Observation #6

Bad art isn’t low-quality. Art itself is neutral.

It assigns neither meaning nor value to itself. Art is manifestations of consciousness that already exist anyway.

In truth, low-quality has nothing to do with art.

Low-quality is a state of mind. Low-quality is when you think you are better than other people — or, it’s when you let yourself think that other people are better than you.

Two Visions

To create something of this time, speaks to the now and may realize impact now. But with no guarantee of a future.

To create something ahead of its time, could only realize that level of impact later. And may not have significant influence now, nor enjoy full appreciation now. But its value may increase beyond expectation later.

Nobody really knows exactly what later will look like. Nobody really knows the values of the future.

But the now has its flaws, and the future is more likely to admit it. The future’s success is the inevitable incompleteness of the now.

And the success in the now, is that which is concerned with yesterday’s weaknesses.


It’s not this or that. One or the other. It is AND

My style or I guess you could say my interest is the total fullness of life. It is not look at this but ignore that. It is not, fall in love halfway. It is all the way. It is not, take only this but not that. Elevate this but reject that. It is the total fullness of a person, of life.

It is, if you’re going to do something—anything—do it it all the way. Commit yourself. But commitment also requires flexibility. I have not always been willing to take the bad with the good. But when I have I have almost never regretted it. At some point in the process, the self is exceeded.

Sometimes I have committed to misguided projects or the wrong goals. But I don’t believe I commit to the wrong people, insofar that I even could. They’ve been meant for me somehow, and I for them. Sometimes I did not succeed to love them completely enough. Often. I’ve only recently learned how to do this, or to focus upon it better. And I make mistakes. In better moments I own them now, even when others don’t. Apologize, even when others don’t. See someone, even if I am unseen. It’s not a weakness. It’s not a sickness. It’s a clarity I want to see more of in the world. It’s a humility. Not a humiliation. It’s an appreciation.

It’s an expansion of the mind and especially the heart. I want to be in a world with more curiosity and a willingness to grow. If it causes pain, it is more painful to live only for one’s own egocentric and woefully limited consciousness.

My love of art and poetry came first. But I did not love them all the way either, for a long time. I had some toxic influences. Art is a very difficult occupation. Yet an incredibly kind influence also. And almost like a force of nature.

Some will make you feel bad about what you have to offer, as if it’s worth less than something they do. Though they may feel superior, these people’s attitudes are as easy as they come, and not hard to find. Continue. Do it more. That’s the only way. Some do not understand that it is a useless enterprise to try and break someone down, who is not going to give up anyway. They will hardly know that their arguments achieve nothing. They think they know what they are talking about. But they do not know. Nobody knows what is really going on especially outside of their own little bubble. There’s a reason arrogance is unflattering – it can only serve one. It’s someone handing you shit on a silver platter, as if the packaging makes a difference.

People do not reject you when it seems they do. They reject a second-hand idea. They reject a part of themselves they don’t want to see, or would rather disown. Because they do not allow themselves the same freedom. Because they have a template in their mind, or a temple. Your piece does not fit perfectly into their finite puzzle. Because they do not realize that you can have that, and also this. Have me, and also have you. You can have the total fullness of life.

We are single

They want us to think we are single because we are crazy. Crazy is anything unique. They want us to blame ourselves. They want us to get plastic surgery. They want us to be “second-hand people” with second-hand ideas, second-hand appearances, personas, lifestyles, like Krishnamurti said but few people listen to people like him. We think we are too intelligent for that. We think we don’t need it. We think it’s not worth it.

We think we should mute our intensity. Because why take the word of a philosopher that the only way out of mediocrity, is to fully embrace the white-hot intensity of our consciousness. We think there is something better than that. Something better than the full potential of our own brilliance. Something better than the best thing you have to offer. “Mediocrity” used to be something that one would question. But now if you say the same word, you’ll probably only offend someone. In this way, we stand up for it.

We are single because we could never fit a pre-filled idea, and everyone knows it but they also don’t. We are single because we care about this moment right now more than about origins. We are single because origins are something we tear down and forget. We are single because options make us oblivious to options. We are single because we are not comedians, and we live in a place that just wants to be entertained.

We pretend that being different is something exotic, like it’s a value. But then mute our differences to make ourselves more desirable. And then push those same shit expectations on everyone else. But everyone else is corrupted except for us. Everyone else is brainwashed but us. We are free, but a lot less inquisitive than we believe. Brainwashed even by our own image, our own identity, thus rendered shallow. We pretend that we want something deep, yet deeply reject what that means. Crave the serious yet turn it down, staring us in the face.

We are single because we’re imperfect. Single because we are hurt. But this isolation is welcomed. This isolation is celebrated. Single because it is worth it. Single because we deserve it. For lack of imagination, clinging perhaps to a past we once had, an experience, but could never recreate. Single for lack of reality. Single because, even when not single, we think about what makes us so. Or what could.

We are small but we don’t always think so. Yet colossal for reasons we never asked for, and don’t want to be. Single because we have theories. Or for lack of curiosity. For lack of appreciation. And for lack of energy. For lack of creativity. Single for arrogance, intolerance, and stupidity. We are single for sensitivity. And more so, for insensitivity.

We are single for priority. We are single for lack of nuance. And literally, for lack of romance. We are single for personality. Single for lack of character. We are single for fear. Single for pride. And for all that’s petty. Single because we are better than them. But more so because we are worse.

We are single because there is always something better than the best you can do for someone.

We are single because we are singular. We are singular. Yet wary of true fragility and the total fullness of life, refuse to be so seen. We do not even think we are. Someone else is. Someone is whatever we define ourselves against. And this is how we define. Is to separate. We are single because each person we encounter is not worth as much as the pedestal we put ourselves on. Yet we quell our own fire. We are single from becoming, from embracing, the very thing we most admire, most strive for, here. Independence. Freedom.

And its own brand of rejection, for us to excel beyond. Disconnecting. There is a whole world inside a person. Then all its rivals. We are special, yet committed to normal. Our normal. Standards which won’t spark the will to grow. That’s what has the right to exist with us, to stay. If we can find it. The rest is a waste. We serve and take what we already have, and no more. All this, there is nothing more American now perhaps. But it kills us too. We die for it. Die for more. Die to be more. Bereft, for all that could be. We, die. We

die. We, us.

And then we tell ourselves this is courageous.






art


i’m drinking a tangerine Italian soda at 11:20 at night. the apartment is messier than usual. it doesn’t matter. there’s no good enough reason to be motivated to mind. it’s been one of those days. it’s gloomy out. nothing better to do than create things. supplies scattered around everywhere. computers. books. papers. i live here. fully live here. nobody is in my way. but i kind of wish there was.

there are those who would have you believe that doing this sort of thing makes you selfish. selfish to spend so much time on art, like you’re so important. selfish to write about yourself. no, selfish to not be writing about somebody else. talking about somebody else. existing as if you value everything else more so than what is inside you.

as if every other activity out there isn’t selfish. as if watching tv isn’t selfish. the person who assigns worth to something is yourself. the person who decides something isn’t worthy is you. but it feels like it’s everyone else who decides. decides that their meaningless and half-assed pursuits are somehow okay but yours isn’t.

am i supposed to just let the ideas die? what happened to the life of the mind. i literally have nothing better to do. i could make more money and work myself to death but i already have one job and i like it. i just don’t watch tv. i don’t want to. it’s boring. there i said it. it’s fucking boring. except when there’s company. when there’s company, it’s entertaining and enjoyable. that’s how i feel about it. maybe if i really loved alone time with my tv, i’d be too busy for art. it’s practically sacrilegious to say that out loud. i wouldn’t want tv gone forever. it’s just not what every person who exists on this planet is here to do with their time.

making art is not selfish and self-centered just by default. art is for others. as much as for the self, maybe more so. art is made with audience in mind. with communication in mind, however abstract. i use myself but i am not writing to me. I am writing to them. i am writing to you. i am writing for you. when i write, it is you i am thinking of. art is made because humanity desires it. humanity needs it. but i fail. like anyone i fail. so i keep doing it. i show up to fail. i hope the next time i will get it right. it takes a lifetime. but that’s okay. art is made to make the world a better place. a richer, more beautiful and more honest place. imagine a world entirely devoid of art. seriously.

you can be a megalomanic doing any sort of occupation in life. not just art. look at the world’s wealthiest people and how we admire them and excuse their flaws. and then look at poets. it’s REALLY damn hard to be an egotistical poet. maybe for a short time, but it likely wouldn’t be sustainable. poetry is humbling. nobody cares, at least in real life. “nobody” as in, society at large. in most cases it doesn’t pay because the world does not respect you enough to think that you deserve it. it’s even harder to please a crowd than in music, or visual art also. but these are all tricky occupations. you do it because you want to and you feel it is needed. you need it. others need it too and you know it. even if it doesn’t always seem like it, others need it.

you show up as your inadequate self. you may never quite match that pre-filled idea that someone else hopes, and you are passed up for better investments. you are rejected over and over, and in so many nuanced ways. and you show up.

you know that the rest sucks even more. the alternative fucking sucks. so you get up and you start again.






All There Is To Remember

I took photographs of the long row of palm trees in the way off distance that we’d soon enough cross in the car.

The palm trees looked like fairy flowers, the kind you pick and blow wishes off when you’re a kid. Like dancers of all different heights, lined up in unison. Like the way your heart feels inside, when free of comparisons and worries.

I watched you as you talked, for the right moment to take a photograph.

The first lights of cars on the other side of the freeway began to flicker on. Dusk was not that near. Some must have been daylights auto-sensing impeding change, prematurely.

I focused on the line of your jaw. You looked handsome but I didn’t tell you. The landscape flat, the clouds thin, orange trees and wiry weeds to the sides.

I wanted to talk to you about music, but didn’t. I was tired of feeling stupid. I do it to myself, I guess I find others to confirm it.

Later, once we’d settled in to the cabin, once we were walking, the mood was about to shift.

I sensed the irritation when I lingered too long at the top of the hill. I love you, I thought. I’m sorry. I had to take more photographs.

I’ve never seen clouds like this in my life. It’s special, I’m sorry. My heart was sinking. I had to get the pictures. I tried to take them faster.

I recall the gorgeous picture of the palm tree in LA, the one you’d sent me in the very beginning, when we first met. Large imperfect leaves reaching into irregular directions that collectively balanced out into an odd symmetry.

Not a banal snapshot; it captured a wildness. It wasn’t about the tree – it was the way you had framed it in the shot. Your style of looking. You get it. You were speaking my exact language. I thought “this is my man.”

I don’t know if it was on purpose or an accident, the innate sense of choice. What’s called an eye. Or maybe not even that – maybe you just understood how to capture a feeling.

“Why can’t you catch the next flight, I’ll pay for it” in a smile I could hear over the phone.

I don’t know if that was the real you, or if this is.

We have different sides of ourselves. I guess I held the sides of you, that you’d rather disown. I held them along with the rest of you, with all of you, or I tried so hard to, but from your point of view, maybe, there was only one side to be on.

It just, wasn’t mine.

Artists are immature. Artists just need to grow up. It’s just, not very adult.

I didn’t understand.

It was all a mistake, a misunderstanding.

I focused the shot on your silhouette in the light. Beautiful.

Hurry up, I told myself.

Hurry.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_7855.jpeg

Life Support II

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THE LONG, SLOW SCENE

There’s a reason why, in popular movies, it’s rarely the moneymaker…

Time is work now, so time needs a reason.  One way to sell the long, slow, or quiet is to use the word meditative, as if to assign a proper function to the act or experience.   Otherwise the word used is boring.  Meditation – an intentional act of focused attention – has a functional purpose, and more than that, an exciting one.  Self-improvement, personal growth, etc.

For its existence to make sense, to have some value.

April 9, 2020

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ART

There needs to be a point.  What’s the point?

Well what’s the point of anything, really.  Can’t anything be considered pointless, from one perspective or another?  How much is cheap, superficial, manipulative, etc., but is also entertaining?  How much is considered valid, is considered a success, just because it makes money?  Is that a good point to make?

If someone chooses writing poetry over television in the evening, if someone almost never watches television, are they just being an elitist asshole?

Who decides what is really valuable – the group, or the individual?  It is a real question to ask, and difficult to answer.  I speak for myself on clashing with enough stress and anxiety over the group, about being a worker among workers and the other roles I play, daughter, girlfriend, associate, fellow and etc, about not causing offense, I have to talk myself into being an individual also.  That this is not only ok, but essential.  This individual, the closet poet.

As an artist or writer, of course, function should not have to be the biggest consideration.  Nor simply placating – another form of mere survival, of utility.  This is part of the whole point of making art.  If anything it is helpful to resist functionality which culture already boasts well enough of.  Because there is more to life than functioning, plain and simple.  There is more to life than spending time, energy, and effort only on practical considerations.

It seems obvious, until you have to fight for it.

May 12, 2020 – May 15, 2020

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SELF-ABSORPTION, SELF-PITY AND BEING SPECIAL

  1. Reflected in cultural values via consumption or covert invalidation.
  2. Natural to the human experience in phases, as is generosity of spirit, understanding, kindness, caring, and empathy.
  3. Escalated by rejection, marginalization, and isolation.
  4. Add one of two words, for giggles: HYSTERIA or EGOTISTICAL.
  5. Things people say to dismiss certain temperaments, occupations, or situations that they don’t value or don’t understand.
  6. Things people say when they feel superior to certain emotions, occupations, or predicaments.
  7. Things people say when they disown aspects of themselves.
  8. Toxic or counterproductive when overapplied.  Unless it’s the basis for a whole career, then it could be a success.  See #1.

May 14, 2020

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The obvious part is the absolutely majestic creature gliding in the wind over the dark bay cliffs, rising and falling gracefully, confidently.  Then there’s the subtle part.  The feathers opening and closing slightly at times, partly by the wind, but partly, it seems, for personality, for fun, like dancing.  Delicate details that need to be observed very closely to be seen.  Or it might as well be a garden-variety bird in the sky.  Kinda cool, nothing special.  Nothing unique.

The time it took.  The sense of space it created in the moment.  I felt a brief sense of reverence, before going back to my urban life where I survive like anyone else by way of destruction of the natural because I’m no different in that way.  Maybe I just take more time than the average person to watch, to see, to take in — before joining the crowds once again to the disposable lifestyle of take-out containers, fast fashion, high-volume traffic, smartphone apps.  We won’t be getting away with this unchecked, as we’ve already begun to reluctantly note.

Now is the perfect time to regard nature, to recover a sense of respect for it within this sudden struggle to now survive the elements that we can not control.  Now is the perfect time, because we actually have time, to observe and be with the subtleties in life if we want to, not just gloss over everything.  Plenty of time.  To appreciate its delicate elements.

We have been the most interesting species, to ourselves.  The most worthy of survival, at any cost.  Even at our own peril, we are too precious.  This sounds harsh but isn’t it true?

Sustained attention to nature is more important now than ever.  Nature has more than a functional purpose for us.  It is more than just a physical resource, which most of us know, but we need to start acting like it.

May 2, 2020

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_E_F-A_SOR_TIO_, SELF-P_T_ AND BEI_G _PE_IAL

  1. Ozone layer of collective consciousness.
  2. Amnesia of self as culture, ideology.
  3. Disaster versus appeal.
  4. Mirrors.

May 18, 2020

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That flap of roof

Curled up

Just like a quail

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This is not possible

 

Something that’s truly original must have something unplanned about it.  Something that couldn’t have been predicted.  Something that couldn’t have been controlled.  Something that couldn’t even have been wholly imagined from the start, since that’s what originality is — something heretofore unimaginable.  These are the qualities that make it unusual, that make it special.  And fascinating, and difficult to place.

They are also the same qualities by which the original resists being owned.  As a creation the original comes as an inadvertent and incalculable gift, not merely as a product of effort or ego.  The truly original is beyond “practice,” because practice does not require openness, nor does it require surrender.

To allow the original to happen is to take a step back.  To fade previously held notions and ideas into the background, to make space.  To forget the ego, the control just enough to allow some other voice or vision to speak clearly, without noise.

You can not have originality, can not nurture originality, can not embody it in any part, can not hope for it, can not strive for it, can not hold it, can not truly value it, can not prize it, yet also expect to hang on to old ideas for dear life.

Interrupted or intercepted, its quality becomes disorganized and eventually lost in confusion.  But fear will simply neutralize the offering.

This is why the original is available to anyone, but few accept what they would take instead of a blessing, for a curse.  Or at least a liability, not worth the risk.

We could be more brave.

 

Night Water

–Thoughts from October.  I dig up this saved draft I’d hesitated to share but now it’s wrapping its arms around a sleepless night and my travel bug, that escapist impulse to jump in a car, on a plane, a train, a boat, anything–

All that really needs to escape is that toxic tendency toward self-censorship.

Writing is still elusive.  Writing is hard, unforgiving in a way at times.  Writing involves so much organization, I often can’t even handle it without also making visual art.  Words have felt like pressure cookers, images like rivers.  Images like relief.

It’s said that words, language, are limited and inadequate – but which mode of expression isn’t?

Images aren’t enough either, as enamored as we are of them.  There’s things that pictures just can’t do, can’t show the same way.  Pictures can not take the place of words.  So then it’s the writing that happens by surprise in the midst of creating art.  Writing is the relief.  Out of a sudden desperation, exasperation that  can’t be expressed immediately enough without switching mediums, turning to words.

Images and words have never been separate to me.  Two sides of the same coin.

There’s the times none of it seems to satisfy – images, words, whatever.  The moment’s raw and the only thing to do is keep going.  With the current project, with any project.  Whatever’s in front of you.  The medium hardly makes much of a difference.  It might make you feel better, or just more like crap but you don’t stop.  I feel strangely serene now in the face of intensity when it’s there.  Its presence doesn’t scare me as it once did.  As if my brain partitioned into two coexisting sides of reality, dark and peaceful.

When the inspiration gets intense, weird, dark, I imagine some of the reactions and opinions those pieces could incite.  Oh well.

Mixing beige paint in my room and laying it over black I contemplate my favorite person to be with.  Wanting this man is futile.  Will you leave once again and call me months from now, and what will I say then?  No more?  I love you?

Even the worst of you could not make me cold for long.  An inescapable fact, love.  I want out of here, too, restless.  It’s the middle of the night.

I toss this whole situation into question.  My job, my expensive life here in Oakland.  What am I doing?  This art.  These photographs.  This writing.  How much could I sacrifice to be able to do this all the time, nothing but this for as long as it takes?  Almost everything, I’m thinking.

What if I just said, everything?  What would everything look like?

No Power, No Master

 

 

birds 4

 

 

 

 

Rain.  Blue-grey-violet light filling the room.  It’s late, 10:45 am.  Waking to dreams of the one I’d loved the most until finally many years later I didn’t – not that same way, pointing at a studio apartment for rent in the paper.  A large hexagon shaped space with beige floors in the photo, possibly carpet but nice, facing the street through bay windows.  I wanted to live there instead of him, could I – but hadn’t I already?  The thought makes me feel a bit sick.  Something bad happened there?  Can’t remember.  Many years ago, yesterday.  Being alone, wine, my computer, music, emails and IM, that’s it.  Scribbling in my journal in red and purple ink in bed, at my green desk covered in scraps of paper, notes, purple orchids and pots, flipping through thousands of photographs taken traveling and academic papers, lost in a foreign history of my own.  Plants, tall stacks of drafts, paintings beautiful amidst abstract misery and desperation.  Had I really lived there?  Or just imagined it?  The memory makes me ill.  Did I just make it up, the feeling?  The place?

 

 

 

 

Birds 2 revise again 2

 

 

 

 

Now staring into asphalt and a partly cloudy sky, intermittent city trees, standing in the street, waiting.  Forever.  Where is my friend?  We’re going to eat some sort of special bread from the bakery, a sweet bread or something?  As the sun falls hours later she finally shows, separating from a group of people I don’t recognize, surprised when I bring it up as if she’d never really intended to go.

Another fuzzy event I can’t recall, another one putting me off for some unidentifiable reason too.  So out of character for her, I don’t understand.  There was no one to be with.

 

 

 

 

Birds 11 draft

 

 

 

 

Birds 5 redo

 

 

 

 

Sitting outside on the sidewalk uncertain of what to do now.  Nobody around.  The air is fresh and bright.  There must have been a porch there, or some stairs, then a book appears in my hand.  I open its nearly eight by ten cover and skim.  50 or so pages, with illustrations.  Joy.  It was about joy.   This was written by a friend, a pianist, he’d given this to me.  No longer conscious of the street, completely absorbed in its lyrical writing and sparse, minimalistic line drawings lightly watercolored until an elation grows and spreads too immensely to look down any longer, too much to process any more information mentally.  I close it to feel its weight in my hands instead and look up lifting up into the air like years before, planes floating off a runway above shapes shrinking and tightening viewed through tiny windows.  So happy.  Magical.  Then I’m here.  Rain.  Blue-grey light filling the room.  It’s late, 10:45 am.  Curtains.  Oakland in the window.  My room.  No one’s around.

 

 

 

 

birds 4 redo with exposure plus extra contrast

 

 

 

 

Were all of those people trades for someone I really want to be with today?  Not sure I care what it means but it resonates for a few minutes.

 

 

 

 

Birds 8 shape edit

 

 

 

 

Birds 6

 

 

 

 

IMG_Birds 12 exposure change extra

 

 

 

 

Birds 9 idea not final.jpg

 

 

 

 

Birds 10 idea not final

 

 

 

 

Shaking off these dreams I get up to go out to the cafe.  The significance doesn’t feel so important, but I’m pretty sure I know why I’m remembering them so readily.   Vacation – no work for two weeks.  Whenever there’s more space, when more time is sensed and freedom and days ahead open, the volume of dreams I remember increases and changes: popcorn strings of memories like momentary portals into a higher consciousness about these experiences, mixed with creative currents more otherworldly and imaginative, like being inside of a hidden universe that rarely reveals, suppressed by routine realities.   Routines both necessary and destructive.  I used to take them too seriously.  And now I just don’t believe that I have to anymore.  Everything in my spirit won’t even let me anymore; it’s over.  My own way of seeing and being wakes up and takes priority and the space just has to be made for it, or it’s like I’ll just die.

This is the thing that may not make sense from the outside but it’s been said before many times over that a certain type of artist – perhaps so-called “real” artists – create because they have to.  We have to.  Maybe this is not true of all artists but in my own experience the choice has been to create, or to suffer a progressive downward spiral into an internal hell, self-imprisoned.  I’m fine to coast for a while but finally these become my two options and for others who are like me I wouldn’t doubt them to feel just as lost and miserable without creating.  Not that creating functions as a universal remedy for bad feelings – that would be silly.  For me though feeling bad and not creating would be an even worse if not dangerous condition than feeling bad and creating.  I didn’t desire this aspect of an artist’s life to be true of myself and I thought the idea sounded corny and overdramatic when I read about it in Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet,” at nineteen.  Coincidentally it was the only idea from the book I never forgot: write if you must write, if your need for writing is as though your life depended upon it.  I was too young then to understand these words more comprehensively, but cross the age of 30 when the focus of your generation suddenly becomes status and success and power and out of nowhere you feel like a complete loser.  Your dreams of being an artist or writer become even more naive and irresponsible and idealistic than when you were nineteen.  They’re beyond merely objectionable now, if not borderline reprehensible in a way they weren’t before.  Those benign impractical fantasies of young adulthood suddenly become things you could actually harm yourself with.

Was it Henry Miller who pointed out something like anyone can be an artist — until the age of 35?  This is not the same thing as declaring an intention to go into teaching or law or nursing or politics or business.  Creative ambitions might be treated as a curiosity or a bit of fun at best, but taken less and less seriously as time progresses.  It’s especially challenging for those choosing to abandon their former career path, to pursue art no longer as a hobby but as a primary occupation.  Are you published?  No.  Do you have a professional website?  No.  Business card?  No.  Portfolio?  Not in any organized fashion, not yet.  Not yet.  Not yet.  Not yet the unsatisfactory answer to every question.  Some start early, going ahead despite the odds to establish a position for themselves in the creative arts, publicly – others like me punish themselves for years first instead.  Just for inevitably being who you are despite every attempt to be something else, yet not quite understanding why you just can’t fit in to the occupations or places you’ve wandered into for safety and security.   By the time you finally come out of it to recognize what the trouble really is and you’ve already spent your money on degrees in other fields for other careers, who will indulge your grandiose aspirations now at this point?  But if you find that this is something you have to do – and you know this to be true of yourself because of the consequences you’ve experienced in avoiding this truth for your entire life, then the choice is clear.  Whether or not you’re any good at what you create at this point, whether or not you have everything you need for success in place, it ceases to matter.  You’ve worked your way to the top in places you didn’t even want to be, simply by showing up and working hard.  If you have to start at the bottom all over again, it will be worth it.  And how long will it take, exactly, to get to somewhere in the middle, if you even dare to imagine you could?  This ceases to matter also.  You’re tired of pretending, of lying.  You don’t think about the people who would criticize you as much anymore, or the what ifs, or the opportunities you’ve turned down or run away from in the past.  You think about what you need to do to make it happen.

I don’t feel sorry for myself or for those in my shoes.  I feel for those who are like me but still unable to create for whatever reason.  I know these people are out there so when somebody says they’re an artist, I tend to believe them no matter their current occupation or lifestyle or hobbies.

Two weeks of taking pictures and assembling them, drawing, writing, cups of tea and coffee, sleeping, planning, going to the gym, seeing friends.  I pour cream into my coffee as I only do in cafes – anywhere else, it’s black.  It’s noisy in here, there’s nowhere to sit comfortably.  Each conversation this morning is too loud and too much as I move from table to table seeking a place where I can think.  Think and write.  I’ve been desperately needing solace from these crowds.  Yet appreciate an unexpected sense of relief in this scene too, full of friends telling stories rather than singles with their devices.  I settle in near the speakers, faint music, not overbearing mainstream sounds like they often play but sounds with real feeling, though not especially edgy.  I realize I’ve forgotten to put in earrings this morning, which I’ve been wearing since I was three months old.  It feels oddly troubling.

My mind and body are glowing, not in a physical sense.  Something else.  I remember all the other times like this.  I remember the soft sunshine and the libraries and the roses in the window and the moped and the kissing and the airports and the poems scribbled out for fun with no concern for editing and the smells of cattle in foreign places and the miles and miles of road and ancient redwoods and the river.  I remember the intense dreams.  Stories of living life as art.

You’re free today.  You have two weeks.  Sit down.  It’s been a while since I’ve written, instead relishing the easy relief from words I enjoy so much in working with images.  Writing is so exposing, really so scary.  It doesn’t matter.  Text messages pop up, you ignore them for now.

Go write.  I’m dying to write now.  It doesn’t matter how it turns out, doesn’t matter if it’s good writing or bad, doesn’t matter if it’s real art.

 

 

 

 

Let These Words Be Unimportant

 

Let me whisper.  Let me bring these words to you, let them turn yellow then purple like light diffusing through polluted air.  In a sound of voice I long to hear and embrace floats near me.  Connect these words in us through this space, not by chains of past offenses identity crises and grievances.   Let them feel comforting and welcomed, not as wounds, feel like birds at dawn singing through cold air or a bell tower carillon drop notes over chaotic streets on the way home from work in the evening.  Let these words mean nothing, let them be nothing, let them exist for no indisputable purpose or explicit reason, yet not be treated as meaningless.   Let them not be crowded out with opinions, nor create such crowds.  What makes such opinions more meaningful?

What if I have no history anymore.  What if I claim nothing.  These words have tongue in them, lips, lungs, I want for them to not be pushed to sting.  Let me kiss with them.  Let me exist with you as if there were nobody else before us, and nobody to jump down our throats after.  I have slept with these words when hungry, when lonely, now let these words take company.  Let these words be a place to land, not just a springboard to and from troubles, not as an opiate either but a place to be fearlessly awake together.  Let these words be a world that’s not too smart for romance.  Enough views crowd us one after another, it’s blinding.   If we come from nowhere beyond this moment, if only by sound we could touch these screens delicate as paper, what if.

Your voice alone is wonderful to me.  Carillon notes blending and separating over rivers inside sending little messages barely heard, grow more resonant.  I long to hear beauty instead of these arguments.  Then these words will not chase you down, will not hunt you.  For truly I long for you and for no opinion.  I long to hear words exist less for the purpose of proofs, divisions, violence, information.  Thus let their intelligence here stake no claim.  Let these words be unimportant yet significant.  Be available and abundant.  Let them be valuable.