greygirlbeast: (Default)
Please comment, kittens. I just spent almost three hours on this bloody entry.

"Deny your pettiest of foes the satisfaction of defeat, or even of recognition, by consigning them to oblivion." – Old Sith Proverb (even though I just now made it up). Then again, as Brown Bird reminds us: "We file down our fangs on the bones of our foes." It's a damned conundrum, it is.

This is going to be a long entry, I think. Because, firstly, there's yesterday, and then, secondly, there's Ridley Scott's forthcoming Prometheus.

Yesterday, we finally left the house about two p.m. (CaST), and headed south and east to Conanicut Island and West Cove (~41°28'46.27"N, 71°21'40.50"W), nestled in amongst the ruins of Fort Wetherill. Longtime readers will recall this is one of our favorite destinations. It seemed a fitting place to spend Yuletide. Speaking of tides, as the new moon is Saturday, and we had a storm on Wednesday night, the last high tide had been very high, indeed. All the way back to the treeline. Therefore, all manner of interesting things had fetched up on the shore. When we visit West Cove, we're always most interested in mermaids' tears (beach glass) and the bones of gulls, cormorants, and other birds (and mammals, but mammalian bones are rare). I try to ignore the profuse plastic litter, mostly left behind by the summer people. I try to imagine the shoreline pristine, but it's hard when you know:

Around 100 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year of which about 10 percent ends up in the sea. About 20 percent of this is from ships and platforms, the rest from land.

- or -

Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discarded and may persist for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Anyway, by my admittedly casual estimation, the tide must have stranded hundreds of rock crabs (Cancer irroratus), along with all manner of other Mollusca and Crustacea, many of which I've never before seen at West Cove. There were the remains of numerous genera of crabs and lobsters (including Limulus, Homarus, Libinia, and the aforementioned Cancer), pelecypods (including Mytilus, Ensis, Aequipecten, Mercenaria, Spisula, Crassostrea, and an as yet unidentified cockle), and gastropods, mostly slipper shells and periwinkles. I found a few interesting bird bones, and we collected some nice bits of glass. The sun was brilliant off the water, until banks of low clouds rolled in towards sunset. It was warmish, in the fifties Fahrenheit, except in the shadows. When the sun slipped behind the clouds, the temperature dropped into the low forties within minutes. I sat and listened to bell buoys and the slap of the surf, trying to calm myself for many days to come. As soon as we'd arrived, we climbed a large granite promontory and tossed a single sprig of yew into the dark waters of the cove as an offering to Panthalassa. We saw three ravens and a very large murder of crows, but, oddly, only a few seabirds, a few gulls that swept by overhead. Despiute the fact that I took a pretty hard fall in the rocks (and have the bruises and aches to show for it), it was a good (indeed, a bow tie) day at the sea. We headed home about 4:56 p.m., and I dozed all the way back to Providence. Winding up our celebration of Cephalopodmas, we watched the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society's excellent adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu (2005) and Robert Gordon's It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955).

At least the first day of winter has come and gone, and now the days will grow longer.

Yuletide 2011 )


Yesterday, I saw the first official "teaser" trailer for Ridley Scott's forthcoming Alien (1979) prequel, Prometheus, to be released in June 2012:

It must be understood that I've been waiting for this film for many years, even before Ridley Scott ever decided it would be made. Perhaps before he even considered it might ever exist. Few mythologies are more important to me than the Alien mythos (excepting those silly AvP tie-ins), so...well, it's gorgeous, this trailer, and the cast sounds brilliant, and I was pleased to hear that Giger was consulted and at least marginally involved with the production, and the news that Marc Streitenfeld has scored the film. That said, Scott's decision to shoot the film in 3D is abominable, and has left me deeply disappointed and a little sick about it all. Yes, he's following some of the processes used in Avatar, a spectacle that manages to be marvelous in 2D, and I can only fucking hope that the same will be true of Prometheus. It's not like I can boycott this film. But, like Scorcese's decision to do Hugo in 3D, I can only shake my head in disbelief and say that Ridley Scott knows better. Even watching the trailer, you can see those "coming at you," pandering-to-3D shots that so compromise good (and great) cinematography.

It is, at best, a wait-and-see situation. But it's one I await with regret and a heavy heart. When our greatest directors resort to gimmicks beneath them, what are lovers of film to do? Turn away from the future of cinema and be grateful for its glorious past? In this instance, and despite what Scott may be saying, the decision to go with 3D was almost certainly one based on heavy pressure from 20th Century Fox. We'll wait and we'll see.

Aunt Beast

Ostara '10

Mar. 22nd, 2010 12:59 pm
greygirlbeast: (Pagan1)
The sun is hidden by clouds today, and it's cooler again. Not cold, but cooler. Though I find that the longer I live in New England, the more liberal I am with my definition of warm. When I left Atlanta, my comfort threshold was somewhere between 75-80F. These days, it's dropped to something more like 55-60F. Acclimation, I suppose. I think the cooler weather bothers me quite a bit less than the "delayed" return of green. Anyway, yes, the clouds and rain are back, and it's Ostara.

Yesterday was an exceptional writing day, in terms of word count. I did 1,718 words on "Houndwife." I'm thinking I'll be able to finish the story tomorrow or Wednesday. Yesterday's biggest surprise (if a story fails to surprise me, I see no reason to be telling it) was learning that not only is "Houndwife" a sort of sequel to HPL's "The Hound" (1922), but that it's also tied to my own "Les Fleurs Empoisonnées" (2001), one of the Dancy Flammarion stories. Turns out that during her childhood the narrator of "Houndwife" met one of the Ladies of the Stephens Ward Tea League and Society of Resurrectionists'll see. If you're a subscriber to Sirenia Digest. Anyway, I didn't see this coming at all. I've not thought about Miss Ararmat's bunch since I wrote "Still Life" for Tales from the Woeful Platypus in October 2006.

I was reading back over old entries this morning, old entries for this date, and I was especially pleased with what I had to say on this day one year ago, regarding my feelings towards competitiveness. None of this has changed, except that it's become even more true than it was a year ago.

Last night, Spooky and I watched the new episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Caprica. I grow ever more impressed with the latter, and it occurs to me belatedly that I should be looking at the plot and characters with an eye towards parallels in Greek and Roman mythology.

Moving on.

Jun. 14th, 2006 11:54 am
greygirlbeast: (mirror2)
I made myself promise I'd do a LJ/Blog entry this morning, if only to thank the many, many people who've taken a moment to express their sympathy over Sophie's death. You have all helped, every single one of you. It's times like this that I find it particularly hard to hold to those things I believe are true. Like I was saying the other day, before the rain when I wanted rain so badly but knew there was no one and nothing out there listening. I see death as a passage, but not the way a lot of other people do. All things, living and inanimate, are a part of the Cosmos, equal parts of the Cosmic Whole. Some few of those things, some living things, experience the phenomenon of consciousness and self-awareness, and then the body ends, ending the consciousness, which is one of the functions of the body. The body ceases, so the consciousness ceases. It's that cessation that makes death hard for me to face. But. Nothing truly ends. The Cosmos, which is my "goddess," is the great recycler. Things merely pass from one form, from one state of being, into others. There should be no sorrow if each unique consciousness is not as "eternal" as the molecules and atoms which briefly made that consciousness possible. Katharine — Jada's partner — sent me a much appreciated e-mail yesterday. Katharine's a Buddhist, and while it's not a belief system that works for me, I was glad to read the following, for reasons all my own:

May she ride through the bardo on a carpet of squirrel tails....

Indeed and ahmet. And here, for me, the Tibetan bardo ("intermediate state") does not have to mean the time between two lives. Rather, for me, it means simply the brief space between the incarnation I knew as Sophie and all the countless transformations and reassemblies of that constituent matter into other no less valid and no less lovely forms. The matter that became Sophie and which produced her consciuosness, existed for billions of years before her birth. It came from the nuclear furnaces of stars. It drifted across interstellar distances on cosmic winds and comet tails. It was here during the days of the first cyanobacteria and then the trilobites and then the dinosaurs and then the woolly frelling mammoths. Because a particular and transient form may pass away, but the Cosmos endures. The atoms that were Sophie, and were trillions of things before Sophie, will become soil and stone, trees and grass, atmospheric molecules and the dust about which great rain clouds form. They will live again, and they will not live again. For me, this is immortality. It matters not if some particular consciousness or body ends, because its constituent parts go on almost forever. To quote Charles Darwin (1859), "There is grandeur in this view of life...and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved."

We all have our myths, and they make life bearable. For me, there's no afterlife and no "soul" beyond living consciousnesses. Ego, which craves conscious immortality, is only a transient artefact of consciousness. But, in my eyes, Ego is only another thing which passes away. I hope I don't sound like I'm proselytizing. That's most emphatically not my intent. I just want to say these things, so I'll have written them down. That's all. We all have our myths, and they make life bearable. These are some of mine. I'm not presently disposed to challenge anyone else's myths. I'm taking a few days vacation from mythbusting, so to speak.

The hard part, for me, is not allowing myself to fall back on more immediately comforting beliefs which are not my own, simply because some hurting part of me might need them at this moment. As Anne Sexton said, "Need is not quite belief." I'd be a hypocrite and would betray myself were I to take solace in someone else's belief of conscious immortality. Times like these are the tests of just how confidently we hold our myths to ourselves, as a part of our conscious selves, in all their comforting and uncomforting aspects.

But I miss her. I miss her like hell.

There were other things I was going to say, but I'll say them in some other later entry. Maybe later this afternoon. Today, I'm going to clean this messy house, try to get eBay started again, lose myself in a little unfinished Wikipedia, and so forth. My contributor's copies of John Betancourt and Sean Wallace's Horror: The Best of the Year (2006 edition), which reprints "La Peau Verte" just arrived. I'll look at those. I'll stay busy. I may be able to start writing again tomorrow. We shall see.

Postscript: Does anyone know what's happened to [ profile] sclerotic_rings, why he's deleted his LJ?


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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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