Archive Tag:a long tangent to a short point

Drabble 31 – Santa Muerte

Santa Muerte

One of the few things we can be sure every culture has in common is a concept of death. For some, it’s the Grim Reaper, the silent, cold, unforgiving death who waits and watches for you to die. For others, it’s Santa Muerte, who is, aside from being a sort of psychopomp, also associated with healing and protection.

She’s worshipped today, often by those who live on the fringes of society–the poor, LGBTQ+ folks, and, unfortunately, also by criminals. That means that her followers are often suspect for no reason other than that they find comfort in a saint who offers protection and safe passage to the afterlife.

Ordinarily I use this space to talk about something in my own life, but Santa Muerte isn’t a figure from my own culture. Rather than projecting myself onto a culture that isn’t mine, I want to link to a couple of articles–one on some of the reasons particular communities worship Santa Muerte, and another on cultural appropriation, Día de los Muertos, and white peoples’ (such as myself) lack of connection with our lost loved ones.

They’re both interesting reads, and I want to tread carefully in this post because I typically write fantasy and writing fantasy about a culture I don’t belong to means I have great potential to fall into harmful, racist tropes, even if I have no intention of doing harm. I welcome criticism on that front–though this is fiction inspired by a religious figure, the potential is still there, and I’m happy to have a conversation about anything I’ve done wrong. It’s very easy to let fear of doing things wrong stop us from speaking or writing at all, but I think I would rather fail spectacularly and learn so I can do better next time than let myself write only about people just like me.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Drabble 20 – Biblioclasm

The House of Leaves – Burning 4 by LeaningLark.

I am absolutely, undoubtedly, one-hundred percent devoted to books. I cherish my books. I buy new ones frequently. I buy multiple copies of the same book so that I can loan them or give them away to people I think will enjoy them.

That being said, I don’t think books are sacred. I mean that in the non-religious sense. I don’t personally enjoy reading on an e-reader, but that doesn’t mean it’s somehow not reading. I like audiobooks, and once had somebody ask me if it really counted as reading–maybe, maybe not, but when you consider that the oral tradition is our oldest form of storytelling, maybe things get a little more complicated.

When I buy a bad book (which I try not to do, but sometimes my romance novel whims get the better of me), sometimes I pass it on to Half Price Books for five cents. Sometimes I scribble on the pages. Sometimes I turn it into an art project or a blackout poem. I think the act of turning one art piece–and yes, trashy romance novels I don’t like are still art–into another is interesting, and I don’t feel guilty about destroying a mass-market paperback to make a new poem. Nor do I begrudge the person who took the above photo for destroying House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, a book I very much enjoyed.

On a personal level, burning a book isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen. I oppose the censorship of books on a mass scale–with guidance, I’m one-hundred percent okay with kids reading advanced, tricky, and even objectionable material (within reason, obviously–we don’t need to hand out my trashy romance novels to third graders).

If you’re going to burn a book, okay. Burn one book. But don’t burn all the books–that’s where I start to have a problem.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

Independence, Or: That Time I Got My Head Stuck in a Dresser

I was introduced to The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe at a very young age. And while I’m not blaming C. S. Lewis for the time I got my head stuck in a dresser, the lack of wardrobes in my life may have played a role.

I’m not sure why I did it, but one day I pulled all of the drawers out of my dresser and stuck my head inside. It hurt–I had to slide my ears through and crane my neck to make it. Again, I have no idea why this seemed at all like an appealing idea. I seem to remember thinking that it would give me some kind of interesting perspective, like there were secrets to be found with my head inside a dresser.

In Lieu of a Post

Pure evil, but she's my pure evil.
Pure evil, but she’s my pure evil.

I say this a lot–I don’t have kids, I have cats.

Some people laugh at that, as if they couldn’t possibly be the same thing. And I’ll admit that my cats lead shorter life spans, will never grow up to learn to speak, and certainly won’t be around to take care of me when I get old. But in the meantime, they keep me calm when I’m stressed, they have more personality than people give them credit for, and they’re cute, dang it.

Unfortunately, my cats also have health problems. 

Blackberry Picking and Poetry Appreciating

Image Source: Jared Smith via Flickr.

Poetry and I have a contentious relationship.

It’s not that I don’t like poetry. I do. I think I do. No, I do, for sure. I’m not sure I like writing it, but I’m blaming that entirely on my public school education and not poetry itself.

The problem is this: poetry, to me, is some kind of ethereal, ever-changing thing that’s alive and incomprehensible, like some kind of wriggling or slippery animal. I think I know a poem when I see one, but then there’s prose poetry. I think I understand a poem but then it’s not about appreciating life at all, it’s about capitalism and overconsumption. Poetry is rhyme and meter except that it isn’t, not at all.