Communicating is one of my things.
Just not so much by talking.
Rather than use dialogue or conversation, I share my points of view in other ways - randomly alternating an arsenal of creative proficiencies - art, music and writing.
It’s an every day, many hour activity these days. Actually, it always has been - but as time has gone by, I have definitely become more focused and dedicated. Part of the reason is that I get a deep satisfaction from losing myself in what I’m doing. It’s a way of really getting into life. Like an athlete does, lovers do, and scientists. Dedication and application get results. And one of the delightful benefits of the creative life is that one continues to improve and advance with age (not ‘forward’ advance - it’s more multi-dimensional). There are no limits. Lovers break up, athletes lose speed and power but an artist just keeps going and going. Often we start slow, seem lazy or unmotivated at times, appear temperamental, are irregular in our output in both quality and quantity - but we keep on keeping on. The rewards are rarely material or financial - which can make enthusiasm hard to muster at times - but they are, especially when one has persevered for decades - soulfully rewarding.
I have been write things here, in this artist’s journal, steadily for the last five years. It used to be more often - and sometimes I feel like I am being neglectful of it. But the thing is; other pursuits - poems, collages and new electronic music tracks are taking up my time and energy every day. So, to set aside some time to delve into my headspace and express it in writing - not through a poem (which I love doing) and is like a tasty snack - but in stream of consciousness straight forward prose (going with the flow form) is rarer. I never really know exactly where these journal entries are going to lead - exactly what is going to come out - and to be honest I find it easier to work on one of the other creative forms - they are more inventive and engaging.
The other thing is, I don’t have to do as much introspection. I don’t have to self reflect, open up, be raw as I whisper and wispish as I roar as with the other formats. Writing for this journal is more like going for a long run. It takes commitment. Especially right before starting. The payoff is usually there - it can be cathartic, revelatory, amusing or insightful - but not always. I don’t allow myself to edit of judge what I have written - either as I am doing it - or afterwards. I just let it all out. Keeps it real, keeps the flow. When I read back on these, down the track, I want to know what I have expressed is not only honest but un-sculptured. I just want pure transcription of mind space.
So, I am here now; doing one. And what I was thinking was - what is it exactly that I wish to communicate? Is there anything that is going to make a difference? To me or anybody else? Is making a difference even my goal? Life is such a turgid, ever shifting, momentum that no one thing, nothing is really of much lasting relevance in the long run.
So why bother, eh? Especially with something like this that is non-essential - that is just the blurting out of one little human, one artist fellow who lives in a rented room in a small town and essentially does the same thing day in-day out: sleeps in/goes to beach/goes to cafe/writes/makes new artworks/goes to studio to work on new tracks/comes home/makes giant salad/surfs the net/does more writing/watches stuff/goes to sleep late/then starts again.
Creature of habit.
Essentially, I am just existing in a most basic way. I have tried to work things out so that I don’t receive many (or any) phone calls, very few emails and get no visitors where I live. I have streamlined my simple existence so that I perform the basic functions necessary for survival - to make it through the day - and then the rest of the time I fill with either nature time (meditation and exercise), coffee time (stories or poems on my iPad), art time (on canvas or digital) or music time (Ableton explorations at SAE , where I am studying - in one of the studios).
Stuff like socialising, going to an office/job, participating in group activities - are no long part of my routine. I have gone from minimising these things to eliminating them altogether. Not sure if this is ideal - now that I am saying it - but it must be what I need for the moment - otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. (Flawed logic - I know. Self delusion has got me into all sorts of strife in the past.)
Part of the reason I am conducting my time in this way is because I find some common things quite taxing. Although I can function perfectly well in any and all social situations, as time has progressed, I find them less and less rewarding. Of course, there are exceptions - like family. I always have time for my loved ones. (But I do live away from them - so the expectations are naturally limited.)
I have heard the monikers ‘hermit’ and ‘recluse’ used in reference to me recently. When I get home to the share house, I usually just go in my room and stay there - concentrate of working on my stuff. I’m not a fan of lounge rooms in general - most definitely not if there is a TV on. I hate feeling like I am wasting time - unless it is intentional - and sitting around shooting the shit is not something I chose to participate in. (Luckily my two housemates have their own blend of quirky habits and seem OK with it. Slightly puzzled, at times maybe, but accepting.
Should I be saying all this? Ha, ha. Fuck it - it’s true! The truth will set you free, it’s been said. (A relief - let’s hope it’s right.) But no, I don’t have any fear around saying it like it is in this forum. It’s all just temporary. Interpretation. Could even be fiction.
Labels are only labels, concepts and opinions ephemeral. Obviously, my life is much more intricate and abstruse than this brief account may reveal. I CAN act ‘normal’ (conforming, placating other’s expectations) - but I CHOOSE not to have to. It does not serve me or my mission - which is feeding my spirit and mind, fully creating new stuff all the time.
Did some one say ‘obsessive’? LOL. Again - just a word. And nothing wrong with healthy obsessions. You have to do something, right? No one is getting hurt. Confounded, maybe.
Although, it is totally beyond my control as to how this is interpreted - I do hope that for some readers, it opens up and sanctions new behavioural possibilities. Shows that it’s OK (I say!) to follow your own intuition, forge your own path - even if it puts you in the ‘outsider’ or dare I say - ‘weirdo’ - category. Truth is nobody else is keeping score. Everybody is fully consumed by obstacles and developments of their own - whatever that may be. Every one is doing what they must to navigate through this crazy (and occasionally partly sane) realm we inhabit.
Saying that, what is the crossover on a perception level? Say between me and you? There is much we have in common - interpretation of things - of everything - must be so different. We are all the sum of our inputs/experiences/upbringings and much of what we are is essentially just a reaction to what has been forced upon us up to this point - mixed in with a whole lot of other things, of course. It’s all so random!
Just thinking about it now is kind of blowing my mind. Not an atomic bomb level - but, you know, a hand grenade, at least. How can I even be writing this - and you reading it - and what the hell am I talking about? What am I trying to say? And why? Makes me believe that, despite what we may believe that we are all much more connected and entangled than we may think.
We all know life is freaky. Every day brings new examples. We want to keep on living - even though if you really assess it - it’s kind of hard work, mostly. Thankless even. It seems more that way, as continue to get older, anyway.
Every age has it’s own stages, it’s own challenges and rewards. When you get past fifty, there’s an undeniable shift in your relationship to life itself. It’s not only me - others have confirmed - youth and all it’s trappings are over. Many of the things you relied on to keep you interested and engaged are no longer in your spectrum. If they are they are fading. New attitudes, new behaviours become essential. I say all this like it’s some sort of revelation, surprise. And that’s because it kind of was - for me at least. It’s like the fun part of the game is over and while the game itself continues on and you remain as a player - there are parts that are no-go zones. And some of those parts may likely have been your favourite bits. The bits that you were not only good at but enjoyed.
It takes adjusting, let me tell you. (If you are around my age, you’ll relate.) At a certain point you have to do a total reassessment and work out a new approach - physically, mentally and spiritually. Mortality is a bigger consideration. Bigger picture things need to be considered. Health becomes vital - requires more vigilant attention, maintenance. Ignore it at your peril. (Some do.)
Fantasies - of great success, of perfect love, of enduring romance, of fool proof security, certainty, of changing the world - lose their muster. They are harder to sustain. As you grow and become more substantial, realistic, perhaps even of more social value - you realise more clearly how puny you and your aspirations really are in the scheme of things.
This revelation is two pronged. It can be rather depressing, distressing. But in another way, it is strangely comforting. The pressure is off. Self expectation can be corralled. After all, what is the point? Of anything?
It’s insane. But it’s also sobering.
What a journey it has been, I find myself thinking. So much! But where has it all gone? You can’t hold on to anything. Memories - they are fine and enjoyable (with a degree of payoff) but they can also be quite maddening because some of them include lifetime peaks - things that can never be recreated or relived. They can be reminders that you’ve had your go at being young and wild and reckless - and it’s over! There are still things you can do, of course, with effort, that will be rewarding - but the pay-off is reduced to 71% (estimate). They are not as prevalent or as flowing freely anymore and - I don’t know - it’s just not quite the same.
It may sound like I am complaining - but I am not. I have more or less come to terms with it all. Life has beaten into submission! (LOL. Cry. Wipe tears and shrug.) A long and slow, relentless assault. White flag!
The other prong that I mentioned - the positive one - comes once you have found acceptance. Some hoity-toity, altruistic qualities start floating around. Stuff like dignity, wisdom, endurance. You don’t immediately get any of these but, in tiny increments, they find their places in your existence. Some consolation! (It is.)
Just being a survivor is something. Connecting on deeper planes with others of your age (and all ages, in fact) brings some comfort. You are able to make conversations and connections more substantial, meaningful. Empathy is up.
A resolution not to give in too early or without profound resistance wells up in you. Sure, there’s plenty that you can’t change - but with focus and effort you can sustain what remains. You can work with what you’ve got - and by now you know well what that is - to hone it, perfect it, squeeze out whatever juice is in it.
Maybe you will become a teacher, an advisor, a mentor. You can give to your protégés the information, knowledge and encouragement that you wish you had received along the way on your own journey. You can make your life less about you and more about others. (This is a good one - natural for parents, of course - but available and rewarding to all.)
So - there you go. There I am. Here I was. A verbal ablution. An unfiltered declaration, a semi-spiritual sound off.
See what I mean? I just start writing and let it all pour out. There’s nothing particularly profound or even insightful here but it is where my head is at currently. I share because I can, because I choose to. I do it because I know myself that reading another’s truth can be illuminating, comforting. I have committed to sharing mine, as best I can - not as often as I wish, lately, as I mentioned - because above and beyond anything else we all need and want to feel connected.
The fact that I am able to share my vulnerabilities, ambivalent perceptions and my unresolved feelings without censorship is subtly uplifting. By necessity, out in society, we feel compelled to present our strongest selves but underneath, inside, we are all susceptible to a ceaseless flood of challenges and demands. If nothing else, we are versatile creatures, for sure. Each uniquely individual - but probably more alike than we realise.
So, it’s unlikely you will find yourself seated beside me at a dinner or engaged in a D&M phone convo like we may have done in the old days, so this is what you get instead - a slice of headspace to mull over and interpret in a way that best serves you. Whoever you are.
Whoever I am