When I’m writing a journal in an continuous session, I’m alive each moment

I’ve watched Rick Beato (bee-A-toe) videos on Youtube for a while. He talks about music theory, etc. — and in recent days he posted one called something like “Coming to an End” or “All Things End,” and he said he likes watching videos of Youtubers declaring that they’re done posting to their account/channel. And Beato said most creative careers last about seven years and he said he wouldn’t make a video saying he’s done — so, I gathered that he might be saying that he’s done. And so it’s not a deep — not a hard-to-draw conclusion — that he’s quitting. But somehow this reminded me of a thing I saw yesterday in a Tex Avery Droopy cartoon — where Droopy appears everywhere a wolf in prison stripes goes to try to get away from him. Early on in their chase, there’s an image of a garbage can and a placard above it saying something like, “I’m not hiding in this can.” I think what I like about this gag and the Beato vid is that they make you (the viewer) aware of the conditions outside of the content of the statement.

{I had thought yesterday that maybe one reason I like cartoons, especially the seven-minute M.G.M. & Warner Bros. shorts, is because they have little structure. Sure there’s an intro to the scene (but for recurring bits, like Coyote & Roadrunner, intros are minimal) and some kind of ending (not always relating to the intro) but in between intros and endings are usually just gags — no building of plot points to a climax, no learning, just ongoing struggle of Sylvester to find a bird to eat, and bird evading Sylvester. That’s kinda existential, in a way. Yes, it’s gag-y, and yes, these scenarios, even for a starving cat and coyote [A neighbor’s blue-and-gray Mustang roars west. I hear an idling truck engine through north doors — there roars the Mustang, north on [intersecting] road, it sounds like] have no dire stakes. And yet, I’m more [idling ended — it was nice — then there’s a different truck, maybe the idling one, passing by on [our street]. I heard sound coming through front door and then I heard it through west window] drawn to stories where there’s little learned. I watched so many of these early in my life, perhaps they did influence me.}

Continuing from above: Maybe like these two example statements I talked about, perhaps I too am asking readers to think about the context of a statement, and not just the statement alone, when I post random bits of journal to my blog. I’m making a point about reality (about all moments in a life, in lived experience, being equal) when I post anything I write, meaning, I’m willing to post not just the selected highlights of my journals but whatever I find on that randomly selected page, even banal things. I’m implying that the moments of great insight and the moments of mere description are, well, equally valid moments — maybe not equally interesting as statements, but these are equally valid moments. Both types are moments I lived. When I’m writing a journal in an continuous session (as opposed to pocket pages notes, which are written only after I’ve plucked a moment’s idea or observation (or overheard quote) out of the flow of experience, the stream of consciousness ideas), I’m alive each moment — and that seems important to say. It’s a simple idea, really: that each moment I’m alive and conscious is worth as much, is equally a moment I could attend to and find possibility and awareness of the moment in. And this is, well, kind of a profound idea — it’s one that seems to be opposed by so much other media in our culture, which media presents selected moments, packaged, edited-together, dull parts removed (the Elmore Leonard line about editing out the parts readers would skip). So much of our cultural production (so many products) imply that what’s in the book or movie or song, etc., matters more than what’s outside of that book or movie or song — “shut up, I’m trying to listen to the dialogue,” people say to each other (M and I sometimes say it to each other while one of us is watching TV and the other (usually me) is talking — though we aren’t “shut up”-rude about it.)

Sure, Leonard’s statement makes sense if you’re writing a book that you intend to follow that “only the key parts” model (as I often tell my students, if something’s in the publish text, the author wanted it to be there — each piece of text is serving some function — and it’s this approach that I like to question in my own publishing — which isn’t to say that I leave in useless statements. Rather, that by my leaving in statements that seem disjointed or unconnected, I’m making a larger point about how texts work or how minds work (as I’ve long said that any non-traditional-form text is doing).

[From journal of Sun., 14 Aug. 2022, pages 204-7]

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