Esoteric Renaissance

…experiments in thought and art

By the time you read this, I will have turned 40. And, yes, I’ve heard everyone I grew up with for the last couple years go through their varied reactions of how old they feel now. The thing is, I don’t. I don’t feel old at all. I might say I feel tired. World events and all the recent natural disasters from earthquakes to hurricanes to wildfires have made my heart weary. But, I don’t feel old. honestly, I feel lucky to have survived this long. There were kids in my high school class who didn’t even make it to graduation.

So, rather than talk about how much time has passed or how little is left, I’m going to go the (by now) blogging-cliché route and tell you all a list of things I’ve learned after four decades of living.

  1. Do not be afraid to be who you are out loud.

That’s it. There’s just the one big one. No, seriously. Get this one right and most of the rest won’t seem so bad.

Be who you are and don’t apologize for it. Just like the MCU’s Black Widow.You can’t be “all things to all people all the time”. You just can’t. The most important thing is to be who you want to be to yourself; be the person you want to see looking back at you in the mirror every morning.

It doesn’t matter who that person is. Are they a geek? Great! Are they a corporate manager? Fabulous! A free spirit? An artist? An engineer? Wonderful!

Will everybody like you? Probably not. Will some people flat out hate you? Likely. Will everybody like what you like? Nope. Will everybody agree with your opinions? Absolutely not.

And that’s okay. That’s neither the end of the world, nor even a major disaster. People come in all sizes, shapes, and colors with a variety of temperaments, preferences, and viewpoints. That’s natural. It’s good. It’s what makes life interesting.

Your job in this life isn’t to become what you think everyone else wants you to be — or even to become what they actually want you to be. Your job is to be who you are and to learn what that person contributes to this world. Contribution, not conformity, is the key.

 

 

 

…No, seriously. That was it.

Just the one lesson.

Banner - Monday MattersSeveral years ago, there used to be a weekly meme, hosted at orangeclouds.org, called Participation Positives. It was one of my favorite memes back when I first started blogging. The concept was that every Monday, participants posted a short list of things that were positive in their lives.

It’s a habit I sometimes think I should get back to, seeing as it feels like I’m generally viewing things from a very pessimistic world view. So, I have reinvented the meme as a quick little weekly feature.


A new Monday Matters seemed like a good way to get back into posting again. Hadn’t realized how negative my thinking has gotten over the last several months until I had to start writing this list. I literally stared at the screen for an hour trying to think of something positive in my life. Then set it aside for four more hours.

That can’t be a good sign.

  • Mission TechKnit Cooling towels – Start off with small blessings. These towels are fabulous. They’re intended for athletes. But, I found them a great alternative to ice packs earlier this summer when I had sun poisoning and my arm swelled up. Right now, we’re in the middle of a triple-digit heat wave and they’re a great way to stay cool without air conditioning. They stay cold for a good couple hours or so.
  • Desk Move at work. Parts of it suck, like the puce green color of my new cubicle walls. But, I’m getting more work actually done because it’s quieter on this side of the building. Plus, the cubicle wall in front of me goes all the way to the floor. No more guy on the other side kicking my feet.
  • So far as I know, all my friends that live in Texas are out of the main destructive path of Hurricane Harvey. (Also, somehow, everyone I know lives in Texas, lives in Austin. And I don’t know any of them from the same place, like work or school or that. Weird.)

And, sadly, that is all the positive I can think of for today. Still working on sorting out older posts, while getting back into the swing of new posts.

Until next time!

Icon - Pink Steam ElfIt’s been over two years since I’ve posted here. Seems to be the way things have gone for a while. I show up, post once or twice, and disappear again. Over the last few years, that’s come down to two primary factors: vacillating security restrictions on the company network and this insane need to clean-up ALL my old stuff before posting new stuff after a full-redesign and migration from Expression Engine to WordPress.

So, this time around, while working on those old posts, I’ve come to a new decision:

WRITE NEW STUFF

And work on clean-up the old stuff behind the scenes as it goes. I’ve split my old site between three main blogs, made everything private, and will slowly be making it public as I clean up code and links and so forth.

This site, Esoteric-Renaissance.com, will continue on as a place for creative pursuits. But, the focus will be more on original work: journaling, crafting, productivity, writing. All of my fanfic is now (or soon will be, as I finish migrating it) hosted at AO3.

My Second Life blog, KirashaUrqhart.com, will now contain all the Second Life posts, as well as technology, politics, spirituality, fandom, as well as some of the same creative pursuits covered here. I will also be crossposting from Instagram to that site.

With the changes to LiveJournal, I’m moving all my personal journal posts to Dreamwidth, still kirasha. If you’ve gotten used to those kind of posts and want to join me there, feel free to look me up there.

So, this is what I’m going to do. Starting now.

Well, probably starting tomorrow because it’s late and I should get some sleep before going to work tomorrow. 😉

Let’s start a new thing!

Every Friday, let’s post a snippet, a fragment, a cross-section, some tiny piece of your current favorite WIP. It could be written, drawn, crafted, whatever creative project you’re working on right now that has you excited and wishing the work day were over so you could go home and work on it some more.

Want to tell us a bit of what it is or what inspired you to create it? Go for it! Share time, people.

Feel free to link back to this post, if you take part and leave a comment for me below so I can see your work.


It’s been awhile since I did one of these. Thought I’d see if I could start it back up again.

I’ve got some fic in the WIP stage, but today I thought I’d share some WIP photos of the the trinket box I’m altering for Mum. (Alright, it was supposed to be for Mother’s Day and I didn’t realize how involved the process would be as I’m trying some new techniques and mediums.) I’m hopeful I’ll finish it this weekend.

A while back (maybe 5 or 6 years ago), I’d started working on this box for another project. But, it had gotten horribly messed up and I set it aside. So, for this, I lightly sanded it because I wanted to keep the wood grain, then covered the old paint job with three coats of white gesso and two coats of a mix of DecoArts’ acrylic paint in Antique White and Espresso.

The first image shows the basic layout of embellishments I plan to add to the top. I needed to get the placement so I could work on distressing them while further mediums on the box itself dried.

You can kind of seeing the aging effects applied to the box after that. Some of them. This was followed with a crackle medium that was impossible to see in photos once it dried.

After some further distressing to bring out the crackle effect, you can see the sort of weathered look coming out of the wood. The next photo also shows the first section of texture paste stenciled onto the sides of the box. I’m going to paint over that. But, it didn’t get done last weekend because it took so long for the texture paste to dry. (Yes, I know I could have sped it up a little with a heat tool, but I wanted to gauge normal drying time as this was my first time using the product.)

While all that was drying, however, I was able to alter and distress the embellishments, which you see here all nicely laid out and waiting to be adhered to the finished box.

‘k That’s my WIP for this Fragment Friday.

Your turn!

Banner - Monday MattersSeveral years ago, there used to be a weekly meme, hosted at orangeclouds.org, called Participation Positives. It was one of my favorite memes back when I first started blogging. The concept was that every Monday, participants posted a short list of things that were positive in their lives.

It’s a habit I sometimes think I should get back to, seeing as it feels like I’m generally viewing things from a very pessimistic world view. So, I have reinvented the meme as a quick little weekly feature.


Okay, so the first thing to remember when signing up for something like NaBloPoMo? Check when the start date is! LOL If it’s on a day when you know there’s an event that is going to take your entire focus, prewrite a post and schedule it to go up while you’re painting your nails and hanging out on social media to cheer on your team!

Yes, I got so wrapped up in Super Bowl that I forgot yesterday was the start of February. (Super Bowl Sunday needs no official date! LOL)

The theme for NaBloPoMo this month is ‘Make’ and there will be future posts from me that are on theme.

But, as I’m playing catch-up , today you get a new Monday Matters.

 

  •  Let’s start with my boys. My team. My Pats! Super Bowl champions! The game may have started out slow and uneventful. But, that second half? That fourth quarter? THOSE LAST TWO AND A HALF MINUTES?! Simply amazing.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier valentines. Yes, the cheap little cards kids take to school for their class. I’m not passing them out, but they’ll make an amusing decorating theme for my cubicle. Don’t judge me. I know I’m insane. ;-P
  • I can still talk. My sinuses started acting up yesterday and this morning I woke up with the sore throat from Hell. So, I’m really glad that it seems to be mostly cleared up right now. Soup and oranges for dinner tonight, I think, though. Early to bed. I really don’t want to use sick time so early in the year.
  • And, lastly, this Winter Soldier fanart makes me very happy.

Super Bowl ManicureFinally, in honor of the Super Bowl, with my Patriots playing, I did a quickie manicure to show some pride. The #TeamEvans hashtag is included along with some obvious Captain America inspiration to show support for the bet between Chris Evans and Chris Pratt, otherwise known as#Twitterbowl.

For those who are unaware, the two Marvel stars made a bet on the game, each forfeiting a visit to the children’s charity of the other’s choice…in costume and bearing the colors of the opposing team. Chris Pratt set the stakes that Evans would make an appearance at Seattle Children’s Hospital dressed as Cap and bearing the 12th Man flag of the Seattle Seahawks should the Seahawks win. For his part, Chris Evans determined that, should the Patriots win, Pratt would make an appearance at Christopher’s Haven in Boston, dressed as Starlord wearing a Tom Brady jersey.

In a show of class that proves once again why Chris Evans is one of my favorite celebrities, after the Patriots win, he posted on twitter that he would be going with Pratt to Christopher’s Haven and also that they would both visit Seattle Children’s Hospital as well.

As for the charities themselves, fans rallied together under their favorite super hero’s banners and made donations to each charity on behalf of “Team Evans” and “Team Pratt”. For those who are interested, you can still show your support and make a donation to one or both of the charities:

Donations to Christopher’s Haven (Team Evans)

Donations to Seattle Children’s Hospital (Team Pratt)

As for the manicure, I created the gradient using MoYou Polish in Red and White along with Char by Julep. Then I topped it with United States of Glitter by NCLA. The accent nails, painted to look like a modified form of Captain America’s uniform, were done using MoYou Polish in Red, Char by julep, and Model’s Own Artstix Nail Art Pen in White. Everything was then topped with Seche Vite, which has become my favorite top coat.

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