Finding the life in death and death in life. The moment of birth is the first step toward death, every breath oxidizes and ages, moving life toward its end. Every death is teaming with life. When the spark of life extinguishes, a thriving ecosystem gets to work: bacteria, microbes, fungus, ants, worms, seagulls, vultures, coyotes, all work together to recycle the lifeless. Though many humans dream of a life eternal, fearing the unknown of finality, they also show a fear of the unnatural possibility of eternal life as demonstrated through stories of vampires, jinn, ghosts, zombies and other undead or undying monsters.
This morning I began thinking of poisonous mushrooms as a symbol of the life in death and death in life, though any of the lives in my list above could make interesting images. I’ve got a couple more days to think about it.
Today’s prompt is leaves. For today’s images I used a leaf I found last season that had decomposed to only its veins. It feels almost like cloth. I picked a couple aging leaves from the cherry-plum tree too.
I enjoyed this morning’s photos so much. I want to thank Tourmaline for the inspiration I get from this Halloween challenge.
I had a choice of rooms but only one offered sanctuary small, confined, two windows filled with leaves, branches and vines sunrise-side towhees shuffle along my eye-line until I close the thick blackout curtains then yellow yellow curtains, yellow walls, yellow carpet like daffodil fields edged by a wood faux wood closet doors, veneers on built-in cupboards and drawers and in the center a private island with a quilt, wavy sea-green cozy in warm blankets supported by pillows supporting a laptop, typing but there’s more than this comfort and solitude a property only present here like a bubble of silence impenetrable by doorbell or phone or voices, or boats, or chainsaws or mowers or ghosts, like a bomb shelter or lead-lined box like a force-field, a sound-shield, a safe sanctuary of calm
Today’s prompt is “drink.” This made me think of transformative drinks, like potions, or mad-science, like Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Those drinks usually bubble and smoke, and taste foul. Or, of course, there are the terrible things that are put into drinks: poisons, pills, or powders. I think I’m feeling darker this year than I was last year when my drinks were failed cocktails of fruit-juice ice-skulls, vodka, and candy-corn pumpkins.
I couldn’t find any information about today’s image of two women with pale arms in black ballgowns floating over water’s edge with their heads completely consumed in flames. I tried Artist Ninja (reverse image search), but got nowhere. If anyone has information on the artist and title, please share in the comments. Here’s the beginning of today’s story:
Today’s theme is “Nourish the Soul.” I nourish my soul in so many ways: morning cuddles with kitty, reading, writing, learning, creating my images every day, music, fabric art, and sharing my work with you here at Experience Writing.
Speaking of nourishing the soul, what better way than a meal inspired by poetry? This week is week 7 of ModPo, and I’m starting my close-reading essay on the poem, “Having a Coke with You,” a love poem by Frank O’Hara. While doing a little research, I stumbled upon this PBS episode of Art Cooking which I found really fun.
Today’s inspirational image is “Mind Twist (Invocation)” from a Magic: the Gathering card from the Amonkhet Invocations Set. I like the desert sand setting and the idea of being attacked by one’s own shadow—what a betrayal.
“. . . and as I watched, though the cruel sun was overhead, his shadow stretched out behind him like tar pouring over the sand. Then like a thick, toxic smoke, it lifted behind him, and hovered for a moment. He didn’t turn. He stayed on his knees in the burning desert sand, holding his head. The shadow appeared to find form. I saw white eyes in a black almond-shaped face, and long, spindly fingers reached from over the man into his bald scalp which began to writhe and twist. It was horrifying to observe, but I couldn’t look away.” ~Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 19
Today’s prompt is “desserts.” Last year I had fun thinking of desserts literally and creating Halloween chocolates. This year, I want to think of desserts more figuratively. Using the definition of dessert as the sweet last course of a meal, I started thinking about the finality of dessert—a sweet ending, a final enticement—like a Jinn’s cursed wish or a deal with the devil. I thought of one of those huge rainbow suckers, but with a poison symbol on it, or the poisoned apple covered in caramel. I set up the floating studio since this may be the last warm sunny day in a while, and I may be taking my final lake swim of 2022.
Today’s prompt is Perfectly Imperfect and talks about the concept/philosophy of Wabi-sabi: a Japanese aesthetic concept that finds beauty and serenity in objects, landscapes, designs, etc., that are simple, imperfect, and impermanent (dictionary.com).
I was discussing the problems of perfectionism with my parents just yesterday. It’s hard to say if its nature or nurture—genetic, psychological programming,or both—but I got it from both of my parents.
This idea of the perfectly imperfect ties in nicely with finding the confidence in fear and the fear in confidence. The fears of the Halloween season are fears of the unknown: fear of the dark, fear of monsters, fear of nightmares, fear of death, the undead, spooks, frights, and surprises. Confidence comes through knowing what to expect, through experience, learning, shining light into the dark, being prepared. But a perfectionist wants, even needs the impossible. No matter how prepared, the perfectionist will find imperfection, and thus finds the fear in confidence, and is confident of her fear.
Today’s Poetics prompt is about names for the October full moon. Sarah gave us a list of what this moon is called around the world to inspire our poem.
I once wrote a song called “I Want to Swim to the Moon.” It talks about the full moon in June. Hard to believe that this year, I could have been singing about the full moon in October—doesn’t have the same ring to it. 😃
Ways We See The Same Moon
Thick fall vines flow from the blackberry moon. Berries shriveled and long gone, its thorns pierce searching, hungry flesh, drawing blood staining its round, white, blemished face. The blood moon haunts the horizon flushed with pride of its scarred visage. The horrors it has evoked in the crazed haze, planting seeds of discord, the seed fall moon spreads, lighting the way for the wind to scatter and spray dreams through the dark. The harvest moon collects the aging and decaying, perfect in their grace of time’s ravages, ripe and sweet in their browning blemishes, fueling an ice moon’s warm glow.
So we made it through “the big 5:” beauty, happiness, wisdom, love, and truth. I have to admit, combining those big contradictions with all these other October challenges was hard, but I like the honeycomb and mask symbols that came from the work. Since there are only two week left until Halloween, I thought we would look at some appropriately spooky abstract nouns.
I looked over an abstract noun list and came up with four categories that I thought fit as Halloween themes: fear, death, evil, and weakness. I decided to split each week in half to look at two each week. So this week from Monday through Wednesday, I’ll be exploring the fear in confidence and the confidence in fear. Then Thursday through Saturday I’ll look at the life in death and the death in life. Sunday, I’ll review my findings and share my images.
The weather is supposed to change drastically by the end of the week, so hopefully this is the week to really get into the Halloween spirit.
Today’s prompt is “vampire.” I’ve never been a big fan of vampire stories. I have a physical pain reaction to seeing blood, so as you can imagine, vampires do not equal fun for me. So for today’s prompt, I turned to Monstrum for some inspiration. I found an interesting video about the Pontianak, a Southeast Asian female vampire ghost.
The Pontianak alarms like a cracked bell ringing echo of betrayal’s grievance sharp and unhinged vengeance transformed to unfocused blood thirst like a wind lifting dry leaves she is swooping overhead to perch and prey on those whose final vision will be her scars
Today’s prompt is “mask.” Masks are not only fun for Halloween, I think they are a great symbol for this week’s contradictory abstraction: finding the fiction in truth and the truth in fiction. Humans use masks to both hide the truth and create a truth they want others to believe.
magnified imperfections amplified by rejection scaled to infinite knives, carving slicing, and dicing character and courage honest appearance for accepted alterations normalized through farce glamorized falsification eclipses objective reality fantasy-focused manipulation altering perceptions of beauty-truth creating masks upon masks eviscerating will and sight past shape and skin
Today’s prompt for some stream of consciousness writing is “happy place.”
My happy place is filled with stinky smoke. Frustrating sunny days full of sharp, acrid haze make me long for rain. This time of year, here, wishing for rain feels so wrong. My happy place all summer has been at an old picnic table on the porch, writing, pausing to stare out at the lake, hearing the splash of jumping fish, the scream of eagles, and brisk clicks of the kingfisher. Today it is in my room with the fan; even the living room smells of smoke. And yet, this is such a happy place, far from the fires threatening lives and homes. I sit comfortably in safety reading, writing, and watching Arachnophobia. So today, this is my happy place.
When light slants through cracks and color hides Where the dark is dank and sparkle dies While spiders weave, cawing murders fly Who creeps in shadows with creaking reply? What snarls cold shivers to quivering spines? How spooky every corner of haunted mind
It’s Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub, so I’m adding this poem to the line-up.
As Seen by Glowing Eyes
Prowling the shimmering line hunting truth in fiction flowing through time’s cyclical rhymes, he stalks the sweetest blades, scrapes and claws at prey unseen, suckles and shivers in rhythmic breaths of dreams
Glowing caught in a flash reflected exposes life in the void of night appearing still but verily amid slow-motion pounce, the unsuspecting skitter and scratch the starlight admiring the shimmer until too late
I didn’t see a prompt today, so I’ll write a ghosts poem.
That Shiver Out of Nowhere
Specters flow through time and space like chilled memories arriving uninvited These ghosts come and go growing from ethereal umbra to fully encompass and fill with fear Spirits haunt the shattered, creeping along flesh and spine searching warmth Like moth to flame the spooks will come again wailing their sorrows through the midnight hours
Today’s image is “Scary Forest” by Victor Titov. It shows a very tall, stretched, tree-like young woman at a distance among the trees. From the Monstrum video, this could be a Baba Yaga on her long bone legs.