Whiplash, Monuments Men, Great Art, and Happiness

Whiplash-Movie-Images

A few nights ago I saw the movie Whiplash. As many people have said, the acting was superb and overall it was a quality made movie. But what pulled me in was not the plotline, but rather the assumptions of the characters and the varied interpretations of the people with whom I saw the movie regarding what makes a life worth living.

Andrew, the main character of Whiplash, wants to be the best. In one conversation with his family, when they ask him why he doesn’t have any friends, he says that they would just get in the way. He wants to be remembered, like Charlie Parker was remembered. He wants to be great. His dad looks at him and says that Charlie Parker died at 35, that’s not success.

But Andrew is unswayed, and continues to engage with his abusive band teacher in order to force himself to be better, to win, to prove that he is the great person he could be. He refuses to be broken by the abuse that the teacher doles out, even if that means trying to play while his hand is broken and he’s bleeding.

The end of the movie is ambiguous. Andrew plays an amazing solo. He plays to his own tempo instead of listening to the conductor. But he does it all because he was abused. He becomes great through the horrific methods that left another student dead from suicide.

Underneath the success, the amazing performance, the smile that Andrew finally gets from Mr. Fletcher, there’s the dark knowledge that if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he as well will probably end up dead. If nothing else, he will be alone, anxious, depressed, and constantly feeling that he isn’t living up to his own potential. He requires greatness of himself, because he sees how much the greatness of one person can affect others.

As Mr. Fletcher says, it’s unacceptable to deprive the world of the next Charlie Parker.

But is it really? Is great art more important than actual human lives? Or even one single human life that gets extinguished after short years that are filled with unhappiness?

Let’s talk about another movie for a moment. Monuments Men is for the most part a rompy kind of action movie, but somewhere in it is a question. The Monuments Men take resources that the army could have been using to save human lives and direct those resources towards saving art instead. Great, amazing art, but art nonetheless. Is it ethical for the army to do that?

I tend to think no. Art is beautiful and enriching, but there is always new art being made. People continue to create meaning, beauty, connection, and discussion through art in almost every circumstance they are placed in. Art is not a finite resource that we will run out of. There is no perfect painting or drum solo or play that is out there waiting to be created. We create what we need, what is meaningful to us, and we get the meaning that we need out of the art available to us.

I’m not one to value an empty or unhappy life simply for the sake of life, but I’m also not one to value art without any end. Art is valuable insofar as it enriches human lives, and when it takes away from the human ability to be fulfilled and content, or when it takes away resources from keeping people alive, art starts to lose value. I think that’s true of any human endeavor. No goal is more important than its consequences.

So back to Andrew and Charlie Parker. Why does Andrew think that being great is a better goal than any immediate happiness? Clearly he wants to be remembered, but he also seems to think that he’s doing something good and enriching for the world (just as Mr. Fletcher does) by creating something great.

I am so afraid of that rhetoric.

While talking with friends after the movie, I found that I was the only one who really resonated with that intense drive and need to always be better, the all-consuming, obsessive perfectionism. I can vouch that in my life it has been an extremely damaging influence. But those around me didn’t feel like the movie was in danger of portraying that obsession in a positive light because they had never felt it, never been in a place where they thought that it was the best way to be.

Of course in the movie, Andrew is supposed to be sort of screwed up but only develop clear mental illness symptoms after Mr. Fletcher starts pushing him. But I don’t think that obsession of this level is something that one can just learn. It’s something that you have to spend your whole life fighting if it’s in you to begin with. And while the movie clearly criticizes Fletcher’s methods, it does not clearly criticize the art that comes out of it. It does seem to imply that the art that comes from the abusive, obsessive methods is better than what would have come about if Andrew had a sane teacher, made some friends, stayed with his girlfriend, and tried to temper his obsession with drums by being a healthy person mentally.

So the movie seems to imply that there is some sort of trade off here, that we could get some amazing art, something important or meaningful out of this kind of drive, and that while it’s unhealthy, it is amazing.

And sure there are real life examples of these types. Sylvia Plath or Kurt Cobain, people who used their mental illness to fuel their art and whose dark art touched and was important to thousands upon thousands of people.

And there is never any guarantee that the depression makes your art better. More often than not it makes it worse because you can’t think clearly, your mind is trailing in circles, you have no energy. More often than not you create work that is indulgent rather than transcendent. Of course some people who recover choose never to truly engage with the dark emotions again, and that hardly creates good art, but it is possible to continue to think deeply while in a healthy place. Some of the best art is art that comes from a place of self-respect rather than depression, fear, and uncertainty.

And there’s more than one life that gets hurt when someone wallows in their mental illness. Everyone they interact with gets hurt. Despite the fact that they aren’t trying, most people who are incredibly depressed, anxious, obsessive, and perfectionistic, are not very nice and are certainly not able to have healthy relationships because they themselves aren’t healthy.

But of course the people that I was watching Whiplash with didn’t see it as glorifying this kind of obsession. I’m not sure what it is that made me think it was condoning at least part of the obsession, but perhaps it’s that I expect discussions of (what clearly seems to me to be) mental illness to not simply portray the behaviors because just showing the behaviors can feel like condoning when you’re in a bad place. If I had watched this movie 5 years ago I would have seen it as validation of my choices. I would have watched it and seen a young person overcome everything to pursue perfection and then achieve perfection. I would have seen that it was possible.

And so I wouldn’t have stopped.

I do wonder about our portrayals of obsession and whether we treat those behaviors in a way that says “this is not healthy” or whether we do some glossing over of the truth. How did the film actually treat questions of obsession? Did it say that there were benefits? Of course no one would see it as condoning the behavior of Andrew, but it did seem to make him into a hero, or possibly an anti-hero, something even more attractive to many (especially young) people.

I can’t predict how other people might react to this film, and the people that I watched it with didn’t seem to see it as any kind of validation, but it did focus on a young person overcoming obstacles to reach his goal, even if there were huge sacrifices along the way. Many people would see that as a positive. Continuing the stereotype of disturbed genius isn’t really helpful to anyone, and while the movie criticized the choice to embrace that life, it didn’t do anything to dismantle the stereotype that exists in the first place, leading to many people seeing artistry and greatness as something that necessarily comes with insanity.

This might lead many people to frame questions of dedication to art as whether they want to be happy or whether they want to be great, when in fact they can be both.

So let’s hop back to Monuments Men. Is any piece of art worth ruining your life over? Probably not, especially when we can create art without the intense depression that the movie portrays. Of course every individual has the right to make the choice in their own life, but it’s important to create messages that say it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be amazing without being pushed in cruel and awful ways. Oftentimes greatness comes with support, love, and self-empathy. Especially in today’s world where the cruel actions of famous people get broadcast to the world immediately over the internet, people are becoming less and less tolerant of brilliant assholes, and instead expect their geniuses to give back in some way.

There are many other facets to the reactions to this movie. I see more women feeling driven to prove that they deserve to be on this earth by being great, leading me to worry about the effects of portrayals of greatness on young women. How do we portray negative things in a responsible fashion is a concern that has never been properly answered (no Plato, we don’t just not portray them). And how healthy can obsession ever be?

But I do think it’s important to pull apart the association between greatness and depression. It’s not necessary.

What Is The Purpose of Art?

talktome

A while ago I posted about what the definition of art is in an attempt to convince a friend that he was horribly wrong about his conviction that art is simply having an aesthetic experience (which requires more definition anyway). One of his further questions to me is why art needs to be communicative. Perhaps this is an arbitrary way to define art, as is the idea that art needs to have a creator and a receiver.

There are two elements to this follow up, one of which is the historical meaning of words and how our understanding of words does need (at least in part) to draw from the common understanding of that word. Generally this involves the idea that art has a creator and is created to communicate in some fashion. The other element seems to get at something deeper though: what is the purpose of art?

Now it’s possible that art doesn’t need a purpose. Rocks don’t have a purpose, and probably we don’t either. But most people agree that art is at the very least a conscious phenomenon and quite probably a human phenomenon. Most, if not all, things that humans do serve a purpose of some sort. So what is the purpose of art?

There are probably a few main schools of thought here: self expression, communication, or deeper understanding of the world. Representation or decoration are also a possible candidates but most of modern art seems to blow those out of the water (performance art anyone?). The only one of these possibilities that doesn’t require some sort of creator is “deeper understanding”, but that seems to be implying a great deal more about art than either of the other two: it suggests that all art is looking to explore something, and even implies that to be art something must successfully lead to more understanding of the world or of self. This leaves very little room for bad art, or art that simply seeks to inspire or be beautiful.

So the remaining possibilities are self expression or communication. Both of these are incredibly broad purposes and by themselves don’t offer much by way of a definition. Each could encapsulate nearly all of human activity in some fashion or other, and a definition that’s so broad is simply unhelpful and probably not correct because our words do actually have to specify something, or pick something out in contrast to the rest of the world. So of course “purpose” has to come with some description of what the thing actually is, which is where having some sort of physical presence and aesthetic experience differentiate art from other things.

But both of these purposes do have communicative and creative elements. They ask us to be in community with other people in some fashion, to participate with an artist and other viewers. Of course there are some questions about what communicating and creating can mean, but that is at the root of why we have and conceive of art. So what of my friend’s proposed definition that art is something we experience in an aesthetic way?

It is possible that the experience of art is simply a human response to the world, like awe or joy, and that we began creating our own art in order to capture that feeling. There may be no way to know entirely what purpose art serves for us, but one underlying problem with this suggestion is the wide variety of types of experiences people have in response to art, up to and including nothing. If aesthetic experience were a natural part of the human experience like other emotions, we could expect to see it in a more consistent fashion across people and cultures.

The question of why we make art can help us understand a little more about what art itself is, and it seems to me that it indicates the use of including a communicative element in our definition. Additionally, in terms of how we functionally use the term “art” we most often use it to point to objects that another human being has created. When it comes to language, we do have to take into account the actual practical usage of a term, not simply what we ideally would like a term to mean. We can’t simply ignore that the most common usages of the word “art” include the implication of an artist who is communicating something with their art.

What Is Art?

Fountain 1917, replica 1964 by Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me what made something art. At the time I didn’t have a good definition, but when he gave his proposed answer I was unsatisfied.

“A work of art is something we have an aesthetic experience with” he suggested.

“So a sunset could be a work of art?”

“Yes.”

I was unconvinced. Let’s start at what might be the most basic level of definition. Art must be an artifact, some sort of physical object or experience. This seems like something we can all agree on, but modern art has taken even that firm footing out from under us:

John Cage’s 4′33″, have seemed to many philosophers to lack or even, somehow, repudiate, the traditional properties of art: intended aesthetic interest, artifactuality, even perceivability” -Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. A work of art that is composed of silence seems to call into question whether art needs to be an artifact or an object at all. Yet even with 4’33’, it does seem that there is a physical context (either of a CD or a performer seated in front of the audience) that is the art itself rather than simply the silence (silence without this context is not viewed as art). So perhaps we can accept that a physical presence of some sort is required for something to be art.

But not any physical experience or object is art (obviously). What distinguishes the computer I’m typing on from a work of art? Or is my lovely little Macbook Air a work of art (the answer is of course yes)? A few possible answers include beauty, communication of or embodiment of emotions, mimetic properties, or aesthetic experience. Beauty is fairly easy to take off the table as many works of art are disturbing, grotesque or straight out ugly intentionally. Perhaps there is a kind of beauty in the emotions we experience in relation to this art, but at least conventionally, beauty is not the mark of a great number of amazing works of art (this also has the problem that beauty is nearly impossible to define).

Art as communication appears to be faring better until you hit something like Duchamp’s Fountain or John Cage’s 4’33”, both of which appear to be anti-communication and simply designed to make one think. A great deal of modern art appears to be less focused on emotional and experiential communication and more on criticism and engagement, and there is little doubt for most people that modern art is in fact art. Additionally, this definition may be too broad in other ways in that it could include any expression of emotion (such as declaring one’s happiness). Additionally, not all art communicates: some art is simply representational (or may only be experienced as representational by the untrained eye). Could the Mona Lisa become not art if viewed by someone who simply saw it as a representation of a woman? It seems unlikely. There does seem to be something important in the communication view of art that should be included in any definition of art: it is intentional on the part of the artist. The viewer may not take away from the art exactly what the artist intended (as is true of any communication), but there is a give and take in art: it is put forth by someone and received by someone.

“A storm may prompt us to question the best way to avoid a shipwreck, but it is we (and not the storm) who are raising the question.” -Charles Taliaferro, Aesthetics, A Beginner’s Guide. This suggests that the object or artifact in question doesn’t have any properties that are “art”, but the viewer is imbuing the object with art qualities.

Some people go so far as to suggest that a work of art can actually embody emotions. They suggest that even if no one involved in the work of art (the creator or the viewer) were feeling any particular emotion, it would still hold that emotion (e.g. Joy for Ode to Joy). From the perspective of modern neuroscience, emotions as we know them are a uniquely human kind of thing: they are experienced thanks to the reactions in our brains and the physical reactions of our bodies. To suggest that an inanimate object might embody a human experience makes little to no sense. This suggests another piece of the definition of art: it is not inherent in the object but comes about through the interactions of the artist and the audience.

A great deal of art clearly has mimetic properties: it is meant to represent or reflect something in the world. Unfortunately this definition can’t handle abstract art, or even art like Fountain which is not so much a representation as it actually is the object it’s meant to represent. But there are some ways in which all art seeks to represent something. “Works of art function more like different linguistic statements that reference objects, rather than mirrors that offer us a reflection of what we might otherwise see directly without the aid of a mirror.” -Charles Taliaferro, Aesthetics, A Beginner’s Guide

It seems there might be a Wittgensteinian route to take here in the realm of language games: “A common family of arguments, inspired by Wittgenstein’s famous remarks about games (Wittgenstein, 1953), has it that the phenomena of art are, by their nature, too diverse to admit of the unification that a satisfactory definition strives for, or that a definition of art, were there to be such a thing, would exert a stifling influence on artistic creativity.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). 

In a Wittgensteinian conception of language, words do not have singular definitions but a series of ways that we use them in context that are considered successful if someone else can respond (deduce the rules of the game as it were). Perhaps in art we use images or symbols or context to put together a kind of artistic utterance that the people around us can interpret based on the other ways that those things have been used in the past, learned from a family of common definitions.

So perhaps there is no one clear definition of art, and we learn what art is by experiencing art and continuing that definition on to other things with similar characteristics, not all of which overlap. This also seems unsatisfactory, so let’s instead move to the definition that started all this: aesthetic experience.

The first and most difficult question to answer is what is an aesthetic experience? Taliaferro suggests “To have an aesthetic experience, one needs to step back or detach oneself from the urgency and practical preoccupations of life.” The Stanford Encyclopedia further states “As noted above, some philosophers lean heavily on a distinction between aesthetic properties and artistic properties, taking the former to be perceptually striking qualities that can be directly perceived in works, without knowledge of their origin and purpose, and the latter to be relational properties that works possess in virtue of their relations to art history, art genres, etc.”

There is some tension between these two definitions: one suggests something that takes us out of ourselves and the other something that inspires a reaction due to perception. There is a problem with both of these suggestions though, in that either of them could happen in reaction to something in nature with no reference to an artist, communication, or context.

But since the concept of the aesthetic necessarily involves the equally bankrupt concept of disinterestedness, its deployment advances the illusion that what is most real about things can and should be grasped or contemplated without attending to the social and economic conditions of their production.” -Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

An additional problem here is that there are actually many practical objects that also could be considered art (Shaker furniture, African masks, religious icons), and because they can also be used practically we would be hard pressed to suggest they pull us out of our immediate practical preoccupations. Perhaps there is a way to combine the two definitions: an aesthetic experience is one that through striking qualities moves us outside of our own perspective. This gives us the benefits of not simply asking us to be disinterested but of asking us to expand our view, and of being slightly more specific than either of the previous definitions.

So thus far, art must be an artifact that is imbued with some sort of communicative properties through an artist and a viewer/recipient, which inspires us to move outside of our own perspective through perceptually striking qualities. Oof. That’s a mouthful, but it seems to be both specific and broad enough to capture most of the things we typically consider art.

A final few considerations to take into account: there are probably contexts in which a curator can become an artist by moving an object or a picture to a different context. They add in the communicative elements that wouldn’t exist simply by seeing something stunning in nature and being aware of your size or place in the world. The problem with this is that context can often be intensely political. When we view art as defined by the “artworld” (which is a definition some philosophers have proposed), we give a lot of power to the establishment of old, white men who already have power in art. We lose a variety of voices and tell those who come from different places that they cannot make art because they don’t have access to the proper curators or contexts. Hopefully, the previous definition is open enough that it allows a variety of contexts to serve as the vehicle for communication, opening art up for anyone who has something to communicate or anyone who wants to expand their perception.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any pieces of art that wouldn’t fit in this definition, or things that you definitively don’t think are art which would fit? Let me know!

Emotions: A Physical Exploration

What follows is something completely different from anything I think I’ve written before. It was partly an exercise in fictional writing, for description, and partly an exercise in getting in touch with the physicality of my emotions. All of our emotions come with physical manifestations, and much of the time we just completely forget about that or ignore it. Here I have portraits of a few emotions told as fully as possible in descriptions of a body. Enjoy 🙂

 

Sadness

I get sad when I’ve lost something, when I know it’s not coming back. He left last night, and I know he’s gone for good. It always starts with exhaustion, but there’s more. The sadness comes in waves. My mind will wander for a moment, and then suddenly my breath will catch and my throat will constrict and my eyes will burn with tears. I have to focus on my mouth to breathe evenly, and I’m left with my mouth hanging slackly open, growing dry. My face is numb, as if I have no control over it, except when the crying happens, and then it contorts crazily. The pain is dull, burning, aching in my chest. My muscles are tight and my throat won’t allow swallowing. But there are moments when it rips through me and it feels as if there are splinters through my sternum, holding the breath inside me, leaving me ragged and weak. I have no energy to move my limbs. My eyes won’t blink and they won’t focus. My head feels stuffed full of fuzz, blocking all clarity. And my poor stomach is left uncertain of which way to turn, running from growling hunger to boiling nausea in seconds. I forget when I’m sad that my body takes the brunt of it, but each moment of sadness comes with a plethora of physical surprises, aches and pains and breathlessness. I need to put my body back together.

 

Disgust

Disgust starts deep. It’s a roiling, sickening feeling. If I concentrate, I can feel my insides turning and rumbling. It builds quickly into a twitchiness, a dissatisfaction with my skin which suddenly crawls and pinches. It’s too tight, it prickles. My stomach feels like it’s bulging, like it’s grown, like it has expanded beyond all measure. I want to pick at things, rip my nails off, rip myself out of my body. My hands clench and scratch. I chew the insides of my mouth. I feel as if I cannot speak. My mouth has stopped working. Words bubble up, feeling like bile, and then dissipate before I can do anything with them. My face pulls downwards. My body has gone out of control, shutting down and boiling up, full of energy and heat and tenseness. My whole chest tightens, my jaw clenches. I can feel each set of muscles flinching in turn. My body feels as if it’s trying to expel something, but it can’t decide what. It’s an attack from within.

 

Pride

Pride is a rarity, and so I savor the few moments I realize what it is. It’s hard to identify the pieces that make it up though, as I am rarely exposed to them. The first sign is always the impossible curling up of my whole face. I try to hold it in. I try to keep myself from grinning, but I can’t. My face feels like it needs to take up more space, and who am I to deny it? My eyes crinkle and sparkle and dart and smile. Everything moves upwards, lighter, emptier and yet fuller: full of energy and full of strength and full of power, but empty of contamination and pain and weight. My body waits for someone to recognize, full of potential energy, ready to jump up, to bound at a moment’s notice. My chest feels almost in pain with too much space, my heart beats hard and strong, my blood flows quickly. My eyes dart, they can see too much, they can move too quickly. I bounce slightly. I cannot quite keep still.

 

Happiness

Happiness is pure energy. My mouth can’t move fast enough to get the words out, my body can’t move fast enough to bounce everywhere I’d like to go. I grin wickedly. I dance. I cannot sit, I cannot lie, I need to move.  I feel as if I have expanded to encompass the universe, and yet I feel grounded, solid in my chair, my feet firmly against the ground. I can breathe deeply. My lungs have expanded. My shoulders spread outwards, making me larger than my normal hunched silhouette. I look up, confidently meeting eyes. Sometimes I need to bite my lip to keep from exploding in a grin. My foot bounces up and down, my fingers drum a rhythm on the tabletop in front of me. Everything is moving so fast, my whole body has been placed on caffeine pills, nothing will ever slow me down and my mind will never stop demolishing every problem before it. I am veritably humming with everything my body wants to do. There’s no way it could end.

Anger

Anger turns inwards. It’s deadly calm. Painfully so. Outwardly, anger is silence. A face that will not express. Terse words, sarcastic tones, refusal of eye contact. A bored fiddling with my rings or my fingers or the couch. My muscles have seized up, I have no control over them. With great effort I may be able to turn my head to look at someone, but otherwise I am trapped. My heart pounds painfully. My throat constricts. Tingles run down my arms. I feel fit to bursting. Everything in my body has gone crazy: my chest feels as though it might explode, blood pounds, my head aches, my eyes sting, everything has gone to chaos. And yet outwardly there is simply stone.

 

Anxiety

I am ripping. My heart goes upwards, my stomach down. My throat pulls in and out. My head is splitting with headache. My body cannot decide where to run. I must curl up to hold myself together, shaking, sniffling, clenching, rocking. My shoulders turn inwards as I become smaller, smaller, trying to contain myself. I bite my lip, hard. I grab at a blanket, balling my hands into fists. My body has turned against me and I feel a burning rage against it, the desire to cut my skin, to bruise myself, to burn myself. I can’t bear to look at my skin. I scrunch my eyes closed, rubbing my eyelids until light bursts form. I’m full of nervous energy, my legs want to run or bike, my arms want to lift. I flex to remind myself I still have muscles.  My breath comes in fits and bursts, and there is a pressure behind my ears. My body feels distant for all its chaos. My perception drifts, and my eyes go soft when I try to focus. I blink rapidly, wishing I could return. But the pain of my body keeps me away.

Poems and Pieces

I’m going to do another bout of fiction/poetry. Brace yourselves:

 

This morning I woke up

Or rather my eyes opened.

I tried to leave my bed, but the world was cold

And my mind would not open

However brightly the sun shone.

I put one foot in front of the other until I reached reality

But when I stopped moving I began to drift backwards

There is nothing to hold on to here

The walls are smooth

And the sky is empty.

Backwards feels like falling

But my weight is not enough for gravity to take effect

And so I float untethered

Away from the room where I sat

Where I walked with my eyes open and my mind closed

Where I tried to remind myself that this was real

And I was alive

And I am moving

Backwards.

I hope that tonight I will reach my bed again

And tomorrow morning I will wake up

Or rather open my eyes.

 

 

Solitude:

Everyone told her that she was an introvert. She knew that being alone was a necessity. Too many people made her feel overwhelmed and frustrated and confused. Her senses began to shut down.

She had always imagined that her ideal job was one in which she didn’t have to deal with people, because people were always ruining things. Words and computers and papers didn’t make mistakes: they did as they were told. They were predictable.

But as she sat for 90th day in a row in her small out of the way corner office, she began to hate the solitude.

More fiction! Hopefully to be a repeat feature

Drabble: Addiction

I have an addiction.

I don’t want to admit it. Addictions are shameful things. But I started going into withdrawal shock this morning and I can’t deny it anymore.

There is something in this world that I can’t live without, something that leaves me feeling calmer and higher and fuller. There is something that I rely on to pull the whirling merry-go-round of insanity from my head and make it into a roller coaster exclusively for my own use.

I have an addiction to writing. Don’t tell anyone. Addictions aren’t to be shared. Addictions are to be hidden.

Drabble: Truth

Hm. I rewrote Truth in a few different ways to explore different elements of it. I’m not quite sure which ones I like or what I like about them. Thoughts?

It starts again. She walks in to her room, casts her eyes around as if looking for something, and sits down again, her legs wobbly as usual. There was something she needed to do, but she became distracted again when she saw the bed and the window. She looks out the window, wondering yet again what could be outside. She looks around her room and glances around her mind and wonders yet again what could be there, again and again. She follows the circuit of her mind, hoping that it will narrow to the point of certainty, hoping for truth.

Sitting down again on her bed, she casts her mind here and there, tender yet desperate, probing every thought she had and every piece of evidence that might exist, touching before shying away. Whenever she is alone, she searches, and as she looks again she knows nothing is there. Yesterday she did not eat. Today she will not, because she knows. I won’t wake up tomorrow if I can’t find it! Her mind screams. She knows this is a lie. She knows she cannot help but wake again tomorrow and continue sifting through her own mind for truth. For certainty.

Sitting on her bed, she is searching. Sitting alone, she knows that something is there for her and she cannot find it. Alone, there is one thing that will befriend her and she has been seeking it for so long. There is one thing that she needs, and she will sit alone until she knows. She needs to eat. To eat. She didn’t eat yesterday. Yesterday her stomach was not empty enough and today she will ignore the pains to sit alone on her bed. Her stomach, her gut tells her that she is missing something. Missing the truth, alone.

 

I’m kinda stuck in drabble/poetry format right now because I have a short attention span and all of my longer motivation is going to work on what I HOPE will become a full length book (someday pretty please). If you have any prompts that you want to send me I would LOVE YOU FOREVER because I’m going to try to make this a somewhat regular feature.

And now for some haiku because the weather is driving me bonkers and what better way to write about the weather than with a haiku?

Water drips from eaves

Falling to the snowy ground

Where has the sun gone?

 

The branches above me

quiver gently in the wind

whispering for light

 

 

It can’t be snowing

I’m moving to Florida

Fuck Minnesota

 

I am trying to

disappear without notice

But you remain here

 

Drabble: Sharp

The lines tend to be blurred when he bothers to open his eyes. Sounds bounce off his eardrums like a kid jumping on a bed. Sights smother his face like pillows. When he bothers to remember tasting or smelling, things seep in, slowly, more texture than flavor. Through the softness, he wants something to cut. When everything bleeds together, he can’t focus and all he needs is a pinprick, a point, something of clarity. And so he quietly opens a drawer and removes a razor, pressing it against the pad of his thumb to make sure that it is sharp.