Thursday, January 17, 2019

Now what

On my computer I moved pics from one folder to another carelessly, using a search to find them all in their place of chaos, which had the effect of taking all of the images out of their respective folders and scattering them by the thousands into their new folder. A rookie mistake and I should have known better. It has been a while since I had to give any thought.

I picked up at my stack of processed film negatives today. There will be one year's worth, unscanned now, in April. Thousands of 35mm images taken this last year, for the having. The most I have ever taken by several factors.  I should find the time to catch up. Perhaps I've leaned too far and too long towards just the taking of the pictures, fascinated with the mechanics of framing, the feel of constant composition. Now what. 

And at all times

Again I waited and watched the day move by me before sitting down to test again my feelings. I wanted to post this pic, mostly. The other day we played with four fun dogs plus Barkley at the school field. I like the pic in the way that parents like seeing their kids grow and become. This life's quotidian joys and tussles are both dull and golden and everywhere by all bearings.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Its absence

I utter to myself: write a post every day for a while, see how it feels. The end of the day appears, things are different. Parts of it are already drifting off. 

It's not what used to draw me to it, the feeling of recounting, of looking back and trying to express the recent, though that is always a part.

Waking up and having a modest purpose seems to drive some other thing, also. Its absence is the otherwise.  As if I'm trying to recapture the pleasure of conversation. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Follow me on Instagram

Life is simpler and easier on Instagram. You just scroll through your feed and like other people's pictures. What could be easier? There, I am @realq6. There, you will find me to be a peaceful, loving man who is satisfied with liking things that please. 

I'm not always the best dad, though it is maybe too early to make that assessment, and I am not the person to make it. But I can't help my devilish nature at times. This morning the boy was telling me about all of the wonderful things that his buddy can do. He rattled off a short catalog of cool things, presumed accomplishments that he employs to wow the kids in the recess yard.

Can he summon the souls of all the dead chickens he has ever eaten?

It is for things like this that I must sometimes censure myself. I have filled that kid's head with so much voodoo and bad info that he'll be lucky to avoid becoming a zealot for the ancient science of astrology. 

Okay, I give up. I came here in the hopes of clearing my head of some of the useless noise of the day, but it has only amplified it like listening to mariachi through a bullhorn. 

Don't have children. Not because you'll regret it but because your love for them becomes everything. Not a bad gig, at all, but the pay is expensive and the hours are eternal. 


Monday, January 14, 2019

Ouroboros Upkeep

Fuck. It's as if I can't stop myself. I can't seem to find a suitable subject to write about and in my eagerness to avoid politics I'm sounding too much like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but without all the pesky intellect. More of a High Maintenance than a Zen or Motorcycles scenario. 

Well, what can one do? 

People are posting pics of themselves from ten years ago and then other, recent ones. A celebration of time and gravity, it seems. A wrinkle in the space-face continuum. So, here are mine. Do you see now what a decade will do to a man? For the purpose of this post I wish that I had changed genders. It would be more interesting. I could have demanded much more from my readers. 

It was interesting to go through old pics that I had taken in NYC and other places. I saved most all the pics I had taken, so it is difficult not to come to the conclusion that I drink too much and I should put my camera down when doing so. It is almost as unsightly as a stumbling drunk - the poor, shaky images from the camera of an amateur. I used to wander around NYC with my camera, ready to annoy people, pretending to be a street photographer. More gutter than street. 

I am not being tough on myself. It's all true, I have thousands of very poor images. I took a lot because it was the only way that I could occasionally get good ones. My "abilities" seem to have improved in relation to my gear purchases. It's a bit dispiriting to scroll through past efforts. It has made me want to take a small point-and-shoot out and re-learn everything, starting with patience. Does one learn patience, or just practice it and then sense its value. How often I have told myself to quickly find more of it, then watched the thought depart in such easy dismissal. Need to get some, soon. 

I haven't been writing here because I'm struggling finding anything other than my son to care about. I know how tedious it can be to hear someone talk of nothing but their child, or the love that created them. It is worse when they have more than one. The barely concerned listener is expected to remember their differences, as when you start to carelessly read a Russian novel and you can't quite distinguish the individual characters yet. You don't want to go back. You'll just try to pull the story up from the miasma of events and places. You'd rather just be vaguely confused about why any of it matters, until of course one or more of them do something that does. 


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Losing My Edge

I began to write about security but became unsure. I realized that anyone reading what I wrote might think that I was referring to financial security, or sexual, national, or anything else that fills in the blank. No matter how I looked at what I was writing it was wrong unless I wrote very explicitly, which then seemed like a confession. There are forms of security in health, self-possession, romantic, and in the basic belief of one's own goodness, and many more. Few of these feelings overlap very much with the others, and most all of them rely on some sense of abundance, or a mechanism to have internal needs met, often by others. It is easy to blur satisfaction with security, in the same way people confuse pleasure with happiness, contention with love, and lubrication for the temporary delights of friction.  

Whatever works is my policy. That's why we must build the wall! Security, you see. 

You can add the phrase "a sense of" before the word security and it will be equally accurate, if not more so. 

My conclusion: security is oftenest an illusion that depends heavily on the illusions of others, and confidence is a form of ignoring the darkest truths of your own imagination. Even the most confident of people must tremble when a doctor privately utters the word "cancer" to them in their office. Followed by the word malignant. 

We must move fast. Few sustain a sense of security in such situations. Imagine walking to your car in the parking lot alone, knowing that you must call your significant other or your lone parent and find the words to say what must be said. Heart attacks, likewise, have a crumbling effect on the sense of safety. I've never had one, but I've seen someone having one. They seemed so very concerned about the future, and of course the present. I recall seeing my father thusly, twice before he disappeared. 

Well, I had not meant to go so dark so soon in this post. But yes, cancer and heart attacks, in case you had forgotten. That's what I wake up chanting to myself now.... my mantra is the word hypertension... it relaxes me. If you're like me - a white male living in the US in 2010 - then this matrix should help you relax a bit. 49.5% of deaths for white men between the ages of 20-24 is stupidity. 

It just occurred to me that the last post I wrote was as a substitution for what would have otherwise been an email response to an occasional reader here. I had meant to write her back, but wrote an unrelated post instead. Does such self-involvement also reduce one's sense of security?

I don't know, but I am a deeply self-involved person, or that is what I tell myself. I thought that I was the relatively moderate one among my friends in terms of living within one's own thoughts, but in mid-life I realized that no, I had just surrounded myself by others who were far worse than me, at least in that one regard. Having your own child can cause you to be less permissive and understanding of childishness in adults, though I hate that effect, rather than relishing it. I want my friends to be silly and selfish. It seems to make possible, or perhaps only easier, the act of creativity. Or, perhaps silliness and selfishness can be the result of creativity. I can suffer whimsy if there is creative output, but what does that say? What a horrible thing to think and feel, that it's time that whimsy produces something useful. Aging is the horror in which the room empties of all but you and your belief that life should be a certain way.

Watching kids will teach you much of what you need to know concerning the tyranny and triumph that is human interaction at the imaginative level. I sit with a (now) seven year old and we work on Lego projects, somewhat together. The impulse to exert your will over that of another's, for the presumed betterment of the creation, runs deep and strong and knows no age. Encouragement gives way to quiet exasperation, then my eventual admission that the boy had a much better idea for a submarine shaped interstellar space laser guided (and firing) ship than I did. It was the shark-shaped fin he added to the top that did it, etc. 

Never go toe-to-toe with a seven year old in a Lego battle. That is my wisdom. Once he's done I will pretend that I just thought of a name for the ship, knowing that I had been thinking of it all along, wanting to somehow brand the thing with an indelible tag that includes me in the creative process. He'll just add another shark fin on the bottom and rename it to his liking. That is his wisdom. 


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Without all the laughs

It has rained for 24 hours without stop. Or rather, without a break in the glowing grey above. The air is moist and the ground is wet and will be for days. The forecast predicts much more, on this point they are hardly ever wrong. Predicting the weather for a given moment must be very difficult; for a week, sometimes it must be easy. The computer shows a screen full of clouds moving along the coast, dragging precipitation with it. It is heaviest around the SF Bay and north of that where we are, but moves all the way up to Vancouver, becoming sparser and sparser as it goes. 

I must go and get a coffee.

Okay, done - delicious clouds in my coffee. 

I am charging a camera battery. Today is the boy's birthday. Well, today is his birthday party, the day that he is more likely to remember. I have begun to worry that he will be too much like me when he grows older. Seven seems the right age to kickstart those parental fears into dragon-like flight. I suppose that must be a normal concern for parents, unless you're like mom and you enter an extended period of denial that you ever lived the life that you once did. I'm not sure why women find Jesus once they give birth, but some do. Not the actual Jesus, just some weird echo of saintliness and terra-divinity. Suddenly familiar behaviors become shocking instances of bad manners, the likes of which they have never known. It's pearl clutching time for the aging ravers. 

Well, I'm not sure this qualifies as an update on family life. We are just rolling along like everyone, looking for death everywhere in the hopes of avoiding it. 

Here is the boy reading Santa's response to his letter and cookies and milk on Christmas morning.

He'll be seven years old on Monday. What more can I say? The kid has changed my view of the world, and of life. I might have done that without him, but I hadn't yet, and that is a project that I might not have ever started. 

I am more afraid of things than I used to be. I wander less, am home earlier, drink less, exercise more, practice caution as if it were good manners, and might not ever return to Burning Man. 

Like this, but without all the laughs: