December 2019

I II III IV

The dreams you currently hold regarding how much you will have accomplished in a year's time are the same dreams you held a year ago, more or less. And they were there the year before that, and the year before that. So easy it is, to spend time in the dreamspace, so cheap to furnish it. Watch it grow & grow. Always the feeling that soon these dreamthings will be in your grasp. Always dancing, just beyond reach. I hope that not everything I do is a peacock tail, or barring that, that I can still derive some sense of satisfaction from the the tail in itself. The yawning expanse you experience between the self that you are & the self that you'd like to be, is the distance between a biased interpretation of a limited sampling of data points, and the decaying photocopy of something you wrote down long ago, further compounded by hasty notes & marginalia with each re-emergence.

The creation is always going to be an abstraction. The creation is always going to be some distance away from the inspiration. The creation is always going to be a thing unto itself. And yes, the creation is always going to be validly "a creation" no matter what it looks like. You have the ability to create. But what you really want is to be able to create in such a way that the act of creating becomes this pocket universe you enter into, a magical vacation destination far away from the concerns of day to day reality. You want to lose yourself in this creative dreamspace, and come back with some sort of physical artifact that attests to the experience, which brightens & enlivens whatever mundane reality you've returned to, which perhaps even offers up a fresh portal for others to enter into this magical realm. But you sit there with your pencil & it just feels like you're making arbitrary dents in the paper. You sit typing words & they don't mean anything to you. You play some notes on your keyboard & they just sound like sounds, nothing special. And you become frustrated. Where is this magical world you were promised? A world you've perhaps even experienced...But now all you experience is the frustrations of the ambiguous & the arbitrary & the painfully mundane. Ah well, no one ever promised that bringing children into this world was going to be a joyful experience. And perhaps there's still a certain kind of beauty, in remaining committed to a practice which seems oh so hesitant to commit to you. My greatest moments of self-satisfaction were not those in which I most firmly adhered to my beliefs, but rather those in which I managed to surprise myself, to do somethng completely contradictory to my deepest convictions.

You like to imagine that those creators whose works have most inspired you, were living on a plane of existence signifigantly more elevated than the one you generally experience. Always focused, always with this perfect receptivity to the divine. Waking up each morning with a single-minded devotion to their craft, spending every one of their perfectly organized days acting as a pure channel through which aesthetic beauty flowed. Always graceful. Effortless. Joyful. No doubt in reality they lived lives much like your own - full of distractions, full of ambiguity. Constantly hounded by the arbitrary & the intrusive. Frequently battling self-doubt, exhaustion, boredom, laziness. Perhaps going down dead ends & having to revise. Bad days. Bad months. Bad years. They lived in the muck, just like you. Perhaps the only real difference between these individuals & the general population is that, on some level, they understood that the transcendental was contained within the mundane. They didn't idle away their days, waiting for things to feel just right. They did their work. If you go around telling yourself that you need to get clean in order to do anything, you're never going to do anything - not even get clean. Life happens in the muck. No matter what you did yesterday or last week or an hour ago or five seconds ago, you can choose to move forward as if you've experienced nothing but a string of success, and constant inspiration. The world can't see where you've been, or where you intend to go, or the swamp of your interior. All the world sees is what you choose to broadcast to it. It'd be a wonderful thing, if I had more time & resources. But it would be a terrible thing of much greater magnitude, if I squandered what time & resources I had bemoaning what I lacked.

I suspect that one of the conditions of living in liberal society is that each individual constantly feels themselves to be secretly an outsider, always on the verge of being exposed as the only one left out of a big joke that everyone else is in on. That this deeply unpleasant feeling of frustrated confusion is foundational to our daily experience, would go a long ways towards explaining why we jump so readily into the idiotic, numbing embrace of mass media of every kind. Deep down I've always known I'd rather be a cult leader than a businessman. What would be the goal of business? To create something initially distinct, which becomes so agreeable to the existing social order that it eventually fades into yet another generic extension of the cultural machine. Whereas to create a cult is to create a crack in the social order, to seduce others into something which exists fundamentally outside of mainstream society, which seeks to establish an entirely alternative order. It's not he who takes control of others who generates disgust, but rather he who fails to do so completely. If you want to become master of your own affairs, let go of any need to be recognized as such by others, for otherwise you are still under the control of the mob.