Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rainclouds and Cigarettes: Going on and on 'bout silence.


Over four weeks in today. I've been watching these gauges for a month.

Charles Bukowski - "Women". Did I already make note of this one? I like the subject matter. Who recommended it to me? Jeremy in Cincinnati? Everything blurs.

I need to spend more time silent, I think. Observing and listening, leaving room to breath in the world. And all the characters I've met and known, and all those I've yet to meet and know. A silent man is regarded with suspicion, probably arising from misplaced jealousy, or perhaps because people think that a silent man is a judging man, or a man who knows some mystery or sinister secret and he dares not unsew his lips lest the wisdom escape. I am not wise, nor mysterious nor judgmental. I just feel that sometimes silence is a powerful tool, a gentle weapon, a medium which our heart can take hold and, uninhibited by a struggling tongue trying desperately to keep time with a fervent and fickle brain, paint our dreams on the the black canvas of our eyelids and write poems on the backs of our throats.

There's music everywhere, in everyone and everything, even this humid night in Atlanta, and perhaps it's time I shut the fuck up and let the music do the talking for me.

We're staying with Matt's ladyfriend Ashley tonight, a disdainful employee of CNN who has a small apartment well-stocked with books. She and I discussed Studs Terkel and poetry at length tonight, both finding inspiration and solace in the great subversive post-modernists, though perhaps I shouldn't speak for someone else and their literary convictions. She may have just been making conversation. Whatever.

Ashley sweetly offered me any of her books to borrow, and also offered to give me her corporate FedEx account number so that I may ship back the books when I'm finished. A wonderful proposal, but I distrust myself with others' books, whether I fear I'll destroy or lose them, or just become so attached that I can't bring myself to part with them. I think, instead, I'll make a list of all the recommended and captivating titles, and add 'em to my preexisting list which I fear will never be complete or conquered.

Funny to look back through this journal and watch my handwriting deteriorate into manic scribbling. The first few entries are neat, orderly. Now, nearing the end, they're barely legible. Notes in the margin, ink smudged across the page, entire paragraphs scratched out into oblivion. I'm frayed. Thank Gawd I'll be home soon.

Bride of Chucky is on TV.

One of the passages of the Tao Teh Ching teaches that "He who knows does not speak/He who speaks does not know". I've struggled often with this lesson. Back to the silence. I've spent most of my life with a humble heart but a quick, arrogant tongue. I admit my immodest faults, my flowery cocksure observations, and I really truly feel the need to finally reconcile the gross imbalance. It's easy to say this after a month in a subcultural stupor, in a capsule of tedium rocketing around with an endless array of color and variety on the bluescreen surrounding us. Whether or not I take these lessons, and all the other relative wisdom and insight I feel I've gained, back to the real world is up to me. I'm worried I'll lose some strength and perspective when my feet are firmly planted, and all this will have been for naught. It's tiring to try to prove myself to the world around me with frivolous hand-gestures and well-meaning but misguided gesticulation. It's time, I think, to prove myself to the world within.

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