Friday, December 05, 2008

notations for remembering if nothing else

Some weeks ago Los Angeles caught fire. The television showed houses that people lived in burnt or burning, houses of flame. The sky turned ash gray. Ash coated the hoods of cars.

Today I have discovered wonderful music. Too much of it to gesture towards more than just three instances here.

The kitchen I began to paint back when I was young and idealistic, enough so to think that I would finish painting it before I was not so young and idealistic, is nearly primed completely. It's easier to become jaded than to scrape away years of paint. From the looks of things, all the years before me were painted with the same inexplicable reasoning that eventually lead to the banana yellow I first found here.

Piles of books and unfiled papers sit on the floor of the apartment. But they are nice piles recently.

From The Brothers Karamazov: "What's shame for the mind is beauty all over for the heart. Can there be beauty in Sodom? Believe me, for the vast majority of people, that's just where beauty lies--did you know that secret? The terrible thing is that beauty is not only fearful but also mysterious. Here the devil is struggling with God, and the battlefield is the human heart." This was a man's way of understanding that he might be capable of being saved, and conversely that he might be capable of giving himself entirely over to sensuality and death. Neither extreme seems attainable, but he then realizes beauty to be the hinge on which the door opens both ways.

I probably would have interwoven all these strands six months ago. Today I weave less when I write and I tell fewer jokes.

Several days back I was standing in an apartment in Venice listening to a middle aged Indian couple describe to me their frustrations with the other. It was complicated. It involved car repairs, and of course countless years of subtly refusing to give the other any sense of intimacy. The apartment was small. A small couch and desk in the living room. A large screen television against one wall. Piles of things. Over the couch, on the wall were two framed pictures. One picture was of a Hindu Temple at some great praying moment during the day, with a sea of bowed bodies, kneeling with their faces to the ground. The other picture was a still frame from a romantic scene in the movie, Titanic. This picture was twice the size of the other. Leonardo di'Caprio stands behind Kate Blanchet with his hands around her, both of them looking out past the camera, standing on the bow of the ship with the wind blowing in her hair. They both looked like they were performing for a movie. They should not have been up on that wall. I wanted to ask these people about it. I wanted to take it down. I decided to believe that the picture was already on the wall when the Indian couple first moved in. It was easier to explain leaving it there, even if for years, than anyone hanging it on the wall themselves.


Post a Comment

<< Home