Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Documenting a life

("That's no moon")

Okay. I have been trying to organize my life, going through old iPhoto libraries, trying to merge them using Apple's abbreviated version of in-app file management. Across the many OS's of time, all now adrift on the iBysmal Pro. 

For the money I spend on photography it is heartrending how little I have done to preserve my own photography in any form larger than about 330kb digital, scattered across a few machines, drives, and now an unplugged server. This site has become the best source for most all of it. I just wouldn't even know where to start.

I've done it to myself. I wanted snapshots; got 'em. 

So onwards and on wards of one's own - more snapshots, now and then again soon. 


Monday, November 26, 2018

Demented from Indistance

I found this little picture of the boy and his buddy, J. They were sure, adorable little fuckers. Being a dad was so much simpler then. I say that with neither comedic nor ironic intent. Being a father then was easier. I mostly only had to feed him and keep him away from danger and then feed him. Now I have to explain the mercurial and metaphorical nature of all types of danger, only to watch my words be taken at their flat, literal value. Me, knowing that I will spend my life repeating the same exact things that I have to say now, only in a hopefully different form. 

Feeding him has become an ongoing negotiation, one in which I am always starting at a bargaining disadvantage. He has learned a basic aspect of the power of autonomy: it is much easier to stop somebody from doing something than it is to convince them from doing that same thing. 

If something can be a single word then samething should also be permitted. 

Thanksgiving was a minor family victory. We managed it without disasters large or small. We had to monitor the boy's intake of refined sugars, of course. That was the only thing that seemed to require our persistent attention, yet somehow it was the collective nature of it that caused the failure. Kids will work the Halloween-into-November candy angle. Everything else could be safely ignored, which led to our modest victory. 

Grandma left this morning and gave me a short speech about our - mine and hers - ability to get along. I desisted from commenting on what I believed to be the real cause of this dynamic behavioral anomaly between she and I. 

I don't like to remake waves after they have already crashed. 

Who does.

It takes all of my energy and looks so sad, and stupid, and pathetic, and demented from a distance. 

That last part made me smile.

“... the sills of their disappointments walk outside their bodies aimlessly for the most part, locked and forgot in their desires—unroused.”

- WCM, Paterson


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Table Photography

Am trying to create time to sit and write every day again. It is not easy, habits once broken do not mend back to life at will. Habits, habits, everything becomes one. At midlife they are everywhere around me. Every day consumed by the things I am accustomed to doing. 

The boy is still sleeping. I am going for a ride this morning - mountain biking. I need to train for my upcoming bikepacking trip in three weeks. I will be going further and with more weight than I do in my current riding habits. Perhaps this is just like the triathlon. I'll do it, but there will be a reminding injury afterwards. Maybe that is one advantage to aging - I listen to my body's warnings now. I used to only hear them as a challenge. In youth, everything in my own mind seemed to be prefaced by a double-dog dare. Some stupid little voice chanting the invocations of danger and self-harm.

Ah well, I survived.

I finally bought an external hard drive to store my photo library. It is a big part of why I stopped writing: I had run out of space for pics on my work computer. So, I gave up. I now have thousands of 35mm film scans to do. It is not an exaggeration. There are about ~100 rolls of processed film waiting to be scanned, most of them are 36 exp. each. I should hire somebody to do it. I wonder if there are any migrant photographers or film development technicians in the southern caravan. I need a Sara Facio, or the street eye of a Sergio Larraine.

Maybe I should wander wider, in grand sweeping circles that can not be easily traced. Maybe oblongs will throw the law off my trail. 

Ooops, I always thought this verse ended with the line, I promise to go wanderin'

I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Little books

Rachel bought me a very sweet little follow-up gift for my 50th birthday. Every year Black Sparrow press used to make a New Year's card and send them out. She found me a bunch of them between 1985-200, all of them including a few uncollected poems by Bukowski. They must be collector items. Just little books she found for me, because she was looking. She can be such a very sweet woman. It is good to be loved by her. I spent a handful of years here outlining my frustrations with her, and her love, but you are under no obligation to believe any of that if you so choose. It's what I do, also - choose.  

I chatted with CS the other day. He feels similarly, or so I gathered. His romantic partner has helped usher him back towards health, back from his head-on collision with a truck. Back from the dead, if you let him tell it. 

On the days that I go to the gym and lift dumbbells over my head in a wide dual arc from the waist to a zenith point above my head and then back again I sometimes think about the titanium supported ribs he now has, how much such a thing will hurt when he can return to it, if he wishes to return to it, which I imagine he must. Who would elect to do anything else?

With aging, I have become more sympathetic and understanding. It barely seems a choice - one of the little things I get to lie to myself about, congratulating my idea of myself as if it were really me, freely optioning in for another year, selecting the advancing digits for pre-approval as they arrive in front of me. Light as morning, heavy as coffee spoons. 

... have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons


Thursday, November 22, 2018

with pennies

Perhaps I need a spectacle, something to cheer me; without obligation, with only miniature costs.

Speech seems to always insist that it is somehow helpful. 


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Rights of the Reproduced

I don't know what I'm thinking, ever. I've started a public argument about reproductive rights with a young woman. She is the daughter of a very old friend. I'm trying desperately to get her to validate my opinions. So far no luck. I don't think she likes me. I'm two responses away from invoking the name of the Lord.

I opened the book Still Life by Sally Mann and read a passage about how to move from one project to another, which seemed to be great advice if you're the type to finish and start projects.

Sitting here, working. Thanksgiving's third trimester. Trying to stay free from trouble. Everywhere I am over-interacting with people, having severe conversations. It is agitating me, which seems the right response. 

I just wrote a three paragraph comment to a reasonably straight-forward technical feature question that delved into the importance of legacy information and the paradox of time. Thankfully I caught myself before doing a third draft; sent two sentences instead. 

Burt Bacharach. I listened to a link. Is maybe a rash aspect of age that I enjoyed it happily between ironically and sincerely. I would have felt so silly if anyone had been here, of course, or if they had walked in and caught me. 


Monday, November 19, 2018

The Duke of Hennessy

Not my most inspired post yesterday. I get it. Inspiration usually catches me when I'm already up at a trotting speed, if at all. For whatever reason I feel as if I need to justify my basic position on life more lately. A public accounting of sorts, my mid-life earnings statement. 

I've exceeded projections but have instilled my investors with a growing sense of unease towards my diminishing position in the overseas markets. 

It seems unfair - I've done so little in life, yet have enjoyed it disproportionately so. And now, even on more modest means than I have known in the past, I am still basically happy. 

Perhaps that is not quite the right word for what I am. Yesterday I briefly described my feeling that life has no objective meaning, and today I use the word happy to describe myself. And yes, I understand those things do not have to agree to also both be true, otherwise all happiness would be meaningful. It's not. The time in my life that I would most wish to return was filled with moments of inconsequential joy. 

Do not try to convince me otherwise. 

So, I will try to revert to just reporting the events of my life here.  That, I believe, is what might be of the most value to the boy as he grows up - to have an eyewitness telling of his own life, through his father's experience. 

Though, who knows, as soon as I thought that... I wondered if I would want such a thing from my father. I immediately feared that it would be too sparse, that I would critique or ridicule it. But that's just me. Nothing is ever good enough, but the smallest gestures bring me to tears. I spent a fair portion of my life believing that my father never understood me, never tried to. There was just enough lack of evidence in that regard for me to believe whatever I wished, and wishes find a way of becoming petrified. 


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Too much looking back

I've discovered a few things about myself by not writing here any longer. Few of those findings have felt very good, but I suppose they were important feelings for me to have. The feelings have seemed unavoidable, so that is what I tell myself: that they were, and that they have somehow mattered. They are difficult to describe, and doing so might alarm some of my friends, but they seem to revolve around one basic theme: life has no objective meaning. That has been the overwhelming sensation that I've been dealing with recently. It arrives everywhere within me now, at the oddest times. It strikes even at happiness, deflates it before it can swell and be.  

This is not to suggest that individual people have no purpose, they do, but that means very little to me. I'm not sure that my life has had any purpose whatsoever, and when I ask myself honestly to prove, even to myself, that my life has any objective purpose, I can't do it.  

It's filled with the veneer of subjective purpose. Like most people I can be consumed with the details of my own life, the microcosm of self. But that all fades away at the macro level and I can no longer align myself with the star stuff from which I arrived and will return. I no longer feel a connection with the universe and doing hard psychedelic drugs now lacks the synthesis required for such youthful emotions and observations.  

It's a feeling that I've been struggling with. It has to do with me turning 50, or so it seems. I've been asking myself questions that I can't answer. Because I can't answer the questions I tend to conclude that the answers have no meaning, nor do the questions. It's circular logic and as such seems impenetrable, because it dismisses all argument before it arrives. Death is the obvious result of life, and one searches internally for ways to indicate or prove that their life has had meaning. All that I am left with is that I love and need the people around me and many of them need and love me. That must be enough.

Though, when I ask myself what meaning there is now to the people that have passed I recognize that the deaths and lives of others all fade into meaninglessness, no matter the magnitude of love for that person. Once I learned to accept that as a fact of being then it was a very small leap to arrive at the recognition that my life and death would result in the same. 

This last Dia de las Muertos really fucked me up a bit. I've started placing pictures of myself all around the house, have built little altars to the idea of my continued existence, filled with fresh fruit and incense, burning candles and peyote buttons - little temples of voodoo. 

So, that is what I've mostly been thinking about since not writing here. This daily confessional script gives me some small sense of meaning or purpose. I recognize its absence, and miss my attempts at framing the world into personal meaning each morning. I'm told by simpletons everywhere that one must find a way to give their life meaning, and they offer their methods always as the best possible resolution. Believing perhaps that if everyone just embraced their pathway to purpose then the world would be a better place. Maybe they are right, all of them. 

I would probably encourage everyone to write each morning, to try to provide one's fears and hopes with form. To discover some way to laugh into the darkness and light, towards one's own reflection without self-defeating malice or shame, and with a governed sense of self-praise. Writing here for almost ten years means very little, but there is more of me that can be found here than can be found elsewhere. It is even more me than is my own presence in a room, for anyone interested. 

The idea that I began to struggle with was that my son might be my only future audience. But I accepted that, and am okay with it. I frightened or angered most all others away; I have tried to be honest.  

I've been examining the way that I have lived my life, and I've found a few missteps, but none so bad that I wouldn't give it a second go. My catalog of mistakes are not the ones that most people might guess. I don't regret all the wasted years of dilapidated living, the misspent or vacant ambitions, or even that I squandered much of my intelligence on being far too self-involved, never learning how to work well with others. I am fine with most all of that. I prove that by continuing to be the same way today. I only regret being in such a foul mood for most of my life. What I had to be so disappointed about, I'll never know. 

Well, now I'm here: 50. 

From the outside I must appear to still be just learning to ride a camel. I've somehow outlived something about myself. I've found a way to stay just barely in front of my demons, most of the time, though only rarely riding above them. One thing I have learned is that they do not disappear. 

I worry that I might live too long - nobody wishes to become feeble, without resources. To live in the moment is fine and well, though I might not ever win another lottery. 

Am trying to find a loophole in the universe that is not a celestial noose. 

"Not only is it necessary to prove the crystal but the crystal must prove permanent by the fracture." - William Carlos Williams