PURITY RHETORIC IS A BLOATED ELEPHANT
It’s important to ask why. But sometimes we have to ask
I WILL NOT PREDICT MYSELF
There is no life without risk anyway. Life simply can not exist without risk. Not even on a basic biological level, there is just no avoiding it. However we attempt to control for it – life itself is a risk. We could quite literally perish at any given minute. Or simply lose our footing. Be tossed around by sudden circumstances, peripheral forces and storms. We are driven to survive each turn of events, and we will, and we do.
This is ultimately what makes it worth it to be alive. Is this pressure. Is to survive the unforeseen. Is to be pushed to make radical changes again and again. To be pushed to grow. Because you had to stand on a precipice at some point. Because there was no going backward from there. And it is fundamentally this challenge, even the inevitable and ultimately beautiful conflict, which watered us. Which inspired us.
Which enabled us to drink in and appreciate our existence from moment to moment. Which brought us to the core of who we are and what we are doing here. Which brought us to our dream, manifested, and another new dream, our hope. Which enabled us to contribute to what we believe to be a better world.
Certain risks taken arise by surprises from unexpected instigators, which corner us, and so we must (necessarily) prevail. Then there are the elective risks we are brave enough (or motivated enough by curiosity) to instigate on our own, in pursuit of our dreams. As we consider not only our true selves and our wishes, but also how we fit into a whole picture and our connection to it and our function within it, and the spirit we bring – we do inevitably prevail, all by choice from beginning to end.
Dreams are everything of course. A life without any dream at all – any imagination – is just dead inside, a soul drowning itself in sorrow or slowly withering to a crisp. And there is no just pursuit of any dream without any risk, without something we must reach way out to grasp. The rules of give and take, of divine balance, apply. It would not be a dream if we had it already. If we didn’t have to take the leap.
Like anyone, I want it to be easy. But too easy can also be the waste of us and our fullest potential. Because nothing was at stake. There was no collateral. The risk we had to take, is what made it so valuable. You could call it an adventure. Life is an adventure automatically. So we might as well steer our own wheel.
By this whole process of striving we find ourselves in a totally new world, perhaps even better than previously imagined. One realized by an imposition of change, by exercising our free will to overcome any and all odds. Diving head-first into fear. Who can do it? I ask myself to what extent I can.
Yesterday’s best change – even today’s best change – will not be tomorrow’s best, not for long. Not likely. This is where it gets tricky. And this is the role of creativity. We will step out into the open field of the heart, mind, spirit. And we will so often be told,
because that is their fear.
And if we don’t? Who or what would that serve?
And… what if we do?
What if we do?
If risk is inevitable, and fear – inevitable in life – well then we might as well take the dream. Or at least, include the dream. We inherit so much. For better and for worse. This is beautiful too, and we naturally cling to some of it, with respect and even admiration. But we didn’t actually ask for any of it. At least, not in this dimension of consciousness. Because in another dimension, this situation, this exact scenario was perfect. Some of these legacies were precisely what we needed and desired from which to fly away from, just to prove that we could, just to embody all that is possible. And to project this image of an aspiration fulfilled – into consciousness, and the material world. We are not here just to die. We are here for the inherent risk of life. Which expands life. But this is deep in the ocean of ourselves. On the surface, on shore, we have got to feel that there is a pay off for the risks we have taken, for it all to be worth it… and we don’t always know that there absolutely is and there will be. Why not restructure our whole lives toward the light of our wildest dreams?
Will we dive into the abyss?
Roads less traveled. I’ve taken them. Lived them. And I have also taken the comfortable path. The soft place to land. Because I, too, needed that. But….
July 2, 2022 (#2)
A better world isn’t always created by taking the safest journey. Or the more agreeable journey. So why keep myself restricted, protected, enshrouded as an artist, even as a person?
In a truly better world for ourselves- a freer world we’d want to be in – a world where we can see opportunity and we actually take it – where we embrace the fullest expression of ourselves – we’re even more alive. This world already exists (especially here in this place). Whether we live that truth or not. So, why not?
There’s the risk of course. And the fear. But why are the risk and the fear really so bad? Objectively, they aren’t. I could come up with some excuses, and also with legitimate reasons, for allowing the fear to halt this whole process. But are those good enough for me today? And what if we choose to simply ignore all of that? Even fully disidentify with it? We could. Separate the fear from ourselves, objectify it, look upon it with a bird’s eye view, own it rather than allowing it to own us. And so transforming the sense of risk. Can true freedom even happen, without risk? There needs to be some baseline of stability, a foundation from which to build. Yet how could we feel optimally alive – so alive, without the contrast of a prior fall, or at least the prospect of peril? As we have earned this aliveness precisely by conquering fear. Which is only the fear we inherited – others’ fear! Not even ours to begin with. So, we can begin to give that back.
I speak from my own “successes” and also my “failures,” because I want to be proud of them both the same, because they have fed one another, and because the total fullness of life is upon us for the taking. And I have been the type of creator to leap off of metaphorical cliffs. I am no stranger to that type of risk, the experiment. At times, even fully allowed for the judgement of certain peers who would rather we corral and contain ourselves into one coherent message, absent any sign of a multifaceted complexity. Yet, all this without an underlying willingness to get past myself and honor all of it, and be truly free. But that closet of potentials is full now, so full. Why? I hardly want to know because that feels like a detour — on a day-to-day basis I just want to do.
Do for today, like yesterday and all this other stuff doesn’t even exist. It’s survival. Right? Do my job in the straight and narrow, linear professional world, and the artist in that moment doesn’t exist. Be the romantic in one project, a punk in the next, and the twain never meet. But why can’t I embrace the whole?
Why compartmentalize all of this incredible existence? Why live for poetry, and then pretend to be a five-paragraph essay? What do I feel I need to represent, that would disallow the artist? Do I think that I’ll die and life will be over if I dare to take on all that I could possibly give? It’s some type of irrationality, a purgatorial prison. But it absolutely will be temporary and I am going to kill it off. I am going to kill this character, this persona who won’t let me have all that I am destined to be. If I can not do it, bring these ideas to light, then who else can? They are out there, and the ideas may not wait for me. And the others like me too, afraid to the point of paralysis? They are out there also, I know. We’re never the only one. Right? So, what are we doing?
What is going on today that makes some of us who have so much to say, want to hide? Like this part is ok but this part is not. Elevate this, but disown that. It doesn’t matter. Forget all of that. All the dumb stuff that there is, out there, and what are we worried about? Are we afraid to look stupid? To disappoint? Any stupider and more disappointing than the stupidest most disappointing junk that is already happening all around us? What do we imagine we will lose? How can that seem so much more than, what we will certainly gain? Who is going to punish us? But then, who will reward us? To those who would leave us just for having an imagination, just for having the daring – are they even good enough for us? Perhaps not. That has got to be okay. Are we here on this planet just only for them? Are we? Our imagination is our power. This manifests our best possible world. There are more like me out there. We have our day jobs. We have our lives. We keep our act together. Our… act. But deep inside we know we can do something else too, perhaps something we are even better at.
Why limit ourselves? What if, creatively, we had no limits? What would we do? What if we woke up today and we had a brand new life, and we started over from scratch? Who would we allow ourselves to become?
July 6, 2022
It is so
To just let it stand
Everyone wants to be right and it’s the most important thing in the world. It feels exciting and invigorating. But this rarely resonates with any lasting profundity.
To be right, sparks a temporary glow… but also, to be right… sucks. It sucks the life out of everything. At least, the way we are treating it now. It’s rigid and unintelligent.
It’s nothing inherently original; nor super interesting in and of itself. To be right has become the most banal aspect of contemporary existence.
And writing? is easier than ever, if it’s all you have to do is affect such righteousness that the veracity of your statements doesn’t even matter. As is the apparent collective trend with our speech.
Yet writing which strives to maintain some level of integrity, is more difficult than ever. Because of this culture of RIGHT which negates and insults the entire process of inquiry which writing is meant to provoke.
If you think about it too much, it’s almost enough to make you feel done with language, with writing. To just… give up. Give up altogether this burden. Because to write, to use your words – this involves taking a position. Do I need to be right, to write? Because there is more to life than being the one who is right.
The trouble is, we now shoulder an actual and deliberate cultural detachment from reality, sadly underwritten by leaders who only stand to benefit from our dysfunction. We act as if what we say is the realest thing there is, and so it is done. Deeply consequential actions abound as a result. But as much as we propose to speak truth, and as much as we sometimes DO speak truth, truth is not only what we are speaking at any given time; truth does not end with our statement. We’d like to believe that it is, that it does; but truth changes as quickly as we figure it out.
What is truth? You can’t only be right and also have the truth. It’s impossible. Truth is filtered through the material world, but it can not be caught by you. Truth is a phenomenon created by the sum total of an infinite multitude of ideas and perspectives. Truth is a multitude.
And this is why we need poetry. And all those other art forms which we might also call “poetic.”
Poetry calls us to remind ourselves how foolish we are in being so right. In pretending to have all the answers. In our righteousness against the assholes.
Because there is no right answer in poetry. There is no “figuring it out” once and for all. No one single truth or perspective. And there isn’t supposed to be. Because this would not be possible, and it would not even reflect all that art is capable of – nor all that we are capable of.
Art expresses multitude. Art can understand us even beyond ourselves, because art is perspicacious. Because art is a universe, within universes. Because art reflects reality as this complex multitude beyond one single person’s ego — one single ego whose tragic flaws art is also sure to reveal, so that nobody can be a god (but perhaps, merely part of the god we envision).
And in that spirit, this is not to elevate the poet or artist who creates the art too much. The “one single ego” of the artist or the writer – that’s just a personality. The artist, or one who creates, serves as a medium for an aspect of truth. But not all of the truth. Even the artist who specifically concerns themself with what they call “the truth” – even this does not mean that they need be considered right (though they may be at times).
To be so right and so perfect, even so irrefutable — that would be the creation, ultimately, of something stagnant. Irrefutability is stagnation. And what would be the point of that? To end ourselves?
…What is the actual end game of RIGHT?
To end ourselves, no? To be altogether done with it?
Or do we want to be in and of this universe within universes? Where opportunity and growth and meaningful progress abound? As we are in the space of art, of poetry. Art and poetry which, like science, insist that we will never be done. And that there are rarely any easy answers (especially to life’s most important questions). And we had better become comfortable with this, unless we’d like to end ourselves.
We don’t need to be right, much as we act as if. And artists don’t need to be right to create, nor writers – especially not to write poetry, which neither needs nor strives to be irrefutable. The creator just needs to show. And this is why we won’t give up. And this is why one may have all sorts of feelings about it, including being pissed off and confused and offended. Craft will continue to excel at creating more questions, than answers. More perspectives, than egos. And we must defend this liberty, this freedom and this responsibility. So that the culture of RIGHT may not undermine, enfeeble, cripple art and all its most important functions and its beauty too.
There’s people out there who really wish we would, just give it up. We all know them. Perhaps they would prefer us to be simpler, to think and speak in absolutes, to quickly pronounce reductive and hasty conclusions based on our own personal prejudices, to be more simple and easy, to dumb down. To pretend we know more than we do, pretend we are better than we are, forget we are part of a whole, and act like little gods. Or simply to just abandon our purpose, pretending we know too little, pretending others’ ideas are superior and we don’t have a right to create a space. There will always be someone who wants to take you down a peg that you were never even on. Some half-assed response to your imagination. And we can’t help but disappoint them. Truly. And this is okay. In fact whatever we do, it will disappoint someone. And that’s marvelous.
This is the reason it is worth it to keep going. Not to get more “points” as it were, because we won’t. Not to be more right than they are. But to imagine. All of what is possible. And in doing so, we will not please all. If we existed only to please, then nothing original would ever get made or done (or originality would be severely limited). Because so often, what is original begins by embodying what is not-right.
And as for the whole? Not just the artists. The “everyone”? There is the idea that if we compromised on everything so readily, then nothing would ever change. And we could not dare to hope for a better world. And this is a point.
Our better world is always possible because, in actual fact, there can be a right and a wrong — but there is in fact also, a space in between, a grey area, and a spectrum.
So if we speak truth, this does not mean we are the god of intelligence either. Thankfully, some of us already know this and embrace it and that is because we are not stupid. And because after all, it is not too much to ask ourselves, to ask others: Is our opinion seriously, honestly, the highest intelligence possible? Does our opinion represent the highest world order? Please.
We’ll do better, in today’s climate, to celebrate how wrong we can be.
This gives us a future.
Poetic consciousness is the recognition
of the sacredness
*of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theories and ideas.
*relating to experience, real situations, or actions rather than ideas or imagination.
*new, original, and smart.
*good at thinking of new, original, and clever ideas.
*the quality of being adapted or designed for actual use; usefulness or convenience
*the quality or fact of relating to actual activity, especially ordinary or everyday activity
*a detail or consideration involved in putting something into action
*the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality
*ability to confront and deal with a problem; resourcefulness
*the thinking or active mind
*And the André Breton quote, aptly quoted in Barbara Guest’s Forces of Imagination. “To imagine is to see.”
*the activity or skill of marking coherent words on paper and composing text
*the act or art of forming visible letters or characters specifically
*doing whatever you want
A tea kettle whistling – someone else is up at 5:53 am too. A neighbor.
I’ve had a writer’s block and an artist’s block at the same time – I don’t remember the last time that happened.
I remember when I could claim that this never happened. I didn’t really believe in being blocked. And maybe that’s still true.
Or maybe I just didn’t believe in it because it hadn’t happened to me, which is how so many ill-informed beliefs are born.
Or maybe when you have little to no responsibilities in life, it’s easy to be unblocked. Adventure slips through your fingers.
I simply, chose other things to happen.
I skim through some old stuff. What was I even going on about? What was I doing? Was it good? Which direction now?
Who is even reading this? Why do I create a public stage, broadcast a public channel in which to hide?
Suffering gets boring. How much of it is worth expressing?
I don’t regret recording it.
Paralysis, though – that’s an empty space – but something happens in that.
In the space of doing nothing.
A mystery to us. It doesn’t always seem worth examining.
This mystery wasn’t, isn’t.
Consciousness needed to shift. Without analysis or interrogation.
I take out my pen, for something that can’t be erased. I prefer the hand just a little bit childlike sometimes.
Like what’s always come most naturally – a style mostly resisted.
What was wrong with that?
Why resist anything? Why resist anything?
It’s not always worth it to be so adult. What is beyond adult?
The struggle is too adult.
But artists aren’t childish, like they insinuate.
Art is ageless. Period.
There was a time in my life I actually embraced being alone. Content with it, full and complete. Other times I’ve feared being alone. Or it’s just made me feel, in one word, miserable.
Now I just feel neutral. And that doesn’t have to mean anything.
Writing about loneliness can scare people, although I’m not exactly sure why it should.
There was a time when I wrote more “poetically” on here. I suppose it was nicer, prettier, or better quality in some way but I don’t know. It’s a different time now. An uncomfortable one, but this is interesting. I have no idea what will happen.
Something broke in me. For a time. Now I am just here. Quietly. I was subjected to the myth of the perfectly polished woman. Tortured with its image and all its presumptions.
Someone fell in love with that myth. Someone dear. But there were no people there. There was no truth. Only gods.
The real woman is pissed off by all that now. She is sad. She is a spontaneous puddle of tears. She is feeling forsaken. She is seeking the generosity of spirit that this myth wouldn’t allow her.
Inside is the only place to go – for that piece, at least. The trouble is, this myth is actually everywhere.
There is no point in pretending. There is no academic-background point of view that will do anything. There is no game to play to elevate the mind over the feeling. We have enough of that crap around.
Shit is normal. But to eat shit is not.
When true cruelty is encountered – and it does exist in degrees, from unlikely alcoves at times – closure can never come from its source.
The flip side of the most romantic type of personality, is sometimes that it is the least realistic. Romance has always been a good thing – not something to be so cautious about. But there is true romance, and then there is romance riddled with agenda.
This morning I had the defiant thought, I’ll forget all this by dressing like crap and get no hair cuts for a while. I’ve done it before. When I didn’t have any money. I got through. And it was good. It was amusing to reject what is expected of us. Right now what I don’t have is time, and patience to entertain any level of psychological garbage. As if this disengagement from elements of the myth could weed it all the way out.
I am heartbroken. It resonates. But I am surviving it. And learning to have fun.
It’s an open road again. I can’t see the whole thing. Only the entrance.
I have seen a much smaller light before now, and followed it out.
Anything could happen.
I watched a really good show and was curious about the reviews, so I looked them up. I read a surprisingly bad review. This was after recently reading a bad review of a particular style of art, the whole lot of it comprehensively dismissed.
It occurs to me that sometimes a bad review just comes from a poor imagination.
And/or conspicuous personal prejudices on the border of philistinism.
Fear is the fuel of judgment. And judgment is not exactly perception. Do it anyway. But first, there’s the mirror.
Who is it? Is it real? Is it true? Where does this mind come from?
We like to say, it’s not personal. Don’t go thinking everything is so personal. But also. Everything is personal. Everything.
Don’t give the world MORE of what it already has.
GIVE IT what it DOESN’T HAVE.
We need to get unlost