I’m standing out in the cold right now having a smoke and tapping onto the trusty laptop who doesn’t seem to notice that it is 23 degrees out here. I’m not sure what this new trend in writing everything down is. I remember it starting back in junior high. I would keep notes on anything I thought was interesting, but not regularly. I don’t think I possessed the organizational skills to understand what I was doing. Then it really kicked into high gear in high school. That’s when I started keeping spiral notebooks that I would just write everything I thought of into all day and night. no dates or anything. Just idea books. Tons of them. But I never did anything with the books. I’m not sure what I was doing really. Just taking notes. I got the idea from Camus I think. after reading his diaries. At about the age of sixteen I officially started keeping dated journals in hardbound books. One every few months.
As soon as I got my first computer and realized how much time in retyping it would save me, I immediately abandoned handwriting entirely unless I had to. like if I was in the movie theatre or something. But then when PDAs came out I soon learned that I could just type my ideas into that when not near a computer and upload it all to my computer later. this was back when PDAs were black and white and held like 56k worth of data, but anything would be better than having to handwrite stuff and retype it later. I’m great on the first run but I’ll be the first to admit I’m awful with the retype or the edit. I just hate those tasks and usually just never get around to them. this is going to sound totally impossible to believe but for every page that gets typed here there are a few more that are handwritten when I’m not near a computer. These handwritten pages sit all over my house and my office waiting to get typed in. I think maybe I’m like a writing addict if that’s possible. I don’t know if its dangerous… I heard that mark twain wrote about eight hours a day… so that makes me feel better. I’m not there yet. I more like at four hours a day at this point.
Tonight as I stand here freezing and everyone else is in bed asleep I’m thinking about this obsession I have with writing everything down. even on full days when my schedule is packed, mac-daddy full days from morning till late at night, I will still make time to write at the end of it all. just sneak away somewhere and write. Like when Craig said this morning while preparing our breakfast, ‘hey man, what if Martin Luther king wasn’t a peace-activist but instead was like a natural hygienist? Would his name then have been martin loofa King?’ I even made a mental note to write that down because I thought it was funny.
It feels like a kind of fatalistic kind of thing. fear-based. Well, partly that, and I guess partly just pure ambition, a grand plan to it all that perhaps I just don’t understand yet. But more just fear. As if… its as if I weren’t writing everything down and instead I was just living everyday, that there wouldn’t be any reason for being here.
It may have something to do with this very strong longing to do more with the life here than just live it or live in it. so I think that’s where the writing it out thing comes from. just so many thoughts flying around in my head all the time. its either write it out or I sedate myself. Take your pick. I think without the writing I would go insane rather quickly. In fact, I am probably already insane and that’s just a sign and symptom of it. but because I’m writing all the time no one seems to notice. I can only imagine what would happen if I started to say out loud what I write everyday. People would think I was nuts. Which they do already. But it would be much worse. My rants against God and government alone would get me hung. But in life I’m just really quiet about all that out of respect for people really. My ideas are my ideas. No need to share them with others…
I just hate the idea of all these thoughts going to waste, so I write them out of me. And at the same time I hate the idea of just living with no purpose as it seems we were all meant to do while here, whatever and where ever “here” is. its just this kind of waiting station isn’t it? being alive here on earth as a human… We just wake up one day and realize (some of us) that we are alive and that we are “here.” and then we start asking everyone around us all these questions so we can learn as much as we can about who we are and who they are and where we are; and then one day (some of us) we realize that there are no more answers. Its like we used up all of our answer tickets. Just poof like that. lots of questions still but no more answers. You kind of get to this big wall that you cant get over no matter what you try. jump hurdle crawl fly dig a hole under… there’s just this big brick wall where all the answers stop coming and we are left on our own to sort of sift through all the unanswered questions of life and figure out which ones are important to us and which ones aren’t and then we have to wade through all these fake pseudo-answers that are out there for the people who don’t even know there is a wall.
When I was kid and I would ask ‘why are we here?’ and the answer would be ‘because God made you,’ that would do it for me. I mean, it started the old noggin a-thinking, but it did it for me. When I would ask my mom, ‘if my name weren’t Fishy and you weren’t my mom, I wouldn’t be me, would I? who would I be then? and who am I now?’ and she would say something like ‘you are you honey and you are perfect just the way you are…’ And that was that. I mean, that did it for me back then. in fact, it always made me feel really special. All warm and cozy. And the whole ‘where did grandpa go?’ when my grandfather died. And the ‘where do we go after we die?’ question always was satisfied with a simple answer of ‘heaven.’ Again, I loved that idea. it was a wonderful thing to think about. and always put me right to sleep.
But then when I hit sixteen all that changed. I’ve already written about the breakdown during my sixteenth birthday party where I spent all evening sobbing on my bed locked in my bedroom alone when all of my friends were in our living room waiting for me… all these unanswered questions just came pouring into my head. And I guess they’ve just never left.
Lucky for me, after a few years I realized that I wasn’t the only one who saw that wall. Lots of people see the wall. People try all sorts of things to get over it. they try on a lot of religions and try going to churches. They go to Tibet and become monks for a while. they go to India and seek enlightenment, which is just a fancy way of saying trying to get over the wall. They chant and have statues in their house and burn candles and say prayers and take courses and meditate and all sorts of things. its really fucking crazy how pathetic it is when you think about it because life isn’t really something we ask for… its just something we wake up in one day. And for a lot of people its such a fucking mystery as to why and how that it can really confound the mind…. lo and behold most of us still come back to that wall eventually. We are forced to it; forced into a corner of philosophy and philosophical thinking about life. as wretched as a thought that it is, at least I find comfort in realizing that I’m not the only one.
So that leaves us here. where-ever here is. day to day. eating sleeping breathing going to the bathroom laughing crying working playing. Getting dressed everyday. Getting undressed everyday. You know. living. Year after year and century after century and millennia after millennia. With no real beginning to speak of and no known ending in sight for us. just this endless stream of lifeness with no purpose. That’s life. And that’s why humans created and perpetuated the ideas of God and heaven and the afterlife and all that. because without these ideas we would just be fucking raving lunatics…
I think that the idea of writing to me has something to do with that. I think it has something to do with keeping track of it, making notes of it. creating some meaning – the act of writing it all down – in hopes that it creates something more than just the day to day living. Not that I think its going to make a difference because I don’t think it is. I mean, plenty of men who have come before me have written much more than I ever will and none of that has really helped out too much with the meaning of any of it. again, you just reach that point where you hit that wall and it doesn’t really matter what you read. you get to a certain age and you already know that so you just stop looking I think. in the end its just more writing to have to sift through. More meaningless pseudo-answers for the unanswerable.
One thing I have noticed is that the last few years since the exercise has turned into more a daily account of events and ideas rather than simply an ideas journal — which at this point I don’t even keep here anymore but in a separate journal – I sometimes question the usefulness of the diaries as a means of art… more a collection of events and thoughts and feelings than a mere ideas workbook as was the original intention when I first started many years ago when simply trying to make an exercise of what Davinci and camus and kafka and so any others had done…
What I’m feeling more than ever now is a strong desire to curb the transcendence diaries a lot and do them more in a real world way. something like the TV show. Something more visceral and less cerebral. Something more immediate and less archived. Yes. that’s it. live more. write less. But capture the living to the same degree but in a powerful and palpable and useful way.
If I can make the switch from typing into a computer to video taping every moment, just like when I switched from handwriting everything with a pen onto paper to typing into a computer… then we’ll be there.
I’ve said it before. somewhere along the line, we switched from the Information Age to the Personal Expression Age. Express yourself now and make millions! Believe me now and see it later. someone somewhere is going to make note of this and make millions of dollars writing a book about it. But you read it here first.
Last screening: Supersize me. this movie ROCKS!!! I loved it. holy shit what are we doing to ourselves? Man I’m not going to say I’m the worst but I’ve been pretty bad lately. Mostly now I just live on soup and pizza and coffee. Can you imagine? I wish I was joking but I’m not.