Atlas Minor - RSS Feed

The journal of James A. Reeves. Melancholy gas stations, reverberated soundtracks, notes on ritual, and the search for faith in the digital age.

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Windshield

Ohio. The sun went down at 8:49pm, the moon is in its last quarter, and I’m wondering if the health of a society can be pegged to the nerves of its motorists. First off, I am a phenomenal driver with a solid resume: raised in metro Detroit, six years of food delivery, hundreds of thousands of miles of cross-country driving, and no accidents yet....

Best MP3 Player?

I’ve stopped doing business with streaming music services. Songs became an endless churn without sense-memory, the algorithm was a feedback loop, and the idea of renting the same songs every month felt ludicrous. But nowadays, tending to an mp3 collection feels like trying to retrofit an 8-track player. I’m spending an increasingly significant...

Maps

Ohio. The windows are open, summer is here, and I sent a newsletter yesterday. The sun went down at 8:35 tonight, and this bit in Stephen King’s Joyland struck a nerve: When you’re twenty-one, life is a roadmap. It’s only when you get to be twenty-five or so that you begin to suspect you’ve been looking at the map upside down, and not until you’re...

A Soundtrack for Before I Die

I put together a soundtrack to accompany the exhibition of Candy Chang’s Before I Die project at Wonderspaces. Built from a bass tone, some vapor, and a cassette tape of Candy reading the responses from visitors, it’s a spare, whispery thing designed to flicker around a gallery. But I think it also performs nicely in headphones while working,...

Not That You Mind the Killing

The Night of the Hunter (1955) opens with the disembodied heads of five children floating in the cosmos and gets weirder from there.  When we meet Robert Mitchum’s murderous preacher, he’s puttering along in a stolen car, talking to God. “Sometimes I wonder if you really understand,” he says. “Not that you mind the killing. Your book is full...

Hand of God

Ohio. A gloomy Wednesday with highs near 60. The sun went down at 8:30, there’s a waxing crescent moon, and I’m reading about God. Here’s my first memory of God: I was five or six years old, crouched on the kitchen floor and feverishly rubbing a white crayon into a dark blue piece of construction paper. I still remember feeling a little crazy...

Rot

They look less and less like recognizable humans, these billionaires buying everything we care about: books and newspapers, transportation and the moon. And now Twitter.  I have no moral objections here. Perhaps I should, but I’m not sure if Twitter was any more righteous when it was governed by shadow corporations that bankroll nuclear weapons...

Greenland

I’m somewhere over Greenland, and the sun will never go down because we’re flying west. I’m always in a heavy state when I see Greenland, usually red-eyed and emotionally shredded. Something is starting. Or ending. It’s a landmass associated with transitions and emergencies. And still this foolish anxiety about flying, as if the airplane requires...

The Nightly News

We are quite probably dreaming all the time, but consciousness makes so much noise that we no longer hear the dream when awake.—Carl Jung In Greek mythology, dreams were often personified as Óneiroi, black-winged demons that entered our sleeping minds like bats, delivering messages from the gods. These creatures spoke to us in symbols, much like...

London

Last day in London. Mostly cloudy skies with a high near seventy degrees while C. and I sat in the National Gallery, awaiting the results of our mandatory Covid tests so we could fly home. The possibility of containing this thing vanished years ago, yet America still believes the fictional boundaries of nations matter, so we installed a widget that...

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