Monday, January 19, 2015

On The Madness Of Vermeer

i just watched this four part documentary on vermeer - and it addresses the effort of the artist to tame the chaos of the  world. no wonder artists do go crazy, desiring a perfect world. assaulted by the news, they tremble like a seismograph, unable to avoid the disturbances of the world, even as they work to calm them. 

my friend sent me an article on what makes artists commit suicide, and i answered him with the following:

hi dennis, a counselor once told me, "You are not your feelings." I try to remember that, though it does beg the question, "who am I".
I've done lots of suicide study and thought of it many times, including one night in the 60's on the staten island ferry, a harbinger of spalding gray, the monologist.
I concluded the one thing common to all suicides: withdrawal. even the unibomber kept a connection. we are members of a gregarious species.
oddly, I haven't thought of suicide since getting tossed over a car going 35 miles an hour. I've been preoccupied with getting my left foot/ankle well. I do think I've had some post-traumatic stress, like holding my breath without realizing it, and replaying the accident. and at the latter it did cross my mind all my anxieties could have been ended.
creative people carry an enormous amount of tension, which they resolve temporarily in their work, and then it re-arises. good angel/bad angel, I'd say, heavy bearers of dualisms.
and there's definitely a component of impatience and anger (always a problem with me). mad at the phone company in new york, I wanted to throw myself under a bus.
I think what saved me from the ferry and the bus is: I still like my own body, I don't want to hurt it. alas, age may take it's toll. more suicides because people living too long, no place for old people (except sun city). Emerson said, 'every man after 30 wakes up sad.' no wonder those ISIS guys want to die in their prime, like some american indian warriors.
my therapist years ago said, 'depression is the absence of feeling.' could be those who usually feel strongly despair when then can't care.
before my incident only one person knew where I lived, now at least a dozen do. that has temporarily lifted my withdrawal. knowing myself, I expect it to return. better on the lookout where I have a job, in communication with a lot of co-workers.
keep up the good work and happy new year. wayne  

Friday, January 16, 2015

what can you do when fate starts stalking you?

getting hit in a crosswalk, could happen to anybody. i'm glad to have lived to tell the tale. needless to say, i've been a super-conscious pedestrian. and then, two hours ago, a guy in giant 4-wheel drive, the kind with huge wheels, ran a red light and almost caught me on the busiest corner in town.

i'd just come out of Peet's coffee shop at main and 2nd. distracted by several high school kids behind me, i stepped off the curb, the walk sign up. and whoosh, the lumbering truck missed me by less than a foot. the kids looked at me. i must have been white as a sheet. "are you okay?" i said yes and avoided telling them my almost tragic. previous story. 

needless to say, as i walked home, i re-played lying in the crosswalk last month, emt's cutting my clothes off, half-a-dozen stopped headlights blazing across me. i stopped by the university library and caught my breath with a friend. further on, i suggested to the campus police they post the fine on the no bike, no skateboards sign: $160. maybe money will talk.

the reason they have the rule: a pedestrian killed on the bridge by the natural sciences building. and perhaps it will take another to get the budget for it. like every part of campus, the police strapped for funds and sixteen thousand students flowing in over the weekend. a bicycle whizzing by me makes my skin crawl.

yes, 34 years in town, rode my bike at night without lights, ran stop-signs, i'm no innocent, just lucky. and after a fall ten years ago, i simply stopped riding, unable to trust my own sense of self-preservation. recent events prove this a wise choice. if only walking were safer! and am i the target of some greater force?

sometimes paranoia is the proper attitude. in this case it did provide an epiphany. i'd been trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life. learn interior decorating, go ballroom dancing, read poetry in public. everything i thought of seemed like work. and my doctor had said, "simply enjoy yourself." and that's what i thought as i walked away from the potential, funereal scene in front of Peet's, exactly where i'd told a friend a couple years ago, 'i'd like a memorial bench on that spot.' 

i have been photographing and here a couple of posts:

Poet with a camera:

Monca photographers at work: