An effect, a cosmetic

I'm a little uncertain about this thing called certainty.

“After all, where does the “idea” of a dick come from? We have that second-wave feminist notion that all dicks come to us as a patriarchal tool to induce pregnancy and its ongoing labors, and then we have the actually much more complex picture. Patriarchy is in the mix. So are incredible histories of gender variance and dildo artisans working in a variety of creative materials for millennia. National monuments. The New York skyline. Mean bosses. Richards. Straight porn. Racialized ideas of phallus size. Dominance. Homoerotic anything. Dicks can be hands, feet, faces, strap-ons, fingers, ears, miscellaneous objects. If the dick isn’t just, you know, a dick, and we have notions of pain/pleasure/service/consumption that go beyond the definitional, then sucking is a wide field of activity. Sucking can look like biting, slapping, yelling, music, poetry, the Department of Homeland Security.”

– Janani Balasubramanian, “How Many Licks

“The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what he did not have, or becomes what he is not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning one’s self and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding which begins the spiritual awakening.”

Aldous Huxley (via alllways)

“It is emotionally devastating when the partners we have chosen will not listen. Usually, partners who are unable to respond compassionately when hearing us speak our pain, whether they understand it or not, are unable to listen because that expressed hurt triggers their own feelings of powerlessness and helplessness … When we are committed to doing the work of love we listen even when it hurts.”

– bell hooks, All About Love

“Developing the ability to piss other people off (or even to RISK pissing them off) without knuckling under is pretty much the Holy Grail of emotionally abused kids, I think. We are programmed to respond at the first sign of displeasure, and we don’t have the faith in ourselves and our decisions to weather the storm– or even a mild sprinkle– so we tend to freak out as if the world was ending if a cloud crosses the sun. We freak out about the possibility that we’re wrong, that we’re doing the wrong things, that we’re making the wrong choices, that we’ll make someone angry, because there’s this awful certainty lurking at the back of our minds that says “If you do the wrong thing, you will be in TROUBLE.” And being in TROUBLE is the worst thing, ever, because that part of our brain is forever three years old where our parents are our whole world and being in TROUBLE is the end of everything.

It takes a lot of practice to gain that sort of gut-level knowledge that we’re strong enough to handle this stuff and that the world doesn’t end if someone else is angry at us. It’s not an innate quality that some people have and some don’t; people who grow up in non-abusive homes learn it when they’re young, is all, and the rest of us have to learn it when we’re grown up. And it sucks, and it’s not fair, and it’s not fun, but there’s no getting around it, and you can do it, you CAN.

You can piss people off.

You can be wrong.

You can fuck up.

You can do stuff that everyone thinks is weird.

AND IT IS ALL OKAY. The world won’t end. You will still be a good person. And the likelihood is that most of the things you do WON’T be wrong, and WON’T piss people off, and WON’T be up-fuckery, and WON’T be weird, but if it is? The hell with it; fix it, if necessary, and move on.”

PomperaFirpa @Captain Awkward (via ladysaviour)

Keeping track of time, doing this kind of personal accounting, gives things context; it marks the passing of time not unlike the demarcation school enforced, where time was punctuated by semesters and summer breaks. When you mark time in chunks, you can name it — “it’s fall,” “I’m in my 40s,” we’re in the “aughts.” Shared vocabulary has value because then there can be conversation. Being aware of time allows for both an objectivity and a shared experience that weren’t there before.

What you actively spend time on, and (far more difficult) what you choose not to do, who you choose not to spend time with, and who and what you decide to say no to — what you choose, then — is how you mark time. And that is all there is.

A beautiful reflection on time by Liz Danzico. Pair with this fascinating look at how humanity has visualized the chunking of time over the ages

Annie Dillard captured this yin-yang of time best: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily mind people not knowing I’m gay, but I don’t like being thought of as straight — in the same way that I don’t mind people not knowing I’m a writer, but it would be awkward if they assumed I was an extreme skateboarder, because that’s so far removed from the reality of my life. But there is no blank slate where orientation is concerned; we are straight until proven otherwise. And if you’ve never seen how dramatically a conversation can be derailed by a casual admission of homosexuality, let me tell you, it gets awkward.”

My Life as an Invisible Queer (via feministlibrarian)

“Sometimes he did not know if he slept or just thought about sleep.”

Mark Strand (via observando)

or just imagined all my worst fears in vivid scenarios while lying down with my eyes closed :(

“All those flowers that you never grew-
that you wanted to grow
The ones that were plowed under
ground in the mud-
Today I bring them back
And let you grow them
Forever.”

Bob Kaufman, from “(ALL THOSE SHIPS THAT NEVER SAILED)” (via sigh-twombly)

“I like missing you so hard because it makes me feel strongly that you are not a dream, you are real, you are living, and I’ll meet you again.”

– Simone de Beauvoir

He says ‘I don’t get it, why are you still a virgin at 24?’

He says ‘I don’t believe you, I’ve seen you walk, virgins don’t walk like that’

He says, ‘That ain’t natural, people are supposed to fuck.’

He asks ‘Why though? No offence though.’

I ask ‘When was your first time?’

He says ‘I was 12’

He says ‘I know what you’re thinking, that’s too young.’

I look at his knuckles, he has two good hands.

He says ‘She was older than me.’

I ask ‘How old?’

And he says ‘It’s better that the girl is older, that’s how I learnt all things I know’

He licks his lips.

I ask again ‘How old?’

He says ‘I could use one finger to make you sob’

I think of my brother in prison and I can’t remember his face.

I ask again ‘How old?’

He says ‘Boys become men in the laps of women, you know?’

I think of my mothers faced lined with her bad choices in men.

He says ‘If you were mine you wouldn’t get away with this shit, I’d eat you for hours, I’d gut you like fruit.’

I think of my cousins circumcision, how she feels like a mermaid, not human from the waist down.

He says ‘I’d look after you, you know?’

I laugh, I ask for the last time ‘How old?’

He says ‘34.’

He says ‘She was beautiful though and I know what you’re thinking but it’s not like that, I’m a man, I’m a man, I’m a man. No one could ever hurt me’.

– Warsan Shire, Crude Conversations With Boys Who Fake Laughter Often (via cactuslungs)

“The trouble with photography in general is that everything is interesting.”

Christopher Williams discusses his retrospective The Production Line of Happiness. (via moma)

“your name feels like rocks in my mouth
but I keep saying it because
cutting my lips on our memories
is the closest I can get to lying in your bed”

– Fortesa Latifi (via madgirlf)