Friends! I offer you greetings! Hope you're doing well, as always. (Presumably you're not always doing well, but I do always hope that you are.)
Not long ago I used a violent metaphor for personal change:
Change requires sacrificing the old self — stabbed through the heart and consigned to the grave, a vampire destroyed for its predatory concupiscence! Ideally with compassion, since that used to be you... Nonetheless, the old self's cherished pleasures are precisely what you must relinquish. It will torment you to retaliate for the privation of venal delights. Thus, like the vampire, the old self has gotta go. Ready your stake!
It do be that way, I stand by that. But at the same time... it's still important to be gentle with yourself. Important to remember that your past self is the one who got you here; the one who served as your cocoon, fueling your inevitable emergence with their own blood. Weakening as you grew. Now who's the vampire, huh?
The interior conquest of personal change is as much a mercy killing of the decrepit old king as it is revenge for his tyranny. Really, I don't think it ought to be revenge — but perhaps that's an inescapable element.
You were miserable, weren't you? You were suffering tremendously. And the land, too, the dominion over which you fought, it suffered under the previous regime. Your own rule will be far from flawless, and you may become a tyrant yourself, fated to be slain by a successor whose heart swells with terrible justice. Nonetheless improvement is improvement, and only one superego can reign.
Hmm, so, I pretty much failed at making this metaphor less violent. Destroy the enemy with love, I guess that's what I'm saying? In practice how I got sober was spending an absurd amount of time collage-journaling and allowing myself to feel uncomfortable (which does not come easily, lemme tell you). Nothing could be more outwardly passive.
But figuratively how I got sober involved, like, a flaming sword thrust deep into the chest of who I used to be. So it goes.
d: can i meet the omniscient self-modifying murder system?
d: and convince it not to kill me
m: sure? i guess?
— Other Futures by Anton Troynikov
Quick reminder for members, in case you missed your latest entitlements:
- Rabbit Rites (digital version)
- The rest of this year + plans for the next (in flux, per usual; I will update on this... again... soonish)
Quick reminder for everyone: Mystery Zine Bundles are still cheap as heck and I still think that you should buy one, either for yourself or to magnanimously distribute amongst your compatriots. Remember, once these are gone, they're gone! $15 each, free shipping within the United States and only $2.50 anywhere else. Half of all proceeds donated to charity.
Things to read:
- Richard Meadows' new book Optionality: How to Survive and Thrive in a Volatile World
- "The Consolations of Free Thought" by Razib Khan
- "Familiarity and Belonging" by Simon Sarris
- "Cargo cults and the liturgy of caution" by Matt Parlmer
- "Reflections on Having a Bad Idea" by Dormin
- "Can literature exist on Instagram?" by Timothy Wilcox
- "How I read" by Slava Akhmechet (in clusters — excellent suggestion!)
- "Pine, Bamboo, and Plum" by Alice Maz
- "NaNoWriMo write-up/rundown: To do the thing you have to do the thing" by Aria Alamalhodaei
- Astonishing Stories sci-fi collection by the Yak Collective
- The Dream of the Iron Dragon by Robert Kroese (Vikings in space, what more do you want?!)
That's all for today. Talk soon 🐰😘