It’s been awhile since I’ve actually felt a bit “blocked” when I try to write. For the past 9 months, and particularly those five weeks in Europe, I’ve had the opposite problem–great streams of words attempting to pour through whatever medium possible, impatient need to sit before a computer or find a pen (I’m frustratingly picky about my pens) to inscribe whatever is desperate to come out.
I don’t want to say I’m uninspired, for this isn’t true. But there’s a different obstacle I find myself confronting.
Yes. Stability. Utter lack of stress. Four of Wands and Cups and Swords and Pentacles, each of which keep showing up in my readings for myself. Fours are structure. Solidity. A pause in movement, a sort of completion from which one can build. But I thrive on the incomplete, on instability. Foot upon cobble trudging to a tent, getting stuck in gorse and picking one’s way out before the sun sets, getting lost, confused, needing wits, alertness. It’s frustrating to say I’m always at my best when I’m poor, uncertain. Oh, and cold. It’s really warm here.
It’s quite nice, you know, being amongst family, being amongst warmth and stability. It’s calm. The parts of me that are all fire, all air may be gnawing behind my eyes, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve experienced that thing all you normal folk have been raving about for years. It’s nice.
It’s also different. Physical distances are immense here. Walk an hour from my old home in Seattle and I was downtown. Walk an hour here and I’ve reached a mall.
The trees are strange to me, or better said, I am strange to them. Also, I didn’t realize how much of my life has been surrounded with mammalian life until sitting under the full moon in a backyard and watching only lizards. I’ve seen a (one) squirrel, and one rabbit. A tree-frog followed me in last night and I couldn’t rescue him until just an hour ago. His back was so sticky that he got stuck to the paper I used to trap him with, and the poor thing comically attempted to extricate himself, his legs flailing. I feared I’d hurt him, but he appears to be okay.
There’s this old idea I had when staring at a small “downtown” area in British Columbia. Perfect streets, perfect storefronts, precisely what one things when one thinks “downtown.” But there was nobody there.
It felt like a film-set, until I realised how much of everything in North America, particularly of the newer-colonized areas, seems so one-sided, so insistently old-appearing but so vapidly new.
Why build things to look old? Why give the appearance of antiquity, and, more interesting, what makes us think old forms which take hundreds of years to develop can be merely replicated with architecture?
There are more such places here, faux city-centers that become more tourist destinations than actually-used space. There’s certainly a desire for such places, and I’m certain also a need for them (and the exchange of thoughts/expressions/glances/words which typically occur in old market squares or naturally-grown centers), but what makes us think we can merely engineer them?
I’m becoming kind of fearfully obsessed with the place. I’ve never been, and, like learning to drive, I’ve been hoping to live a long, full life without ever needing to do so.
Again, why build fake castles and shallow tales except to fulfill some sort of human need? I don’t think anyone goes to Disney merely to be “amused,” there’s something more human being (ful)filled by (commercial) fantasies. I’m afraid I may have to get closer to the terror in order to comprehend it.
I stopped playing video games just before I started formally studying druidry, and have oddly found myself quite uninterested in doing so. I think games, particularly the RPG’s I’d play, filled (but never fully sated) a longing for enchantment which I’d left ignored for too long. Interestingly, I found myself also less interested in fantasy fiction, which presents an incredible problem for someone who’s written two manuscripts in that genre.
I’ve been almost reluctant to re-encounter fantasy, mostly because I’ve recognised it as having become a sort of distraction, if not actually addiction.
But, well–Le Guin. I re-read her collection of short stories, The Birthday of the World, and have begun to remember how falsehoods can be more true than Truth.