They said, “You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.”
The man replied, “Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.”
And they said then, “But play, you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,
A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are.”
— Wallace Stevens
Archive for the ‘Life’ Category
They said, “You have a blue guitar,
“Then again, perhaps he’s just toying with us all. There’s an urban legend that’s gone round until no one is sure who it happened to, or if it happened at all. It was late one night, a few years ago, when a young man was walking through Union Square Park. He suddenly felt someone behind him, their hands over his eyes. When he turned in surprise, there was Bill Murray, his creased face leaning in close. Bill whispered, “No one is ever going to believe you,” and then just walked away.” – nypost
Recently while making photos I have been letting the idea that “Photographing is using the world to paint” roll around in my head. I don’t know if I read that somewhere or if I just came to it myself, but I like it.
So many things, so many things! The semester is almost over– I have one documentary to edit, two papers to write & two sets of portfolio prints and I’m home free. I have been embracing school. I am making it bend to my will. Although I didn’t get the Pitman grant, I am applying for three more in its place.
Yesterday E & I sat drinking orange spice tea on a couch in her backyard as the sun went slowly down, setting through her hoo-la-hoop [the earth turned and she stood still] and we talked and took black & white photos of one another’s globe-like pupils. After it was dark we turned on the radio in her year-we-were-born beamer and we listened to haiku & blues while sitting on the trunk of that sweet machine watching the whispering of trees; every now and then turning to ground ourselves in each other’s eyes. As we sat on that cold metal the sky spoke Rorschach inkblots and told me that I should never worry, death is a movement & could only be quietness. Soon the rest of the house came wheeling through the darkness and we stood in the garage-lamp light smoking and I walked in circles with the hoop dressed around me, balanced on the back of my neck, slapping against my calves as I moved away from the others, turned, and came back, wading through thoughts it took Thoreau decades to come to.
I think I understand why people leave and go to the woods. I think I understand why it is something to do absolutely nothing. I think I understand why when people decide to check out and move to another level; that it is society’s self-preserving mechanism to label them as insane. I understand that, as Renoir said, “the awful thing about life is this: everyone has their reasons.” War is the result of these reasons being so completely opposite that people believe that the other must die.
I understand that clean is better than dirty; unity is better than panic; peace is better than war; good is better than bad; simple is better than complicated… Q. U. A. L. I. T. Y… a question that has a way of shaking the foundation of life, the meaning of everything. It is a difficult to think of value and what it means; it is dangerous territory to question the ground on which one stands.
I had a feel of life being a ocean-like tunnel though which I was moving. Most of the time too quickly to notice the ripples and movements of everything around me. Life is merely this present moment. This moment is a culmination of all the choices I have made up until this point & last night things s l o w e d down to a point where I understood that there are few things that matter: leaving a pleasant wake in which others can float and be moved by, creating more than you destroy and seeking a balance within oneself. Happiness is this balance.
In conclusion, I give you this:
Changes in life: good things, things that are easy, things that are hard. [“I don’t want to hurt anyone. Especially not a woman.”]
I don’t think I’ve ever thought of myself as I do right now. Earlier, I was driving a beamer in the setting sun with the windows down, feeling expansive like a million miles on a million lonely highways and I had a thought that the three-years-ago me would love the me I am today. I like that feeling.
Back in the summer, when I was sick with the horrid cat scratch I had a moment of realization that this sickness was merely the manifestation of a change, a transcendence, a growth– the life I had been living was evolving, so I decided to quit my job, eat better food, ride my bike instead of drive, get all a’s and be more present in my reality instead of waiting for something so far away: “when it is meant to be it will be easy.”
And that’s what I feel. I feel easy, fluid, pure, yet verily unchanged.
I feel the hopeless/ hapless romanticism that lived inside me since I first became aware of the world has shifted– not to say it’s gone from me, but I feel steady and I know where I am and vaguely where I want to be.
[This post has been sitting here working on itself since the middle of the week.]
Wednesday: I love waking up in the houston autumn and being happy from the moment I wake up, getting on my bike and going to school and printing for five hours straight, and then having the afternoon to do with what I please. There is time to think about art and to make it.
Thursday: School all day long, as is my Thursday lately, went to Gingerman with Erin after watching that atrocity of a debate. “Crack smoke make my brain feel so strange”: Sarah Palins 12-foot tall, tattooed-liplined face projected in the Rice Cinema makes my brain feel so sad.
Friday: Brought my camcorder to the Mink to get some b-roll for my documentary on Rocko and Houston Hip-Hop. Witnessed my first cipher in the courtyard after the show. Strange how the camera incites, excites & ignites.
Saturday: Woke up hungover, displeased. Now am sitting at Rice smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. [End scene.]
Same situation as last time: Same beer, same chips & salsa, all was “fucking irie” (“Irie” refers to positive emotions or feelings, or anything that is good.)
Word. We made a new friend named Stephen. He was Rastafarian and in a reggae band, but that was pretty much the only thing that was stereotypical about him. A very, very nice man.