Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Paradise Fragments: Anger and Beauty

“Let me see the colts
that will run next year.
Show them to a gamblin’ man
Thinkin’ of the future.”

--Smog


Anger. The other night, I saw all these luxury cars parked along Wilshire and I thought—people hoard their money and waste it on stupid shit.

Despite my professed agnosticism, I have convictions. I believe in following your dreams and never compromising. I believe it is stupid to hoard wealth and think, “Someday I’m gonna do what I want.”

I believe saving money is cowardly.

I believe if you are not going hard after a beautiful dream, you are wasting your life.

I believe in changing my community for the better.

I believe in Hibbleton.

I believe in making enough money to survive, and putting the rest toward my dreams.

I believe I can say things that have not been said before.

Anger. The wealthy have no vision for the future. I want to share my vision with them.

The arbitrariness of mental systems—of philosophy, psychology, religion. Human constructs. To be outside these constructs somewhat, observing. It is scary. I feel alone. But I am still using language. I guess it’s kind of all I have.

Anger. Developmental English students can be incredibly frustrating. I walk into class, and within five minutes, I am bombarded by four students telling me why they have to leave early or why they did not do the assignment.

Honestly, I shouldn’t care. This is college and they are responsible for their own education. They are only hurting themselves.

But I DO care, and I get angry at them. The hardest thing for me to deal with is the apathy of others.

My dad and I have a deal. I will read a Christian book with him if he will read a book of my choice with me. So we are reading “Everything that Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor together.

At some point, I tell my dad something I haven’t told him ever, “Dad, I need you to be okay with me not being a Christian right now.”

I drive home, listening to an interview with the writer T.C. Boyle on NPR. Boyle says that it was Flannery O’Connor who inspired him to start writing. He said, “She can make you laugh, and then she can make you squirm.” Amen.

Tonight, after hosting another 0pen mic night at Hibbleton, it struck me how temporary everything is, how it could all go away tomorrow. I could die, the gallery could close down, etc. Nothing is permanent. I am compelled to do what I feel is important now.

I need write, to paint, to create and help create beautiful things. To do it now. I heard a man walk by outside the gallery who said, “I just stumbled upon this random, beautiful thing.” Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That’s all we know on earth and all we need to know. Keats said that. He died very young.

My friend Matt said I looked like I’d lost weight. That’s what anxiety does.

Uhnhappy and happy at the same time. Good and evil at the same time. I don’t know about evil. I tend to blame psychology. But whatever. My writing tonight is not as beautiful as I’d like, but it is honest, I guess. There is a certain beauty to honesty, even when it is unpleasant.

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