April 2012. After a period where I was conducting tasseomancy, and Tweeting what the tea and milk swirling in my tea cup said, one of my friends commented that I was always taking a Rorschach Test. That's an apt metaphor for how I think.
This was the year that I started playing with Blender (again), a three-dimensional rendering engine, and InkScape, a graphic design program. In addition to creating a scarab on a 3D-printer and playing around with a Silhouette plotter-cutter, I continued to play with geometric designs and zellij, with the end result being a Café John logo.
I should explain that Café John is what I imagine our back yard could be like if I only had wait staff to bring me scones and tea. The idea is that I'm writing at a nice table, with linens, and a comfy chair, outside. Not only am I writing, but I'm a fabulous writer. With tea. The reality is that the snacks get cold, or the wasps want the cucumber sandwiches, or the neighbors start using a leaf-blower, or the sun becomes unbearably hot. And then I notice detritus around the yard that makes me mutter, "Great Moments in White Trash," and the illusion of glamour is broken. Which requires more tea, and probably some chocolate as well.
Part of the allure of Café John is that it would be nice if I could host a symposium on ancient archaeology as it impacts theories of NeoPaganism and modern constructs of shamanism, or Steampunk and Masculinity, or even a presentation of airship songs of the early 1900's, that would be so great. But somehow, instead of being Scheherazade hosting an erudite party, it's usually just me, trying to write or edit.
May - September 2012 Some friends formed a coven. Um. It didn't work out for me, and I dropped out. It was mostly a case of some people you can be friends with, and some people you can do ritual with, and they aren't always the same people.
But it was also...
- If I'm Doing the Coven Thing, then I can't be writing (and I'm supposed to be doing the Writing Thing (and the Job Thing and the Parent Thing, and the Spouse Thing).
- A growing sense that the everyone wanted to go to Place A (or possibly Places C, D, E and F), but I wanted to go to Place B.
- The feeling that getting to Place Close-Enough-To-B-And-To-A would require more effort than I could give, and turn me into a nag in the process.... not to mention leave me unsatisfied that I'm not going to Actual-Place-B.
- Which makes rituals feel forced.
- Wanting to experience Numinous Moments within a Group Context, and worrying that it put an unrealistic burden on everyone.
- Fretting that wanting to experience Numinous Moments was a kind of spiritual addiction.
- The realization that maybe I'm in an Old Curmudgeon Mode, and while the concept of group spiritual practice seems nice, the reality may be that I'd rather do it alone.
November 2012. My short story, "Reset Romance," was chosen for publication by On the Premises. The premise was "Time." I'd written this story shortly after watching the reboot of Star Trek. I was annoyed by "red matter" and the resetting of timelines in the movie, and turned that into a story about a married, time traveling couple.
2012 was a utilitarian year, I guess. Looking back, it seemed like I was plugging along, writing, getting manuscript rejections, and designing graphic things when I wasn't writing. And failing to make a group Neo-Pagan practice work.