Thursday, December 4, 2014

the day off is unexpected.  the last night crazy, $2700 in sales without any high end wine purchases.  you wake up stiff.  tight in the neck.  you don't know what to do with yourself, you find yourself alone, nowhere to go.  it's grey out.  you should start your christmas shopping.  you should do your laundry.  you should get out of the house.  green tea, a few pills first.  a burger reheating in the toaster oven.  the landlord upstairs neighbor is home.  you woke to the sound of laundry below you, the front door opening, closing.  last night, a lot of glassware washing last night.  too much.  bus tub full of silverware, crazy stacks of cleared plates.  let the downstairs people run food.  crazy night.  a system breaking down, the little walkie talkie beeper going off, food is ready down below, what do you want me to do about it, I have my hands full, the busboy has his hands full making coffee, the waitress has her hands full trying to get the next table sat.  64 needs a better wine recommendation.  the band wants another round of beers and order their dinners.  the drummer makes them loud.  what's the weather like, how warm, get a haircut?  black mold on the bathroom tile, brings a sense of shame.  start the laundry, take a nap, everything at a standstill.

See, Doctor, I'm afraid of writing.  I feel odd about it.  I'm afraid to go out of the house like I used to and sit at the coffee shop and write in my notebook.  Yes, I like the Zen of my own place, but it's a bit more stimulating to be around people, guess it's just human nature.  Home, you get distracted, by dishes, the pile of mail, the need to vacuum the bedroom.  I used to be pretty brave about it, going out to write. Then after I was done with the book and published it, then, you know, discovering the truth of no reaction to it.  And this is a great thing to discover, a real truth.  I'm not going to manufacture some false importance about a piece of mysterious mental matter, as matter is ultimately hollow.  I'm not going to go on some marketing spree claiming some nonsense that is all false.   "Magnificent prose, brilliant plot, a real page turner..."  I don't think so.  As soon as you say something, it's no longer true.  The book itself knows the truth beyond, and that's why it's good, because it's gentle and polite and makes no claim on the truth.  It realizes its own insignificance, the null and void nature of any mental construct.  What is love?  Hah.  It blows away.  Another mental construct that the mind created out of feedback to itself.   Something you got carried away with.  Meant well, anyway.  Don't try to possess anything, because you can't.  You shouldn't.

Writing itself as a process constantly changes, just like we do.  The purpose of it changes.  Even the purpose of what you wrote before.  Castles made of sand, melts into the sea, eventually.  Redefine writing.  Make it the provenance of the Zen master.  Art is ultimately simply about itself.  Making it abstract, even as it attempts to show reality.  Wyeth paints his studio, the view out the window.  He paints old Maine people, how the old ancestral house reflects them.  Even the most real of realist paintings down to the blades of grass.  You go to the house, you walk up to it, and it is itself.  You can merely try to portray it, trying to catch what you see.

How do you pin down a motive, a desire, a thought?  Was the character in your book being non-possessive?  Maybe that's a good thing, but maybe it wasn't understood.  As we conventionally see love as a bit possessive, in some ways.  But then one would want to be part of an exclusive couple, of course.  It makes a good story.  Holy matrimony.  Structure, like a job, a framework, a support system.  Unrequited love a thing for poets.  You need someone to keep your sorry ass company as you get old.  Someone to talk to openly and honestly.

Well, what sort of world does the artist, or the writer, perceive, and what does he evoke?  Could he evoke a world of great unselfishness, great peace and simplicity and honesty, the sensibility of a realist?  Could he do that?  Would he be understood by other people?  Would they make assumptions about him, or has he made assumptions about them?  Would he be a headache to deal with?

And it's all relative anyway.  Reality depends on your perspective, ultimately.  We can share our reality, and it makes sense to others, we all can see the Big Dipper, but the more personal things, the more private things, are mysterious.  What sort of love is there in a couple that's been married twenty years?  Or between people who once kissed passionately but who haven't seen each other in twenty years?  What keeps a person who lives alone keep on going?  A dog, a cat, a bottle of wine, an old house, a habit of painting things one sees?   A habit of writing...

On one level maybe you're an idiot, on another maybe your a decent person with as few bad intentions as possible.  Sort of a thing that attracts a Melville...  Or is just old Disney movies from a simpler time in which people are kind-hearted and happy?

out into the cold to the market.  purchase some meats, lamb and merquez sausage, onion, baby kale, sweet potato.  there's a guy with a haircut doing a wine-tasting.  don't know where, how, to fit in.  if you taste then you should buy something.  place full of happy people who have someone else to be with.

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