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Journal

Drawn to the water

I love drawing, but very seldom do it. I get stuck when trying to decide which one of all my ideas to choose. Despite this will to draw I end up doing nothing. The ideas tumble in my head, while the paper remains white.

This may not sound like much of a problem. But it applies to many things in my life and is kind of crippling. I often feel paralyzed and unable to perform even simple tasks. Things I’m usually good at can take twice the time. Or more.

It’s a strong inertia that I have to fight every day. While other people are running on the beach, playing and having fun, I am deadly tired from trying to run along, but neck deep out in the waves of the sea.

The metaphorical drawing pad and pen is in my bag up on the beach and though I long to draw I’m stuck in the water. It’s too tiresome to struggle to the shore and dry up to draw only for a few minutes before I have to go back into the water.

So despite my potential I stay in the water to conserve energy. I see the achievements of others. I see opportunities drift by. Life slipping away while meaninglessness slips in. I get anxious and depressed. I feel kind of imprisoned in myself.

Constantly I think of escape. From the water, from the beach. I could retreat to an island where there is nothing I have to do. Where I could just be. Maybe then I could muster the energy to choose something to draw once in a while.

But here I sit, alone in the water and can’t get up.

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Journal

Talk me down

A friend heard my voice over the phone. She asked if I was alright, said I sounded so fragile. I hadn’t noticed myself, but when I started to listen to myself I realized I was in some kind of light anxiety attack.

I wanted to talk and explain, but though I was grasping for words, I was constantly losing my breath just from talking. Not quite coherent, close to overwhelm, frustrated over not being able to talk properly.

But her listening and answering, her concern and questions, grounded me, pulled me back from my anxiety. Took me out of my spinning thoughts, back to reality. Eventually I managed to calm down.

We humans are extraordinarily equipped to deal with problems together. Social groups – friends – is the greatest strength we have. Together we can face any hardship. All will be well.

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Journal

The Anxiousness Express

It’s interesting what we can hide from ourselves. It was not until a while ago when I realized that the Swedish word ångest translates in English, not only as anguish, but also as anxiety, that I accepted that I actually do suffer from ångest but in the less severe form.

I’ve realized that my anxiety is not just ordinary worry, but something much more energy draining. The constant ruminations about present and possible future problems is not just thinking ahead, it’s overthinking ahead. Almost subconscious and always uncontrollable.

One reason for my constant stress, why I want to hurry so with publishing my novels, and why I want to finish all my creative projects asap, is because of a very troublesome thought that I can’t get rid of. I always have this relentless feeling that I will die soon.

Of course there’s no substantial reason for this apprehensive urgency to put my affairs in order. It’s a hypochondriac over-interpreting of minor issues that gets fed into the anxiety-loop and amplifies until I get this nightmarish dread of impending doom.

Sometimes I handle this by thinking nihilistic thoughts. If I’m about to die then nothing matters anyway. I’ll just do something fun and eat lots of chocolate until it happens. Sometimes I obsess and work myself into exhaustion to make the most of the time while I can.

Though I often claim to be very liminal this is an area where I’m always at the extreme ends of the scale. The massive amounts of energy needed to reach those ends are extracted through anxiousness and leave few resources to other endeavors, like daily life.

I don’t think my worries are any different from what most people wrestle with. Death, health, body, mind, parents, relationships, friends, work, money, existence and all. Like relentless carriages in a train. We’re all welcome aboard The Anxiousness Express.

Well, the first step is to realize that my anxiety isn’t my normal state. The second is getting an overview of the subconscious strategies I’ve put in place to hide this from myself. Third is to find ways to divert the energy pouring down this black hole into something more constructive.

Stay tuned to this journal to find out what happens next!

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Journal

Hidden thinking

There is a lot of hidden thinking going on in my head. I feel thoughts and things happening in my brain, but they are not conscious, I can’t perceive them. It’s as if I’m shut out from some of my thinking. It’s grinding in the background and then suddenly I have an idea or feeling I don’t know where it came from. But it must be from these hidden thoughts.

I walk a lot in my apartment. Back and forth between rooms. I know I am thinking all the while, I feel something going on deep in my mind. It often happens when I know there is information to process, decisions to make. But there are no clear, conscious thoughts. Just me walking – as if waiting for a letter with instructions to pop in through the letterbox.

So I don’t think in words or images all the time. Sometimes it’s just a feeling of activity, maybe machine code being computed, and I can only access the result. Sometimes not even that. We all have lots of sub-conscious processes, but this feels more like I have a whole other consciousness parallel to the one that is “me”. Like a neighbor I occasionally hear through the wall.

Well, I have no conclusion to reach about this, no insight at the end of this journal post. At least not yet. But I wonder: Do anyone of you think non-understandable thoughts?

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Journal

Traits and clusters

Hi, I’m Ellinor Kall. And I’m also not. Ellinor is a fiction, but she is also me, and I am her, and we are but clusters of personality traits among many overlapping sub-persons sharing a brain and body. I’ll try to explain.

As humans we all have different mindsets when we do different things. One state of mind when doing a difficult math exam, one when performing music onstage, one when doing heart surgery, one when cuddling a loved one.

We can do all these different things, but only one at a time, cause I could never even answer what 9+14 is if asked in the middle of a concert with my band or write a thoughtful poem while driving in a chaotic city at rush hour.

So what I’ve done is to give one of those mindsets a name: Ellinor. When I’m alone, in a certain mood, often with music in headphones, thinking about certain topics, when writing, etc, I get into this mental state that is Ellinor.

I’ve always been a bit outside the box, never really identifying as man or woman, and having a fluid sexuality, so adopting a female persona on top of my male body never felt odd to me, I only wonder why it didn’t happen sooner.

There is a lot of writing all over this website, and in all my writing, about me coming to understand that I have this strong feminine side if you want to know more about the process.

Sometimes it felt like a wonderful realization and freedom to not suppress a big part of myself, and sometimes it turned into a tiresome and depressing war with myself, and especially with the appearance of my body.

At the moment we’re at a truce. I try to accept that this body is what we got to work with. Ellinor have to live in the brain and on the internet. She is my internet-body. And she has to be a passenger out in the physical world (even if she is a bit of a cat person and hate not being in control).

I also keep two journals. One in Swedish, often more mundane, what I’ve done during the day and interactions with people. One in English, with more emotions and philosophy. This text started as a journal note for instance.

Why a foreign language in the journal? Well, it started with most of Ellinor’s friends being English-speakers on the internet. And then it does something to the thought process when thinking and writing in another language. You think and express a bit differently.

I usually like to point out in new internet-places that I figure in that there is this fictional aspect to me, that Ellinor is not a cis-female, so that no one will feel like I am trying to deceive them, cause that is not my intention.

While my parts are on the outside, my hearts are on the inside. The sum is some kind of non-binary, liminal, queer, why-do-we-have-to-categorize-everything, anarchistic conglomerate of fuzzy pieces that is me.

So while all this may sound complicated it is the best way for me to make sense of the patchwork of traits and personality clusters that is me. I am a state of mind that is called Ellinor Kall. And I am not.

Well, I’m not sure if this rambling explanation actually explained anything, but I’ll post it anyway!

Categories
Journal

Interview with an angel

From my interview with an [angel]: “The quantum nature of the Universe? Ah, yes, I know, a bit embarrassing. It’s just because [god] didn’t know the difference between jpg and svg in the beginning. And now there’s too much content to convert it all.”

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Journal

Breeding mutations

Breed mutations. That’s what we do as writers. We use our minds to trap existing words and ideas from our cultural surroundings. Then we expose them to high levels of imagination-radiation until they mutate into new creatures that we let loose and claim to have created from scratch.

Categories
Illustration Journal

Writer = Magician

Ellinor Kall

I have almost no pictures of myself that I feel comfortable with. So when interviewed and asked for an author photo I panicked and threw this self-portrait together. But then I felt people would not understand and think I write children’s stories so I decided not to use it.

But now that I think of it, I dunno, what if I actually do write stories for children? Heroes and monsters looking for a better life are maybe all that we are anyway. Reality might be a fairy-tale and we all look different inside our glamour. Perhaps we are all fiction.

I’ll see you all in the forest tonight, flying around, laughing, shooting lightning from my hands.

Categories
Journal

Azza-Jono & ellowrites in remembrance

The now mostly collapsed socmed platform Ello.co was a minimalistic non-profit alternative to FB with respect for privacy and no advertising. It attracted a lot of artists and writers and it was where I started writing both fiction and socially in English. The #ellowrites community was fertile ground for all kinds of weirdness and I made friends with some “fellow mutants”. It shaped who I became in troubled times. Ello was a real place to me.

Together we created the fictional living twin city of Azza-Jono and collaborated on a collection of short-stories set in that same world. I started writing a story-line I called The Second Voice, of which The DreamCube Thread (now found in Vast) is an offshoot. I still plan to continue writing The Second Voice in the (hopefully) not to distant future.

What is Azza-Jono then? It’s The Conscious City. The two cities of Azza and Jono connected and divided by a river and a great wall. It’s high-tech assassins and magicians. An exploration into art, science, religion, madness, dreams and wakefulness. It’s as hard to explain as it is looking into the Sun.

From my personal point of view Azza-Jono is fiction becoming real. Much like myself. My first words were: “I write myself into existence.”

Today the former ellovians are scattered all over internet. And since most of them seem to shun socmed there is almost no information about this fantastic multi-disciplinary project anywhere – except for the collections by T van Santana (see links below). Although I know some of us continue to work with and in Azza-Jono through writing, art, design, music and even animation.

In searching for what links I could find that is still available on the internet I was reminded of many fond memories. This strange community of writers, artists and musicians, and the odd fiction we sprouted together helped me to accept myself and transform as a person. I wouldn’t have been Ellinor Kall if all this hadn’t happened.

The time and place was just right. The positive mood, the feeling of something new, curiosity celebrated and rewarded, diversity appreciated, and the sheer force in the creativity. It won’t happen often. Or ever again. For a while this other world took me in and I lived there while healing my wounds.

And to think I just stumbled upon it all by chance while randomly browsing to distract myself from sobbing alone and abandoned on a ten hour train ride all these years ago.

Links to Azza-Jono

T van Santana became our editor and collected our first drafts in this advance reading collection (as in unfinished sneak peak)
https://tablo.io/t-van-santana/tales-from-azza-jono

Baphomet Tripp (from X.A.O.S) wrote music and lyrics to The Anthem of Reconciliation (for Azza-Jono)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s60tIsO3lFw

My story The DreamCube Thread is published in Vast
https://orchidslantern.org/2020/02/28/vast-release-day/

My own The Second Voice-stories will either be published in print or made available on my website once I’ve had time to work some more with them.

Azza-Jono portal (stories, videos and things still up on Ello)
https://ello.co/tvansantana/post/ycqaij_eev2hqsxq5ys0nq

More stories by contributors (will add more when I find them)
https://tablo.io/t-van-santana/more-tales-from-azza-jono
https://tablo.io/t-van-santana/azza-jono-outbreak
https://tablo.io/allenblair/accession

Other fragments and work-in-progress left on Ello.co (though many profiles and posts have been deleted since)
https://ello.co/search?terms=azzajono

Categories
Experiments Journal

Dreamsmear

Dreamsmear all over my body is hard to rub away. Plaster clogging my eyes. Machinegun neurons firing constantly. Tinnitus reverberation on insane level. Worse when worse. Feel my body swollen from carbohydrate intoxication. Warehouse instinct hijacked by the existing anxiety pushing out the clothes by storing all that dense unfathomable energy.

The words of order scrambled into encrypted noise as I try to decipher only rudimentary particles of complex molecular structures turn out. But I know there is chemistry, I know there is biology, I know there is consciousness. But it’s incomprehensible to me, I live in the swarm. I listen, want to understand, but their vibrating wings are not quite the same as vocal chords.

And so the sensitivity is turned up impossibly high. Keylessly I carry food in a locked backpack. Wings get in, buzz in my belly, distracting. I don’t want it-me to be filled by sound. So I run around in my head as I did as a child. I never grew like I should. Couldn’t stand in that box, never saw the shape, never realized that the shadow is also an existing thing, stuck to my feet.

Historical forensics try to sort out the chain of events that led to this meticulous mind that tries to keep her chaos in order. Finicky stimming, process excess, often unable to milk the nib for words. Taste my tongue – hemaglobinary salvia and thyme passes if kneaded well. A thunderstorm of pure information rustles through the leave me alone. Prognostics hold their breath.

I haven’t adjusted my appearance for weeks. I haven’t been kissed for months. I haven’t been born for years. I have no haven, nowhere in mind to release the tension of being alive. Where are the hands that hold me while I melt apart and where are the fingers that define what is me and what is something else? No difference makes no difference. I’m burning so much energy trying to be someone special instead of being everyone at once.

The slow expansion and the slower contraction, like a one year pulse of the body. It’s a frequency, it’s a vibration, it’s a message. Encoded in the mass there is something to understand. It slips away from my mind and I have never known anything about my own song. The wings, the cords, the amplitude of the pulse are inexplicable to me. There is a mystery hidden in dreamsmear all over my body. To hard to rub away.

Categories
Journal

My current Twitter bio expanded

“Writer, demi-fictional pseudonym, non-binary queer boy≈girl, maybesexual, anarchist, liminal explorer, positive nihilist, syncretic polymath.”

The quote above is my current Twitter bio. For the benefit of the curious I thought I’d expand a bit upon what I mean with those somewhat cryptic words.

Writer – I write fiction and ramblings, philosophy and poetry. I just got an English language short-story published in print in the anthology Vast. Also several Swedish language novels under another name. Lots of reading on this and my Swedish alter ego-website.

Demi-fictional pseudonym – Ellinor Kall is not my legal name. But this is still me, with fictional parts, imagined into reality. I’m conjured, created from fiction, made part real. I’m a mind without body. Or maybe the alternative behavior of an existing body.

Non-binary queer boy≈girl – I personally reject the concept of gender identity – to me it’s just physical ins and outs, that’s all. I treat it more as just a personality trait and makes no difference in interaction or attraction. I’m neither Venus nor Mars – I’m Mercury.

Maybesexual – I’m not attracted to people on the usual premise. It’s more of a gray/ace/demisexual thing where friends and lovers are not two separate things but different levels of connection on the same scale. The sexual bit only happens very intermittently, so maybe.

Anarchist – Politics are like the remote control to your TV. You have no choice but to watch whatever the one who holds it wants to watch. Anarchists puts the control on the table for everyone to use.

Liminal explorer – I’m curious about the in betweens as you might have noticed. The gradients outside the beaten path. The shadows, the light. Where no girl has gone before. I don’t understand mainstream, I try to do my thing. In life and in fiction.

Positive nihilist – Nothing has inherent value or meaning. We can however give subjective value or meaning to what we want. But that has to be an active choice, we can’t passively wait for the meaning of life to appear to us. I’m a bringer of meaning.

Syncretic polymath – I work the arts like magic. Words, music, drawing, painting, photo, film, animation, etc. from any style, school or genre I like. I learn the rules so that I can break them in the best possible way. Diversity makes fiction stronger.

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Journal

Life under the surface

There’s a child in the little woodland lake, just below the surface. I see her dark shape in the water. I try to reach her, but my strength is gone. The wind moves my rowboat away from her until I lose sight. Who was she, what would she have become if I’d been able to save her?

Every night, every day, there are moving shadows in the water. They swim and play, happy and teasing. They lure me, want me to catch them, to bring them up into the boat. They want to breathe and manifest. They are children of my imagination, my ideas, my mind, my life.