Life Support III
At a certain point, there’s only so much that can be done.
I’m far from the first one to think that our situation now should be no surprise. We’ve been recklessly asphyxiating, mowing, crowding, disrespecting, neglecting, destroying the planet for generations. Now nature is taking over. Science could never move as fast. Nature is in charge.
Nobody IRL wants to be the one to say it, or even think it. What fools we are. How self-important we have been as humans. The unchecked egocentrism comes now to this. Of course, it is our moral and ethical duty to provide people with the best chance that they can have at survival. We sacrifice for the sake of one another. We value lives.
Why then does our true primary source of life, our environment, the earth, get left out of the equation so often in our daily political and economic consciousness? This has been a permanent conflict of interest. Our growing population and extended life spans, without any truly impactful or sustained attempt to mitigate its burden on our environment, the earth from which we are largely alienated. Nature becomes something to visit and vacation, rather than to take as part of ourselves.
As much as we see and value ourselves, our society, our culture, we must too turn an eye towards this earth as our real and ultimate life support.
Now each one of us, any one of us, could die. We experience this die-off just as whole swaths of species have died at our inattention, our neglect. Few want to recognize how we ourselves have created so many of our disasters. It’s easy to get busy and look the other way.
We must learn more reverence for that which is old, which has already come before us, and in this case, the one true elder. We must care for it, above and beyond our own self-interests. Nobody wants to say these things out loud, not me either. How uncomfortable we are with nature doing the job that it does, to the extent we must do whatever it takes to regain control over it. How uncomfortable we are as a culture with death, dying, aging, changing — not just in this instance but with the natural cycle of life, as we rebel more and more against these inconvenient truths.
Which brings us to the most difficult question of all. Are we even responsible enough, to extend our own lives? And what exactly would be the point, if we can not even breathe the air, drink the water, draw nutrition from soil, or exist without intermittent unprecedented calamities anymore?
Who wants to sit down and take the time, a long time, to regard nature with the respect it deserves? Because ultimately we are not in charge. The river is in charge, the glaciers are in charge, the ocean is in charge, the mountain is in charge, microorganisms are in charge. Everything is different now as we can not pretend that’s not true.
We can not ignore another kind of science – climate science, environmental science. So I don’t really want to hear them talk about science, until they’re ready to talk about that.
March 23, 2020 – March 31, 2020
(links added later)
(Lockdown Journals Part VII, FINAL THOUGHT, II)
Life Support II
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
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
SELF-ABSORPTION, SELF-PITY AND BEING SPECIAL
- Reflected in cultural values via consumption or covert invalidation.
- Natural to the human experience in phases, as is generosity of spirit, understanding, kindness, caring, and empathy.
- Escalated by rejection, marginalization, and isolation.
- Add one of two words, for giggles: HYSTERIA or EGOTISTICAL.
- Things people say to dismiss certain temperaments, occupations, or situations that they don’t value or don’t understand.
- Things people say when they feel superior to certain emotions, occupations, or predicaments.
- Things people say when they disown aspects of themselves.
- 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
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
_E_F-A_SOR_TIO_, SELF-P_T_ AND BEI_G _PE_IAL
- Ozone layer of collective consciousness.
- Amnesia of self as culture, ideology.
- Disaster versus appeal.
May 18, 2020
That flap of roof
Just like a quail
September 2, 2019
I want someone
May 13, 2020
AFTER THE SHOCK
Long, meditative, simple, slow, mesmerizing scenes. This windy cell phone clip was just a spur-of-the-moment snapshot from real life, but I’ve always admired the often-dreamy or poignant motif when used in actual movies. I’d love to see even more movies daring to decelerate. To conduct more subtle representations. Daring to prioritize the art of the film over and above other considerations. Daring to embrace less lucrative choices.
Daring, just by their existence, to subvert ACTION.
Lingering, sustained scenes that extend a moment out in time and space. Like a poem can do – maybe that’s what’s so appealing. Asking for attention to be held. Attention held on a moment. A moment easily overlooked, easily taken for granted, a moment to be experienced more intensively.
Scenes to yield into. To take a kind of refuge in. Akin to stretching muscles after a long sleep. Or scenes to be challenged by, too.
This is not elitist. This is about the quiet things.
Quiet things need time, space, and attention to be let in. To be let in. Because they are not attention seeking. Versus the rather violent presence of that which does grab our attention, demand it, steal it, and in a way, corrupt it…
April 3, 2020
The hawk. Something about all this reminded me of it from months ago, and I dug it up again. And I’d like to post the video. But WordPress doesn’t allow for posting it in the format I want. As I intermittently avoid the issue amidst the other chaos, then venture to search again for a workaround, I keep thinking about it, writing about it. I am lingering on this a bit longer than I’d like, but maybe that is just the point. To linger. To slow down.
I do not work in the movie industry, I am just someone with a camera and a perspective, who happens to also make money with cameras, who happened to have only a cell phone on hand on the day I encountered the bird.
“It’s a bit LONG,” someone said. Yeah.
But I like that.
April 16, 2020
Turn To the Quiet
It’s one of those mornings when I’m on the road again in my head. Packing sleeping bags in the cold mountain air. Blowing steam off my coffee in a circle of other travelers. Packing up to leave, pulling on heavy boots. Twelve thousand feet above sea level. Hungry but exhilarated.
It’s easy to forget the struggle: what it takes to choose the adventure over the safe. To get to those places and exist in them longer-term is mostly a matter of willingness to abandon fear, to detach from whatever status or position achieved, and then there’s the objects of our affections to be suspended or let go of. An apartment, a car, a job, a semester, a social circle, a mentality, an ideology, a lover, a life dependent upon the comforts of the known. Easier done when you have less to lose, but even then most will naturally balk.
For me, all this was nothing compared to what it took to return. To reintegrate back into a culture built on and fascinated by the concept of freedom, yet embracing a type of freedom warped by comparison to the freedom you’ve just experienced on the road. A freedom that almost looks like imprisonment – a rat race. Yet this is the same rat race that gave you the road, the resources and privilege to earn it by struggle. You yourself, you realize, love the rat race too. Each day suppressing true feeling, true significance in order to keep up. From time to time you wholly accept its superficial qualifications and you strive to reflect them, become them. You get off on it, at least one small part of you feels this is natural. Until the day that you just can’t take it anymore. And then you turn to the few people whom you’ve ever really loved, in your mind. You turn to the waves, the trees, the birds. Sand, rivers, the clouds. Tiny lights flickering in the shadows.