Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not A Dot Composite

It’s got everything right. Kind wife, understanding husband, two nice kids. Minivan, high-end sedan. Gated community, in a high-end town. Swimming pool. Tennis courts. Families everywhere, smiling, waving. Clean house, very tidy, everything in the right place. Extra bedrooms, bathrooms. Comfortable furniture, big TV, matching dishes, matching towels. An entirely coordinated life.

I’m welcomed in time and again and when I am, I can see why people do this. I can feel the sensations. Safe, warm, comfortable happiness. Patterns. Familiarity. Reliability. Order. Coziness. Promise of stability. No bad surprises. Increasing accumulation (status, material, wealth). No ugly, unpredictable elements jarring the picture. Lulling, womb-like calm. Life as an Impressionist painting, all muted pastel and soft focus.

I fall asleep in this place, in the perfect quiet pixilated with the soft hum of the central air conditioner, in a room that’s dark but not so dark as to invoke fear. I wake up in the morning under a downy comforter emitting just the right amount of warmth, with the sun streaming in the picture windows, highlighting spotlessly clean white walls. I breathe in the entirely scentless air. And I feel…

Entirely nothing.

For all this, everything designed for my satisfaction and comfort, there is nothing here I want.

So now. I’ve walked out of the painting. No more wavering. Time to search out the new canvas, media.

A brash spot of graffiti on an unexpected surface? A brightly painted chair? Black, curved iron girders climbing skyward? A throne made entirely of recycled tin foil, jelly jars, coffee cans, and street trash?

I have no idea what it will be. I do know it’s time to face up that it won’t have a frame. I’m never going to fit all nice and tidy and clean in the middle of the square.

It’s time to stop moderating that to protect others from discomfort.

(Photo credit: Empty Frame by Andross)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the people try to find themselves safe in life...they wish a safe future with a day-to-day easy and calm living...i guess it might be because, as we say here in my country, they don´t have blood in their veins. They aparently don´t need the adrenaline for changing life from time to time, losing, gaining, winning, crying, going mad, going happy, etc. Can someone live like that??? Without ups and downs??? They might be able to, but i don't know if it's the healthier thing to do...The only thing i definitely know is that I wouldn´t be able to live like that...i would go even madder than now!

(Listening "Don't cry" by GNR)

7/27/2006 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Hiromi said...

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers.

Okay, so it's from an unhealthy POV, but I agree. At rock bottom, I love my crazy self and my crazy life, and honestly, despite my constant self-flagellation over my perceived failures, I wouldn't trade the person I am for anything at all.

Smooches, chica.

7/27/2006 12:39 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Stille Tyr: It's not so much that I want crazy ups and downs. I want to find my own satifaction that I feel calm and good in. It's just that type, the most common type, doesn't work for me. (But then again, who knows--maybe I find some calm in ups and downs.)

Hiromi: Luuuurrrrrve that film and book, especially having lived in the city it was set in. Yeah, it's not that I have anything against choosing the fucking big television. I get why people choose it. In fact, if someone gave me a big fucking television, I'd not turn it down. It's just something about the way it all gets put together that doesn't seem to work for me.

The trouble with not going the prescribed route, of course, though, is that there's *work* involved. You have to imagine up an entirely new blueprint and build up from the basement. It's tiring just to think about. But then again, it's tiring not to do it and just pretend, too, y'know?

7/27/2006 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have to imagine up an entirely new blueprint and build up from the basement." Do you have to do that? Maybe it's not about making a new plan. Maybe you just have to go with the flow, without plans at all.
I always say "Right now we have this life, so lets put everything in risk!!!". I believe in reincarnation but i also belive that we have to do as much as we can with each and every life.

7/28/2006 12:17 AM  
Blogger Brookelina said...

You are the artist of your fate. Art knows no boundaries.

Wow...that was way deep for me.

7/28/2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger O said...


I really wonder whether that is in fact the "most common" type of life. I doubt it. It's the one promulgated by the media, by our government, --by many. It's certainly the one I think is associated still with the "american dream".

But I don't know many who are genuinely happy with such a life; 90 percent of the people I know well with such a life are living lives of quiet desperation, expressed only sometimes. I know enough people now at this point in my life that even when the surface looks perfect--I suspect a flaw within.

I had such a life once, and I left it. I may not know what shape my life will take, and it is frightening to no longer have that pattern for it....but whatever shape it takes, it will be one I have chosen.

good luck to you darling, and i'm wishing you strength on your own path.


7/29/2006 8:33 PM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Stille Try: Good point. I have lived like that for a long time. Following whims is useful in testing out what you like and don't like, what works and doesn't work for you. But actually, I think after a time, having some consciousness or vision about what would truly makes one happy/wondrous/inspired and then learning to build that reality for yourself on a more deliberate level also has some merit. That doesn't mean that part of it can't BE "going with the flow" or trying new things.

Brooke: Given the two pieces of your equation, we can therefore conclude my (your/everyone's) fate has no boundaries. Isn't it sad that most of us aren't taught that early on?

I may not know what shape my life will take, and it is frightening to no longer have that pattern for it....but whatever shape it takes, it will be one I have chosen.

Exactly what I was saying.

In the following day's post comments, I was mentioning "The Erotic as Power" to Hiromi. I really think it's time for the braver among us to find a way to make daily life an erotic, artistic act. It's completely possible, I'm sure of it. It's just without clear models to follow, as you say, it's a much scarier and chancier path to finding it. I'm willing to do it now, instead of zig-zagging back and forth over the line in order not to upset others.

And I absolutely agree with you. I do think the model is pretty prevalent at least in my country--but I also think many people in that model are pretty miserable. Which makes you wonder why it continues, at least in the shape in which it's promoted.

Love is a good thing. Family is a good thing. But why people are so afraid to deviate from the model of how to *do* those things, I am not sure. And for those of us who do deviate, why we feel we must always rationalize that we have done so, I am not sure. Probably because others demand it of us. But is that a good enough reason?

I often feel as if people don't want you to make alternate choices that may set you more free, because then they have to reevaluate why they stuck to the pattern and aren't. A bizarre kind of peer pressure.

In any case, as to your closing sentence--you are too sweet. Thank you, and love returned.

7/29/2006 9:41 PM  
Blogger Cherrie said...

Think about all the debt most people incur to live that "perfect" life, and all the pressure that squeezes the joy out of living.

Things and possessions enslave as much as emancipate. Poverty emancipates as much as it enslaves.

There is no one point on the continuum between the two that is right for everyone. Find the one that fits you best. And don't trip over all the books and other crap when you come to my place.

7/30/2006 1:52 AM  
Blogger Miss Syl said...

Cherrie: Ha! Only if you promise not to trip over all the stuff on the floor at my place.

I don't want to imply that more mainstream lifestyle is *wrong*--I think some people are very content in it. What I think is *wrong* is how most people feel obligated to try to hard to fit into it because it is touted as being the *only* "right" lifestyle, when they'll never be happy in it. Or really what's even more wrong is that there *IS* one lifestyle that's touted as "right" at all. Frustrates me.

7/31/2006 9:09 AM  

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