Faulkner quotes I’m digging tonight

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”

“It is the writer’s privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.”

“Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.”

“Wonder. Go on and wonder.”

“…I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire…I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”

“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. ”

“A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid. ”

“A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”

“The best fiction is far more true than any journalism.”

“The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews. ”

“I’m bad and I’m going to hell, and I don’t care. I’d rather be in hell than anywhere where you are. ”

“I love Virginians because Virginians are all snobs and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little time left to meddle with you.”

“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life.”

“Perhaps they were right putting love into books. Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.”

Faulkner quotes I’m digging tonight

“I’m not in the business. I am the business.” (Blade Runner)

There’s that great line in Blade Runner when Deckard and Rachael are talking about getting the shakes and Deckard tells her it’s part of the business, and Rachael—as a replicant—says, “I’m not in the business. I am the business.” I love that line and that scene for many reasons that I am not planning to discuss here.

But, thinking about that line this morning while editing, and while generally thinking about art and artists, a meaning or application of that line, strikes me, that I have never thought about before.

Joe Byron of the LA Film school says that if you watch enough movies you don’t have to go to film school. And I know that to be true, in general. But even as going to film school, watching movies, and working on films all teach you distinct sets of lessons, the more general playground is just your life. And that’s the playground artists really need to be paying attention to. Watching enough movies may be a substitute for having to listen to film school teachers break it down for you, but watching your life is the basic school for all art, all science, all business, all love. Movies made by people who mainly pay attention to other people’s movies—instead of their own life, or even other people’s lives—those movies suck. I always said, at film school, that cinematographers and sound people and production designers, yes, they should go to film school. But directors and writers, when they show up, the school should give them their tuition back and send them on a road trip. People who make the best movies are making them about their lives, or something they know about from life…not things they know from school, or even from other movies. We should, as artists, not be in the business…we should be the business.

Of course, with Deckard as an example, maybe it’s possible to do both.

“I’m not in the business. I am the business.” (Blade Runner)

Finished a book

Camp Lake, novel about camp counsellors.  Very tired now, every day.  Tried moving to New York a few days ago but it didn’t take.  Came back to the country.  Happy with the book, sending it to agents.  Have strands of ideas here and there, making notes, but probably won’t write anything new for a long time, so…starting to rest, taking a break.  Watching TV.  Letting my mind off the hook for a moment.

Starting to see the world again, as a place that might have something to offer that I might be interested in.

Read books in a bookstore with my sister today, critiqued covers and first sentences.

Feeling peaceful, able to conceptualize someday feeling happiness.  Don’t feel it now.  But have an intellectual model in which I believe it might be able to happen.  Kindof don’t care about whether my books get published.  Feeling, not suicidal but a release, a not-caring, an over-it that isn’t fun but I recognize as a powerful position.  The hanged-man position in the Tarot…last time I was here was a decade ago…and the thing to do from this position is to unhang the man.  I don’t feel angry anymore, I’m not angry at anyone from the past.

I’m seeing several of my other life paradigms as described within a master paradigm of suffering and joy.  Almost a year ago I set out on a journey to not drink alcohol (or do any other drugs, whether they be legal or not).  Since then I have come to see that abstinence as part of a larger paradigm of maintaining a meditative state.  And now I see those both as part of a larger paradigm of not suffering.  I’m not not-drinking not to drink.  I’m not not-drinking to maintain a meditative state.  Both of those are true.  But in a larger sense I am not-drinking because I don’t believe it’s my duty to suffer.  Not-suffering also entails not punishing myself for my past, and not punishing others for their pasts with me.  I don’t want to suffer and I don’t want anyone else to suffer.  So I can’t argue with my dad anymore.  Or tell off my past employer.  What I said to and about both in the past was right for that time.  Now, not because the past has changed, not because of anything except that I don’t want to suffer or cause suffering in someone else, I don’t have any reason to engage in those discussions…because the reason I was engaging in them, ultimately, as big as I can think, is that I felt it was my duty to suffer.  Working a job that doesn’t fit me, that also takes my life away, is something I was willing to do within a framework of believing it was my job to suffer, that it was necessary and good for me to suffer.  Not taking care of my body is something I had been willing to do because I accepted that it was natural for me to torture my body by drinking caffeine and alcohol and doing other traumatic things to myself.  If, and as, I accept and believe that my job is to joy, not to suffer, many things fall away.

I don’t know what I’m doing next.  Probably not much for a while.  I’m focused on things like exercise, meditation, belief (that my dreams are eventual), love (of myself and others), forgiveness (of my past selves and the pasts of others), and the idea that I wasn’t made to suffer, and that it’s okay, and good, for me not to suffer.  I would like to get that from—as the expression goes—my mind to my fingers.

Finished a book