the times between 2pm to 8pm is a very difficult hours for me to get anything accomplished. you see, i get up early. like way too early for comfort. that alarm on my clock, never gets to go on, because, well, i am usually up before 6am; and nothing i do at the moment requires me to be up that early. the only time i remember getting up being torturous was when i was working at 4 king west starbucks; to open at 5am, i would have to leave the house by 445am the latest, even when i was biking down full speed on empty yonge st. gliding down in a haze. sleepy.
anyways, here in banff, even after weeks of adjustment, im still waking at 6am. for no reason. for no one. for nothing! music wait till at least the sunrise! yawn. so i kill an hour, usually doing something completely mundane, like writing a hand-written notes, reading random passages of whatever happened to be in the vincinity, play-by-myself kind of things. then off to breakfast. long one that is.
breakfast is my favorite meal of the vistas cafe, the cafeteria we are to go eat by default.
then the day. yadayadayadawhateversblahblahthisthat.
from 8 or so, i will get back to the monkey bench and do some work or go see a concert etc., then stick around usually until.. hmm.. average would be slightly over midnight. get back, slow that brain down, keep it from running around like mad.
then usually sleep by 2 or so. which leaves me about 4-5 hours of sleep a day. brilliant.
so you see, the dilemma is the afternoons. that midday feelings from 1pm to lets say 8pm, are brutal for me. esp. that im trying to get off the caffeine kick as much as i can. like the other day, i just ended up cracking open a bar of rather nice dark chocolate and ate 1/3 of it, inhale it more likely. tasty, if air was that tasty, i wouldnt mind being a wind instrumentalist.
and i continue into this oblivion of gooey, melted, fuzzy mind-meets-world-at-less-than-stunning-capability, hoping that.. well, the afternoons would pass with grace and pleasure.
continuing with this theme of pulse and time relation and all that good stuff, i have been enjoying communicating with couple individuals recently. mostly i feel somewhat on the outer orbital of the banff center social central, but then i do not think 1. it needs me, 2. i need it (i still want it though, but can't have everything), so i've been having some fine-tuning idea bantering instead. immensely enjoyable. always fun to be lead to a new concept, a possibility, to discuss, provoke and often just share thoughts. it's good thing to share pieces of chocolates, for instance, and i think if you arent all that hungry, sharing something less tangible, such as thoughts, are also good for you. well, it's good for me for sure.
this lines of reality and what can be sensed and understood are getting blurry every day. a rather interesting thing i realize is that these friends (well i hope they think i am their friend) i talk to are all very unique people. none of them are ordinary, nor they are anything like one another. heck, the chances high that they have not met one another ever, the common link here, is me. i have very particular relation with each one, and though all of these relationships share the idea of honest communication, as result, these relationships pretty much govern themselves in the manner that is appropriate for each: over the phone, online chat, in person, sticky notes, etc etc.
so when coincidences take places during these collection of separate interactions, i find it amusing and often flabbergasting. it's as if sometimes things have their own agenda and appear when their time is right, not when i would like them to happen. i mean, most of the time i am not even sure what is it that's gonna happen!! i, the great center of my life, not having control and plans over my own course of action and life? inconceivable. okay, that was supposed to be like the line from the 'princess bride,' laugh people laugn.
we are trying to discovers another level of physical world at the CERN. massive structures, delicate and beautifully designed. nothing like this have ever been built. in those chambers under the ground, we hope to discover the laws of quantum physics, hoping to understand and pull apart this mystic haze that envelops common but still uncomprehendable concepts such as time and conception of this universe. we hypothesize, experiement, repeat, go through millions of process of emphirical evaluation, try to minimize the margins of error, and when we think we saw enough, we declare it a law. and go from there.
and it is so easy to forget that back in the days, just about 500 years ago, if you told anyone that the earth is round, they would have laughed, taken you to court then burn you. because it wasnt true. because that was not what the law of nature said.
law, nature's law does not represent the reality in a sense that it's just a summary, a representation of a phenomenon or an intangeable concept such as justice and righteousness. a scientific law is heavily based on observation and we are hoping that the majority of the outcomes in the given situation will just obey the general direction of the previous outcomes. it is a tool of convinience we have created to explain and understand a segment of the world. not that there's anything wrong with it. it's useful.
the problem comes when you forget that laws always have exceptions, that law is not reality. the countless factors that influences the most simple things of life always leave a room for variants and new phenomenons. a law is as good as the person who is utilizing it to further gain indepth understanding of life. if you just take it as is, it will stay as it is, never changing and never telling you to look further. concrete.
but the silly thing is that the laws of such nature never explains the core of the issues. sure, we can now map out the entire gene pool of iceland and see how 'far' we are from other mamalian species, etc. but did it ever succeeded in explaining how a life starts? we can always build a chain of dna, we can reconstruct, but what gives it the life that it carries? even when we use logic to map out the day, the action, etc., we never know what we would be doing the next second. we are most likely to continue in projected path through time, ie., i am probably going to finish this then go for a coffee, but that's never for sure. it's what i would like to do, what i think would happen, but that is different than what would actually happen to me. a very fine line.
the coincidences of certain ideas and topics reappearing constantly among these fragmented group of my friends, brings me to the image of the CERN chambers. whole bunch of things, each taking its own path, powerful, fast and incredibly beautiful. and for some reason, in certain conditions, they meet one another in projectile path, and all kinds of things, like change of directions, formation of new things, gaining and losing energy, etc., takes place, only because they happen to be in proximity of one another at that given time frame. then they continue from there, travelling further into time.
and fantastically, it's nothing new. it's only that we are starting to see it just now. like a child learning how to read- for that child, the ink blobs on a paper now has a completely different meaning. he learns to read them out, put them together, create new sounds, one letter, then one word at a time. then a sentence. a paragraph. and then perhaps start to contextualize these sounds into his own environment. like reading about a cat and being able to phonetically pronounciate the words, phrase within the sentence, giving it inflection, making it happen physically by turning visual into sonic events. then comprehending the message of the sentence, pulling out the memory and idea regarding cat that he have accumulated over the time, and recreating and indirectly experiencing a cat that may not be physically present at that given moment.
so i am sure all kinds of coincidents are always happening around me. like closing the door while realizing my keys are still in the room, etc., but when certain, rare, uncommon ideas start to pop up in my communications with these friends, i tune in and try to distinguish whether it's a freak thing or.. well, something else. then some things will drop off from the orbit of my attention, and some of them will get more and more frequent in their appearance, until bam, in my face, and i need to take a good look into it, and share this bizarre ideas that seems to come from nowheres with friends, and see why it happened and what i am to do with it at this given moment. i will have a fairly good idea where, or even whom i could approach certain subjects with, but sometimes these conversations will lead to a completely new area, leaving me flabbergasted again. much like the CERN chambers. and like true scientists, not a mere lab technicians, i should keep my eyes and mind open to really take a look at things, so that what i would see is law of nature and time taking its course (i wont even have to comprehend it to appreciate it sometimes) and that i do not fall into the traps of creating an image of things, an illustion of law of nature, and swapping it withe reality.
fine line to cut, worthwhile to know.
deflated, broken, worn, torn, frayed, impaired, split, disturbed, shattered, fractured, ruptured, snapped, mangled, wrecked, cleaved, defective, damaged, busted, flawed, tarnished, marred, injured, deficient, spoiled, corrupted, pulverized, astringent, pulped, mashed, collapsed, crippled, fragmented, shredded, demolished, mutilated, dismembered, irregular, spasmodic, desultory, weak, unsteady, rickety, choleric, bitter, inflamed, chafed, turbulent, irascible, petulant, acrimonious, rancorous, caustic, abrasive, rough, sharp, harsh, biting, acrid, mordant, trenchant, virulent, malignant, destructive, pernicious, disappointed, incomplete, disheartened, vanquished, feeble, ruined, isolated, retracted, disjointed, vacant, void, static, wasted, depleted, slaughtered, shamed, stale, prosaic, banal, lackluster, sterile, arid, irksome, wearisome, insipid.
number of words that i like from the list above: 0
number of words that i would like to keep from the list above: 0
number of words that i could disassociate self from the list above: a few
number of words that was externally applied to self: 0. may be a few.
number of words that was internally applied by self: all
assessment of current situation: n/a (stuck in neutral)
please indicate the appropriate level in number between 0-10, 0 being the least to 10 being the most:
reason to stay at this mental space: 0
value of list created (1-10): 0
value of list as comic relief:3
value of list as self-amusement: 10
value of list's existence: 2.5
note: that is a quite a long list of words. all kind of same hue though, but all quite distinctive in their gradation and transparency. how interesting.
recommendation: stop paying attention to the image of self and start to pay attention to self. and the surrounding of self. go practice so that i could may be not maim the sessions so tragically badly. grow some skin. THICK.
all you have to do is, well, add a drop of pulse,
and bam! it uncurls, grabs the ground with pure momentum, stretches itself out as this long, lean, projectile, a silver arc across the stillness. then, out of sight! gone.
what could i be possibly talking about?
well, i was thinking about stravinsky. specifically the pulcinella suite and piatgorasky's trascription, now known as the suite italienne. and cage, esp. his chamber ensemble pieces, such as credo in us, constructions and bacchanale for prepped solo piano.
the bookbomber and monkey agreed on one thing in middle of a snow flurry in the middle of nowhere mountains of banff recently, not that it ever started as an argument. it really was a specific problem (well, not a problem, but per say, a troublesome sight) that started from the idea of 'dead' music.
ya, am afraid this particular piece may relate somewhat specifically to music, western classical music and its descendants, but if you think you can stand the musical bits that may be a little foreign, please do keep reading and let me know what you think at the end. because i think the problem is not specific to music or musicians, but in much larger scheme. but me being a musician makes it difficult to take a totally objective point of view.
see, i often call my branch of music dead music. shock tactic? yes. completely out of context? no! see, western classical music, bulk of it comes from the past. even the music from just last century, the 'early' part of what we still want to call 'contemporary' music, much of the composers dead or dying. i seriously think it's not even funny anymore when someone addresses, ahem, let's say bartok or stravinsky as contemporary music; come on, they wouldve been long eaten as dinner by worms. the great recycle factory cycle of carbons. so composers dead, and their 'music' gets circulated as 'scores.'
scores, however beautiful they may be (have you seen those beautiful scores of george crumb? gosh, they are true visual pieces as their own), they do not equate to music. how to define music? now, that's too much to bite for now, but let's say in a nutshell that it's series of sonic events (sound) that happens in the proximity of listener (if you cant hear, there's no music for you), and the listener perceives as much as one can (depending on the degree of their hearing damages, the lower or real high upper range will be undetectable) and make some sort of intangible connections- of knowledge, memories, recollections, cross-references, whatever goes. so let's call that a music.
so the time is the essential element then isn't it? music at its plastic form (note, it's not a concrete form), a score, a cd, whatevers else, does not communicate anything directly. so one needs to pick it up, somehow translate it into sonic material, and listen, then proceed to process of sensation and comprehension. and all these activities have one major common element: TIME.
a pulse is a crucial concept here in understanding time.
a brief heritage of the word pulse: "a throb, a beat," c.1330, from O.Fr. pous (c.1175), from L. pulsus (in pulsus venarum "beating from the blood in the veins"), pp. of pellere "to push, drive," from PIE *pel- "to shake, swing" (cf. Gk. pallein "to weild, brandish, swing," pelemizein "to shake, cause to tremble"). The verb meaning "to beat, throb" is first attested 1559.
we push through time, and our activities also push through time. as we push through, with all the baggages of daily life, the heart continues to beat away, creating that pulse you can feel if you put your fingers on your jugular. when it stops, well, you would be dead. a simple example how pulse is the common element of all your life-things, including music. it exist in humans, animals, plants, anything that lives and dies, and even non-life-related concepts such as thought and expressions (poetry, paintings, music, sculptures, whatevers. building. fractals, fibonacci series, you name it. it's all over)
okay, now let's go back to the musical arena and look at some other common terms that gets mistaken with pulse. there are: ooh, i see some hands in the air, yes, sir, that's right, we have rhythm and meter. are they all the same? NO. oooh hell no.
now, i see some confused faces, let me explain this one.
let's go dig up some sources,
rhythm: c.1557, from L. rhythmus "movement in time," from Gk. rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm," related to rhein "to flow," from PIE base *sreu- "to flow"
meter:"unit of length," 1797, from Fr. mètre, from Gk. metron "measure," from PIE base *me- "measure" (cf. Gk. metra "lot, portion," Skt. mati "measures," matra "measure," Avestan, O.Pers. ma-, L. metri "to measure")
so these are somewhat short, if incomplete etymological root of the words.
so rhythm involves concept flow- well, in order for something to flow, it must start from one place and get to another. so it exists within time, and that's how it may relate to pulse. rhythm has pulse, and it travels from one point to another, remember, pulse had that concept of 'driving through time?' okay. you are allowed to cheat. go back up and look.
and what does meter do? well, if we look at rhythm as a flowing motion, from one point to another, we may have to put some landmarks, not for the rhythm or pulse themselves, but for us to have a better sense of comprehending and executing what the plastic form of music, the score, indicates. so it's a convenience grouping we adopted from the concrete world to plastic world of written music.
then why is that we play music as if we have no pulse? we continue to ignore it, we beat some meter and rhythmic figures (mind you, the fact it was expressed as rhythmic figure indicates that it's not rhythm itself; we are approaching from the secondary level AGAIN, gah. so close but so far). senselessly in our brain, and then we play some things, make noise, run concepts in our heads, and call it music.
if you have a pulse, the audience has a pulse, and the plastic form of music that you are drawing from has its own innate pulse, why do we need to kill it? why do we so blindly continue to trudge through sonic material that does not become alive? didnt every living thing have a pulse? (go back up couple paragraphs and cheat, if you need to). hence, my claim of 'living' people pretending to be 'dead' to create 'dead music,' isnt really all that crazy is it.
there's no point of being dead unless you mean it. and if you mean it, well, you wont be reading this, because you wont be able to!
i listened to music of stravinsky and cage; those music, far apart in soundscope and instrumentation, both screams and resonate loudly to the audience who's got some pulse. the raw potential energy explodes in your face when you sonically realize their music; the pulse of their being takes you by the ears, and pulls you through time. and that's when you realize, shit, this is good music. once you pulsate with it, the rest of musical elements- the tone, color, volume, accentuation, phrasing, micro and macrophrasing, historical and theoretical performance practice, etc etc., will fall into place. you just have to be careful to not to rush the process, as your brain start to put stuffs together, it will also need it's own rhythm to function, once again, following your own pulse.
and now, whose gonna be patient enough to read this one to the end and write me back something? i honestly think this was a bit too long of a rant, but... am sure there are more application of this pulse concept. not in music, not in arts, not in tasks, but in life in general.
because we all have some sorts of pulse to continue to live.
if you arent so sure, poke your fingers on your neck.
not only it'll hurt a bit, you will find that pulse.
let it not be still, and let's not pretend we dont have one.
why live a life of dead person when you can either really live or completely die?
and ya, that goes for all of you non-musicians as well!
unless you take some serious effort and change everything else around it, let's say, put a new patch of grass that goes 'over' the parts (which is a very bizarre thing to watch, people rolling out live patches of grass, as if it's just a piece of carpet), or put bricks on top of it to create a stoned path etc., it stands out like a fresh pink flesh under the scab that just fell off.
why do we build walls and fortresses? to keep things out, you would say, what a dumb question. okay, second dumb question, which is unevitable as the first question was dumb to begin with: what are you trying to keep out and why? oh. now, you can hear the little cogwheels start to turn if you really pay attention.
wall, by existing, creates opportunity for all kinds of possible situations:
to run into, to climb over, to breakthrough, to push through, up the wall, etc.
for some reason, in my head, all those idioms describe somewhat stressful, if not hilarious, situations. none of them too easy, silly enough. if you were a child who ever tried to climb through a tall wall, or even worse, walk onto a wall (i still do this on regular basis with the stupid automatic sliding door between my feeding lot in vistas cafeteria and my quarter at lloyd hall, as i walk too fast for the sensors-or the door is slower, somehow disagrees on the timing. bam. the wall wins all the time, in case you wonder. i havent gone through that yet), you know EXACTLY what im talking about. ouch. that makes my forehead hurt. phantom pain. more on that later.
a book bomber (much like the old guerrilla war tacticians sprinkling the ground with landmines) have dropped a book this afternoon and monkey picked it up. as monkey do. gah.
this week must have had a big memo circulating with the theme of safety, as the bomb was kindly marked on the one of the most difficult imagery of the wall: resistence.
though mr. krishnamurti (author genius) lead his flock of idiots on a rather gentle path (dont get me wrong, i dont think i would made the cut to be part of the flock, since even idiots are not created all the same) about the concept of self-created wall of resistence, i am still chewing on that piece with weird sense of vigor and conviction. conviction for what? may be the hope of comprehension.
i will hopefully have more ideas to expand from it once i finish chewing and digest it a bit, but for now, the concept of the wall and where i stand creates a rather bizarre, unexpected image in my head. my wall is coming down, slowly. and interestingly, it's not who's taking it down. i see that i am in the path of progressing storm, perhaps a maelstrom. how appropriate: the word maelstrom is a smashed version of two separate things, 'grind' and 'stream,' from the notorious norwegian sea phenomenon. edgar allen poe does a fair justice to the massive energy of these whirlpools in one of his stories. worth checking it out.
no matter how hard i thought i tried to build these wall of safety, a nook where i would slowly get comfortable, lazy, easy, petrifying to a dried up, shriveled piece, an apparition of a past, somehow, the wall is coming down again, taken apart with a smashing noise and great deal of dust, like that old fort walls crumbling in the raging tides of a storm.
rather dramatic, but i am somewhat reluctantly happy that the walls are now cracked, at corners, some already rolling off the ground. i am sad to see it go, but once i step out from the old wall-markings, and continue on to what used to be a one continuous piece of ground, i am sure my perspective will change. somewhat drastically.
let's see what have been going on out of this wall.
monkey's not so willing to take the chance, but since the wall is coming down anyways, and it'll never last over the progress of time, may as well take a walk over the crumbled ruins, shall we?
i do not. therefore, let's rephrase:
how did i end up here?
what path did i take? was i aware of all the turns and curves of the way i took along?
did i just pass things by and forgot to look into the fleeting moments of- glimpse of the blackbird flying through the thin branches of winter rockies, the final momentum of the melted-ice water as it detaches from the ice chunk,
what about times and recollections? the times that i have shared with people who i thought i would know forever, and am surprised to find them popping into my thoughts at present? would they still be there awhile from now, just to be dusted and awaken?
the way their shadows lengthened, until it all looks silly and distorted, taking its time, one degree, one minute at a time under the leisurely paced sun into a prolonged, reluctant summer sundown in all shades of gold and bronze?
a chance, or more likely, chances which evaporated (very slow process) right behind my back,
and i wasnt even aware because i never looked and therefore never found it?
can we all be what we want to be?
are we realization of our dreams or are we dreaming because we happened to be alive?
what is a cause and how do you distinguish the result from being another cause?
what i want- now, this is tricky, is it what i want or something that i need?
does it matter if i take the step to realize the desire- whether it be a necessity or 'want'?
is it possible to alter the course of things by sheer will?
it is futile, therefore, one must realize and ride the wave of things,
falling when it falls, waiting to rise when it's at its natural rhythm to rise back?
if the snow flake melted- did it ever exist? even when no one saw it? a relativist would say not. but it was there? now it's water, a darker spot on my shirt?
where does my conscious go when i am asleep?
(if it was some other place and i died in sleep, and i did pray to god to take me to heaven, would it do that? hahaha) (okay, i wasnt trying to pick on christians)
where am i going to go next? is it the same place i think i will be heading to, or it a place that i will end up being, with a big element of surprise that will untangle itself only with aid of time?
is it foolish to dream? or did the word dream became words of fools?
for some bizarre reason, it seems as if you can only blog once a day. don't even ask me why i thought so, but that was the impression.
i suppose if there is blog nazi, they are now free to come and put the monkey in shackles, take to a labour camp of a sort.
what a surprise would that be.
it's kinda silly that i almost wish it would happen.
wouldnt it be an incredible fun to explain to someone, after youve been released of course, that you were at a labour camp, delivered by the blog nazi?
too much time on the hands of this monkey.
for one reason or other, i lost touch with almost all of my highschool friends. i guess there were only very few 'friends' to begin with, therefore, losing them was much easier- as you lose one, you also lose another link that connects you to another person, so on and so forth, therefore, if you have smaller pool to pull from, there is less chance of reconnecting by chance. and i had a pretty shitty time in my ahem, teenage angst years (in this case i think i will just end up having angst life though), therefore perhaps i was trying to getaway from all that uneasy bits of memories and recollections. like as if you dont see, it does not exist. how foolish. but we all do it.
whenever i try to look her up, i was always faceplanted to the great wall of unfiltered informations. she's got a reasonably common name and on search on facebook burped up 226 hits and on goggle gagged up staggering size of mess. so it just took awhile to find her. like 7-8 years. gosh.
anyways, like nothing have changed, except most things have changed, where weve been, where and how our families are, the works, aspirations, falls, scabs, battle marks etc. she's been busy playing a mean guitar all over the bloody places, and i was so happy to hear that, as it is so easy to either lose self in mediocrity and comfort, or even worse, just be stagnant and die in the music world. it gets even better when one does not even know that they are already dead. living the life of faded shadows.
interestingly enough, we are both at the same point in life, i have no idea why or how that kind of things happen; weve been both playing and staying busy doing music and other things, however, decided that this kind of life is too complicated, too much emotions, too much cravings, too much madness,
JUST TOO MUCH!
sucks you in,
smashes you into pieces,
pulverize the bits that are still intact,
grind into a goo,
and let it dissipate.
so like i, making coffee in toronto starbucks, she's been in calgary, trying to get away, to see and feel what it is like to have a simpler point of vie, to live simpler. creepy enough, she got to calgary in last fall and i just got here in january. and i didnt get to touch with her until january, here we are, across half-way in canada, oddly enough, in alberta, just about 1.5hrs away from each other. weird eh.
i wont bore you all with the details of what we talked about, but there is a great common thread. that late 20-early 30s dilemma: where am i heading to? for what? for whom? where? how?
but weve known each other since we were in elementary school. we dont even really remember how we became friends. i just remember that we spent much time together, like everyday. doing what? nothing in particular, but just being there, going through the burning passage of teenage years. and here we are, just out of that passage, somewhat grown a little, wanting to take a step back, trying to figure the directions and positions of things in our lives.
then she said something that is too true,
'you arent ready to dumb down and settle yet'
she knows me to bits.
and i kind of knew that im still a nomad.
i was just hoping that it was not so obvious,
so that i can just shut up, plug down somewhere,
and do something that is comfortable, easy, and ya, pay bills etc.
but here i am, back in this mad life style,
like coke addict or something,
you think you are done doing shits,
that you want to clean up,
get up, stretch, go do some work in exchange for money,
spend that money for small goods, find smaller things pleasurable,
and live a long steady stream of delicate balanced thread of life like freshly spun silk, just enough gloss to make things okay.
who am i kidding.
you know what's also flat, thin-line that progresses over time as a constant, not a variable?
a line, line of the lifeless body's hearbeat monitor screen.
in a sense, being here in banff, i am getting back into many sensations and emotions,
people say hey, man, good for you,
i dont know is it?
you cant just be awake for the pleasurable experience.
you must also take:
the bleeding bits,
the dead skin that you must rip off,
the urge to destruct so that you can see what's left,
that sticky residue on the rim of your wine glass the morning after,
the stench of the grotesque and damaged thoughts, disintegrating consciousness,
the selfish wantings and need for the sake of 'wants,'
the curiosity that makes you lift the cover over the lifeless in a morgue,
the need to bash your head into the wall just to see what the immense pain feels like,
the wish to pour gasoline on self, and when you are all soaked and high off the fumes, the pointless courage to take the match, grate it against the side of the box, and drop to ignite.
i was hoping that i could avoid all that.
most people wont even see it to begin with.
there are enough pretty things in life.
why dont i just look at those.
and if i need a change, dont look for the grotesque, abnormal, hideous-
just close my eyes and be happy with absence. the void.
i think it's too late again.
with that simple sentence, i feel that i realized that i have not stopped moving,
in fact, like the ball that's thrown into the air,
i accelerated, lost momentum, and came to a stop, a short pause,
and im slowly returning to where i started,
gaining a little speed every moment time shifts,
and probably ends up riding in the fast lane again,
faster than i can comprehend,
the emotions, feedback, images, intensity, drive, speed,
put into the pulverizer, whirling in mad speed.
i wonder if she feels the same after last night's meeting.
in anycase. i am was so stocked to see her last night and will make every effort to get to meet up as much as i can.
man, thanks for stepping back in my life,
you have no idea what your friendship meant for me way back,
and how much i have missed it over the years,
and how crazy it is to just pick up where we left,
oddly being in the same square of the game board.
I've always had a sort of intuition that for every hour you spend with other human beings you need X number of hours alone. Now, what that X represents I don't really know, whether it be two and seven-eighths or seven and two-eighths, but it's a substantial ratio. (glenn gould, 32 short film about glenn gould)i casually refer to my life as the life of piano monkey. well, not the ones at the zoo, but with a circus, really. i am taken care of, my basic needs are met and there are many perks that comes with doing what i do- esp. here in banff, the luxury would be the studio i can park myself and do whatever i want to do with it, while looking out on the great looking mountains, bold, cold and bigger than life. what do i as an exchange? i am to play music, well, piano scores and attempt to support the instrumentalist/composer/audience by creating musical experience. whatever that means.
so most bulk of my energy is spent on working with others. then there are the time that i put on the workbench for doing 'my share,' learning notes and so on. constant interaction with identities that is not me. often give and take, sometimes all give and nothing to take, vice versa.
compare to the factory work etc., i work relatively low hours per week. and no, it's not really that hard on the body either, not like gardening or doing hand laundry. or making bread dough (now that's some serious work).
and i still find myself kind of dumbed-out in the middle of the day quite often. fuzzy headed, kind of insane, dull, frayed on the edges. so i hide. put on loud teenager angst music and let it bleed through my brain while drinking tea, watching the time pass by as the degree of sunlight, the colors of the mountains, the direction and the temperature of the wind changing. sometimes i read, sometimes i draw, make chicken scratches on paper, or just sit.
end of the day, i get to my room, usually alone, by self, open my door, drop my shoes, take stuff off from my pockets, and proceed to waste time.
and may be catch up with a buddy or two, if they are willing.
i can hear people milling around, walking around, opening and closing doors, making plans, laughing; about 2.5 inches away from that action, i am in isolation.
voluntary? imposed? i don't really know.
my phone lays there, blinking occasionally to let me know that yes, there is a possibility that i may make some noise to let you know that you are wanted. out of my window, i see small groups of people, laughing and walking, busy, in-midst-of. sometimes i look at my phone and command, 'ring! bring me the activities, the news of the day, the festivities of daily life!'
it usually looks back at me with a blank stare.
sometimes it feels more isolated in midst of people. esp. in places like arts colony, such as banff center. i do not exactly know what is expected of me; people talk the importance of networking, hanging out, branching out, interacting, all these -ing verbs: 'get on it, NOW, if you aren't already doing it.' except, i am usually the loner kid. i once was, and always will be i suppose. i have Zero charisma and am not all that accommodating to others. no general 'nice' quality to speak of.
should i be changing? should i be making more efforts? how is it that they are all communicating and fluourising? why am i so fizzled, wilted, grey and isolated? should i just try to be popular (wait, that never worked in the first place for me; some people can do it with such grace)? why is it so imperative that people to like me when i know that i, myself cannot like everyone?
all these questions, running in circles.
i lie on my bed, let the weight of the invisible luggage i carry voluntarily with me crush me slowly to the oblivion of sleep.
i take comfort in fact that wherever or whoever one is with, one always falls asleep alone, essentially. we are born one at a time, crunched, rolled up, red-angry faced hairy baby covered in sticky warm blood. and soon as one breath the first breath of air, we start the tedious counting to the last one, the one that is fully expected, omnious and occassionally frightening. and then we perish. one by one. tragically, timely, luckily, painfully, easily, gracefully, untimely, with survivors, with or without assets left over, one dies alone.
that is my consolation prize for the doses of daily isolation i face.
and oh yes, i am lucky enough to have some really nice conversations, work sesions that brings me impressions, sensations and riches larger than life. even in limited doses. those things fuel me to get through this imposing isolation issue.
then i am really not so isolated am i,
if i am continously living through disjuncted fragements of time and distance differences.
perhaps that is the prize you win by swallowing the daily dose of isolation.
oh and by the way, i am not bitter about being alone.
at least i know.
i do not like the nature of urgency and instantaneity.
the possibilities of multiple events happening all simultaneously without being able to see the entire set (talking on the phone somehow always reminds me of a bad set for gladiatorial improv a la theater-of-absurd, you know the kinds where you and your team vs. THE other team goes up in the battle of attemped wit, while the panel looks down with serious grimace on their eyebrows, and tap those little silvery bells which rings with the utmost joy and shards of brightness?),
not being able to perceive nor predict the rest of the communication- you just cling onto words with death grip, or more frequently, with no care in the world (for words, haha).
and it's noisy. too noisy for comfort for any extended time.
i never know how long am i expected to talk for. or how long to listen for, how much time im supposed let collapse before moving onto another subject, if the silence signifies a turn to the next chapter of the death of the converstion. the list can go on and on, just like a pointless, extended-beyond-its-expirary date phone conversation with sprinkles of odd bits of necessity and amusement.
at this point, i sound like a typical description of a seriously messed up autistic child. an asperger's, ugh.
perhaps i am??
haha, it doesnt really matter either way i guess, since no one takes it seriously! if i continue in such manner in person, perhaps someone will get some practical sense in their heads and finally put me in an asylum. ooh. there's another irony i wasnt anticipating- apparently the word asylum was born from the concept of inviolable place:
asylum: c.1430, from L. asylum "sanctuary," from Gk. asylon "refuge," neut. of asylos "inviolable," from a- "without" + syle "right of seizure." So lit. "an inviolable place."
so whose being protected from possible violation here? the crazy man or his associates?
now that's getting too close to morals and ethics,
and we all know that monkeys have no morals or ethics, so we'll carry along just fine.
i think this post is getting unnecessarily long, perhaps i should attempt to either get back to the initial subject or run as far as i can with the tangent, leaving the entire writing composition in unsurveyable mess. hmm. tempting.
i've been restricted to only two means of communication with others who are NOT in banff: im either stuck on the phone or typing away on this cyber space, hoping that this is as intangible and confusing for the other person on-line. so far, not much luck. just whole a lot of muck.
stuck. no luck. muck.
in a bizarre way, typing is the preferred method for monkey. it is so blatantly objective (no voice nuances, no perceivable gap from the listener, no extrinsic noise), the greatly reduced expectation (of what? am not so sure) from both parties makes it a little easier to tolarate the partial communication.
in fact, with certain parties, it even become more fun that it was intended to be, just because of the nature of the visualized words (wordplays anyone? i think good ones are often called pun). but mostly, efficient and significantly less emotional investment. yay.
on the phone, im always running after words.
see, i talk fast. you think i would like to form a thought, choose the words accordingly, then actually phonetically create the thought in english syntax (occasionally korean), with clear delivery to the magic machine that transports sounds across space and time?
i fail. all the time.
and those kids running upstairs with the vigor of idiots and burning desires to have broken ankles (seriously. i can make it happen. i think they are begging for it. though i dont like violence so much, im willing to physicalize their dream at this point, even with a discount. what? it's not an easy job to break ankles when they are running around!) really have been a great distraction in my life a la lloyd hall. buggers. so hence, my lame excuse for bungled conversations of recent.
oh and then there was those 'oops i didnt mean to actually press 'send' on that email' moments.
im only a monkey. don't really have an excuse for it. i screwed up.
i shouldve been mucking around on a word documents or something.
not on the email composition section.
instead of creating an attempt for a precise and succinct expression of self (that sounds like someone with a expensive degree would say, no?), i sent garbled mess of my wants, my reactions, childishness and whole slew of other things. like typos. oops.
no one died because of it, but man. i wished i could run after it, grab it with full body contact tackle, bring it down, and wait for the referee (if he's still paying attention) to put up for flag to stop the play.
so here i am,
running after words, after i, myself have released it voluntarily,
and the words are always faster than monkey.
come back, words!
may be one day, i will also meet some other guys running after their words as well,
but it's bizarre that i never see them.
am i the only one whose on a constant run?
it was there was a moocow coming down long the road and...
if it sounds familiar, congratulations! you just recognized joyce (james joyce, a portrait of the artist as a young man. penguin books, 1981 reprint. p.1) i always thought it would be great to start something quoting just that.
what is this blogging about? what is your profile?
for something that is supposed to be convinient, the great internet asks you so many personal questions that it would deserve a good slap on the face, 19th century victorian style.
not that i am so fond of that time and era anyways, too many unintended fun (usually with great costs) took place then. not to say we are any better.
i feel like a kid who want to take their shirt off at the changing room at the high school gym just a second longer than necessary, for the sake of, i am not sure, to be peeked upon or something.
if you look, im supposed to be offended.
if no one looks, im to feel neglected, isolated, separated, etc.
so which drum beat do you dance to?
well, as nitzsche once said, people who couldnt hear the musicians thought the dancers were crazy. and crazy or not, once you hear the musicians, you may as well pretend you are crazy and start to dance. or rant.
i thought i was doing alright, trying to keep a good public face, not to offend people, be polite, packaging it well! oh boy. then came the monkey wrench that jammed the great cogwheels.
i tried blogging (or egging, really) years ago and one day the great cyber deity decided that i shouldnt have one, so it deleted the account.
i was released.
freedom? may be.
and am back now,
writing absolute nonsensible things in the space that really does not and does exist.
now- if i do not let anyone know, does this blog exist?
does it communicate? does it exist by just it being it? what about relativism?
oh-oh. i smell trouble.
not necessarilly for me, nor that it's bad (nor good).
trouble, from word vulgar latin turbare, which could mean as neutral as agitate, is perhaps not a such a terrible word. i will keep smelling for trouble, and like a true monkey, i will continue to throw crap at things (going back to the 'egging'), and may be, i will have my own monkey colony where people will throw crap with me, or at least tolerate such behavior (it's only a cluster of reactions from stimuli, which is unavoidable unless i am , well, dead), or even be amused.
let's see where this goes.
so far i managed to quote some heavy guns of western civ such as joyce and nitzche to say absolutely nothing in particular.