The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

dark apertures

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

“The daily reminder”:

Please consider purchasing a copy of the first Newtown Pentacle book:

“Newtown Creek for the Vulgarly Curious” – a fully annotated 68 page, full-color journey from the mouth of Newtown Creek at the East River all the way back to the heart of darkness at English Kills, with photos and text by Mitch Waxman.

Lamentable, this dark part of of the solar cycle both frustrates and delights.

Unwelcome, the return of frigid conditions renders my wrecked health tremulous. Unbalanced, my delicate constitution reaches out desperately for amusement and titillation. Tenebrous- the light of December is thin, ephemeral, a cloying charlatan.

I’m all ‘effed up.

from wikipedia

Anxiety is a generalized mood condition that can often occur without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which is an emotional response to a perceived threat. Additionally, fear is related to the specific behaviors of escape and avoidance, whereas anxiety is related to situations perceived as uncontrollable or unavoidable. An alternative view defines anxiety as “a future-oriented mood state in which one is ready or prepared to attempt to cope with upcoming negative events”, suggesting that it is a distinction between future vs. present dangers which divides anxiety and fear.

Physical effects of anxiety may include heart palpitations, muscle weakness and tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, or headaches. The body prepares to deal with a threat: blood pressure and heart rate are increased, sweating is increased, blood flow to the major muscle groups is increased, and immune and digestive system functions are inhibited (the fight or flight response). External signs of anxiety may include pale skin, sweating, trembling, and pupillary dilation. Someone who has anxiety might also experience it as a sense of dread or panic. Although panic attacks are not experienced by every person who has anxiety, they are a common symptom. Panic attacks usually come without warning, and although the fear is generally irrational, the perception of danger is very real. A person experiencing a panic attack will often feel as if he or she is about to die or pass out.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Loathsome, the reflection which gazes from every shop window and puddle of urine during my long walks is that of something which can only be superficially referred to as a man.

Filthy and blackened by time, my garb has become tattered and beggarly of late. Financial hardship experienced over a long and sordid lifetime instructs that only the coarse and lasting textiles worn by beasts of burden should be considered for replacements, as they will outlast the fancy caprices of fashion and comfort by virtue of their sheer and stolid composition. These are hard times my friends, and the hard rain has already fallen.

A season of the witch is apparent, Lords and Ladies, and Woody Guthrie would recognize our time immediately as his own.

from wikipedia

Self-Awareness Theory states that when we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves. Various emotional states are intensified by self-awareness, and people sometimes try to reduce or escape it through things like television, video games, drugs, etc. However, some people may seek to increase their self-awareness through these outlets. People are more likely to align their behavior with their standards when made self-aware. People will be negatively affected if they don’t live up to their personal standards. Various environmental cues and situations induce awareness of the self, such as mirrors, an audience, or being videotaped or recorded. These cues also increase accuracy of personal memory.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lutescent, my skin color produces impressions of some jaundiced ginger candy lightly drizzled over with a thin syrup of sweat, a noted change from the sun baked complexion which was earned during the many maritime adventures of the vernal months that were described at this, your Newtown Pentacle.

A recent observation of myself at 4:30 AM in the bathroom mirror, after having spent a considerable number of hours researching a certain bridge which crosses that malign influence known as the Newtown Creek, was the moment when I realized that I had let my beard grow unchecked for better than 60 days and allowed my external appearance to betray my state of mind. The wild eyed thing staring back at me… reaching out to me as I did the same to him… surely it remains trapped in that pane of mirrored glass.

I went to the barber the next morning, and as Joe of “Joe and Tony’s” dragged a straight razor across my throat and scratched off months of neglect- for the first time in ages- I was able to relax.

from wikipedia

Clinicians assess the physical aspects such as the appearance of a patient, including apparent age, height, weight, and manner of dress and grooming. Colorful or bizarre clothing might suggest mania, while unkempt, dirty clothes might suggest schizophrenia or depression. If the patient appears much older than his or her chronological age this can suggest chronic poor self-care or ill-health. Clothing and accessories of a particular subculture, body modifications, or clothing not typical of the patient’s gender, might give clues to personality. Observations of physical appearance might include the physical features of alcoholism or drug abuse, such as signs of malnutrition, nicotine stains, dental erosion, a rash around the mouth from inhalant abuse, or needle track marks from intravenous drug abuse. Observations can also include any odor which might suggest poor personal hygiene due to extreme self-neglect, or alcohol intoxication. Gelder, Mayou & Geddes (2005) tells us to look out for weight loss. This could signify a depressive disorder, physical illness, anorexia nervosa or chronic anxiety.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Labefaction of my very self continues unabated, and flavor is absent from all the elixirs of joy.

Sleep, and concurrent dreaming, has plagued me with its insistence and Antaeus like grip. When the oppression of these periods of unconscious hallucinations lift, I force myself from home and wander the streets in the manner and aforementioned garb of a mendicant. Drifting like some cast off ember caught on the wind, I follow the sun but as always- I am relegated to stand in the shadows of this world and its bright places are reserved for others to enjoy. Outside, in the cold and filth is where I belong- not amongst bright and happy faces chortling over shared intimacies and embarrassing overtures.

Inevitability is enjoyed by the sleepy, for in the end, they shall drop off.

from wikipedia

Depersonalization (or depersonalisation) is a malfunction or anomaly of the mechanism by which an individual has self-awareness. It is a feeling of watching oneself act, while having no control over a situation. It can be considered desirable, such as in the use of recreational drugs, but it usually refers to the severe form found in anxiety and, in the most intense cases, panic attacks. Sufferers feel they have changed, and the world has become less real, vague, dreamlike, or lacking in significance. It can be a disturbing experience, since many feel that, indeed, they are living in a “dream”. Depersonalization is a subjective experience of unreality in one’s sense of self, while derealization is unreality of the outside world. Although most authors currently regard depersonalization (self) and derealization (surroundings) as independent constructs, many do not want to separate derealization from depersonalization.Chronic depersonalization refers to depersonalization disorder, which is classified by the DSM-IV as a dissociative disorder. Though depersonalization-derealization feelings can happen to anyone subject to temporary severe anxiety/stress, chronic depersonalization is more related to individuals who have experienced a severe trauma or prolonged stress/anxiety. Depersonalization-derealization is the single most important symptom in the spectrum of dissociative disorders, including Dissociative Identity Disorder and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DD-NOS). It is also a prominent symptom in some other non-dissociative disorders, such as anxiety disorders, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, migraine, sleep deprivation, and some types of epilepsy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Lexiphanic lickspittle, the lickerish lientery offered today is limaceous, foully libanophorous, and is admittedly… logorrhoea.

The question you may be asking, of course, might be “What exactly does this all have to do with anything, and what’s up with dem boids?”. Simply put, today is the beginning of the Roman festival of Saturnalia, a day of tricks and treats- and described as the “best of days” by the poet Catullus.

Traditionally, it was the day when masters and slaves would trade places. What fun that would be.

from wikipedia

Mad hatter disease describes the symptoms of mercury poisoning, specifically its effect on the nervous system. These include paraesthesias, vision and hearing impairment, slurred speech, anxiety, hallucinations, irritability, depression, lack of coordination, and tremors. The condition was observed among workers in the hat-making industry in the 1800s. Chronic mercury exposure was common in hatters who used a mercury solution during the process of curing animal pelts. Poor ventilation in the workshops of the time resulted in the hatters breathing in the fumes of this highly toxic metal, leading to an accumulation of mercury in the workers’ bodies. Metal toxicity was poorly understood and the broad range of symptoms were also associated with insanity.The phrase mad as a hatter is derived from the condition, and commonly associated with Lewis Carroll’s character the Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. While the character’s eccentricities differ from those suffering from mercury poisoning (the Hatter was likely inspired by Theophilus Carter, a furniture dealer), Lewis Carroll grew up near the town of Stockport, where hatting was the dominant trade.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

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