"Each time our hope for a better world is based on a system, this system collapses, due to the corruptibility and imperfection of human beings. I believe we have to go back and work at the growth of human beings, so they will not need systems, but will know how to rule themselves. Now you have suffered the shock of disillusion in an ideology which has betrayed its ideals. It is a good time to return to the creation of yourself, not as a blind number in a group, but as an individual. Poetry is merely the language of our night-self, in which are imbedded the seeds of all we do and are in the day. We can only control it by knowing it. Better to make this journey back to what you had first intended, rather than to die of disillusionment."
The Diary of Anais Nin
Volume 4, page 10
i live wildly these days. maybe i'm trying to make it back to a life and self i had once intended. i return to reading. everyday, i long for the companionship of my books. i miss the books that are stowed away in my storage unit. i want so badly to go rescue them from that cold cell. it's hard to believe i've gone so long without them. how long has it been now? 10 months? so much has happened. so much has changed. i wind my way back to an earlier idea of myself. i return to the pages that evoked my rebirth. Anais Nin's diary. the healing waters of her words and rhythm. i scribbled this passage from her diary in to my own. i read it on the train a few days ago and i've been thinking of it ever since.
i have no answers. fear is normal but should never be allowed to become King. change is a scary motherfucker. especially when the individual is in charge of making change within their own life. i've been listening to the song posted below for days. and while my shoulders bounce as i dance alone in my white room, i consider my actions and the wages of all my "sins". my biggest mistake thus far has been allowing my fears to dictate my actions. or, rather, my inaction, if i want to be more accurate. i have stood still when i longed for motion and have remained silent when i longed to speak. these instances haunt me and torture me and yet, after years of this mode of being, i became so accumstomed to minding the egg shells that, now, when i do otherwise, i am immediately met with stabs of guilt. i sit and stare at the words i write and wonder if i'm being bad. i look at the romances i've enjoyed and wonder if i'm immoral. i look at my late nights of dancing and worry i might be a glutton. it is the old training kicking in, the instilled fear and implanted guilt of the particular system i was brought up in. i was taught to fear myself, my own desires and dreams. i was taught to second-guess my own insticts and to veiw my interests as selfish and wrong. and i'm not just talking about family or religion but the larger cultural climate in which the spheres of family and religion exist. the sexism. the deep hatred of women. the assumption that desire is evil and must be regulated, must be doled out, defined, prescribed.
i don't know what i'm doing half the time but i know i'm tired of feeling bad for being interested in normal things. i'm tired of being haunted by the tenents of a religion i am not a member of. i'm tired of all the alarms going off in my ear; alarms i don't agree with and wish i could silence forever. as the new year approaches i begin to think again of all the dreams i've held close for so many years. i begin to think of my "night-self" and who that could be. especially now after having chosen my freedom, after having chosen to write and to go on writing.
and then i started drinking with my budddy, ate some mexican food, started thinking about theory and sushi. we said, "i could do a roll... " and mean while hip-hop does its thing in the background. we've been talking all night about art, what it means, what it does, how to make it; and last night at dinner with my beautiful friend Freya, we talked about life and priorities, how life and priorities change based upon era, the era of one's life. one feels a certain way in their twenties. one feels a certain way in their thirties. one feels a certain way in their forties. so on and so forth. and here i am, early 30s, horny as hell, apparently normal (relative in all the worst ways), caring only about music and booze and art. satisfy me. and if you can't, at least pay attention to me. let me pant in your ear. let my image hang on your wall. let my script dance below your eyelids. i'll take your beard burn if you attempt to take me seriously.
but is that monolithic? do i need your faith? do i need your faithfulness? are we circling back around to the thing i'm complaining about, the thing that harms me, the thing that hurts you? we are all subjects. do you feel compromised? i do. how do i reconcile this shit and how do we, as a UNION or COMMUNITY proceed. seth asks , "but how do we have a non-system?" how do we inter-relate? if not based on the systems that have already infected us/informed us... informed our fear? my fear? am i afraid of you? damn right. you're a fucking monster born to hurt me. i'm only just now realizing that i am as well. i am a monster in my own right, especially if you look at me through a Christian/Muslim/Jewish lens. please look at me through an artistic lens because i am, in fact, an artist and i govern myself with an artistic criteria. a criteria i hope you will someday examine yourself with and view yourself through.
and now at 3am, i feel useless, semi-embarrassed but somehow still entirely alive.
could this be a condition of my survival. my friend eddie said "there's
a time to make art and there's a time to live. you gotta have something
to make art about." i look at the text i've hung on my walls: don't cry. and all i can think is: cry harder. could that be the way back to what i once "intended"?
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.