Run Amok at the Wake and Follow the Lemmings

The Weight, Dryness, and Moisture of Childhood

While still very young, the desire to remain within a world of constantly unfolding mystery was familiar to me. It was a fire in my belly. Mystery was the neighborhood where I lived. It was where you end up if you fall down any of the holes in the empty dirt lot across the street. It was the exposed fuselage of small aircraft in the airplane graveyard just outside my bedroom window. It was stillness at the underside of the pool’s surface and the extraordinary absence resting between pretending to be drowning and waking up on the cement with a bloody nose.

The desire to remain in mystery weighed heavier in me than the concrete parking structures and apartment buildings that weighed firmly in the world around my childhood. Imagination proved to be the only possible refuge from banality, the only anchor. Without it, I felt, I would surely float away.
The institutions of indoctrination I found myself returning to every day emptied me, robbed me of my anchor, yet I did not float away, rather, I floated about. I became another apparition haunting the brittle halls of education, a ghost in the no man’s land of originality and self-autonomy. The desert others persisted in calling school.

Alone in the desert, I was exquisitely tormented by clairvoyant visions, automatic writing, and ecstatic mystical states. Rather than carry around the encumbering view of myself as deranged or undesirable, especially when it was obvious how extraordinarily fucked-up people were, I decided that it was rather entertaining. It lent a magical sort of character and theatrical embellishment to a world critically lacking brilliance; the dull and faded, tightly gripped civilization of the western mind.

This is how I regained my anchor and the moisture I needed to keep me from crumbling.

An Archeology of Mystery, Imagination, and Shopping

Mystery is a landscape of truth, where art is the archeology of imagination unencumbered.

Imagination is our winged traveler, what purely remains beneath surfaces.
Life, death, the sacred and profane, are what provide the width and breadth that lends dimension to this world of ours, this dwelling we wiggle around in while practicing the art of being human animals.

Morality and taboo are the nicely trimmed shop-lined avenues and maladapted strip-malls where the cosmetic-zed go shopping on their way to death. The obedient shoppers consume their way to unenlightenment, acquiring the useless goods that become a towering monument of discarded holy grails.

Expelling the Darkness and Other Glorious Tools of Self-Regard

We are defined, distinguished, self-aware, and enamored of our own self-awareness. We are impressive and reprehensible. We are caught in a loop. Around and round again, so in awe of the remarkable human intellect, architect of civilization. Able to design self-annihilating devises, able to interpret and recreate. Worship the mind. Intellect has, after all, provided a way to light up and expel the night. The intellect has magnificently mastered speed and distance. It has provided the show, most of the action and grandiosity. How impressive we are with our sparkling technological narcissism. How enjoyable, how engaging.

Run Amok at the Wake and then follow the Lemmings

A woman I know once said, if we are indeed destroying ourselves, if the world is dying, then I say, let the wake begin. Faced with extinction, there are those who are compelled to celebrate life.

Compulsion may be the only way to abandon oneself to the unknown, given our growing lack of propulsion, our shrinking capacity to transcend because of the coldness in our bellies from our extinguishing fires. Compulsion might very well be the engine driving us forward in this Wer-Aeld, man-time, this glorious duration, our masterpiece, our grand finale.

The Fire that Burns is the Fire that Yearns for a Belly

What is it about our encounters with death and the profane that engages us so? Is it that now the value of human life has become obscure even despised? Are we attempting to understand this shadow of ours, to relocate the fire that once burned intensely enough to reassure that what we hold so dear, our works, our world, shall continue? Is it the need to refuse life and what is sacred in order to let it go, to be released, and therefore delivered to mystery?

Naturally I am going to see our refusal of life as an overture to our deliverance to mystery. The desire to be in a world of constantly unfolding mystery remains the fire in my belly.

August, 1995

Run Amok at the Wake and Follow the Lemmings

embrace

Many, Mexico

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