EIGHT. Like most femme tombs, the Burren and its complex ecosystem of karst hosts the most diverse orchid population on the island. You rarely hear of ‘stone femme’, the hardness of rock traditionally aligned to masculine of centre bodies, but its rejection of floral fertility speaks more to me, and the alignment of fecundity with an area that resembles the moon feels almost too good to be true. Somerville and Ross, a pair of queer 19th century writers from West Cork, are buried side by side in Castletownshend’s Church of Ireland cemetary, one with a cross for a headstone and the other an organic rock formation. Saxifrage, a small alpine wildflower, translates as “stone-breaker” and they grow huddled between rocks and in shallow depressions. A particular species of saxifrage rapidly colonised bomb sites in England, earning itself the name London Pride. Narratives of recovery and post-trauma are always littered with pride, but I still prefer shame. It is unclear, historically, whether Somerville and Ross ever actually were a romantic couple, but those headstones are as legible as a longing look across a gay bar to me. NINE. Traveling through the world trying to avoid being touched is not new. TEN. Collective grief can be communally addressed if we approach healing through the lens of the decolonial and not the colonial. It is easier to say this out loud than to know what it actually means. I think a key difference is that healing won’t necessarily make you a better worker: time changes shape, and the future has a different taste, but you still might not be able to move. ELEVEN. Chaos theory proposes that the same processes that produce chaos also produce structure. Non-linear mathematical systems that produce chaotic results by a process of continuous iteration also ‘settle out’ periodically and produce regular patterns. But likewise, systems that produce regular patterns also produce chaos, and this is especially visible in the process of evolution. Living organisms reproduce themselves with high degrees of accuracy, but they also produce errors or mutations. Mutations indicate a capacity for interaction with the environment that produces structural change. TWELVE. As always, I return to abstraction. THIRTEEN. After I wasn’t dead: a paradise out of a common field, again. Another quote from Leslie Steinberg in Stone Butch Blues: “I’m sorry it’s had to be this hard. But if I hadn’t walked this path, who would I be? At the moment I felt at the center of my life, the dream still braided like sweetgrass in my memory. I remembered Duffy’s challenge. Imagine a world worth living in, a world worth fighting for. I closed my eyes and allowed my hopes to soar. I heard the beatings of wings nearby. I opened my eyes. A young man on a nearby rooftop released his pigeons, like dreams, into the dawn.” [[[EXIT]]] ︎Wildflowers by Dolly Parton