12.14.2007

a few words concerning the season (etc.)

so. a great deal of pause has been given to this journal. i guess one could say it was school, work or good ol fashioned procrastination. i say it was an odd combination of the three and perhaps more. here's what i think (and i assume you're either bored or perhaps vaguely interested in what i have to say): i finished reading zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance a few weeks ago. this a book i hear one needs to read in order to become a pretentious college asshole (along with ayn rand's atlas shrugged which, incidentally, is not a good book. if you're interested in her, spend your time elsewhere - i suggest the fountainhead.). but, i digress. after finishing the book i thought of those people who find it to be for pretentious assholes and promptly thought of them as pretentious assholes (most likely they frequent pitchfork, think that music is dead and shop exclusively at american apparel*.) i found myself wondering when some pivotal moment in my life would happen. now i'm well aware that those things don't just happen and i'm also well aware of all the tired lines having something to do with me making things happen. yes, i know. thank you.

but. after the construction and prompt collapse of relationships, the construction and fear of imminent collapse of another and a general paranoia surrounding an increasingly awkward social life, i have settled on one importation question: the question of perspective. phaedrus had his inquiry into the meaning of the purest form of quality: what is it? where did it come from? what does quality mean when you take it out of context (that is, what is quality when you're not relating it to material objects such as, for example, a well made car)? i am in no way comparing myself to the pained protagonist of pirsig's story but i am longing for some chautauqua of my own.

this matter of perspective, to be totally honest, isn't revolving around a question but a concept. it's not as intensely deep as i may have made it sound but it is seeming to fit this part of my life. there is some root to the meaning of perspective (and it doesn't involve any vortex machine, for those of you in the know) but i have yet to stumble across it. what guidelines, exactly, keep us from backing away and looking at things from a different angle, through a different filter? how is it that our respective lenses get so scratched with a specific set of experiences thus leading to what later becomes a rather unpleasantly jaded individual? i fear it affects everybody. in fact, i know it does. if you've ever met anybody with an opinion you've met a person that has experienced some strange side effect of perspective. it's a strange and almost rudely elementary conclusion for me to arrive at, "distastefully simple" a friend told me. well fine, to hell with you too. yet at moments i feel like i'm grasping at straws and at other moments i'm determined to get deeper. the problem always comes at the same point, the point i'm at right now. i don't know how to get deeper. i don't know where to go from here. up? down? i'm not on a magical elevator and haven't yet figured out what the fuck "thinking laterally" entails. i haven't been able to sidle up to the problem and pounce on it.

so then. no answers to the question of perspective. however, and this may or may not help you understand just what in the hell i'm prattling on about, i felt its brutal effects: the most obvious being its negative impact on my social life. i feel that i have over-developed my internal resources that allow me to see things from other people's points of view. oh, you're saying, what a delusional asshole. no, i actually think this is detrimental for one very important reason: i have gained too much perspective on external issues (those outside of my own head) at a very critical time in my life, a time where i should be focusing on what's happening internally. it's a scary time when you realize that you may or may not be thinking for yourself. or worse, that other people have zero perspective and are stubborn to the point of suicidal when it comes to their own views. here we see the problem of perspective. its ghost and lingering residue in its most basic and rudimentary form. the stain it has left on my life until now has resulted in oddly shaped bridges that haven't fully repaired themselves, not unlike a bone break that has healed uncleanly. i find this leading to more and more reclusiveness and more and more thought.

but there's an upshot. there's something that as i wrap myself up in this tangle always brings me back down. moments like these.

creme brulee

with that said (and gone completely unfinished), i love the season even with its odd little bouts of loneliness that are specific only to the holidays. i'm reading (still) brian greene's fabric of the cosmos. i'm listening to beirut's gulag orkestar, jens lekmen's night falls over kortadala and stars' in our bedroom after the war. i'm mostly happy in my work and we've reached the end of the first quarter and a much anticipated break through the new year. i'm beginning the pre-planning for study abroad in germany for fall 2008. i'm bored a lot.

more pictures. for posterity, you know?

snowy day
the view from our landing. the clouds are hanging too low to see the bay beyond the farthest visible brick buildings.

xmas tree 2007
we have a christmas tree. go us.


-e

*if this is you, let me know: i have words for you. they're not happy words, either.

2 comments:

Benjamin said...

i don't know if you're still terribly interested in the elektronomusik but if you are, you should listen to burial - untrue immediately. also, i would recommend unwound - leaves turn inside you.

i continue to be glad that you found your way to that book. pretentious or not, it's one of the best crystallizations of thought i've had.

erriott said...

crystallizations of thought = "seed crystal"?

don't know if you'll read this before the 23rd but i'm catching a train into portland on that day. i'll need a pickup and spencer has agreed to come in. if you're in town you should accompany him so we can get burgers and cheesecake. and beer. and stuff.