Catalogue | Souvenirs | E-mail | Links
«Familiar landscapes... (x) | Front | definitely not a walk in the park »

February 18, 2004
A certain state of mind is required to achieve a certain outcome, I guess?

There was a reflection of the sign above me glowing in the building in front of me. Slight changes of color made the marble look blueish, then reddish, then a glowing, morning-white. The dow jones ticker repeated bravely messages of death and failure. The billboard on the building suggested I could print my own postage, on my own printer, now. (wow, like, now?)
I was welcome in the Surfer shop on 42nd street. The door handle, a brass surf board had a sign on it that apparently welcomed me. It also welcomed me as I was leaving the store, to go back into the street.
The subway was incredibly packed, a recorded voice repeatedly “apologized for the unavoidable delay.” The man right next to me kept coughing into the crowd, as if he were a new biological weapon. (Was he a superspreader?)
The supermarket charged me $9.99 for a bottle of Pomegranate Juice. (I will live a longer, poorer life.)
Broadway is honking outside of the window. I wonder why police cars have syrens that sound like a pack of wild monkeys.
It would be nice to look at some starry sky tonight, maybe somewhere in the desert, from the roof of a slowly cooling car.
As the metal cools off, it makes these cracking sounds. Yes, this would probably be what I would like to do tonight. And I would probably never write about it…
as writing about it would probably be the last thing on my mind…

It is strange how the reporting about anything we do requires a certain mental infrastructure. One needs a particular interest about a situation first, the moment needs to be special enough and somehow fit the expectation to be put into words or pictures or sounds. Then these need to be chosen wisely… somehow…
Maybe the very best moments of one’s life are really the unrecorded ones. The best moments usually do not happen when we have a pen ready or a camera… or whatever it takes to record and store outside of us…
What makes us think that we can find beauty on the pages of books, or in the frames of images if these were written and made somehow far from the actual moments of beauty?… I know I will never write about my most beautiful moments… and I certainly did not take any pictures and I probably will not…
Oh well, one could still try to reinvent these moments, stack up some words in some language… take or make pictures in a way known to the contemporary (wo)man… make these re-inventions of something that could resemble something that is close to the actual experienced moment… hmm… does not sound very easy to me…
If this is such a difficult task, why would anybody waste any time (re)inventing anything else but beauty?
I wonder if anybody here is going to tap me on my shoulder some day and just tell me that what I am writing here is utter nonsense?… (And I wonder if it mattered…)


hi witold,
two things:

1) the sound of the engine cooling is a wonderful thing. especially, if one is using the car's hood as a chaise lounge.

2) what you have written is not nonsense. i foresee no shoulder tapping. not that it would matter ;)

Posted by: mare on February 19, 2004 01:42 AM

That's the problem with this webloging thing i guess. Anyone can keep a journal, as private and as mundane as they see fit. But something else happens when you decided to put something out there, on the interwebnet. Once you get past the sheer, "because it's there", and voyeuristic aspects what are you left with? For me it's a way of putting everything into context, albeit a subjective one. Obsessively chronicling the passing days, and the things that would of been otherwise forgotten. Some days there are objective things to discuses. Movies, art, politics, etc. But things get slippery when you start trying to pin down how you felt at at a particular time and how you share that with an omnidirectional and omnipresent audience. I am not a spiritual person, but it almost becomes a kind of litney or prayer. Voicing things out into the open because they have meaning, and that meaning is enough of a reason to voice them.

As an aside look into Henry Darger's weather journals. For years he chronicled the weather in chicago. Pitting his observations against the weatherman's, keeping notations and descriptions in a terse 'hemingway' like language. Looking at it now gives insight into the character of a man. There is something about that that is important, seemingly meaningful. Back then it was just obsessive neurotic rambling.

Posted by: boxx on February 19, 2004 02:38 AM

this sadly reminds me of my boyfriends's last trip to London. The batteries died in his camera just as we were on our way to see all the "sights". He was consumed with the task of fixing this camera, when I mentioned that perhaps he could just enjoy the sights (what a concept) without recording it. His reply confuses me to this day. He said "Oh, yes...for the memories." I said "No, not for the memories...for the present. To enjoy the present right now!!" Now we are getting into another postings territory. I'll stop here.

Posted by: christy on February 19, 2004 02:44 AM

there will never be any shoulder-tapping... another wonderful entry :)

Posted by: shauny on February 19, 2004 04:55 AM

If anyone taps you on the shoulder, just conk them over the head.  I hereby give you permission.

Posted by: Meredith on February 19, 2004 09:42 AM

Thank you so much for these amazing comments... : )

Posted by: witold on February 19, 2004 05:27 PM

i used to think I had "lost" a day when I did not write about it or take a picture of it. but I look back and see the best times of my life were when I just did things and didn't worry about recording them. it's the quandary of the examined life, I guess. either way, I like what you have to say.

Posted by: katie on February 19, 2004 05:31 PM

Memory is a wonderful thing. It naturally fades away the negative memories (if not block them altogether) and the nice ones are easily recoverable. Photos can't do that.

Posted by: Emily on February 20, 2004 09:56 PM

Here you have the freedom of shoulder tappers and if you ever feel their presence open the gates and let loose the hounds.

Posted by: Be Cool on February 21, 2004 02:18 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?