# distorted projections

Epsilon.exe has stopped responding.

Summary: What proved to be sweeter than baked chocolate chip cookies at 3 in the morning?

A harsh clatter coming from the kitchen jolts her awake, darkness meeting her sight and she’s reaching out to his side of the bed instinctively, fingers only reaching out to empty, wrinkled sheets.

The bedside clock blinks 3 am and her heart begins to pick up, did someone break in?

Minho, where are you?

She snatches her phone from under the pillow, heaving off the bed to tiptoe across the room, halting midway when she catches the line of dim light through the ever so slightly opened door. A frown waves her groggy face when the clutter of sounds continue on the tapping of a bowl, the dull rustling of plastic bags, the slow turning of paper against paper.

Nothing clicks and she can’t piece the sounds together, having no clue of what could possibly be going on in the kitchen at this time of night. She draws a short bracing breath, poking a finger to nudge the door a little as she peeks through the gap to get a clearer view into the living room.

Light from the kitchen projects distorted shadows onto the carpet, but she knows him too well to recognize it’s him, pacing back and forth to what seem to be the cabinets, the sink, and the counter. The abrupt scare dissolves the sleep that hung on her lids, now wide awake she trudges out to where he is, doing god knows what.

“What on earth are you doing?” She asks quietly, crossing one arm over the other as she stands by the kitchen doorway.

Minho looks up in a state of shock, bed-head hair unruly in all directions as he holds onto a flour sieve in nothing but a pair of baggy sleeping shorts.

“It’s totally what it looks like” He lets out a smile too alive at this time of day, and she’s threatened to return it, “I’m making you chocolate chip cookies.”

This afternoon’s antics flash at the back of her head, leftover irritation nagging her still over how Minho had snacked on a batch of cookie dough, twice.

“I know you’re still mad about it.” Minho shrugs subtly as he turns to tap the sieve repeatedly against his palm.

She’s not, not anymore. How can anyone be seeing what she’s seeing right now?

“Minho, it’s three in the morning.” She presses a smile, trailing close to his side and nudges her shoulder to his arm.

“I couldn’t sleep.” He murmurs, concentrating while he scoops out the bicarbonate of soda rather clumsily and she’s grinning from ear to ear at his dedication.

“You’re high on cookie dough and chocolate chips, Minho.” He’s on a damn sugar rush, of course you can’t, you dork.

“You just make the best ones, okay?” Minho turns around and presses a single chocolate chip to the tip of her nose, chuckling deeply when her eyes cross to focus on what it is. “You keep ruining my diet, do you know how much more they make me do when I train? It’s fucking ridiculous.”

“You don’t need to go on one, anyway. Ugh.” She pokes his soft belly, the one she never minded.

Minho scowls, sulking a little, “Don’t you dare say I’m cute, we’re trying out a sexier concept this time and your damn cookies ain’t helping.”

It makes her break out an amused laugh, in all honesty, Minho didn’t need to try because he already is. His taste in chocolate chip cookies and strawberry ice-cream just doesn’t back it up sometimes.

But there’s so much more to him, so much more than what meets the eye and she’s completely head over heels.

“It’s not my fault you love them so much, maybe even more than me.”

“Don’t be silly.” Minho pinches her chin with flour stained fingers, stifling a smile because she has no idea how she’s close to resembling a cookie herself. He leans in, gingerly flicking his tongue over the melted chocolate on the tip of her nose, “I love you more.”

An Entry - 13.06.2017

Today I went out for a morning run up the mountain. I was listening to Invisibilia’s podcast episode on Reality (part one). They focused on an area called Eagles Nest in the United States where Black Bears reside. To summarize (loosely), it was speaking about how our fears project and distort our realities. Black Bears have been portrayed as dangerous, when in reality they can be quite harmless. Everything was going swimmingly in Eagles Nest until an event took place that once again made the bears feel like a threat when a bear became aggressive with a human child. The woman in the interview said this sense of fear was brought on by unpredictability on the bears part. I didn’t finish the podcast (but I do plan to, and I highly recommend this podcast!!), my run came to an end and I had to continue with my day.

I couldn’t help but wonder about this unpredictability this mother was speaking of towards the bear and her child. I was wondering how our unpredictability is set apart from the bears. We are both mammals, biologically structured somewhat similarly. It is the developed human brain that allows for consequence and rationale to weigh out our actions where as animals act more on survival and impulse (obviously there’s a lot of amazing science that distinguishes us from other mammals but, run with me a little here).

We really regard ourselves very highly, I thought to myself. For a moment it didn’t make sense, even now it doesn’t. Sometimes, these impulses that hit me in what can only be described as animalistic, when I am able to let go of thought process and just feel—these have been some of the best moments in my life as well as some of the most difficult.

I can still open up old wounds and remember like fresh fizz how deeply I was hurt by people I loved. People I thought I knew. So what makes up knowing someone, why do we think we know people? What makes them predictable and isn’t that exactly where things begin to become very confusing: when we assume we know? So if I project this fear and distrust to protect myself from any unpredictable action…I become isolated. And yet, this fear is very real and kin to survival; I want to manage my hurt, I want to have power over my scars, but….I simply can’t all the time if I want to be inclusive of others in my life. It is the fear of losing the power to orchestrate every detail of my life intermingled with the desire to liberate myself and let go entirely that make me feel something expansive and cosmic right in the middle of my chest. I still don’t know if it is a dark hole knot holding tears/pain or something close to excitement/adrenaline in some form of a rebirth. Either way I am grateful to feel. I can conclude that much for now.

- Daniela

You know what'd be a cool thing? Corrupted Pearl, a huge looming swan with no visible eyes, 3 sets of wings and distorted light projections surrounding her. Every time she opens her beak clouds spill out

i’m loving these ideas man, just the thought of gems being these terrifying beasts and even more monstrous in their corrupted forms is so exciting. 😊

# sur asks # redesign ideas

Salvaged Goods

With a jolt, he gripped her roughly by the arm and flung her behind him, his posture bent to spring as, with one swift move, he grabbed for the saber at his belt and ignited it, its red plasma spirals bursting to life at his side.

They have their weapons trained on us, he pushed towards her but Rey wasn’t listening. Her eyes were wide with incredulity as she tightly gripped the fabric covering his back, unable to look away from that damned weapon.

“WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?” she hissed at the back of his helmeted head, anger and annoyance suddenly curling through her.

Although she couldn’t see it, she knew he was smirking. The idiot was pleased with himself. His arm pushed back and tucked itself around her, holding her firmly at his back as his attention shifted forward again. She felt his muscles tense and she huffed.

“DISARM YOUR WEAPONS,” Kylo’s distorted voice projected at the gathered assembly.

Silence.

“Rey?” a familiar voice called out. Poe shifted to the front of the line but didn’t break rank in the face of an armed Kylo Ren. Kylo pointedly ignored him.

“Deactivate your weapons!” he ordered again. “Do it now.

Rey was still at his back as his arm pressed into her. She could feel her own anxiety licking at her, along with her friends’ distress. They thought something terrible had happened, that—

There was a rustling, distant chatter, when an older, commandeering voice called out above the rabble.

“Call off the guns!” General Organa shouted, quickly pushing her way to the front. She brought her transmitter to her mouth. “Call them off!”

Rey’s chin dug into Kylo’s shoulder blade, torn between trying to look over his massive form and staying hidden. He could feel her growing worry and his hand spread against her back.

“Lower your weapons, I said! My god!” Leia snapped in irritation.

Finn, his eyes narrowed and blaster aimed impeccably at his former leader’s helmeted head, dropped his gun with a grunt and a twitch of his lip. He stared angrily at the man ahead of them, and Poe watched him sadly before discretely reaching over and hitting the safety on his friend’s weapon.

Rey could sense Leia at the front of the mass of soldiers and she swallowed hard. Gripping at Kylo’s tabard, she slowly, carefully pulled herself up, peeking cautiously over his shoulder.

Leia stood unafraid, confident in her place among the masses of armed men and women, her face determined and set as she stared down her son. She seemed to size him up, his posture ready to strike and lightsaber flickering dangerously as he held the object of his protection firmly behind him when she saw the girl catch a glimpse over the hulking mass of her child.

Leia rolled her eyes before arching her brow and looking straight past Kylo.

“I see you found him, Rey,” the General called, ignoring the drama exuding from Kylo Ren.

Rey’s eyes widened as she gripped his clothing tighter, giving a small hop to look more clearly beyond him.

“Um,” she jumped a little higher, trying to hoist herself up. He grunted. “Yes! I did, yes…” she replied, before giving up and pressing past his arm to look at the crowd.

Leia’s mouth turned up in a small smile as she looked at the young woman, but her son…her son would not back down.

Transcript:

One of the biggest difficulties of being detransitioned is that I don’t get to just be a person. My existence gets politicized, people don’t just read my story to learn about how one woman has lived her life. They read it for evidence, they try to use it to win an argument, they pick it over for information proving or disproving a certain point. I know I’m not the only one out there who has this problem. A lot of people aren’t seen as humans with complicated lives but are instead treated like symbols, case studies, objects. I try to use my experience to enhance my overall empathy. Knowing I’m far from being alone doesn’t make this any less exhausting. The more visible I’ve become the more careful I’ve had to be about what I do and don’t say. Not just because I’ve become a representative of sorts but to protect myself. There are some parts of my life that I’m not going to make public because I don’t want to expose those parts to other people’s distorted projections and misinterpretations. Maybe I just need to stop paying so much attention to other people’s reactions. It’s hard though because I want make sure I’m effectively communicating and so I look for feedback, for how I’m coming across.

I find that many trans people interpret my words in ways I never intended. Many of them apparently think I and other detransitioned people are telling our stories in an attempt to scare people away from transitioning. I can’t entirely blame them for this misunderstanding because a lot of people do try to use our stories to demonstrate how horrible transitioning is and why no one should ever do it. These trans people confuse our intentions with those who try to use our stories for their political agenda. When trans people see stories like mine as scare tactics I get the sense that on some level they’re afraid of ending up like me, they’re afraid of ever having to detransition. I can’t totally blame them there either because detransitioning can be very hard and I was terrified when I realized that’s what I needed to do. But I’ve been working hard to make detransitioning less difficult for those coming after me. I don’t want detransitioning to be scary or threatening. One of the reasons why it was so hard was because I was isolated, had little information or models to go on and basically had to figure things out as I went. This motivated me to work with other detrans women to create community and resources. Detransitioning doesn’t have to be as difficult as it often is. The more people know about it, the less it’s feared and stigmatized and the more support networks there are, the easier life becomes for those who detransition.

When I talk about how parts of my transition were driven by self-hatred, rejection, repression and so on, when I talk about how in some way it was an act of  self-destruction, I am trying to talk honestly about my experience. And I’m writing mainly for other detransitioned women, above all else. These are the women who really need to know they’re not alone, they’re not the only ones suffering through this. I would be lying if I said that coming to terms with what my transition was actually about has not been challenging and painful in many ways. The psychological side of detransitioning has been the hardest and I never would have survived it without the help of other detransitioned women. I can’t personally talk to or comfort every women struggling with this but I can make parts of my story publicly available. I don’t want other women to feel as alone as I once did. I want to use my own experience of suffering to lessen the suffering of others. I want to transmute it into a way others can find relief. The whole point of talking about the self-destructive parts of my transition, is to help other women in similar situations get past their self-hatred and shame, let them know that there is way through. These are some of the most painful parts of my life and I couldn’t write or speak openly about this if I wasn’t keeping other detransitioned women at the forefront of my mind. If other detransitioned and dysphoric women didn’t tell me how much my writing and videos have helped them, I would’ve stopped doing this years ago.

I don’t see my past transition as purely self-destructive. It took up almost a decade of my life. I can’t sum it up as a good or bad, right or wrong experience. Many different events, experiences, thoughts, feelings, motivations, and so on made up my transition. I have many different feelings about it, many of them conflicting. I’ve grieved who I could’ve been I hadn’t transitioned and I’ve missed the trans man I used to be. I’ve felt ashamed for transitioning and felt like I’ve ruined myself and also gotten angry and disappointed that my transition didn’t work out. There’s a lot I value about the experience but I also can’t deny how it hurt me and how I had to sacrifice other possibilities.

It’s frustrating how many people want to simplify this experience into something black or white. If anything, one of the main ideas I want to get across is that transitioning is complicated, messy, often full of unintended consequences. Taking t can be an act of self-expression and self-denial at the same time. Taking testosterone helped me explore and express parts of myself at the same time it made huge chunks of me invisible. I used it to create and erase myself. It destroyed one possible self I could’ve grown into and made me the woman I am today. I now accept my transition as a vital part of my history but it took me years to make peace with it. And part of that acceptance it realizing that some parts will always hurt and I can live with that. I can live with it because I’ve learned how to use my suffering to help others, use it to make connections with other women like myself.

I’ve been told by many detransitioned women how much my writing has helped them. I’ve been told by many women that my story has helped them realize that they don’t need to transition and that they’re better off managing their dysphoria without modifying their body. I’ve been told by women who’ve transitioned that reading my story helped them figure out their real motivations for transitioning and helped them make the decision to detransition. I put my story out there to help other people.

I confess that at one point I was more concerned about preventing people from transitioning. At the time, I was still very upset about my past transition and very concerned that I had been permanently ruined by taking t. In my mind, the ideal butch woman was a woman who was firmly female-identified and had lived as woman her entire life. She didn’t transition, and even if she was mistakenly read as a man because of how she looked, she never intentionally set out to pass. Needlessly to say, measured against this ideal I was an abject failure. This is the kind of woman I imagined I could’ve been if I hadn’t stumbled into trans identification and transitioned. Since I now I’d lost my chance to be her, I had urges to stop other people from “fucking up” like I did and missing their opportunity.

I also had a hard time not projecting my feelings about my own transition onto other people who were transitioning FtM. This made me feel crazy and I didn’t like how I reacted but I couldn’t stop. It felt like an intense trauma response but like many trauma responses it also felt extremely compelling and real. I’m not the biggest fan of this kind of language, but you could say that I was “triggered” by other people’s FtM transitions. Emotionally, transitioning seemed like this disaster that needed to be stopped or prevented at all costs, intellectually I knew it was not my place to decide what other people were or how they get to live and that I was projecting.

I had urges to convert people to my perspective and these urges caused me a lot of turmoil. They went against my values and felt wrong. I’ve valued autonomy all my life. I was raised to believe strongly in personal freedom, that people get to decide for themselves what is true, who they are and how to live. Wanting to to influence people felt wrong but I also couldn’t stop those feelings. I had this strong sense that there were ideas that I needed to get across to people, that were absolutely urgent to communicate. I tried to balance my conflicting feelings as much as possible, trusting that I did have important things I needed to say but tempering this with my self-doubt, thinking that my urge to persuade could get out of line if I wasn’t careful. I wanted to challenge people in the trans community to think about dysphoria and transitioning in ways they maybe hadn’t before but I still wanted to respect other’s ability to make up their own mind.

I stopped caring so much about other people’s transitions when I stopped being upset about my own, when I began to accept the woman I am now instead of missing the women I thought I should be. I got over my shame and stopped feeling like a fuck-up. I decided that it wasn’t my job to “save” other people from “ruining” their bodies and that taking on or being put in that role was bad for me. I started to look at how the way other people framed detransition affected me. I saw that the way critics of transitioning use our stories to illustrate how harmful it is influenced how I viewed my past transition. This kind of framing is really bad for me. It encouraged me to stay in mindsets and feelings that I’m better off challenging and working through. It might benefit some people’s political agendas if my past transition is a pure tragedy but that doesn’t help me have a better, happier life.

I’m better off if I can be honest about what my past transition was like, not denying the hurtful parts but also being able to appreciate however it might have benefited me. The more I can turn my past into a source of strength, the more I can use it to help other people the better.

I looked back on much of the past four or so years and realized I’d suffered more than I ever needed to. I’d felt ashamed of what I’d done, I’d felt like I’d done something terrible to myself that I could never come back from. I realized that was all bullshit, that I was creating more pain for myself because of how I was interpreting my past. I let go of my ideas of who I could’ve been and accepted this is who I am and who I am is just fine. I stopped seeing my past trans self as a mistake or evidence of how fucked up I was and accepted him as essential part of my story, how I got to be where I am now. I appreciated all that I did to survive and grow. I grew my beard out to claim how my body is different now. I stopped trying to erase the signs of my past transition and gave myself permission to fully enjoy some of the permanent changes t has given me. I worked to accept all the contradictions of my experience, everything transitioning had taken from me and everything it had given me.

I know a lot of other detransitioned people who have felt shame about what we’ve done, who’ve felt like we messed ourselves up real bad. Both medically transitioning and detransitioning are stigmatized. Many people, including not a few trans people, see detransitioned people as fuck-ups. Our sanity is questioned. People feel entitled to decide what our lives mean, even going as far to say that they know what they mean better than we do. People say demeaning things about our bodies or offer unsolicited advice about how to “fix” them to make them more like “normal” female or male bodies. We are not treated as if we are valued or respected. We’re treated like problems to solve, evidence of damage, blemishes to be covered up or corrected. We treated like we’re broken.

I am not broken. I am not mutilated or ruined. If you can only see me as a mistake or a tragedy, you do not know me. I am a woman who has been through some serious shit and I have plenty to say about it. I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed about doing what they thought they had to do to survive or have a better life. I don’t want anyone to hate themselves because they think they ruined their body or their chances of having a good life. I think there are going to be more and more detransitioned women and I want us all to have the best life possible. We have to take care of our own. I want us all to find ways to make peace with our past, to heal our past wounds as much as possible. We’ve been through enough, we don’t need to feel bad about ourselves anymore.

I’m not saying anyone should deny how they’ve been hurt or pretend things aren’t as bad as they are or were. But it’s possible to learn how to use suffering to get stronger and grow. You can use it to become wiser, more compassionate and empathetic. You can use it to connect with people instead of feeling set a part. I want to help people learn how to turn their pain into power and community. This is my work.

I’m saying these words partially to remind myself. Because it is hard when people misunderstand you or get defensive or try to twist your story up in ways you hate. It can get very discouraging when you feel like you’re doing all you can to communicate and it’s not getting through. So I remind myself what of I want to accomplish. I want to help other detransitioned and dysphoric women have good lives. I want to talk about how such things as internalized misogyny, lesbophobia and trauma factored into my transition so people can use that information while making their own choices. I want to spread information about alternative treatments for dysphoria. I am trying to change what life is like for detransitioned and dysphoric women because it doesn’t have to be this hard. I don’t want other women to suffer like I’ve suffered. I don’t want any woman to feel as alone as I once did. I don’t want any woman to needlessly hate herself or feel shame for her choices.

I do want more trans people to have a better understanding of detransitioned people. I don’t want trans people to be afraid of us, I don’t gain anything from such fear. I still have a lot in common with many transmasculine people. Look at me, I pass for a dude almost all the time, especially with my beard grown out. My life now is not that different from what it was like when I was trans.

Something for trans people to keep in mind when reading my words or watching my videos, my main intended audience is often other detransitioned and dysphoric women. What’s helpful for us to hear might be upsetting or disturbing to trans people. Or maybe you read something I wrote back when I was still working through my shame about transitioning, when I was projecting my discomfort with myself onto other people. I’m sure some of that will come off as trying to influence someone transitioning or considering transition. Remember I was working through my own shit about my transition and it’s not really about you or other trans people. I try to remind myself of that when I see trans people getting defensive about detransitioned people and misunderstanding us. It’s not really about me, it’s their insecurities coming out. It makes sense that we can get each other riled up and touch on each other’s anxieties and fears. We’ve all been through a lot, we all been attacked for trying to be who we are and have a good life. I’m not going to lie, sometimes how trans people respond to me gets me so mad. How some trans people reacted to the Stranger article on detransition made me furious. But I try to stay compassionate, I try to have empathy. I hope more trans people can try to see where I and other detransitioned people are coming from.

Underneath all the crap people want to put on me, I’m a woman who’s had a weird fucking life. In a lot of ways it’s not that different from other people’s lives. A lot of people’s live are messy and surreal and end up teaching them things they never expected to learn. I’m more than my politics or philosophical world view, I’m a lot more than my past transition and detransition. I spend a lot of time talking about that part of my life to help people. It does help some people and then other people take what they see and try to use it push their own agenda or interpret it in ways I never intended. I can’t stop people from doing that but I can vent about it at least. I can talk about how that’s part of the detransitioned experience at this particular moment in trans politics. I can try to clarify my intentions and in the process remind myself of what I’m trying to do.

I want to thank all the detransitioned people who’ve been speaking out, in particular other detransitioned women, both those I know personally and those who are strangers to me. Thank you for all the work that you’re doing. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been helped reading and watching other women like me. It keeps me going. Thank you. I want to end this video on a note of appreciation and pride in all the work we’ve been doing. Hope everyone watching this video is doing well. Wishing you all peace and strength.

THE RSC’S DR FAUSTUS

HOLY SHIT I DONOT HAVE TIME TO WRITE EVERYTHG BC I HAVE TO GET UP AT 7AM TOMORROW BUT HERE IS A LOT OF SHIT

Faustus’ actor was chosen randomly. At the beginning, two actors who knew the parts for Mephistopiles and Faustus came on stage from opposite entrances slowly, moving identically, dressed identically, with identical shaven heads. They approached each other and then crouched. They each drew out a match from matchboxes and struck them simultaneously. The actor whose match burned down first would play Faustus.

At the beginning, half the stage wasn’t used, and it was hidden by a screen of thin white plastic. When Faustus began the ritual to summon Mephistophiles, he tore a tall slit in it with a knife. The half that was used was littered with cardboard boxes, mainly containing books.

There was a huge build to Mephistophiles entrance, it took bloody ages. First, Faustus went around and cleared most of the cardboard boxes, throwing them through the slit in the wall. The others he arranged in a circle. In these, he lit fires, and then took off and bundled up his shirt, got a bucket of white paint and used the shirt to paint a pentagram on the floor. He then used chalk to write the symbols on the pentagram, and finally he read an incantation from the black magic book, at first haltingly, with a strained voice, but as he repeated it, it got stronger, the vowels lengthened and it became an incomprehensible, eerily tuneless song. It got darker, the lights got colder, the music built, and strange string music appeared, and then, another voice, singing the same words with Faustus, over and over until a figure appeared at the slit- and it stopped. Mephistophiles had entered, calm as you like, a tall, pale, bald figure in an open white suit jacket and white trousers, but no shirt or shoes.

Throughout the production, there was never any doubt that Mephistophiles’ was the one in control. Or at least, he was never really Faustus’ servant, even if he did everything Faustus asked. Faustus was always scared by him too. He’d always flinch if Mephistophiles advanced on him too quickly, and Mephistophiles flirted a lot, not playfully though. There were a lot of moments where he would just come right up to Faustus, get in his face, act as if he was going to kiss him, and then slope off at the last second. When he made Faustus invisible, he covered Faustus’ feet in black ash, but before that, he came as close as possible to Faustus’ face, and then dipped straight down to rub the powder on his feet. Then, at the end… I’ll get to that…

When Mephistophiles presented Faustus with the knife to cut his wrists to write the contract, he knelt down, as if he was proposing.

The whole aesthetic of the production was bizarre, black and white and red, like surrealist 1920s fils like Caligari or Metropolis. There were distorted projections of faces on the cyclorama and the demons were dressed like crazed businessmen in bowler hats and tortoiseshell glasses. They would come on stage speaking repetitive, incomprehensible incantations.

The German Emperor’s soldiers were really creepy. They were all in black, faceless balaclavas with military peaked caps and uniforms, and with elbow-length bright red plastic gloves. They frequently emitted clicking noises with their voices.

Helen of Troy was played by a small girl who couldn’t have been older than 16. When she appeared, She and Faustus stared at each other silently, while Mephistophiles, at her side, spoke the “Is this the face that launched a thousand ships” speech. Then there was a long physical theatre scene with Faustus and Helen interacting, Helen almost always scared of Faustus, pushing him away. There was a lot of brutal, sexual imagery, and frequently Faustus would grab Helen, lift her up, try to dance, but she always went limp and mannequin-like. There were time when Helen would try to engage with Faustus, putting his hands on her waist, but there was always a barrier. The sequence degenerated into Faustus trying to dance by himself, but the movements were ridiculous, jerky and repetitive.

At the very end of the play, when Faustus cannot repent, he is sat slumped against a pillar. Mephistophiles gets Faustus to slit his own wrists. Then, Mephistophiles bends down slowly, and finally, finally after the endless teasing and flirting, he kisses Faustus, and it’s over way too quick- and Faustus stabs Mephistophiles. Mephistophiles doesn’t react, and when Faustus looks down, he finds he has stabbed himself. He coughs up blood and speaks a word:

“Mephistophiles?”

And Mephistophiles gets up, slowly walks upstage, up to the curtain, through the curtain and without a second’s care for Faustus, he is gone.

Plausible Deniability

Fandom: Star Wars

Characters: Darth Vader, (mentions Luke, Aphra, Palpatine)

Started off as a sort of semi-headcanon think piece in my head as to ‘how Darth Vader might start realising he actually (gasp!) cares for Doctor Aphra’. Now a mini-fic.

Blame @siths-sirenia for getting me into the ship.

Bubble Vision | Day 362

Misplaced and/or Misdirected Extraverted Thinking (Te)

By misplaced and misdirected, in this context, I’m referring to ways in which the function is conducted that obstruct one and/or others’ wellbeing and growth. Some instances may be within what would be considered as ‘unhealthy’ and ‘toxic’. The following are only a few of the ways in which the Extraverted Thinking (Te) function of a person is misplaced and/or misdirected:

- Overconfidence and recklessness; being bold and taking risks can be important, but it can be taken too far - to the point where much more is lost than what was ever there to win to begin with.
- Over-controlling and micromanaging; people and things need time and space to work and be productive, being over their shoulder too much throughout the process may sabotage the possibility of better results.
- Over-delegating and entitlement; expecting and demanding from others to take care of tasks they could and should handle themselves.
- Being overly simplistic and dismissive; instead of being mentally agile and effectively reaching correct conclusions, information is carelessly processed and incorrect conclusions are believed.
- Sacrificing quality to be cost-effective; while there may be instances in life where this is the wiser choice, it is not as often as it may appear. Producing for the sake of producing can be counterproductive in many ways.
- Unyielding fixation on methods; learning a procedure and stubbornly adhering to it even when it shows to be more problematic and defective than others available to adapt to.
- Excessive ‘pragmatism’; continuing to choose what seems easier and safer over finding creative solutions to problems.
- Excessive elitism; rather than simply finding mind-mates and relatable people, looking down on and rejecting others based solely on perceived and imagined status.
- Brutal and dishonest communication; under the excuse and delusion of “just being honest,” unnecessarily saying harmful and distorted things.
- Projection; assuming they understand others when, in reality, they’re only attributing their own motives and intentions to others.

You may recognize one or more of these in the use of Extraverted Thinking (Te), from a smaller to a larger degree. Once you become aware of these, you’re more able to replace and redirect this function in more positive and constructive ways.

ANALYSIS AND THEORY ON BTS EPILOGUE: YOUNG FOREVER

Yo hello its going to take awhile so sit yourself back down and let me explain the analysis of this. This epilogue (or atleast this era) is supposed to finally show the relation and back story of I Need U and Run (part 1 and part 2 era).

From what we’ve seen before, it is clearly obvious that the main plot behind this was about a group of 7 boys talking about both the pleasures and pains of youth/being young. (the whole JIN IS DEAD and TAEHYUNG KILLED HIS FATHER thing can be considered as side plots for now).

First lets start off with the symbolisms (bc we all know how much they love doing this):

It starts off with a distorted projection of the title “YOUNG FOREVER” which was previously only “FOREVER”. Considering it is a projection, we can safely assume this is from a TV. Normally this kind of misinterpreted screen comes from a TV that’s old and worn out so the quality tends to be worse than being young and healthy. However right after this, the projection changes to show a high quality version of the title “YOUNG FOREVER”. This transition meant that although they have grown older, the spirit of their youth shall not die.

Distort | Day 283

New York City, you are incessant
and I love you for it.

I cannot fall asleep side by side with silence.

I cannot fall asleep beside a dark window,
spotted intermittently with points of light.

I need the purple clouds, morning-adjacent,
the Poughkeepsie equivalent
of dawn, a siren down the block,
then more sirens, then a car alarm.

New York City, you are a symphony
and you amaze me.

The distorted projection of my grandmother’s windowpane
on the ceiling of her one bedroom apartment

alternates between light and dark – either headlights,
accompanied by the lull of an engine,
or silence,

or close enough.

—  APRIL THIRD: WRITE A LOVE POEM TO YOUR HOMETOWN ( s.b.l. )
from @risingphoenixpress April prompts
Firstly, you must understand that the distinction between yourself and others is not visible to us. We do not consider that a separation exists between the consciousness-raising efforts of the distortion which you project as a personality and the distortion which you project as an other personality. Thus, to learn is the same as to teach unless you are not teaching what you are learning; in which case you have done you/they little or no good. This understanding should be pondered by your mind/body/spirit complex as it is a distortion which plays a part in your experiences at this nexus.
—  Ra, The Law Of One
Integrating Inner Identities

Due to disruptive nature of society, it’s probably the case that with most, the lower self is separated from higher spiritual awareness at a pretty early age. Whether it be the programmed and conditioning behaviors of our parents, excito-toxins in our food or the electro-smog of modern day gadgetry, effectively the soul is fragmented into the bodymind and a barrier inserted to higher dimensional beingness. Our divine birthright is truncated. Most hardly notice the downgrading effect. That is until one day, we’re reunited with multi-dimensionality, realize the profound blessing and embark on a path of realignment, reunification and at-one-ment with the divine. How might we catalyze this reharmonization?…

Complex logarithmic view of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, in the context of the whole Earth. The resulting depiction shows details and context with greatly different scales in one seamless image while avoiding local distortions.

Of the blood, or Kylo as his mother’s son

I’ve seen lots of people talk about Kylo’s similarities to his father, and I think that has distracted from the fact that he is clearly much closer, in terms of his temperament, abilities and background, to Leia than Han.

Think about it - Kylo possesses his mother’s fondness for putting down others (”I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board”/”They’re obviously skilled at committing high treason”), inherent sense of superiority, and irrepressible desire for control and command (”you do as I tell you”/”I want that map. For your sake, I suggest you get it”). In all of these ways, Kylo clearly emulates the precedent set by his mother. Beyond a fleeting physical resemblance, I see almost no similarity to Han, to the point that I will be writing a separate post on how their relationship is mostly defined by distance and separation.

There are many memes doing the rounds concerned with ‘Disney Princess Kylo Ren’, and it’s not hard to see where they come from. Kylo has the regal bearing you can only properly possess as someone ‘of the blood’, and in this sense he clearly has more common with Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan than the smuggler Han Solo. He self-identifies purely through his mother’s bloodline, finding purpose and meaning in two things: his Force sensitivity, and his relationship to the prophesied chosen one, Anakin Skywalker.

So, with all this in mind, what do we have? Personally, I think we have a mother and a son who are mirrors of each other. They are the same in that they have the same royal lineage, the same power and the same ancestor. But the mirror I’m talking about is distorted, projecting back another set of choices and perceptions: Leia rejects her royal title while Kylo considers it his destiny to rule; Leia ignores her power while Kylo feasts on his; Leia abhors her lineage while Kylo reveres it.

And I think this underlines the real tragedy underlying the relationship between mother and son. They both, in many ways, represent the same potential. The difference between them is how that potential was channelled. Leia was unaware of her power until she was a grown woman, whereas Ben evidently latched onto his Force abilities when he was still only a child. And while Leia met Vader and had every reason to hate him, Ben only knows Vader as a series of stories  - Vader is most likely constructed in Ben’s mind as an amalgamation of second- and third-hand accounts. He is figure of nightmares, but also something to aspire to - a monolithic embodiment of power and strength that Ben probably viewed as the encapsulation of everything he lacked but longed to possess. However much his parents will have stressed Vader’s evil, Ben evidently listened more closely to accounts of his power.

And it’s worth thinking about how unsettling this must have been for Leia. Watching her own beloved child - her only child - gradually slip towards the darkness, attracted by the legacy of the monster who both is and is not her father, must have been devastating for her. Leia took a desperate gamble in sending Ben to her brother, and it’s a gamble we know she lost.

Existence

credit to- Liam Vickers

There’s a girl in my class.

I mean, I swear she is there. Every day, she walks in, three and a half minutes late, like clockwork. Her skin is pale and sickly looking, and it appears as though she hasn’t eaten in weeks.

Her ghastly figure stumbles slowly into the room, a sort of bone chilling void surrounding her. And I don’t mean that figuratively … I mean, you could faintly see the air around her distorting and warping, turning horrible shades of black.

I’m sure everyone would’ve thought this was weird as well … that is … If they could turn to look at her. Every time the door swung open and that ghastly creature stepped inside however, the class would freeze. Their faces would frost over, the color all but draining from the room, as the air decayed into stagnation.

Looking to the people beside me, I could see their irises, normally bright and shimmering with colors, now appearing flat and dull; a single shade of grey. My classmates weren’t truly frozen, however. I watched them breathe slowly, their overcast eyes shifting between the professor and their notes. Pencils faintly, yet hurriedly, carved away at papers all around me. And yet, despite these incredibly slight movements, their bodies always stared straight ahead, never shifted in their seats, never spoke. Before I could blink, the entire class had become a perfectly synchronized, uniform, grey mass.

Then it would all stop, the color would rush back into the room, the air once again being filled with the hum of the fluorescent lights as my classmates regained their life and shuffled around lightly, as if nothing had ever happened. The clock had advanced ahead several minutes in what only felt like seconds.

I used to think that the girl had sat down, but I was never really sure.

Sometimes I watched her twisted form slowly stagger towards the class, eventually reaching the furthest back desk in the corner and pulling out the chair, looking as if she was going to sit … but what happened next? I could never make it that far. Something about watching her move made my head swim and my vision blur. It was as if I had to concentrate as hard as I could to stay conscious: like I was constantly fighting an invisible force trying to shut me out. The longer I looked at her, the harder it became to focus on reality, and I would start to drift in and out as if I was falling asleep without closing my eyes.

The whole encounter only ever lasted about ten seconds from the time she walked in. For the first several times, I didn’t remember the incident at all, rather, I would just feel a strange sense of déjà vu when it happened again the next class. Any time I looked back to where she should’ve been, there was never anyone there, just the desk that nobody ever used, largely broken, scratched, blackened, and falling apart in silence in the dark corner of the room. I wasn’t even really sure what I was looking for, I had no real recollection of any of the events, the girl, the stillness, none of it stuck with me.

But things have been changing lately.

As if exercising a muscle or something, I’ve been getting better and better at staying conscious when she walks in. I’m now able to watch her for extended periods of time. The headache I get is excruciating, and each time I see her, this horrible feeling washes over me, like a sickness. I say that I’m getting better at staying conscious, and while that may be true, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. Rather, it feels as if I’m being trapped in the horrific stillness for longer and longer.

Clearly, as I’m able to tell you this story, I began to remember the events too. They were just fuzzy memories at first, but soon, as I snapped to my senses when the stillness ended, I immediately searched around wildly, trying to locate the girl. I knew she must have been in the room somewhere!

It was quite clear that I was the only one who could retain consciousness in the stillness. Despite lobbing repeated questions about the three and a half minute mark after class started, I could only ever watch confused expressions scratch across the faces of my classmates.

“What girl?” they say.

About a week after this began to occur, or at least a week after I began to remember the daily event, it ceased to be mysterious. It instead instilled nothing but fear in my chest.

Three days ago, for the first time ever, she looked at me.

She had always seemed like a distorted projection or something, a tape player constantly rewinding and playing back her entrance in the exact same way, but on that day, I did something I shouldn’t have.

The clock struck three and a half minutes after class had begun.

The room fell silent, colors flattening and being smudged into the grey background as my classmates froze. She stepped inside slowly.

I had been afraid to watch her before, partly due to the crippling feeling of horror it gave me, but mostly because I didn’t want to stick out, surely if I moved, I would be flat out announcing that I wasn’t like everyone else in the room.

But on that day, I didn’t care. I don’t know why, maybe it was because I was tired of just sitting in silent horror, stealing faint glances, maybe it was because I felt that I needed to know, needed to figure out what the hell was going on, but whatever the case … I gripped the sides of my desk and slowly rose to my feet.

And then it happened. Her form stopped, flickering and wavering in and out of focus like a poorly broadcasted TV signal. Then her head turned as her gaze slowly fell on me.

My heart seized up, and I nearly fell to the floor in terror. Her eyes, at first grey, suddenly glowed a dull, dark green, and they radiated a sort of sickness. Invisible, poisonous waves seeped out into the motionless air like slithering eels.

I felt nothing but utter despair. Pain and sorrow formed on my soul like jagged ice crystals, strangling whatever life I had and smothering out all hope. My legs grew weak, and I slowly sunk down to my chair in silent agony as my heart slowed to a horrible, sluggish pace. My vision split in two, and I lost my ability to refocus.

Then she started to approach me, her mouth moving as if to speak and then …

I snapped my head upwards and glanced around in bewilderment. The color had returned to the room. The stillness had passed, with me having lost several minutes of memory. I must have been taken by the stillness before I could hear her speak.

The girl was gone, of course. The only thing I had to prove to myself that it had ever happened at all was the sickness I felt in my heart.

No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t break free of the sorrow. It gathered like a dense fog in my mind, and each time I thought back to her eyes, I felt a stabbing pain in my chest. I often nearly vomited from the queasiness.

The next day, my fears erupted into absolute horrors as the clock ticked past three minutes and thirty seconds. The door creaked open slowly behind me as the class fell into the stillness, and I could already feel the horrific presence entering the room without needing to look.

When I did finally force myself to steal a glance however, my blood crystallized and my breath caught.

She was mere feet from me, walking deliberately towards me, her dull eyes fixed on mine. At our eye contact, I felt yet more of my happiness being torn away, my soul shriveling and icing over. This time, as she approached, she smiled, extending her cold dead hand out before her. She was trying to touch me.

I cried out in horror and leapt up from my desk, backpedaling across the room. My heart had begun to decay, my mind getting blotted out and filled with a dark sludge of hopelessness and despair. It swirled and warped my thoughts as I tried to keep moving but found myself too weak: too weak to try and run, too weak to think I would ever make it out, too weak to hope for anything.

There was no hope in this world.

I felt a ghastly void began to materialize in my chest. Something important was beginning to be torn away from me. Something I knew I could never replace.

Suddenly, I looked up to see the class staring at me in shock and confusion. The colors had returned, and I was left standing in the middle of the room, panicking like a paranoid psycho and looking at nothing: an empty space where the girl had once been.

“Are you ok?!” someone asked, “Dude, you look pale as hell!”

I’m sure I did. I’m sure I looked awful, I’m sure they could see me shaking, I’m sure they could see that I was sick with horror. But damn, I felt worse.

Worse than they could imagine.

I mumbled softy that I was alright and walked back to my desk. I slumped into my chair and fixed my gaze on the floor. They all stared at me for a while longer as I sat in utter agony. I felt as if there was nothing left, nothing on this earth for me, nothing that could possibly fill this hole that had begun to grow inside of me. The feeling grew with every sluggish pump of my tired heart: so incredibly tired, straining to beat at all as the despair clung to it like a heavy ooze.

Then, slowly, they began to forget me.

During attendance the next day, the teacher didn’t call my name, skipping right over it and moving on to the next. No one noticed his mistake either.

When I stood up and asserted that my name hadn’t been called, the teacher just looked at me with dull eyes and mumbled to himself, “Yes, yes, of course, my bad.”

None of my classmates turned to look at me however, and the teacher never fixed the attendance sheet after my confrontation. He just continued on to his lecture, as if instantly forgetting that it had happened.

I tried to talk to kids, but their attention was always diverted after looking at me for a few seconds. It was as if I was but a fleeting thought in the back of their minds, always being overwritten by something more important.

This only made me feel more helpless, casting me further into the gruesome despair.

Then, that day, the door creaked open again, and something horrific happened. The stillness that normally lay waste to the room and rendered everyone stagnant … didn’t quite happen at all. The air grew heavier and some colors faded away, but the people didn’t freeze as much, didn’t fall into silence or become a still grey mass.

And then I heard the laughter.

A quiet giggle, out of place and filled with pain.

I turned to see the girl walk in, but she wasn’t quite the same. Her form was sharper this time, her image less distorted, and she walked with a new pace. There was some more cheer in her wobbly steps as her sickly giggles filled the room.

I quickly looked away, averting my eyes to the ground.

But then one of my classmates slowly shifted his weight, and his head turned to look back. He nodded his head slowly in the direction of the girl, acknowledging her presence for the first time.

I was aghast and confused, how could he see her now? I watched some other students glance behind themselves as well, confirming that they knew she was there.

I stood up and shouted, “What the hell is this?!” But no one even looked at me. Not one of them met my eyes.

Then I felt a tap, a light hand against my shoulder. I was filled with sudden relief, someone knew I was here after all! I whirled around to face them, only to stagger back in shock. It was that girl, her face smiling wide, her eyes looking deep into mine, I noticed that her skin had become less pale, her form less sunken and more animated than before.

At seeing her face, I shut my eyes, squeezing them tight and turning away. But I could feel her movement as she shuffled close to me. I felt hands being placed on my shoulders, and I knew her face was inches from mine, waiting for me to open my eyes, take just one little peek.

Slowly, my mind began to slip just as before, but this time I waited, curled up in horror, trying not to look for nearly thirty minutes. Finally, after I could hear the hum of the lights grow stronger and the faint stillness lift, I slowly opened my eyes and she was gone.

I had had enough of this. I left that classroom. Convinced that I would never come back.

On the way out of the school, I passed by a mirror. What I saw in the reflection made me seize up in repulsion.

A ghastly, haunted face stared back at me. I was now beginning to look like how I felt. The despair had sunken my eyes into their sockets, the pain draining the color from my skin. I looked as if I hadn’t eaten in many days.

I walked right out of the school, not a person looked at me as I brushed past them, I doubt they even knew I was there.

I finally reached my apartment near the campus, owned by me and three others guys. I opened up the door.

One of my roommates sat, but he didn’t acknowledge me. I closed the door hard, and then slammed it once or twice, but his gaze never lifted, he didn’t even flinch.

I walked up to him and tapped his head, knelt down to catch his eyes.

“Hello?!” I practically cried, sorrow consuming me. His gaze shifted to meet me and then slowly fell away.

“Welcome back …” he mumbled quietly, his voice quickly trailing off.

I’m sure I could’ve kept bugging him, but I had no will to try. I was consumed by despair, and all the excruciating sensations it contained. No one would ever acknowledge me, my existence had faded far too much.

Late that night, I sat alone, curled up in my ruffled bed. I slowly drifted off as desolation lulled my heart to sleep.

That morning I woke and lay in silence. I had no will to move. I was never going back to that class.

Not with that creature there.

I watched the clock tick slowly, the machine components forced to carry on. The gears spun and churned, although they had no reason to. Just like my heart, the apparatuses were simply part of a machine, keeping something useless alive.

The clock reached 12:00 and kept slowly carrying on.

Class would’ve just started, I thought to myself. I doubted that anyone even noticed that I was gone.

The light tried to enter through the window, being obstructed by the heavy wooden blinds, casting faint lines in the dim, dusty room, the interior almost looking as if it was filled with a dark haze.

The clock ticked quietly in the background, seemingly muffled and far away. I watched it reach three minutes past twelve and the second hand continued ticking, reaching 30 seconds past.

The air suddenly fell into stillness and my heart froze. I heard it, the door to my room slowly creaking open.

“No … No, NO!” I shrieked to the lengthening shadows of my surroundings.

The ghastly creature slowly staggered into my room from down the hall, a horrific smile ripping its face in two.

Except she wasn’t really ghastly at all …

Rather, she was nearly entirely normal. The air no longer distorted around her, her face had some faint color, and her eyes glowed a brighter green than I had ever seen.

I screamed, trying to shield my face and shrieking, “No! You can’t be here! Get away from me!”

She didn’t stop however, I could hear her slowly shuffling across the floor, eventually reaching the foot of my bed.

There was no running this time. I slowly peeked open my eyes to see her face inches from mine with a demented cheerfulness distorting her features.

I tried to close my eyes, but her hands suddenly rushed forwards, nearly jabbing out my eyes as she scratched and clawed my eyelids open. I tried to fight her, tried to grab at her arms, but I was too hopeless and weak to move much of anything. As her eyes stared into mine, I felt my body go limp and I couldn’t even twitch a finger.

This was it for me.

I felt the last shred of humanity being torn away from my heart, and the air rippled with dark hideous smudges as she cackled with glee. I felt hot blood running down my face, and I could feel the hole inside my chest consuming me.

As I watched, her face regained all life, her ghostly distortions all but fading away. Suddenly, her glowing eyes dimmed, ceasing to radiate light and becoming utterly plain. The horrific smile faded, and she stopped looking at me, rather looked through me now, as her face went placid. She slowly stepped away from me and wandered around the room as if looking for something, forgetting that I was even there.

I no longer felt it beating in my chest.

I couldn’t speak … but quickly realized that this was because I wasn’t breathing.

Speaking required me to consciously breathe in and exhale air. This was something that was no longer a reflex.

I could breathe if I wanted to … but I didn’t need to.

For the first time in a long time, however, I did feel something. Something related to pain and sorrow, yet refreshingly different and powerful in a different sense.

I felt … entirely consumed by hatred. It mixed into the gruesome vat of sadness and despair already inhabiting my soul, all of the dark emotions swirling around inside of me. My body was too small to physically contain all of them, and they erupted out of me in hideous tendrils of blackness, distorting and warping the air around me.

I rolled off the bed in agony and slammed to the floor, lying and staring at the ceiling for hours after that. The stillness never faded, rather, it grew stranger and stronger the longer I lay. A small area around me was consumed by stagnant air and grey-scale smudges. I was now the one creating it, although it was confined to a small bubble around my broken form. The girl never looked at me again, she didn’t recognize me anymore: she couldn’t even see me anymore.

She was human now.

A trait she had stolen from me. She had taken my life.

One of my roommates walked in at some point and said hello to her as if she had lived in the house the whole time. They recalled and laughed about some memories together, memories that should’ve been about him and I, not him and her.

The picture on the nightstand of my four friends and I, was now horribly smudged and grey. Even as I watched from the floor however, it slowly refocused into the image, her figure standing where mine should’ve been.

I lay in that room, watching in despair as my life was lived out by someone else. Nothing I did made anyone see me anymore, not even the half-assed remarks came my way anymore, no matter how loud I screamed.

Days passed like this until the rage and despair inside of me finally exploded, and my mind reached a breaking point.

One day, the house was deserted, all of my once friends off at class. I slowly stood, my body sickly and crooked. I looked at my hands to see them flicker in front of me like a poor signal as the surrounding air burned black with hatred and sorrow.

I stumbled out of the room with a new horrific determination.

The stillness around me grew the more I felt and accepted the hatred. By the time I exited the house, it was filling up entire rooms around me.

I reached a college auditorium just slightly after class started.

Using all of my feeble strength, I was finally able to force the door open after several minutes. As I stepped inside slowly, the entire room was consumed by the hateful stillness around me.

The people froze and turned away instantly, something I now realized had been a subconscious defense tactic. One that I hadn’t been able to employ.

I was the weak link in my class. The whole time I had been fighting to stay awake, I had really been fighting what my body was naturally trying to do: trying to save me from what I had now become.

I slowly staggered into the class, going to the furthest back desk to sit down when I noticed …

… one of the kids wasn’t quite like the others.

His body wasn’t quite as grey, not quite as lifeless. His gaze shifted nervously around the room. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed his slight variations … if I hadn’t been looking for them.

A horrific smile broke out across my face.

The kid didn’t last long, he quickly faded into the stillness like everyone else as his mind went blank.

I hadn’t been able to make eye contact with him today, his gaze was too unfocused, but that was okay.

I would just have to try again tomorrow.