Note: This Thanksgiving Eve November 22, 2017 sticky post starts the year-long “So Last Year” project, which begins with Thanksgiving 2016, November 24, 2016.

For many months now I’ve kept to a journaling routine called #MorningPages, popularized by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. Writing longhand, avoiding pixels and screens, the routine has helped me get back to writing, an activity I love, but which got badly damaged and smashed to bits by the floods of social media.
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March 23, 2017 (Thursday)

by Yule Heibel on March 22, 2018

Reading Camille Paglia’s tome (which I’m working my way through, several – sometimes more, sometimes fewer – pages each night) I realize my novel has to decide whether it’s to be a social novel or a romantic work. I think more the latter, except that it should try to work with romantic archetypes and tropes to say something about current society. I’m thinking that “X” is the ephebian boy, the Apollonian, who ends up killing chthonian woman (“Anna”), the (literally) dangerous woman-as-force-of-nature (she tries to hurt him through violence). “X” represents, however, not just the hard, glinting outline of the Apollonian, but also the new economy: the internet, fintech, bitcoin, etc., where real things are pixelated and digitized into the cloud and given an outline (and an iconicity) to be worshiped and admired via branding and UI and styling. It’s not for nothing that all those UI things are called …I C O N S. In other words, “X” vanquishes “Anna”/nature (he throws her off a cliff at Beechey Head, after all…), but it’s not life everlasting and safety for all which results. It’s just a personal reprieve so he and his brethren (fanbois) can continue down the neoliberal economic and cultural path.

My meditation pack is about analysis, and now Andy is emphasizing that one needs to and can learn to listen to one’s team, which reminds me (sharply) that I don’t have one. I definitely have trust issues. Coupled with a relatively finely honed intuition, it makes me more than normally aware of dangers and duplicity.

For the first time in almost three weeks, I went to Facebook and looked to see what people were up to. G. posted a photo of tiny blue narcissi blooming in a window box. His reply to one of several admiring comments – that he does nothing to make them appear, they simply show up each year because nature is so generous and all-around wonderful (words to that effect) – just made me think, You have no idea, do you?

V. posted an article about the supposed prevalence of second sight among the Scots and Irish, and now this morning I’m thinking that maybe second sight is just the result of abuse. That finely honed intuition is a survival skill, but often you can’t admit the abuse, nor that it has become epigenetic. So you doll up your sensitivity by calling it Second Sight.

I’m really sensitive (and suspicious). I’ve grown more accepting of the foibles of others, realizing that they’re more about them than about me. But I’m attuned to them. I can remember, at 17, coming back to Victoria from my first attempt to re-invade Europe. At the end of my three month long travels abroad, I had my hair cut by a genius in Düsseldorf, and somehow my hair’s response to this wizard’s scissoring was to become super curly. I thought it (and I) looked great. I also returned even skinnier than when I had left, which I loved, so I was feeling both cocky and blade-like, like a knife. Sharp. I was visiting C. in her apartment at the Fort-Cook Junction, the one with the Murphy bed, and K. came over, too. As I talked about my travels, I came to the end – and the haircut – and I said, giddily, that I thought my hair looked super-cool, “like E.’s” (our former high school art teacher, epitome of cool). I distinctly observed K. reacting in a way that convinced me she would trash-talk me later. And indeed she did, as one of the other girlfriends told me about it. But here’s the thing: I knew before it happened that it would, just from a slight rearrangement of her facial muscles and something in her eyes. It’s that sort of catty betrayal which sticks with and on to me. More recently, it’s the Q.s betraying J. and D. in the wake of their anniversary party (where I wasn’t betrayed, but was witness to “friends” betraying “friends”). It’s all those things I can sense and see, which leave me wondering, Where is my team? Where am I in this supposed group of friends? Am I next-to-be-betrayed – or will I betray, too?

Second sight fundamentally derives from abuse.


March 22, 2017 (Wednesday)

March 21, 2018

Yesterday I finally had a chance to leaf through this month’s House Beautiful, which arrived a couple of days ago. It featured the ugliest “luxury” kitchen I’ve ever seen, an example of conspicuous consumption and display (acres of marble, “even behind the cupboards!” – so gushed the accompanying text, ugh), useless, terrible-to-use but insanely expensive […]

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March 21, 2017 (Tuesday)

March 20, 2018

Still feeling strange, somehow alienated from myself and my life. Worst of all, I get the sense this is not a new or recent emotion. It has either been there all along, or has festered for a long time. I kind of hope it’s the former, because I can almost accept alienation as a condition […]

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March 20, 2017 (Monday)

March 19, 2018

The sun is out, which wasn’t the case when W. and I went for a longish walk yesterday afternoon. It was Sunday, not much going on. We walked past the library where I dropped off two books, unread. We walked down the main street, past [café], which was in its last hour of being open […]

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March 19, 2017 (Sunday)

March 18, 2018

Strange dreams involving flight and escapes, busy roads, rivers (large bodies of water, anyway), bridges, pedestrian overpasses (and maybe some underpasses?)… Other people. At one weirdly salient point, I was sneaking past my long-dead father’s back. He was leaning on a bridge railing, looking over the large body of water, and I ran past him […]

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March 18, 2017 (Saturday)

March 17, 2018

Sunshine and still very cold outside (but lots of heat from the sun at my desk: I’m baking). The rhododendron leaves have curled in on themselves, reducing their surface area exposure to the frigid air. Yesterday W. left very early for Cambridge, but no sooner was he on the train than he learned that his […]

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March 17, 2017 (Friday)

March 16, 2018

Let’s see how far I get into these pages this morning. Set the alarm for 6:10am, got up, all the usual things, made coffee, etc., then meditated, now writing. Why so early? I’m driving W. to the station for an early train (7:28, iirc): he has two interviews in Cambridge, one starting at 9am, the […]

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March 16, 2017 (Thursday)

March 15, 2018

History is …everything, isn’t it? This morning A. sent me a link to a Fabius Maximus article about Janet Yellen and the Fed’s decision to raise the interest rate now. His accompanying message was simply, “Sound familiar?” I began to read it, but didn’t get to the meat because Fabius Maximus has a lot of […]

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March 15, 2017 (Wednesday)

March 14, 2018

We didn’t get as much snow as forecast, but what we got was incredibly solid, wet, heavy. We shoveled by hand at 4pm, when the wind was still howling and the snow was changing over to sleet. It felt like needles on skin every time you faced it. Since I’ve decided that I hate the […]

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March 14, 2017 (Tuesday)

March 13, 2018

The snow is beginning to thicken. When I got up, there was already some snow on the ground, but none in the air. Not even, really, out over the horizon and the strip of ocean I can see beyond the tree tops. I sat down to meditate, thinking, before I did so, that I should […]

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