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11 March 2013 @ 02:38 am
I'm too old to go to Narnia.

The past year has brought so many changes to my life that I could never have predicted, could scarcely have imagined. I've discovered fears that lay deeply hidden, and courage that lay deeper yet. I have been forged in fire and ice and come out tempered, sharp and yearning. I have taken the threads of life and fate and woven them into a rough tapestry, and daily I learn how to refine its beauty and radiance. I don't know what lies ahead, above, within. But I know that whatever it is, I will meet it with strength and grace, with beauty and with keen.

I am too old to go to Narnia. But my journey has just begun.

Meet me here, my flower, in this place of light and gold.
Meet me here, my blade, in this place of frost and stone.
05 July 2011 @ 12:19 am
[Note: the way I write this may seem fictive, but it is not.]

I have forgotten how to be alone.

When I was a child, I delighted in loneliness, in isolation. My bed was in a house, but I lived in books. Then, later, I lived in the trees. Much time passed. I no longer lived with the trees; I no longer had time for books. I lived to sing. I made a few friends I cherish deeply, but overall, I relate to them through singing. I came here; I studied here. I made a few friends, and I spent my every waking moment with them. I moved away; I tried to return to my solitary ways, but found it difficult. Taken away from my esprit, I slowly shriveled up, trying my best to live through work, through frequent trips to the cinema, through the internet. It didn't work. Eventually, I came back. I found more friends than I had left, by far. I spent two years in a whirlwind of energy and life and companionship-- the most beautiful of my life. The first year, radiant as the sun, was clouded by lingering effects of my isolation and growing dissatisfaction with myself. During the second, I broke free, and fully appreciated what I had been given-- which only made my dependency worse. Slowly, as all things must, it came to an end as people drifted away. I don't begrudge them their freedom: it is the thing most important to me as well. Their adventures inspire and delight me. I took solace in my best friend, the one remaining to me, to the point of codependency. Eventually, we regrouped, a few returned, temporarily or permanently. I was, and still am, happy.

But I am also unhappy. I rely heavily on three people for my social interaction, and this social interaction is vital to my existence. I have never allowed myself to become dependent on any substance, and it bothers me that I require this. It's not that I don't want to socialize; far from it. But I need interactions sometimes in a way that is totally irrational. Last night, I sat in a tire swing pondering my existence because my three were unavailable, and I realized the extent to which I depend on others for my happiness.

I am terrified. In fourteen months, I am moving to a foreign country halfway across the world to restart my life. This is an enormous opportunity for me, and I am delirious with excitement. But that excitement is heavily tempered with the knowledge that in 426 days, give or take, my entire social network will cease to exist. I don't dislike 'virtual' relationships-- they're what I've built nearly my entire life on. But as someone who has only just learned the joys of having people around you, who you can physically go do things with, losing this is horrifying.

I try above all else to be a rational person. I understand that I will be too busy when I arrive to think about it too hard, and by the time I'm ready to start seeing people again I'll have at the very least acquaintances. I understand that my entire life has been practice in making friends quickly and easily. I understand that despite the language barrier, there is a significant population of people with my native language and customs-- it's one of the reasons I picked where I'm going. But sometimes, sitting alone at night, the doubt and the fear creep in.

I have forgotten how to be alone, and it is the most important lesson of my life.
28 December 2010 @ 03:07 pm
"Hold me."

I wrapped my arms around her, her and the bump, the house still shaking from the distant airburst. That had been London.

In May our group in Oxford received confirmation from the La Palma observatory. Not only was our working theory a good fit for observations, it was the best fit. The excitement swept through everyone at the centre. Our group's work was the next and final step in understanding the forces of our universe. History would record us following and furthering the steps of Leibniz, Poincaré and others.

Leibniz's calculus and laws of gravity and motion described the epicyclic motion of the planets around the Earth and the simpler movement of the Sun and Moon. Poincaré's theory of luminiferous relativity gave space substance, something through which light could wave. His theory of rotational relativity explained the movement of all the worlds. All the worlds, but not the motionless stars. A century after his work we determined that stars remain fixed by maintaining an equilibrium, not because they are fixed in some firmament. The force of their light and their attraction to one another balances the pull of Earth.

A slight buzz of champagne and talk of future work and Nobels kept me later than usual. I arrived home to be greeted by more good news and, for me at least, another celebratory glass. A day to remember.

That was May. A lot can happen in six months. Cosmology rarely graces the headlines. The universe is a simple and ordered place. Where is the news? More detailed work on the observations began to suggest otherwise, with implications both disturbing and newsworthy. Headlines soon rebranded the Centre for Cosmological Studies as the Chicken Licken Lab. The mocking humour fell silent when the constellations started to drift and fade.

Stars have dimmed and fallen before. But, as history tells, these comets are occasional and exceptional. The thousands of other stars remain unperturbed. But stars cannot burn forever. It seems their natural lifetime is around six thousand years. And now they are falling, together.

The house shakes.

"Hold me."

Kevlin Henney is a software development consultant and writer based in Bristol, UK

Taken from New Scientist's "Flash Fiction 2010" contest. Content is obviously not mine, I'm nowhere near that brilliant.
05 October 2010 @ 02:12 pm
This is an extremely rough draft, fresh from the jotting. Comments/critique gladly accepted and heartily encouraged. Slightly disappointed that the rhythm and lyricism of the first few lines didn't continue.

I'll sing you a song of the future, my child
I'll sing you a song of the past.
Once long ago, and once long from now you sit, my child,
in a field of waving grasses,
beside a sparkling brook,
quietly humming the songs I have taught you.
You catch fish and harvest berries and roots,
singing their names to the winds.
A few minutes later, you till the earth, my child,
you plant the blessed seeds,
divert the rivers of sacred water,
harvest the edible plants and the medicines
A moment after that, you plant the life-grain, my child,
separate the chaff from the fruit,
make bread so warm and filling the gods weep.
Another long minute and you make creatures to help with the harvest,
mindlessly chewing the soil to prepare for the planting,
endlessly depositing seeds in the furrows,
eternally cutting the golden stalks of grain without time to eat
to sleep
to dream.
Look how you've grown, my child, look how you prosper!
Tall huts that reach the sky, rivers of black stone for your rumbling beasts
You cross my breast, my child,
faster that I ever imagined possible.
What parent would not be proud?
I give you my everything,
my soul, my body,
that you might use it to better yourself even further.
Another moment passes and you reject me, my child,
the pain of your abandonment sharper than any asp
the unfeeling walls between us harder than anything I have given you
but I love you still. You are mine, always.
A few moments more, my child,
and you cower, afraid
but come closer to me and I will hold you
as I have always done
as I always will
Can you not see that fear is the enemy of love?
I have told you this, look deep inside, to your memories from long ago.
You have hurt yourself, my child,
and you have hurt me.
Can you see now the pain that you have caused?
I can see it well, as I have always
as I will always
but I love you just the same.
21 September 2010 @ 01:00 am
Sneak attack photo meme!!1!

When you read this, you're tagged. Take a picture of you in your current state, no changing your clothes or quickly putting on makeup. NO PHOTOSHOP. Show your f-list the real you!

Surprisingly photogenic given that my hair is disgusting and I'm sweaty and gross (September, 86? Really?). Must be the light.

Also, this meme traveled faster than any I've seen before.
14 September 2010 @ 12:48 am
When David heard that
Absalom was slain,
to his chambers
over the gate
and wept.
But this isn't right:
I have no gate on which to mourn you, my love
No chambers but our chambers
the emptiness where you used to be
where we used to be.
It is not that these places remind me of you
It is that they are inseparable from you
From the half-smile that plays your lips
From the copper streaks your hair has in the sunlight
From my tears unbidden when I see your shampoo.

Oh, my love, my love my love
Would God I had died for thee.
27 April 2010 @ 09:30 pm
He sits casually on the bench of the plasma donation center, maybe 27, sandy brown hair bordering on reddish. One earbud in to hear his name called for the culling, attention fixed on a cheap but serviceable Dell laptop probably furnished by his mid-sized company. He is the embodiment of everything IT is and wishes it wasn't, less technology than antiquity: Young, toiling away in the obscurity of a field that progresses slower than publishing, despite gleaming aluminum dreams. Casually overweight; his trainers are for the air of nonconformity rather than any sport, a rejection of the (far mor comfortable) leather loafers of the Corporate Suits, a victim of anti-fashion anti-corporatism anti-anti-anti-capitalism. The yoke is tight around his neck, a cheap polyester tie with the same sheen as the equally synthetic slacks (pleated) and shirt (black, ill-fitting). There are a thousand of him, a thousand-thousand, quietly laboring away in offices, ducking for a few hurried minutes to a closet packed high with racks of commerce zipping away at 100 Mbps.

His name is called, he gets up, picking up a backpack full of unrealized ambitions and electronic detritus.
11 April 2010 @ 12:27 am
I don't have a picture of myself from over ten years ago, so here is tomorrow's prompt instead.

Day 1110 - A photo of you taken recently

Here's a picture I took the other day, shortly before I colored my hair. I'll have to take another picture of my hair post-color tomorrow in natural light and redo this prompt on its proper day.

Meanwhile, I will attempt to track down some old pictures for another day.
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10 April 2010 @ 12:41 am
Day 09 - A photo you took

I have seen the fairies in the wood, because they need to be there. I tell their tales that we might for a brief shining moment transcend the world of paperwork and grocery shopping to rest in the boughs of myth, bask in the sunlight of a world that could never be and yet must. Without the beautiful lies of fiction, there would be no point in continuing; Despair is the twin of Desire. If we cannot imagine a perfect world, how can we ever create it?

If we cease to believe in magic, we are lost.
10 April 2010 @ 12:34 am
Day 08 - A photo that makes you angry/sad

A Kyrgyz protester in front of their White House. I weep for those who lose their lives in the search for a better world.
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