Light gives me certain moods. Moon light, animated light, lamps, the exquisitely quick flash of lightning, the glow of print color, the glow from the actual sun. Real light grows in me a feeling of being ancient sometimes. A palpable, very ordinary but powerful feeling of something more dense than deja vu. Not ‘I’ve lived this moment before’ but more like ‘I am perpetually living this moment, somewhere inside.’ Sometimes I lazily open the curtain just to show me the sunny scene out the window in order to gently and with time pull me outdoors. Sometimes I’m too blind and I stay inside. The sun on Friday looked so odd. There was haze in the sky and at 7p it looked like a burnt orange disc, flat and bored, primeval and just hanging there, low. Cartoon light is different. It’s a message of some sort of primordial power compelled into a digital form, able to exist inside the internet and push out through screens, able to ingest peoples’ eyes, making brains calm down and blank out.
Sometimes I want in me the feeling I get when listening to the last three seconds of a fading-out 70’s reggae song on some random cd. Do you get me? I get energy not from a song itself, but from the immediate, ongoing memory of it. Songs are stories. The type of expression (or ‘art’) that takes place within a span of time. You LOOK at a painting- for as long as you want- but a song you need to stick around for, to hear how it goes. It operates THROUGH time. Like a movie; a flashing screen beats out a scene into yr eyes. I like Hayao Miyazaki’s animated line work, I like trad. animation better than CGI. These images are more closely linked to individual energy. I used to read The Great Brain books and The Mad Scientists’ Club series and what I remember strongly about them are the occasional drawings that went along with the stories, one every chapter or so. They gave the books their aesthetic, their visual feel. Mercer Mayer illustrated The Great Brain series. Charles Greer illustrated The Mad Scientists’ Club books. He lived in Rockland, actually, passed on a few years ago.
I was reading, trying to figure out where the center of the universe is. If there was a big bang, where’d it bang from? But it seems that it was not an explosion like that. Instead of something exploding in space, it was more like space exploded, everywhere. So there actually is no center so far as we can tell. They say the observable universe is 93 billion light years in diameter. That’s as far as we can see, we don’t know how much bigger it is than that. We don’t know if this field of stars is forever in all directions. So, all of pre-space was exploded Everywhere? Someone else put it this way: everything that we know is out there was smooshed down into a singularity, infinitely dense and then.. Boom. The laws of physics break down inside such a singularity. I think that is partly why scientists believe in time as a dimension. Because time as we know it could not exist inside this pre-bang state. It literally started right then. I have Never understood time. I always thought it was a name we gave to processes as they played out over, y’know, time. Because we had to give ‘life moving along’ a name. But in the world of quantum physics, spacetime is a thing. Time dilation is a thing. Clocks in orbit run at slightly different speeds than clocks on earth. This has been measured and proven. Time is affected by differences in gravity and velocity. I don’t get it. So, the clocks are saying there’s a difference (just a slight, slight difference) but people say that in the future, if we figure out how to travel super-fast, an astronaut actually could age more slowly than people on earth? … How could time be different somewhere else? It seems that we put a lot of importance on clocks as the measuring device for time, but “the local experience of time is always normal. no one notices a difference in their own frame of reference.” It was only in the 1920s that we saw there were galaxies beyond our own. And it was only in the 1960’s that we discovered a microwave field that showed us evidence of this big bang theory in the first place. What’s amazing is how little we know! What’s amazing is this vast universe to ponder while we sit here and live. None of it matters!! While I blow my own little mind with concepts life just passes me by.. Moving on.
The internet’s always asking me to ‘prove i’m not a robot.’ Uh..
Maybe I like thinking about all the things science doesn’t know, or putting it in perspective- to always question answers. There’s always another outer layer of reason. I am never of one mind. This meandering theory and mind-play comes perhaps as a response to the work I do. I’ve been employed at homeless agencies for almost 15 years. There is little time for philosophy there. I mean, we use social work theory, but not this far out cosmology. I don’t know what i’ve learned from this work. It’s shell shocked me, actually. Too much bad, crazy shit and not enough good. At first, in Portland, I went to volunteer at a homeless resource center with my friend Angie. It was her idea. I ended up volunteering there for years until I was offered a job there that paid 2 dollars more an hour than what i was making at the time. I don’t think I took the job because i wanted to end homelessness. I was simply fascinated with the world and it made two dollars more. But now, I would truly love to end homelessness, which hopefully explains why I put so much blame and emphasis on the economic system which engulfs us.
I just tried to pull this beautiful looking caterpillar out of the citronella-candle bucket and I ended up covering it with hot wax.
In my life lately, I have chosen to be around a lot less people than in my past. It maybe feels more selfish, but also like I don’t have a choice in the matter. What took hold eventually and made the most sense was simply a retreat, to explore my own mind, to winnow out my philosophy, my narrative, to discern what truly interests me and what I can give to my community. I attempt to metabolize an ever-evolving anger and force it into my dreamworld, transmute it, bend its focus and place it on building a mythology of sorts. That sounds sorta of cheesy. Mythology.. But it has given me a sense of ease. Just building things that I believe are beautiful and real. Slowly forcing a truth out of my head and into some sort of limited public eye. Something that defines my individuality and drops me in the middle of this mass of humanity with some purpose. This line in Max Ehrmann’s ‘Desiderata’ poem is the best: “yYu are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” That always cut right to the heart of things, made me feel so good. Sometimes I think we walk around feeling embarrassed for even being here, somehow intrinsically embarrassed for having been born, born into the hassle of it all. But that line somehow simplifies things, widens it up and takes the heaviness out of being alive. Earth/Birth-given rights. I have a feeling though that the most important thing in living this life is caring relationships, not artistic projects. I think what i can ‘take on’ in the way of caring is less than it used to be. I can care for a few people at a time in my life now, more than that and i feel like my energy is leaving me.
I am watching Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth and I am so confused..
Been listening to Howling Wolf, Grumbling Fur, Great Dane, Anita Baker, my dance freaks cds, Animals Like Earthquakes, Erik Disorder..
It’s the little things, the discourtesies, the generalized impatience, the cold glaze of eyes. I immediately rise with resentment at the animosity strangers have for strangers. When I watch someone get mad at a stranger for taking too long in line or something it makes me sad for the world. I mean, sometimes I get mad too, but I don’t try to show it! How quickly we reach our boiling points! I think though, the people I hate most are the ones I know best. I have some good reasons for it. If you don’t like someone with your gut and they’re not proving you wrong- hate them. Don’t get bored. Keep hating. THAT’s the right thing to do. Don’t get beaten into some worn out friendship fakery. Some people have weird personal agendas for whatever reason and you get stuck in their monkey business. Free yourself from their designs, assert yourself, show them you are your own person. Calmly. Directly. Directly can be very effective. Directly can almost be hateful. Odd. Some people can’t just sink into loving everyone. It doesn’t work. They pretend and you can tell. They don’t have the reserves, they didn’t get enough love as a kid, I dunno how it works, something. Love is like patience, almost. Love IS patience. The thing here is: when you can’t love, ignore. Hate, but be quiet about it. Sometimes real respect is simply neutrality. Don’t be fake to them and more importantly, don’t be fake with yourself.
My initial impression at the homeless day center in Portland was that the people there reminded me of the folks my parents hung out with as I was growing up in the country. Tough-n-tumble, poor, off-the-grid, mostly-functional alcoholics. My parents friends were back-to-the-earth folks but that mentality was rooted more in economic straits than ideology, where jobs kind of came and went. I liked it. I felt at home, or comfortable in this ugly world where truth was more on the tip of the tongue, even if it was brutal. I would clean and fold clothes in the clothes pantry room which adjoined the main adult day room and I would just watch and listen and talk and absorb and became quietly fascinated. It was like personality and intensity had been amp’d up and focused into these gruff, sad people. They beamed charisma, temper, single-mindedness and they joked around constantly.
I lie in bed and the points of rest, the points of quiet move further and further apart. I think eating food is a feeling- something about my teeth coming together with a pressure that I am addicted to, that calms me down. I’ve been trying to find exactly where the desire to eat comes from. It’s not about hunger, mostly. Something else. Somewhere else. Let a lazy cinematic ambiance fall on my head, make my eyes red. Cartoons that are mostly nature shots with the sound muted- Watership Down, Bambi, Fern Gully.. It’s a post-modern nap in the woods, a forest of metonyms. The light from behind the screen becomes the drifting air particles of the afternoon.
I watched my niece a few fridays ago. she spent the day running in and jumping out of the pool. Endlessly. It’s still strange for me to Not be the kid. Lately in my life I can see youth having experiences and me being in the adult role of providing them with a day or moment that they could very well remember forever. You know how you live life and have days as a kid, days that you just remember either for the neat new thing you did or for the memorable comfort you felt, or the love? You never know when you’re gonna have a day like that. You won’t know ’til years later when it keeps popping up randomly in your memory that that was a day apart.. Not that my niece had a day like that over at my house. But she could have. Sometimes lately I think it’s nice to be responsible for making a safe environment, the way I know I appreciated it as a kid when it happened. Appreciated it like I just thought that was how it was supposed to be, not appreciating it at all. That’s how it should be.
The effects of being homeless are very different when comparing, say, 30 years to 3. Homeless adults are for the most part more capable, but are more deeply entrenched in whatever’s keeping them on the streets. Working with homeless youth which is what I do now is easier. The energy is more up, but the resiliency vibe is more apparent- there’s more hope. The struggles seem more based on relationships. I work on a drop-in floor where youth come and go throughout the day, a fairly low barrier set-up. No metal detectors, like I’ve seen in soup kitchens in Boston. It can get pretty kinetic. Doing this work is a definite challenge- there are challenges every day. But when looking at it all throughout the years, I do think it has lent me a unique perspective on economic struggle; watching pieces of life play out that are more important to people than money could ever be. Passions that are both terrible and wonderful. That message doesn’t really get out there much; the ways in which we’ve made money responsible for addressing the different states of being we are all prone to. People and situations that do not work with how money works, now or ever. And I think I recognize that in me. After I slowly dropped myself out of college due to sincere disinterest, I did more soul wandering, I gained more confidence. College was a hangup to simply living. No part of me was interested in a career path or jumping economic hurdles to some fast-fading american dream. From my perspective as a teenager, I could literally see that dream dissipating in a swarm of media blitzes and human rights atrocities. I never paid college loans back and my wages are garnished to this day b/c my mind has such a fiery, bored contempt for shit like that. College didn’t take. By turning my back on this way of life I have dug holes for myself that seem more trouble than they’re worth and I still can’t care, and don’t regret it. Actually I’ve always felt like I’ve lived healthier when I had less money. I never spent money wisely. Why are people made to feel like it is their problem that they are not interested or stimulated by this system? This system constantly agitates them. Why would we want a system in place that constantly agitates us?
So, it seems like I’ve espoused hate and love together in the same issue. What does this mean? Welcome to my brain. It’s coming at me all at once and i think both are right. I have a right to be here. I have a right to think the way I do. I am tired of people thinking that what I think is wrong. It can’t be. I thought it. i felt it. But I can think and say what I want. It doesn’t make it reality (though there is a school of thought that says ‘where our thoughts go, energy flows’ and that scares me more than comforts me). I am writing these paragraphs through the midnight hour. Some people say that’s a ‘doorway’ hour.
Mebbe the Higgs boson particle, or the imprint of it they saw, is the first clue to a whole other reality made of our own attention, what they call the noosphere. A literal force we create casting our eyes, our thoughts, our intentions upon something. Perhaps it actuates a physical wave and influences findings, perhaps it has a place in all equations, or needs always to be taken into account. Do you get me? Peace Pilgrim said in her book that she believed there was an energy left by the sun at the end of the day that we can only absorb in our sleep. She led a very simple life, but where does this exotic idea spring from? I think she was feeling the ancientness of that sun energy, feeling the perpetually-lived moment, the Old moment. Barrington Levy fades out..
“The power of imagination is the ability to create your own future and the power to create your own flow of time.” -from End of Evangelion