The job seeker and the gods.

In all my Greek mythology classes, I never heard mention of what was one of the most powerful gods of all. How was this? How did they miss this giant, this breathing force, with all his power? He terminates with the point of a finger, his very breath blows acidic doubt, and his tongue is a quick, flashing sword right to the heart.

He is Applicus, god of the job applications. And he rules many, friend.

His mountain is not Olympus. Instead, it is the rumination of discarded resumes, with all the life crumpled out of them. He sits atop this with his legs spread wide, an elbow resting casually on his knee, his wrist at rest. He chews on his cigar until the leaves begin to sog and sit around the corners of his laughing mouth.

When Applicus is bored, which is rare (there is always fresh meat to be dealt with), he turns to his mountain for entertainment. He leans down, his power suit pulling across his broad shoulders as he plucks a discarded resume from the throne. “Ohhhhh yes.” Today it is a good one. A rare gem of not bullet points, but color, true beauty, design, wit, and professionalism. The kind of resume the seeker poured their beating heart into, held the work of art up to the gods with weary arms and said, “This is the sum of me!” with the only energy they had left.

With one bellowing laugh, Applicus sends the paper flying from their tired fingers, leans down off his mountain, and snatches it between his gnarled claws. “It is your sacrifice,” he replies.

Unlike some gods, Applicus requires sleep. His is the work of constant attention, and therefore he requires rest. This is when the few survive, pushing through the front lines, with hot ink still dripping down their swords.

When Applicus wakes in the morning to see the successes of his enemies, he thunders in a colossal rage. This is when the rest of us suffer most. His bellow is the wind that blows a resume from your hands to the mud two steps before the office door. When your computer crashes in the middle of the most brilliant cover letter you’d ever written, it is Applicus beating on his chest. The pressure on your heart as you skim through an empty inbox is the clenching of his massive jaws.

And yet, in spite of all this, a sword can still be found in the job seeker’s hand every dawn. He is the most resilient soldier of them all. Each morning he says, “This is who I am,” and every evening, someone replies, “It is not enough.”

He doesn’t loosen his grip on the hilt. He lifts his chin and presses his nose hard against the iron bridge of his helmet. He drives his feet into the ground, ankles bracing and toes gripping. All his muscles fire, and he takes off in a blazing sprint for the front lines. He will do this again, and again, and again, and again.

Until it is done.

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Writing 101 Challenge: Unlock the Mind

In Writing 101’s Challenge, we are to write without anything particular on the brain, just let out a flow of consciousness. This is to “unlock the mind.”

I think the fear in this doesn’t come so much from the idea that the mind can’t be unlocked, rather that you’ll insert your key, give it a good twist and a yank only to find nothing behind the door. Just some empty room and a strange musky smell.

It was so much easier to write in college. I never would have thought writing was something that would ebb and flow that way. I always assumed that it was like a giant finish line with pink streamers and a beer booth, and once you crossed it, you crossed it. Turns out, not so. In college, when you were forced to write, there had to be something behind the door, because if there was not, could be sure that the next time you tried to open it, there would be a fat, red F sitting on the couch eating all your potato chips.
Maybe I need to hire Kathy Bates to break my ankles until I actually get something done.
(Thought: Kathy Bates —-> all your old English professors.)
How do you set a deadline for yourself? Does that really work? Does it only work for a certain kind of person? Can you be any certain kind of person you want?
How’s that for your flow of consciousness, Writing 101?

House of Leaves

Every now and then, when I am in need of a creative spark and can’t find words of my own, I look to House of Leaves. While this book sits atop “the list” as my favorite, it still escapes me sometimes how beautiful the language of this novel is. Not only is the plot more original than Plato’s chair he was so in love with, but every word, phrase, side note, all the bricks and mortar that hold the house together, are equally perfect. I wish I had my own copy on hand with me, so that I could share some of the less well known gems I have highlighted, circled, and starred, but these will do just fine. In a way, my copy has become something like an old house. Slightly dilapidated on the outside, but full of beauty and memories and moments of love and fear and breakthrough on the inside.

(Which makes me think, if Danielewski wrote his book like that of a labyrinth, with all the footnotes and scratch outs and indexes, is it possible that the house they are all getting lost in is the book they are entrapped in themselves as characters? Each page another layer deeper down the staircase? Could that be possible? Man this book can make your head spin…)

 

Anyways, here are some of the ones that always seem to make me forget where I am

 

“I took my morning walk, I took my evening walk, I ate something, I thought about something, I wrote, I napped and dreamt something too, and with all that something, I still have nothing because so much of sum’thing has always been and always will be you.”

 

“Why did god create a dual universe?
So he might say
‘Be not like me. I am alone.’
And it might be heard.” 

 

“Through all windows I see only infinity.”

Titles Are Important…

I’m staring at a notepad with more inky swirls on it than words.

“THINK.”

One more swirl makes its way onto the page.

I cannot come up with a title to save my life.

Beyond the Veil,” my left brain suggests.

“If you say one more thing about ‘the veil,’ you have to pour this scalding hot coffee down your shirt,” my right brain retorts.

“THINK!” This time I say it out loud.

I pick up the coffee cup. My left brain is sullenly quiet. “This was supposed to help,” I think as I take a sip out out of the cream colored mug. I look out at the cafe I’ve settled into and listen to the light bustle of cafe life that apparently inspires creativity.

Nothing.

I am officially a producer. For this moment at least. One show. And it is completely, irrefutably mine to produce. To make happen. I’ve torn down the old set, bought the mod fabric, replaced the rug, picked out anything mint I could get my hands on, lined up the guests, set dates, made phone calls. The only real thing left to do is name the damn thing. And to name it something other than “Beyond the Veil,” or something as equally horrible. “Beyond the Veil” is what you put on to make your kids fall asleep; it’s your 90-year-old Guppie’s favorite show, the one she, too, falls asleep to sometime in the afternoon.

Another swirl makes its way onto the page.

Perhaps creativity is waiting in the boutique next door. I did  see some truly inspiring colors in there…

Dulce Et Decorum Est

This is one of my favorite poems, despite its darkness. Wilfred Owen is one of the famous War Poets, this most likely being his most well known work. I wish I would have kept more notes from the class where I first learned this, when broken down with an indepth history lesson to accompany it, the poem is an even more incredible read.

Wilfred Owen

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.