SERESTATIC: The Eve of Evolution

Artemis Sere Serestatic The Eve of Evolution
Tuesday, December 29. 10°. Gray skies, white ground, fucking cold.
 

I feel like a powder keg about to blow the powder off these slick streets. Not necessarily angry at anyone in particular. Not terroristic or blatantly suicidal. Not twisted or realistically violent.

I know I've felt this way for  most of 2020, and know I need to change. This trend isn't healthy or hopeful.

But I seem to be mired in a constant state of head-shaking these days. Nodding through the failures, smiling through the dismissals.

2019 was a year of deep alignment, sadness and separation; 2020 was the year of collapse, of everything I built over a decade.

2020 began positive promise with the completion of my first book in five years, the largest thing I've ever created, and the coalescence of nearly one thousand hours of work. It started with my enthusiastic application for jobs that I thought I was qualified for, following the acceptance of the delay of my #metalmorphosis. It started with the development of Grimspell Gaming with a circle of trusted friends and brothers.

2020 nears its end with my confidence shaken, my professional career on lifelines, and the Artemis Sere universe jilted. This static isn't a cry for help. This isn't an emo tantrum. This isn't a wistful whine.

This is a serious accounting of where I'm currently at, and acknowledgment of the reckoning that has befallen my life. This is the esoteric crackle of #xoterica kinetics. This is the basement level of Six Martyr Place.

I've applied for over 50 marketing jobs in the Twin Cities Area in 2020, trying to claw my way back into the vocation where I have the most experience and success, That tireless work has resulted in 45 minutes worth of interviews and a two-month project that sadly ended up as fruitless.

I've given away as many copies of "Echoprism Vol. 1" as I've sold in 2020. Even with the promotion I developed which gives a discount on hundreds of dollars of tangible art with the a simple $50 purchase, I've sold less than ten copies. As it represents 300 of my fine art pieces and some of my best work, I take it personally that my audience hasn't embraced it, appreciated all of the work I put into it, and made it part of their lives.

But I don't let that slap stop me, only sting me.

I spent most of 2020 away from the majority of social media, sticking with Twitter to maintain the soft heartbeat of my brand. But even my Twitter audience continues to fade away, with engagement near zero and no regular engagers without my political rants. My return to Facebook and Instagram have provided me outlets to share my work, but offered me windows into who is no longer connected to me, no longer interested in my art.

For all the work I put into art, I'm mostly paid with silence, distance, and indifference (note: deep thanks to those people who have stuck with me on this long, dark road). I needed to sell well this year to dig myself out of the hole my Welding misfire put me in, and I failed. For the first time in over a decade, I'm facing complete professional, financial, and personal crashes. I dwell at rock bottom these days, and am struggling to find my way up.

In 2020 I produced some of my best work in my history - best book, best blogs, best website, best brand content, best paintings, best photography, best art yard sale, best digital art. Yet, I feel farther from successful than ever.

And I feel like I'm running out of answers - or, at least, I'm running out of the passion to try to find new answers because the old ones, the ones that are supposed to work, aren't working. Inspiration is at an all-time low. The fires of hope have dimmed as low as the days when I was chronically ill.

Why do I have to try so hard? Why do I constantly have to redefine and recommunicate my value? I have friends that kick off new art and businesses and their efforts spread like wildfire. My LinkedIn feed is filled with positive stories of progress and success.

I want to believe that human existence isn't one big popularity contest, where you're either part of the pageant or part of the audience. I want to understand what my role is here. I want to feel like I'm part of the party again.

It seems like I just don't know how anymore. I was once a fearless leader; I now feel more comfortable as a feeble follower. I once believed that you make your own luck, but have learned the hard way that there is truly no such thing as a self-made person.

I've been watching the "Manhunt" series on Netflix lately, and becoming reacquainted with both Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph. They're certainly not inspiring stories, nor people to emulate. They were two people who were twisted enough by society to turn against it. Intelligent, gifted men that became so frustrated by the system and the humans within it that they turned to preying on it. Trust me, I'm not considering preying on the system or the people in it, but I do understand how the system can turn people against it.

Violence doesn't lead to positive change, and raging against the system only makes you a target of the system.

But the system only benefits those that it chooses. As a single, unmarried, family-less, childless white male with more art assets than fortune, I have few places to turn for help. The pressure to conform to the system and to society around us turns some of us into flawed diamonds, but renders most of us as compact cores of coal with soft shells and hardened, calcified hearts.

I've lived without healthcare in any form for two years now. I simply can't afford it. I've had to prioritize my life in very dramatic ways since I started my metalmorphosis in early 2019. Presently, I have an ear infection which has reduced the hearing in my right ear by half (or more, depending on the day). Earlier this year, I suffered a major on-the-job injury and had a month-long brush with covid. All outside of a healthcare system that I can't afford to be part of.

Ironically, I spent half of my last 10 years of working a well-paying job to pay off back taxes and medical bills that I acquired while I was part of a system that I couldn't afford. I didn't transition to trying something new with wealth or a wealth of opportunities.

I did it with raw human courage, hope, and passion. I fight this battle by myself and what little resource I have, appreciating the friends and social programs that kept me afloat during 2020's #yearofcivility.

I held in a lot of fire and rage during this divisive, explosive, and confrontational year. It's far past time to let the inferno scream and burn as a passionate pyre.

On this eve of evolution, where I dream about the opportunities and possibilities of a new year, I hold hope for a brave new future.

I've survived tougher times than these.

#serestatic

Artemis Sere Serestatic The Eve of Evolution

SERESTATIC: Cleaning Out the Closets

Artemis Sere Serestatic Cleaning Out the Closets
Thursday, October 15. 42°. Mostly sunny, blustery.
 
 

Time files fast these days. Feels like just yesterday I was pulling out my summer clothes and readying for warmer weather. The seasons are swiftly changing with the roar of Canadian winds, and I'm now  exchanging button-up shirts for layers and thicker jackets.

Fierce winds push loose leaves across the yards like yellow and orange tidal waves smashing on brown beaches. The garden out back withers away and crumples to dust. The glorious plants that I grew over the last few months fight for survival in a house with few good bright spots. No matter how hard I try to keep the falling foliage under control, there is no denying Aeolus.

The cold is coming. The season I dread the most is knocking at the door. And with it, another six months of breathing dustbox air, of shoveling the driveway and marching through knee-high snowbanks, of short days and long nights, and of seldom feeling refreshed in the face of biting winds. Now we also have to fret about influenza and novel coronavirus -- on top of doldrums, seasonal affectedness disorder, holiday stress, and dangerous roads.

I despise winter almost as much as I do Donald Trump. It brings out the worst in me, recesses all of the good momentum I try to build during the year and withers me physically away, chiseling my health away with every passing winter season. I tried to move away to warmer climes last year, but it didn't work. 

It was a flawed, miserable attempt at escape from the anchors that drag me down in my life. 

Thankfully, I currently have a great, interesting job where I get to work from home. Much has changed since I left the professional world for a different path, yet a lot has remained the same. There are many disappointing and disheartening parallels to where I was in my life ten years ago, but I remain vigilant and hopeful this time around.

I've got great, supportive friends. I've found my voice and my platform, away from the buzz and turbulence of social media. I've survived the jump off the cliff and the rock bottom depths. I've found renewed confidence in myself, my art, and my place in this space. I've come to appreciate the silence away from the feeds and bickering.

I'm at peace with a "less is more" approach, and am finding that the more I clean up my life, my content and my story, the less stress I encounter. Simplicity has its merits, and an overencumbered life has gravity that cannot be undone while beneath it.

Minimalism leads to clarity, because too much stuff, too many voices, and too many commitments causes distraction and confusion.

With all of my possible might, I'm going to do my best to continue to clean up my life over the course of the next few months as I'm in virtual hibernation.

Many of you who are subscribed to this blog saw a flurry of posts recently. This blog has been running since 2010, and I've had several iterations across different platforms (livejournal and Blogger). Over the course of the build of this site, I ported content from those sites into this one, and didn't move content out of Draft status. Additionally, I made live some previous blogs that were under lockdown, and published some content that was more more personal and less polished than my newer work. Rather than trash all of those imperfect content pieces, I've decided to share them, so the story of how I got to who I am now is more clear for everyone.

I've got Echoprism Vol2 to finish and release, and a publishing calendar of exciting projects next year, including the tenth anniversary release of "Obscurious". A lot to do, with too little time to accomplish it all.

No more hiding, no more bullshit. The closets have been packed with closed boxes, clothing containers, and chattering skeletons for too long. 

If you're reading this, thanks for being part of my journey, and caring about the static of this artist's life. I appreciate your patience as this experience evolves. I'm a one-man creative army, and I have a lot to tackle.

Less is more. More space. More time. More life.

#serestatic

Artemis Sere Serestatic Cleaning Out the Closets

SERESTATIC: Egg Me On

Artemis Sere Serestatic Egg Me On
Saturday, April 25, 2020. 69°. Mostly sunny, partly cloudy, whatever.
 

Gorgeous, warm weekend day. The days are a bit of a blur to me right now, so I had to verify that it was Saturday. Without much structure, no job, little fire and inspiration, forced to stay home and maintain distance,

I'm mostly floating.

We all float down here. And wear masks and other face coverings to stave the flu away.

That's the here and now. Some deny, as most of the people I passed today not wearing face masks and not observing distance. Mouthbreathers with no clue whether or not they're asymptomatic carriers of the bug. 

I wish I could live that naive and care-free. In my state, testing opportunities for COVID-19 have have blown up, and I plan to get tested next week. I'm hoping for a positive serology test, one that identifies that I've had this coronavirus and have some antibodies to battle the coming waves and chances of re-infection.

I walk along the river in daylight and wear a bandana over my face when people approach. It is said you can catch the virus downwind when walking near people. While I'm concerned about what they could be giving to me through their heavy breathing, I'm more worried about giving them what I had.

For a month coronavirus symptoms kicked my ass. I feel better now, but I know it's not gone. I feel it in the shadow parts of me. It drains, rattles and rages in the small hours, when life is low and the bugs crawl. It ruins my slumber with deep coughs and breathless dreams.

I wonder if they know sleep. Does the virus ever rest?

If not, woe be the human race. We are no match for voracious, careless and unfeeling monsters we know little about and of which we have no control.

The tan line from bandanas will soon be a summer fashion statement.

Speaking of statements, I went out to my Mitsubishi Outlander today to find an egg or two smashed on the driver's side windshield. I'd just come back from grabbing my Mitsubishi Eclipse from winter storage in WI, so I know the egging happened in the last day.

I stood before it in awe and concern. I confirmed that it couldn't have accidentally happened (eg. fallen from a nest). Based on trajectory of smash and egg white spray across my glass, it was clearly thrown, and probably not from a moving vehicle.

The act begs the question of "why", regardless of angle of offense. 

I suppose I should be worried about the "who" a bit more, considering my beloved Trek bike was stolen off the same vehicle last summer. I have a hard time believing in coincidence. I've made frenemies, but don't know of any threats. I know I haven't led a cookie-cutter Americana life. I take positions that are unpopular and am outspoken. I am chaotic good.

The statement was either juvenile or intentional, and, either way, totally uncool and disappointing.

King Dictator makes asinine statements all the time. Many times he does so to egg on his enemies and antagonists to action, spurs his cult to spread his lies like contagion.

In a different time, I would've felt compelled to investigate such an offensive act, find some measure of justice or vengeance,

but the float has become me.

We all float down here.

Especially the ones who were dumb enough to drink bleach or breathe disinfectants at the recommendation of America's idiot King.

Just being sarcastic, of course. 

You know what's suckier than having egg smashed on the windshield of your car? Having A Ha's classic song "Take On Me"stuck in your head, only replacing "Take" with "Egg". That's been my soundtrack of madness today.

"Egg on me, Egg me on…"

You're welcome. Not you who actually egged my car.

No egg for you.

#serestatic

Artemis Sere Serestatic Egg Me On