I wrote this during an English class in eleventh grade. Just going through old CD-Rs tonight and found this and a bunch of old poems, which I’ll post next. The idea with Contract With The Real was that Julian and I were going to perform it. Going through all this old stuff tonight—old writing—I’m seeing from tonight’s chair how early my mind has been active, and how active it has been. And my dreams from then (from high school and my two quarters at OU and the first few years of my working life) are the same as they have been since: writing and programming, and tangentially making movies. Notes from that period have shreds of what has become Camp Lake…that’s a story I’ve been trying to write for a long time.
I guess this is part of growing older: it’s odd…to think of myself, then and now, as in many ways a coherent piece…the feeling that I have about what I want to do…I think some parts of that feeling are consistent between then and now. Of course my knowledge of the world has changed—increased. And that colors my dreams, so that my dreams, now, while they’re still the same intention as I could manage earlier in my life…those dreams are more realistic, framed more by the parameters of reality as I have learned them. I want to maintain touch with my increasing awareness of what the world is…but I want also to maintain touch with the pure feeling of dream…that part of me that I read so much more clearly in my writing from high school, that me who thought that whatever I wanted to do, I could do, that part of me who, when deciding what to create, didn’t temper that to fit the world.
We dream big. Then we talk to other people. And their dimness rubs off on us.
I think it’s appropriate for each of us to actively fight against this.
Stay in touch with :: the pure feeling of dream. =)
More old stuff I posted tonight:
I have this recurring dream
The Myth of Real News
I hate literary critics
There is no God.
It’s not that I don’t like thinking,
Lightness was walking up the street with that look on her face again.
eyes of April
when i came upon the valley
Indelible Dick Tracy
Had a dream that you were driving, and the road didn’t go where we thought but it took us instead to a beautiful tundra landscape, with amazing little rocks and lichen and brown grass. And built into the landscape, well-camouflaged and honoring the nature there, was an airport…
I need to make this happen now. I’ve been flirting with it for years, but I need to become someone who isn’t moved by what’s going on outside. My periods of sanity in this way have been longer and more complete as of the last year, certainly, but there are still days, 1 or 2 days per 1-2 months, where I am moved in ways I don’t want to be. Text is the trigger for me. Text I think is ludicrous. Maybe it’s because I spend much of my time, and that my work is, making the text on my screen correct, proper, that when improper text invades my screen (due to absolutely ridiculous, incomplete logic by the person writing it), it sets me off. And it can take me an hour, or a day, or a couple days, to recover. I don’t want to spend even 1 day per 2 months in such a state.
I know how to fix this, I just have to do it. I simply have to allow myself to not interact with people, which people I don’t want to interact with. I deserve to do that. I don’t owe it to anyone that I communicate with them. If for whatever reason I don’t want to listen, I don’t have to listen. I know that intellectually. I need to get it from the mind to the fingers. Give myself the space to have exactly who I want…in my life. And then, I won’t have to react against people who wear me out, because I won’t be listening to them—and so they won’t be taking from me. I’m trying to affirm within myself that this is okay. Not listening to people, not having people in my life, isn’t hateful. It’s a reasonable thing to do, to protect my state. I don’t owe anyone anything. It’s okay to not include everyone.
I’m going to take these people’s challenge and write a middle grade book in a week? !@#$% (Can you say that in middle-grade?)
“…I have known what happened to it for years, but I had a good chance to sum it all up when I went back last summer. It is a ruined and defeated town, and it is full of ruined and defeated people. If you think that I am happy about this, you do me an injustice. After all, it was my town, I was born there, and some of the people I care for most on earth still live there. But I found out last summer that you can’t go home again, and now I know why. … I am going better places, and I invite you to come along. … Did you ever read a story of mine that came out about a year ago called ‘I Have a Thing to Tell You?’ Well, I have a thing to tell you now: that is you can’t go home again, but there are other places you can go. So why not try to find them?” (Thomas Wolfe via nchistoricsites.com)
Dream my family was on vacation and in the town we were visiting there was this must-see church. We went there and the courtyard was the size of a castle keep. There were ancient ruins, stone statues, incredible architecture from an earlier age. But that part of the church was kept as a museum. They didn’t use it for their worship. Even though the sanctuary had beautiful stained glass and the weight of time behind it, they kept it roped off and gave tours before and after their worship. And their worship was farce. It was pretend, it was chaotic, it was speaking in tongues. The ritual was confusing. The bulletin was incredibly complex, such that when you opened it multiple inserts fell out, and within the scope of a single reading you had to refer to multiple pieces of paper. The locals thought this was all normal. Even the seats we sat in, in their newly-constructed, cheap sanctuary, were metal folding chairs. Some of my family were able to follow along with the service and some were not.
This (with help from a wise advisor) is about seeking god in the world, about seeking light. About being able to see the beauty in an imperfect past, a family past, a personal past, that has the weight of time and is indisputably part of the present even though it lies in ruins. About my need to not throw away the past completely, and to deal with it before pretending to move on—even though some of those in my past are unwilling to do this with me. And about not being able to—even though I want to—worship with some of those friends and family and collaborators who have built their present upon a foundation that denies the past. That I am someone who not only seeks the light, but wants other people to find it. And about how, even though I wish no ill to those who have chosen a cheaper and more barren path, that the reality is that we can no longer worship together.