...When I saw him two years ago his face was angles and corners; his eyes were dark and sunken. He was decaying; consumed by an active addiction. Last night when I saw him, he was unchanged. He had somehow maintained the same state of decay...Read More
Our term on the planet it indefinite. Indefinite seems like a long time. It may not be.Read More
Every artist must question the influences that shape her work. Do we yield to influence because it is in harmony with our vision or do we yield because we are afraid to stand.Read More
I made her a mixtape yesterday but I didn't want to call it a mixtape. I couldn't legitimately call it one because I didn't put any thought into the order of play.
I just put a bunch of songs on two CD's and gave them to her so she could have something to listen to on her road trip.
Last week when I first had a notion to make this (non) mixtape, I thought about really getting into it. But that would have been doing too much. That would have been one of the grand gestures that I am famous for; grand gestures that never actually work out, that always end in disappointment.
Like I got this same girl a dozen and half roses or some shit like that for Valentines Day and she went ghost on me.
Too much. Too soon.
I just listened to the first few seconds of the tracks and made snap judgements as to whether to include them on the CD. I already new I liked the songs, they were my library and most of them play on our station. I just tried to figure if she would like them.
I hope she does. But then again--fuck it. Who cares.
I couldn't muster the emotional energy to do the work I intended to do yesterday. It should not have mattered to me that she was going out of town for a week. I go weeks without seeing her as it is. And we haven't actually sat and had a conversation in months.
But there I was, sitting in the corner making a fucking mixtape (not really a mixtape) so I could give it to her for her road trip. Like I don't have a station run, articles to write, money to get.
Just when I thought I had let go...I haven't.
She can't let go. She never held on.
I have to keep reminding myself why I am doing this. Who am I serving with the work that I am doing? What is the grind about? Why is important that my work be seen/heard? Why do I need to create anything?
I have been out of touch. I have been sequestered in the room where I am sitting right now for almost two full weeks. I forget the number of days it's been.
I forget that I am a writer sometimes and I forget to how to write more than a few short phrases at a time. If I go more than a few days without words on a page, I can feel the slippage. It hurts my brain to try to craft something worth reading.
Falling back from your work to refresh your ideas and take in new perspectives sometimes seems necessary. I don't know if it is. I don't know that you need to fully abandon a basic practice to find something new. Most people don't make it back from the break.
They just end up abandoning the work all together. Or half-assing it. The fruit withers on the vine. They forget who they are. Like I forget that I am a writer.
The return to form is uncomfortable, potentially destructive.
Maybe you can abandon something else. Maybe you can steal time for something else.
I forget why I started writing this post other than to say that I am back. And that I have so much new music to share.
She gathered a blue satin wrap about her arms and shoulders, hiding what needed not be hidden. Her legs, two silky stretches of cocoa-brown, lay bare. Silky stretches of cocoa-brown entered my line sight two hours earlier at Union Station. We waited for the same last train out of town.
A stunning girl with a beautiful voice, she shared it with me in under-the-breath tones, a guitar resting on the brown skin of her thighs, the lavender tips of her fingers danced and clutched.
She sang "How can you love me, if you don't like me?"
Her equally stunning sister joined us. We three talked about Dilla and Chapelle and Dubai and hair and regimes and famine. We put each other on. They burned. I chilled.
Her sister retired.
A familiar chemical rush filled my brain.
I had no aspirations but to sit and talk and listen.
But the night would be over soon. The night was over. It was morning. And I rested easy in her bed, she in some other corner of the house.
I woke up at the first light of day. The rest of the house would sleep on for hours.
Not ready to reflect on the night while I was still in the scene, I tried to cling to the remnants of time. Not willing to let our hours assume the hazy quality of memory, I wrote hundreds of words and threw them all away.
I am a master of the walk-away. I abandon possessions. I feel burdened by molecules. I would rather live through an experience and let the memory gradually fade than to cling to physical artifacts so that I can make feeble attempts to re-live the experience later.
I have tried not to be this way. I have tried to preserve and maintain, but I have little capacity to attach sentiment to physical objects. I forget.
The advice, "Don't forget where you came from?" is often a veiled attempt to hold you back. Forget where you came from; your past has no authority over your present.
It is hard to move forward when you are weighed down by monuments of past victory and defeat.
Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it? Those who obsess over history are eternally bound by it.
I am visiting my mother's home. On the walls of her bedroom is a photographic record of my life: a recount of my fractured and complicated family situation, representations of accomplishments; of days that I should remember but don't.
The real story was not captured in these posed portraits.
Portraits are often full of shit, stories told about us by strangers.
Maybe I feel this way because I take pictures and capture video, and I know how powerful the techniques of photography and cinematography are in shaping perception.
If I manage to live a long life, maybe I will wish I had more articles as touch points of my past. When I am not able to experience the people and places that matter in my life maybe I will wish I had taken more care.
For now I try to work; aware, but unencumbered by the past. My work can tell my story.
My path may lead to loneliness and isolation without the comfort of precious things. Or it may lead to freedom from the need to find comfort in things that can be taken away.
My history and destiny are both encoded in playlists like these, raw, unfiltered emotional energy, transmitted through sound and a few choice words.
Sounds like this loop through my mind long after the music stops.