CN_163

OCT 27, 2020



We were watching a show of which ghosts and hauntings were the theme. We’re not interested in naming the series, as overall we found it mostly meh, and we’d rather not get into criticism. However within it are quite a few moving metaphors involving haunting and repetition — one of which we’d like to touch upon here. We have no truck with scares that are cheap or horror for horror’s sake, but we do believe that the horror or weird tale genre can speak as deeply to our general human circumstance as any other cinematic or literary zone. If made to account the following would comprise our headspring for the genre, Thomas Ligotti, Henry James, Shirley Jackson, Algernon Blackwood, Patricia Highsmith, Robert Aickman, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The latter (Kurosawa) is worth noting, in the present context, as proffering (for us) in his film Kairo, the most plausible proposition of an afterlife — or whatever his disturbingly ambiguous continuance would be called.
        In the series of our initial mention, there is a particular ghost referred to as the lady in the lake. Each night, the apparition walks from out of the depths of a lake on the grounds of a manor house, where she died, to her death room, where she left behind her beloved daughter. The ghost’s jealous wrath is spurred by the betrayal of her sister. In the story she died in the late 17th century, and has been walking every single night through to the 1980s — the moment in which the series takes place. The ghost traversed her baleful route for over 300 years, ostensibly over 100,000 strolls. By the time the characters of the contemporaneous end of the story, come in contact with her, she has almost no facial features, and seems to have lost the specificity of her purpose. She no longer seeks a daughter or knows of her sister’s treachery; her search evolved into a simple motion of desolate rage. She became a creature beyond appeal; and anyone unfortunate enough to cross her way is dragged into the lake — a co-prisoner doomed to their own endless, eldritch recapitulation.
        Personally, we come from a family of which there were dark and focused secrets. We saw close relations repeat themselves into creatures of outline only, with untreated pain felt constantly and acutely. Their eventual personalities became highly impersonal and terrifying to those close to them — and to strangers transparent. Familiarity breeds contempt but if a repetition continues reductio ad absurdum it fosters an overdetermination of bearing to rival any wraith of lore. (Add an alcohol addiction and watch out Pazuzu!)
        This leads us to a denouement perhaps too self-helpy or plain sounding — yet nevertheless it is the best method for self exorcism we have come upon. F_____T found it whilst researching methods for better meditation: simply, when an unwanted thought enters your head, give it scant regard and drop it. If it comes back, drop it again. It gets easier and easier; but it does take practice. (We’ve even been able to utilize it on harrowing psychedelic up-ramps.) So yes, for us when thoughts creep and try to seduce us with their grotesque familiarity and pull us towards their self centered vortex of anxiety — we just drop them. We don’t let them stay.




SITES IN USE




We often talk here of the untapped potential of hub pages, that is, sites that are a rich axis of information, taking advantage of the full-breadth of online media/resources — linking both outwards and inwards. Enter the site for FIT’s Graphic Design program — what a near perfect amalgamation of data, energy and navigation. The whole thing feels present with its purpose — alive and growing. There really is so much on there without any disorientation. (Perhaps a bit randomly, we really enjoyed the 29 page zine about urban wildlife on Staten Island hosted on google drive — to which they linked, mellifluously.)





Andrea Evangelista




Studio Kader




William Stormdal





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SHOPS ON CARGO




House of Mist
Addieway Books
$19

Constellation Button Up
Archived
$500




Tudor Cup
Dohm Ceramics
£25


Matisse Cut-outs
frog life MART
$124



Familiar Gardens
Dulcie Wagstaff
£35

Printemps Rouge
Alexis Jamet
€30






GOINGS-ON(LINE)


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

A Warning to the Curious, 1972
Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Bath House, 2014
Miu Miu Spring Menswear Show 2008
Erika Naginski, Impossible Design: Porsenna's Tomb...
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2011
 



ORACLE


Of both the Tarot and the I Ching, we asked the following:
For the coming week, what is the best advice for the engaged and sincere person?



This week we pulled the “Four of Wands.” This card is a symbol of positive connection — think harvest and harmony — family, friends, nature, town, market, as a whole. Specifically the imagery points to the structural aspect of this symbolism; perhaps expressing that the underlying anatomy of your system of production is sound — or at least that you should pay particular attention to its soundness this period.
        Our first hexagram, which we partner with our tarot to describe (or further detail) the current situation, is #3, “Difficulty at the Beginning.” Here it is intimated that this period is a time of growth; growth of the demanding kind, involving much that is unknown. It is advised that when “everything is still unformed, dark… hold back, because any premature move might bring disaster.” “In order to find one’s place in the infinity of being, one must be able both to separate and to unite.” That is, it is a struggle to be smart and not lazy during change. It is best to strain the threshold of your consciousness to be aware of as much as you can, as things morph (don’t just let it happen). Our changes have some very specific augmentations to the above: Good intentions are apt to be misinterpreted this period, so it is wise to be remember that “it is only through faithful and conscientious work, unobtrusively carried on, that the situation gradually clears up and the hindrance disappears.” And rather darkly it states “The difficulties at the beginning are too great for some persons. They get stuck and never find their way out.” We interpret this as, no person is successful at all things; painful defeat is part of the life.
        Our second hexagram, the one that suggests how best to meet the challenges (or the changes) is #27, “Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment).” This hexagram has very straightforward things to say about the building of one’s character. It needs little interpretation: “Those that cultivate the inferior parts of their nature are inferior people. Those who cultivate the superior parts of their nature are superior people.” If put off by a word like “superior” perhaps consider artists like Baudelaire or Sylvia Plath; the superior aspects of their natures were certainly dark and quite wonderful.
        Our extraction: When considering the goal of our lives there probably exists some sort of underlying structure similar to the agrarian sequence of planting, harvest and consumption/exchange. Our tarot this week points to the underlying configuration of the harvest/exchange part. There may be difficulty in exchange of long cultivated endeavors, now ready for consumption. The difficulty may prove too much (start over or make a different plan). But if you can get through this birthing don’t put too much pressure on the ultimate destination of your yield. Instead put the emphasis on mechanics of the actual exchanging — like make sure it’s with honorable and worthy people — do not be lazy or foolhardy about this.

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