amberite_archive: (nowhere)
...is dearer to me than any of the ones I've finished, though not dearer than the ones I've left unfinished, and I think that's why it's so hard to make it come out - the whole thing hangs in my head, too momentous for me to zoom in on enough detail to sit my ass down and write a !#@$#@$ scene.

But I must.

In between being able to write the scenes, I scrawl scraps of knowledge in my journals and listen to songs over and over that tell pieces of the story.

One of them is "Come a Time" by ThouShaltNot:

When the sky turns black and the floodplains crack and you cannot look away
Because on every side is the unstoppable tide in motion from the very first day
Will you fall down with your knees to the ground in the hopes that you will be spared
From whatever the wrath that may lie in the path of those whose convictions dared?
And when you're called to serve, will you have the nerve to do all that you know is wrong
Just to save your skin no matter which side wins, just to know that you were there all along?
Is it better to reign in a world of pain than to serve a cause divine?
We'll see who you are underneath darkened stars, there will come a time

And where does evil lie, in the heart, in the eye, is it a guest without a host?
And does your mind concede to what your body needs, to what a silent hunger craves most?
And bending word to the limb, falling out, giving in, will you see all that Earth would conceal
Below the melting land and underneath the desert sand? Is the desperate voice inside you even real?
And is it true when you stare into the sun you can see the insides of sight itself?
Is there a way to speak but not say so you'll know if words come from you or something else?



Something about this song captures the intensity I'm trying to channel into a book.

I know I can write a novel - I've done it before - but I question myself as to whether I can write this one. I need the strength to go NOW/HERE, again and again, and to bring things back whole to HERE/NOW. And to not get lost along the way.

Mostly, right now, I get little pieces of it, out of order.
amberite_archive: (nowhere)
[livejournal.com profile] wolven on magic:


"...we make associative connections in our minds, all the time. It's the only way we can function, it's the only way we have a concept of time, or category, or "Things," it's what we do, and it's how we work, and the fact of the matter is that this is like a burning knife in our hands: We know there's a use for it, maybe even more than one, but what the fuck is it? Can't it always be doing more than this? Isn't there the potential for this to be held differently, to be used to do more than sell us things, people, candidates? Can't we see this for the importance it holds?

(...)Magic is life. It is the intensely, deeply, dangerously, furiously lived life. It's fucking as hard or as tenderly as you can. It's talking to the snakes in your head to solve your problems. It's walking as a conversation with the city. It's a photograph that you have to take. It's the song that you can't sing, but have to, or you'll break, forever."


Read the rest. Seriously. It's one of the most mindblowing posts I've read this year, and I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
amberite_archive: (Default)
I did my physics presentation and the sky didn't fall. I didn't realize I was expecting it to, until the not-fallingness of the sky overwhelmed me with happiness. Golly, golly, golly. Where to start?

My physics presentation was a poster and accompanying discourse on the topic of seizures and electrical activity in the brain. Maybe not a big deal, except for the part where that area of neurology has fascinated me since I was four years old. (The other day, while working on this project, I had a thought that explained it quite well: I have the level of intense interest in neurology that most people do in sex. That's not to say it's a sexual interest, just... the intensity level; sex is the only thing I can think of that people are normally supposed to be that preoccupied with. And it's easy to have an involvement in sex, whereas brain skience is this rarefied thing you have to train for.)

When I was, oh, eight to ten years old, most of my interactions consisted of telling strangers about my obsessions. I didn't really see them, either; they were just there to hear about my interests.

And I'm an adult, and I Got Better, but some part of me is reduced to jaw-dropped awe at how fascinating this stuff is - and another part is always, always in "whoaaaa, dude, I can see the universe from here" mode, and if other people can't, I can almost never convey it to them.

In short, this stuff engages my id. I stare into the wide spectrum of human consciousness, and it stares right back. And I want to work in a field related to it. And I'm scared of being that obsessive person to whom the correct response is "that's nice, dear"; scared of crossing the streams, of having bad boundaries, of falling in. Conversely, scared of shutting off my intensity so that the interest drains out of it, because, c'mon. This stuff is cool, and if I didn't think it would stay that way, I wouldn't want to make a career out of it. I am in this for the sheer wow of it. I'm not sure if that's the sort of thing I can say in a med school interview, but it's true nonetheless.

Well, today I dressed up in my nice button up - black and grey stripes, doesn't exactly scream professional!goth but does sort of sing it out at a nice volume - dabbed a bit of Large Hadron Collider on my wrists to give off the crisp smell of science, and headed in to OMSI to present my poster. My physics teacher liked it and so did his TA's, and so did the general public types, young and old, and they all asked excellent questions, and I hooked people in by talking about deja vu, and everyone was fascinated and no one ran away.

And I was fascinated and didn't run away. And one person even Got It.

I can be that person who's happiest babbling about weird neurological phenomena and still be witty and comprehensible to others and employ my hard-earned social skills. And I've been wanting to prove this to myself my entire adult life, ever since I shoved this stuff in a box for a few years and slammed the lid on it because, at the time, I couldn't.

If you're in Portland, and want to see my poster, it'll be hanging up at OMSI the next few days.
amberite_archive: (yellow sign)
If you ever feel like you are hanging on by a thin thread to an unstable existence, remember: We all are.

Every person in history, remembered or forgotten, has thought their thoughts and made their works from atop that narrow platform of consciousness, bordered by death and uncertainty and meaninglessness.

And yet we have made as much as we have.

Remember: you are here. And by existing you change the world. Even passivity is an active choice. You are singing or playing a note in the song of consciousness, and I thank you for the joy of hearing it.


---

On a related note, I commend the Prime Minister of Britain for his formal apology yesterday for the ignorance and brutality that caused the death of Alan Turing fifty-five years ago this June.
amberite_archive: (nowhere)
I was first introduced to the music of Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer through the Doctor Who fan community -- someone did a wallpaper using this track, the lyrics of which are an absolutely incredible, multi-layered living mythological thing, and I was hooked.

Today, taking a re-listen to their album drum hat buddha, I just wanted to share a moment of fierce love for this song.

My deepest faith is a syncretism of science and religion, and these words capture it wonderfully.

On a sleepy endless ocean when the world lay in a dream
There was rhythm in the splash and roll, but not a voice to sing
So the moon shone on the breakers and the morning warmed the waves
Till a single cell did jump and hum for joy as though to say

"This is my home, this is my only home
This is the only sacred ground that I have ever known
And should I stray in the dark night alone
Rock me, goddess, in the gentle arms of Eden"

Then the day shone bright and rounder til the one turned into two
And the two into ten thousand things, and old things into new
And on some virgin beach head one lonesome critter crawled
And he looked about and shouted out in his most astonished drawl

This is my home, this is my only home... )
amberite_archive: (gallifreyan text 1)
Human history is the story of people doing terrible things to one another, and yet, when I read the fragments of this story, I feel like I'm staring into an infinite chasm, the unending expanse of time and space.

Somehow, this sensation is uplifting.

Perhaps it's the sense that by understanding our trauma, individual or cultural, by staring it in the eye, we gain pieces of ourselves back from it. I read about the Holocaust, and suddenly the irrationally deep fear of being ostracized and destroyed by those higher in the social food chain has meaning and context that I can integrate into my experience of the world. I read about McCarthyism and the scars it left on our society, and suddenly I can see pathos in the knee-jerk anti-intellectualism of American culture, and forgive my country, a little, for being brought up so badly.

Perhaps staring into the abyss that is the sum of our failures reminds me that I can't heal the world myself, that no one person can - which takes a burden from my thoughts, and at the same time, gives me permission to try.

More and more, it seems that cultural memory is extraordinarily essential - to healing, to progress, to life.
amberite_archive: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] deepad has the missing piece that makes online race relations go wonky.

This is such a huge piece of information, right here. And it's communicational. Follows, one of the most useful statements I've ever read:

"When you are part of the dominant culture, you are in a system that rewards your default way of living as being termed 'right', and you grow up thinking that being 'wrong' is bad, and therefore a serious enough offence to either paralyse you, or invoke anger at the name-caller.

When you are a minority or a survivor of an oppressive system, you are used to your identity being termed 'wrong', and you work on the assumption that the systems are all broken. You do not trust power to not be used for oppression, opportunity to not be used for selfish advancement, intelligence to not be used against justice, and discernment to not be used to create bigotry.

We are not used to throwing our abusers in jail after three strikes--we negotiate with our abusers being our bosses and television hosts and school teachers and peacekeeping forces and our clergy. When someone tells us we are wrong, we can't run away or banish them, we learn to live with them, and with ourselves.

Try to put yourself in this mindset when you hear someone saying you were wrong."

Context here.

Damn. Damn.

I've run into these kinds of things with my partners - we're three white people from different childhood backgrounds, and it took us a while before we figured out what was hostile, what was friendly and what was neutral. So the kind of problem is not new. It's just amazing to me that someone has finally articulated exactly what is causing all this internet drama. Like whoa.

---

In unrelated news, some of you may be curious about the INTERNET PENIS icon I made and posted yesterday.

The stills are not manipulated in any way except to size them and add text. They are from a scene in an old Star Trek episode, What Are Little Girls Made Of? I will narrate the scene to you:

Kirk runs down a cave tunnel, hiding from an evil android played by Ted Cassidy (Lurch) in bad stage makeup and a collar made from someone's floral curtains. Lurch approaches. Kirk hides. Kirk breaks a stalactite off the ceiling! The stalactite looks like a giant penis! Lurch approaches! He wields his giant penis!

It's all very exciting. Someone in the props department was having fun.

Shivers

Nov. 12th, 2007 07:57 pm
amberite_archive: (chaos)
Linked from Making Light -- as are so many of my pass-alongs -- a photoset of science tattoos.

This one puts a lump in my throat; it makes me feel twelve again, with all the awe of the stars...

Another.

do you know what you've lost?

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