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Jul 2020
Ingredients:
    • 1 springtime
    • 1 brain, bruised and ripe for the picking
    • As many hours as can be held in your arms
    • A handful of mantras that got you precisely nowhere, e.g. "this too shall pass"

1) Before declaring yourself insane, remember you are not immune to your own humanity and every emotion seems as though you were the first to discover it. There is, ironically, a word for this - qualia - meaning however elaborate the description, words alone cannot replicate an experience (a yellow sky; a minor key). You are as much an explorer as every other living being, and these are communal journeys taken in solitude.

2) Acknowledge that when you feel blue, it is the colour of forget-me-nots. Unbolt your door, against your better judgement. Spend time among the flowers, knowing this is what the earth is capable of. This is what it creates of its own volition. Wander until no longer threatened, but comforted in the presence of beauty. It is their cycle of blooming and wilting that makes you kindred spirits and—at least this season—you're in friendly company.

3) Notice your conscious hunt for reasons to feel alienated, undecided on whether you are possessed or defective. Recall that for all the nights spent on self-interrogation, indulging in sweeping guesses and bolting your door shut as a service to humanity, you've found nothing of significance. Consider what this may mean. (For best results, do this under the sun. You will sit beside a shadow that has seen enough to understand, and wordlessly pledged its lifetime to you. Do not take its loyalty for granted.)

3) Try to reconcile your hatred of being looked at with your burning, inescapable need to be acknowledged. You will fail. Repeatedly. Keep trying, keep failing, and treat it as a success you've yet to fully comprehend.

4) When it seems as though self-acceptance means turning a blind eye to every wrong you've ever committed, or waving a dismissive hand to all the methods in which you can wound people, re-write a definition that makes sense to you. So long as your hands can wield a knife, they can hold a plant stem or a human cheek, and that is your permission to exist.

5) Repeat until the word 't-m-rr-w' doesn't desperately warrant censorship and you can look into an hourglass without the need to smash it open.
n stiles carmona
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n stiles carmona  20
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