Tag Archives: January 2022

How boring to write things that did or could happen: January notes

¶ Driving today, I heard NPR’s ATC introduce someone by saying they had made a movie (or, according to ATC rundown, “his latest film“) — the sense I got was that making a film was a dull act, a commercial act — completing a marketable-length work. It made me all the more eager to make noncommercial-length works! And maybe, it made me want to not even finish artworks! [6 Jan. 2022]

¶ Do I write like I am? Probably not — I may see or say more problems when I write. I might be more gentle in person. Or maybe not. [7 Jan.]

Justice Cat in our Christmas tree, 1 Jan. 2022.

C. Lindy told me my yearbook, the first one I’d been responsible for as advisor, looked like a yearbook. He was unimpressed. But he was sick. I felt disappointed, but today, years later, I realized that he was telling me that when you’re sick, not much else matters. What good is philosophy when you’re losing your mind? Or when you have moods? (Even mild moods? Rational philosophy doesn’t help much when we’re animals (partly, of course, but also fundamentally, we’re animals, we’re bodies)). Nietzsche left Basel in 1876-1877, so 32-33 years old. In Jan. 1889, Nietzsche collapsed, got demented — age 44 (maybe had a brain cancer, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says). My point is, sure, do what you can while you live — and yet, all that philosophy did him no good once he lost his mind. So I think philosophy might not offer the full/holistic aspect (to our animal and mental natures)that, say, poetry does? Music? Something else that’s not fully rational?

¶ My writings and my favorite writings (by others?) as slippery spots, showing you things aren’t as solid as you might think. [13 Jan. 2022]

¶ Cobbler experiences the making of the shoes. I wrote in journal this morning the idea that cobbling (or any act of creation or doing) involves certain movements, acts, that the cobbler learned over time/practice and may not be aware of doing and so wouldn’t tell others he’s doing them. But the shoemaker has the experience of making the shoe (as cook has the experience of making food, as writers have of making texts). The wearer/eater/reader (customer) has the experience of wearing, eating, and reading. A maker isn’t just making for others — one is having the experience of making. [14 Jan.]

¶ The social aspect of author-voice in texts to others — the urge/motive to convince others and/or defend oneself. Any writing meant for others is caught up in one’s ego with respect to others. Writing for self (in journals, for example) is a way out of that social situation. [14 Jan.]

¶ How boring to write things that did or could happen, experiences I did or could have, when instead writings (like Exquisite Corpse lines, like journal fragments) can instead (and more interestingly) disrupt normal thoughts — not soothe or represent experience but operate at a level to confuse or confront the mind with something new, something that forces a mind out of the familiar ruts of known patterns. This ideas is at least partly inspired by the Hollander essay from yesterday and it connects what I’ve loved about Ex. Corpses with creation of poems and other texts — and does this connect, is this the reading analogue to the freewriting experience of being interrupted by new ideas? And interruption may be the fundamental experience (default setting) of consciousness more than holding a thought is? [14 Jan.]

¶ Publish only what’s weird (in whatever way)! This can be a guideline for me — that I don’t need to publish things that don’t surprise in some way (and, yes, my random journals may still surprise — I’m not sure — even slow-seeming journal bits are OK). But, yeah, Exquisite Corpse-level weirdness as a guideline, a goal? Eh, just publish whatever you want to — I like Thoreau’s journals, as simple as they are. [20 Jan.]

Sunrise on ice-encrusted snow. 9 Jan. 2022.

¶ The things that happen in a life, these surprises — just writing about these makes for interesting narrative? [22 Jan.]

¶ Seeking overlap of who you’re making art for and who’s reading it (me and me, in my recent writings). [31 Jan. 2022]