Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Meaningful Lives and me

Occasionally, I read a novel that is more like life than most I read. I read one such a while ago, but unfortunately; I've forgotten it name. The protagonist was a klutz and everything always went wrong. If I wrote a truthful story of my own life, that's what it would be like. A comedy (or tragedy) of errors.

I did not want to write about my failed day. I wanted to write something meaningful. I had a whole list of topics to explore, including some of the people I admire and why I admire them.

For example, Tim Burke. I don't know him; I just met him at his home at the Heidelberg Project. This is why I admire him:

  • Ø He's an artist. He's a real artist (whatever that means.)* He makes and sells art. He is serious about his work), but playful as well. Best of all, he lives like an artist. He lives in an art community, surrounded by his art. He makes a statement with everything he does.
  • Ø He's a poet. He's a performance poet, and he does it well. He recites political poetry, poetry that might make a difference.
  • Ø He combines his poetry and his art in performance and seeks to engage the public.
What do I like about him? He’s nice. I think what he's doing is important. I think art is important, I think poetry is important, and I think speaking out for what you believe is important. I'd like to be more like that. I'd like to live my art and poetry and speak out on important issues. Instead, I wallow. I wallow in a black hole of stupid wasteful activities.

Today, I tried to order tickets for the Harry Potter movie online because it's newly out, but Fandango kept saying, please enter a valid email address, even though I had. I Xed it out and tried again, numerous times. I called Star Theaters, emailed Fandango, wasting more and more time, but to no avail. This means that in order to assure we had seats, we had to go in really early. More wasted time.

I emailed back and forth about the sale of my mother's house. This is a daily or nearly daily activity that is a singularity of wasted time. Eventually, something positive may come of it. I sure hope so. But on a daily basis, it’s a time sink.

I could go on, but I won't; I will not list all the stupid things I did today instead of something useful and productive, except this: I wanted to have Biker Buddy's dinner ready the minute he got home from work so we could go right away to see Harry Potter. I am making grilled yellow fin tuna in a lemon-wine sauce with a side of fresh veggie mix in a curried wine sauce and a side of beans and rice and a fancy complex salad. In the midst of the elaborate preparation, I am reaching for the wine evacuator in the side of the silverware drawer and knock over the bottle of wine. It turns upside down in the silverware and special tools drawer and empties entirely into the drawer before I can rescue it.

Then, it begins draining out the bottom of the opened drawer onto my feet and the floor. Did I mention that what I had wanted to do today was work on my story and take a walk? Spinning through the darkness of Murphy, the day was almost gone, but I thought that once the tuna was marinating and the veggies cut and the sauce made, there's still be a little time to accomplish something.

But instead, I was cleaning a big mess on the counter, in the drawer, on the floor. I had to take all the silver and tools out and wash them, dry them and replace them after cleaning the drawer.
When Biker Buddy rolled in, I was just finishing cleaning up, and it was time to start the fish and veggies.

Now, I am sitting in the darkened theater, a half hour still to go before they even start the previews. I didn't work on my story and I didn't walk. I did no art. I didn't confront George Bush for ruining the environment or bombing babies. I did nothing useful or meaningful. I wasted a day trying to get Harry Potter tickets, talking about real estate, cleaning lost wine, and other unbearably unmentionable times sinks.

The people who do meaningful, good and useful things, do they have their own private Murphy diverter?*** Where can I get one?

*I am an artist, because I create art.** But I don't often consider myself a real artist because I rarely sell anything and don't live like an artist. I am a poet because I write poetry. I have a Master’s degree in poetry. But I don’t usually consider myself a “real” poet, because I don’t have a “real” book. I’m a photographer and have won awards for my Photography, but I don’t consider myself a “real” photographer. Don’t ask.

**What is art? What is poetry? Who defines what art is, what poetry is, what a novel is? Can I say for certain that I create art?

***Real people make art; I’ve met some of them. Real people write books, are doctors, find cures for diseases, etc. How do they stave off Murphy and the Black Hole? How do they fight Entropy?

This is an excerpt from my Journal for 7-17-07 and 7-18-07. The original full journal entry is posted here.
Another part of the journal edited and posted here.
Another picture of Tim Burke posted here.

PS, I messed up the QUIZ that I left while I was in Slovenia, so if you couldn't comment before, try again now. When I have 5 comments, or more (if they come in fast and furious, which I don't expect), I will post the answers.

It occurs to me that this post prolly should be placed in The Unbearable Darkness of Being instead of here. Oh well.
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BerryBird said...

You didn't say if you liked the movie? I guess you hadn't seen it yet when you were writing. If it is any small comfort, showing up early was probably your only shot at good seats--if you'd ordered online and showed up ontime you might have ended up in the front row, or without side by side seats. Did you take the boy?

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Oh, I did say, there is a link on the post to the "whole journal entry" which gives that info, but, for the sake of your curiosity if you don't have time to click the link and read "the rest of the story," I loved the movie! I loved it!

And yes, we took Piano Boy. And he loved it took, we all loved it.