Thursday, August 21, 2008
Descent: Part One
Flights of grandeur. Flights of poetic inspiration.
Ive depended on flights for so long.
The truth is Ive never wanted to be where I was physically located. As a teenager, I recall spending vast lengths of time by myself. My parents were not around. My mother was busy painting or cleaning the house; my father worked in a hospital and didnt get home until late.
The house I grew up in was all white and we were forbidden to touch the walls. The first floor hallway extended the width of a soccer field, and the floors were marble. The living room had a fireplace, a white baby grand piano, and silver curios filled with figurines and crystals in the shapes of animals.
The house had a vacant quality which lent itself to dreaming. I used to look up at the sky light in my parents bathroom and watch the clouds sail over the house. At the foot of the Jacuzzi was a copper planter with bright red azaleas. Each side of the bathroom had a wall-length mirror with a marble counter. I came in there to dream and to be alone in the cold sunlight.
Or I would plant myself in the living room, curled over an art notebook I stole from my mothers studio. She kept dozens of notebooks and journals in the bottom drawer of an antique desk. I would sneak the fresh white pages up to the living room, where I would draw and daydream until she came home.
The living room was always the most pristine and secluded room in the house, despite being at the center of it. The room gave the impression of a museum-like display or a drawing-room held in suspension. Like the moment before a party begins and the guests funnel in with smiling faces.
The cushions on the couches were firm. It was not easy to fall asleep on them. With the light coming into the room, one couldnt fall asleep anyways. I would open the notebook and pause before writing anything. It gave me such pleasure to begin a clean notebook. I usually began with some arcane idea for my creation, as if I were a medievalist or a magician. I sketched the grotesque faces of the creatures of my imagination. I wrote scribbles of poetry. I brooded over the markings.
By my side I would have The Three Musketeers, a book I didnt read as much as I carried it along with me like a reference guide or a Torah. Occasionally I flipped through the pages and glanced at the stories I could hardly decipher and only imagine.
There was a bubble of alienation surrounding meand I needed a place to go.
My flights were often when I felt most connected to the world.
Posted by Lethe at 11:29 AM
Labels: alienation, books, childhood, descent, dreaming, flights, philosophy