2001-2003

-------Message---------
From: Aidan Gray <aidan.gray@missouri-tech.edu>
Date: Friday, 13th April, 2001 at 4:48 PM
Subject: RE: Orientations for Peculiar Noises
To: Douglas Payne <dp_archtwilight@celtic-conspiracies.net>

Douglas,

It pains me greatly to hear of your sister’s continual psychiatric troubles. I hope she is receiving the very best your great country can offer in state care. It is with unfortunate regrets that I cannot offer to pay for a better facility myself; if junior lecturers received a better salary in these collapsing walls of empiricism, perhaps I could shell a few pennies for Martha. Do you remember the only time I met her? What a strange day that was.

I must admit I am very struck by your new website. You must let me know how you did it, all the detail! I’ve rather let my own research fall to the wayside of late. It’s very tricky, balancing one’s administrative responsibilities with the burning thirst for unknown quantities. I’ve been doing research on mycological functioning and collaborative stratospheres within microcultures of the Mark Twain National Forest. 1.5 million acres is a lot of ground to cover, however, and I fear my project a little doomed from the start. The department seem always to have me chasing impossible summits. What’s new with you? I am most intrigued by your recent reports of mysterious auditory phenomena above the Lanark woodland. There was always something enchanting about those pine-tipped skies. I must admit that often when trudging through campus I am caught with a sudden longing for the smell of those Scottish pines. A cool, almost acrid sweetness. But then memories return, distorted apparitions of light. I once flirted with a few sessions of psychoanalysis, here at the university. It was all terribly amusing, but the poor woman just could not penetrate what I meant by ‘floating detritus, curious objects, alien forms’. She jotted up some notes which I requested later on, and found the whole thing was a meaningless tract about my childhood! No, it takes more than a degree to see into the life of things, as your dear Wordsworth once said.

Do tell if you have seen anything else. I am keen to keep a regular eye on your website.

How’s the weather over the pond? Or dare I even ask the question...

With fondest regards,

A.G.



-------Message---------
From: Douglas Payne <dp_archtwilight@celtic-conspiracies.net>
Date: Sunday, 29th April, 2001 at 11:13 PM
Subject: RE: Orientations for Peculiar Noises
To: Aidan Gray <aidan-gray@missouri-tech.edu>

Hello aidan,

It’s been awhile i guess and I must apologise for the lack of communication in recent weeks. Quite the time I’ve been having and frankly internet connection itself is a riddle I’ve shunted space and time to solve. Enough on that. Please do not worry yourself regarding my sister. I suppose on some level she deserves what she got and there is something there of punishment, pleasures of the flesh etc. By which i mean, i love my sister but she went with a bad man and let things get into the skin. She let the world inside her, dark dark matter. A dark matter. They are taking care of her and she will eat porridge now. I trust you had fish on Good Friday? A duality of bad luck otherwise, it being also the 13th.
A very clever man wrote an article called ‘Mysteries of Existence’. I would refer you to his books but his name keeps undergoing pseudonymic transformation and frankly it would be wasting your time to track this down, especially stateside. The whole point is that physicists cannot accept their true art of alchemy, which is indebted to a medial knowledge of man vs. nature and man’s access to nature. As in, what we might say about it. I find myself lost for words when relating the recent lights and sounds. I must say it is something ripping the sky apart, like a piece of aluminium. Great gleaming shredding sky. Reminds me of a time I nearly ate a cockroach, have I ever mentioned that before? My sister and her awful pets--an unfortunate dinner party indeed I tell you.

What must happen is a deep acceptance of the principle of Divine Light and I do not mean this religiously, not exactly? Are you familiar with a 1999 book called The Oneness/Otherness Mystery? They do not stock it anywhere and I cannot find it online. I believe what i saw that day was the mere object manifestation of Pure Consciousness. They say a certain kind of love is the splitting of subjectivity into objects, by which something is meant regarding particles in tandem with what resists their being. A universal, porridge-like sludge. My sister, spooning it up! She is quite the devourer.

No what i mean is there’s nothing orthodox, I mean i’m not being entirely extensive here but merely when you think about it the big bang had to come from some originary absence and is it always that absence that constitutes action? I go into the woods and stare at the falls sometimes, those dark dark swirls. Dark dark matter. 27% of everything is nothing. They have been reporting a series of thefts in the Lanark Oracle and the way objects, possessions, keep disappearing. Recalling the slow undulation of universal expansion. Someone must’ve soldered those things. Somewhere a great mass, a coruscating beauty! I digress. I have a new fondness for whisky. Dwindling portions of dear Martha’s valiums. You see normal matter is not normal at all. Have you ever glanced up through a canopy and spotted the sun not as some light-giving star but as an impenetrable cluster of vanadinite, bleeding packets of juicy energy, liquidly spilling through needles of pine? I mention simply because you miss the pines. Do they not have such trees in your mall-sized forest? Every breath is akin to nucleation. We are mingling materials in constant interdependence of agential energy. What does the oak say when it starts to rot inside, shedding its browning leaves? Follow me.

I write often on sound because sound is what I say. The sun is screaming at me. Often daily. I am running out of money and worry that Celtic Conspiracies will collapse come winter, when my domain requires topping up.

Avoid entangling yourself in such mysteries. I fear I will never be free. There is a sequence of numbers, a perfect string, with which I unlock the plenitude, the secrecy. An impossible sequence. They have manuals for this, folded scraps and such. I drink my whisky, I try to forget, but the numbers chase up on me sure enough.
/Where to end?
Is it best or farewell, my fairest scientist,
PAYNE.




-------Message---------
From: Aidan Gray <aidan.gray@missouri-tech.edu>
Date: Thursday, 18th December, 2003 at 3:33 AM
Subject: Seasons Greetings
To: Douglas Payne <dp_archtwilight@celtic-conspiracies.net>

Douglas,

It has been quite awhile, quite awhile indeed. I write this with a new laptop humming on my lap, in bed with the wind rattling the panes. The word pane made me think of you. I cannot sleep much at all these days. I am plagued with dreams in which I see the fractals of a supermassive crystal slowly unwinding. It is quite beautiful, so intricate and slow, but soon I realise that every ravelling shard is seeping outwards, piercing the gossamer skin of what could be a body. What spills out are pearlescent droplets, unmistakably flesh, though whether human or not it is impossible to discern. Every night this week such exquisite violence disturbs my sleep. I cannot help recalling that night in the woods, the night when you showed me…

But let us not speak of it. I keep waiting again for that same shade of violet, to wake up bathed in its radiance, but luckily it is all just darkness, strip lights, the sometime snow outside. I bought the laptop with my first ever bonus. I published an article on the rhizomatic properties of midwestern shrubbery, as affected by atmospheric pressure from local pollutants. I’ll leave it at that, because I doubt you have time or interest for such specialised academese. Really, I wrote it with an eye to the ground for something more probing. I await new reports on things in Lanark; sadly your website seems rather neglected of late. I trust everything is okay with you personally? Do you still have that caretaking job? I am sure one day your career will reflect your talent, but for now it is imperative that you press on with what compels you. Often the best research occurs when funding is scarce. It is a question of motivation, passion, hunger for the project.

On that note, I may get up for a toast and tea. I must say I miss tattie scones terribly. That little cafe on the edge of the high street, The Crow’s Nest, does it still exist? They made such terrific breakfasts.

Yours,

A.G.

P.S. did you ever solve the mystery of the whereabouts of Martha’s scorpions?




-------Message---------
From: Douglas Payne <dp_archtwilight@celtic-conspiracies.net>
Date: Sunday, 25th January, 2004 at 5:51 AM
Subject: RE: Seasons Greetings
To: Aidan Gray <aidan-gray@missouri-tech.edu>

The worst festive period of my life perhaps I will not go into detail I am deeply apologetic for not replying sooner you see things here have been somewhat chaotic//at a point one must realise the futility of existence but not quite there yet i press on regardless involving the extraction of jealous potential into something like endless exploring. A vivid intent on html. The stars signify the infinite void of all this being. I wake up wishing for an orange or a solid object, the flesh of a loved one close to me but no I wake up to metallic sounds in my ear, a terrible tinnitus i cannot place the origins of having never attended a rock concert not really no i suppose there was something once but what yes there were some trips into the woods lately everything freezing and useless. Not a single anything. The vallies have run out you see. They wont prescribe me any more. They say i’m fine i’m fine i’m fine. I stake out the hardware store sometimes at night. They do a lot more deliveries, but the paint is starting to chip outside. I offered to give it a new lick but the manager threatened to call the police on me. I don’t know what kinds of disobedience he cited. These people are up to no good, through and through. I am not sure the possibility of how I might get to you or whatever ache could pull through, i trust you had a good christmas etc. there is a certain ecstasy when you remember. Do you remember? I still remember. The way the light looked that first afternoon, the sense that whatever I was mattered less than anything in the world because what came next was a proliferation of worlds, the way it feels to look at light shimmering on a river and think this is it. There’s always something else in the depth of things. I don’t know what, it’s the promise. I worked shovelling snow all through christmas, but it melted with eons of rain and now the ground is colourless, the air unseasonably warm, tasting of acid and strange.


/PAYNE.
P.s. will you post me the article someday i am very attracted by the term rhizome and feel often an affinity for nuggets of ginger, which always seemed incomplete to me. I remember an elaborate structure where the metal found peace with the soft new ore, what was it an alloy of copper and ten thousand species of sheet moss. This was one thing i touched, a healing emanation of energy. Some might say a thing you could sink through. But you say what you saw what we saw was all sky, in the sky as a star falls clean through a dream. Once there were metatags to sort these things. As for the website, ive forgotten the password and must embark on some elaborate recovery.

[on the topic of the scorpions there have been developments but they are quite shadowy & i’d rather not discuss where our communication might be monitored. some day my friend, some day.]