Sunday, March 1, 2009

On the Edge of a Wipeout...

Like a wave, just as soon as it came, it passed. The love-high. I again found myself filled with fear. Financial woes led to "the magic if" game where I take myself down a fictional path in my mind which inevitably ends in disaster...waking Friday I felt the urgency to make money, because as it stood I would not be able to make rent...sticking to my regime, I jogged under the train on Broadway, made my way past the jammed dirty shops of Brooklyn, with the smell of urban life and the chill nearly choking me...there is not a better way to describe the swirl of scents breezing by: the fried foods, garbage, bodily excrement, vehicle pollution....ahh the odoriferous gifts of high-density living...neither my first "Abs/Stretch class" or a shoulder workout could lose the anxiety clinging to my body...back at home I slowly made lunch, finding ways to procrastinate, and convincing myself why "today was a bad day to start selling again."

On my desk, or as some may call it, "the top of my dresser," was a gift from my sister. A deck of playing cards each labeled with some adventure to go on in New York City...I stumbled upon the MoMA card, which informed me that every Friday evening at the MoMA is free admission...Done. This in tandem with the impending rain, convinced me I should wait until Saturday to return to my day job. After all, I wouldn't be spending any money...

With my journal, two books, pens, highlighter, an apple, klean kanteen, and an immaculate sandwich I prepared, on my back I wandered off into the grey clouds to escape my fear...though that bitch was hot on my trail...to be absolutely honest it was on my back the whole time...But I told myself, "if this was your last day on the planet, would you want to spend it selling condoms on the street or visiting the MoMA?" I decided I would prefer the stimulus of a museum...it seemed to me that to use my last few hours trying to make money to prepare for a trip in the future would lead me to take the first few minutes of the after-life to kick myself for not "living in the moment," and visiting the MoMA instead...

The line was around the block, I smiled when my mind drifted to Greg Washburn's (my shnauze-soul brother) story of attempting to get into the museums for free in France and it being ridiculously busy...I got in and was told that I had to check my bag...Frustration. I was very proud of the sandwich I made, and didn't want to see it get smashed...(As a side, I chose that word "immaculate" to describe the sandwich, because it was...it looked like the kind you see in an advertisement: the softest, spongiest wheat bread with hummus on one piece and mustard on the other, crisp green and deep purple lettuce, brilliant red slices of tomato, two deli slices of herb infused turkey, and a perfect slice of 25% less fat Muenster cheese)....I decided to take the sandwich and eat it in the garden before wandering the galleries...in the garden I was approached by a guard that told me I was not allowed to eat in the garden, but if I went and sat in the back I would be okay. I couldn't help but thinking, "Damn, we have a lot of rules." I was only momentarily frustrated, and then I was thankful that the guard let me break the rules...

The first exhibit ended up being the one to leave the deepest impression...A performance artist who voluntarily locked himself in a cell in his apartment in NYC for one year, without any possible distractions...he was visited daily by a friend who gave him meals, changed out his clothes and bucket of shit, and took his picture...this man of extraordinary focus and determination has preformed many such year long endeavors, such as being tied to a woman friend for a year by an eight-foot rope and never touching each-other. living outside on the streets of New York for one year and never going inside, (not in a building, subway, car, train)...and never used shelter, just a sleeping bag...I admired his strength, and understood his need to know that he was capable of accomplishing these feats...His name is Tehching Hsieh, for those interested...

My journey through most of the museum ended up being more people watching, the place was packed and the opportunity to really sit with a piece was just not happening...people constantly moving around, everywhere...there was some kind of a traffic flow--people just glancing at each piece as they slowly kept walking...the people stopping were like a speed bump, annoying...I was just as happy to watch people...

Once on the the second or third level I noticed people looking lethargic, their minds clearly drifting from where they were...carrying bags and jackets, wishing they were laying down on their bed at the Hilton...i think this is common...people going to a museum and then dreading it...but faking interest because, well aren't we all supposed to be interested? shouldn't we all be amazed at the truth? the beautiful way of interpreting life? well. sometimes. but sometimes our lower-backs are sore. and sometimes our feet hurt. and sometimes I get sick of a blank canvas being hung on a wall at the damn MoMA...and while I'm on the subject, pieces of trace paper with random scribbles or just one haphazardly drawn line do not do a damn thing for me. I refrain from saying "that isn't art," because I think some abstract point can be made to prove that it is...however...it pales in comparison to a real painting, such as The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau...(my favorite painting of the trip. probably because it reminded me of The Alchemist, which I just read on Wednesday and continues to be an inspiration for this journey I am on)...

at last I gazed at these people and wanted to shout out, "Wouldn't we all be much more comfortable in our burn clothes?!?!?" Fear kept one hand over my mouth and one in prime position to punch me in the balls...I decided to stay quiet...I tried to figure out why we were all there, not individually, but as a group...what did this place offer us? ...creative outlets, something new to cause our heads to start spinning some idea we had never thought of before...But wouldn't we rather make it ourselves? By going to the museum do we quench the thirst to create, letting these artists do it for us, instead living vicariously through their work? ...now Burning Man was battling the fear, "Why don't WE make something here? Let's stop looking and start doing!" Again fear reminded me of the consequences...but i dreamed about this amazing collective experience where we all started making something, using whatever we found, built, painted, danced on...some amazing happening for people expecting just another day in a museum...yes we would be arrested, but we would make headlines, and the people that were a part of it would share a joy in living, tasting our potential for a brief moment...

enough of these daydreams...anxiety and her best friend, frustration, were poking and prodding me as I was trying to enjoy this evening of free entertainment...why couldn't I connect with these strangers? not a single conversation...feelings from the fall reemerged, the longing for a community, contact with people...the ego beating itself, no people and no money...walking home in the rain I feared wiping out...The "Had I never..." thoughts started coming...had I not come back to New York I would have 2,500 dollars in my pocket for Europe....blah blah blah...that sort of bullshit that is just a bunch of horseshit...of course I know I could never have spent the remaining six weeks in California...it would have driven me crazy...(haha, just reread these last phrases and realized that I explained bullshit as being, "just a bunch of horseshit." what can I say, I'm a young writer.)

curry chicken and rice, carrots and hummus put me into a sleepy mood...i laid on the couch feeling scared, but trusting in what the shepherd is taught in The Alchemist...As I am pursuing my Personal Legend, the universe is conspiring with me for my success...even when it looks like all is lost, he is on his way to his treasure...I assume the same is true for me. for you. for everyone searching, wandering, loving, exploring...

...falling asleep...waking up 30 minutes later feeling overwhelmed...I cruised PUA articles, and received a hit of love via gmail chat with Sage...thanks again, love...

just before bed I felt the storm clearing, confidence building, determination beaming form my heart...I made signs with a sharpie and paper from my journal...one posted over my bed, "I will fly to France with $5,000 cash" The other posted over a map of Spain and Portugal Margo gave me, "I am backpacking here in April/May." The secret baby. Boom. Mine. I don't know how these things will happen, or what the steps will be to get there, but we never do. I'm just saying they are happening.

...I also posted a bunch of affirmations I wrote in Huntington Beach over my head...constant reminders...I need them nearly every second to stay on task...to keep my head in the game...

Saturday I would experience, Beginner's Luck...I was choosing it...

*As a note, I nearly didn't post this...I was feeling, and still feel some hesitance to post a blog that exposes the fear...on Friday I knew I would write this down, but keep it to myself, because it is a downer..."all of my posts should be good stories, ones that make people just see how amazing this trip is...all the beautiful and amazing things should be shared" i was thinking...but I think now that is kind of false...along this amazing journey I will have many ups and downs...and it is only fair to be honest about them...it is quite easy to romanticize this trip, and i hope this kind of blog, might bring it back down to earth, make it all seem a bit more real...i am a free spirit, but one that still battles fears...

2 comments:

jaysen said...

please don't ever feel ashamed to post your fears or struggles.
the greatest gift a writer has is his or her authentic voice, unique to their experiences and who they are...and i'd say who Love is through them.
your humor, your insight, your wisdom, your hope are all things we value about having you in our lives, friend...but your vulnerability is equally what makes you beautiful and a treasure to Life.
thanks for sharing all of IT.
there is only Love :)

peace & love to you ~
jaysen

My name is Greg Washburn said...

i too am glad you chose to share this, and your description of the sangwhich made me very hungry