cybermathwitch: (bleed myself dry)
I've had a week. I have a sneaking suspicion the next one won't be a lot better from that standpoint, though it certainly has the potential of being better in some areas. (The part I'm not quite so encouraged about is the part that would be roll-over from this week.)

I washed out of the writing round of [livejournal.com profile] startrekbigbang, and am about to do the same thing with the [livejournal.com profile] polybigbang unless the word-fairy helps me out with a miracle today. I really hate that, because to me it means I wasn't on the ball and was procrastination girl and therefore it's my own damn fault. I do that with way too many things.

There are big weeks going on over at [livejournal.com profile] whedonland and [livejournal.com profile] legendland and in both cases, they snuck up on me and now they're in full swing and I don't feel like I have a good grasp of what's going on, how it works, or what I should be doing. Therefore, when I run across those posts, I feel sort of like you would imagine someone would feel running alongside a train who's steadily increasing it's speed as it leaves the station.

The main reason for that is, quite simply, I've had a bad week. I haven't slept well (by which I mean that I've either fallen asleep before I meant to, and therefore in a weird position and done that thing where you keep waking up just enough to know you need to move, but not enough to *actually* move, or I've fallen asleep ok but woken up incredibly stiff, sore, and tired. It's not unusual, but a week and a half (or more) in a row of it is very draining. And when my energy gets low (it doesn't take a lot, I don't have much to begin with) then I get very muddle-headed. Like VERY muddle-headed. Like, I can't read a paragraph (or sometimes a sentence) without fading out on it and not understanding what's going on or what it's saying. I'm in no way, shape, or form a stupid person, but that level of tired makes me into one, and I really sort of hate it. Caffeine can only do so much, and I have to watch how much of that I have anyway.

In completely other news, I'm now the Secretary for the Board of Whedonites United. There's all sorts of stuff surrounding that giving me stress, but I feel a really strong calling to do more in terms of fandom community organization to help fulfill that side of my job as a priestess to Dionysus. I do a lot of the religious stuff already, but fandom community has been neglected for the last several years.

Oh, and the husband just enrolled (today - well, yesterday, now) in Massage Therapy school. I'm really quite proud of him, and overall am very pleased with this turn of events. We have to meet with the Financial Aid office there next week, and classes start the middle of next month. Hopefully he'll be able to get financial aid and hopefully anything that doesn't cover his family will be willing to help out with. But this should - no, this *WILL* open up a lot of opportunities for him both now and for his (well, our) future. So I'm pleased and hopeful.

Tomorrow (Today) is Rosh Hoshanah, so I'll be busy all day helping [livejournal.com profile] kadollan get ready, and cook, and so forth.
cybermathwitch: (artemis)
What is so compelling about Starbuck? Kara?

She... well, she "feels" right. There's a certain symmetry, not of character, but of emotion and expression that resonates with me, the way that Sarah McLachlan's older work used to resonate with me. (And how very disconcerting it was to realize that that didn't work anymore - to come to the painful conclusion that while beautiful and moving, The Freedom Sessions doesn't "match" me anymore. :( I'm nothing like Starbuck in most of the ways that count. I'm not athletic, I'm not driven, I'm not loudly rebellious or willing to take whatever shit I get when I do something wrong. I avoid doing something wrong or upsetting people all the time as much as I can, because I'm scared. But it's in the way she carries herself. The way that she moves, smiles, grins, fights, cries, and is scared, herself - she's an outward expression of my internal world. Which makes her an excellent subject for LJ artwork, as LJ is my internal world laid a little bit more bare.

I'm working (slowly - must talk to my Catholic cousin about the day-to-day "use" (for lack of a better word) of the saints) on a theory of my own spirituality and how it interconnects to fandom. Or artwork, rather. Fandom is the intense appreciation and experience of and for artwork. I like that definition, I think I'll keep it.

But religion. And spirituality. I'm a Dionysian. My god is Dionysus, and his mysteries are ecstasy, catharsis, theatre, and intoxication. They're all about the letting go of things. The allowing things to sweep over you and sweep you up. He is the god that possesses, not the physical body, like Zeus does, but the heart and mind. Stories possess our hearts and minds. Music possesses our hearts and minds. (It's in no way surprising that he and Apollo are flips of the coin, as Apollo is the god of the music, but Dionysus is the god of the rhythm, the effect the music *has*. The best possible example of a modern Dionysia would be a rave, Ecstasy and all, though I have no desire now, nor have I ever had, to take illegal drugs. Though I wouldn't mind going to a rave sans drug abuse. Pulsing light, flashing colors, pounding beats. (Need to re-watch that scene in the second Matrix movie - yummy.) This goes back to a previous ramble about fandom and fen. I see the whole-hearted-ly throwing myself into my life as a spiritual experience.

You see, I've been having a very cock-eyed sort of "dark night of the soul" (yes, I very nearly did write that "knight", why do you ask? ;) ). I haven't doubted the god/s (much - hardly at all, anyway). I've just doubted my path. And then the other day I realized something. I tried to think back over the most spiritual, emotional experiences I've had in my life. The ones I really remember, without putting the "these are the things that should be considered" filter on it. (i.e., I didn't just think of what would commonly be considered religious instances.)

On the list? Marching band in high school (numerous experiences), the first ScaperCon (in particular), the other ScaperCons (to a lesser degree), numerous episode moments, book passages, songs, and movie moments, sketching, any time I'm in the path of an approaching storm, certain vids, spring, a couple gatherings (especially fire dancing), reading The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, certain concerts, rain wet, impossibly green forests, certain images, the change of the seasons, and occasionally sex.

The things that I realized (and was kind of astonished) didn't make that immediate list? many of the outwardly religious activities that I've been doing the last several years, including my initiation.

(and part of the value of the list is the fact that I didn't over think it, just felt it)

What's the recurring theme, there, folks? Art. And by my earlier definition, fandom. Beauty. Movement. Storytelling. Love.

That's my spirituality. That's what I believe in. Art by turns concentrates, exposes, spotlights, purifies and exemplifies human experience. There is a frakking quote somewhere about how characters may live life more truly and fully than we do, perhaps it says more purely, and I can't remember where it is. (Possibly in Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey?)

Beyond that, we use stories. Our stories inform our decisions and our actions. As a thinking, reasoning species that is self-aware, we decide on right or wrong partly through imagining the consequences of either choice. And every story we hear, every story we tell influences that. So our characters are people we look up to (or down on), but whose actions and stories inform our own. They are our examples, both good and bad. (In the broad definition of story I'm using here, even true events, when related, are stories - history is as much that information as "fiction", a term which losses some or all meaning in that sudden rush because whether something happened in our physical world, the motivations, reactions, and feelings are true.)

And I've gone on a hell of a round-about here. (And this is just further proof that I'm a textual mimic - my writing style changes and shapes itself around whatever I'm currently reading. A couple excerpts from Kate Millet and lots of Roberto Calasso lead to the above.)

::resists urge not to post because she might be seen as a freak and just bloody well posts it anyway, open and out there. which is also why it's not lj-cut... sorry to the f-lists I've just gummed up.::
cybermathwitch: (Can You Hear Me?)
Actually, not entirely true.  I have a random questioning type of thing for everyone, particularly my Fandom-type people.  (which, after seeing how long it was, I decided to put at the end.  BSG-immediate things first:)

I'm about to go mainline season 2.  I think I might need you guys to pray for me.  (oh, yeah, this is gonna frakking hurt....)

I have a fic-in-progress based from the Season 3 Trailer that went up yesterday(ish) (you can the non-Nickelback version here and the Nickelback version (my personal fav, cause yay! here.) - anyone wanna beta-read?  It's L/K ...

And the rest:

1.  Do you address yourself in your journal to different groups of people w/o necessarily limiting the view to that group?  Like, do you shout-out to a particular fandom, or your family, or someone individually, without f-locking it to a group or necessarily restricting it from anyone who stops by (as it were)?  Mostly wanting reassurance that I'm not quite as much of a freak as I sometimes think I am - which leads me to question...

2.  Are we different?  Are we, as fen, somehow essentially different (and please note that I don't use the term "better" or "worse" here - no one take offense at this line of questioning please) from other people in they way we look at the world?  Or at the very least this part of the world?  I mean, I know people who like shows.  Or like book series.  Maybe they even try to make it home in time to catch and ep, or go out and buy a new book the day it's out.  But that's (relatively) surface.  What I'm talking about is that feeling in your stomach that's like a flock of butterflies trying to get out, or bubbles trying to burst, that makes you happy and giggly and bouncy inside because you've discovered something.  [profile] saimhe said something once about how happy Fridays make her.  For me, at least, it's a lot like falling in love.  The characters have a reality because they matter to us, they "talk" to us (look at the fic, folks!  how many people talk about not being able to get a character to "shut up"?), and they influence us. 

It's obsession, and it isn't always a comfortable one.  Like being in love, you have to take the good and the bad, the wonderfully uplifting with the heartbreaking-ly depressing.  I wonder if it isn't something more essential than an intellectual interest.  Are we perhaps more apt to throw ourselves into things (many things, not just fannish things) with our whole hearts, rather than guarding ourselves?  Are we more willing to embrace the entirety of experience than other people may be?  And in this I mean in our whole lives.  The more I think about it, the more I think we are.  Those of you I know, I know that you tend to do things with your whole heart and soul, even if others think that it may not be such a good idea to do it that way.  (I keep thinking back to the last day of any number of Scaper gatherings and how many tears there are - not to mention how many laughs.)

(I didn't start this out to be this deep a thought pattern, but go with me here)  I know I'm more comfortable with myself around fen.  I'm more comfortable laughing as loudly as I want to or can, I'm more comfortable saying what's on my mind, and I'm more comfortable being hyper when I'm around you guys.  I'm more comfortable around you guys than I am around friends that in most ways I'm closer to.

-- to add a religious element here, this is the heart of Dionysian experience for me.  Ecstasis and catharsis require that total commitment to the thing.
cybermathwitch: (Default)
Leading up to last night I commented several times to several different people about my hopes for the movie both in terms of fandom and personally for me, myself.

Dionysus is one of my patron gods, you see. Theatre was created for his worship. So, it's no surprise that I see shows/movies as somewhat religious experiences. Not all, of course, but many. And anything by Joss Whedon by it's very nature has to be put in a category above and beyond brain-candy. Plus, I'm a fan of Firefly. And this is a huge accomplishment for genre fandom as well - "failed" genre show getting enough press/support to be made into a major motion picture? With nationwide release by a major studio? Yeah. Big Damn Deal.

I've only seen the movie once thus far, so many things aren't yet where I can talk about them - this is just my knee jerk (ok, after I've slept knee-jerk) reaction.

Joss Whedon has always been damn good. In this movie, he's gone beyond that. It was an ecstatic movie in that it is capable of wrapping you up and letting you forget the reality around you (even if they're people you know around you). It was also cathartic all across the map.

I. Have. Never. Cried. So. Damn. Hard. At. A. Movie. In. My. Life.

I laughed at the same time, and felt awful about it, but Joss doesn't give you a choice in the matter. You're going to feel and experience exactly what he wants you to feel and experience whether you want to or not. Period.

Read more... )

I don't think that this movie could have been done/doable if there hadn't already been a cast familiar with the characters and dedicated to them. The movie couldn't exist w/o the show behind it, and it is my dearest hope that more and more people will rediscover the show now.

I'm sure I'll have more when I'm not a wrung-out, exhausted mess of a maenad/fangirl.

Notes:

The point of theatre in Dionysian worship is ecstasy and catharsis.

From dictionary.com:

Ecstasy:
1. The state of being beside one's self or rapt out of one's self; a state in which the mind is elevated above the reach of ordinary impressions, as when under the influence of overpowering emotion; an extraordinary elevation of the spirit, as when the soul, unconscious of sensible objects, is supposed to contemplate heavenly mysteries.
2. Excessive and overmastering joy or enthusiasm; rapture; enthusiastic delight.
3. Violent distraction of mind; violent emotion; excessive grief of anxiety; insanity; madness. [Obs.]
4. (Med.) A state which consists in total suspension of sensibility, of voluntary motion, and largely of mental power. The body is erect and inflexible; the pulsation and breathing are not affected. --Mayne.

Catharsis:
1. A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
2. A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
Psychology.
3. A technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness.
The therapeutic result of this process; abreaction.

Read more... )

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