Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Get yourself a wife..." (socrates)

you'll either be happy or a philosopher. hmm, i've tried to be happy and a wiseguy. it's been a bumpy road on my own. and watching 'the salt of the earth', a documentary on the photographer sebastian salgado and reading his autobiography, 'from my land to the planet', i accept his statement, 'i could never have done it without leila.'

damn, that's the missing piece. a wife, for a man or woman, gets the creative goods out into the world, plus washing the dishes while you paint, sculpt, write, or sing. without that support, i've fallen through the cracks! yet, to be fair to myself, i always preferred women who had a destiny devoted to creation. they needed the wife i could never be. 

let's see: virginia woolf had leonard woolf, william wordsworth had his sister (his poetry went to hell when he married somebody else.) what is a wife for the artist? a man or woman dedicated to your work. for example, sam wagstaff devoted to photographer robert maplethorpe, supplying money, collecting photographs, giving him presents of significant art works. both died of aids, if i remember rightly. 

and that happens to many a creative being (symbolically) while helping someone else. it's so easy to become busy being the handyman every sane woman wants. i watched my father doing it all: fixing the plumbing, working on cars, repairing the the roof. with her last partner, my mother had a blackboard in the kitchen with lists of things for him to do. and there was always a lot, since she switched from one fixer-upper to another. 

and speaking of space i've always lived in small rooms, presently happy in a 214 square foot cottage (at least with advancing age, i can grab something when i start to fall). yet to bring a wife and a dog (let's face it, it goes with the territory, and i'm not a dog lover, though five dogs live next door). it's very easy to feel crowded and claustrophobic. alas, it's happened more than once. i do admit i love cats and am feeding a neighbor's calico for company.

i'm between a rock and a hard place. money needed to woo the woman, which i don't have. young ladies expect to be treated, older ones don't want you living off them, too many men searching for such security. and i've never been properly trained. true, i remember a french-canadian film where a czech  immigrant poet survived on his wife's sewing, making his children absolutely miserable. 

and accidents happen, kids arrive surprisingly, and then what? boy, the documentaries like the one of painter alice neel filled with her two sons' bitterness. if creativity the first love, the second and third get short shrift. 
and actually, i find myself letting go, much as i enjoy reading my poems and looking at my pictures. a lot of people out there creating, who do have wives, far be it from me to expect to compete. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

can human beings evolve out of their reptile brain state?

blast, i promised myself an early sleep. unfortunately i've been watching YouTube videos on ayahuasca, a brew concocted in the amazon jungle by present day shamans. videos of people throwing up, emptying out into their pants, not exactly inspiring, and there's endless images (paintings) of the visions participants see. 

despite all the upset, the drinkers state that the next morning they feel purged of the lousy childhoods they had, the pressures to conform, the anger resulting from the suppression. having had my hands hit by a ruler in the first grade and paddled with plywood weapon by the principal in front of the fifth grade class, i can attest such experiences exist, perhaps for all of us. 

i've watched enough different episodes to come to a few conclusions. everyone seems to agree they go through an honest life-review and have to face up to all the evil things they've done to people and the guilt they carry. or the rapes, etc., they experienced as children. the result: self-hatred, nothing new to the psychiatric establishment

yet such wild and seemingly uncontrolled (and profitless for business) ceremonies simply shake the foundations of our science, upon which we depend for our sense of reality. after the life-review, participants express experiencing visions of another reality. and all claim this is not a matter of hallucinations.

of course, i read all the don juan books when they came out, i read tarot cards for several years, i've gone through a drumming journey, so all this stuff is not new to me. what is new, however, is the confirmation of my conviction human beings must be changed in some way, or they'll kill each other off. 

if this chemical concoction under the tutelage of an experience (very) practitioner can change people to the point where they absolutely wish not to harm others, then the essential problem of the reptile brain solved. alas, this can only be done in small groups. i can't imagine a TV shaman putting every human on the planet into this condition. 

where am i then, in la-la land. that would be nothing new. i have been in the scientific mode about my body and it's depressing knowing incredibly complicated it is. how can i manage to get on my feet in the morning? after being hit by a car and flipped up in the air, i staggered around with a huge boot on my fractured ankle, and i can't tell you how afraid i was of falling. 

if the fear of falling is a human beings worst fear (and i've heard it proclaimed so), then i've been thrown back into childhood, when i learned to walk. and it's little wonder alice's trip down the rabbit hole has enchanted so many children with hope: hey, i can deal with chesire cats, broken egs, pink rabbits. l won't die. they say ayahusca ruled by a benevolent deity who reassures folks they'll survive. 

i'm not ready for it. there has to be an easier way. now i don't want to go to sleep, snakes crawling through my dreams. i even battled one the other night and fell out of bed. luckily my mattress only a foot off the floor. still, not a pleasant experience. i would like to be a nice guy. it's too late. my optimum state is indifference, nothing to be proud of.