This morning, I started to think about my senior project, which is going to be a zine.  I’m going to take photographs around Lewisburg.  I’m going to bring together some of my forgotten writings and make lists and I am going to compile it all into ten or twelve pages of concentrated literature.  I only have a few ideas for the name.  I could name it Chouette! based on the title of this blog since it would be a sort of hard-copy accompaniment, but I think that would be overkill.  Although I do love the word.  Chouette.  I have also considered naming it Sourcils or Pamplemousse, but then what would I put on the cover?  I will think of something by the end of this weekend.

Another dilemma is where to get the writing from.  I know that for the first issue, it will all have to be mine.  Every bit of it.  And then I shall ask for contributions from friends.  But I can’t just pull things out of my ass.  I considered new literature and things I’d already written earlier in high school.  Journals for English classes came to mind, then, and I pulled up my journal from junior year and my journal from freshman year and I began to re-read them.

My junior year journal is not so cringeworthy.  I have some great revelations about love, war, and religion in there.  I have changed a bit since then, but it’s just because I now love more people and I have an urge to know something about everyone in a non-prying manner.

My freshman year journal is atrocious.  I almost spelled “optimistic” wrong in it.  But then I fixed it.  I wrote about boring things like middle school and how Catholic I was and how much I loved Switchfoot.  Looking back, I admire my steadfastness to the band and to my beliefs, even if I don’t agree with myself anymore.  And I also love this passage, no matter how fluffy I was when I wrote it.

And suppose we had an atheist, lesbian, African-American president (obviously a woman) who was neither Republican nor Democratic?  I think that would solve everything.  I would vote for her if I could vote.  When I can vote.  That’s just me.  Bush needs to go.

I know that “Democratic” is the wrong term.  And in my head, I have also changed “African-American” to “multi-racial.”

Here’s where the revelation comes.  May 31st, 2005 Mr. Towslee gives us the quote, “When you punish [a person] for dreaming his dream, don’t expect him to thank or forgive you.”  By John Darnielle (aka the Mountain Goats).  I did not write about the quote, not really.  What I wrote doesn’t matter.  The Mountain Goats sounded so familiar to me, and then I realized that the day before, I’d listened to “Autoclave” by the very same band.

I hopped on Wikipedia to search John Darnielle, and sure enough, the Mountain Goats popped up by his name.  I opened iTunes and listened to “Autoclave” while reading the article.  Monsieur Darnielle was an English major.  And all of a sudden, this great respect cropped up in my chest, and I felt the connections.  Fate, maybe, being fulfilled.  This person I wasn’t three years ago, this person who can’t appreciate anything subtle, this person is gone.  And now I am fresh and new and I can appreciate subtleties because I know who the Mountain Goats are and I actually heard about them four years ago in English class.  Three years ago.

Last night, Travis came over and we hung out at my house.  Everyone means something different to me.  So I think that sometimes people get jealous of one another, “I am not Paige’s exclusive secret-keeper and confidant!  I am not the one Paige has loved since forever!  I am not the one Paige silently and secretly admires from across the room!  I am not the one who influenced Paige’s haircut!”  I’m not that popular or anything, but I think it slightly saddens some people to know that they can’t be my everything-at-once.  But let me tell you this:  you should not be jealous of what you are not to me.  Because you should know that you most definitely mean something to me that no one else will ever mean to me.  I should have a dictionary of all of the people I know, and each person will have a different definition.

Well, on Thursday, I went downtown with Travis and he bought me dinner and we talked a lot, and then yesterday, he came over and we watched YouTube videos and television and we talked more, too.  And we got around to talking about the Westboro Baptist Church.

If I had questions about my religious beliefs before that church, about the Bible and Catholicism and about Christianity as a whole, that church has answered them all.

I do not enjoy thinking about the afterlife because I’m so scared of dying before my time and never being able to tell my loved ones what I really think of them.  I don’t hold grudges and I don’t hate people because I couldn’t imagine dying pissed off.  After I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, I started to picture my own heaven.  And I wondered who I would meet.  And I wondered where I would settle.  I decided that I would have to settle with people I loved.

But thoughts about heaven didn’t really satisfy me.  If I was a religious person, I didn’t have a church to belong to.  I can’t be Catholic because I don’t believe that there is a sin in being gay or in abortion.  I think their aversion to divorce makes people think harder about getting married in the first place, but Catholics still do get divorced.  Look at my parents, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents.

And I can’t be any protestant religion because of my support of gay rights and my staunch belief in choice.  God can’t hate anyone.  God has to be loving and forgiving.  This world may be going downhill, but there’s no Maximum Occupancy in heaven.

I tried reading the Bible once.  The people who can quote it randomly to fit life are ridiculous.  The more I think about it, the more it seems like a fictitious, made-up story to fit the time it was written.  A fairy tale, written to keep people in line.  Women are powerless, homosexuals are shunned and executed, first-borns are most valuable, and animals are meaningless.  The times have changed, though.

To think that some people could even interpret the Bible as some huge hate guide just turns me away from it more.  My life philosophy, I guess, is just to try and find something positive in everyone.  You can’t go wrong with that.  It’s a waste, anyway, hating.

I’ll write more later, and I’ll also post a mix that I’m making for Derek at the moment.


8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This might be somewhat of a cliche idea; however, I think if you approached it in the right manner it could really connect with people. Based on the general theme of what you just wrote, I think that you should fill your zine with different aspects of admiration that you have found in different people, and about your personal beliefs. You should make this about your hopes and dreams and those of others so that you can inspire yourself and those around you as you prepare for college because college is about finding yourself and exploring new ideas more than anything else. Even if you don’t really like this idea, you could just devote the last page of your zine to it and defintly include that quote by the mountain goats as a kind of parting thought. A couple of other good quotes along the same lines are
“All beings are dream beings. Dreaming ties all of mankind together.” by Jack Kerouac


“Everything you can imagine is real.” by Pablo Picasso

Also, if you truly explore the nature of life, you realize that everyone is connected in some way, and I think it would be beneficial to you to explore that in order to help alleviate your social phobia. If you can exlpore the connections between people, adn find something pure and incredible in every person, you will never have anything to fear. Also, if you explore that topic and maybe come to terms or just understand yourself better, you will be in a better posisition to really “grab life by the balls” when you start college or just anything in general. I have never talked to you and I don’t know you in “real-life”, but it is apparent that you are one of the most caring, genuine, and unique people I have come across so use those gifts to reach people. You clearly have the capacity to reach people with your writing, otherwise your blog wouldn’t recieve this much traffic.

Another possible idea would be to explore contrasting prespectives on things, particularly with photography because a pure kind of truth is revealed when two oppsites are juxtoposed. Maybe use photography to create diptychs of contrasting images. Also, you can paint ontop of photos to create some interesting effects; if you are interested in this I would advise you to explore the work of Robert Rauschenberg. Another artist I feel you might enjoy is Shephard Fairey (and also along those lines, Banksy, in particular his amusing shenangians).

“When you punish [a person] for dreaming his dream, don’t expect him to thank or forgive you.”

But let me tell you this: you should not be jealous of what you are not to me. Because you should know that you most definitely mean something to me that no one else will ever mean to me. I should have a dictionary of all of the people I know, and each person will have a different definition.

Anyway, I really hope that that was somewhat helpful because otherwise, I just wasted a load of your time.
Use those thoughts as a starting point and then incorporate photography, other imagery, and writing in order to really delve into this.

Comment by t

t, you are a brilliant one. I had no idea what to write about, except that I know that I genuinely enjoyed some of the stories in the Literary Magazine at my old school, short stories with no real beginning or end, and that I almost live by the works of Miranda July. They’re so awkward, but I feel like they could have been plucked from anyone’s life. That pleasantly plain lady walking across the parking lot at my school yesterday afternoon. People who I guess we don’t associate with beauty, but who are more beautiful or interesting than the most outwardly beautiful and interesting-looking people around.

That’s a good direction to take it in. Writing about people. That’s such a grand idea. And in that case, I can probably come up with loads of new material.

And the art you’ve pointed out is right down my alley. I especially love Banksy, and before I’d seen any of his works (earlier today, that is), I wondered what you meant by “shenanigans.” Haha.

Well, your comment is a great help, especially in avoiding things that have already been done a million times, which I had feared, and I promise to post some online version or online copy of the final product. Maybe a printable PDF or something. Oh, also–I was thinking about whether I wanted to do it in black and white or in colour, but I suppose that depends on my funds (meaning that it will be in black and white) and on the photographs I end up collecting later. I don’t want to do everything all “Courier New” font and sloppy, because that is what I think of when I think of a zine. And I want to do maybe some handwritten things, like a handwritten intro and closer, but I think I’ll mostly type it.

By the way, I appreciate your encouragement, advice, and your belief that I can make this work. Strangely, I feel like I’m preparing for some ridiculously long journey. I guess it will take a lot of work, though.

Comment by indiechouette

>” I can’t be Catholic because I don’t believe that there is a sin in being gay…”

Um, I don’t know where you got that idea but its not based on fact. Catholics do not believe it is a sin to be gay nor does the catholic Church teach that doctrine.

Catholics believe and teach that gays are children of God with immortal souls made in His image. God has a perfect plan for every gay person’s salvation. Jesus died for all of mankind’s sins, including those committed by gays.

It is not a sin to be gay. However, it may be a sin to engage in certain gay behaviors. Gays are called to be celibate, the same requirement as for unmarried straights. So, it no sin to be gay. Any sin is in any response to our sexuality that is against God and His precepts.

God gave gays the Catholic Church because he loves them. You accept or decline God’s gift at your own immortal peril.

God bless…

Comment by Timothy

Timothy, I learned that at the Catholic church I attended as a child. A younger child, that is. But I’m glad you have clarified that for me. I’d hate to continue thinking that, and it makes me happy to read that. So basically, God doesn’t discriminate against people of different sexual orientations. He just requires that no one engage in sexual acts before marriage. Got it.

Comment by indiechouette

Also, I wanted to say thanks for correcting me and it is incredibly nice of you for commenting. And thank you also for not writing about being offended about what I have written about religion. It’s sometimes tender territory for a Christian to delve into the writings of a “religion floater” or a questioner or an agnostic or an atheist, at risk of being torn apart just for being a believer. But I feel like you must be a kind soul and that you are not going to rip me apart for not being entirely sure of my stance just yet, and I respect that immensely. Because some of the blogs I read about religion are rather obtrusive and demanding, and I’m afraid that if I commented on them, they would return with comments like, “You should turn your life over to God again.” But I’m just testing the waters right now. And also, I read part of one of your posts, and I chuckled when you wrote “religious blogger” because it’s a double entendre.

Comment by indiechouette

did you happen to see his paris hilton cd release shenanigan? thats one of personal favorites

Comment by t

also, im really glad you liked the heartbeats song and video; my art teacher was kind enough to email it to me.

Comment by t

also, as far as funding goes, you can do a lot of interesting things with photocopiers, and they are cheap. there’s something beautifully accessible about doing things the copy-paper way. if you want more ideas about the techniques to pursue for the layout, i would recommend checking out chapbooks. the great thing about these is that you can fold them in unique ways and really play with the size. Also, if you do something that you can unfold, you can make each page about something different, and then the last page could tie them all together. Also, if you work smaller, you can save $$$$$$$cash money.

Comment by t

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