Hard to think out the box- 1st thing in the morning. 80s hits get me going, and coffee with coconut creamer. A nice day gets me going- sunny, breezy. Tater barking at every truck in the neighborhood that has a back-up beep does it too. It’s tiki torch heaven out here and these popular solar-powered lawn lights.. I hacked into the thicket and earth and formed a zen garden in swampland. Nothing formal, just the outline of a space to space out in, look up at stars or hear the breeze in the trees in. My fear is that I have too many inside-my-brain interests. I’m chock-full of ideas and activities but much of it is not that physical: collages, songs, zines, making videos, mosaics..
Howling wolf sounds like Captain Beefheart, or the other way around.
Ok, on to the big stuff- I get so tired of thinking about it, and I believe it leads to anger. Or it is easier to think about when I am already angry, but.. There it is. To get this world to a place where we’re living with it, not off it will take 100s of more years probably. What’s frustrating is that there are people all over the world who have better ideas than the ones ‘in power.’ But there’s such a massive infrastructure in place to dispatch the current global market goods out to whoever’s got a buck.. Fuck ‘goods’, what I really feel is mucking it all up is bad morals. I’d love to abolish money, but I’d be happy with a recognition of certain shared life experiences as being beyond any marketplace. Getting born wouldn’t cost money, dying wouldn’t cost money (Lewiston Sun Journal charges over $200 to run an obituary, to name one ridiculousness that is an affront to poor people), getting any sort of health care wouldn’t cost anything: daycare- free, a house to live in- free, food- free.. It shouldn’t take the human race this long to sit down and figure out what is an immutable right and separate from any economic interest. How is it even legal to charge for these things?? It’s a blanket insult. The ‘power’ has always been in the hands of the people not ‘in power.’ There are too many of us for it not to be.
We come into the world without knowledge of our terrible, crushing ego. I mean, once we figure out we’re an entity and what our story is going to be, whatever age that all is. Once adolescents realize the world is actually a horrible place to live, once they realize even their parents nor instututions really know what is our fate. We need an education there. Even if it’s an education of open-ended inquiry. Faith is great if you have it, but let’s just say it- the change from life to death, whatever that is, is a defining future moment. It frames us, stalks us. To have an educational system that isn’t able to address that fully is.. institutional. Faith or no, that knowledge is gigantic and massively affecting. Even if people think ‘the beyond’ will be so much better, it’s still the biggest thing you’ll ever deal with, so why the secrecy? Not secrecy even, just.. a silence. The imbalance happens when we try to socialize our children into how our lives have been strategized for us. We have to figure out for ourselves what basic human rights are! I didn’t learn that shit in school. For most of us it’s too challenging just to learn to deal with Ourselves and what we will experience and discover, to check in in any real way regarding our basic human rights at first. So we’re left confused, isolated, feeling attacked, feeling super sensitive. It is an option hardly afforded to us. That’s too bad, but not unexpected! I would say basic human rights are= a simple respect for everyone, combined with a free offering of survival goods when needed. Ah! But we are all so super-sensitive that it’s nuts! The workplace barely recognizes this sensitivity. We are kept too Busy to adequately metabolize our inner strength! We are too strong and that is the problem. The strength gets bottled up inside pointless struggles for housing and nutrition (and following the public educational narrative) before we even learn how to belong, how to love. I mean, some people can but most are faking it, hard. Once you get under the surface of most groups and organizations you see how individual personalities are mostly what dictate action, influence direction. Ego clashes, battles for basic respect that are sublimated into power differentials. This is the problem. This is what makes people abuse money and positions of power. Beause they’re barely aware that they’re doing it.
People are so imbalanced that when you look at what life seems to be, and you have the chance/resources/intellect you go the comfort route. Play the market, work the online poker angle, pimp out women, become a boss, get to college. But some people don’t want that life or the soulsuck that comes with it. The Process of life is terrible and fascinating. I think we focus on the terrible too much though, without even mentioning it! We hang here on a sphere in the middle of blackness and scattershot burning suns everywhere and we just get scared. It’s ok, humanity. I’d be scared too. Oh wait, I am.
A bird just tried to land on the tiki torch tip, struggled and flew away. Now she’s going to have citronella-smelling talons all day, what will her friends think?
We need a morality behind money, a mapped-out responsibility based on the worlds’ input that we move forward with, globally. This uncontrolled market IS the pop-culture ‘zombie apocalypse’ motif. It is based on a real fear of out-of-control hunger with no ego control. We see it all the time, on every screen, in every commercial. The chaos is brilliantly mirrored into ‘buy-this/sound bite’ culture.. ‘If it bleeds it leads’ headlines perfectly mirror our own mortal horror. We buy them, so we’re the problem. Not every consent was manufactured! We do it to ourselves just as often, with our own grisly imaginations and paranoias. Well, where do They come from?? From a basic fear of realizing our time is finite. ?? That’s a cash cow.
I mean, more than half if it would have to go. How do you get into true revolutionary ideas without it sounding crazy and dangerous? But crazy and dangerous is not what I want. I want gradual and sustained. If we balanced out this rampant consumerism, there just would not be money enough flowing to justify the upkeep of every highway, every downtown financial center, every distributor, every airport, mall, car model, hollywood movie. Sorry. We’d take a hit. But that means the Job Market would no longer be a place of struggle! How revolutionary is that!? We take all our skill at manufacturing and manufacture basic, equal-access high quality resources for all. Since we cast aside competitive market principles, there are less markets, less jobs. Much less! People are able to work Much shorter days! I believe a work day should be no more than two hours total. Less jobs, overpopulated planet = more people working less hours with no competition, just a manufacturing of our basic survival needs. All this stress reduced, time saved, lives more fully lived with the advantage of a relaxed survival-economy in place and everything else would and should be up to us. Everything that was free market territory would now be collaboration and leisure time. Culture, entertainment, science, philosophy, music, film, technology- we’d come together on these things communally, for the sheer love of it. Derp. We as a global people put our collective ideas together to become sustainable, locally, in terms of shelter, food/water and healthcare. All free, all your obvious earth-given right. How could we ever Charge for that? Everyone needs to come together on these principles and a revolution would be quiet and strong. Immovable peaceful people. We Are the world economy, its ups and down, we are the energy crisis, the human rights atrocities.. How could we not be? But what are the Ideas behind that crap? The Agreements that gave lifeless things any value at all. Coins. Paper bills. People die over these lifeless things. It’s absolute fucking nonsense.
I think a big reason for it is a fear- when specified- in the knowledge that we could do anything we wanted. Even the most horrible things, and with the exception of the law, the universe just doesn’t react. We react, but never the universe. I think that’s what truly terrifies adolescents. I think that’s what mass murderers become obsessed with. It’s like the ultimate horror of free will and we’ve put so many rules down upon our heads in direct reaction to that stark fact, because it makes us that afraid. And maybe that’s why are prisons are overloaded. Or maybe that’s why we have prisons. They hardly seem centers of inner personal growth, hardly sustainable. It’s why we worry when we don’t feel emotional enough, when we feel disconnected. It’s where the rage goes for some people and that is too bad. Maybe it’s the root of cancer. Cancer has been identified as a ‘rogue healing process,’ a multiplication of bad cells that just won’t stop trying. Trying to fill something with the wrong thing, in order to heal. All in order to heal. Who knows?
I run two groups in town, sort of as a response to all this information! A drumming group and a kirtan group. The best kind of learning is ‘learning by doing’, for me. A synthesis of mind and body information. I used to attend Afro-Cuban drumming classes in Portland, Maine where I would drum out rhythms I didn’t know and sing a song in a language I didn’t know at the same time. It was hard, enjoyable and I left classes feeling really physically balanced, in and out. Drumming interests me and I try to bring that out, create a community experience around that love for it. Kinesthetic learning. This sort of process interests me. I learn it by seeing it done, doing it. Learning a rhythm, entraining with people, beyond talking about it. The other group I am helping lead is a kirtan group. Kirtan is a song circle where you sing sometimes-Sanskrit chants over and over with others. The effect from singing with people is immediate and obvious. Autogenic training is taking time daily to repeat certain visualizations in order to relax and clarify. Kirtan helps with this, I believe. It is palpable spiritual communal practice and it feels important enough to try to nurture it within this community. It isn’t easy though. Lewiston is hard to organize. I’m not sure exactly why.
I sat today crushed with warmth and small activities. I sleepily wandered room to room, inside to outside, looking up at the blue clear sky with jet trails and lazy birds and did not feel a part or separate. I am surrounded by trees on every side. Vines grow everywhere and they are full of white blossoms, smelling sweet, now and then, in a breeze. We have a tent up on the lawn where we spend afternoons sometimes. Summer in Maine is so different and fast. You’ve got three months to get the good stuff in. How do we do it?
Now it is evening, warm and fat. I am watching a movie called summer of ’42. It is nicely shot and super 70’s.
IF life is truly just playing out with no consequences or value, I think it’s still worth it to assign value and meaning to life. I mean, how could you Not anyway but if the only original power your creative ego could ever articulate is your own worth, it should be contemplated. I think a long-form logic should be assessed in peoples’ lives. Life is active and reactive. Movements create ripple effects, create meanings too varied and deep to understand. Ceaselessly. That is the power of the magical creative spark upon this planet. The ruling law is to GROW, naturally. This is what happens. We grow, nature grows, it dies away but it grows again. I noticed vegetable tendrils from my garden a few years ago grew almost a foot in one day. Crazy. It is constantly happening but we never really see it- only intuit it from day to day to days passing.. What covers the earth with this gigantic sweep of pushing aliveness? Even if it is a meaningless process, what allows loneliness and love to happen? Will small ideas like the two hour work day be enough to lead us away from harried lives? I am probably a poster child for attention deficit–but as long as your ducks are mostly in a row, why can’t the edges be blurry? THAT’s how you know you are living. Get to a state where you are ‘richly associative’, feeling meaning, feeling nostalgic, numinous, feeling like time is putting things in perspective for you.. The life we have lived presents itself before us like a large picture, a process where we witness our story and assess it. It’s creativity at its most life-altering, at its most organizing. I know there are jobs where someone will have to be there for more than two hours. Whatever social work, or surgeries or crises, but in the end the moral point is that it’s people helping people.. Building relationships in order to help. But I don’t think this would be a job sector anymore, rather simply how we order our social culture. Caring, volunteering for others I think would happen more normally. The concept of stewardship.
Anyway.. I need to stop. Constantly wondering and worrying is no fun. Really. Let me tell you about what is happening now. This will be my facebook post: I am on vacation. I am in a nightgown. I am eating chocolate ice cream. It is the end of June. I am writing this to put in the May issue of letterfounder. I am two months behind on this thing and I was worse than that a few months ago. Putting out a monthly can do a lot to help you stay current.. Or feel way behind. letterfounder zine is learning by doing. A messy aesthetic to facilitate growth. Meaning attaches itself issue to issue like sticky glue or tape- ever more collected, refined, more cohesive, more confident in its own voice. I am not going anywhere during vacation. It is nice to spread out in time with no scheduled blocks. Yesterday I was excited about it, today I am sundrunk and mellow, getting caught up on burning cds. I still store all my music on cd and tape. Today it’s been Swans, Fatima Mansions, Fat White Family, Morphosis, Helene Smith, A Hawk and a Hacksaw and Yusef Lateef.
Lynn and I spent a wknd at the Samoset resort up in Rockport last month. Some trip she won for not calling in sick for a year. (See? Workplace reinforcement like dog training.) Best part was walking along the golf course at night, getting my toes in that golf trap white sand like a rogue rich person, hearing the surf moving around in the dark on two sides of us and looking back on the hotel all lit up at night, neat and ritzy with a full orange moon behind, gigantic. This morning we looked at videos I took from the trip of sun diamond’ing on bay water as well as the view from the observatory at the Penobscot Narrows bridge. I wrote a poem on the last page of the bible in our room. #304, if you ever win a trip..
Legacy letters. I called this literary/art endeavor thing ‘letterfounder’ — it was going to be the name of a writing group me and some friends started in Portland when I lived there. ‘Founder’ b/c of some of the found art I put in here, ‘letter’ b/c of language and what a weird creature it is. I’m trying to use language more than it uses me. A letter founder was a person who designed the typeset for old printing presses. A lot of the art put in here is word-art inspired. A point in this zine has been: how to organize letters in ways that aren’t language-based, in order to keep proving the point and fact that communication is mostly language-less. And why aren’t we operating more in keeping with this fact? We are very quick and primitive actually, very sensitive and efficient. What’s with the mess of words then, the signs everywhere, the strategizing of sentences? Jam it instead.