Selections from a Gospel of Wrath

The writing of this blog was supposed to take a very brief amount of time – that was sort of the whole point of it  – but while putting it together I discovered a poem I wrote to my niece before she was born and I cried for (and this isn’t hyperbole) an entire earth hour. For once, it wasn’t because my poetry is about as appealing as dog shit, but because it’s actually fairly decent and captured the emotion I was going for (wild). Anyway, I lost my efficiency somewhere in my sea of big Pisces emotion, but I survived and am here writing an introduction.

I am attempting that practice of saying “thank you” as opposed to “I’m sorry.” So – these past few weeks have been bad. Work is super busy (55 is a fun amount of hours to work in a week, right?), physical health has taken a turn for the worse, and I am coasting through on survival mode for a bit. Unfortunately, podcast stuff is one of the first thing that gets put on hold in survival mode because, also unfortunately, the podcast doesn’t pay the bills or regulate my breathing and my heartbeat to keep this wretched meat sack alive. It’s not the only thing that gets paused – I am 108 pages into Roshani Chokshi’s The Gilded Wolves and haven’t cracked the cover in almost two weeks, I’ve written a collective 4 words on my writing projects, and I’ve barely spoken to anyone I love who isn’t Emily. She shares a kitchen with me so I am forced to talk to her, otherwise she’d probably think I was dead like my mom did briefly this week. I love EHR and am sorry that I haven’t touched in much on social media for a minute, haven’t responded to messages, and that I am producing this for the blog as opposed to continuing one of the two series that I’ve set up. It’s possible you haven’t even noticed, but since this blog is super random I did want to explain. I am, however, DETERMINED to get this blog on a regular biweekly schedule, so fuck me if I wasn’t going to put something on here.

But back to the point: thank you for being patient and indulging this weird thing. More on badgers and theory when I have the brainpower to spare. In the meantime, this is what we do have this week: selections from my Gospels of Wrath over the past few years. I began keeping a Gospel of Wrath during my junior year of college as an assignment for my capstone fiction-writing workshop. My professor was really into the emotional and spiritual side of writing as much as the technical side, and she was especially into discovery.

We did…so many random writing exercises in that class, had huge research projects to find out the tiny details that would make our large projects feel real, but most of all we had to keep what she called a “Trash Diary,” where each day we would write down something that caught our attention. It could be a thought, a description of a photo, dialogue heard on the bus, etc. The idea was that if you did this long enough (paid attention to what interested you), you would start to see the pieces of a story coming together, and this was how you would begin to craft what the literary set called “A Novel.” Around the same time I read The Anthropology of Turquoise by Ellen Meloy for another class, and she talked about keeping the same type of notebook, only she called hers a Gospel of Wrath. I liked that much better, and have been keeping one on and off for the past 3 years. Below are some selections from these notebooks. Stuff that I’ve found interesting or strange or worth thinking more about. Thanks for tuning in.



Watercolor Notebook — Gospel of Wrath Vol. 1 Fall 2015 – Spring 2016

  • “I thought I would never survive my own imagination” – Ellen Meloy

  • Life cycle of a silk worm:

    1) Adult moths mate with each other 2) The female moth lays many tiny eggs 3) A tiny black caterpillar hatches out of its egg 4) The caterpillar eats mulberry leaves and grows bigger and bigger. It goes through 4 molts 5) the caterpillar spins a cocoon of silk threads around itself 6) inside the cocoon the caterpillar changes into a pupa 7A) The pupa changes into a moth. The moth comes out of the cocoon, an adult OR 7B) People unwind the silk thread from the cocoons to weave into silk cloth

  • “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

    Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.

    Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence, which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never.”

    - Elie Wiesel, Night

  • Glowing in its armor of communist dust [this HAS to be a quote from something but I have no idea what since I wasn’t great with labeling when I first started]

  • My ex-best friend taught me how to tie my shoes

Pink Bullet Journal — March 2017 – August 2017

  • Sunday, April 16, 2017 – “He is half my soul, as the poets say,” – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

  • Monday, May 1, 2017 — MET GALA – all boring except Rihanna (what’s new)

  • Wednesday, June 21 – 2017 Backstreet Boys: Howie, Brian, Kevin, AJ, and Nick (Mom can tell their voices apart?)

  • Friday, July 14, 2017 – “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little and broken, but still good. Yeah. Still good.” – Lilo & Stitch

  • Thursday, July 20, 2017 – “Father, where are you? I want to start from the beginning. Differently” – The Holocaust is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes by Avraham Burg, page 90

NEW YORK, NEW YORK  (green bullet journal) — August 2017 – September 2018

  • Friday, August 25, 2017 – Walk up music (baseball) – what a fascinating idea

  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 – “Each dog marks a section of our lives, and in the end we feed them to the dark “ – Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

  • Friday, September 29, 2017 – Uncle Rickie died today – Or last night. I’m not really sure. Dad said, “He lived well.”

  • Thursday, November 30, 2017 – I saw the Beastie Boys’ Grammy???

  • Saturday, February 3, 2018 – Lisa Frank tank top and mom jeans and barrettes

  • Friday, March 10, 2018 – A 1,000 year old evil chicken

  • Tuesday March 20, 2018 –  “Under the sun of eternity, flesh ceases to pulsate, eyelids turn bluish, hands wither, tongues swell, turning black, mouths rot. Here, outside of time, under a sun before creation, eyes dim. Lips lose their blush. Lips die,” Auschwitz and After by Charlotte Delbo, page 112

  • Wednesday, March 21, 2018 – Glass in Israel: timelines popping up and disappearing, stopping and starting again

  • Wednesday, August 1, 2018 – Stapled myself, bled so much

  • Thursday, August 2, 2018 – got bit by a ferret – was wearing tights

LEEDS JOURNAL — December 2018 – present

  • Wednesday, December 26, 2018 – “Every genuinely erotic experience in my life has involved thousands of minute, ever-shifting imbalances of power” – Jennifer Schaffer in “Fucking the Patriarch”

  • Monday, January 28, 2019 –

    9. Armored Leadership

     Hustling for Your Worth

     When people don’t understand where they’re strong and where they deliver value for the organization or even for a single effort, they hustle. And not the good kind of hustle. The kind that’s hard to be around because we are jumping in everywhere, including where we’re not strong, or not needed, to prove we deserve a seat at the table.

    When we do not understand our value, we often exaggerate our importance in ways that are not helpful, and we consciously or unconsciously seek attention and validation of importance.

    Dare to Lead, Brené Brown

  • Saturday, February 16, 2019 –  Hellgate, the massive avalanche chute up at Alta

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