“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”
Welcome to Butterfly Language, a look at the world inside and outside my head!
My godfather died when I was around 10. He was exceptionally intelligent—“genius IQ”—but also had a rare blood & kidney disease. So that meant: by the time he was in his 20s, he was completely bedridden, sleeping on a pull-out couch in the family living room which was turned into a de facto library just for him. While I don’t remember interacting with him a lot, I cherished my time in the “library.” Everybody was like: “Val’s going to be just like him.” I had a so-called “genius IQ” as well, though I would say my little brother’s is quite higher than mine.
My father idolized my godfather, Johnny. I think Johnny was the only person in the family he could really deal with on a certain intellectual level. When Johnny died, it gutted him; he himself would die two years later. When Johnny died, my dad was like: “I’m next for sure.” My dad was super-morbid; he was also occasionally right.
At Johnny’s funeral, I was asked to speak; because everyone thought I was going to be, in this bizarre way, the “inheritor” of Johnny’s intellect. Now, the torch was passed to me. Considering he died in like his late twenties/early thirties, this sort of honestly freaked me out.
Now, when I entered college—the local college, Brooklyn College, because I could be hardly bothered to look any further & plus my mom the microbiologist had worked there—I found a mentor, and by incredible coincidence he was my GODFATHER’S mentor as well. And my mentor quoted my godfather as saying, “even though I’ve been so sick in my life that I’ve never been able to have sex, the ability to have intellectual pursuits has made it worth it.”
This is pretty heavy stuff to process. In addition—just to make things super-ironic (because, after all, my mom’s name is literally “Irony”)—this mentor then made his intention clear that he kind of wanted to have sex with me.
As Kurt Vonnegut Jr. has said: “and so it goes.” I’m not making any judgements here. I’m merely saying: “and so it goes.”
Despite everything, in some ways I think I did follow Johnny’s path. In that: I required a certain amount of solitude in my life to achieve the type of intellectual pursuits I aspired to. And I, too, cherished the personal library.
I believe we all have a soul purpose and Life “conspires” to fulfill that purpose. I realize some people believe that’s bullshit and just a way to rationalize any number of personal tragedies. But it works for me.
I’ve been recently more interested in doing research than writing. By research, I mean looking up key esoteric texts from the early years of my “adulthood”—late 1980s to early 1990s (though I’m including 2003’s Book of Lies: The Disinformation Guide To Magick And The Occult, because it was sort of the “summary” of that earlier period of time).
There just comes a point sometimes where I intuitively know that I have more learning to do. Where my ratio of knowledge-to-writing is at a deficit.
I went through my physical photo archives looking for a picture of my godfather, but I came up short. HOWEVER: I *did* find a picture of myself when I was 10, after my mom got it in her head that I needed a “punk” makeover:
I hadn’t had short hair since I was 3, but my mom one day just got the sudden inspiration to not only take me to the salon to get this ‘do, but buy me this shirt and even get me “punk” clip-on earrings—I *never* wore earrings before!
As you might tell from the photo, I was over the moon & completely ape-shit to get this haircut. I felt intuitively that *this* was my style!
And then, the next day, when the “poofiness” of the ‘do fell…my mom was like, disappointed: “you look like a boy.”
And so it goes.
Have a good Friday, folks.
Here is a Bush video for the new John Wick movie that…really, is like *classic* Bush. It’s uncanny (as you can see by the comments). Of course…Gavin Rossdale (now *53*!) was in Constantine with Keanu Reeves…
And so it goes.