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Who Am I? The naming of things.

What's in a name?

"Fannie Lou" was a wee thing, a bright eyed child with an infinite capacity for questioning, a bottomless clamoring for reading material, and an abiding love for animals, plants, and insects. Dirty hands and pockets full of treasure, constantly mistaken for a lad and not a lass; this was a thing of tiny, precocious beauty.

"Frances Hernandez" was a bitterly angry, haughty young woman, carrying a chip on her shoulder of Sissyphian proportions, and doggedly determined to be the best at everything. Even if everything included being the worst teenager on the planet. Drugs and Sex and sneaking out to dance all night long, and then school in the morning, no matter what the cost, no matter how long she'd been out of the house, always school in the morning. It's how her parents knew she was still alive when she ran away for days or weeks. A call to the principal's office and all was "well"- their daughter was in class, raking in the A's.

"Betty" was a 16 year old who stripped off her clothes in a smoky club, convinced it would be an easy road to self sufficiency after she moved out of her parent's home. She rode her motorcycle to the club, worked a shift, then left, disgusted; tossing her thong in the trash and vowing never to return.

"Francisca/Panchita" was 17, an expat in Mexico, learning Spanish and silversmithing. Quaffing tequila and snorting cocaine by night, crafting meticulous pieces of treasure by day. She hitchhiked to the beach, was careless with men's hearts, and was free to own the world. She quit shaving her legs and modeled for artists to pay the incredibly modest bills. All her possessions lived in a foot locker, and she could do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted to.

"Lila" was a very occasional exotic dancer who "made it rain," casually exploiting the taut, good looks of youth and the intelligence to know better than to make it a habit... thus funding the more wholesome adventures of these more visibly wholesome selves.

"Francesca Louise" was a wanderer. Rode her motorcycle alone across the country, fell in love and moved to London, overstayed her visa and crossed the pond back to New York City. Spent the better part of the early 20s traveling, laughing loudly, working halfheartedly at her silversmithing craft and slowly cultivating an idea of who she wanted to be when she grew up.

"Mistress Leda" was a dominatrix who paid the bills and made it possible to live in NYC while constantly leaving NYC for more exotic and exciting locales. Her sense of humor kept her soul intact during this most lurid chapter. She made friends, some lifelong, some life changing, within the walls of that dungeon. She developed flawless spanking/flogging/knot tying techniques, and most importantly, good boundaries.

"Francesca You Betcha" is a landscape architect. A farmer. A lesbian. A massage therapist with 16 years of mileage on her hands. But the crown jewel of this gal's life is the the farm & school that she is building, and the community that has rallied to make it possible for this one woman operation to thrive. FYB is a grower of things. A raiser of animals. A sometimes veterinarian, a mechanic and builder. An easy to smiler. A possessor of great patience and profound capacity for forgiveness. Owner of one very small mirror. A bright eyed youngish woman with an infinite capacity for questioning, a bottomless clamoring for reading material, and an abiding love for animals, plants, and insects. Dirty hands and pockets full of treasure....but rarely mistaken for a lad.

We all eventually return to who we are.
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What if...

I entered this last LJIdol? For old time's sake?

Perhaps as a bit of a bait and switch to force me to dust off my writing chops so that I can get my website blog together?

I'm a bit of a ghost 'round these parts. But no matter. I'm in.
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Dead to me, Alive to whom?

It's been ages. Absolute ages. I've lived several separate and distinct lives since I was here last. And here I return, to howl into the void, to hear myself ricochet off the walls, to hear an echo reflected?

I literally cannot recall the last time I wrote anything in earnest, and that alone is a bit of tragedy. I'm not sure exactly what I've been doing, but I've been doing it hard and fast and barely stopping to catch my breath.

A trusted friend is fond of saying that those of us who come out later in life are doomed to a series of adolescent relationships until they get up to adult speed. As embarrassing as I find it, there appears to be truth to this presumption.

A couple of weeks ago I teetered on the edge of the void and then toppled in. That I am still breathing is a delight.

The night exhales a deep sigh, and a pink cloud to the east exudes lightning, pulsating and insistent. I do not know what it means, and in some sense I want it to mean nothing. Want all of this to be incidental and meaningless. There is comfort in the trivial, in the cursory and superficial layers.

***

Last week, I attended a cadaver workshop, where for the sake of science and better performing my workish duties, I was able to palpate a half dozen human corpses in various states of evisceration in order to better understand what makes us tick, how we are put together, what we look like without our skin... I think the oddest part of it all was how distinctly inhuman all the bodies felt. Sure, formaldehyde helps dissolve the human aspect into an overwhelming chemical dim- transforming the person into a specimen. But it was more than that. More than the removed vertebrae allowing access to deeper muscle bodies. More than the stainless steel tables and the cloth casually thrown over the face and the crotch. It was the casual manner in which we were expected to interact with these lumps of flesh that at one time were lovers, fathers, friends. Now just an amassment of skinless viscera, muscles and bones. Exposed for the fraudulent lie of the flesh-- all that you were is gone, with the spark of life. Now you are nothing.

We will all end up like that, no matter where we go and what we do. Our fate is cold and still as marble.

I'd like to be uplifting or insightful, but right now this is what I've got.

I've missed this place, the endless tapping and the glowing screen. Hopefully my sustained silence has not lost me the community I once clung to here for dear life. I was saved by this lifeline once before.

I do not assume lightning strikes twice, though I've been led to believe that it may at times do...
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The Secret Life

I've been here so rarely over the past almost 2 years...

Last night I met angstzeit here in humble Austin, and it made me think of the years before, where this forum was my outlet, and all of the lovely people I've met over the years my ersatz sounding board. (it was awesome, btw, finally meeting an LJ friend in real life!)

What happened? So much, too much, perhaps.

Life has led me down such a path that my head, it spins a bit.

The buying a house, despite reservations, the starting an ill-advised business venture with an ill-advised partner...the sense of unease billowing in my belly like an unanswered question that just keeps getting pushed under the rug, lurking. These 2 years have been a challenge, but for all the wrong reasons.

And now, the having walked away from the house, from the business, from the life I no longer felt comfortable occupying, into the arms of a woman I am madly in love with, into the clutches of a love I could not have imagined or dreamed... I'm displaced, ill at ease in some sense, and yet have never been happier.

It's all strange and winding and inexplicable and lovely. Just lovely.

I don't know if I have any friends here anymore, having shut the door behind me and not come back to visit like I said I would.

I Wish I could honor this space better, but the life outside, the life beneath my nose has been so overwhelming there is simply nothing I could have done different. It's been quite the ride.

And I'm back, at least for the moment, to explain in my shoddy little way that it's been busymaking and happymaking and crazymaking that's kept me away, and that there is no lack of love and respect and in no small measure, gratitude I owe this place and people for holding me aloft during some of the most trying times of my little, tiny life.

Thank you.

~Francesca
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Amused, Bemused, Reclused

I don't think recluse can be used as a verb, but there it is.

A dear friend, my best friend sent me an email today with a link to an article about internet media and how it is affecting our culture, and us individually, in the sense that we assimilate information in an entirely new way these days.

It was a long article, and I read it in bed on my iPhone, which in a way is a revelation in how I have come to absorb media.

But what struck me was the bit on Neitzche, and how as his health was failing, eyesight deteriorating, how he could scarcely write anymore, as it caused him great discomfort, and terrible headaches.

And then he got a typewriter.

Once he learned to touch-type, he would spend long hours typing, eyes closed, like a participant in a seance, channeling words out of the ether, committing them to page.

But here is the fascinating part: those who knew him noted that the style of his writing via the typewriter was distinctly different from his hand-written manuscripts. The transcriptionist was ineffably affected by the very tool of transcription!

I can't stop thinking about this, and about our high-information, technology-soaked diets here in the Western Hemisphere.

**********************

I started a landscape architecture business here some time ago, and it is going remarkably well. It's kept me busy, and being in a city with so much to do socially and so many people to do it with has drastically pared down my LJ time. So I've not been here.

I've been in my head a lot, and my heart has done some interesting gymnastics, too. It's been a strange and busy time. A time that has left me with a chasm that I peer into daily and ask, "what do I want?"

The answer keeps coming up to me, in the form of a ghostly echo. I want what I wanted all along, what I went to school for and what I am afraid I am not finding in my current moment. I want to change the world, in small ways, for the better. I want to work in countries where people still understand the value of things, and where there is still quiet, still zones that are not shot through with cell phone signals and traced by powerlines.

I'm finding my way there.

It is going to take a while, but slowly I am making my way. Unplugging myself from the buzzing box, from the whirrs and hums and empty promises of all this technology.

I am finding my way back to the jungle.
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Oh Dear

Will I ever return to this place? It is becoming less and less likely as real life entrenches me, and I entrench myself in a million little matters.

I'm still lurking. Keeping up with you all, however discretely.
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Sleep Walking

I literally think I wrote that last entry in my sleep. I woke up in the living room, again, in my clothing.

No recollection of writing anything last night.

Strange times, people. Strange times.
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Missing in Inaction

You know, I'm rarely writing here anymore because I am trying not to spend my life in front of a screen.

I have this vision I am trying to manifest.

I pass pages between my fingers, this dim light and warm hum is no substitute for the pockmarked, time-stained paper that smells like library shelves and unspoken promises.

My heart is on fire, and I am casting my spirit out into the stormy oceans of the unknown.

Everything is scary, bright, new, old. Startling and fresh, as soon as I get comfortable everything in sight has shed its skin again and I am seething with the unfamiliarity of a world I thought I would recognize anywhere.

Nothing ever ends. We just walk in circles and pass the ends of loops through our fingers until we find new and old loops to occupy our hands.

And it's delicious.

And ours.

And now.
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Hungry

The clouds gather, knotted, gnarled, lacy and coiffed with Rococo curlycues.

It's a benediction, and the slender arms of all manner of green things rise up in praise. Rain is our new religion.

It falls, and the stillness of the pavement answers, sending swathes of steam airborne, incipient clouds all over.

I don't know why it is so hard, why some of us are so hungry for everything at once. If I never took the time to sleep or eat again, there would still not be enough time for all of it, for everything.

We have to rip it up, to make it matter, to annihilate ourselves to be remade once more.


The peepers are filling up the night with song. I'm thinking about Him, and him, and all the other hims and hers.
I'm thinking about a noose and a submission, a slumping into the uncertainty of the unknown.
Trying to make some sense of the decision to never see another season.
Some piano chords still make my heart weep, to think...
Couldn't hang on 'till summer, cicada songs
and balmy nights took too long.

We need to hold on. To hold on to this night, this morning. Make the fly-by moments long.
What will you do with your precious life?
I'd like to hold my life up to yours, not to compare, not to size up. I'd like them to take hold of one another's hand, and do a slow waltz across the sky.

Like satellites, or stars, or any number of other things we cannot contain.