Everything I Just Thought of Twenty Minutes Ago?

18 Feb

I’ve got a half dozen interconnected thoughts in my mind right now.  I can approach them from the outside; realizing their miniscule significance in light of all other thoughts and ideas floating around in the universe at this exact moment. Or I can approach them from the inside; from their confinements, from the tiny spores from whence they came – from what ails and over joys and overall consumes me at any given moment. And once I masticate and regurgitate them, hopefully they’ll escape my mind. At least until they’re reborn; but then they’re in a different shape at a different time and I consider them if not new, at least refurbished and fresh.  Understanding and embracing all this makes writing possible, freeing and enjoyable.

I’m usually in La La Land (isn’t everyone?). I’m not aloof; I’m aware and informed and I interact with the outside world rather well – I have no social ineptitude, is what I guess I want to emphasize. But I am most often in my own head. I *really* like it here. It makes my heart beat faster, gives me stomach butterflies, my breathing speeds up. Sometimes I feel so connected, tears come down my face, my palms gets sweaty and I lower my head and smile to myself (like now). It feels silly. It feels like a childish secret I’m keeping to myself. But this is when I feel most alive. I feel aware and connected and clear. My neck is tense at the same time as I feel the skin expanded. Does it make sense? It doesn’t have to, I don’t think. I know other people feel the same thing.

What brings the biggest smile to my face is living a moment where I feel this heightened state of existence with someone else who feels the same way.  When I can come out with my thoughts and expose myself in vulnerability to a whole ‘nother being whose eyes brighten, whose position shifts toward me, and who nods firmly in agreement because he’s there too. These are some of the most precious moments in life. I think my insatiability, eagerness, my energy come from a perpetual quest to live these moments. To connect. Most other things are secondary. Foolish or juvenile, this is how it is.

I’m reading two books at the moment; a collection of essays by R. W. Emerson and a collection of short writings by American writers under the title “Smoking, Drinking, and Screwing.” The former is a longer, infinitely eloquent rendition on the importance of the self; of being grounded in your skin, of trusting your mind, and of looking at the world from inside out. Within me is everything I need to understand the world and those around me. There is nothing you can feel that I can’t. If I can channel this energy and power, there is nothing I cannot do (yes, the man was insanely self-confident. But never does he come across as arrogant. Humility should never be a hindrance to self-actualization).  The other book, so appropriately titled, unapologetically recounts tales of indulgence. Some are explicit, carnal, embarrassingly frank. Juicy, if you will. I like them. I like them a lot. I read them at night, to the fantastic sounds of my dog’s breathing and exceptional music (more on that to come). Other stories are depictions of pathetic self-conflict: the hopeless romantic who drinks too much and cries too much over his inability to keep his loves; the single woman who’s too aware of how she’s viewed, of what is outwardly perceived as selfishness – it being only her conviction in self-reliance and acceptance of her physical needs without shame. I’m beginning to believe there is no place for shame.

These moments alone take me out of my body and lay me out on everything and everyone else. I’m not just me; I’m with this book, I’m with my dog, I’m sinking into my couch, I’m in the author’s mind and I’m telling him, “hey, I’m in here with you.”

I had a really great time a few weekends ago with friends. We stayed up day and night, indulging. We played as kids, we ate when we felt like it, we discussed books, people, tendencies, we watched movies, and when it was late and dark and quiet, we listened to beautiful music. It was my first time hearing these sounds put together just so. I remember being so very happy. I wanted to cry, but I held back (they’re boys, it would probably frighten them). I’ve been listening to the same music for the past two weeks.

There have been special moments like this before. Moments of inspiration with people who I feel are the most extraordinary I’ve met. Whether we are “friends” or not plays no part. There is something about them and me and the flow of circumstances that brought us together and allowed us to strip coats and refrain from time-keeping… we were being ourselves together.

And how is it that we come to such a moment? I don’t exactly walk into a room and start pouring my heart out. I’m quicker-than-most to cry, but tears don’t stream down my face without some intense internal experience… we come together through some tangible manifestation of human sentiment. I feel a feeling. You feel a feeling. They’re not quite exact because, well I’m me and you’re you. But however this feeling surfaces, there can be significant similarities between mine and yours. And it’s a piece of music, words from a story, movement in film, strokes on a canvas that bring my feeling and yours to the surface. And then we talk about it. And I understand myself better as I try to communicate it to you.  There is something fucking other-worldly about art. It’s beautiful and dangerous and man, it incites.

There is art in curing a disease, and building buildings, and in quietly doing a service that facilitates life (even if it goes mostly unnoticed). But I think my art lies with written word. There is nothing else I’ve cared to create with, to play with, to mold, and obsess with year in, year out. I absorb other forms, but this is the only way I know to passionately contribute. I know everyone has something. It just takes enough absorption and enough time standing still to let your nature figure out a way for the output. You (and I) may never win awards or make money off it. But creating and exposing is the recompense in itself. If we can understand that and be OK with the sweaty palms and the fast beating heart and the awful thoughts that come from outside and remain lodged in that dark little corner of our brain telling us… what does it matter what they tell us?… then we can indulge and create and contribute. And the happy outweighs all else.

He and this book and this coffee and this music
Should all come together
So I can sit in contentment
And hold the minutes as though they were hours.


One Response to “Everything I Just Thought of Twenty Minutes Ago?”


  1. Matters of the heart… and vagina? « Night Writings - February 27, 2010

    […] wrote recently about realizing that there is no place for shame. I shouldn’t feel the need to hide my feelings for someone, even if they aren’t reciprocated. […]

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