Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday's Secrets

Here are some of my favorite PostSecrets from today. The first one hit me like a lead weight in the chest. The way a Whopper goes down and then sits, being dissolved by stomach acid while the body seeks to filter through. The density clogs an anyrism. That's why they sometimes show, in cartoons and stuff, people's heads exploding--it's to express a situation being encountered that is too much for the rational mind to grasp. And so for a second (which is a bit of a misnomer, considering that this event is operating outside the realm of time and space), everything stops. And you are presented with the choice of experiencing a particular moment--this unique and particular moment that will never again be repeated is the course of history. Like dropping a leaf into a stream or throwing a stone into the ocean--once it gets swept up in the current, by the undertow it is to advance time, moment by moment, til the (literal) end of time. It's funny I never took note of what it was really saying, the double meaning, the fact that we may be approaching an undeniable "end." But what if that "end" was just the end of X. There is still "the end of Y," and "The end of Z," and the..."

Me: "Well, what's after Z?"

The answer: "Why, 'A', of course!"

Anyway, this PostSecret exploded on impact and soaked the walls, black lines racing towards the floor, like legs in a glass of wine. It didn't hurt; when you're not expecting something and it hits you in the face, it's just more like a shock (not unlike the shock bodies go into after a shark attack) or a stun, like, "did he really just take my tooth?" The fear of getting hit is becoming concentrated in the coils of a spring when it is being compressed but has not yet been experienced--it is "kinetic emotion," aka, "a Reason Anurism," aka, a "Buddha Slap." When a moment of insight into buddha-nature occurs, it comes from within, but is spurred from outside. I wonder about these "Reason Coated Prayer Bombs", of if when artists create--when real birth, real creation has taken place--they are really just being used as earthly messengers to, commissioned to communicate messages that are beyond their rational capacity and to understand. A piece of art can be like a synapse looking for it's connection--it is the message meant for one person and one person only. When that person is you, and you find yourself now like someone holding their breath because they have just woken a sleeping bear, it's as if when the bear starts charging towards you, compressing a shield of time to it's breaking point, you're brain shuts into conservation mode, the way trees shed their leaves in times of drought. It cannot afford to allocate any time in what is not necessary for the task at hand. That is Zen.

So like Albert and Tommy in I Heart Huckabees taking turns wacking each other in the face with a giant rubber ball because "you stop thinking!", and it's eery similarity of taking turns with the bong, "hey, you stop thinking!", an enlightening piece of art can become like a bag of drugs you can't keep your hands out of. I read a quote on another blog by Langston Hughes that said, "an artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose." In trying to flush out the message embedded for "you...only you," you have to contend with the constant temptation--the lingering, wafting smell of rotting fish filling a room--of making an idol out of the envelope bearing the letter. But if you can connect with what was sent to you, if the message was 'activated' and 'received successfully,' then tell your mind you'll see it in a few seconds, but until then, ciao! i'll send you a postcard!

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