Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Art and Life

What I want to know is: How does Carrie Bradshaw come up with all those fabulously witty, yet deep in a 'let's all make fun of how stupid that would be in real life' phrases for her column? How is it that she is able to wrap up four separate story lines into one weekly essay, and I've only got one story to follow but can't make heads or tails of it? Where's my voice-over?

As far as I'm concerned, I'm part of someone else's crazy pastiche piece, or a multi-medium collage. Or maybe I'm the artist that works on a canvas so huge I have only instinct to guide my hand and I have to trust the pattern to find its own way? If only I were that deep . . . or coordinated.

I spent the weekend with my aunts, both of whom are either recovering from or in the middle of failing marriages, and I found no clarity in learning what not to do. Instead, I find myself still frustrated by the lace, the bubbles, the pearls and glitter of my current circumstances.

There may be some convincing arguments against the typical 'suffering artist' mentality that dictates a certain degree of misery for creative people in order for them to produce, but grad school sure is a strike against that whole "people can be happy and still be great writers/painters/whatevers" argument. Even ee cummings managed to find SOME angst in his happy marriage and stable home-life.

Maybe the more accurate illustration of current circumstance is the red ball on the frictionless surface. Without anything to push against, it goes nowhere. Put a wall in front of it, and stick it on some hot tar and it still goes nowhere. There's a fine line that needs walking, there's a tight wire strung high, no net, no safety, but the thrill of making it to the other side . . . what a long time it's been since I've felt that fear. I fell asleep watching a movie this afternoon, and when I was startled awake I got such a jolt of adrenaline that my heart skipped a beat or two. The breathlessness scared me, got me thinking . . .

Forgetting how to think, walking so far off the internal path the woods have become an impossibly bright desert of strobing blindness - is this what 'growing up' and 'settling down' is all about? Whiting out all the difficult questions like "What the hell do I CARE about?"

Tonight, for the first time in years, I laid in the dark and listened to music by myself. I was fascinated by my own knee - I felt like I hadn't noticed it for years.


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