these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.

thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.

my artist website is here.

Aug 31, 2011

neurosis/romanticism/just make art




Miggy Angel said...

Hi Angela

this post concerning Nin's analogy between Romanticism & neurosis has prodded my interest. Forgive me if any points I make are included in your diary entries - I find most handwriting difficult to read & couldn't make out some phrases or passages clearly enuff - but no matter.

If we take neurotic to be a diagnostic term relating to a disorder - as it is generally understood - then it appears the depiction of Romanticism by Nin is worth examining, as I feel the conclusion she draws is one that prevails widely & is rarely challenged.

In her full quote she says that Romanticism, "demanded of reality an illusory world, love, an absolute which it could never obtain, and thus destroyed itself by the dream." What I find problematic is this notion that the Romantic impulse is the desire for an ideal which cannot exist within 'reality'.

My contention is that what she deems 'reality' is a consensus construct, a paradigm no more reality than any other paradigm, whose very parameters are the target of the Romantic's critique, & the very parameters which prohibit the existence of 'love', or connectedness & belonging, which I believe are at the nucleus of the Romantic impulse. Romanticism did not flourish in its original form as its existence could not be permitted within a capitalist paradigm, not because its 'dream' was flawed, or evidence of an inherent 'disorder'.

If we go back to Nin's use of the word neurosis, a definition I chanced upon was that it describes, "an "invisible injury" and the resulting condition."

I would agree with this in relation to Romanticism, only in the sense that the invisible injury which Romanticism, as I understand it, sought (or seeks) to address, is one of our rupture, severance, or disconnectedness. Of course, much art which is defined as representing Romanticism is idealistic, sentimental, slightly fey, but this is to misrepresent the Romantic impulse. I'm thinking not only of Western Romanticism, but also include ancient Eastern arts which are concerned with addressing the 'injury' of imagined human separateness from the cosmos.

I am currently incredibly aware of much cynicism, lack of joy, the absence of a language of praise, in many cultural activities & forums. I am also aware, as it seems are you, of this impulse in me for what some might term 'Romanticism'. I can only say that I am resolved, as you so rightly marshal in your post's title, to Just Make Art, (regardless) & to not apologise for an impulse which seeks only to address or console the 'secret injury' of my severance.

(can't believe it's taken me this long to post here as I have read here on & off for some time, sorry if it's a bit long n highfaluting but this subject gets my dynamo whirring . . .)

You take care now, & keep making art!

- Miggy

angela simione said...

Miggy! so good to see you round my way! yay!!!! we've been passing each other in the halls for quite some time. good to finally bump in to you. :)

i agree with you, whole-heartedly, with everything you've said here. in my diary entry (i apologize- this one was particulary sloppy), i definitely did intend to use the word "Romantic" in regard to my own life and perception of the world. i've noticed, too, the abundance of "much cynicism, lack of joy, the absence of a language of praise, in many cultural activities & forums". beautifully put! it saddens me. and worries me too because i see this same lack within myself at times. the same cycnicism creeps up and i am horrified by it. i feel the need to conquer it NOW, HERE. this pervasive cycnicism, this mode of "cool" is anything but. i refer to it here at home as my "ugly americanism" but maybe it extends well beyond those kind of borders? i do not want to lose myself to it and must rid myself of the infection. if being "romantic" or "poetic" is somehow silly, then i will be as silly as i possibly can be. and it is amazing what courage it takes to be such! it requires such a thick skin to be romantic. that sounds so crazy, totally absurd, but it's true! this is a topic where i find myself in total disagreement with Nin's worldview but i am aware that i have not done as much Living as she did. i am still so far behind her in terms of experience, thought, love, and wrestling with demons. i am only at the beginning of that fight (though it doesn't feel that way at times) and i still see the gernerousity and beauty of possessing a romantic outlook. besides... there are some things about human life that are so painful, so degrading and damaging that the ability to view ANYTHING in a romantic light is a gift... a way to go on, a way to keep trying, to not give up. it provides us with something to live FOR.

i'm with you. i am resolved.

also: the phrase "secret injury" gives me shivers. it caught me off guard (in the best of ways)and as i read your comment i felt exposed, understood. a gift. reading you comment this morning i am having that absolutely wonderful experience one sometimes has... the "someone understands!" experience. thank you. :)

Miggy Angel said...

Hi Angela

so glad you welcomed my rather extensive comment! You never know how people are gonna take to such outbursts!

Also, I'm glad you found some identification & the feeling of being understood, that means a lot to each of us, & I'm glad we're able to reach out in this way.

& yes, you're so right, it does take courage to remain present, open, to mediate mystery & curate wonder. To be vulnerable is to be infinite . . .

Anyways . . . hope to cross paths again on this electric pavilion!

- Miggy

Heather Jerdee said...

I was gonna comment yesterday on here on I hope you had a good birthday. I'm glad I read yours and Miggy's comments Angela. I don't have anything to add but I loved reading this today it's given me encouragement,something to think about with my own cynicism and secret injury, psychic wound

"there are some things about human life that are so painful, so degrading and damaging that the ability to view ANYTHING in a romantic light is a gift... a way to go on, a way to keep trying, to not give up. it provides us with something to live FOR."

Yes just keep making art... love from Minnesota

angela simione said...

miggy, definitely! your "outbursts" are an absolute joy! you're always welcome to drop off any batch of wisdom you see fit here on my plate. ;)

angela simione said...

heather! thank you so much! my birthday was pretty good. there's been a flood of abstract thinking on the heels of that day and i am mulling so many things over. happily, and with so much enthusiasm for the future. i'm glad this post and the above comments are of value to you. yes- the secret wound! i have been exploring mine in greater depth lately. lots of writing and reading and thinking. lots of long, fast walks and jogs with loud music pumping in to my ears.

love from california. :)

Miggy Angel said...

Hi Angela

hope you are well. Just to let you kno that the wonderful Roz Ito referenced our little exchange here on her blog, here:

(It's nice to identify with folk, doncha think?)

M x

angela simione said...

Miggy! thank you!!! YES, it IS wonderful! :D

i adore roz! i'm so happy she's returned! YAY!!! you're making me want to clean up my act a bit and stop being such a shitty, inconsistent blogger. ha! would you believe i actually used to write here every day? geez.