There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
It’s been a while. In all honesty, I have 12 drafts written and yet I can never seem to hit the “publish” button. I’m hoping to break that streak tonight as I write of a door, of all things, that has come to me a few times now.
The first time I dreamt of this door was a few weeks ago, on a lovely trip to Georgetown. That trip deserves its own post, and will get one eventually when the time is right. In that first dream of this door, I was in a field of green grass at dusk. The door, just a typical wooden frame and old style door that you could find in any old house, was placed directly in the middle of this clearing. And the closer I got to the door, the more foreboding it became. It throbbed and seemed to contort my field of view as I approached, menacing and hot with malicious energy. I was too afraid to open it the first time I saw it.
Too afraid then, and the next time, and the next. I believe I’ve dreamed of this door 3 times now.
“I existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end.”
Lately I have found myself quite often turning to the works of Khalil Gibran. There is something in his writing, the way he experienced life and emotion, that speaks to me and pulls at my heart. I find understanding and comfort in his poetry. A kindredness in how he felt and saw things through a similar lens in, even if he was far more talented than I could hope to be. Whatever it is about him, I love nothing more than to disappear in the beauty of his work. Some days I feel very Gibran in so many ways.
Given the Gibran saturation, it’s no surprise that he should creep into my dreams. This dream is a little more “out there” even for me, but I would feel remiss not sharing it. So it was, the other night, I found myself roaming a limitless white space when I came upon a single red thread…
“The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.”
–Percy Bysshe Shelley
Founded in 1852, Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington was the first planned, rural cemetery in North Carolina. Much like its sister cemeteries of Magnolia in Charleston, and Bonaventure in Savannah, Oakdale is a winding necropolis full of Spanish moss, alluring angels, and gorgeous flowering trees and shrubs that just begs to be explored and adored. Meant to be both garden and graveyard, this large, rural cemetery mixes the beauty of life with that of death and mourning. In the era of its conception, Victorian North Carolinians often spent many an afternoon relaxing in Oakdale with loved ones living and long gone, picnicking and reminiscing, and the cemetery became so popular that families paid to have their long-deceased loved ones relocated to its beautiful grounds.
“When he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
It has been a while, hasn’t it? For months now I’ve battled with writing, battled with dreaming. I feel stuck in slow motion, and in many ways stagnated. Given all that is going on in the world, I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling. It’s almost like running in a dream or screaming under water; fighting so hard and getting nowhere.
So many nights I lay down and hope to sleep, to dream, only to fall into a fitful darkness that feels like sleep, yet still leaves me exhausted in the morning. Dark flashes of scenes, some good, some bad, dance before my eyes, but it’s nothing like the dreams I’m used to. After my surgery in December, my dreams had gone nearly completely, and I worried that they were gone for good.
But here and there I see breakthroughs. Here and there I see the light on the other side. And that’s enough to keep me pushing forward. And even though this dream wasn’t the happiest? It felt good to truly dream again.
For this month’s song challenge, I had to pick up the guitar as my piano is on the mend from a freak incident involving naughty cats. I chose to play “Tonite Reprise” by Smashing Pumpkins, as it is one of my favorite songs by one of my most favorite artists. The lyrics are so lovely and encouraging and I hope you all like it as much as I do, and I hope I did it at least a little justice. And I know, I need a new microphone badly! Any suggestions on a decent microphone setup would be seriously appreciated!
“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”
I thought I would take some time off from being the romantic dreamer to satisfy the medical side of my mind that has found much to chew on with the news as of late. Those who know me well know that epidemiology has always been a fascinating subject for me, and I have often dreamed of eventually procuring a PhD in Epidemiology. The Spanish Flu is also one of my favorite historical subjects, as it is a perfect marriage of my love of American history and epidemiology. Unknown futures aside, the COVID-19 situation currently gripping the world has held my attention since the Chinese announced its discovery on December 31st, 2019.
Indeed, this situation has not only tickled my epidemiological funny bone but has also struck a chord with my boundless interest in conspiracy and the occult as well. It might seem odd for someone with a scientific and medical background to also consider alternative and controversial topics, but I do find that in certain cases, the truth often lies in places that many people may not be willing to look, and rarely is the truth presented in full light, especially by those in power.
As such, in this series of posts, I am going to attempt to cover as much ground on both the published and peer-reviewed, scientific side of COVID-19, as well as the top alternative theories on the disease in order to a full view into the current state of the world, how we got here, and where we may be going. Throughout this series, it is my mission to provide high quality and unbiased sources as possible, to give you, the reader, the ability to come to an informed conclusion. I feel that this is extremely important given the inherently misleading nature of both mainstream and alternative news sources.
This first part of the series will focus on the origins of COVID-19, and the most widely accepted theory on the disease, which is the virus theory. Subsequent posts will delve into origins of the virus, and alternative causalities to COVID-19.
This month’s song challenge was quite the challenge in and of itself! Seasonal allergies made singing very difficult, which was disappointing to me as I really wanted to knock this song out of the park. Overall, my voice is deeper in parts than I wanted it to be, and flat in others, but I tried my best given my mild laryngitis. Also, I managed to get a new microphone, but it broke mid-play while I was practicing. I think I can fix it, but for now I had to go back to using my phone’s microphone, which isn’t the best. Despite these shortcomings, I figured I couldn’t just back down on my challenge, so I pressed onward.
The song, Mitski’s “Square”, is one that I have long wanted to play because of its complexity. I really enjoy the slow build in the difficulty, even though it makes for a challenging song for someone who is still very much a novice. The words too, have in the past meant a lot to me. But now? Especially now, I think there are rare circumstances where waiting is worth it….
It’s not perfect at all, but I hope you enjoy my cover of Mitski’s “Square”.
“They’ve promised that dreams can come true- but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.
As the world locks down around me, so too does it seem that I am running into a bit of trouble in the dream world as well.
Most nights, nightmares have replaced my normal dreams.
Dark dreams of despair and hopelessness.
Sometimes they are vague. Many dreams of inky black, sharply shaped creatures, tearing at me with their terrible black claws as they visit me in the night. They tear away my clothes and scratch at me until I am raked over with fine red lines on my pale white skin. No matter how bare I am, it’s never enough for them.
Other nights are worse, as I witness terrible things happen to those I love, most painful of all being dreams of Liam being wounded.
I relish the nights that these malevolent visions leave me be, as rare as they are right now. They do shine through like sunlight in a dark forest, giving me hope.
One sequence in particular keeps replaying. The dream usually starts off as something innocuous, like being at work or going to a movie. Something totally mundane…
Continuing my monthly challenge of learning and playing one song per month. This month’s song was not my first choice, but in the spirit of not giving up and moving forward, I pressed on with an old song that is near and dear to my heart. Hopefully next month, I will have a new microphone setup as well as a more complex song! I hope you enjoy my cover of Cat Power’s cover of Velvet Underground’s “I Found a Reason”.
As a challenge to myself, I have been working on learning one song a month to post at the end of each month of 2020. This first song is a cover of Sylvan Esso’s “Slack Jaw”, mostly learned by ear from listening to their live recordings. A simple song, but one that has always resonated deeply with me. I did make some adjustments for my voice and skill level, so it’s not an exact replay of their version. I am so very nervous, but I hope you all enjoy!