art, food, friends, language, pets, photography, technology, tv

how the light gets in . . .

Marcy and i, while talking half-asleep and witless on the phone late one nite this week invented a new word. it was an accidental slip on her part, where procrastination came out as . . .

procrasturbation (v.)

1. to carelessly postpone a trillion tasks under the feigned assumption that there is too much to be done in order to accomplish anything meaningful and instead occupy oneself in pleasurable tasks or hobbies.

2. to put off an innumerable and staggering amount of seemingly important tasks to the point at which even getting oneself off equates as simply another chore that cannot be accomplished out of general mental fatigue.

and that about sums it up for me :nod: and more, it opens the discussion for the balance between work and play and money and time and bigger than all of that combined – how do you choose to be defined in your most perfect expression?

Well – fuck . . . let’s see. What’s been going on?!?!

Since my last journal VERIZON fucked up and powered down for another four-day stretch, leaving me in the lurch and without the internet while my sister, Racheal visited me during the 16th-19th. She was in from West Hollywood, just here for a quick weekend jaunt and we had a great time. She is my BIG little sister. 30 – a green-eyed, blonder, taller version of me.

We ate a great dinner on the nite she arrived, slept in, watched some HBO and comedy, had Marcy and her new beau over for dinner on Sunday, and i took her out for Monday 1/2 off bottle of wine nite to meet a gaggle of my girlfriends, where we sat on a garden patio replete with a fountain and strands of Christmas lights in an Irish bar. We spent some time in Friendship Park stomping through the woods and around the lake, chasing butterflies and bugs and frightening mother ducks who are nesting (and hissing!)

Generally we just kept it easy-going and relaxed.

even Odin participated.

But getting back to the net and all its glory – question for anyone out there . . . i have made the Mozilla transition to Firefox, which i love and even downloaded a fun browser theme with little red cats on it. Has anyone tried Thunderbird, their email client? Let me know if you have and what you think.

And now – the drama, the sound and the fury . . .

A big hug and kiss to Anne-Marie for sending me some great new music to include, Chemical Brothers – Push The Button; Garbage – Bleed Like Me, Thievery Corporation – The Cosmic Game, and the last round of Zero 7 – Simpler Things, i also thank her deeply for being back around and for reading that BIG ASS scary bookish letter i sent her.

Despite that it’s on FOX, and i don’t typically dig hospital dramas, i have to make a plug for a television show i adore. If you aren’t watching House, M.D. – you need to see a doctor, and if you had to see one like Dr. Gregory House, you might get an actual dose of harsh, real-world advice. Hugh Laurie stars, and he is brilliant, biting, misanthropic, and in some strange way, dead sexy. There is something interesting about a contrary physician with an open drug addiction, a walking cane from an injury you don’t understand, and despite an inability to show direct compassion or love, an underlying deep depression and ornery disposition, he subtly reveals that he cares greatly about lives and saving the most difficult cases. Oh physician – heal thyself!

Ah – and then there’s Deadwood, where people die needlessly and inexplicably, every day. A perverse beauty, wrought with a highly-crafted language of filth and antiquity all its own where the players have recently taken to soliloquy with severed Indian heads and tombstones of dead gamblers. Indeed – it is not unlike vulgar Shakespearian verse, if you give it a listen . . .

You may see a theme here – i like the idea that ugliness can be a mask for beauty, and that practice and improvement in the face of almost certain hardship is imperative, but more – despite all the horror, we still have to strive for the pretty parts. We cannot succumb and be broken utterly. We must succeed and transcend. And that is where our ‘art’ or trade or practice of the thing we do best comes in . . .

My friend Megan, a dancer and singer by trade recently mused: “I have realized that I shouldn’t abuse my art, and use it as an avenue for my own personal therapy. I have been blessed with talents, and I should use them to bring joy to other people. Whether it’s dancing in a new piece, or singing in a smoky bar, if I bring a smile to one persons face, I’ve done my job.”

And it got me to think about when i was young, how music, drinking, painting, writing, even poor choices in partners and the lukewarm, plasticine, one-sided sex that came along with it, it was all therapy for me and i was afraid that if i wasn’t suffering, i wasn’t existing, therefore i wasn’t creating; i was unable to express myself unless i was hurting and only an open wound meant that i was alive and feeling the world move.

Now . . . well – i hope that my expression has a brighter tone, and maybe, it will be therapy for someone else. Perhaps this version could be the reverse, the negative model shot through with light to adhere to while still others are busying themselves with darkness and drudgery.

It’s not always about the personal gain, about what you get from yourself and what fortune (or misfortune) it produces, if that’s your aim, but it is more about what you bring to the table, what you produce and put out into the world as your purest expression with the most perfect intent, that of bringing joy, of sharing your joie de vivre, of sharing your vision, be it a bit cloudy, muted and difficult at times.

Everyone has a story, everyone has had their personal hell, and so much of music, so much of “artistic” expression now deals with challenging the psyche, insulting the sensibility, wearing our wounds as badges of pride, stripping down the emotional content to its horrible base so that people feel angry, upset and drained. So that they are reminded of what it is to suffer and to mistakenly claim, to their own damage, that it is pretty somehow. Suffering is apparent, pain is necessary, yes – but it is NOT the desired or correct state, purpose or constant in this life. And if it is – you’re doing it ALL WRONG.

Frankly, im exhausted by it. Limp Bizkit, photographers featuring dismembered animal parts as some supposed statement about how we use and abuse animals (though she commits the same crime and outrage by creating her “art” in a pantomime of challenging the double standard), painting that is so fucking clunky and graphically repetitious, unstylistic, having no form or worse, no personal intention or meaning, writing that is so cryptic and impenetrable, you have no idea who created the secret club or where the decoder ring is, but you are definitely not in the know or the cool or the hip or angsty enough. “Art arouses thoughts and poses questions that are necessary.” To be beautiful but frightening or repugnant does not always reveal to us that “beautiful things hide some sort of suffering.” it may just mean that it took some suffering to find beauty, or that beauty became whole and is showing its true face now. or that someone or something has always been sublime and just a bit divine and we should move ourselves with all of our energies to arrive at such a state.

i just cant relate to most of the aforementioned unprettyness, but i will strive to tolerate so i can understand where i have been and what it means to hurt in order to arrive at a bright place.

so again i ask the question – how do you choose to be defined in your most perfect expression? and i have learned that for me, it is not to be perfect, to instead be a little off, and to always be a whole lot of me.

it is my task to contemplate on what it is to constantly improve, what it is to allow for just the fracture line and not the gaping wound, to understand the balance.

i leave you with Leonard Cohen:

forget your perfect offering,
there is a crack in everything,
that’s how the light gets in.

~ Leonard Cohen

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