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Thursday, October 28, 2010

1993 Journal - Part II




April 1, 1993 - Is history only the record of violent struggle? -  poems,  sculptures, paintings, plays, all hold up in spite of war, prosecution, terror, despair. But then they too break. History may be nothing more than a chronology of breaking points, fractures in the earth of mind. Creative ideas, the tough bits that other ideas break over. Our cultural genome, the part that survives - the bits that live on.

How we fill the hours of this day is not part of our human mythos. This it is not history, nor is it taught, so it cannot be culture. Something about that average life must transcend, must either create a line of poetry, out of the wastes of boredom, or create new forms from old, or, react in anger and strike effectively against the status quo to enter the cultural genome. Artist and terrorist are alike finally, though at different poles. So many terrorists are merely those that wished to change the world, and so enter the mythology, and are not remembered as terrorists, but as heroes by some, as history makers by others, and as villains by most.

It is the same with art. There is art, and there is bad art, which is not remembered at all.

When much time has passed, all names dissolve into one or two names, a king, a president, a nation. And then when that is done, and the parade has gone by, those names in turn dissolve and form, a single letter, (cf. Robert Graves).

This is a record of mass dissolving into information. A length of theoretical string will break again and again, but only at its weakest points. Inevitably what remains is a record of tearing apart, of strengths and weakness at each frayed end.

The toss and tumult of politics and intense personal life, is made by coloring, accentuating, forgetting, inflaming, designing, and changing. What changes is ready for change.

A superstring concept of clumping . . .

Mythos, the historical fruit of many minds, lives for generations, compresses all this information, into a single story which pervades every medium. Itself it is a thing without form, though it possesses the ultimate intelligence, meaning, and is hence limitless in detail. A people struggles for generations, and somehow, everything useful that that is learned is put into their mythos, their mythtype. All details may be reconstructed from such tales of enormous power.

There is a way to take any mythos and unlock every detail it contains. It will say everything, but it will make it a story, and it will forget that time existed. So for time-bound creatures as ourselves, these stories will always be mysterious.

I remember those seeds and shells, that we as children were given as a surprise years ago. Placed in water they opened up and released an underwater world of fish, seaweed, and mermaids. The shells were scallops that had been harvested, and the world of fish and mermaids they let loose were cutouts of paper and string. But a child sees this, and finds it real.

A myth is such a seed, dormant in dessication, but in each telling, releases some hidden bit of meaning.

Cottage Street, home, many weeks without Ami and the children, blissfully quiet, but incredibly painful looking for work, not enough money to buy the barest art supplies. This computer has been purchased with credit, a plausible tool to increase our joint earning power, secretly I have it for another agenda.

Many sculpture forms and ideas swimming around inside of me. Incredibly frustrating and painful not having the materials, or tools to express them. I am determined to find a schedule, a job that supports us, and living arrangements where my art is possible, has the space, tools, and materials that it needs. This will be difficult. My art needs my energies focused as never before. I need this personally for my own sanity and mental health.

Tuesday April 20, 1993 - Much to and fro about the company, also a lot of time spent looking for new jobs and job ideas. Spent 3 days in the Boston area training on a new real-time editing system called the AVID, very excited about this. Ami and I trying harder than ever to make long term plans. Slowly, out of all the bits and pieces of my thinking and the company debacle emerges a picture of the world we live in. I am beginning to see things, I'm re-reading old books, nosing about my writing and drawing, feeling the sculpture urge as strongly as ever. The kids are faster growing than April sprouts, plastering the house with their poops, forcing Ami to do four or five laundries a week. The stress of parenthood. My sister Barbie is living with us, and comes out in the morning with giggles about our childrearing headaches.

At home in the evenings I play at designing neural networks (I have yet to put one together that works) but am genuinely fascinated. Some video production houses have responded positively to my resume and a job seems possible. Ami and I talk long hours about the future, whether to move to India or stay in the Northeast.

G___ and M___ came over on Sunday, last week. The day before, they had both told all their friends that M___ was eleven weeks pregnant. Now, as we sat on our living room floor watching “Star Wars”, she stood up suddenly and dashed to the bathroom. Ami went with her, and then came back a short time later to look for a jar. G___ took the jar into the bathroom. The fetus and placenta had come out. Even at eleven weeks they saw the little body, and the bones, and described the placenta as having a cluster of swollen vessels ‘ like an aneurysm’. G___ excused himself and took the jar over to his biology lab to immerse the remnants of their child in some formaldehyde.

When he got back we resumed watching the movie. On one level it had a been a pregnancy that they had only been hopeful about for a short time. On another level, it was a real death, but one that we couldn't really understand in many ways. We all sat there wondering which it was. I was first puzzled why G___ wanted to preserve the remains - but later I thought to honor them - what else does one do? Later, trying to make light of the incident, he said he wanted to dissect it. His softer side was showing.

M___ tried to be strong, but I could see she was near tears the whole day, holding back hysteria, holding back on a pit inside of her, that she was terrified of looking into.

She insisted on driving home.

Saturday April 24, 1993 - Ideas for the structure of a book, talks with Ami, thoughts about media, nationalism, etc.

Monday April 26, 1993 - Daffodils are up, filling the passageway at the back of the building with a heady scent. Yesterday I read through a lot of outdated Vanity Fair magazines, and went through scenting all the samples for the perfume ads.

Some of the new smells are quite daring in their resemblance to different body parts.

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