Put a Ring on It, Part 3: 10 Things I Love (About My Wife)

This is probably the most important post of this entire week.

2016-06-27 17.48.26
Isn’t she a dish?

Here are Ten Things I Love About My Wife, Dianne Sylvan.

1. She has the most adorable little hands and feet. Even though they’re small, and her fingers shake, she makes amazing stuff with them. I love when she paints her nails – either dark brooding Scorpio red or some crazy sparkly blue.

2. Obviously I think she’s a brilliant writer. I especially love how she can wring tears out of people; I’ve seen her make people cry by committing horrific (fictional, as far as I know) murder and by just telling a story about herself. I want her to have all the stories – all the ideas she could ever want, just so she can do the thing she loves most in the world and create characters that move people…or even change people. She gets messages sometimes that her stories have changed how people view love – I can’t think of a higher calling than that. Which of course leads me to:

3. I love that she doesn’t give up. Oh, she might say she does, but before you know it she’s back at it. If it’s something that matters to her, whether telling a story or going vegan, she keeps trying, and tries different approaches, different ideas. I think it’s a Scorpio thing (and also a writer thing), that drive to understand how people tick – including herself! – and change the story. Her tattoo says “we’re all stories in the end,” but it’s not so much about legacy as it is about reality; so much of who we are is just a story we tell ourselves and by extension the world. When she gets past that mountain of self-doubt she has the ability to change that story. I wish she understood how powerful that is…although if she ever does, look out world!

4. Seriously, have you seen her skin? I love how her tattoos show up so starkly – she can never decide if she wants to get full color or just stick with black line given how awesome it looks on her. She really wants another script tattoo on her right forearm to balance the left one – that might be next on the roster, money permitting.

5. I love that she doesn’t care how uncool her taste in music (and everything else) is. There are all these authors, especially in genre fiction, who seem determined to be weird. How many vampire writers are so into Taylor Swift? She says often that she doesn’t believe in “guilty pleasures” – if something gives her pleasure and doesn’t hurt anyone, she refuses to feel guilty about it. That means watching Disney movies over and over, bebopping in the car to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and being open about her distaste for classic literature (she says she has to read what white men think about women every damn day, why do it for fun?).

6. I love that she is brave.

7. You’ve probably noticed this already: She’s insanely funny. Get her past her social anxiety and she’ll have the whole party rolling on the floor inside five minutes.

8. She’s compassionate – sometimes weirdly. She cries when she kills a bug. She starts thinking about how that bug had one life just like she does, and its entire single life is over with because it annoyed her, and it breaks her heart. She says she’s not good at offering comfort to humans; she gets really self-conscious about what would be useful and what would just be frustrating, based on how she feels when people force her to talk about her feelings, so she ends up stepping back and offering money, rides, food, a calm front. She wants to be useful by doing things she’s good at, which is funny considering she’s good at everything she wants to be good at, but try telling her that. Stubborn she-goat. *laugh*

9. I love that she’s a stubborn she-goat.

10. I love her tiny tiny handwriting, her swirly vine doodles, and all the other silly things that come out of her pen to make things pretty. She’s such an odd combination of styles and moods – Kawaii Scorpio, I guess you could call it, like if you could pass light through blood and get a rainbow.

Okay, now it’s your turn. Go forth to your blog, your Tumblr, your Facebook, whatever, and write down ten things you love about your most important significant other…yourself. Physical, mental, whatever, just stop what you’re doing and make a list. Do it in third person if that makes you more comfortable – imagine you’re married to yourself and telling the world why you chose that wonderful creature in the mirror as your best beloved. Do it. I double-dog-dare you.

Become my patron for exclusive online content and read new stories before anyone else!

Put a Ring on It, Part 2: Sylvan’s Ultimate Self-Love (Or Die Trying) Playlist

Pretty much what it says on the tin:  My great big long playlist of songs that make me feel powerful, beautiful, joyful in my skin, or just glad to be who I am, even if only for 3 1/2 minutes.

What songs make you feel amazing about yourself and your life?  Let me know in comments – I’m always looking for more.

POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING:  Video #15, P!nk’s “Fuckin’ Perfect,” includes images of self-harm.

2016-07-25 15.55.44

Become my patron for exclusive online content and read new stories before anyone else!

Chthonic Fatigue Syndrome

from anthropologie.eu
from anthropologie.eu

“What is to give light must endure burning.”
~Viktor Frankl

I was born during the season of death.

It’s one of the unfortunate downsides of being a Scorpio.  Your life and the year’s end are inextricably linked; you begin where all things end.  Luckily time is a wheel, or a spiral, or whatever – we can just agree it’s not a straight line, so nothing really ends, any more than anything really begins.  Everything just changes form.

My Scorpio brethren and I are therefore lifelong skin-changers.  We are addicted to transformation, to the point that we frequently destroy ourselves just for the chance to rise.  (Most of us don’t realize we’re doing it – it’s not exactly an accident, but it’s certainly not something we’d actively choose.)

You might think that sounds all spooky/romantic and like I’m trying to make us seem cool, but the thing is, it’s not cool.  I mean, obviously I think we’re the awesomest sign of the Zodiac, but what people tend to overlook is that all of that relentless self-examination, transformation, introspection, and deep-sea diving is fucking painful.  It’s exhausting.  Being incapable of leading a shallow existence means you’re pretty much always on the verge of drowning – which is why raging alcoholism and suicide are rather common on this end of the star chart.  We tend not to be happy people.  People who think too much rarely are.

Of course now that I’ve told you all of that, I have to kill you.

Aside from any personal reasons I have to find this time of year difficult, it’s that continuous pull of the Underworld that makes this both the most amazing season and the most emotionally arduous.  Not to mention, it’s the lead-in to the time of year I hate most, societally speaking – the holidays.  At the same time, though, the air tastes like Witchcraft and the energy of the season sounds like the rattle of dried leaves and a raven’s call.  There’s nothing more delicious than Fall.

Pumpkin spice lattes.  Just sayin’.

The last few years I’ve felt trapped by my own life.  I don’t know when I let myself become so powerless; I certainly haven’t always been.  When I think back through the ghosts of Samhains past, I think of how my answer to “Did you do anything fun for Halloween?” used to be something like, “I channeled the dark gods, spoke to the ancestors, and lit candles with my brain.”  I’ve wandered through the days half-asleep, so tired I could barely think, carrying the weight of the world in both hands and a backpack.

The point is, my black little Scorpio heart does not approve of how I’ve been living lately.  She’s curled up in her bower, presumably dressed in something slinky and drinking something dark red we’ll just say is wine, rolling her eyes at me.

“Powerless,” she mutters, accepting a cherry from the hand of one of her lovely acolytes.  “Nonsense.  Willfully blind and mindlessly craven, perhaps, but never powerless.”

She’s the part of me I’ve called upon to help me struggle to my feet when I was bleeding in the dirt; to keep on walking even through fire; and to gather up the stones the world has thrown at me and build worlds to populate with my imaginary friends.  I locked her away a long time ago for reasons I won’t go into now.  Oh, I can never be rid of her entirely – I need her to write what I write, after all.  But I’ve kept communication to a minimum.  I didn’t want to open the door to that darkness in myself because last time it ended rather badly.  I don’t need her, I thought.  I will transcend that part of myself, focus on light happy things.

The result?  I did not, in fact, become a lighter happier person.  I became instead a pale imitation of myself.  The only way to transcend your darkness isn’t to transcend it at all, but to embrace it – what you run from will only chase you down.  If you are willing to accept and even revel in all of your parts, not just the “acceptable” ones, you can become a whole integrated being, and as a force of nature, virtually unstoppable.  There is nothing in this world more powerful than someone fully alive.

I disconnected from myself – my body, my truth, my life.  My health declined.  I lost all sense of integrity – my ability to honor commitments, keep my word, speak honestly, has eroded.  I developed an almost paralyzing fear of death.

Whatever the opposite of a Scorpio is, I’m there – well, except for the sarcastic bitchy part.  I’ve always had that bit nailed.

This Samhain, then, as I feel the Wheel turning under my feet and wonder if I have any Dramamine in my purse, as I finally do something brave in 2014 and leave behind the home I’ve lived in for 10 years to take the first wobbly steps toward something new, I have realized that every time I turned away from that dark part of myself, I’ve turned away from the chance at real change.  Every time I ask myself why I can’t change my life, I can hear her sigh, the black-vinyl-clad elephant in the room.

Today I’m standing in front of the brick wall I built, holding a sledgehammer (and safety goggles, of course – a safe metaphor is no accident).  I have no idea what to expect, or how I’m going to proceed, but I get the feeling that once I get started, once I make the smallest crack, there will be an enthusiastic push from the other side.

All I have to do is take a swing.

Become my patron for exclusive online content and read new stories before anyone else!
Scroll To Top