Until some terrible global catastrophe befalls us, I will remain useless. I can't throw myself in front of Hell's wolves until Hell's wolves have us backed into a corner. I want magic. I want to call upon my animal sentinels. Lion, Fox, Cat, Eagle, Robin, Whale, Wolf, Loon, Crow. I'll protect a little beetle. I'll keep it cupped in my hands and stumble through the forest. I'll use it to perform alchemy. At the end of the day, when a sacrifice must be made, I want to exhale spirits through my mouth.

When I was a kid, I used to think I could break through time, like it was a piece of glass. I thought that, at the right moment, I could close my eyes and see only white and blue. I thought I could reach out for a crystal sword with which I could slice through into someplace calm and quiet, where I could sit on a glacier and stroke white tigers. I've been groping around for that crystal sword for as long as I can remember. I tried really hard to get a hold of it, once, riding in the backseat of our old Buick. We were on our way to my grandparents' house in Fort Valley, Georgia. I can't remember, now, why I needed it. Perhaps that's why I wasn't able to find it - I haven't ever truly needed to cut my way through a time barrier. I really thought it would save me, though. From the dark of the car, from the time it took to get from one state to another, from being a child. I don't know. I thought it would save me from all of that. Now, I can only hope it will save everyone else.

I didn't know it then, when I was a kid, but there's something special about crystal. There's something in it, I think. Like those crystal skulls - Mayan, Aztec, whatever. They say there might be information encoded inside of them - information that we can't read yet, but, when the time comes, could change everything. Scientists don't care much for the skulls, but I like them. There's always some kind of little treasure inside of a skull.

I'm in that mood I get in sometimes - the mood that just forces me to laugh at anthropologists for pretending to understand so much, as if they're very familiar with the rules to a certain game, knowing that tradition will keep the game from becoming something more. Nature versus culture ... I can't stop thinking about that concept. As in every conflict, there has to be some middle ground - reliable sentient resources, a living library, telepathic iconoclasm, an infinite plane of everything and nothing, a comprehensive understanding of "belief" (as an idea, not a cultural practice), where there is no passage or scenery or points A and B, where everything is intuitive and "psychosomatic" means nothing.

I really believe that I'm from someplace else. I think I could probably transform into some untamed, peculiar, and boundlessly cognizant extraterrestrial creature if I really wanted to. Maybe I shouldn't be telling you all of this ...

Maybe I'm just psychotic.

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