“Certain subjects begin to repeat themselves: dogs chase the Google Street View car in Peru and Russia, while a dog in Chile just stares as the car goes by; workers by the side of the road wear bright orange uniforms in one country, bright orange ones in another.” [ from the New Yorker, An Agoraphobic Photographer’s Virtual Travels, on Google Street View, by Andrea Denhoed]
I woke up this morning,
The smell of your hair shampoo lingering in my nostrils,
That scent which mixes with our sweaty bodies
After dancing for an hour and I kiss your forehead.
I see your glistening face looking up at mine
When you’ve fallen because I’m not always the best dancer,
Losing my grip in order to complete a spin or turn.
This taste of cigarettes on your lips lingers in my moustache,
Our kisses drunkenly misplaced between dances.
We moved the world last night.
Yes, you and I.
Our skills include dancing,
But we also know sawing, drilling, sewing, hammering, cutting,
Words, of course, with double meaning,
Words which become memes instantly,
Words we understand in the loving look only you and I share,
In the funny looks we shared when we were alone together on my birthday.
Never say you’re empty inside
Because I’m always there,
Laughing with you,
Sharing jokes, but,
When you fall,
There to pick you up again and keep dancing.
I’ll catch you this time, next time, you want to run into arms.
Everytime you do, I don’t want to let go.
Where was I?
I have gotten lost lately, lost in the thick, foggy ME soup.
Forgotten how to have fun, how to write jokes with obvious punchlines (but no laugh tracks).
Is it something about getting older?
Age is just a number.
I have to admit to myself that I have material I want to write down but don’t out of respect for people’s privacy and I am bothered that my artistic independence is making a sacrifice for others — how dare they impede readers who might improve or change their lives based on what I’ve written! [Not that I have many readers, mind you, but potentially billions might entertain their eyeballs or ears for a few minutes at any time…]
And if I give myself permission to lose all the friends I have to share with quasianonymous readers the stories of my friends’ lives?
I miss my friends.
I miss a regular job with daytime work hours, with weekends off to spend time with friends and family, temporarily prevented by a lack of self-esteem, no belief in self-worth, feeling like I have nothing to give this world but written words.
It’s time to create a new music video.
With my wife out of town this weekend, and my switching to evening work hours for the next few weeks, I have time to devote to my art, including shooting comic videos.
I have to admit to myself I have difficulty maintaining a thought set that allows me to honestly share myself with my friends, turning my thoughts into a narrative I can control and manage real people into.
Thus, I am an artistic outsider, with imaginary friends who appear on Facebook and occasionally show up in real life.
It seems weird but it’s true.
It’s almost a revelation of some sort, like the blue pill/red pill scene in The Matrix, showing me what my whole life has been, a real illusion, a real story overriding the interconnected sets of states of energy in motion which have no set labels or set boundaries.
When I stop watching television news, stop reading news headlines, stop paying attention to anything that appears to be product promotion or ad copy disguised as a science article, my illusions change…
I forget subcultural clues, stop responding to cultural triggers.
I return to my life in the forest, the Wandering Wonderer becoming the stationary Meditative Monk again.
I lose all my friends, stop wanting to love, no longer share realtime observations.
I no longer care about making a viral video and just express me as artistically pure as nature is.
My friend, you said you no longer know what love is and I don’t know if you still feel that way.
I love you and I’m still figuring out how to make more of my time available to you, if you want it.
I want to write about you, about our friends, about the everyday struggles in case it might, like dance, help someone feel better or find a way out of a tough mental situation.
But I respect your privacy and I admit I’m stuck right now finding a way to balance my belief that you support my artistic independence against not writing down events in our lives that others (and probably we) don’t want to be written down, almost lying in the process.
Last time I was at this point in my artistic expression, I walked away from you. This time, I’m just taking a couple of days to decide what to do next, willing to stand here and feel pain while I’m sorting myself out, rather than running away and hiding once again.
I’m moving forward, and even though I stop in my tracks sometimes, it’s still progress.
You gave me the strength this past week to look back 50 years in my life to see who I really am; in this case, I’ll only tell you in person and not write it down because I’m learning to respect my privacy at this point in my life while I assemble the pieces to build my new life offline; otherwise, it just becomes another short story that sort of ties in with the other stories in this blogosphere.
My life is not just a story.
Sometimes it’s real.
It’s time to practice dancing a WCS routine!
Trischnia adjusted her large celebrity sunglasses studded with pink rhinestones.
Sitting under the shade of a party tent erected on the grounds of Downtown Ducktown, a spring-fed park used primarily for public events, Trischnia wanted a perfect view of this year’s art festival to paint for next year’s poster.
Her mother fanned herself with her large garden hat.
The ArtFest celebrated different themes each year. This year’s theme, From Hear to Eternity, celebrated deaf and hard-of-hearing artists, including painters, sculptors, musicians and dancers of all ages, encouraging young people with physical challenges to express their creativity.
Lysal was in Trischnia’s thoughts. She didn’t know Lysal well but had heard of her through Guin and Shelmi.
Trischnia thought about how her friends came and went in the daily activities of her life but were always there in her thoughts.
Living in Rocket City, a high-tech hub, Trischnia met a lot of people with engineering and science knowledge who wanted to create a hyperhuman, an artificial intelligence being with humanlike features but superrobotic skills.
She mixed blue and white on her palette to emulate the washed-out blue sky of this humid mid-spring day in late April, cloudless and muggy, the temperature around 30 deg Celsius.
Should she add the gaggle of Canada geese which flew out of the pond at sunrise?
As she painted, she smiled at her boyfriend who was talking to the snowcone vendor on the sidewalk.
Her business was growing, should she say successfully?
Her paintings sold well, the handmade soaps and candles were moving off the shelf and she had doubled the size of her art gallery twice.
What is success?
Would a robot ever replace her or any of the artists out here and why would they?
Sure, she sold lithographs and other reproductions of her work, including postcards, which, by extension, were a sort of autonomous replication of human-produced originals.
But would a robot ever be her, able to paint and think at the same time?
How would a robot process thoughts of someone like Lysal, whom it wouldn’t know directly? Sure, it could look up facts about Lysal through online databases but could it have feelings about unknown persons?
How would feelings make a robot a better person, able to grow as an artist?
Why would a robot bother to have feelings?
Do engineers and scientists have to waste time reproducing humans when they could be making better lives for humans who already exist?
Her mother coughed, worrying Trischnia about her mother. She had just recovered from a bad bout of flu and probably shouldn’t be out here helping Trischnia sell paintings.
Trischnia would have to ask Guin about Lysal, see if she was also an engineer and what she felt about being duplicated as a robot.
She looked at the artists with their tents set up around the pond. How many of them are better artists because of their physical challenges? If medical professionals could create perfect versions of these artists, would they still be artists?
And what of artists with severe mental challenges?
Trischnia laughed to herself. She realised the ArtFest theme applied well to her — she had an eternity of questions to ask, always seeking to improve herself, her art, and the world around her, no challenge too great to overcome.
Reliving chemistry classes in my thoughts today.
Catalysts and reagents, for instance.
I should be getting ready for work but I’m thinking of the one constant in my life lately, who has served as catalyst and reagent.
The one who opened me up to the realisation I can love myself, perhaps for the first time.
The one who gives me hope and belief in the future.
The one who knows what it’s like to put yourself completely into your artistic endeavour, allowing your vulnerabilities to be out there unprotected for the pure sake of art.
Time for grumpy man to appear.
I’m of mixed opinion here. As much as I enjoy reading various authors’ work, I care a little bit about our species’ contribution to climate change (formerly known as global warming, not Prince) but if the authors who have kids are going to burn fossil fuel for frivolous holidays, then I say let Rome burn — if they don’t care about their children’s future, why should I?
How many people talk about caring for the environment while eating plastic food, getting plastic surgery, and driving plastic cars but putting a few plastic bottles on the curb for recycling each week like trying to stop a tsunami with a pitchfork?
Okay, grumpy man stump speech is over.
Might be time to go see one of them talkie moving picture shows to let my back heal from too much heavy lifting while recycling reclaimed lumber.
Best you pray for a giant volcano eruption to cool the planet for a few decades, eh?