Google+ Followers

Monday, November 17, 2014

QUESTIONING REALITY FINDING NOTHING


vada
by cheyanne

Out on the road yesterday it came to me that we humans are, individually, art forms. Animals are too, every life form. It is the spirit of life in our lives that art aspires to, reaches for. Each one of us is a work of art. Our lives are art forms, each making our own story as it goes along. I'm inclined to think we weave our life stories with our attitude toward life. I've spent my adult life with an eye to improve my own attitude toward life, make it less self-destructive and less regrettable to others, imbue it with a loving spirit in place of a suspicious spirit. I see in my friends incredible art forms, complete ongoing stories of everyday life moments, interweaving with the stories of others making a Persian carpet of the mind in motion, constantly changing, even more complex than flow patterns in turbulence. As I interact with friends periodically, we fill each other in on the progression of our stories, catching up since last time we spoke. My friends whose lives I know from occasional installments are ongoing stories composed by an individual attitude toward life. A novelist attempts to catch the spirit of life in the telling of a story, much like learning the lives of our friends from updates of "what's going on." Somebody who complains all the time has a fairly rotten attitude toward life, due to their own series of experiences, how they're interpreted. I want to reach a place where my interpretations of everyday life events have a more realistic perspective that includes the stories of the others concerned.

vada
by cheyanne

I said I'm looking for a more realistic perspective. But what does it mean? Realistic? I can't find any guidelines to define what's real. It really is in how we look at it, the eye of the beholder. The beholder interprets what the eye sees, ear hears, or mind thinks. The beholder's attitude toward life colors the interpretation of an observation. I recall when Patti Smith's first album was new. Someone I knew heard a song and said, "She sounds so angry." It rendered me somewhat senseless. I had never thought she sounded angry all the times I listened to her. It's like it came from out in left field, off the wall. I thought without saying, what a shallow hearing. Patti sounds to me to have compassion in her singing. Anger was so not what I heard, I still wonder how her vocals can be taken for anger. My feeling is that the other wasn't listening, didn't hear the music, missed it all. Superficial hearing. I don't mean false by superficial, but skimming the surface like a swallow taking a drink from a lake. It was in a time when I did not comprehend reality to be anything but my own point of view. Growing up baptist, I had to learn relativity after years of I'm-right-you're-wrong-no-two-ways-about-it indoctrination. I remember when I first took an interest in writing poetry, I wanted to write Truth in every line. It didn't work. Didn't work at all. Started seeing what I took for Truth wasn't always the case. In fact, seldom was the case. I learned eventually to give up thinking Truth was something special. Ultimately, it's nothing at all. Perhaps the only real truth is there is no truth. I learned to go with what works and forget about truth. I still have a hard time letting go of it as a concept, like there surely must be something to it, though I can't find it.

vada 
by cheyanne

William Carlos Williams' image of reality comes to mind, a red wheelbarrow and a white chicken. This image I have held most of my adult life for a definition of reality. It's hard to find words for. It's red and white in relation to each other. It's a sense that is wordless, felt, understood. Using the image for a reminder of reality, I see the sense of the scene, white and red, coca-cola truck, the Russian Revolution, associations. Chicken, a living being, and wheelbarrow, a manufactured object. We human beings live in a world of cities and towns, roads, houses, cars, creations of the human mind. As individuals, we are in relation to objects all the time. I'm typing on a keyboard made by humans. Even the robots involved in the manufacture were made by human mind. We individuals live in a world created by the human mind. Every time I have flown in a big jet, I look at the plane's outer shell, the wings, the rivets, and a quotation from Hamlet comes to mind, What a piece of work is man. I can't help but think it radically awesome something that big can fly, it made of metal, and so heavy I could probably not move one of their tires, it lying on the pavement. A passenger jet stands as a symbol for me of the wonder of the human mind. The chicken and the wheelbarrow have become my symbol for reality in like manner. It's not that it's a chicken, and it's not that it's a wheelbarrow, same as it's not that it's white and red either. It's an epiphany without words. It's you-get-it-or-you-don't, like the Tao te ching. It's hard to explain what I get from the chicken and wheelbarrow I call an image of reality.

vada
by cheyanne

Once I got it that what we call reality is illusion, reality went away as a consideration. I used to argue with Poe's quotation about beauty being in the eye of the beholder. I think of the short stories of Gao Xingjiang, Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather, where he questions reality by way of various points of view. Again, like patterns in turbulence, one event observed by several points of view will have as many realities as observers. Is there one reality more real than any of the others? I don't believe there is. Used to want there to be a truth in reality that would say this is how it was, and then a variety of observations for the different ways it can be seen. By now, I don't see any event separate from observation having any meaning. It's observation that projects interpretation and then it has meaning, then it becomes "real." I have a rock on my desk I think of as real. When I'm outside the house, not observing it, I believe it continues in its place to be just as real as when I see it. Though, unobserved, it is not even a rock. It has no name. Its existence is unconscious, or so I presume. The rock is not aware of itself. It doesn't know it is a rock. It doesn't know. Observed, I give it meaning. It's a beautiful gray rock a geologist could look at and give a string of other names. Half of it has one kind of flow lines and the other half has different flow lines. Rocks were once liquid, and before that, gas. I see the rock a chunk of ice, frozen in place when a river of molten earth cooled down and froze. Before it was liquid, it was gas that came out of nothingness. Or what we think of as nothing. In that vast nothing must reside the essence of everything, like in the darkness lies the seed of light, and in the light is the seed of darkness. In sorrow is the seed of joy. How can I put my finger on even a rock and call it real? To me, it's small. To a three-year-old, it's huge. To somebody in China it is as non-existent as to my next door neighbor. It exists to you, because you take my word for it. If somebody came along and convinced you I was lying, the reality would go away, a silent explosion of mind pixels fading into nothing.

cheyanne herself
by cheyanne


*


No comments:

Post a Comment