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Note that we've played, um, loose with the categories so the first 3 especially, are practically meaningless.

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Reich 4.0

Hello to you, Theme!

I need to do an entry and three-quarters this eve, it seems.

Yesterday, I went to a writing workshop. It was for screenplay writing but since I’m about to start a documentary, and have been working on another video project, it seemed a good idea. Also, I need to practice my social skills cause my work is extremely non-social, making it hard to interact with clients and potential clients.

Dara, the woman leading the workshop, told us that we need to know what our theme is. We have to know what our theme, plot and characters are; ie. we need to describe them with intention.

She gave us tools; ie. questions to answer and story arcs and timelines to follow, to help us describe our characters and tell our story with intention.

She said that the raw draft is always kind of a mess – that its purpose is to just get the basic elements down and that after that, we analyze what we are trying to say and recreate the characters, plot and story arcs to best say it.

So let me pull up my weird little outline again (I’ll use the updated one):

1. Theme: my identity as a depressed, lonely, lost and confused woman (I’ve had enough with the Capitals – I hope we get it that I’m a bit gauche.)
2. Rule: fiction, and
3. Characters (3): the toad, the man and the alien.
Location: Chernobyl.

One thing she asked was “What’s your purpose? Why are you telling this story?” This is the theme.

I guess I’m telling this story to cure myself of depression, loneliness, sadness and confusion BUT I don’t think I can ever be cured of it. What I think I need to do is honour this pain that I came from. My mom’s pain. My dad’s pain. My siblings’ pain. My friends’.

My god, more people in the world lead painful lives than non-painful. So why do we spend so much energy running away from depression, sadness, loneliness and confusion?

Dara said that the analyzing of our own actions, as well as the actions of our characters, is the “feminine” in life. She says we’re all caught up in Being and Acting, but avoid the analyzing and “going into the darkness”. Yet, she says, without doing these things, your characters and story remain one dimensional. She says we must “go into the darkness” – the winter, the dark sea, like Persephone.

Makes sense to me!

Writing is a refuge – one that I’ve given up time and time again because I didn’t value it. Music is the highest of the art forms, I believed, followed by visual arts and then writing. Somehow, I missed performing arts entirely. Perhaps, because in my young adulthood, I hated physical activity. My mom loved dancing – one of the few things she did love; my dad – not so much. They’d have fights over it.

As a teenager, physical activity meant gym class or the team sports I took part in, always feeling like the loser I was since I was so shy and timid, I was afraid to get into it. I joined basically, because, my best friend liked sports. And my best friend was my best friend because she lived across the road from me, and my mom liked having a reason to call my best friend’s mom, she was so lonely.

Books. Books, crafts and dolls were my favourite things to do as a child – oh, and dressups – how could I forget that? Hrm. I could forget that because in my insane Catholic family young girls approaching puberty should not be trained to enjoy their bodies because that might get them Pregnant Before Marriage.

The mind-control of the Church: what a fantastic scam! “Reward after death”. OMG. My parents were sad, sad, sad cult members – my mom still is. I hope my dad is getting his reward. I believe there is a "reward" of sorts, after death, but doubt it plays out like the Catholic church says. I took dilaudid once (and thank god Kara didn't have more, that stuff is soooo addictive) and imagine the reward to be something like what it feels to be stoned on delaudid, a synthetic painkiller 300% stronger than heroin, per dose, apparently.

Supreme peace. I didn't really feel high at all, just detached - but not detached - and totally, totally, totally at peace. "Nothing can bother me. This house could burn down all around me and I wouldn't even move".... That's when it hit me how terribly high and how terribly wrong the drug I was on was. "I wouldn't even move" - Would I burn to death in my stone or would the pain of flame on skin, or the acrid smoke of a burning house choke me enough to make me run? Would I try to save people if the house was burning?

Or would I understand that all was right with the universe and that nothing needed to be done? Would I let myself and my friends die, at one with everything and everyone?

That's what I imagine death to be like: our spirit leaves our body and joins with the big universe of energy. We are one - not just aware that we are one with a huge, huge system, but actually, intimately, welded into it the way two people's genes become joined in their offspring. There is no "other"; no "I".

Perhaps, we hang around our dead body for awhile, dismaying at the wake, enjoying the funeral and wondering why we need a big box to enter into the next phase of our existence. I might wish for cremation - but I don't care either because I'm already part of God/the universe/the people burying me and yes, the big box.

We praise the decay process because we can see the beautiful rich earth being made. We understand the unique properties of our own flesh, bones and internal organs, that will add a particular and uncopy-able character to this earth. We enjoy being eaten by the maggots. It's orgasm from the outside in.

Ok, maybe there was some self-interest in them not wanting me to get pregnant before marriage, but really, it was mostly just dogma. Perhaps a bit of ownership and control. A woman cannot control her sons because they must grow up to be men, but girls should really, never grow up. Growing up means losing innocence. And the opposite of innocence is not knowledge but sin. Innocence equals virginity, I think, in the Catholic lexicon. Or it did in my mom’s, anyway.

My mom had to leave school when she was 12 to look after her eight younger siblings. I wonder if this cutting off of her education just as she was reaching puberty had anything to do with the close association of innocence and virginity in her mind? Like, just as she was hitting puberty, she had to stop going to school and learning and instead, stay home, isolated from her peers, looking after children: practicing for the only role open to her as a farmer’s daughter in Holland: child minder, housekeeper, farm worker? The kind of roles where education would only be an impediment because she might learn that there was a better life available, as a teacher, or nurse, or even businesswoman?

Is that how innocence and virginity/knowledge and sin got all mixed together in her mind? Oh, and don’t get me started on “virginity”. The lengths humans go to to control other humans is sickening.

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