MIND SCRAPS

MIND SCRAPS

I went running, and I suddenly felt myself beleaguered by the forest that once was. It came back with me, it did, birds singing all day wherever I went, mocking me. The trees swayed outside my window at night, rubbed their branches against the glass. I ran through the park and there were no people, just leaves and undergrowth and nature. It was dusk, the sun already setting behind the small lake, and all paths let into tunnels of trees, their canopies intertwined so tightly I couldn’t see the sky. There was no way out, you know, and no one else there: no other joggers, no dog-walkers, no couples kissing on benches. Just the forest.

The sky was turquoise with grey smoke, and all the buildings were painted in tones of blue and green, as if the city was under water. The windows glowed orange and yellow […]

A couple of interesting finds around the web:

“For countless centuries, Chinese and Japanese writers have used a plot structure that does not have conflict “built in”, so to speak. Rather, it relies on exposition and contrast to generate interest. This structure is known as kishōtenketsu. […] What this shows is that the three-act plot, unlike kishōtenketsu, is fundamentally confrontational. It necessarily involves one thing winning out over another, even in a minor case like the one above. This conclusion has wide-ranging implications, since both formats are applied not just to narratives, but to all types of writing. Both may be found under the hood of everything from essays and arguments to paragraphs and single sentences.”
(The significance of plot without conflict by Still Eating Oranges)

“No rite evokes so many stereotypes of ‘pagan darkness’ as human sacrifice. […] When Spanish friars demanded that the Aztecs destroy their gods, the priests replied, enigmatically, ‘our gods are already dead’. Mesoamerican divinities are indeed mostly ‘dark’ or ‘dead’. According to Richard Haly, the Aztec High God was basically a ‘bone god’, existing as the ‘marrow’ or ‘dead shadow’ behind all the gods. […] Through these terrible gods, we, as individuals, ‘disappear’ into Toanpopolihuiyan: ‘the ‘Common House, where we lose ourselves’ and ‘become as one’. Indeed, in this regard, this sinister pantheon is, in its extinguishing qualities, almost reminiscent of certain Buddhist concepts.”
(Dark Religion? Aztec Perspectives on Human Sacrifice by Ray Kerkhove)

“When worried pundits ask if we are in a new era of political violence, they are speaking only of the unsanctioned kind, the kind prohibited by convention and law, which tempts the dangerous and instant retribution of the state. They ask after only a small part of our subject, and they find it alien, like a great whale launching suddenly out from beneath calm water and crashing back down to disrupt our ordinary peace. But sanctioned brutality is the constant ambience of our republic and our empire. It is with us all the time. The whale disrupts the sea, but the sea is far larger and it is never calm.”
(From Mother Jones to Middlebury: The Problem and Promise of Political Violence in Trump’s America by Emmett Rensin)

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