I am Not Considered a Local

Reading and writing are considered wintertime activities. In summer, the sunlight blasts life into the hills and valleys in 18 hour concentrations, filling out all the scraggly branches with green. Wildflowers pop out of the earth like slow motion fireworks. The growing season is short. Broccoli bursts into flower. Kale does okay. Everyone has a garden or a temperature modulated greenhouse and everyone has varying success. There are awards given to the best legumes at State Fair. Produce is expensive here and comes once a week on a barge from Seattle and from somewhere else before Seattle. Bananas are browning on arrival. Avocados quite ready. So on.

Everything comes alive quick and ready in the summer. The sun is here. The sun is flooding this place with light. This is not the time for thoughtful leisure, they say. This is the time to hike and slide and jump and play and boat and fish and fill the freezer with things to eat in the dark months, the months we won’t yet mention. No one who lived here in the winter spends these sunny days reading or writing music. They are out, social, impelled by the peripheries of those forever looming dark days (haunting their mortgage) to go out and act like the foliage in these violent, swift seasons of growth.

Bonfires with homemade instruments. Shuttle buses for bushwhacking hikes up unnamed peaks. Ferry rides around the corner into the misty fjords. Biking to Canada. Watching bears behave as unpredictably as wind on the water’s surface. Big shaggy things. Alarmingly huge, even from a distance. I don’t want us to frighten each other on the trail, bear. I don’t want our heartrates to peak at the same time. I want what you want and I want to live. You are a good analogy to the natural rhythm of the people in tune with these seasons. Hibernate, binge, etc. I’ll admit I’ve never taken more naps in my life than while up here. Some somnolent daze keeps me out of more youthful energies I’ve known. Can no longer be so reckless, says the future. You are approaching 30 faster than you thought possible. I don’t know why I’m so sleepy still in this Alaskan summer. Some part of the mind is stuck idling on something nonessential, burning up energies without me taking a conscious part of this fuel transfer. What is it I am so fixated on to keep me inside?

Summer works as a boost of adrenaline only for those who know winter. It is beautiful. Snow covers everything. No tourists other than heli-skiers. You must snowshoe or ski or snowplow to work or to the bbq. Huddled over a cup of tea with the frozen whipping wind outside. This is the time to write and to read. Going on into the snowy dark to chop more kindling for a fire in the rattling cabin. A guitar near the fire. You are looking deeply into your only soul and you see it multiply and you are terrified. The winter reverses the summer light with darkness. Nearly 5 hours of sun in the dead of winter, but much less depending on the angle of the Chilkat mts. from your home. The dark is what people are most afraid of during this time. Dark night of the soul. The northern lights streak across the brightest constellations as green smoke. You wait in your cabin with your books.

“Do you live here?” a guest will ask.
“Yeah, for now.”
“Oh so where do you spend winter?”
“Not sure yet. I have not arranged an exit strategy.”

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Phantasms – Creating Characters

30 minutes sept 26, 2014
5:41 pm-6:14pm

When I come home to write, I can imagine words shaping themselves into ellipses and spiraling out of the air into my mind, and I, transcribing wildly, might glean some truthful version of the events of the day, the mundane observation mixed with truth of unsettling detail. The soul of the situations all spread out onto the operating table.

(I wanted to keep my sanity and write with method and patience and adequate timing, etc. Earlier, I avoided my free-write and have been a cloud ever since. No solid ground on which to stand. A downed bridge in heavy fog and the drivers are suspended through the crisp air above the ravine before plummeting.)

Mind wanders too far and it doesn’t seem to know how to complete a thought to place in the head of a fictional character. Hear the muddled advice of a number of authors say, “Every character you create is yourself, an extension of your own fears, desires, joys. These exaggerations are not lies, and bending through your internal vocabulary is a psychological attempt to make sense of the harder-to-cope-with parts of your personality. Through exaggeration, that time you overreacted to the spilled cup of coffee can be taken apart and examined as a fossil found washed ashore on some rocky beach… then, with horror, you find it to match with exactitude your selfsame DNA. You are the author and you are your characters. You have the power to resolve conflicts within yourself through them.”

I have tried to begin a sentence four or five times now and erased every word of it. This is not a free write. This is a sabotage of the creativity because of how self analytic it is. Of course I need inspiration to create the characters through which I can work through my paralyzing guilts and paranoid prosecution anxiety, where the characters are fucking real but heroic and never crack under the pressure that washes over me like a placid little flower being drowned in a heavy rain. Regret does not exist in the created world. Only in the terrible, depraved world of the creator, who creates nothing focused enough to share. Nothing nothing nothing. No combination of words from the ether can be shared reasonably or published or even re-read by me!

Negativity die. Give yourself some astrological free will advice to warm up the cooling embers of your heart, the tight ropes wound round the lungs and the curve of the spine as it is swallowed up by the orange chair, the apples on the table, the digging I can do, the excavating of stories, the wonderful images and beginnings, the mountain erased by clouds, the packs of roving imbeciles on a campus that fuels me with a kind of sardonic fear of emulsion, yet the cynicism is louder and yells longer than their voices…so many, many, many. So terrible too. Their faults numerous in their acceptance of the status quo as a way to exist so happily in bliss and with god and the ministers of peace and justice are always self-proclaimed and never secretly gifting strangers the elected spirit of a positive mindset at random, with strings and syringes, in red brick public squares, illuminated by a cross breed mutt architecture and the green distances all, all, all directions.

You are amazing, fantastic, great at knowing how to live. Creativity pours out of your eyes like tears of zeus. or lightning bolts out of thunderstorms caused by volcano eruptions. Yes! There are problems in the machinery. Your depression nearly laid you flat before you took a bus downtown to climb a 40 story building and investigate the public library. You wanted to sleep and in a dark place, it is understandable. You wished for an out at that point. A pill to swallow to paste a collage of smiling advertising faces on your self. No, no. What helped this time was velocity. Getting on that god damn bus. Looking out the god damn window at quickly passing sights and lives. Then wandering aimless through the downtown cluster of shining, majestic buildings, newer and fresher than Amsterdam canal water. See the sea down the hills while walking along 5th or 3rd. Dream of pods of orca whales. Becoming one of them, or building one in the laboratory, and procreating to save the species. Helping them avoid quiet ferries among the loud motor boats.

Velocity always seems to help. Drinking in a dark room as photographs of newly inputted memories are suddenly blotted out by a carelessly, mechanically cleaning bartender.. “oops, were these yours? sorry about that. another double?” and then drinking it down and feeling the world pass by with ambition and purpose as your bar tab rises and your depression surrounds your body like a snake skin too heavy for the poor little snake to shake off no matter how much writhing and rustling in the overgrowth, the undergrowth of forested lanes.

This blockage is nothing! It truly is not a blockage! You’re borderline personality disorder. Anxiety is one voice. Contentedness is a student who never raises his hand. Creativity is drunk and boisterous, yet always in the mornings finds himself a false promiser. Ambition is a kid who wants to be an astronaut but doesn’t want to do math, just wants to look at the stars. Happiness is a white tiger in a darkening twilight snowdrift, bear in a cave, hibernating. Sadness is an atmosphere.

hibernate

{originally drafted February 10th 2014)

We constantly have to make a decision between reality and oblivion. For me, this is oblivion. I exit reality in order to assuage my artistic yearnings for the production of things. Writing is oblivion because it is a rambling explanation of reality rather than the present experience of it. Reality is out there, beyond the window of my computer screen and the windows of this house. Snowflakes dangle on ribbons on that window. That is reality out there because I saw a confused young buck with enormous, growing antlers eating the brambles near the old haunted path. My life memories are out there. I could walk out there presently and put this whole writing idea in the can, exiting oblivion.

Marijuana is often a portal for people. If I am afraid or unwilling to live in reality to a full extent, I might smoke myself into the rabbit hole, from which communication with reality becomes difficult. Even now, without the guiding influence of any drugs, I am absent from reality and therefore distant from connected ties with it. I am presently absent. Gloriously vacant and ignorant of the conversations I must have with real human beings, my friends, my old beloved friends desire to hear from me in my cave, but I might hibernate awhile longer, only if my oblivion is productive, you see.

I owe many talks to many people. I owe it to myself to create. I owe it to karma to straighten this all out and balance between the absent minded daylight (however brief today, my god!) and the definitive absence while in dreams.

Geographical Creativity in Three Sources

1. The Nature of Creativity edited by Robert J. Sternberg circa 1988
2. The Twentieth Edition of Oxford’s Atlas of the World
3. A notebook I filled during end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, while in California.

Context A: Benson, a grey and white 7 1/2 year old maine coon I adopted three months ago perches on the atlas and periodically climbs onto the computer in attempt to reclaim my attention. I push him off and he bites my finger.

Context B: It is 4:25 in the afternoon. Bottom edges of flat clouds in the direction of Mt. Rainier are rosy-lined.  I just drank a mug of black coffee and I’m listening to the Lonely Forest (R.I.P). At 8 I have to work for the University of Washington, delivering transfer items from downtown Seattle to Tacoma and back. The bookstore has a guarantee for customers who order books to/from specific branches. If ordered, I make sure the item is at whichever store by the next morning.

Context C: Nothing here. Author left it blank.

Context D:  I just took migraine medication for the onset of bleary vision, which usually precedes an attack of my body against itself. It might make me fall asleep for awhile. Surely, it will ruin my capacity to study French or revise a short story on creation/destruction or write about Washington Irving’s opinions on Shakespeare’s writing process. Talk about a transition.

Paris has 10,620,000 inhabitants. The second most inhabited city in France is Marseille at 1,489,000.

Creativity is a mystery, and many people believe that it should remain a mystery. It should not be scrutinized too closely, says the anxious Romantic, because there is a danger in knowing too much about it. If we discover its sources, they may dry up.
//// November 11, 2012 Hey what’s good, insomnia? Oh you know just thinking about how it would be to drink champagne on the floor cross legged on straw mats with soft introspective music soothing from a non-intrusive source, the lighting dim aside from flickering candles, hear me, here me yell wonderful stories and elongate details to the depth of our shadows as never before, never again, we’re well aware. The crisp voiced angel comes to mind again. Manifest. My legs kick ceaselessly, restless, off-beat, thinking about naked women and color wheels. I don’t like meeting with 3am like this, like being jumped in the alleyway of the night, so violent and uninvited. I want to sleep peacefully with you, 3am. Instead, even with the Arizona dreamcatcher hanging directly above me, I keep having vivid lucid dreams about incredible sleeplessness.\\\\

The cynical Realist asserts a different proposition: Those who cannot create study those who can.

Few students of creativity have stopped to define what it is that they are studying.

Beethoven is a particularly interesting case, because he improvised with such fluency and brilliancy that his extemporaneous works were considered by some of his contemporaries to be better than his compositions. Yet his notebooks show that he composed with the greatest of difficulty. (Melody lines crossed out and replaced infinitely, pages torn, blood spilled.)

Large sprawling cities are often considered unsustainable because they consume huge amounts of resources and produce vast amounts of waste.

//// beauty pervades everything, your smile is jazz club sunshine, bite your nails to the quick, and choose the easier written words to decide\\\\

True originality evolves as the individual goes beyond what others had done before. Paradoxically, this means that in order to produce something new, one should first become as knowledgeable as possible about the old… to modify early products that are not satisfactory.

(people awakened at night; unstable objects overturned) They usually happen at depths varying from 5 to 20 miles. Most initial loss of life occurs due to secondary causes such as falling masonry, fires, and flooding.

“I admire their brash impracticality and wonder if, in some way, their reckless enthusiasm for art, conceived and nurtured in an increasingly money-driven age, represents their unconscious protest against the age… as well as the lovely madness of their dreams.” -Roger Rosenblatt

1. He has specified the wind, to make it the wind of autumn, and therefore the dying of the year.

2. He has made the presence of oncoming death unseen, save in its effects on the leaves – presumably once green, they have lost the sap of springtime and the vigorous hue of summer and are now pale, black, yellow, or hectic red, the last overwhelmed fling of impulse.

3. The leaves are driven like ghosts, fleeing from a tyrannical enchanter; they are scurrying, eager to get away.

4. The leaves are multitudes: frightened exiles, old folks and orphans, all homeless, driven by the onward rush of pestilence, an unchecked destructive power.

Depression: large area of low barometric pressure, a few thousand miles across.

//// If every time I hit a note on a guitar a word came with it, I’d pay a hell of a lot more attention to what I’m playing \\\\

Images like these proved too difficult.

Heaviest snowfall (continuous): Bessans, Savoie, France, 68 inches [1,730mm] in 19 hours, April 5-6, 1969.

Highest recorded temperature: Al Aziziyah, Libya, 135.9 F. [57.7 C], September 13, 1922.

How is the choice among options made? Sometimes it depends on principle.

////learn natural harmonies with the metallic objects in my life\\\\

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving” -Lao Tzu

experimental music

It’s late. I’m drowsy from driving
and lifting boxes and trying
not to feel uncomfortable.
When my sweater fits like a second skin
but something grows between the layers,
an unreachable itch,
and the wipers sound off
for almost a mile before
a grey, starless night
and abstract noises
dominate the radio waves,
spiraling out
arms of many galaxies,
sent from the branches
of the arteries growing
in between your layers of skin,
vibrating the particles
finding a home within them to rest and cease.
Our nonchalance helped
ginger beer and distiller’s reserve
feeling like an old man with
freshmen french classmates
making a mockery
of how my hair looks
when flowing behind my head
beautifully in the wind
and the romantic kiss under the tower
gardens erupting in our eyes
as if it wasn’t just tongue
spit and gnawing at your lips
but our nonchalance did help
it was cool, you know
barely even mattered.
So I amplify the sound of crumpling paper
{as in another overthought first draft}
and layer it beneath
experimental swellings of
a moog synthesizer
and a history of electronic music
when signals were without tones
considered in the vocabulary of music
a random code has returned to melody
math is now music
and vice versa
I could amplify the sound of your breath
leaving and returning at the pink
hair dye stained pillow case
in the double stacked mattress bed
the forget me not green tangle design
and your breathing could be a symphony
a binary code to identify
the quality of your air
in and out
plucking of an acoustic guitar
in and out
nylon strings
math, vocab, hair dye, and a cut
a pipe organ feed through tremolo
concentric wobbling
connecting cables that shouldn’t
to invent biological music
genetic code to our essence
that makes the fire starting art instinct
in us to create without boundaries or care
in and out
a piano soiree with a concert hall full of black and white keys
to unlock nothing