This morning, a gray and cloud-muffled morning, I walked by Rosemary Park on my way to coffee. The park has a bunch of playground equipment that’s usually packed with family, but today it was mostly empty, except for a dad quietly pushing his toddler in a swing, both of them wearing the same blank face, and a mom holding an empty stroller and staring at her phone, while her child, bundled up and puffy, sat motionless at the top of a slide, looking wistfully at the swingset. It felt like i’d stumbled upon the most whimsical slowcore band taking their saddest press photo.
This scene has no real point or bearing upon the rest of this diary entry, I think. It’s just a thing that I saw this morning and had to tell someone.
I’m currently on the eve of a magic November. An intentionally and explicitly magic November. Like, I took the month off of work for this. For the magic. And it’s so exciting. Some part of me wants to write, with fake anxiety, “I dont’ know what this month will bring and i’m nervous!”…but nah, I ain’t. I don’t know what this month will be like, and that brings me such thrilling peace.
Earlier in the year, I was offered a fellowship to study the intersection of magic and technology at an occult school for radical creatives on the lower east side. The fellowship was to last the month of November. The school ended up being too different from my ideals, and I bowed out from study there a couple days ago. But the sentence that started this paragraph is such a good sentence, and so in the months between the offer and when the fellowship started I’d built up a powerful dream of what this type of study could be like, and what I’d want to do with my time. That dream is full in me strong, and I still have the month off work, so now I get to pursue my it. Or, that’s not quite right. I’m not pursuing my dream. I am purposefully living within it.
I’ve held a job since I was 19. When not working, I was in school and, for a few years, going to a couple schools simultaneously(first it was high school and community college, then college and barber school). This is the first time in over a decade that I’ve taken more than 2 weeks off work. I mean, even when I quit jobs, I made sure that I had another job lined up for the next day.
This meant that, whenever I did take vacation, it was for recovery. Like, the energy I’d give to my personal time was to relax and not think about anything, and get my energy back up so I could make it through work again. Even my creative projects acted as a sort of release valve, or like a bolded opposal of work, which meant that they still existed in work’s shadow. My personal time became the resting beat between other people’s notes.
This month, I will not be relaxing. Instead, I want to transform all the energy I know I have for work, into fully personal and creative things. I don’t want quiet, or recuperation. And I do not mean that I’ll switch my work ethic over to creative pursuits. Instead, I want to practice an alternative to working, to manifest and funnel energies in purely heart-felt ways. I want to play my own notes. I want to simply play.
Can I live without schedules or plans, but only intentions, and still fill up my days? Can I realize the things I want to see in this world without organizing them into a list of tasks? What is it like when I don’t try to construct projects to finish, but instead practice a personal photosynthesis, absorbing the energy of the day to fill up my spirit, and seeing the flowers and fruits that inevitably appear.
(I’m not going to lie, I don’t fully know what this means, but I think that’s okay? (I also don’t fully get how photosynthesis works, and I think that’s less okay.))
Speaking more directly: There’s a bunch of scuttlebutt stuff I want to create, and personal writing, and collaborations with loomio, and python I want to code and magic I want to manifest. But I want to ‘work’ on this stuff in a persistent ritual state, to find that place again that I had as a child, with a blank piece of paper, intending to draw a pirate ship but really just enjoying the movement of my crayon, adding my marks and motions to the world.
So I’m on the eve of all that. I am bundled up and ready for play. And this month, I will not just sit motionless at the top of the slide.