From the Horse's Mouth

*.*.*.*.*

Posted in Mind Goo by theskinhorse on July 14, 2011

The apartment is empty, and I continue to gut it. Ink stains on my fingers: What of this teenage angst is worth transcribing? My time bled out on endless pages of savory and bitter reflections. My mind sees flames around the edges. Toss each away this time around; give myself over to a past that disappears as easily as footprints in the sand.

The Silence folds in around me. What shape will this origami reality take? I manipulate materials to create forms I consider beautiful. The paper is only crisp on the first attempt; it remembers the alternate creases. I do not remember some of the phases I lived and recorded. Who is the stranger holding the pen? Who is the character in the tales I hear from friends?

I feel near… and, oh, so far.

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yeah, that

Posted in meditation by theskinhorse on June 9, 2011

My playlist for the last week or so, on repeat:

Enjoy the transformed angst, the cool acceptance, the unwashed candor, the raw and bittersweet reflections.

Temperature

Posted in Mind Goo by theskinhorse on September 5, 2010

One pair of eyes here; another there. There are certainly more; there are always more than are apparent. Sometimes they familiar, and other times they are completely alien. Does it matter if they are the same color or not?

…………

The ideas pass from one to another and are repeated, morphed, passed through filters. It mutates. It mutates from thoughts as it mutates from eyes. The same purity that was there when it was found, is gone among the passing. Sometimes there are those that do not realize this or care at all that it happens. The information is the gem, the sought-after asset. The origin, the evolution, the clarity upon arrival or purity in revelation matter little compared to the exchange of the idea or the act of brainstorming. Coming to realizations together is different from taking another’s concept and adopting it, inherently changing it, to claim as one’s own.

…………

We train ourselves to forget as we train ourselves to remember, continually fabricating a consciousness. The moves are not random, but this is not to say that they are predictable in the least. Like metallic balls traveling through searing liquid, we change form under the influence. All those physical laws descend with light-year speed, and we morph under the pressure.

…………

A rebel is a single entity onto oneself. Rebellion is an assertion of a line, a barrier, a stop. Rebellion can be a risky or protective act, but it is always one of preservation of an aspect of Self, of integrity, a concept held dear… or at least held, anyway. That’s what matters: the holding, the ownership of the assertion.

necessary

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on July 10, 2010

The much overlooked essentials (besides the obvious):

Tea lights – Having these little blessings around can easily transform the ordinary to enchanting, romantic, or peaceful in minutes. A bag of 50 usually costs no more than $10 (scented or unscented), and they last for weeks to months, depending on use. Plenty of occasions call for warm lighting and gentle atmosphere. They add ambiance to dinner, softness to bathing rituals, and intimacy to conversation. And, hey, they’re a light source. (Note: matches or a lighter are an implied essential here as well.)

Cards – Whether with company or alone, having these portable, lightweight, cardboard rectangles can be a lifesaver. When minds need to be sparked with a game, mental steam needs to release or boredom needs to be broken, cards can make the passing time easier, smoother or funner.

Pen and paper – Creation can happen anytime, anywhere. The Muses don’t necessarily wait, and Murphy’s Law will ensure that fleeting inspirations remain fleeting.

Thrift Stores –  Local, that is. A treasure trove of nostalgia and an invitation for re-invention. Sometimes you don’t know the perfect piece for a room until you see it, and sometimes the trends lack heart.

Herbs and Spices – Anything from commonplace salt and pepper to fresh rosemary from the garden, crystallized ginger or well, you name it. A kitchen cupboard without spices has no personality. Sometimes the “dash of __” makes all the difference. Plus, spices are simple ingredients to revisit and modify old recipes. Some even have some healing quality.

The Comfy Blanket – Everyone needs the ability to pick up and wrap themselves in comfort whenever they please. Society doesn’t think much of adults with Teddy Bears, but a comfy-enough blanket, robe or pajamas serves the purpose pretty well.The blanket is also handy to have in the car, in case of roadside sleep emergencies or cold emergencies.

Bandana – It can act as a handkerchief, a washcloth, small towelette, temporary bandage, tiny bag, head-wear, tourniquet, or fashion accent. How is that not perfect?

Duct tape – Because, really, you can make just about anything with it. See here and here for just a glimpse of the possibilities.

Resilience

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Silence on The Journey

Posted in Mind Goo, stream of consciousness by theskinhorse on March 6, 2010

I am the Silent One. ~~~

At every Beginning stands the Possibility of Death. At every End stands the Conquering of Death… for that Time. Where are we in The Journey?

***

Footprints show Direction and Path. So many footprints for each individual nowadays; silicon prints do not wash away like muddy ones. We can follow.

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The Scanner scans in loops. Reconnaissance is cyclical.

<*><*><*>

You don’t look so much anymore at something you’ve grown to presume to know. The landscape, the climate, is forever changing.

~<*>~<*>~

No matter how much we entertain the notion or how much we meditate on the abstraction, Death is always unanticipated. We await the journey Home.

Four Days in San Bartolo

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on October 7, 2009

(Transcribed two years later:)

Hiking the Inca Trail was one of the most inspiring and sacred experiences of my life. This post is not about that. This post is about the days that followed that mystical and exhausting trek.

We arrived back in Lima from Cusco; already upon landing, I could feel the change of atmosphere and climate, physically, socially and culturally. We piled in a bus and headed off to the coast where my uncle, his two high school buddies and his friend’s son could relive their youth in sand, surf and beer. Despite their winter season, we had hopes of mild coastal weather. In my mind, I planned to swim, run on the beach, relax, read, go to town for cerviche and take a surfing lesson or two in the days to come.

From the populated city with strange billboards, rogue dogs and tattered housing, we traveled to a sandy ghost town on the coast. The streets were practically deserted. Most of the restaurants and shops had closed. Locals kept a few businesses open, but nothing more than a few blocks were in operation.

We were met with colorful totem faces at the gates of the resort; sea green, bright blue and yellow extended a cheerful welcome, contrasting the grey skies and misty air. Stepping across the threshold, empty rooms awaited us. One of the owners met us there and escorted us to the unlocked room. Two were next to each other, close to the eating area and front gate; one was around the corner, closer to the workers’ area and the back gate to the beach. Each had two beds. Since I was the odd woman out, I inhabited the isolated room.

After setting our stuff down and getting acquainted with the perimeter, the owner explained that he would be absent from the premises most of the time. There were two workers that spoke very little English. The only other residents at the time were a couple, and they would be leaving shortly. Since the town was closed down for the season, we had only one restaurant from which to order food, and only one taxi driver that would deliver food and take us into town. The one and only day we ventured into town was to get cash, eat out at one of the open restaurants, catch up on email at a cyber café and to collect fruit, canned goods, and alcohol for our rooms. All other hours for those four days was spent at the resort with only each other, the rain, the wet beach, the gulls, rogue dogs and the limited contact with the workers who made us breakfast every morning and ordered our lunches and dinners.

The chilly air, drab sky and turbulent waves told me that I was not going to be swimming at all this trip. Since the owner that offered me surfing lessons over the phone was MIA the entire time, I knew I would not be surfing. I communed with the sand dunes and shells when it was nice enough to sit on the beach. I may have been fully clothed in a hoodie and long pants, but it was peaceful all the same. One of my wishes had come true: I had the beach almost entirely to myself. Listening to the water was such a pure and simple pleasure that if not for the chilliness, I probably wouldn’t have left the shoreline.

The days passed slowly. At nights we played cards and drank bland beer. We donned hats made from alpaca wool and blankets bought from the plazas at Cusco. With nothing of interest on TV, hardly any electronic entertainment and no way out of the resort, we were left to each other’s company, the beach and our internal landscapes. When the men were out surfing, my first inclination was to “busy” myself. So I read… until I wanted a change. I tried to write and draw, with little success at first. For some reason, it felt forced (probably because it was). There I was, unable to get wrapped up in a creative whirlwind when I had the space, the time, the peace and the quiet to do so. Of course, when I was at work just a few weeks prior, I longed for the R&R, and when it arrived, I didn’t know what to do with it.

The first day I felt unproductive despite the fact I had finished a book I had been meaning to read. That night was one of the most solitary that I can remember. The wind pounded against the glass doors as I lay in an unfamiliar bed on a deserted coast. In the morning I was greeted with grey skies and roaring waves again. It was difficult at first for me to give into the seeming “nothingness.” I paced and repeated old patterns of behavior to the best of my ability. As I begun to allow the time to fall over me as it would, I was graced with some slow inspiration; I let it creep into my sketchbook. It was of a different nature than which I had been accustomed. I spent more time sketching and reading in those few days than any other time in my life. Time was angled differently there, with strange and unpredictable periods of lengthening and shortening. Many things were different in that place. I noticed the difference in expectation, passage and association.

Dogs with no names came bounding through the center room as we played cards, perhaps looking for scraps or a temporary friend. Clouds rolled in a dance with the tides. The gulls called out messages as they landed on the shore. The night air was heavy with water and called us out for company.

Looking back, I should have taken some invitations from the Night to walk its beach. I am just thankful that I could drop out of the hectic world for a while to see another one. Without the people and the traffic of their on-season, I was able to really see that shore, able to experience it as it is. The isolation, once faced, was simple. The quiet, once appreciated, was comforting. The openness, embraced, was breath-taking. The grey, accepted, can be a gentle hand of inspiration.

Posted in Mind Goo by theskinhorse on October 1, 2009

I see these images in dreams, images of those I supposedly know. The interactions in the dreamscape are reflections and refractions of wishes, fears, hopes, biases and aspirations that I can recognize in waking life. I know warnings from unconscious observations; I know wish-fulfillment from true potential. These images do not fool or enchant me. They live in my head, not to be known by others that do not share my dreams. We all carry on secret lives, as do our doubles and counters, our dopplegangers and shadows. Perhaps we remember each other from different lives and different worlds. Perhaps we know each other well from stories. Each plane is a different reality that has/is/will swell(ed/ing) and collapse(d/ing). At every turn, we must be re-acquainted.

pet Fun

Posted in Dreams, Mind Goo by theskinhorse on September 14, 2009

I was astounded at the fun we could have together after skins were sloughed off. I showed you around my common haunts, directing your attention to bright colors, silly costumes, magnetic people and small pleasures. We were able to know each other as people in ways that have previously been off-limits for one reason or another. There was discussion without the format or scrutinization, and what followed was laughter and light-heartedness. It was a dream, a future potential that I would like to actualize. However, so often you seem uninterested in the frivolity, the play, fun for fun’s sake. I see you looking under the microscope more than I do, and that task is part of my daily life at work.

Maybe that’s just it: you’re always with or at work. Work is work, home is work, conversation is work, meetings are work, and play is work. I don’t see it coming naturally. The theory is laid out very nicely: reasons to open up and engage in play, what it does for us on many levels, also potentially how to  initiate it and maintain a certain level of play. The thing is, the practice is nothing like theory. Those theories and well laid plans, that’s not playing, that’s not fun.

Fun is spontaneity and improvisation. Fun does not have inhibition or fear. Fun doesn’t need reasons, and it usually doesn’t care much for your schedules and previous arrangements. I see you treating it as a pet at times. You do what you feel you need to do, and when most of the work is done, you let Fun in finally, after hours of waiting. It’s been such a good and patient boy. It’s ok to play for a certain amount of time, but then it is time to put Fun back outside for the night. He doesn’t sleep in the house; Fun might get too close to you as you sleep or keep you up at night, insisting to play some more. Perhaps if you let him in more often, he wouldn’t seem like such a disruption to your life devoted to Work. Fun misses you, and is beginning to develop a grudge against Work. If you don’t spend some more time with Fun, he’ll be gone. Fun is not interested in the pictures you take of him to show your friends and brag about what a fantastic breed he is. That’s not loving Fun. The love you do give Fun is always in the presence of Work. You and Fun never seem to have any private moments. Perhaps Fun would be less reserved, more expressive without Work always hanging around.

But I think you are slightly afraid of that: afraid of how much you might actually enjoy Fun if you could let Work go for a while. You’re too obsessed with whether or not Work will be ok by himself, or if he’ll run away and not return if you start spending time with Fun. The conditions must be just right to let Fun in: you have to be in the mood, and you prefer Fun to be around when certain others are or at certain times. So you have dictated times when Fun is let in and let out, and if there is no time tonight to let him in, well, there’s always tomorrow. One day, after days of neglect perhaps, you’ll go to let Fun in, only to realize that he left for more accepting companions. Then you’ll be able to spend as much time with Work as you want. You won’t need to worry about Fun any longer.

dust to…

Posted in Mind Goo by theskinhorse on September 2, 2009

I share my dreams with loved ones; it has been something that I do regularly for as long as I can remember… which my have an expiration date of somewhere around 17 years.  It is odd; I can remember my dreams and visions, worlds detached from this Earth and characters from the aether more clearly than my own childhood. Sure, I know the neighborhood in which I lived from 4-11 years old. I can recall names of friends and classmates (a few at least). I can recall some of my pets, some holidays, some key moments in development perhaps. Most of these memories have photos, names, dates and other people to help me construct the memories years after the events. I recognize them as construction or fabrication, not memory. I’ve seen that picture of me on a particular bicycle with a basket (was it Snoopy?) and handle-tassels so I know I have ridden it. I’ve seen pictures of me out on the patio with my grandfather while he was sleeping, but I don’t remember that moment, that day, that time, his way of sleeping, that dress I was wearing, what season it was, that patio furniture; it all eludes me every time, no matter how much I want that memory. I can identify myself in pictures from elementary school, but I never remember the picture days, the classroom activities, which students I liked or didn’t like. What did my second teacher look like? I don’t remember even though I spent the entire year in that class. What was I for Halloween in fifth grade? I am not sure, most likely a male (or male-inspired) character.

I have precious one or two memories barely accessible of my maternal grandparents. I have clips of interactions with my parents and my brothers. Most of my time spent with friends escapes me. Most of the time I spent in the house or playing outside escapes me. The vivid (though perhaps disjointed) memories from childhood involve the night, dusk outside, my bedroom and our basement. I remember more of what was in my head than the experiences with the outside world. I can recall details from cartoons and movies I saw as a child more clearly than my own life, but, again, perhaps this is fabrication after-the-fact when re-visiting these programs and videos.

I don’t remember when I learned to ride a bike. The faces of the boys I had crushes on are almost completely wiped from my mind. I don’t really remember what it was like to wake up for Christmas as a child; I imagine I know what it is like.

Time is the Great Wash for me. I don’t think I understand or experience it as many others do.

The lack of remembering is never meant to hurt those around me, but sometimes it does. Though I wish they could know how much I would like to remember if I only could. I feel as though I am torn between those feelings and the thoughts that say that the way of my brain with Time and memory is another part of what makes me who I am. Would I be as ready and willing for changes and transformations if I had a better memory? Would I have more or less psychological ‘issues’ or ‘problems?’ What about my world would change if I could remember more of my past?

On language

Posted in Mind Goo by theskinhorse on July 31, 2009

We should not forget that it can behave like a virus. Some may go as far to say that it is one.

Supposedly it is used to encode and decode information by using arbitrary symbols and sounds.

The development and usage of language is a credit to the human (and inhuman.. un-human) creativity.

We’re taught rules of our native tongue when young so we can effectively communicate to others of similar descent or culture. Learned so young, language becomes innate, often inseparable from what we term our thoughts. Words, concepts and ideas have become interchangeable. The structure of language steers our perceptions.

Mediums are used to convey expression primarily. While some may attest that language was developed to facilitate reason, the expression inherently imbued in the use of language creates a much denser medium.

Much of language, as it presents itself, is not transparent. Even “honesty,” which strives for transparency, manifests as translucent at best.

It is naive to limit one’s view of language to merely words. Words can act as cloaks, masks, decoys. There are so many more communicative tools beyond the written or spoken words. Yes, I am talking of nonverbal communication such as body language, but also beyond that as well. Nuances, aires, scents… are all languages, illustrating similar properties when behaving as a vein of the Language entity.

As an egregore, composed of the whole of the human race (not to mention every life form on the planet… and potentially every astronomical and astral body), it is rapidly evolving, acutely aware, constantly shifting and highly adaptable and evasive.

It’s really not about what you say, or how you say it. It’s not even about if you “mean” it (or if you think you do, or if you don’t but you want to, etc). It’s about something completely different from all that… something that by virtue of its nature, I cannot put into words or ever convey to another.