Angela Bocage


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the magic category.

Identity

The cartoon caption, were it atop a visual panel of my most enthusiastically gross-&-disgusting pen and ink work, would be something like, “Angela’s brain crawls through the wreckage…” I have been changing my so-called identity since I was five years old, choosing and discarding names and traits like old boots, and have never been sorry. When the T. Heads sang, “I’ve changed my hairstyle—so many times now—I don’t know WHUT I LOOK LIKE,” the line applied to me, only add hair color and clothing style as well. I’m not exaggerating when I say age five; it may have been even earlier. I remember deciding to adopt as my own a phobia of having my picture taken at five, changing my name at five or six, and chopping off the long hair my mother had never ever cut at eight. By eleven hair color changed all the time and by fourteen I had had maybe five different sequential names. (A number rather larger now.)

Identity and I have, clearly, waged an old war. When I read Carlos Castaneda’s dubious and delightful Yaqui stories in junior high and high school, devouring them all repeatedly and dropping whole previous sets of friends to be besties with the publications geeks into Carlos, his stuff about erasing identity again and again, like the dirt and sweat of each day, made so much sense to me. I feared my ego, wanted to lance it like a boil as often as possible, to which end I never save my published clips and don’t have most of my comics, whether originals or published versions. What’s the point—another thing in Castaneda’s mini-library of chaos magic that made sense to me even then was the imminence of death. It was true when I was thirteen and driving on Southern California freeways with my Alzheimer’s-addled grandfather or hitchhiking the same ones with anyone who picked me up. Still is.

Death is always imminent even if Death is extremely quiet and unobtrusive about it, too, of course; turns out that many apparent crazies show up in ERs all agitated and hallucinating¬† when actually they’re mentally normal individuals having their self-concept, cognitive abilities, and the whole bundle labeled “sanity” undermined colorfully by undetected tumors. And people get hit by cars or otherwise felled without warning all the time, as my grandfather (while I was living with him, age six) and my mother (while I was living with her, age eleven) exemplified. My, was I the auspicious child with whom to reside, or what?! With ego that poisonous, and death that near, it seemed like a splendid idea to stock up on identities: an old Jewish custom was to change one’s name to Chaim or Chaya when critically ill so Death might skip your checkmark on Its list.

It isn’t any particular identity—or even a human identity—which entitles beings to justice and peace! As long as injustice and suffering exist, it doesn’t matter upon whom they splat!¬† If identity is a useful tool, in some places, times and situations, to alleviate injustice and suffering, by all means use it. If identity is a fantasy, so are the little imaginary lines on maps, which have caused conflagrations.

 

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The drifting of the brightly colored cards…

A bunch of different things today…First, thank you to everyone whose prayers and good wishes went out to my daughter. She’s all better, like the medieval villager who’d been turned into a newt. And NOBODY can do that Monty Python snippet like my amazing daughter! Second, how great is sleep? I can’t believe how much happier and more energetic and bursting with ideas I am when I actually get enough. Third, watch the moon every night, or morning if possible. Something totally beautiful and new will happen. It’s really really easy to access magic; I strongly urge you to listen to that crazy man Grant Morrison’s talk at the Disinformation event, it’s in several parts on youtube; I don’t understand things in EXACTLY the same way he does, not at all, but part of the point is, we don’t have to agree on the names of the deities, the best symbol for concept X, Y, or Z, the right words to say on the Solstice, whatever. You’re responsible to yourself for your beliefs and choices, not to anyone else, as I’m responsible to myself for mine. But by making those choices, finding our own beliefs and passions and balance, soooo much power and truth and potential and joy and efficacy is available. Fourth, my first purple rose, cultivar Melody Parfumee, bloomed today, magnificently, and its fragrance is a trip to heaven –so thanks again, reviled mulberry tree, for not crushing it, or me.



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