Education of An Egotist
Education of an Egotist
1. My Fascinating Mother & Our Strange Adventures
2. Childhood: The Provinces
3. Prep School?
What is interesting about Youth? It has to be something about what I saw on the metro that day in DC last year, which was the fascinating young and formless teenagers, who’s facers were dull and unformed and yet burned with a fiery intensity – the world is new to them, and that newness, that fire, which rests on the surface for them, unveneered by the scartissue of experience, persists somewhere deep in us as that Fundamental Plastic which while pushed, pulled, and always and ever deformed remains true – So the story then can be something about that Deforming Process and whether at the end of it, when we fall in love, become married, get a mortgage, we are able to maintain that hidden fire. Unlikely.
There is ignorance there – but it is a dramatic ignorance, a not-yet, an unveiling – there is the precociousness of youth which wants to live before we’ve lived – there is the Overactive Imagination – there is the Invention of the World – a metaphor about a Forest which is a Labyrinth (and a Minotaur lurking somewhere within – Death? About how I was stalked by Two Deaths, one Before and one Behind – or Depression – or War – or History and not waking up – this becomes the Portrait of An Artist – A sketch of Ignorant Youth – But still trying – trying to live differently)
The Devil says: This is how things ever were. This is how things always will be. Time & History, and the Great Weight of History and Belatedness which lulls us into thinking Nothing Matters, that against the Great Weight of History we can have no impact or effect because the World is the World is the World without remembering that the World + Art (which is Action, or Will) = the World which is why the World always looks the same but is actually dynamic and unchanging –
The Two Kinds of Art – the Painting on the Wall which hangs there, and the Painting Being Painted which is an Active Process – as soon as a Painting is finished it begins to die a little – but while the Painter is Painting it is verily a Living Moving Picture, the Outward Expression of his Inner Motion. It is the Painter’s Breath upon the Waters, his Union between the Inner and the Outer, it is his Cross That Transcends Borders.
Art is a specialized form of Action. The Art of Law or Architecture or Engineering or Geometry – the Cold Beauty of Elegant Mathematical Proofs – the terrifying elegance of fiber optic communication cables – the quiet still terrifying reality of graveyards, with femurs and femurs sitting softly beneath the soil –
The Wind on my Face. A distant body in my arms. Surrounded by Clocks, which are merely guesses, Reminders, the Watch on my wrist is my Rabbinic Reminder that From Dust I came and From Dust I Return, the silvery accessories and accoutrements attached to the watch to remind me of and stand in for my self worth are the messages that say the World Was Created for Me – Dionysus and Apollo – The Watchface, jewel encrusted, and the Watchhands, with their hidden machinery, so much clockwork, the Wet and Real versus the Firm and Imagined. The Sponge and the Stone.
Is this Youth? The Melancholy Moon. One day soon, ten years from hence, if I live through this sickeningly hot summer and through the beautiful autumn and the blistering winter that will inevitably follow, world without end, I will come into my fullness and be the contented wisdom of 4 PM.
My dearest wish is that ages hence, some youth, like I am now, will pick through my bones, and feel my heft, and wonder at the thoughts that were once and will never be again.
You will be as I am, will say my bones, For I was once as you are. Being. Being and Time. And Not Being. And the Being of the Being – Becoming – The Painting – a gerund? A verbal noun. A substantive substantiated action. Becoming. Becoming. Always Becoming.