Sunday, October 29, 2006

It doesn't matter

I tried to turn off my alarm, but it just kept ringing. This morning I realized that the noise that woke me in the night was not my alarm, but some friends calling me in some attempt to invite me to participate in their festivities. It was good timing. I was having a nightmare that the IT guy at work was chewing on my hand and I couldn't get away. Sounds ridiculous now, but at the time it was really frightening.
There is a throbbing pain in my brain. Since the moment I got out of bed, my brain has been stuck in a constant narrative. Not one with any plot or cohesive story line, but rather an over observant flow of thoughts and thoughts about thoughts. It's as if there is some omniscient voice in my head that is narrating the things I feel and see, to the point of annoyance and has continued throughout my day. I was reading a collection of essays while awaiting my laundry. The voice in my head grew soft as it was replaced by those in the readings. A collection of essays about different epiphanies and experiences people have with art. I have read the entire collection before, but finding it in my purse and seeking some sort of entertainment while I waited, lead me to read it once again. Now I feel both motivated and discouraged. I don't believe that there is any one moment when the world suddenly makes sense. It doesn't matter what it is that your looking for. It is a series of events and epiphanies that lead a person to self actualization. A road of mistakes and regrets mixed in with a few triumphs that ultimately define a person, an artist. Edvard Munch had a moment on that bridge. He leaned over the rail and suddenly felt, or heard the scream of nature. He was not able to express that moment the first time he attempted to paint it. It came across a little to literal. He painted "The Scream" (or The Cry) in 1893. It was painted on a piece of cardboard and is now one of (if not the) most recognized images in the world. It is one of the only images hanging in my living room... well the manipulated version I created with a hair brush and some orange felt mat board. Munch would probably roll over in his grave if he saw my interpretation of his masterpiece- unless he has a sense of humor, which I suspect he does.
It is a strange concept to think of success (or perception of success). What is it that we are striving for. It doesn't really matter if you seek fame and glory- who would want that anyways. Paris Hilton is considered famous. Although few believe she possesses any talent. Any one of us could have been born in her body and situation and chosen to lead the same path. That was a matter of situation, of luck (well I guess it depends who you ask- I sure as hell wouldn't want to be her). I wonder, who would she be if she had chosen a more intelligent future. What if she found her true calling, talent, passion -besides the obvious "passion" that anyone can now download off of limewire-. She has all the resources at her fingertips and she would rather go out and buy shoes or make shitty records.
There is a lady who lives in a small town in Nebraska. By small, I mean she is the only resident. The sign that welcomes you to her town proclaims the population of 2- but since the death of her husband it has lowered to just the one. She is the mayor, librarian, sheriff, cook, whatever the town needs. Although this might at first appear to be a lonely existence, it is nothing of the sort. People come from miles around to eat at her restaurant. They call to see how she is doing. They count on her for weather/road condition reports. She is loved and needed by many. She runs a ghost town that comes to life because of her.
One must be intelligent to be truly funny. Neil Simon has lived a long full life of intelligence. His awards are enough to knock over any shelf and fill a room. Clever wit is the heart of what he writes and has launched him to great success. The famous playwrite is now in his late 60's. He threw himself into his work when his wife died of cancer. He has created stars with his screenplays.
Regina Spektor claimed that many of her songs are fictional. I felt a little let down by this. I had this picture of a tormented artist that amongst her drug abuse and failed relationships, had found success. However I was glad that she didn't say the same obvious statement that so many song writers seem to proclaim - "...sometimes I make up stories about the people I see on the street or at Barnes and noble, sipping their coffee. What are they thinking, where are they from..." I have heard that from many people and I once thought it myself- so to me its trite. Maybe her fictional writings are inspired by a work of art- or by a documentary on she saw early one Sunday morning on CBS.
My eyes were infatuated and disgusted by the posh and pretentious Albertsons grocery store yesterday afternoon. I have never shopped at that particular store because it was out of my way, but yesterday I happened to be in need of a pumpkin and I found myself there. I was spacing out and chuckling to myself as I stood in line. Flat screen TV's were mounted on each checkstand. I watched Jay Leno point out the stupidity of a newspaper ad (secretly I was found humor in the fact that I could very well make and have made the same if not worse blunder to the integrity of print design). Lost in my own head, I found myself suddenly eavesdropping on the conversation the lady in front of me was having with the lady at the checkstand. There was a man with a beard and a flannel jacket who was awaiting the bagging of his groceries and was in line in front of this lady. He didn't have enough money to pay for the bananas he originally planed on purchasing. So the lady offered to pay for them for him. It was a random act of kindness and the bearded man was very grateful. It brought a little half smile to my face as I waited to pay for my pumpkin and milkyways.
The best teachers and mentors are those who are always learning. They are open to learning even from those they are supposedly teaching. I have always admired the successful, and busy people who somehow always make the time for spreading their knowledge to others. Those who can put the "priorities of business" aside at a moments notice to talk to someone like me. I hope to one day be one of them- that will be my determination of success.
A friend of mine used to say, "In the end, it doesn't really matter." Well I hope he is wrong. Otherwise we might as well all give up now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like it when you write.