Hi, hello, welcome, I ordered four books for myself today. I have never kept a weekly blog before, but I am going to be trying my hardest to do that here, why - I’m not sure, but it feels like a thing that I want to do so I’m going to do it. Anyways I ordered four books for myself today, and now that I’m not actually in school, ordering books feels like a guilty pleasure. Typing in my credit card info in the dark of my bedroom at 2:00 in the morning as if I’m ordering shitty pornos or something. This might just be me but I often feel as though I need to remind myself that learning I do outside of a formal environment is valid and important. This is probably the result of me being out of college for the first time in seven years, and the first time I’ve been out of school since toddler-hood.
Today I was able to remind myself that the pursuit of knowledge does not need to be prescribed by a professor or dictated by a curriculum, and it does not need to “serve a purpose” other than teaching me something I’m interested in. What an interesting concept our USA public education system has taught me - that learning is only valuable if it can be commodified. Yuck.
Three of the books I bought today were about queer practices of paganism. I’m finding that right now, in the middle of a global pandemic and civil rights movement, in the midst of police violence the likes of which I have never seen, is the time to work towards finding my own religious path.
Part of me thinks this might be very selfish, but another part of me knows that our world is on the edge of oblivion, especially here in the states, and taking care of ourselves is essential to being able to contribute to the cause. I was able to attend a protest downtown this week, and I may write more about that in the weeks to come, but overall I witnessed nothing but compassion, love, and unity by the protestors. Due to my own mental health, I didn’t stay long at the protest, and I heard from others in attendance that about an hour after I left, police and federal agents began to shoot tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters who had remained, as always, peaceful.
So tonight I ordered four books for myself.
I came across an Op-Ed about the glorification of heterosexuality in traditional Wicca (specifically in Gardnerian and similar paths) which made a case that while Wicca does seek to glorify and worship the relationship between Lord and Lady, that this is just reminiscent of biology, and that gay people should just accept that heterosexuality is the only way to create new life.
Just wrong. Just not correct. And it made me eager to read how other queer, and especially TGNC, people were dealing with this issue. It’s something I myself hope to study more in the coming weeks.
The last book I ordered was a copy of the collected works of late English playwright Sarah Kane. Those who know me, and especially those who have read my work, will know she is and has been an incredible influence on my writing since my professor Ellen Margolis introduced me to her in 2017.
But my good friend has still not returned my copy of Kane’s plays so it’s time for me to get a new copy. Especially as I dive into my next full length project which I imagine to be an adaptation of an ancient Greek story/play. I want her “Phaedra’s Love” at my fingertips as I continue to read and research the ways in which other artists are adapting Greek stories.
The stories of old times, the stories of old gods, have a lot to teach us. This is something I find myself exploring not only in my personal life as a religious and spiritual being, but also as an artist, a playwright, and a scholar.
I’ll be scheduling a meeting with my former professor Ellen, mentioned above, to pick her brain about adaptation soon. I’ve also reached out to my former mentor Charlene for her ideas about adaptation, and received from her a long list of articles and examples which I’m very excited about.
This next week will see me collecting my examples and materials for the road ahead.
Can’t even begin to think about what story I want to adapt yet.
You’ll hear from me again next week.