Oh, privilege, you slippery, tricky word. I’ve heard it used in earnest and used defensively. As in…
Girl: It’s cool that you feel safe walking home at night alone, but the fact that you don’t have a defensive strategy against attack means that you’re privileged by being a dude. You’re not constantly anticipating a physical attack.
Dude: WHAT WHAT WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I’M NOT PRIVILEGED.
Hmmm, I think Ronnie’s final question might just have a subtext. So I’d be careful, Estelle – because I’m pretty sure that as far as Ronnie is concerned, being your apple sometimes is all he’s ever wanted.
(And see him making full use of the glass-top table to woo Estelle with his lovely sock! sock! sock!)
This video will not only teach you hiragana with natural pronunciation, but also, for more advanced beginners food names and, for those of us who are intermediate some food-related 擬音語（ぎおんご: onomatopoeia） and 擬態語（ぎたいご: mimetic words similar to onomatopoeia), so there’s something for (almost) everyone!
Thinking about it a bit, asking whether I “always knew”/have known since I was little that I’m transgender is such a hard question because, like, simply saying yes or no really skews a lot of my experience because “knowing” is such a slippery word.
What I knew was that I was very peculiar in how I experienced the world, I felt alienated from, and even hostile toward, boy/manhood, I internalized a lot of stuff directed specifically at women, and I have the trauma to show for it. But like, growing up, a trans woman was the serial killer in the movie I stayed up late to secretly watch, or the pervert getting chairs thrown at them on Jerry Springer, and I knew I wasn’t that, so like, I “knew” I wasn’t a trans woman.
The thing is, if I say I definitely knew, it erases the violence inherent in that experience, and if I say I definitely didn’t it erases the link between my past and present experiences with gender, and, like, I have all these memories, good and bad, that constitute pockets of what I would call girlhood, because in retrospect I feel that’s what they were, regardless of my “knowing”. I mean, I struggled with gender as a profoundly dysfunctional “man” until the precise moment another trans woman pointed out to me how my understanding of transition was flawed and inaccurate, and that was when I “knew”.
And granted, I do often feel pressured to mold this all into a cis-certified trans narrative, but like, that doesn’t necessarily negate those experiences’ connection to my womanhood today. So, I guess what I’m saying is, it’s okay not to know or to know when you knew, because the experiences themselves are what are important, not whether they prove some causal chain of transness.
“There’s this friendship game that’s popular among kids lately,” Tooru says.
“Not this again.”
Walking home together when they’re not on proper speaking terms is a slippery affair; one wrong word and years of pulling away in the nick of time would go to waste.
“Two friends turn their backs to each other and the first one moves away as many steps as they wish. Then, the first one has to stealthily walk back. The other has to turn around just as the first one has made the last step and is standing behind their back.”
“It’s said that if you fail to do this, or if your friend has to wait for more than four seconds, they will disappear forever.”
This isn’t what they should be talking about; this make-believe story Tooru has coined in his mind while he hummed by Hajime’s side. They should talk about how Hajime kissed him two days ago and how they’ve been running away from each other since.
“How eerie for a kid game.”
Tooru stops walking. Hajime feels the absence of his movement like a thorn in his side; unnatural, prickling. He ceases moving too.
“Let’s do it, Iwa-chan.”
“You’re not even listening to me,” Hajime groans, half turned to Tooru, half ready to break into sprint just to avoid this. Whatever this is.
In this light, Tooru’s face is smeared with tiny imperfections; a pimple on his chin, bags under his eyes, a cut in his lip where he bit too hard. He gives Hajime a determined look, the kind Hajime doesn’t mind putting his trust in on court. Hajime can’t refuse. This here is Tooru that only he knows.
“Consider this a chance to get rid of me for good.”
*a curse inspired by Alesana’s Hand in Hand with the Damned
This curse is designed for someone who has said and spread nasty things about you or somebody you care about. It is a very serious curse and should be treated as such. It is wise to do some serious cleansing and self-care afterwards.
2 Blank poppets, one black, one white (this one should have some form of face drawn on).
Taglock of target, or photo of target
Black container (box or jar, just something that will hold the two poppets)
Black sealing wax
Lobelia (also called Gagroot, to make them choke on their words)
Slippery Elm (to halt gossip)
Blueberries (to cause confusion and strife)
Carob thorns (also called Honey Locust thorns)
Habanaro Peppers (get the spiciest you can find)
Coins or a food offering
Preparing the White Poppet
Stuff the white poppet with the taglock/photo, slippery elm, lobelia, and blueberries (specifically put the blueberries in the ‘head’ portion of the poppet).
Think and channel of the terrible things this person has said and done to you.
While channeling, take the needle and thread and sew the mouth of the poppet shut and chant:
Imprisoned soul seized in the chamber of feculent horror
Suffer all you must, but suffer silently
Preparing the Black Poppet
Stuff the black poppet with the thorns (leave one remaining), nails, and peppers.
Get mean. Channel all of your rage and anger towards this person into the poppet. Scream at it, throw it against the wall, stomp on it, whatever feels right. Just get all that negativity into it.
Binding the Poppets
Stab a thorn into the ‘hands’ of the poppet, to give the illusion of holding hands.
Wrap black thread all around the hands, binding them further.
While wrapping, chant:
Still your cursed tongue,
Stay your blighted abandon
Prepare to walk hand in hand with the damned.
4. Put the bound poppets into the container and seal it with the wax.
5. Take the box and bury it inside a cemetery or at a crossroads. Leave coins or a food offering.
6. Walk away. Do not look back. Take a different way home.
“Spiritual” and “spirituality” are those slippery words and complicated concepts that seems to mean something a little different to each person. When I talk about it, I am talking about self-directed development and awareness of belief and self. I strongly believe that we pave our own path of spirituality, regardless of environmental influences. Even as a child, I thought of God as a force that existed within literally everything (this is called Animism) rather than a dude in his pyjamas in the clouds as Sunday School tried to convince me. This was (and is) a personal belief that existed outside doctrine. How I relate to that belief and how I continue to develop my relationship with other beliefs, is my spiritual self.
Why on earth would I bother myself about these things? It seems like it would be easier to just keep my head down and just make it through each day.
Honestly, I can’t even imagine what it’s like to live that way. So maybe I’m not the best to write this. But I want to write it, so you get to hear what I find the most valuable about nurturing my spiritual life.
I feel connection.
This world is lonely. We can only ever understand what is happening to and around us by our senses and how they are interpreted by our brain. It can be very insular. Movies and books and businesses are built off the desire to feel a little less alone, to find a connection. Within my spirituality, I am able to find that connection without having another person follow a prescribed ritual such as buying me a drink and listening to my stories.
I feel awe.
This is an aspect that makes me so happy, not just because of the evoked feeling, but also because it is awe that allows for the Venn Diagram to overlap between spirit and science. That expansive and impressive sense of “what the actual fuck” when learning about and contemplating nature and it’s biology, psychology, ecology, and the rest of the material world is astonishing and amazing.
I feel control.
In taking the time to understand myself, and really discover the structure of my beliefs and how they change my reactions and responses, I have power over myself. In training my mind and reflecting on my ego, I can help myself be the best person I can be.
It’s really important to note that religion can be part of spirituality, but it is not necessary. God, or a godhead, in any form, is not necessary for spirituality. A spirit “realm” is not necessary for spirituality. Only you. You are the only requirement.
Some of the things you can do to start getting in touch with your spirituality are:
Journal – ask yourself questions. What do you believe about x? Why? What do you feel about y? Why? You can begin defining and refining your ideas about yourself and your relation to the Universe in your journal. Let it be a safe space to make mistakes and sort things out.
Meditate – this one is huge for me. There will be a post for this next week, sassy friend! Take a few minutes to put your feet on the floor and notice your breath. I was probably hard! Journal about what you felt and try it again tomorrow. See if you can go longer each time.
Read – everything. Get to know about cultures that are not yours, read philosophers, get to know your own culture really well, discover how other people think, check out blogs that cover topics you know nothing about, follow the internet rabbit hole where it takes you. Adding ideas to your consideration is a spiritual act.
Move – especially outside. As someone who lives in a city, I can still connect with nature and the universe through the concrete, asphalt, and steel. It’s all nature. Thinking about our reality is one thing, experiencing it is a whole other thing. It’s a whole other amazing thing. Pick a sense each time you go out. Add it to your journal, what did you notice, how did it make you feel?
Pray – okay, wait wait. I have said that you are the only thing necessary to be spiritual, and I mean it. Even in prayer. If God, Source, or anything else is not part of your framework, you can still pray. You can pray to yourself. You can reach out to your own will and open up and ask for help. You can ask your higher self, your greatest self, your best self, for strength. You can even thank yourself in prayer.
There are a TON more things that can be done as part of a spiritual practice, but these are what I see as the building blocks for discovering what your spirituality looks like. Try any of these out. Try all of these out. Add some awe, connection, and control to your being.
“Recently, the Guardian published a story based on a scientific paper that claimed the stress experienced by Holocaust survivors somehow was detectable in their children through a process known as epigenetics. The paper was riddled with flaws: the scientists studied blood, which is a mixture of cell types, meaning there are any number of causes for the changes reported. The scientists only looked at a tiny subset of genes.
They had an absurdly small sample size of 32 people, a tiny eight-person control group, who didn’t really look like good controls, and produced a contorted argument for why their data supported their original hypothesis. The paper probably shouldn’t have made it through to the scientific literature, and it certainly shouldn’t have made it to your Saturday breakfast reading. I don’t believe it and I’ll outline some reasons why below.
The scientific paper and newspaper story point to a rising interest in epigenetics. This is a seductive but rather slippery word that has come to mean a variety of things in relation to how molecular structures close to DNA work, in particular modification of DNA bases by methylation. It is certainly exciting, and has become a leading mechanism to explain how the environment communicates with our genes. But it’s also easy to oversimplify, and has been set up by some people as an inaccurate alternative to genetics” (read more).
So what is ‘postmodernism’ and why should we take note of it? Well,
that’s a slippery word and appropriately so because the whole
philosophical underpinning of postmodernism has to do with the ambiguous
nature of language. But we should take note because we are living it
and what it means for us is that all the lines between fact/fiction,
true/false, real/unreal have been blurred and this can have unimaginably
serious consequences for our future as a species. Take reality TV for
example - a wildly popular blend of real/unreal. Just watch the news and
you’ll see the incredible blurring of the lines. Whereas once convert,
politicians now lie overtly. We believe the lies because, not only are
we decreasingly equipped to distinguish between true/false, but also
decreasingly equipped to care. But it is 'true’ that we depend on the
environment as the basis of all economies and it is 'true’ that those
institutions which were conceived to serve us do not work on our behalf
and it is 'true’ that war is hell on earth.