You GUYS! Another FCBD has come & gone, but I’m still super happy with my finds this year. I unfortunately had to work most of the day, but once I was off of work, I headed down to Velocity Comics to see if they had anything special this year. Unfortunately, having gotten there late in the day, the two freebies I really wanted were already gone: Brian K. Vaughn’s Barrier & the Fantagraphics sampler. But we can’t dwell on sadness—not on Rex Manning D—I mean, Free Comic Book Day!
Despite missing out on the freebies, I was SO EXCITED to find that my wonderful little store had FINALLY gotten in the first issue of local comic, Innsmouth by Megan James. This comic has been in such high demand that reprints of the first issue has been back-ordered since earlier this year. I’d been waiting patiently, collecting the other issues as they came out, waiting for that first issue so I could finally start reading it. And now, here it was! Binge-reading time!
I looked around a little bit more & also found that Hard Case Crime is putting out comics as well. So I picked up Normandy Gold, a comic done in the style of exploitation films from the 70s. I practically bounced up to Patrick at the counter & told him breathlessly that I’d been looking forward to visiting all day & finding cool stuff. I think I made him a little nervous with my enthusiasm, but then again, the store was still pretty busy despite the late hour, so maybe he just thought I was another weirdo.
All in all, a pretty fantastic FCBD. Soooo, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bunch of stuff to go read now. . .
Having recently read Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score, I’d decided soon after finishing the book to try one of the recommended readings. I chose Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Coming To Our Senses, mainly because van der Kolk discussed some of the collaborations the two of them used in studies. I haven’t put it up on my Goodreads, partially because the book has a weird dual thread of (Kabat-Zinn’s) self-promotion & actual insightful commentary on human perception that bothers me.
But there is one concept that I’ve been stuck on for the past few weeks that I keep playing with mentally. Kabat-Zinn mentions the Kanizsa triangle, an illusion where three circles suggest a triangle at their center due to their shape. He presents a scenario where a Zen teacher shows this figure to a student & says something like, “If you say there is a triangle in the center, I will tell you that you’re wrong. If you say there isn’t a triangle in the center, I will tell you that you’re wrong.”
My initial reaction was a fear where there is no right answer, meaning (for my people-pleasing self) that I cannot make the other person happy or content or solve the problem they present me, meaning a frightening (but purely hypothetical) situation where I can’t solve their problem or get away from their scrutiny. The idea that ambiguity resides outside of my attempts to understand or create order was terrifying. Ambiguity means unassessed threats means I might get hurt means run away run away run away NOW.
(And if I wasn’t trying to be honest & make a point here, I’d link to Courtney Love’s “Mono” where she screams those last few words.)
All of that was my traumatized brain. And now that I’m healing, I’m facing this idea of ambiguity, where things do & do not exist at the same time, & thinking that I might be able to learn to be ok with it. At least, that’s the skill I want to have moving toward. I’ve left behind the over-used survival instinct & the chronic exhaustion it causes. I’m struggling now with the remaining traces on my reasoning, where categorizing past experiences as either all good or all bad seems like an easy solution.
But that’s not what I want. I want to accept myself & my place in the world & grow stronger from that purposeful knowledge, not from the reactions to the ghosts of the past & the wolves at the door.
With nearly a year gone by since my last Bookmark Monday post (way to stick new habits, self), I thought I would share the freebies I brought back from DragonCon. Bookmarks are a great way to spread the word about yourself at a con, especially one for sci-fi & fantasy readers!
Hello readers! We’re just a few days away from the end of National Poetry Month. I’ve added two more personal readings to the public Dropbox folder I’m sharing here. This week, we’ve got “The Garden of Love” by William Blake & “Organist” by Claudia Emerson. I’m trying to keep the two that I put up related some way, so I hope you enjoy these new readings!
Poetry Month is winding down & since I had been reminiscing about Thursday Poems at my college recently, I thought I would put up a few readings. Right now, there are just two poems in this Dropbox folder: “When All My Five and Country Senses See” by Dylan Thomas & “This Is a Photograph of Me” by Margaret Atwood. But I’ll be adding to it over the next few days & posting updates here for those who are interested. Enjoy!