Wednesday, August 7, 2013

John Cleese and Ivory Towers

Ivory Tower by ~inthewings
Art and living seem to have an inherently antagonistic relationship to one another. Probably because they both take time, and place demands on the person doing them. Its very possible that I mean "creation" more than I mean "art" because creating something sucks. Actually creating it. Dreaming it up, storming it out, and making its skeleton is great fun, but the work itself sucks, and I'm going to post here and cry about it for a bit.

The problem of course is that I'm a "binger". I binge. I fixate. I crush. I love the idea of a thing passionately, and, quite frequently, find myself terrified of actualizing the thing. Making it mortal. Giving it flesh. Pulling it from the spirit world of amorphous ideal forms and shadows and nailing it, screaming to a corporeal form with symbols and lines. Because I could do it wrong. I could fuck it up. I could fail in my execution and fail in my presentation and fail in my communication and cause the audience to despise this creation of my affection. But the fear is kind of off topic, and I should talk about the lack of self control.

When I write, or when I create, it's kind of like falling down a flight of stairs. It happens all at once, it's not the best way to do it, and I'll probably just hurt myself in the process. But when I hit the bottom it's done, so fuck it. I try to be disciplined, but I just don't care about it. I fight it. Twenty minutes a day. Write twenty minutes a day. Do that and one day you'll be good. But I don't. Even when I try, I don't. My mind rails off and has an existential fight with itself to prove that it's all just fucking meaningless anyway, and the page stays blank. Or gets doodles on it. Or lots of crossed out words because I know I'm forcing it, so I try and perfect it as I go in an effort to spite myself instead of just letting it flow. It's dumb.

But, it's because art and living hate each other. Living requires all this stuff. All this... maintenance. And focus. And effort. Cook. Clean. Eat. Pay the bills. Maintain someone else's system in order to receive money to facilitate living in a certain way. Pay attention to the people that love you. Listen to their stories. Care. Remind them you reciprocate their feelings with your actions. Maintain. Is living just maintenance? Maintaining the body. Maintaining the relationships. Maintaining, maintaining, maintaining. And in all this. Through all this, and perhaps sometimes even despite all this, find time to create. To work. To build.

Is that it? Is that the allure of art? It's something... something that exists on its own and doesn't need maintenance. It doesn't need to be maintained. It doesn't need to be maintained because it's dead. The object is the corpse of the art. It's not the art. But that's not the point.

The point. Ivory Towers and the Work of creation. That's the point. Or it was supposed to be. If you don't have time, or perhaps it's better said, if you don't make time then you're not going to be able to break the dam on creativity as articulated so beautifully by John Cleese:

Time and isolation. A retreat from the demands of living. It's like a fucking dream. But power is freedom and wage-slaves ain't got neither.

I really suck at finishing things, but this is why I never tried to just kickstart an idea, and I just need to figure out a way to get my hands on some time. There's gotta be some out there somewhere I can beg, borrow or steal.

And you know... the silliest thing about all of this is that I continue to make progress on the project, I guess I just really want to be fucking finished, but I can't stop feeling like I'm slogging through mud.

So now, I'll end a bad post with a trite quote and get the fuck off the internet for a while:

"On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait, and waiting—died!" - George W. Cecil (who conscripted it from others, like all good ideas).


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