That was it, the longest night of the year. It’s over now. I didn’t send out a solstice greeting yesterday or last night because I was otherwise engaged. You might remember that last year on the winter solstice I hinted that we were involved in an obelisk improvement project:
Last night the birds and I were so anxious and excited you’d have thought we were landing a capsule on a comet! Our engineering feats were stone-age in sophistication, but considering the primary workmen were birds who have not evolved opposable thumbs, we are justifiably proud.
I think this is the coolest present the birds have ever given me, if you except the time black swan helped me get up here.
A niche! I’ve always wished I had a niche. Of course I’ve self-sequestered myself in an obelisk and an odalisque who shuns the world and makes a random scrapbook of fragments and bizarre conversations about birds, flinging that scrapbook out into a world where everyone is obviously sharing everything they make/do/think everyday in their very actual, materially measurable lives for un-anonymous readers to “identify with”, has no obvious niche. Once there was a niche, but it was unsatisfactory. It involved Moroccan tiles, a titillating fountain, perhaps a voluptuous urn, and a conspicuous absence of clothing around key body parts. Later, our niche was behind the heavy european draperies of studios and salons. Blessedly, we escaped those niches.
Where is the niche for an odalisque in an obelisk who converses with birds?
HERE IT IS. I have a niche. Right here in my obelisk. And this niche…it is VERY SPECIAL which is why I did not send you any solstice greetings to get you through that long dark night (at least it wasn’t so cold this year). I have been fixedly watching, with all birds, MY NICHE.
This is what happened when, from the longest long night, the sun crept over the horizon, slipping the first frugal but encouraging slivers through my single window:
Wait…what WAS that?
Don’t find your niche, make one. With the help of your friends.
Astronomically significant greetings to you and all your beloveds this winter season,
Owl has recorded a dream which belongs to HAZEL.
The movie is very obscure and I’ve yet to figure out what really happens. In fact, I don’t think I’ve actually seen the entire film.
But I know that this song belongs to HAZEL.
Owl says this dream is not cosmic dream radio: it’s arcade fire on radio earth.
Great, I say. More messages on fire. !?!
Owl records my dreams. You can hear them all here.
Did you feel it? Just then. We sat up straight and faced the sun. One minute later and we’re already leaning back in our gravity chair. Today tonight there was balance: dark and light. Tomorrow we begin accumulating minutes of dark, minutes like black commas erased from a worn-out page.
Owl found this. It feels like dark minutes, in the months ahead, accumulating:
The near future I commit to crow. I will scrapbook a phenomenology of crow morphology.
I’m also working on a piece of fan-fiction, a fiction by which I fan my fire for my favorite movie.
May your mind be electrified. May many small lights turn on.
As you know, I celebrate astronomical facts.
Today my side of the earth leans close to the sun.
Tomorrow, it begins to tilt away.
Here is a celebratory [j]gif[t] for you.
[If you don’t see this image animated, click to open it!]
One of you, fair readers, wrote: “Odalisque, your obelisk is very tall, and you say it is made of obsidian–a glass-like volcanic rock–with ‘no chinks for the intrepid to grip‘. So how did you get into it?”
I rested my chin in my palm and got all misty-eyed, gazing towards an empty sea.
Why do I hate the ocean? What good are bird friends? Why does every odalisque need a fantastic coat? I, The Odalisque, reveal all (even my head) in my first very low-budget movie (shot entirely on scrapbook paper): everything I remember about HOW I GOT INTO THE OBELISK.
Rated X for cerebral exposure and unexpected violence.
See the movie poster
See the publicity photos
Read about my heads
Read about my coat
My feelings about the ocean
How I avoid type-casting
BONUS FEATURE: my SWIM-SUIT
Thank you for looking. Thank you.
I first asked this question in my post on fashion.
( Phoenix: no fear of darkness. darkness/fathoms/fire. journey/easy. it circles/home. ODALISQUE ODALISQUE ODALISQUE/you’re afraid of fire. I bring a light/a match/and strike it. FORGET MYSELF AND WATCH YOU. COLLAPSE/LIKE WAX/COLLAPSES. AROUND AN INTERIOR FLAME.)