn't given me much to get to grips with that but time.
Time helps but I do not think it is a complete answer. There must be techniques for processing absences in ways healthier than others. Coming to terms with non-existence, accepting lost possibilities. Having memories + associations good and bad without being undone by them. Self-directed guilt and blame about feelings and their performance.
Maybe there really is no such thing, or my understanding so lacking I don't even comprehend what I am talking about. Of course we could always add more time but that is going to happen anyway until I die.
Our stories say there are healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with loss and continuing in our lives. But so far I can't recall actual substantive advice about how to distinguish or switch between.
"Talk things out", "think of good times instead of bad" or "lots of people react like that, it doesn't mean you're a bad person" are probably good seeds but they are neither trees nor orchards. I want to know about the soil, the sunlight, the water and fertiliser. What creatures devour the roots and which are here to frolic or nibble peaceably?
aesmael: (just people)
Today was the day of a funeral in the family of my mother's husband. So far in my life I have experienced two weddings and at least four five funerals, which is probably an effect of my knowing very few people near my own age and my extended family (in every extension I am aware of) consisting primarily of people at least twenty years older than me.

I knew em barely at all and had no connection to be remarked upon, so I was not in a state of grieving myself except abstractly, but I lacked desire to be disruptive and had desire to participate and to learn from participating. I think I care about people who were effected and do have a pragmatic and moral interest in their well-being. I do not know how true I will regard these words at any future. I think there would in hypothetical scenarios be concerns from other parties about privacy and the publication of family matters; I desire not to violate such wishes that I believe are held by others but do wish to write about my day and things which happened in it, so I am attempting a compromise which hopefully satisfies both interests.

It was a hot day. I was sent to the entrance to the cemetery to watch for my sister's arrival and guide her to the proper location. Due to circumstances beyond her control she was not able to be there for the service and I was about a minute late getting in to the service, the last to enter. I worried during the service that my customary behaviour of (attempted?) alertness to my surroundings would be perceived as rude and disrespectful, a worry which is typical to nearly any extended interactions in physical space.

At the end of the service time was set aside for reflection. Classical music was played during this time which had frequent strong peaks at the start and which I experienced as disruptive of my thoughts and ability to reflect. I ended up focusing more on the music and concluded it was a waltz, probably a Strauss waltz. Dance music seemed an odd choice for a period of reflection, but I thought anyway people's reflection on the deceased and related thoughts would not be contained to an assigned duration.

After all this the service was ended and people filed out. I was fascinated by how this happened, the order in which people left. I was sure it must not have been pre-decided or organised and wondered if it were a social response reflex signalling when it was appropriate to stay and to follow so that what resulted was an uncoordinated orderly exit. That might be nonsense, the preceding sentence. Am trying to express that, in the absence of explicit planning, I thought the effect of a neat, orderly departure might have happened via unconscious exchange of body language with reference to social roles. I do not posit myself as immune to such an effect.

The wake followed, at the home of immediate family of the deceased. My experience of funerals is that they are relatively happier events than media would suggest. Following the service there is typically a gathering of many people who are not in contact especially often, with extensive socialisation centring on the concerns of the living as happens at any other similarly composed gathering. Most often exceptions to this would be those closest to the deceased, but not necessarily. The gathering was loud in conversation and went on for several hours. I contributed to the conversation at some points, mostly near the beginning and later on when people had begun leaving.

As usual it was not until I was back home that I became aware of the strain going out and being social puts on me. Once I got changed and sat down I noticed myself being overloaded, feeling a strong desire to curl up somewhere quiet and cry. I was still under obligation though, so I postponed that further. Whenever I am reminded of this cost of social events I wonder if doing more of them would inure me to this or if it is something to be accepted and lived with. I suppose the thing to do is test by trying more social things, but if the answer to that question is no, how do I tell when I have tried hard enough?

Knowing when I have tried 'hard enough' is not something I have a good history of.
aesmael: (transformation)
I have said this before, although not here yet:
I think when we experience a desire to share music [or something else which may be the subject of a similar desire] with others this is often a proxy for a less commonly known or appreciated desire. I think what we often truly wish to share is the experience of the moment, the emotions that are being inspired in us. "I want to share this ecstasy, this joy, this wonder, this passion, this moment of empathy or grief or oneness [...] and the only way I know to even approach doing so is by sharing with you what is the immediate inspiration of my feelings."

Autism is often partly characterised as an extreme self-absorption, and my impression is this is considered some explanation for 'why autistic people are annoying to be around'. Of course I could not speak for everyone but that does not seem true to me. At least in that being so self-absorbed as to be uncaring of others or their feelings would suggest a low likelihood of sharing topical enthusiasm. The irritation to others would come from being unable to distinguish interest from disinterest in those being enthused to (something I have tried to learn). Also at least for me there are times when interest and enthusiasm overflow and I feel compelled to express it somehow - If I try not to I find myself moving to do it some minutes later anyway, without volition in my mental record. Since, thanks to the first thing I tend to feel guilty and end up apologising lots if I try sharing with people in person, even if I try to make sure they actually are interested and even if they actually are interested, this often results in prolific blogging and tweeting. Which I've missed over the past year or two but that's one of the costs of being liked, apparently maybe.

Which is possibly a bit off-track. This is more like two posts squashed together into one, the first expressing an opinion about what drives sharing of emotional inducers and the second saying roughly "The world is fantastic and wonderful and I love it and often write lots because I want to participate in this wonder and joy with other people and share / gain understanding back and forth". That's been said before, will be again. Sometimes get caught up in the urge to.
aesmael: (haircut)
Outside heat experienced like pressure. Front lawn carpeted in purple jacaranda blossoms. I want to make a single panel comic:
Adult figure, looking up at a tree. "I used to be taller than you."


2009-04-28 04:07
It's a secret, you know. We don't know the insides of other people. We don't know their thoughts, their fears, their worries. We see the outside, and onto that we see projected certainty. We see, we doubt, our own validity, but when it comes to others even their own statements of hesitance and personal uncertainty may not be recognised by us, not internalised and realised as our shared truth.

We doubt we're real. We doubt we're valid. We think we're making it up, but other's aren't.
aesmael: (she gets smaller)
Fear, coupled with perfectionism. Those can lead to rejecting reading, seeing, attempting something because you fear you may learn from it, or be changed.

We speak of rigidity, and fear of... death? The sense that this self, that I must best, strive to be as ideal and superior as possible. That then to be such a being I must derive independently the stances which I hold, opinions and beliefs. In feeling pressured, compelled... in feeling it so deep and pervasive that it is not even recognised even as a pressure rather than the invisible way of things, the shape of thoughts. In so feeling that drive learning, beyond the plain questioning of information sources or studying facts and figures and formulae, learning becomes something to fear.

If we, if I, in such a view do learn from others as teachers that becomes a failure, a diminishment. It means we have failed to discover this ourselves and lost also the chance to discover it in the future for now we are tainted by incorporating the ideas of others. No longer pure, what we in future discover and think will be influenced by these others and not us not I so brilliant being.

If this the view of others as teacher, how much greater the terror and resistance of what might be called transformative experience. We fear to let go. I fear to release hold of myself. Any relinquishing of control, but especially the prospect of some definite change in result. Something from outside, you see, that if I let go, release tight hold and control on what is me and allow such influence, allow to be swept up, allow to learn or experience something so likely perspective-changing, allow that I be not sole control, adjudicator, shaper, to surrender this illusion of being solitary independent seeker who might manage a superior perfection of self-enlightenment... well, more than failure, that feels like death. So shrieking mostly inward do I flee and recoil.

I am then afraid and seek to let go, not having yet done so, because it seems sometimes death is necessary for moving forward. At least, it seems by holding on my own happiness is limited and I'm not so to get where I want to go. Not by holding on to such sources of fear.
aesmael: (haircut)
Had no intention of doing the 'new year resolution' thing. Not much allure for me personally to sit down and write out "These are the criteria by which I will judge success or failure in the year". Or maybe that is not how it goes; I don't know, I don't do these things. However, last night I did realise I wanted to have a particular thematic approach beginning this year:

Follow fewer rules

This does not override, cancel, or otherwise nullify the previous year's word - Consolidate. That one is intented to continue indefinitely. These new words, they can be woven in too, become part of our fabric.
aesmael: (Me)
The Dark Days of Summer are here. That blend of light and dark, and heat, the green growing and the animate, the heavy shadow of clouds and spark of lightning, feel of the air in motion and the scent of water, cool coating all.

We are charged, and called to awaken.


2008-03-30 00:58
aesmael: (just people)
Video thingy )


1) Heard this before, oh yes
2) Still not played the game, oh no
3) With what was read to tonight plus other, broader context
4) Why is it so beautiful?
5) Oh goodness, perfect moment, the metafictional inspiration, it burns
6) Inspired where?
7) Jayde-Stacey-Last Speaker?
8) Jayde?


2008-01-22 19:57
aesmael: (tricicat)
My sister just came home and I gave her the gift I bought for her birthday, The Picture of Dorian Grey. I hoped but was not sure she would like it - she liked the volume of Wilde's plays I gave her previously and worried it was unimaginative to give her something else by him.

I needn't have worried because as it turns out she had been searching all over for that particular book and not found it. So, yay!
aesmael: (tricicat)
Don't guess the theme.

Um, except the last ~minute.

Special mention for not being on the list this year probably:
aesmael: (tricicat)
Warning: Beatles )
aesmael: (just people)
    Found here, source here. Likely everyone who this news matters to will have seen it elsewhere by now.
Text behind cut here )

    So. It turns out it was not a stroke Terry Pratchett had. Instead, he has been disagnosed with a form of Alzheimer's. I am not going to eulogise him, not yet, even knowing that with such a condition there may come no other clear point before death that such a thing might seem appropriate. As he says, he is not dead yet and I have done enough mourning the living.
    Although I am sad (have cried, am crying)... I do not know how to finish that sentence. I would like to feel that nothing has changed because nothing has, except an increase in my knowledge of the state of the world. A reminder. It is a reminder. I might have thought him immortal otherwise and humans being humans, doubt I am alone in that.
    To request cheerfulness, well. It is not a thing many could manage at such a moment. In the future... people can manage many things but I am not right now looking forward to the next time I read one of his books, yet of all times to be reminded of transience, of sadness, that is one of the best. I do not imagine reading one of his books without being filled with, not only laughter (not mere I might say, except laughter is not) but life and love and hope.
    His works are thoroughly humanist. They capture the smallness of our species, the bizarre and even awful things we do, just because that is what we do, or it is our job, or we mean well. And what it is that the universe simply is and has no thought or care, no malice or love for us or any other clump of metal, and the simply amazing way we make up things like love and justice and evil and don't even realise how odd it is to be human and maybe people do awful things to each other but they also do wonderful things and without us maybe there would be no one to appreciate what a- what a wondrous/beautiful/amazing universe it is in which we exist.

    Alzheimer's is one of the reasons people in my family favour euthanasia. Although I never knew her, I have heard more than once of my great grandmother who lost her mind to it a decade before her body died in a nursing home. It is a fate many seem to find especially frightening. We are our minds, after all, more than our bodies, even if we cannot exist without both. I will take the rest of this thought train elsewhere.

    It seems I have eulogised without meaning to. Well, as much as I like to think myself an independently inventive creature of thought, we all have influences. Terry Pratchett and Greg Egan perhaps played the greatest in shaping my thought. Certainly they are the only writers I can think of who I can read and say "Yes." I had been intending to say earlier that he (and, Egan added, they) understand how things are, but given the order of things, perhaps it is I who see what they say. It is not as if being the centre of one's own lightcone gives one priority.

    I am mad, too. If something happened to an actor (and of course by this I mean an officially famous actor, not all those millions of others. haha) it would be all over the news. Why then no mention of one who writes the words that touch many millions of people? We are social creatures and often hideously vain. It seems not right that someone who has created a connection between so many, who writes so affectionately of what we are, faults and virtues both, should not have such significant personal news remarked upon.
    Bah. At other times I write wishing there would be less celebrity. This time I am being annoyed that the creators of art are not seen to be as important as those who create it. They are prettier though. Better finish this post before things get any more out of hand.

    There is something else humans have invented: Hope. Perilous to rely on, sometimes the strength it gives can make it a self-fulfilling idea.

aesmael: (friendly)
    For being argumentative and sexay in an enlightened but also slightly scary way.
aesmael: (tricicat)
    In the past I have tried and failed to describe why I like certain music. Shall I try again?

    Enigma is the very soul of life and love.

    <.< And so is Enya. This is music that brings me to life when I am dead, charges me when I am empty and reminds me of the wonder of every thing. And why has no one put a video of 'Total Eclipse Of The Moon' on Youtube?

Lyrics behind cut, insufficient )
aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
    Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day*

Some things to do:

Twenty Fun Things To Do With A Time Machine

  1. Take half a critical mass of plutonium back to meet itself.
  2. Infest the timestream with time-beavers.
  3. Shoot the gunsmith.
  4. Take one end of a space-time wormhole and throw it into the other end.
  5. Release cloned Michael Crichtons into the Jurassic.
  6. Organise a mutual infanticide pact.
  7. Prevent this suggestion ever being made.
  8. Persuade Lewis Carroll to write "The Time Machine".
  9. Abduct your grandchildren and bring them up as your own kids.
  10. Plant a suicide note in JFK's pocket.
  11. Develop the temporal equivalent of waterskiing behind a speeding Tardis.
  12. Swap Adolf Hitler and Charlie Chaplin at birth.
  13. Genetically engineer yourself for maximum skill at genetic engineering.
  14. Go to Hiroshima, 06-Aug-45, and run amok with a chainsaw.
  15. Establish a Time Patrol Corps to prevent such frivolous tamperings with history (in 1897).
  16. Find whoever coined the phrase "Time Paradox" and hand them their own skull.  Repeatedly.
  17. Simplify the controls on the average VCR remote by substituting chronoscopy for television.
  18. Steal Schrödinger's cat.
  19. Sell ten-year-old yoghurt without contravening its "best before" date.
  20. Park your Time Machine on the Turin Shroud and travel backwards to see where it really came from.

Merci, [ profile] osakadensetsu , miscellaneous internet link chain.
    (Ooh, turns out I already had a tag for time travel)
aesmael: (Me)
    [ profile] whimsical_esper ; may your family show themselves better people than they have in the past.
aesmael: (haircut)
    I was saddened to hear of Don Herbert's (Mr Wizard) death a couple of months ago, even though I knew of him only by reputation. Memoirs of a Skepchick ran a Youtube video competition in his honour and the winners were announced at the end of last month (there is not enough time in the day for me to read every feed I subscribed to, unfortunately). My favourite was this one, but all of them were great.
    More videos available on the finalists' page.
aesmael: (Me)
[ profile] dclarion and [ profile] jaydestwilight . Diana, may your next show this year's fears bore no fruit. May the world gain its senses and move forward with the very best of humanity.

Jennifer, you are missing, and missed. You left no email address to be contacted with so I will say here that I hope, wherever you are, you are well.



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