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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Snapshot: 1998. Casting at Santa Monica.

These days, I don't really practice castings or rituals in an active manner. I'm haunted by cognitive problems more than material problems, and I always found spellwork to be of minimal help when my problem in the first place is keeping my head from boiling away into mystic space without my say-so.

In 1998 I was back from Europe, and had crash-landed in Los Angeles like a meteor, all charged up with the energy of countries thousands of years older than my attention-deficient American soul could comprehend, and no way to focus it actively. No focus, period. Holding down the rent for $850 - $1000 apartments between four people seemed like a brutal penance. I'd take temp work and write semi-psychotic manifesto-like screeds upon unattended computer stations, psi-mines to baffle those curious enough to check through the hard drives. I got hit by a car, and punched the car back in return. I took to literally growling and barking at people who irritated me on the street. Eventually a mohawk came circling down and alighted on my head, and we both felt a little more at home. My steed was a dying '81 white VW Rabbit that failed to start on 1 out of 3 attempts, and I held it together by main force of will, but I also grew to know and hate the public transport system. I hate Los Angeles, and I love it, and have always felt kin to it: a low-slung and seething creature continually walking off into the sunset.

So it's no wonder that every now and then, I had to learn to shout with my third eye, when my throat wasn't cutting it anymore. The nice thing about being angry all the time, is that moments of tranquility become so sublime.

Casting at Santa Monica
The sand crunched under his bootfall, a sedimentary whisper of things gone unsaid, voiced only in a stride that carried the leaden determination of those short of hope. 

Whispers coiled in the air, melding with the murmured promise of the tide, brought together like bodies seeking in the dark, brushing against each other with a lucid and thoughtful grace, a mutual interrogation in which the only questions asked are those to which the answers are already known. 

He passed by many along his quiet path, couples and families lingering near the surf, shadow-forms that would become real if only he spared them a moment’s real attention... but he withheld it. 

Presently, he found the place.  A place no different from any other along the coast, save for the small measure of solitude its’ distance provided.  A shallow sigh cut his taut and chafing marionette-strings, and deprived of their support, he collapsed in a cross-legged bundle of weariness some meters away from the aqueous enigma of the Pacific. 

In his pocket he carried nothing anymore save a few moments of contemplation, and these he withdrew, scattering them beside him, to waste on pondering the difference between that which is and which isn’t, the things we have and the things we do not.  He stared into the gulf between those two poles for some small eternity, until he could reach out and draw from them the word he needed.  And he drew it into the sand before him, an arbitrary conjunction of alphabet symbols whose meaning was important only to him, blessed only by the impermanence of the medium into which it was inscripted. 

Not too far away, in the grand scheme of things, the fishermen cast their lines from the pier into the ocean; hooks borne on slender, single threads, thrown out in hopes of making a painful connection with their livelihood, their promise, their future.  So too did he cast out his thought-thread, then, in vain hopes of catching something meaningful. 

With lowered head, he allowed his lids to close on their respective, aching windows, and bent the force of his will to his task.  With all of his frail, mortal strength, he strove to bring the ocean closer, in hopes that it would take his word from him, would absorb that arbitrary echo of meaning into the world, where it might resonate, and take effect...  that it might save him. 

Nothing happened, of course.  The minutes passed, and the waters reached, and came no closer.  He did not expect them to.  But he wanted... and so he did not falter. 

Gradually, almost involuntarily, he raised his arms until they hung crookedly in the air, poised over the word, set mercilessly adrift on the nameless currents of his subconscious.  Gradually, searching fingers began to curl, hands flexing in quiet emulation, bone and tendon shifting under their epidermal sheath with each rock and swell of the waves.  With the voice of motion, he beckoned. 

Perhaps it was not impossible. He felt the heat, now, the rise and fall of hot air currents as they spun and eddied their way up and into the night, knocking askew the drowsier, colder winds that hovered timorously above.  The thermal flow raced towards him, through him and leapt high overhead, a flow of motion and energy that became denser, more solid and more palpable with each passing unit of time.  With each gust, something in him began to tremble.  Something not unlike hope. 

The sand immediately around him was dry as dust.  But there was the slightest, most imperceptible change in its consistency, as the water came forth
to lick the surface of the word. 

His eyes opened, and something behind them clicked into place.  In a single, pure moment, he ceased to want.  He ceased to think.  He ceased to be, as he had been before, as a fractured and self-contained thing, apart and appalled at how shockingly minute he became when measured against the vastness of the All.  The air roared inside the cavities of his chest, and the water inside the hollow of his bones, and they spoke together within him, in a language that was the language of Now, the language of We, the language of Is. 

Time fell apart.  

Saltwater’s chill kiss brought him back to himself, drenching him in fluid that carried the fingerprints of all life, of species gone and species yet to come.   

The word was gone, vanished without trace. 

Gasping, he stepped into the now-damp space between where the word had been and the vast sea, savoring the shredded and fading fragments of the once-rampant energy flow.  It was late, and the marine air brought a new chill to his soaked and shivering frame, yet he stayed there for some time. 

It would be a long walk home.

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That was really good. If you have any more of that to put out here, please do.

Thanks for reading! I am, as always, combing thru my mess of archives while I try to find stuff worthy of turning into longer work.

::dies, buried under a badly-balanced mound of notebook paper::

In his pocket he carried nothing anymore save a few moments of contemplation, and these he withdrew, scattering them beside him, to waste on pondering the difference between that which is and which isn’t, the things we have and the things we do not.


That right THERE.

I have been trying to say that for weeks now. Turns out you beat me to it about seven years ago. I'll get you next time! (please read "...Gadget!")

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