journal #4 12/29/16
12/29/16, 3:02pm, on the rocks on the side of the s– —– bike trail in l– —–
a few passing thoughts as we biked by a power plant, which was spewing water out towards the river: after glorifying trash sex, and other forgotten/taboo themes, can we accept and glamorize next the decimation of nature? somehow, as contrarian as I am and as contrarian as art seems to desire to be, destroying something as beautiful still seems so repulsive. but didn’t trash seem repulsive? didn’t sex seem repulsive? has art evolved into glamorizing only the acceptable repulsive themes, and leaving others truly taboo?
where’s the line? perhaps at the line of decency. some things – sex, trash – are social constructs, which art naturally questions. but how far can we tear down our world and call things social constructs? going all the way devolves into nihilism, of course. perhaps that could be art in itself.
another thought now: do I care about these things? film theory, art, and all these interests I’ve developed over the past year seem so — distant, for me, like they are an intellectual exercise. they inspire a passion in me, but not the type in which I feel I am changing the world, but rather only contributing to a fascinating and interesting line of thought and creation. I’m not sure how content I am with that. I think or jazz music: I don’t feel that it touches the core of the musician, and thus it skips past the core of the listener. touching the core, I think of auteuristic music: kanye west, bon iver, frank ocean. jazz, as such a collaborative art form, in which player play jazz standards and improvise and vibe and words are scripted or nonexistent, feels like an amorphous form of intellectualism and satisfaction with no self-reflection. and none of this is negative, of course, but only different.
we passed a child going the other way on a bike, with his sister and mother. as per usual, we called out a quick hello. what struck me was his reply: “hello!”, he announced, so sure of himself and yet blatantly un-self-aware. I thought of myself, and the many different hellos I put out each day, and I thought of how few of those are as unself-aware, unguarded, and untinted that hello was. at w—‘s I was distinctly aware of becoming who she wanted me to be, molding myself out of politeness into a palatable guest. I do this every day, to many different people, all unconsciously; it’s second nature. it took seeing a kid not do that to realize. kids are funny in that way — they really are blank slates in a way. I think about all the futures possible in one kid.
I think about JH, and I think about how although we are still friends, I have changed past just us. when I bring up topics of art, of the odd reflective thought, where MH or AM or YM would jump on that thought, build on it, push me further and develop, JH slides past it. it’s a small icy patch on a road that he doesn’t quite understand why we’re talking about it, and he quickly flutters to different conversations — I miss my friends at —-. I need others to develop myself, and I truly don’t get that here. perhaps AD, if anything.
JH found i—- chill, peaceful, calming. I found it dead, sleepy, and it made me antsy, watching these people go about their daily beachy lives, forever content and satisfied. this biking trip has left me superficially content and satisfied — superficially because I know it can’t last; it’ll be over the second this trip is done. but staring at the sunset each day and feeling the warm breeze run up my arms, the smooth road and the pleasant greetings of fellow cyclers — it’s a blithe paradise of sorts. but give me enough time here and time would disappear, fade into the sea foam and sand, fade into the deep tans of my skin. I think I would implode. I think I would go crazy. I can’t live here; I have to leave. the only reason this is so beautiful and bearable in its beauty is because I know it will end.
but biking — biking, I think I could do forever. it’s the ultimate vacation. low impact, relatively quick, but slow and satisfying enough that you and your body are pushing you every inch of the way of the journey. it’s a vacation that is truly all about the process. it’s immensely satisfying, and provides plenty of time for thought — I’m not sure, at this point in my life, if there was a better way to spend this break, or a better activity at all to be doing in my next few years. I’m thankful, immensely thankful, for this trip.