Upon entering the all that might become

paths crossed (what might become) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

paths crossed (what might become) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

For years—decades, actually—I have been haunted by a phrase, “the all that never was”. Some of you will have seen it crop up from time to time. It’s relatively self-explanatory, and has stood for many things. It has drifted in and out of my writings, both prose and poetry, for the vast majority of those creative endeavors. Technically, in my head, it meant one precise thing, but as such phrases are for me, it had a facility and use that expanded well beyond its original meaning. It’s the kind of thing which, for a writer who rarely sets down the words which rattle about within his skull, haunts a person. That’s why I phrased the first sentence the way that I did. By “haunting”, I don’t mean, “occasionally comes up whenever I’m feeling nostalgic”. “Haunting” for me means that is has been part-and-parcel with every day, woven into dreams, and wrapped around every meditation—for longer than I care to consider, because most of that has been anything but healthy.

But a funny thing happened, and as funny things do for me, it happened in three parts. Part one, was when I took the image above. Of course, when I captured it, it didn’t look like this at all, but when I took the photo as I wandered along the path at Spring Lake Park, there was a little “tic” in the back of my head. I noticed it at the time, but I didn’t put a lot of thought into it: my subconscious self does most of the processing of such things, so I didn’t dwell on it deliberately. After all, that whole morning and early afternoon were wrapped in pensiveness. So, the second “tic” came a few days later, when I processed “pensive stasis” (and yes, hence the name): particularly, that moment when it occurred to me that it was the last photograph I captured before meeting the person I’d gone down to Cherokee to meet. And the third “tic” came this evening, when I finally opened up the raw photograph and processed it into the version you see above, which is actually how I saw it in my mind the day I captured it. A small, but full, circle.

A shift, a side-step, a twist on my normal side-long approach: “The all that never was” has evolved into a more positive thing, “the all that might become”. That’s a fairly significant thing for melancholy old me. It’s almost like I’m in a good mood or something. That might not be all that obvious from a high-contrast sepia-toned monochrome, but that’s also the point: even when I saw the image in my mind that day, it was monochrome. I was beginning to lay that old haunt of mine to rest. I’m sure I’ll still use it in my writings from time to time (I still have a lot of territory to cover when it comes to things some people expect me to write about), but internally, it appears that I’ve finally moved past the “the all that never was”, and “the all that might become” is the thing that haunts me, now.

And happily so.

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patterns of the incomplete

patterns of the incomplete (verdant trance) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

patterns of the incomplete (verdant trance) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

the world revolves in an ever-present spiral, unremarkably smaller and larger, unnoticeably differential, but rarely deferential; just as time cascades in an ever-present deluge, unambiguously shallow and abyssal, acutely reverential, and obliquely referential.

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sentinels of the lost

sentinels of the lost © 2016 Jered Dawnne

sentinels of the lost © 2016 Jered Dawnne

and then like rain these fetters fall and crash upon the floor

windows on a world and pictures moving sway and tumble
come to me and sweet-surrounded water-torn love me
sing to me your songs of love and unity and peace and joy
and i shall sing to you and cling forever like the dawn’s sun rising warm

when winter comes and covers me in cold and blanket screaming
warm me with your heart and soul and spirit and your strength
and like these cracking windows melt and break the chains that bind me


of bluer skies and rain © 1988 Jered Dawnne, published 1993 in “The Sabre”

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cadence of the long silences

cadence of the long silences © 2016 Jered Dawnne

cadence of the long silences © 2016 Jered Dawnne: a portion of the facade of the Donohoe Building at the Cherokee Mental Institute

and the Tower, still
transfixed in winged progression
how a soul might fly

     had i known it then
     would i seek for misdirection
     would i yearn for something more
     than the sanctity of tears
     than the wisdom of darklight
     than the strength of unmended minds

no other vision grows
Star, and its quiescence
the pure and the strong
bereaved in Transformations
that Tower still enthroned
and the multiverse implodes

     had i known it then
     would any of this matter
     would this emptiness still cling
     to the relevance of fear
     to this constant wondering
     to the coldness of broken minds

Moon’s light
above the Tower burning
transfigured in procession
now a soul does fly

cadence of the long silences © 2016 Jered Dawnne
a variation of “Interim: A Requiem” © 1990.09.05 Jered Dawnne, published 1993 in “The Sabre”

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somewhere besides

somewhere besides © 2016 Jered Dawnne

somewhere besides © 2016 Jered Dawnne

All in all, by the conclusion of this day, I had walked along here three times: not bad for never having been here before. At the time I captured this scene, I had only recently arrived; I had actually planned originally to start out in Storm Lake. But the closeness was already….close, and being here felt the right thing to do, and the right place to be. It turns out this is a frequent haunt for that other person, so I was less “somewhere besides” and more “somewhere within”. But that’s another story.

I’m not keeping much of what I shot on this day, actually. I was playing with shallow depths of field, and that’s a bit limiting if it doesn’t turn out just right. But that’s what happens when your mind elsewhere while “doing the thing.” I kind of approached the entire day in “test shot” mode. I wanted to get out and shoot, yes, but my mind was caught up in other things, and those things, in the broader sense, were what really needed my attention.

And I was very correct in that assessment.

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of moments lost within minds gone elsewhere

linear recursions (drained) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

linear recursions (drained) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

there is a pattern to our incarnations which we rarely perceive, let alone understand. we revolve around each other in sliding spirals, sometimes within each other’s view, but more often not. seldom do we understand what we see within our own reflections, and when those reflections are from within someone else’s eyes, there comes a type of hypnotism of the self. usually, there is only room for conjecture in the spaces between our lives, but sometimes, those interactions create a closeness that is difficult to explain.

and then, they happen in places like this.

it really isn’t that odd for something to begin to grow in a place where so much has been lost. but when it happens, it forms a certain type of unity that will be difficult to unravel.

not that you’d ever want it to.

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pensive stasis

pensive stasis (ordinal) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

pensive stasis (ordinal) © 2016 Jered Dawnne

i was on my way somewhere, the day i took this, and this was the last photo i took before i went there.

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atramentous detachment

atramentous detachment © 2016 Jered Dawnne

atramentous detachment © 2016 Jered Dawnne

one of the things i did this past weekend was wander around a couple of abandoned buildings on the grounds of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute. it had been a very long while since i had satisfied any sort of morbid curiosity, so this was actually a rather conflictive thing for me, internally. something my adoptive parents probably never knew about me was my fascination with abandoned buildings as well as new construction sites: the places i actually went when i skipped out at night. the inherent disparity between such things forms its own gravity, so they sit in the same place in my head. i love the way my brain pushes and pulls me in places like this. visiting here this past Sunday conjured many old memories that hadn’t surfaced in decades, all while making some new ones. it was a heady end to a very nice weekend.

this is the lobby of the old Donohoe building. some topological research online suggests that this was a prison building, which is somewhat substantiated by the thick-grilled, small-paned windows around the exterior. i deliberately captured the small fireplace in the lobby with the lens tilted off the dirty glass to include the early-afternoon reflection of the pillars and trees outside: a mix of the dismal, dark, decaying interior, and the taunting promise of a freedom just out of reach. there was no way not to wonder about the people who had been in and out of there: what caused them to be there, what they experienced, what they did.

i would love/hate to actually tour the interiors and the tunnels between these buildings. their histories, especially apparently from the 1960’s and 70’s, infer violences left seething, sorrows left mourning, and the conflicted fears of being released and being left behind. but when i visit these places where so many dreams have died, i am reminded of the relative ease of my own life, even when the moments are rough and the nights are long and broken and void; so my transient love of life returns for a while, and i am whole again.

and the fact that i got to share this jaunt that day with someone newly met and much admired, was an even better thing.

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uncertain metaphor

uncertain metaphor (inhibited) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne

uncertain metaphor (inhibited) © 2003, 2015 Jered Dawnne

we dream in segmented silences
the order disarrayed
our reason unhindered
by the all that never was
entranced in certain soliloquies
and the tales of what was done
to bring us to this place
this state
this unknown unwoven keening
and the relegation to dream-states
of our collective will to live
to hope
to chase the light
and ride the waves of those dreams
in the desire to be more
than we were
when our freedoms were more
than token gestures
designed to describe to us
the prisons of our own minds

~ 2016.03.24 © 2016 Jered Dawnne

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Photos from SRA 2016 are relatively imminent

In the category of “nothing ever goes as planned”, after shooting the Siouxland Renaissance Faire this past June, I wound up having to procure a new computer to process the photos. And being the nerd that I am, this process entailed a number of time-consuming tasks that accumulated and built up and all that. Photos will be on their way to Lady Katherine in relatively short order, and will trickle out here from time to time as well. 😉

<promo only ~ not final>

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