18 June 2017

Let the mad sparkles from the river suck the fear out of you

(I'll apologize for the title and image in the post-postscript.)


since there's nothing that ever happens in my neck of the woods, and everything is funneling towards doom, the only patches of good time that I am afforded are in the provocations to the imagination found in books and movies. The week that just passed was saved by The Putin Interviews, Oliver Stone's latest four-hour film, which was shown in four parts: one on Mon, one Tues, one Wed and one Thurs. And the day that comes before Mon is Sun, and that's when the new episode of David Lynch's Twin Peaks: The Return airs. (Tonight!!!) So from Sun thru Thurs I could live each day with hope. I hoped for 8pm to come to pass, as that hour coincidentally was the starting time of both of these fine programs. Then at nine they're over, and it's back to blank for another TWENTY-THREE hours. And there remained the problem: What about Fri and Sat? For those two days are Lynchless as well as Stoneless, which works out to 48 hours devoid of promise.

I cured Fri by watching a Hitchcock movie that happened to be on TV. (No need to give the title: it's not important.) There's something about Hitchcock's weird precision, it's like a fetish for clarity, which pleases me enough to provide respite from the truth, alias the world, alias Dullsville. So that killed Fri; at least Fri night. And then last night, which was Sat, I discovered (which is to say: happened across an email that mentioned it) a documentary directed by Jon Nguyen called David Lynch: The Art Life (2016). I'll devour anything about Lynch, so I sought out and watched (that is: streamed online) this title eagerly while not expecting much (as documentaries on Lynch, of which I've viewed a number, usually leave me unimpressed), but this effort was pretty satisfying. It deals mostly with the personal, private side of Lynch's life up until the time when he started making his first feature film.

During the screening, I made this minor observation: While Lynch is wearing gloves to spread some sort of sandy compound on a canvas, I'M wearing gloves to spread cement on a cracking basement wall. (I was repairing leaks to our complex's foundation at that moment.) By noting this, I didn't mean to insinuate that Lynch has never had to endure the dictates of necessity – after all, successful artistry consists of expending energy in a way that renders one's interactions with necessity as more of a dance than a battle; and Lynch's attraction, for me, in large part stems from his being more familiar with this type of success than most other popular artists – I just wish that I would remember to choose to turn over the body-reigns more often to my true "I" (my soul spark; my central self) than my superego (my hypercritical master-self; my internal overseer); for I control both phenomena. But acting as a gentle-person and deferring to the age's codes of politeness is a way of valuing others. And I am nothing if not a connoisseur of otherness.

Born in a fanger (= "fun" + "manger") . . .

I gather that Lynch didn't live an exceptionally charmed adolescence, and he didn't come from an abnormally affluent family; but I still react with jealousy when I hear about how events transpired for him. Knowing just one person at the right moment who is sympathetic toward your spiritual gifts can make the difference between a life of harmony or discord. (As it is written: There was never any more heaven or hell than there is NOW.) My gifts are different from Lynch's, but they're every bit as abundant. I am X% fire.

His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of flame, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. (Daniel 10:6)

I don't say this out of arrogance. We should all see ourselves this way: it is most accurate.

As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. (Ezekiel 1:13-14)

Watching Lynch work with paint, and with other drippy substances, filled me with love. My medium of choice is text. I am happiest with the written word; but I admire anyone who works in these neighboring realms: wires and metals, foam, acrylics or oils or whatever – dough, even; or gizzards. Lynch reminds me that there's nothing stopping an artist from going to the grocery store and buying choice cuts of chicken, so as to morph them into a masterpiece. I say "morph" instead of "paint" or "sculpt" since there's no precise name to call the act that Lynch lures me to fail to articulate. I don't want to say "mash" because that sounds too careless.

And, now that I'm thinking twice about it, it doesn't seem right to "go to the grocery store" to purchase your artistic materials. It seems better to find them in the wild. But I want to stress intensely that I do not mean to go hunting for living beings: no, thrice underscored: I mean stumbling upon whatever has already given up the ghost.

Actually, I take back even what I just tried to say. I don't like the idea of using any kind of cadavers on your canvas. As I said, I much prefer words: they're clean, they don't carry deadly microbes. You can chop them and they don't spurt out lifeblood, unless you SAY that they do: "I broke the sky in half, and it spilled blue ooze onto the meadow."

Yesterday we went for a walk during the part of the day that the forecast had warned might contain rain showers, and we saw white and slate clouds on the horizon, and some of them were smearing towards the earth, like someone feathered them with a paint brush – I assumed this indicated that there was precipitation in those areas – and one section above was wholly free of clouds, and its color was deep. I remarked to my sweetheart that that color of blue was beautiful, and that there are probably certain planets in faraway galaxies that have a different makeup to their atmosphere, so that instead of appearing blue their sky looks bright green. And maybe their grass is rich blue. But then I decided that the thought about the blue grass was too dull to voice because, if taken together with my remark about the alien sky, it would become apparent that my thoughts were proceeding programmatically to simply reverse the colors of our own home planet: for here the grass is dun and the sky is gray.

Now amidst all of his creative endeavors, David Lynch has children, even young children, yet he continues to work on artistic ideas. And my neighbors have children, and they (I guess) do not have artistic ideas. And I myself have artistic ideas but no children. Children are good, but they cost time and money and effort. If I were a despot, I'd have cash to spare (from bribes received) for the raising of children; and, although I'd probably lack the effort (which is to say: I'd lack the desire to expend any of my existing effort) to help raise my children personally, I'd possess riches sufficient to hire someone else to use THEIR effort (like a billionaire's breasts can just buy out the breasts of a wet nurse). And the same goes for time. Time and effort are maybe the same thing. So maybe space is effort also. Anyway, the point is that fathers...

I was going to say that males are bad for not wanting to care for their offspring, but now I've decided against it. Some males care for their children, it must be true. Maybe my neighbors do, for theirs. Maybe Lynch does, for his. And against the direction I was traveling in my brainstorm above, I think that I would make a fine guide for my own daughters, if I had any. Because, if I were ever to deign to beget, I'd beget only daughters: never a son. No Absaloms for this Messiah (2nd Samuel 18:33). Not because I wish to have females exclusively – that's just the way things turned out; that's what the LORD granted me. Children are miracles, so they say. They result from the almighty dictator: Luck of the Draw. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. ...Yet I noticed, in watching the Lynch documentary, that it was some painter that he met along life's way – his friend's father, rather than his own, if I remember right – who helped Lynch out and propped Lynch up, and who even cautiously intervened when Lynch's bio-dad grew impatient with his son's artistic lifestyle. Tho I still wouldn't label this a "misunderstanding solved" but rather a "misunderstanding smoothed." For parents never understand.

There's this idea: Parents hate art (conventional parents, that is; not artistic parents—artistic parents are mortal gods, not parents), or at least they hate the thought of their own children pursuing a life of art, because they see art as a precarious career choice; so their hatred for the spiritual bent of their child is based on an obsession over their child's physical wellbeing. Isn't that placing body before soul? Isn't that irreligious? ...You're right: it depends on what you define as religious.

Why did Jesus disown his parents? (Did Jesus disown his parents?) Was Jesus an artist? What is the point of delineating between one's earthly and heavenly fathers?

It also seems to me that art either makes NO money or TONS of money. The phrase "starving artist" is timeworn, for reasons. Look back over the biographies of the artists who today we hold in highest regard: How many of them were ignored by their own generation? And yet there are always exceptions. Some artists make much money selling what I myself would call exuberant artworks; and of course many artists make much money selling what I would call tedious artworks. I am one mind among many, casting assessments of excellent or awful: you're saved; you're damned. I wish I had more GOLD COINS, so that my judgments would make a bigger impact in the realm of holy commerce.

It always comes back to the marketplace. Will we ever escape our manmade nightmare? Conflict, and the buying and selling of things. It's almost a sick type of purity, for a country to achieve the condition of War Profiteer: for that melds the two most prominent primate pastimes.

Since suicide is frowned upon, one must find some way to keep shuffling thru this game of mortality. Is it important that you LIKE to play? Perhaps it is crucial that you enjoy playing. Art is important to me because it's fundamentally playful. It's the one aspect of this gloom that I genuinely love.


Here's an extra quote from the end of the first chapter of Ezekiel; for I can't get enough of this type of epiphany: I want the sublime to remain in my mind. If a nightcap is an alcoholic drink taken before going to bed, then let this serve as my daycap:

...upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about.


Seeing as the digits on my six typing-limbs are still operational, I guess I'll explain this blog post's picture and title. I pay myself by the word, so I'm always looking for excuses to...

The picture shows the back of an ancient birthday card (it says "TO: Bryan"), and this has two additional pictures taped over it. The one on the left is a Polaroid photograph from an instant camera with quick-developing film; it depicts a stack of old blurry audio equipment: there's an effects processor ("QuadraVerb"); a minidisc recorder; an analog cassette deck (single), and another analog cassette deck (dual, with "hi-speed dubbing" capability). And barely discernible in the sliver of foreground at the bottom of the photo is a mound of cassette tapes. I have millions billions trillions of those things. And the pic on the right—the one slightly overlapping the balloon—is an advertisement that my dad cut out of the newspaper when he was looking to purchase vehicles for his trucking business. (I hate my dad.)

The post's title comes from a remark that David Lynch makes in the film at issue. Describing the first time he saw the Californian sun (I must paraphrase from memory, since I only just watched the movie yestereven), he said: "It felt like it was sucking the fear out of me." So I combined that thought with a fragment from an early poem by Walt Whitman:

Mostly this we have of God; we have man.
Lo, the Sun;
Its glory floods the moon,
Which of a night shines in some turbid pool,
Shaken by soughing winds;
And there are sparkles mad and tossed and broken,
And their archetype is the sun.

No comments:


More from Bryan Ray