Read James Joyce in a WordPress blogger’s post last night. I light it. I meant I liked it. It’s stream of thought but with lots of short sentences. I want to return to stream of thought writing; it’s the truthiest writing and the best for self-discovery. The bad thing (and the good thing?) came when I started publishing my stream of thought. Could that be why Virginia walked into the river in the end? That same blogger compared Virginia Woolf and James Joyce’s stream of thought writing. She talked about Mrs. Dalloway which interestingly is the book that is open in my Kindle app right now. She said that a male character in the book who ultimately commits suicide is a partial representation of Mrs. Dalloway. I haven’t gotten to that character in the book yet. Of course that would make sense to Virginia Woolf’s feeling of having multiple voices in her head. Something I relate to. Something, I think, most of us or certainly many in the writing world can relate to.
One of my utmost concerns was staying alive. Not like the disco, well that too if possible but truly just staying alive. Another of my concerns was fulfilling my wildest dream destiny. Which is of course to “be a writer.” Not just a closet one as I mostly am now, but a “real” one.
Actually my truest wildest dream is just to be myself. These are the kinds of truths that stream of consciousness writing brings. My dream is to be myself… to not have to hide out behind smoke screens in real life, to just be me. I guess that’s what I like about Bhagavan Das so much. He seems to be himself. He does not seem to hide things. Say what you will about him but he, to me, is the real deal. He has problems. He admits it. He’s a shopaholic. A sex addict. Looks at porn (cringe). But he says so, in that old interview.
Blinking cursor. I started thinking for an audience again. And that part about porn is uncomfortable for me. I have deep angry-sad feelings about porn. I wish it didn’t exist. And yet I know it has to for now. But the other day that blogger, the one from whom I saw those beautiful flower-girl photographs, published a post with pornographic bondage photos. I felt upset. I unfollowed. The thing is though that the model seems clearly okay with doing this. I know how that feels, to be “in the zone” when making art, when collaborating. Though in my case, not with porn. One photo shows a slouchy, unidentifiable white male dressing an unrealistically beautiful, fully identifiable woman (I say unrealistic because her breasts have that hard round grapefruit look to them, so to me, not actually beautiful, however “perfect” or barbie-ish she may seem) as a horse. In many shots she is bridled, and wearing a bit. Symbol of silenced and controlled, driven, tamed. In one shot near the end of the sequence, the slouchy man poises a horseshoe nail above her perfectly and docilely positioned bare foot.
I feel upset about this.
But all the people making the art have theoretically consented to making the art. This woman, this real-life woman, who is fully identifiable, well, she likely knew it would get her seen and talked about and she has a dream too, whatever it is, maybe the dream of being the sex-world’s next top model, I don’t know exactly, and even if she doesn’t like fetish or S&M sex she figures what the hell, some artsy photos, and of course during the scenes the overweight white dominator and the camera people and whatnot are all complimenting her perfect body and making her feel great and there is makeup and set and design and she feels all artsy. I don’t know. I’m just trying to imagine how this would work. How do women keep helping to propagate these images of subservience and fetishism? I don’t know and I don’t like it. But there it is. And it serves the general public — anyone who chooses to consume it. And who knows maybe those desires would be acted out on real-life people if they could not simply see them as photographs on a page. Or maybe the page makes them act them out. It’s the whole “does art imitate life” or vice versa thing. And of course it’s a cycle of both. And the art wouldn’t exist if it didn’t exist somewhere in life. The art is an extension of life and then more life becomes extensions of the art. It’s Mandelbrot fractals.
Yesterday the kids and I studied Mandelbrot fractals. It started when I heaped their lunch plates with lettuce and they complained. This lettuce is spiky. This lettuce is weird. This lettuce tastes different from our usual lettuce. Can you please get Batavia next time. But this one is from Aunt J’s garden! I took it because it was growing wild and tall and it was about to go to seed and a bit bitter, and she said she wouldn’t have eaten it. Oh! Okay then, they said. That seemed to make it okay. And we ate our huge piles of flavourful, slightly bitter lettuce. I kept mind-conditioning them. Also to combat the negativity. This is something I have to do at every meal. There is always one kid who hates something I put on the plates. I make the same food for everyone. There’s no à la carte at our place. It’s so beautiful, I said. This lettuce. Look, look at the rough edges, it’s like a Fibonacci sequence.
What’s a Fibbocanacci sequence asked the youngest. Some kind of mathematical formula that makes this design, I answered. I can’t remember how to explain it. I’m bad with facts. Here, let me show you. I get the tablet. Internet image search for Fibonacci. You mean Mandelbrot, said my eldest son. Is it Mandel-bot? Mandel-brot. Okay hold on, still looking at images, but they’re all spirals, whorls, I’m looking for something else. Fractals! Fractals that’s what I meant. Look. My dad showed it to me when I was young. In Time magazine, or maybe National Geographic. This colourful image of fractals magnified in the universe. They are huge, as in the universe itself being one, and they are tiny, as on a fern leaf or a leaf of lettuce or — like this piece of your hair! — shouted my youngest son — yes! I laugh — or like inside our lungs. We breathe through Mandelbrot fractals. We are eating Mandelbrot fractals.
But we need to clean up our input. That’s the thing. We need to focus on better and better things. Less and less harmful things. Make a small sacred place in your home, in your heart, where only beautiful and peaceful things exist to inspire. Then gradually make that space bigger and bigger. The space for peace and beauty and compassion for all beings to arrive. Imagine a flower blooming in a Mandelbrot fractal.
“My whole career is an ardent pursuit of the concept of roughness.” — Benoit Mandelbrot
Image courtesy of DHgate.com
Edit 2019-09-07 19:51: By wildest dreams to “be myself” I meant things like not being afraid of publicly speaking my mind on subjects such as these. (What am I afraid of? Mostly, I think, that talking about the issues will actually pull focus to the “bad stuff,” possibly even doing more harm than good.) Truth: I am extremely worried about the porn epidemic that is happening amongst kids in schools. In one of my kids’ technology classes, a teacher was purportedly busy scrolling through his own phone, while some erstwhile unsupervised students were able to watch (and laugh) at porn *via the school’s computers* (while bringing other students to see what they were up to). Those kids were aged 13. Kids are going to encounter porn at some point, most likely via their friends, or even via innocent Internet searches resulting in purposely misleading links, or even via school, even if they don’t encounter it at home. School is a great equalizer and educator, but it can also an inadvertent spreader of disease: physical, mental and spiritual. We need to educate parents and teachers as to the dangers and realities; and we need to find compassionate, mindful ways of teaching kids how and why to filter their own content. I believe porn is harmful to children, women, men and relationships; that it exacerbates sex troubles and loneliness problems rather than (sustainably, healthfully) relieving them. Please see sources such as http://www.fightthenewdrug.org for more details.
Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Zone of Emptiness, France. Thank you for reading. ❤︎