Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reading Tolstoy on the #7

Picture this: A man on a train reads Tolstoy while the man beside him
plays a video game on a cellphone. Are they both merely entertaining
themselves? Is wisdom to be found everywhere? There is the
egalitarian in me which does not want to confine wisdom to certain
canons and experiences but is the man on the cell phone gaining as much
enlightenment as our man reading Tolstoy? I am of course assuming that
there is something to be gained from reading Tolstoy on a train. What
is it? There is an importance isn't there? if there is then why
aren't we all playing the violin and reading proust in our free time?
Too many questions. Wouldn't we want to fill every minute of our lives
with fulfilling experiences? We don't got much time it seems and as
there is no time to waste its a wonder why most people waste most of
their time away. Perhaps its emotions that get in the way. Something
hurts us so deeply that we can only recover by relaxing and doing
nothing. Gayatri Spivak likens intelligence to a singer who has lost
her voice and can only feel the frustration of the loss of something
one is born with. Intelligence is developed naturally in us in the
form of curiosity as children only to be systematically deadened
through school, television, the church and often times the family that
has been socialized to adore and respect those institutions. There is
nothing new about this but its easy to forget what the struggle is and
needs to be directed towards. Iraq, terrorism, global warming are just
manifestations of a lack of intelligence. They don't get to the heart
of the matter. My voting democrat won't change anything for too long.
My killing my television, well thats when things start to move. Not
that I don't engage in "macro" problems but the revolution is micro and
doing the unsexy, the little things is what will allow you to take on
the bigger challenges.

There have to be some absolutes, universals, and differences as
uncomfortable as it may be to accept. For if there weren't there would
be no such thing as good and bad food, or a difference between the
spice girls and the beatles. Somethings are better, healthier lets
say. Not all actions and experiences are equal. But the problem is
how do we decide, who we do we believe as we progress through
minefields of mediocrity. Its a battle of ideas. Its a battle for
your mind. And who cares anymore? Is there enough energy left for
consciousness and critical thinking? It takes a lot of work to care
and it becomes easy to lose sight of why we bother in the first place.
Just don't think, feel good, be comfortable, enjoy life and stop
thinking. We are so tired and busy. Busy paying the bills or cleaning
the kitchen, doing laundry and becoming organized. Who has the time

People give up and don't even realize that to give up is to stop
living. Though thats the problem with spiritual castration isn't it?
It takes away desire and you don't even have that to make you
uncomfortable, to make you suffer. Don't be afraid to suffer and long
for something. One day we will desire desire itself. But people kill
that in themselves to go on calmly and then you become like that singer
who has lost her voice and when she hears music she wants to sing and
tries to and can't but the song will forever be in her mind. In your

Lets give up then you and I as we walk beneath the empty sky. Remind
me again why we live. How to go on without being critical. For if I
am not critical and not consciousness of what I do then I might as well
not be here. And if I am not here who is writing this? Who am I ?

Thats always the question: Who am I? Who are you? Am I who I am in
times of comfort or in extreme situations? Too many questions. I just
want to be somebody. I want to be a contender.

All I know is that I have to keep writing. I only understand how I am
feeling when I write. And when I don't all goes awry. Writing focuses
me, brings me into being. When it doesn't flow I know something has
happened to my thinking. And when I am not thinking I go astray and
suffer. And I have suffered much. I have wasted much. I see not the
beauty in front of me. I lose sensibility. I, I , I.....let go and
follow the touch and the hand and the kisses......

come on woman make me great. Hold me close. Never let me go.


DearlyBeloved said...

Imagine yourself on the train. After a long day, you can think about nothing other than a long hot shower, and as you sit there, swaying from side to side, you being to drift off, but what happens next? A tired woman gets on the train with her son. The child, around 2 years of age, talks to his mother about everything and anything he can think of. The woman exhausted, does not attempt to quiet him down. You couldn't be more annoyed at this, nor can you understand how she could let it go on and on.

Point is, I envy that child. Able to speak out his mind, his thoughts, reaching out even when no one is listening and not caring. When was the last time we let down our guard? When was the last time we had no guard? And although our skin is thick and our prides big, we are all desperately trying to reach out.

Sure, one might say, "I don't care if anyone reads this." but then I ask, "wouldn't it then be just as satisfying to get it all out in a MS Word doc. and save it onto your hard drive?" We sometimes deny how desperately we want someone to understand, to reach out a hand and grab our own, to embrace us as we are trying to embrace them. Writing, drawing, dancing, singing. All such liberating experiences. A child rolls in the mud without a worry, but would a businessman dare to do the same if he wished? It's a shame we don't let ourselves go more often.

I used to criticize what looked like splatter art to me, only to realize what I thought was art all along was a dead message. To reproduce something to the point of perfection, what is the point if we don't put a piece of ourselves into it? We are so focused in making our paintings and drawings so flawless that we forget to let go and reach out.

Look not in the mirror to find yourself, but in the smiles of others when they are around you.

Till next time. Ciao-

Anonymous said...

very beautiful. your comment made me happy. True that. To let go and express and be. I write for others, for that someone somewhere who will understand and relate to myself. It never works out just right but I try. At least I try. Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration.