June 17, 2014
Without a doubt, life is difficult. Time is a problem. I would wish to state I fear the horror that is out there, but mostly I just groan, and put my head under the pillow. As a kid, I was surrounded by posters of prints by M. C. Escher, that showed the possibility of infinity in tightly closed terrain. Either his work was about expanding your consciousness, or for me, it was being caught up in a maze that is a horror show. In other words, the 21st century conveys the feeling of being stuck in an endless loop of Catch-22 situations, which are not only being trapped by contradictory rules, but it seems life and nature itself has adapted to the phrase.
Around the same time when I was surrounded by Escher posters, I got into Wally Wood’s work for Daredevil. I was intrigued that a blind man can be a superhero, and often I would close my eyes for a significant period of time, just trying to imagine that type of world. Yet, I realized that being sightless, itself is a maze of sorts. When I opened my eyes I pretend to see the world in a new light. I have to say I was slightly hurt when I read Wood’s statement “If I had it all to do over again, I’d cut off my hands.” I then closed my eyes again, trying to imagine a world that is better for me and maybe for you as well.
The last public guillotining in France was in 1939, which surprised me for some reason. Seeing someone’s head being cut off in bright daylight in front of an audience strikes me as being offensive. Surely the French and others, got that out of their system in the French Revolution. Did it need to go on till the middle of the 20th century? As time marches on, I find myself surrounded by death, dead things and dead people. Often, I wonder if I’m dead, but my depression makes me feel alive. I embrace feeling. Even if it is bad feelings, I rather have that, than no feelings. I shut down eyes and I imagine that I was at the guillotine party, and I wonder what I would have for lunch that day.
Last night I had a dream where I was wondering through Harlem with Carl Van Vechen, and as he was taking photographs, I noticed that he didn’t have any film in his camera. I didn’t know how to approach him regarding his mistake, but I wanted to somehow bring this to a positive light - and alas, I woke up this very morning feeling a tad depressed and not sure what I can do this morning. As one knows by now, I have been writing a story a day, and I do that to give myself a structure, after leaving a job that I had for 25 years. It felt like I had a hand chopped off, and now with my remaining left (thank god) hand I write down my thoughts, even though they’re pathetic in parts, it keeps me "up" in a funny “down” way.
The one image I do have when I close my eyes is seeing the face of Setsuko Hara. In her films, especially the one’s directed by Yasujirō Ozu, she often plays a woman who is confronted by the new, when still facing old transitional situations. To be a modern woman, yet tied to traditional culture, which will or can eventually kill her. She exists to be alive in a moment of time that is clearly stated if she will be OK. But as a fan, I know she will live and be able to withstand all the horrors that are in her filmic life. With that, I feel encourage to wake up fully and jump into the pool that is my life, and I will do so with my eyes wide open.