Dream of the Dragon

Category: Uncategorized

It’s a space station.

by Justin

MJ #1

Unseasonably warm weather and very little wind coming off the ocean in Virginia today. After a flurry of seagulls crossed between two oceanfront hotels (a constant occurrence), three smaller birds flitted across the sky. They appeared at precise intervals and followed identical flight paths. Then the gulls dominated the scene again, diving toward vacationers eating on the boardwalk. Three such small birds did not reappear.

Above that, a cloud-colored moon sat low on the horizon.

I have not seen the moon in the sky at 11:00am in ages. I couldn’t distinguish the half-moon from the few wisps of cloud crossing in front of it. It seemed as translucent, sluggish, and shapeless as the clouds. Ten minutes of staring confirmed it’s fixed location, and its singular moonliness. Then the following snippets of dialogue played out in my head:

G: It’s nothing. Just a wisp of cloud.

B: It’s moving fast, against the wind.

O: That’s no moon, it’s a space station.

Of course, right? The moon melting into the clouds on a sunny day was a rare treat.

Walking back along the same route I’ve taken twice a day for the better part of three months, I heard four children playing in the street ahead. Heard first, because the little boy (outnumbered by the three girls) was sobbing loudly. He was maybe six, and probably the youngest of the lot. The boy had dark hair and light eyes. All the girls were pale blonde.

As I got close, the three girls spotted the dog and were immediately thrilled. They lined up to say hello. This has not happened once here in the three months of daily walks. Very few children are out, and they never rush the pup. They got close to his face, laughed when licked, made the requisite comments about the boniness of whippets, and smiled hard upon learning that he eats quite a bit. The boy, meanwhile, sat on his bike and glared out silently from underneath an oversized helmet. He was not charmed by the dog or the giggles of the girls. To his credit, he stopped sobbing enough to evaluate the scene. But I suspect he resented Icarus for stealing his thunder.

The sign above the Dolphin Run condominiums was particularly striking today. Maybe because my sister was on my mind.

Make sure to read the breakdown page linked above or check out the previous post for some context. Or don’t, as it probably won’t make this a more resonant read.

And it worked.

by Justin

This is the third reinvention of this blog. The haphazard and desultory history can be seen in the archives – from politics to emotional wanderings to starry-eyed worships of science/magic.

Now, the blog is a magician’s journal. Not an illusionist (Michael.) or dark wizard or anything like that – I’m not nearly so bold. This is an exercise in awareness and attunement, in the silly and the sublime. I think that my love affairs with theatre, ritual performance, and physics are all in service of the same.

Years ago, at my most artistic and fanciful, Grant Morrison offered a few weighty and timely truths. Not to me personally, but through a Disinformation lecture. Real mindblower. For a brief time afterwards I played with sigil magic and the kind of hyper-awareness that comes hand-in-hand. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Fashion – Vogue and the Oil Spill

by Justin

There’s a fine line between opportunistic exploitation and timely, topical art. It isn’t very hard to be inciting and controversial in the interest of generating an audience – you don’t need to look past GOP campaigns and demagogues. But sometimes controversy emerges because the artist tapped smartly into the pulse of something unspoken and framed it just right to make people uncomfortable. It’s rare and wonderful when art (and journalism) does that.

This entry into the debate comes courtesy of Vogue Italia, pouncing on the BP oil spill catastrophe and marrying the harrowing imagery of a ruined coastline with high fashion. I personally appreciate how layered my immediate reaction was – I couldn’t condemn, endorse, or dismiss the spread right out the gate. That, at least, suggests that photographer Steven Meisel‘s work isn’t completely any one thing. It is absolutely morbid, and the use of inky feathers and a model coughing up water plants the shoot comfortably in the realm of the grotesque. But it’s also kind of beautiful if you’re down with the darker side of things. Read the rest of this entry »