Saturday, November 30, 2013

Of Gems v7.0

 After a long time, and with some reconsiderations about how new gems should occur, since lots of them were really feeling like some rather specific dioramas already made of composed gems, rather than an unique feeling of its own (a prime requisite for new gems to be coined), I present the seventh update on the subject and here are the ones I accepted as new members of the gem brotherhood.

Starting with one I had to decide whether I would make it a dissidence from Onyx. And I decided I wanted to, so Argonite is going to be about übernerd things. It's about playing rpg with friends, and having some deep discussions about rather irrelevant characteristics of movies and series and books and games. It's something about the hint of medieval (and sometimes sci-fi) tone and grittiness that differs it from Onyx, which in a way is still the more cartoon-like entertainments. In a way, Argonite and Onyx would represent the adult nerd and child one. Also, Argonite feels a bit more western somehow. I'm sorry, Nintendo, I'm sorry Japan.

Speaking of ages, I'm proud to announce one of my main gems, and I'm calling it Carbon. It's about the aging process. We feel carbon when we feel the different phases of life. We feel one kind of carbon when we're close to a kindergarten school, another one near high schools and college, company buildings and retirement houses. Instead of carving one for each stage, I actually noticed there is a similar feeling to each of them, and its marrow essence that bonds them is what I'm calling Carbon. This is a dissidence of Quartz, which was bearing a too broad significance.

And since we're talking about ages, there's one specific about teenager years. I'm calling Coal this representation of the rapture of youth. It's got several other gems related to it, like sapphire, ruby, carnelian, energite, ilite, pearl, nephrite and howlite (classic rock, metal and grunge – Pearl Jam in specific brings me intense Coal feelings and memories). It's a quite coarse atmosphere, with the smell of damp and slouchness in their basement studio, with conversations about bands, porn and alcohol. It's the time of enjoyment of the rapture of their youth, a time of dares and discoveries, of going totally rad, dud. It's when the foundations of one's personality start to sprout (usually but not exactly my case), so I guess it makes sense to have this related to the gem of diamond.

One of the components of last gem is speed. I call this the Spinel gem to be the thrilling attempts to go through risk and danger to feel lawless and free. It could be so bewitching as it happens when we make exercises, when we run and we pump blood through our muscles. It breaks us free from the safe plaster routines. Spinel seems to be in the wind blazing by (and so this one could explain how winds help making such great mindscapes). Boys pull their heads out the window and scream, girls laugh in between sips of their bottles. They're feeling alive, having the time of their lives.

And I keep exploring these defining years of our personalities because they do have some poignant catchiness to them. One of the most remarkable memories everybody has from these years are their relationships. Both friendships and romantic engagements, it's when we go to a bar and see groups of friends, all possibilities of bonds and friendships, and there's jokes, there's flirting, there's serious discussion about their dreams and their visionary and passionate political debates. The gem is called Calcium. The guy slips his body back into the car, and he looks at the girls, and one of them looks at him with a smile of secrecy. It burns but will also hurt. This is a response to the beautiful days of amethyst, but rather than being just dark amethysts, it's the whole spectrum of the progression of the relationships in real life. Friends argue, they feel betrayed, bonds are broken. There's jealousy towards the new people our friends are hanging out. There's cry and sorrow too that is part of the cementing of our character. Something about this gem is what makes some 80s bands like The Cure, The Smiths, Joy Division and the brazilian Legião Urbana so popular. It's not even about the lyrics, the atmosphere of the songs give this feeling to me.

But now, changing the subject, and considering we've just been through october, there's a gem for halloween, and I'm calling it Oolite. Rather than being just garnet and opal, this is something cultural too. It isn't just the ruby/carnelian events, but the spooky essence of it too that is usually shown or used as amusement (it's quite good for humor sketches). Ghost stories by the campfire also are a recreative use of Oolite. So that's a way to differentiate it from garnet and opal which are more serious stuff, specially opal. Mercury is more about wizardry while Oolite is about amusing eeriness. But I remember some twilight hours with incoming storms darkening the skies when I've felt that spooky night indeed felt like some wicked moment for witches, demons and zombies to be astray in our world, so Oolite could have that use as well.

Since this halloween thing isn't much disseminated in my country, it is still an american tradition that is seen around mostly in language schools. I'm going to give a gem called Hafnium for the american culture imposed over my own culture. So brazilian roots and imported american culture are shown with Brazilianite and Hafnium. American movies, american fast food. It's quite a hypocrisy to complain about once I write in english here in the internet, and I have this gem because I've had me some several english classes, but my reservations about globalization is what I call the Sterilization Factor. Any landscape with the same Coca-cola ads and (this is the good thing about gems) other hafnium elements, like a highly technological and practical culture ends up feeling too lifeless and featureless to me sometimes.

Now I'm going with a dissidence from tv (phosphide). I'll use Phosphate for cinema. It started making sense in my mind when I noticed how far different the moods are for watching tv and watching a movie. It's a different experience all around. Here you're paying attention to whole craft: the photography entwined with the plot, the soundtrack entangled with the dialogues. And then there's the movie theathers as well, which also bear some other implications that a tv room can't imitate (though that's not saying that makes movies better).

Going back to the eerie, there's also the ominous and sacred, and that's another paired feeling I need to divide (like I just did with Oolite and Hafnium). These are two feelings of felt dimensions, so they belong to the Chryso series (sometimes I think dunite, as dealing with degrees of light and shade, should be a chrysogem). So forgive me if I start using organicals now just for the sake of their chryso- names. I hope it's the only exception I can make for going out of the mineral/chemical world, though.

The first one is about the ominous and powerful. It's about something so epic, bearing such grandiosity and power it's scary. The gem for this sublime feeling is going to be called Chrysophyllum. It doesn't need to be scary in the sense it's evil power, just something dangerously powerful, and should not be taken lightly. The mushroom effect of an atomic explosion gives me a feeling I'm callying chrysophyllum, because... holy mother of god, that is some serious shit. But it is also in music, especially classical songs, those bombastic symphonies. O Fortuna, for instance, has this epic feeling to it, with choirs and a sense of intense grandiosity. I remember this song used to fit so well when I was imagining the dragon Smaug flying from the insides of the Lonely Mountain, and it seems that it's because both experiences have chrysophyllum in them.. f I like trying to describe this feeling of things so powerful they could bring an End, for making me think of examples and my creativity feels very inspired by it.

The second one, and last one, I'm going to call it Chrysalis. At the beginning this is the feeling of holy divinity inspired by religion. Unlike marble, which is about the melancholic veil of mortality, this would be a sense of inner peace. There's something similar to hope, the belief of something beyond. And that's the point I wanted to get at, the beyond. It's the longing we have for this transcendental... this... I don't know, this is why I'm using chrysalis to express something several people call god. But it's everywhere where there's both of these characteristics: the transcendental and the beyond. Music and art are transcendental, and the sideral space has this mysterious feeling of wondering what's beyond, and so I think that's how I feel chrysalis so easily found in art and space. The problem is that it's a sylvan being that escapes definitions, and the fun to chase chrysalis is what makes it fun. I wonder whether Chrysalis can survive in being my definitive nomenclature for this, but I don't want it to replace other chases. I just don't want it to be disputated by other gem (except maybe Lazulite or Chrysophyllum or some other now, but they would be more like archangels).

And I think that's enough for now. Last time I had sixty-eight, and I've just added ten more. Got 78 now. Argonite, Carbon, Coal, Calcium, Spinel, Oolite, Hafnium, Phosphate, Chrysophyllum and Chrysalis. It's been a long, long time since the last update, so this time I'm almost in doubt if I didn't repeat myself with choices. I think not, but this time I've noticed I had a harder time differentiating gems that are now getting very, very, very similar.

Of suburban stages (sparkles employed)

 Though they may increase in frequency depending on still unknown factors, my creative endeavours kind of happen by themselves. And though I don't quite consider these to be as important as actual, planned creations (even if qmus do have something in common with sparkles) and I never really bother capturing them, I've been realizing they would be very much welcome in this world of mine.

Sparkles come to me in all shapes, but I never get them developed any further. I 'd like to start practicing them, for I miss and need to go back the feeling of seeing the tip of my fingers creating and recreating beauty and strength and fragility and Life.

The dark arab warrior walks under heavy apocalyptic skies. The company founder who is leaving his office and has a tearjerker realization of all his dreams he acchieved. The sensual dancer wearing her exuberant tropical-colored dress fancies her abilities. The long-forsaken castle ruins, once a place for all glory, war and heated discussions and passionated meetings is now but covered with gentle autumn leaves of reddened and golden color. The two girls could after a while track their friend, who's playing his harp, sitting on a stone and watching the sea and sun setting on the horizon, and singing a song of deep solitude, sadness and beauty (hint: they're flary).

So this world offers them the chance to be real, without being actually lost in the stream of my wonderings. I don't want them to be abandoned shackles in the moors, but collective hamlets of independent sparks.

There are several stories I'd like to tell, and that have nothing to do with the main play. I like having them being placed in the same place, for several reasons. One of them is that I can have a little more control over my stories. The other advantage is that it is a much careless thing, as I just don’t need to worry about actual stringing, I'll just handle the purest creative flow. This is where I can make stories independent from all major purposes of this exercise.

However, the main reason, or the most appealing one, would be all the new tonalities they would bring to the world. I want it to be a breathing one – an alive one. All different ideas in all shapes and forms, displayed as beacon, a call for dry creatives to find inspiration and seek to keep having their minds craving to see and build, absorb and construct and create.

Of String Feeders

 Hardly I find I will ever be able to make this stringing thing perfect as I wish it to be. It's like a very complex machinery, all full of circuits and hydraulics I have to operate manually. That's just too demanding, rigid and severe, and I feel that maybe I don't even need to go all that far to get my point through.

Perhaps I won’t need to be so neurotic about having every string exchanged through. I think I might just need the main veins and arteries figured out. This is pretty much similar to learning anatomy for drawing. It's good to know all bones and muscles, but not all of them are even visible or have actual relevance to making beautiful human figures.

It's ok to turn off these feeders I call strings, as most of it is to make the physics work properly without much being lost except disposable details of unresolved subtleties, which will occur anyway. The only and most important part is to get the main message working accordingly to the stringed subject.

Of cathartic flames

 There's not much to be said about my recent struggles regarding my legitimacy of my flames. I am just not sure about them anymore, as they failed for so long. Shouldn't Vesta be more resistant in letting Raseri rise so much? I wish I could even try to live without them, but sometimes it feels they're the pest and won't let me go. I've been getting to cynical towards it, as I've been failing with them so thoroughly.

Here they are now, as I'm slowly relearning who they are. But Fire Ensemble demands too much from me. These aren't qualities I inherently possess and I go a great extent just to taste a brief scintilla. Whether they're powerless, kidnapped, poisoned or just nearing death, I've been feeling alone like never before. Ilium lied protectless for so long, bare and ready to be destroyed.

Albeit not always being here, their burning presence is one I can't ever forget. It might even be selfish and the reason it causes their presence to feel like they were there by being paid for it, like mercenaries and bounty hunters instead of actual heroes who'd defend their city through day and night. They were almost turned outlaws, and even worked under Raseri's orders, now people don't know if they are to be trusted.

Still, hope flickers once in a while. I know that one thing rings true. Whoever they are, I know their light is cathartic to me. The piercing voice of reason, the pulsating bursts of kindness, the burning flow of curiosity, the unexpected protective walling, the tension of muscles gathering energy... they're all feelings that make me feel very much alive. They're feelings that make me feel life is worth.  

Of Sfayi's Garden

 Not sure if most ideas I have are supposed to be actual work of mine or just pheripheral daydreaming that just happens to be useful somehow to the main play. And so I fill myself with little ideas that, ok, to be fair, they make it look a tad more beautiful. Like the “personal stars” side-project, the idea of Sfayi's Garden is also about little meaningful little easter eggs.

In Sfayi's Garden is where I would depict loves and crushes of my life. They're flowers, just like I use gems for crests. So there is the prairy daisy, lily, jasmine, orchid, black rose, night ivy... I justs choose those flowers by doing something similar to the stringing process, I just see how the feeling I get feels like if it was a flower.

Each one is one different girl, a different and unique type of femininity, a different personality, their own worldview, a beauty of each own. They end up also being sprouts of different kinds of girls I like. Cute and shy, tomboyish and extrovert, mature or espontaneous. All of them who just brought scents, zephyrous, refreshing perfumes to my life. One interesting note is that, in the deepest depths of my soul, they all reverberate at least one similar note inside me, and I recognize it to be the amethyst gem.

Some of them have hurt me already, and some still do... but they're beautiful the same. For some reason I can't still see, I've chosen Sfayi instead of Áine. Maybe it's this little pungent feeling that's inherent to all romantic relationships. This romantic love isn't cheerful and a naïve play.

In a way, this garden would actually be some sort of cemetery... All for past loves, all relationships that didn't work despite our effort, or ended for no reason at all or never even happened in the first place. It's a cemetery, and it's supposed to be buried.

And the last demon is sealed.

Of gold amidst sand

 I remember an old, cheap candy we had here in Brazil (still do). It was supposed to be some kind of sweet popcorn, and it was a fairly awful thing. Rubber-like and tasteless... except for some occasional appearance of one or another that was unbelievably crunchy and delicious. I never understood why the whole thing didn't taste like that.

I do now.

It was a lesson for life.

Life isn't about constant, euphoric joy. It isn't about constant excitement. Weekends are short for a reason. This is the slingshotting effect that makes the free time more precious than if we had it all the time. It's a principle in economics: what would be the worth of gold if it was as mundane as sand?

I should be expect to find just now and then eventual sweet golden moments in our otherwise gritty sandy journey. As a creative one, it's a tremendous weight off my shoulder to realize producing sand doesn't take the merit from the gold we make. The bad work we do doesn't come in detriment of the good one. I remember a time when I'd have much more fun drawing and having fewer occasional successes than now.

As usual, I am stricken with self-doubt on things I do (this blog). I shouldn't be ashamed of coming up with so many of these sand-like thoughts. I'm just giving all I've got. I'm puking out everything that comes to my mind. You'd expect such sincere display to show both great and gross. I'd always think that I shouldn't make the gold so unaccessible, but it's natural that gold-like moments are and should be scarce like this.

This is no finished work of art made of carefully crafted elements, even though sometimes I try, but it's my natural process of trying to find my way. I try to unload this overloaded mind, trying to get this heavy fog out of my thinking process, even if stumbling so much. In fact, it's the struggle that should make it feel like one very inspiring human journey.

Of Vesta's Minute

 Dexterity is one of those words that one day I suddenly realize it just doesn't hung around my mind very much, and after some time I understand why. Usually I siege those problems for a while, trying to make up for that mistake. And so that's a skill I rarely ever seem to possess, unless if I'm under some trance state, and I've been working to make it be constantly more present.

In my normal state, unadulterated by determination, I'm just sluggish and clumsy. My time is wasted in a 80% (recently worse) due to that. I just feel overwhelmed by so much to do, and I do so little. By realizing such an inelegant or disgraceful trait of mine, I've started doing once in a while something I've been calling the Vesta's Minute.

Whenever I'm almost desperately overwhelmed by too many things to be done under such a short amount of time (I've brought it upon myself), I use this rush of dexterity I just need to perform this little activity and notice it won’t take as much time as I thought. Really, things don't take much of our time as we initially suppose them to.

I perform the Vesta's Minute by counting down every second, and so my perfomance increases a thousandfold. I still don't have enough energy or motivation to concentrate and focus myself like that for a longer time period. It's hard to expand it past to half an hour, but I'll practice developing into days or weeks, months and hopefully years. I think I can make up for all the hollow years of my existence.

In a time where Raseri's incompetence as a leader is bringing a civil war, Vesta's secret group of resistance has the Fire Ensemble meeting again in hiding, and Hephaestus is slowly studying the ways to rebuild and renovate his facilities. Zhu Rong can just do his short sprint, but it's enough to battle their way back against Raseri. All the while, she's also helping Trygve to recover the last abscission demons.  

Of Sonder Peaks (reverse string)

 My hesitation is killing me, but I don't know how to take these steps in the making of my world. I just don't feel prepared for it. It's something that seems beyond stringing capabilities, but I want to do it perfectly stringed. I don't want to look at it and keep feeling there's always something missing.

Somehow I am just too worried about taking it from the boiling bowl where I've been cooking it. I just don't trust it won't break or crack or become something entirely different from what I want. I hope it doesn't get overcooked... But there's not much to change my pace now, so I have to go with what I got.

And what I got is this one little idea that might be opportune to have around. This is a part of the world I'm going to use to represent or, better, to remind me of all the world beyond me. It is primarily a glove slap, a reminder that the world is much, much bigger than all of these petty little troubles inside me.

I am thinking of it as some sanctuary of sanity where I can go and rest when I am too troubled inside. The Safe Port I need would be this one, though I've never found a permanent safe port for me, but this one, this one has to be the One Safe Port. It would have to be a place where Vesta can rule the place with her sterilizing rationalization, and where no Ersatz can enter. In a way this would just be my room, but it doesn't work that way, so this is one of the few reversed strings I have, where I would have to make my life to fit the creation. Finding the way to those peaks is difficult, for there is where I can find trances. Maybe it's a mile away from Ilium, in a way where scourgers and saboteers block my passage.

I've been having some dioramas already about a building on top of this hill, installed there for observation purposes. And now I think this fits well with these peaks, and as it's when I'm least troubled it's where I'm also more productive – so Hephaestus facilities might be around there too.

I just haven't decided yet on ther height of these mountains. Probably this would be the very one that hides Ilium from lazurian view, which is also one idea I've been having through the year, which is a chain of mountains that separates me from the rest of the world...

Of Hrungnir Species

 The most characterizing aspect of dealing with such problem as Hrungnir, is that I feel dozens of variations of it. If I eat I feel something, if I don't I feel something else. If I eat something in particular there's another discomfort or pain. If I eat a certain combination of food or then in a particular dose or order, I'll feel different side effects.

Luckily for a whole month now I've been feeling it very much weaker, thank you. Eating alone has been feeling like a nice treatment to my symptoms, even though I'm living to feed my stomach and I still get no weight at all...

But the point is, there are occasional Hrungnir appearances here and there. Thanks to these sporadic events, I've been getting more capable of discerning the differences while I have some bitter recalls of still having to face them.

There is one that makes me feel like abdominal muscles are twisting all around each other, and they're kind of bloated and yet empty – I call it the Wrapper. I feel another one that's similar but there are more contractions I feel my belly roaring – so that's Roarer. These two aren't necessarily dangerous, they sign incoming problems, but it's more sounds and slight disturbances, not exactly pain. These two following are my actual nightmares: Waver and Stinger. Waver is almost similar to Wrapper, but it's like colics and this one does affect my mood significantly. Stinger is like a very acute pain right there in my intestines. The mere emptiness of being some five hours without eating (or when I am going to sleep or get up in the morning), it's the feeling similar to hunger (though sometimes without appetite), the Hrungnir leader, and I'll call it the Void, and it's like a step above Wrapper and Roarer. If I let Void be in power for too long, all others can break loose and it's harder to defeat them, specially Waver (Stinger seems to come only in certain occasions, depending on something I've eaten).

It seems there are not much of a cure to this, as far as to this point. There's no weapon capable of putting them at bay, or poisoning them away. It's just constant work and vigilance, a repeated routine of slashing the incoming waves and working out the strategy of keeping the stronger Hrungnir leader in prison (always having a sandwich nearby). It's really been by keeping Void trapped that I can manage to make others more disoriented.

The problem, though, is that eating makes me feel sleepy and tired. I feel a level of fatigue that's unsurmountable and unbearable. I feel very, very dizzy and times passes by without the treasured enjoyment I seek. These utgard scourgers are also making it very hard to live by, but at least this is where I am still able to maintain some restrict discipline.

Of Khorkhoi and Yehren

 Though Vesta and Hephaestus founded a bureaucratic system that was aiding the development of Ilium, it was ill-used by Raseri, who was too unfamiliar with the codes and constitutions founded for the administration of the city. He was too dumb a creature to handle a statute filled with many minutiae.

The end of the year was approaching, and the I was very worried about it. The main problems I started having was how I felt I had such a huge chunk of my life wasted, as I couldn't handle all these problems already. If only I was a little more prepared, I wouldn't let myself be troubled by others. I was supposed to be much more mature and I was supposed to handle my feelings well. But then again, is maturity an ability not to feel hurt, or to prevent myself from letting my rage to hurt others? Still, I was supposed to be an adult already, not just a tall child with beard.

The fuss in the city brough a Zhàn group to investigate the place. There were permanent Zhàn watchtowers in these lands, and the arrival of the Zhàn watchguard was announced by the arrival of the baby-beast Khorkhoi, unleashed to the amusement of the imperial troops. Khorkhoi was bigger than usual, and an abscission demon surely had something to do with it. The beast was a really great menace to Raseri, as he wouldn't know how much the city would stand against the invasion of Ushag now with this mindless, chtonic creature running wild and destroying all in its way.

The creature was only tamed by Hiraeth, who arrived followed by Yehren. He wasn't one of the most powerful Zhàn scourgers, but he arrived earlier as he lived in a nearby Zhàn watchtower, where he made allegiance with the Ersatz clans, and he was an acquaintance of Avsky.

I think constantly that, as I lost so much of my time, I need to make up for it. And I see everything as pointless to bother, for I have to think, I've got to get ideas, I've got to learn and create. It's just too vicious and dangerous, because suddenly I realize I've been too derangedly obssessed with this shit. So I don't bother with learning car mechanics, or dancing, or just being with friends. I get really distant and it bothers me terribly, feeling barely able to talk with people. Hell, it gets to the point where even learning and creating is affected by this.

The obstinated search for something, let's say, above ordinary made me feel like I have to do just what makes me close to it. The part that makes me feel ashamed is that I end up actually wasting my time because of this extraordinarily restrictive indisposition and just do nothing, because I'm not doing it peacefully, or sincerely interested. It's somewhat of a still grieved attempt to prove my own worth.

Of vicious gamification

 I can't consistently foresee the consequences of my actions, but I can know when I spot some dangerous courses I've been tracking down, and they can bring me to dangerous abyssess. I have to be careful with my habits, for they can bring some hard consequences I'll have to deal with later in life.

So, though some of these trance powers I've sort of developed might also have been caused by the gamification process that has given me a new way to see the world, I think this new vision also has some vile consequences.

It’s similar issue, or at least I feel so, to the Mnemonic Waning (where my memory is under the expected eficiency), as it feels like a deficiency caused by my unfair habits of reaching for the aid of technology. It's always there, repairing our shortcomings and answering our doubts... even now, I'm using google constantly to bring me words I can't think by myself.

I am afraid I might have got too addicted to imagining huds and panels and visual interfaces to help my management skills. It can be seen here by the way I name and categorize every little goddamned thing, so it’s very hard for me to do some intuitive management again. I think this could become, if it already isn’t, harmful to me, as it spoiled me by being just way too helpful.

These auxiliary tools are too dangerous for anyone as undisciplined as me, or for anyone who just feels like ever in a hurry. Always with a too precious time in their hands that they need everything ready so quickly. Technology isn't vicious, we are just too untrained for we just can't handle ourselves around it without overabusing its kind help.

Of dry zephyrous springs

 Producing ideas seems to follow very similar patterns to any other form of admiinistrative businesses. Management and stocking of resources, for instance, are also a present issue I have to deal with. From time to time, I notice my stockade resources seems to start running short. There's a season of weak zephyrous harvest, and it affects the quantity and quality of my thoughts.

I get dry on inspiration, and I can sip no ideas from my mind. And the thirstier I get, the worst it is to keep trying to force the engine any further. There's nothing to say, and when I have no word is coming I keep writing down the word “quintessenceless”. Forcing my mind to work with such dry springs makes me feel very much anxious and frustrated.

It gets impossible to relax and concentrate. Whole nights come and go and no trance give its grace. When there's a moment that would in another time mean the approximation of a trance rain to spring life back in me, the only appearance is of something blank. It's like a dark-clouded storm that only delivers a harmless brizzle.

Though Raseri admited he couldn't rule Ilium by himself, and has given the Fire Ensemble the chance to rebuild Ilium, Hephaestus wasn't in contempt with the conditions. His working hours were too rigid, the approved projects were going through so much bureaucracy, and his productivity was at his worst.

In times like these, there's not much to do besides going for references, and so Hephaestus asked for Vesta to help him use the budget to rebuild his library. So I went for studies to fill myself again – watching movies and documentaries, reading books and articles, and also keeping introspective research and meditation to maintain all my feelings sorted out. I've just got to go around study, inquiring and searching the world for more and more.

That is, of course, if I have some natural willing and energy to do that. But I'm doing it just under orders of Vesta, who's still bound by Raseri's will. After all, he's got an army of his own, and his orders are to see Hepheastus help him make Lazuria burn.

Of darkened thresholds

 Something has just been stolen from me.

Though there ain't no wars like last year, boy I'm deepened in troubles again. Not being dominated by dark feelings, but I am now just out of positive ones. My flames are scattered, without resources, without approval. Vesta seemed to have traded Áine's position in the parlament for Raseri's. My insides are infested with greed, mediocrity, jealousy and selfishness. And I am but just accepting this, because there are no more flames inside me to fight them. Raseri is rising, and Vesta is watching Ilium falling in a dark economical period because of his political choices. She tried to warn him, but he wouldn't hear.

The waning of my flames is making me feel like my old self before I had myself enrolled in this mission. Unmotivated and powerless, without having anything to offer. Routes of trade are wearing off, and the isolation of the city is making it lose touch with the rest of the world. That would mean Raseri losing his throne to Ushag, who's eager to invade Ilium, whose walls are growing weaker by the day.

These are those sad moments when we feel we just don't care. And then we start noticing we don't even care about not caring. And I don't know how I am supposed to handle that. Suffering is a sign that things aren't going well, but at least that still shows some attachment. But this... this is a sign the end is too nigh.

This is but a feeling of suspension. This is just a transition, for I know I can't sustain myself in this state for too long. The flames are united in a small room, and between them the air is filled with fear and doubt, but Ilium has seen worst days. Either every dream of mine is over, or then I'll use this crisis to go through another death, another renovating death. And the blackest of deaths hitherto meant being followed by the highest flights.

And thus I stand in the threshold for a possible new self. These demands from life are forcing me to be more than what I am. I guess I had it wrong it would be easier to write or create as time went by, as it is obviously getting every time harder. Life is forcing me to recover so much of what I've lost and still losing. But I don't want my souvenirs and sculptures falling behind on the road. I can't let Ilium to fall like this. All my sensitivity to ideas, all the reddened enthusiasm I used to have are but so faint now, but this is another decisive moment of truth...

The drums roll...

Raseri called the Fire Ensemble for a council meeting.

Of change and growth

 The turmoil inside my head makes me unable to see anything clearly. A sudden flood brought everything to become washed by a muddy mess. The abscission demons are turning Ilium into a barren land. My steps are unclear and often I find myself hurting myself by stepping on some unearthed trauma. A group appears through the gray mist. One of those traumas is the fear that I've reached all I will ever accomplish. A group of Hakr's scouters are already here.

Being desperate to prove my own worth, I've been trying to find, anywhere I can, a place where I'd feel I could still try something different to explore and find something refreshingly new that I could invest my time on. Unfortunately I started finding myself unable to feel comfortable in any new world. For I came back to the old one I've found it hollow. I couldn't belong to this world anymore. I was caught in-between worlds.

Raseri wasn't like Ushag, who just wanted to destroy Ilium, for Raseri had his own plans for the city, but he was enraged with the realization he couldn't take Ilium where he wanted. It wasn't prepared for a new industrial system. And even the old one was too outdated and the knowledge acquired wasn't enough to work as a gravity center anymore. He knew Ushag would be much too pleased to know about this.

So I couldn't change and I couldn't grow (and seemed to have lost what I initially had). Now I am very confused, for I don't know what to do, or where to go. I don't know if, in order to free myself I have to change or grow. One very important detail about this is that I am not sure how to tell them apart. Not sure how to tell when I'm changing who I am and when I am just expanding my essence to new horizons. Not sure if this new industrial systems would help bring this renovation to Ilium.

One thing is sure, I can't stagnate. But considering the powers I've been losing, I'm retreating, receding, regressing. I'm shrinking instead of growing. Stiffening instead of changing. My days are being a ghastly imprisonment inside my nightmares where I fall back in the netherworld of frozen dreams.

Of swollen tumors

 My business is being buried down. My dreams and my joys are being forced to be replaced by some, say, survival skills. Common world issues are there and this time they are requiring effort and energy from me, too much effort and too much energy. So much that I am unable to keep along with my secret dreams and wonderings, at least in a pace that I feel that I need to have.

It feels like I have two lung-like organs, and one of them is growing too big for this simple ribcage. It's outgrowing the one that I need to heal and to make it prosper. But I feel the pain of the pressure, the pain of something being slowly smashed, slowly squashed to death.

As I think of the future, I just see this survival skills needing constant improvement. The more and more I'm given more responsibilities and more of my time has to be dedicated towards more things that I'm told to have as I tread my life. I see it occupying more and more of my attention.

Is it worthy of my time to change my lifestyle to look more like a proper adult, going all about numbers and profit and overall being so proudly busy? Isn't there a way to manage my dreamy, artistic side with that without so much conflict?

Of jealousy and dreaded sharing

 Being stolen of what I had so precious to me, I'm bare and unclad of defense. More than ever others look powerful to me, enhanced by my own sensation of lowered power. I feel like I've got nothing, like I know nothing. Could this be what Socrates meant? Could this be the feeling that the only thing I know is that I know nothing? That the more I learn, the less I feel I've learned? But what the hell is worth such an unrewarding paradox?

Could it be that we get less cocksure about ourselves when we eventually understand the lesser and ignoble feelings other have mentioned as despicable and we notice we aren't safe against them, and so understand them as being part of our simple humanity? I have to fully comprehend that Ilium is probably dictatorial and segregative by keeping Ersatz away. By some reason I can't still comprehend, they get their enantiodromic power by being subjugated. Strange this force that is in the aid for the lesser ones...

I've always had the notion that we just feel hurt for things that matter to us, things we love (or feel too attached to them, or feeling like we're entitled to them). We just feel those petty feelings when we feel threatened. The more we get the very kernel of our foundations threatened, the crazier and insane we get. Murderous thoughts are born this way, I guess, when we are bothered by the very existence of the threatening subject for our foundations.

Don't worry, there's no desire of murder inside me. I've just experienced very deep feelings of jealousy and something that reminds me of usual hipster behavior of avoiding mainstream. As I feel this strange desperate need to seek for something that can only be mine and that will redirect resources back to Ilium, I've been torn from my connection with my flames, like I just had been told I'm not a good person at all. Vesta is the one least affected by this, as she still has her role in the parlament, but Raseri is already having the majority of the parliament on his side, and he's leading the investiment way too much on lazurian matters, while Vesta is trying to turn that investment again to attracting traders again back in.

The thing is, I still need something to protect me, something that is just mine and no one else can't ever have it. My creative power would be it, but then I was suddenly finding myself without it. Hephaestus has had all his apparels confiscated, all his books burned. Vesta couldn't believe Raseri could be so stupid. Ilium was void of its main specialty. No trances, no delight of inspiration and creation. I am left both filthy and empty.

Of figment and fraud

Some abscission demons are being found, and here's one that fortifies my fear of being left behind. For its through competition that we are forced to set ourselves in comparison to the others, with has always been the main trigger of my distress, along with approval. If only I was successful I probably wouldn't complain too much about it, but I'm a little too much like Bernard Marx from Brave New World.

Once that demon is set free, it's very hard to look back at me again through isolated inspection. It's a new world of difficulty when I'm locked towards a very competent competitor. Lazurian reigns got unbelievably powerful, now featuring also another source of gravity, one who quite similar to the one I had Hephaestus crafting. My own strengths are also theirs now and I am feeling outgunned. Mercants are finding more profit by trading with Lazuria instead of Ilium.

So whenever feeling threatened, I feel a tendency to resort to the qualities I know that can keep me protected. I like reading, I like studying and learning. But I've been getting ashamed of showing any sign that I might not have studied or read so hard as people even believe me to. I am ashamed of not knowing some word or concept, ashamed of doing something wrong. I am bad at so much already (especially terrible at any social skill), that I'd hope I'd be really good at this at least. But this new lazurian gravity engine has been proven to be improved a thousandfold over mine. If only Ilium wasn't such a corruptible city, always involved with struggles with Ersatz, with bellic investments taking over academic ones.

My shadow reflection robbed me from this special quality I used to have. I'm left with wondering about the consistency of my own so-far perceived reality. It suddenly seems as if there's no authenticity to my own essence, for it can't compete with Lazurian forces. Raseri got into Vesta's parlament and he's gaining power and approval of Ilium's population, and Vesta is worried about his growing popularity.

Of reality-bending lies for survival

 The human mind is a fragile but tricky thing. It needs too little for its own stability to come aground. Whenever the weak button is found (innocence, indulgence or narcissistic insecurity), and hell breaks loose, the reality can twists into an unbearable situation, and I see how the mind strives to do anything to convince itself of any lie that will help the bearing of the situation.

As eminent threats can knock me off from my sane self, and that it can take me to behave chaotically, like a man running desperate with a hive on his head and a cloud of angry bees chasing him, I know I try to do anything to not have any threat left. The first option is, obviously, to defeat it in clear terms.

When I can't do anything about an uncomfortable situation, I am already defeated and will then try to ignore it. If it will not let go of my mind, as if being a very painful sting, I'll see my mind trying to pull some very dirty tricks to convince itself against those threats.

What actually bothers me about these lies to facilitate my life is that it makes me a very hypocrite human being. This is no word from Vesta, this is another one in charge of these orders. And I can't let that happen, there can be no saboteers. I can't just go and hate someone for flaws I pretty sure I have myself. I can't go around and criticize people to lower them just to feel better about myself. It's a shot that will only come back to me. The human mind is not just a fragile thing. With the wrong drive, it also seems to think just too shortly ahead.

Of (opened) Abscission Arks

 This time of the year is usually when the Reaping happens, and when I sense this time approaching is when I am recalled to my Abscission Arks. They are where I store all my doubts, traumas and insecurities. Getting them closed means I'm okay with them, but this time of the year it seems to be when they're opened.

Apparently what I have to do is to go around finding all the demons that broke loose from their arks. They give power to my enemies as all these personal, romantic, social, artistic, professional and existencial insecurities that I have are brought up and flood Ilium from its protection.

It's by going after them, picturing and visualizing them and making my own trial of inspection for every problem that I can find peace again. Otherwise, these mischevous beings will keep pestering me, clouding up, clogging up my thoughts, and preventing me from having acchieving any productivity at all.

The Arks are stored in Ilium, in the depths of a hidden cave guarded by Trygve's troops. When he's short of power, the guard lowers and it's easy for them to be stolen, and that's what happened. Maybe the power from these dark spirits diminished as I grew as a person this year, and when I make mistakes their locks get weaker, but even if they break loose and there's the growing intensity of Zhàn's repression every year, this isn't much of a terrible war as last year (in fact, here my second world war wasn't more or even as savage as the first one).

There's no denying my Abscission Arks are a literal copy of Pandora's Box, but the final result is how it suddenly became similar, and it was not my intent from the start. I actually had it first called Abscission Well, and when I thought of it being like Arks I didn't even think about it. Just now when I thought of it being a nice way to represent my need to deal with this issue of my problems, being trapped and guarded and now loose again, that I noticed I was just using the same formula.

Of Zhàn's Reaping

 Some years ago I remember being plagued by crisis of identity pretty much constantly. It seems it's got better recently, but then again, there's always a period of the year when I enter in a grand new crisis, and that's been usually the end of the year. It's not only because it's a moment when I start evaluating my perfomance through the year, but also because it's where I have my birthday.

As it approaches I get closer to it with my eyes closed as if expecting something awful and terrible to happen. Usually it's just an average day and I open my eyes and take a breath of relief. But even though it's not instantaneous, it ends up happening when the realization starts sinking in, and I start having several urges to do something about my life heading towards a lonely death.

This year in particular I had it earlier as I had some bad blows to my ego in october, and so all together they made me reconsider pretty much all I've been doing in my life, and it's when I have several of my time issues. I feel the time running short, I feel regret for the wasted years, I even feel the veil of mortality again. They're here again for the reap. It's all in all a bloody festival where my own hell's gates break loose.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Checkpoint #31

October was scary. It presented me difficulties in several spheres of my life that felt menacing enough to feel like the war I had last year was going to be repeated. Fortunately not quite so. I believed I'm more prepared and with myself under control so even though I'm having Hakr around and I'm having doubts, I'm feeling strong debates in my head and just some eventual bellic skirmishes.

Sill enough to bring down my concentration power, and also discipline, though (which makes me wonder whether I'm actually better than last year when I managed to follow my own rules in spite of all - this place was sacred to me back then, though, I wouldn't ever think of abandoning it). Several mindtraps and saboteers working around my head and utgard scourgers are all around even though I had another seemingly successful siezing of Hrungnir. This bizarre fatigue happening in the last few days along with my need to follow other medical orders is trapping me in a very, very restrict routine which is making my life even more of a bore.

Somehow, time is everyday growing thinner and I'm every time losing more things in my routine. Even with the discipline I'm trying to impose to myself, I'm still doing everytime less than before. And so I'm being forced to give up on more things constantly. For that reason, I'll have to keep it slow around here, unfortunately. It's the thing about acceptance, understanding that some losses are important. I have to let it go of this mentality of writing thirty texts every month like it's the most essential thing ever.

It's just something that used to make me feel strong for being capable of doing it, and I got hypnotized by it. But I'm not giving up now, there's no feeling that this makes no sense anymore. It's just that I'm going to have fifteen texts each month because that's what I can do now... Time to accept things as they are, and I'm not as young and strong as I used to be and I'm still recovering from health problems, so while I don't find a very, very good reason to motivate me and I can rise like burning phoenix, there's no use pretending to be what I'm not. That is not convincing to others and it is prejudicial to me in every way. Plus, half of my texts still are turning out to be me opening my heart about my struggles and I'm still very uncomfortable with sounding like a crybaby since this is basically my one and main outlet I have and it's not even a very effective one...

This month was great for some thoughts, though. I made some small advancements to the innerverse and I got some things settling down. However, I think what's most relevant is the idea of Emet Cores, which I have to practice to see if it's actually what happens to create mindscapes, and I think that's very great. Another item to my to-do list which is probably in the thousands already.

So let november come and see if I can make my way to the end of the year with one last goal in mind: getting recovered once and for all. Discipline, health, self-esteem. Learning and reading with legitimate interest and not because I need to. Finding safe ports, learning of strategies, knowing when to dodge and defend, knowing when to strike, knowing when to run and hide and heal. Next year is about to begin, and I want – I need – 2014 to be a very productive year. Easier said than done, but there's always the first brick.