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  • Mistakes Can Be Like Gifts

    I talk to myself a lot. 

    Not in the schizophrenic way, of course. I don't think. Though, there's nothing wrong with that, really.

    But more likely, it's the kind of thing that happens when I am alone cleaning my apartment, putting on makeup, etc. Often menial tasks. So I talk to myself in voices, make up characters, scenarios, scenes and dialogues. 

    And yes, I defy anyone to tell me that all writers don't do this same behavior.

    Anyway, so last night, I happened to be in a bit on a bit of a "A Streetcar Named Desire" kick. So what morphed from my quoting and doing my best Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois impression, turned into my own off-shoot, irrelevantly original scenes.

    My characters were two lovers. Orbiting each other, deciding whether they should or shouldn't. One was married and unhappy, the other single and unhappy, both for different reasons. Should they have an affair? What would be the outcome? Is chemistry, once created, ultimately impossible to resist? Should it be?

    At one point, my female character - let's call her Beatrice - said, "Mistakes can be like gifts."

    That's when I stopped my dramatics and looked at myself in the mirror and said, "Hey, girl...that was mildly profound. You probably plagiarized it from somewhere." 

    But, after some cursory Googling, I realized nope - a truly original phrase all my own. Hooray!

    Then, because I am, at the end of the day, still a cynic, I thought, "You know, this is the exact kind of cheezy meme thing that some teenage girl, (who I adore already for having been her once), would put on her Tumblr or Instagram, in an effort to provide her followers with something inspirational.

    So, here it is, girls. I made it for you. Post it in your lockers and Tumblrs. Share it with your friends who have summer jobs at FreePeople and Urban Outfitters and Gypsy Warrior. They might like it, too.

    It's my gift to you. Happy youth. Mistakes can be like gifts. 

  • The Four Temperaments

    The Four Temperaments

    This painting is lovely. I have been strongly considering purchasing a print and hanging it in my sad vestibule (read: dirty apt. hallway)

    I wish Mark Ryden would paint something like this for us here at Dead Guinea Fowl.

    Only in our case, I would prefer it be an Allegory Of The Four Temperaments.

    So they say that Humorism is now a discredited theory (well, "they" being wikipedia), but I would argue that it's more fascinating than astrology and much more likely (in the cosmic scale, at least), as we're dealing with the physiological make up of the human body and how our most prominent substances directly impact our personalities. What's so illogical about that theory?

    The four temperaments are Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic, Phlegmatic, and here's a chart to describe the foundations of each:

    Ever since I first started studying the Four Temperaments (yes, Anais Nin clued me into them through her journals), I've thought them to be very fluid and expansive. I believe people to be capable of embodying all of these characteristics at various given times, however, it can't be denied that there is a through-line in many of us that ends with majority's rule.

    Despite my regular fits of sobs and broodiness (Melancholic), I must admit that when I'm feeling the most intense, I am living the life of the Sanguine. Passionate, lusty, gluttonous and filled with blood-stream energy. The attraction to the dark might seem seductive -- and why wouldn't it as an opposite on the spectrum from my idealized natural state -- but it hardly feels easily maintained. I think that's because of the despondency associated, and how that commitment of full body to those feelings is much more taxing than any adrenaline rush.

    Are there any artists in our midsts? What would the pictorial allegory of the Four Temperaments look like through your eyes? How would the four girls around the tree trunk manifest themselves?

  • There's A Rue For You, And Here's Some For Me...

    There's A Rue For You, And Here's Some For Me...

    Google released a new amazing art product today, called Art Project. In my journey through, I stumbled across one of my most favorite depictions of Ophelia. Credit: Ophelia, Sir John Everett Millais, Tate Britain.

    In High School, a wacky poetry professor made us design masks, wear them and perform sonnets, snippets of prose, poems, in front of the rest of the class. I tried a hybridized version of the classical Greek theatre approach and used an all white mask with no facial expression. Creepy, by itself, but I added a head-dress made of black and magenta dried flowers, and moldy green vines. And then, I read this:

    "There is a willow grows aslant the brook
    that shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
    therewith fantastic garlands did she make
    of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples that,
    the liberal shepherds give a grosser name, 
    but our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them. 
    There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds clamb'ring to hang,
    an envious sliver broke;
    when down her weedy trophies and herself fell in the weeping brook. 
    Her clothes spread wide and, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
    which time she chanted snatches of old lauds, 
    as one incapable of her own distress,
    or like a creature native and indued unto that element;
    but long it could not be till that her garments, heavy with their drink, 
    pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death." 
    -HAMLET Act 4 lines 167-184" 

    I thought of this today when I saw this painting, and of course you can't think about Ophelia as a recovering theatre major and not also touch for the hundredth time on the question of Murdered or Suicide?

    Me? I say, suicide, for the record.

    She was stressed and crazy with love and above all else, ignored. Her world revolved around a guy who was, sure, curious, but not curious about her. Not interested in her because he was too busy looking in at himself. She was publicly falling apart and no one was there to even notice.

    I often wonder if I miss noticing people falling apart in my life. Actually I don't have to wonder because it happened, at least once, and I had no clue until much later. And though no one could ever accuse me of not being curious, I am in many respects Narcissus, standing over his reflection and thinking, thinking, thinking. Turning outward things inward and trying way too hard to "relate" (i.e., make myself relevant in the equation. Any equation.)

    I am probably missing a lot of things. I am probably paying attention to the wrong details. I am probably too busy trying to construct a fabrication made up of reflecting light and shallow pools, rather than tangible, tactile reality.

    No. This isn't about suicide. It's about being tired. I'm tired, today and that's why I'm writing this. I get Ophelia. I get the feeling of being too tired to want to think about anything anymore -- even if it is a part of the seductive art of self-love/analyzation. Sometimes I just want to be paid attention to without having to do a single thing.

    Sometimes I just want to be noticed by someone other than myself.