10 Minute Journal – 9/6/17

I feel like I’m all over the place and getting nowhere at the same time. I’m drawing this griffin again for a page of comic art that’s coming out in a month or so. The project is for MIT. It’s frustrating because the art was done once already, but I realized I did a lot of it incorrectly and had to redo it. It looks great, but it is one page out of a huge sum of pages that needs to be done and it feels like it isn’t getting done. One feather. Then another. Then another.

There is something to that. Something deeply mystical about life. Like, we are only ever making individual feathers on a drawing of a griffin. It is only in drawing the individual feathers that we are the griffin as a whole because once the feathers are done being drawn (and the beak, and the feet, etc.) the griffin drawing is finished and we aren’t it anymore because it is something that is completed. This is life. Each day we are living a day in the life and it is only in these days that we are life. Once life is summed up, it is complete and we cannot be alive any longer. Because life can only be examined, in its culmination, once it is complete.

Alan Watts was talking about this in a segment – that we enjoy the act of consuming theatre/television/movies because it provides the illusion of what we are searching for, which is to be God. The voyeuristic observer of life that is happening. We watch a movie and it gives us this godly feeling where we can judge life. But there is the paradox as well: we want to feel godly while being alive – which is actually impossible. To be the observer one needs to be removed from life completely to understand how to see it. This was the entire exercise Daniel Quinn went through when writing Ishmael. He needed the main character to be an ape because only an ape could live amongst humans AND examine them at the same time.

So movies help us scratch the itch we have to look at life as god, as removed from it. Ultimately, this is not satisfactory to us because a) it isn’t real and b) we don’t actually want to be removed from life. To be removed from our lives is frightening, justifiably, because it isn’t what we are now – which is alive. We want to keep living because we know this. We don’t know what’s outside of this… If anything “is” outside of this. So we live each day and we keep drawing each feather.