Not Knowing, I go on and on…

I am so happy to have undefined time!  Holiday!  One of the time wasters is following the white rabbit down that inevitable hole that is the internet. This morning, a Facebook spirit posted this:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/george-michael-dead-death-somebody-to-love-queen-freddie-mercury-cover-rehearsal-video-david-bowie-a7496046.html

It is a rehearsal with George Michaels singing Queens “Somebody to Love” (which is possibly the purest genius of Western music, just my opinion).  And there is Mr. Jones smiling in the background.

So that got me thinking about Bowie and the time I spent trying to look like him.  I spent some time during my teens doing a lot of psychedelic substances while wandering around back alleys with friends, who like me, had no place to go, their family homes having turned into fortresses clearly defined by their lack of comfort or welcome for the likes of us.  If we had become unrecognizable to our families they had also become unrecognizable to us. But we were seeking guidance from heroes who were children themselves, reading voraciously in a way our parents never had, Ken Kesey, Vonnegut, Carlos Castaneda, Solzhenitsyn, Tolkien, following Art and Culture, yet undefined, with a kind of devotion  found in cults. (No wonder our parents were afraid of us.)  But I was still just a girl, in love with a boy… so I looked up what I wrote about  David Bowie, here on LJ and found the following. (I edited a bit).

An artist questions… she is naked, so we dress her in what we understand, but we only show our own misunderstanding.

If we can bear the embarrassment, and this is the point when we can change, when we laugh and start open up; we realize we all are these frail and imperfect beings, naked in what we thought was our brilliance, vulnerable.

Our true brilliance is, …we are all like stranded aliens, homesick and searching. Looking for a name for ourselves and hiding in our lies. When a voice reaches out of the rubble left by our insistent need conquer anyone who questions us, it is a voice of pure desperate need.  George singing in joy, in desperation, “Find me somebody to love”:  These are the moments when even the Gods are gobsmacked.

And then I came to my friend (? I flatter myself), Sub Rosa, here on W.P. Her writing about art has challenged me in new ways and the work and writings she has exposed me to in her blog have lit a bit of a fire in me.  This poem is advice on how we keep the brilliance from shredding us to pieces. Have I reached the time when I can?

<a href=”https://omstreifer.com/2016/08/05/live-the-questions/”>https://omstreifer.com/2016/08/05/live-the-questions/ </a>

I will end here because I am hungry because I now know what my desperate need is, not someone to love, but something… I have to tighten it till it reaches the pitch required to achieve escape velocity, just for my own satisfaction, as if it’s all I ever wanted.

Because no matter how horrible we humans are we do our best when we are lost and on the brink of disaster.

And now, in addition, I come to the loss of Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher who so artfully made struggle for mental wellness lyric, and comic and true and made room for all of us to admit our vulnerability. When she was Princess Leia the boys pretended to love her tits, but it was her courage we all loved. As temporary as youth and beauty are, courage can grow and she showed us how.

(Side note, apparently sleep is the new way to stay young. Oh Gwenith Paltrow why must you?  I must admit I giggled a lot when I read that.)

Today was hard.

Only one closet left to empty.

Got hit behind the knees by something, had to just stop.  the sun is shining through the basement window and as it sets it reaches all the way to the furthest wall of the basement. If I lean back from the computer I can interrupt it, but not for long. it is already below the horizon as I type this but I still am slightly blinded from watching it.

Stupid transience.

What Did We Bring to the Show?

There is an MTV “news” video  video circulating on Facebook that is an interview with David Bowie.  I am surprised they leave it up but perhaps it is like the Kings New Clothes story, only an honest man can see the king is naked.It is a perfect example of Bowie’s genius and part of what gets fans confused.  They own parts of his life but can’t swallow the whole.

As Iman says, “I fell in love with David Jones. The other thing is a persona.”  David Bowie was a performance and as he got older he got more nuanced and subversive.  Yes, he ran into problems at times when he got lost in the story, but that’s what artist’s do.  But he survived and continued to jar our perceptions right up until the last.

An artist questions it’s audience. We think he/she is naked, we dress him/her in what we understand, but we only become naked ourselves in our own misunderstanding.

This is the point when we can change, when we can laugh and be open and compassionate because we all are these frail and imperfect beings, naked in what we thought was our brilliance.  Like stranded aliens, seeking a home, a definition of selfhood and stumbling on the cost of these things, when we see our reflection.

Tulips always seem like the no-nonsense flowers of the garden, they have no pleasant, sentimental fragrance, they are so clean. When they finally open they splay their petals in a disturbingly unabashed fashion, like someone’s horny drunken old aunt.

That is an exerpt from a story I wrote over at Live Journal.

A Poem A Day, Day Twenty-nine

My Painting of You

Long ago,
when we thought we were grown up,
I skipped and stumbled to keep pace with your long strides,
the boards of the boardwalk passing beneath our feet.
We spent nights drinking beer and smoking cigarettes
conspiring the destruction of everything,
like best existentialist friends.

The last time I saw you
I was clinging to the east coast.
We sat in your living room and talked all night
while manic moths danced and banged against the window.
I can’t squeeze from my memory what we talked about.
I think I told you the truth,
but only after you had fallen asleep.

When your wife called, her voice sounded as if it was coming
from the depths of the sea,
she called me to tell me,
because someone had to tell me,
you had drowned…

Salt water will resist pigment.
Where droplets fell on the paper
there are spaces that I can’t fill in.
My children, forever young, are peeking out from behind the trees,
and you are sitting on a rock.
I have encased you in light and darkness.
Your face is turned slightly away,
as you look out at the sea.

A Poem A Day, Day Twenty-six

Neighbours

There was garbage in the middle of the road and a crow had stopped to eat it
when she was stuck
by a car.
Her mate
swooped by her
pulling at her black wings
trying to revive her, cawing.
Soon the tree in my front yard was full of black, cawing crows.

Over and over a crow would fly over her
all of the rest of them cawing,
heads back as if gulping
some invisible rain,
while random cars made less of her each time they edged over the line.

Eventually
the traffic lessened and
there was nothing left of her
and the tree emptied of
crows.

I tryed to tell a neighbour about it but before I could she said, “I HATE crows!”

Walking Around Cemeteries

This is a link to Urbpan’s post about his guided nature walk around Cedar Grove Cemetery, which I think is near Boston.

planted boots

This photo caught my eye: planted boots.  The inscription says, “Miss you Uncle John”.

I had a conversation about “sentiment” recently and how to make “place” and space for objects that reflect things that signify important remembrances. This is something that humans do, out of (almost?) all other animals.  However, often things just get piled up and instead of being beautiful and significant they become just a confusion of “stuff” and garbage.

This pair of boots with plants growing out of them are like a poem of remembrance and a recognition of impermanence. They stand in perfect contrast to all the cold stone markers.