today i'm in france. say hi to everyone. i'll be back home on the 3rd of july, in case anyone was wondering. working on a story though, so there should be something eventually. identity crises report: still going strong. thanks for the concern.
She is gone, but a moth is flapping its silvery dust against my windowpane, trapped between window and screen like an insane muse, and before it dies Claude has finally found the words to begin this story of his, recounting his thoughts on beauty up to and including the event of the death of his wife, Saelly. His fingernails are already twisted shreds of bitten, inadequate, nervous words, and he doesn't expect things will get better from here. He pokes the window poke poke and smudges oily fingerprints at each location the moth attempts to rest.
He's already committed the sin of Metaphor (the single most deadly of the unnamed Deadly Sins) by sitting Saelly down next to a moth and asking you to compare. Let him thrive in this sin. Let him take up the moth and shake it gently so the silvery dust floats softly into a small jar of glass he's conveniently set below. Now, let him pinch the dust into two of his fat fingers, with a quick motion spreading the dust evenly to all his fingertips, there, like that. Ugliness is less the devil than an angel with sooty fingertips. These were her words, Saelly's words, sponsored in part by Claude's images. Oh, these words aren't strong enough!
Now he metaphorically kills the moth, and wants you to do the same - erase it from your memory, do not think of it again, at least until he asks. There remains this critter between window and screen, like an insane muse, that he noticed earlier, which remains alive despite the death of its image in your head. He poke poke pokes the moth some more. It spreads more silvery dust. Soon, in a day or two, it too will die. By then Claude's window will be entirely obscured by the smudges from his finger on this side, and the silvery dust on the other side, and he will not be able to see Saelly's last glorious statue standing alone in his garden, and Saelly herself will no longer trespass into his mind as an angle, a witch, or a ghost might.
Do not listen to what you might hear about her, or have heard about her, or will hear about her - this is not about words or sounds but about sight. And Saelly is ugly.
She has a subtle advantage here in that no matter what Claude puts forth through words you will never see the fountain from which these words spring, the inspiration that now speaks of the Medusa. To Saelly, and possibly to us as well, all honest and innocent creatures on this earth have an inherent right to be beautiful. Ugliness, therefore, when expressed in human form on a human face, is a divine mistake unforgivable by man. Claude finds these words to fall short, to be inadequate! His house, his stories, his past, present, and future together do not have the weight needed to push the memory of Saelly's face out of his one seeing eye.
By nature, ugliness begs for more words, more useless images, describing the texture of her face, the tilt of her brow, the overhang of her lip, the length and width of her neck, and the daily evolution and revolution of blemishes on her nose. It is unfortunate that Claude's language was built to be beautiful, that he gets such innocent and gleeful joy in finding the correct word to describe an object, and so therefore feels that those beautiful words will always fail at a task of reporting something ugly. He rebels against the ridiculous inconsistency of the human tongue and refuses to put down another adjective to describe Saelly other than the one which he will fill with this essay: the word ugly.
This frees you, in a way. Lets say Claude was to describe Saelly to the best of his ability, so that what you read was a series of descriptive terms that perfectly suited the girl he saw on that late night under the light of a torch, during the few seconds between when it was lit and whit it was thrust into his eye by her flapping wing. Even if his words were interpreted exactly as he had intended them, would you then see what he had seen? Could you close your eyes and feel the mounting tension felt only by the groom on his wedding day? No, you could not, because worst of all he fears you may not entirely trust his voice as a narrator. The last thing he could want from such a passage would be for you to read it as a critic, to evaluate not her but himself, and for you to rally the other numerous readers of the same passage in a protest for her undeserving treatment, saying as one "It is misogyny! It is anti-feminist! It is anti-human! It is cruel."
Because, as you know, nobody including yourself has ever intervened for the ugly. He assumes you will agree that ugliness is a sin worse than adultery, theft, or murder. He passionately believes that you innocents, through no fault of your own, nurture a deep and justified hatred for the ugly. Victims, villain, and the Devil himself, at least, are all beautiful.
First, check this out: The Journal of Babble. It's an idea that I thought of a while ago and only recently created. I am still unsure if it's actually a good idea, or one that is absolutely worthless. If nothing else though, I like the shapes. Tell me what you think, if you think anything.
Is there anybody out there who's interested in making things? I've felt very alone online recently.
So: I'm having another identity crisis. A friend of mine has an aunt whom he used to live with since his parents lived in another state. I talked to her for the first time in at least a year a couple weeks ago and just today heard from another friend that this aunt says I've changed: he's become serious and cynical. I had to guess who'd made this comment, and in the process I kept thinking it must be someone that's been reading my journal here since I can see how they might think that from these entries. But after a while it became clear that this person hadn't.
I've noticed that although I'm the same person online and off, the way I express myself is very different in both mediums. Different clothes. Gemini.
So, the question I've been thinking about is am I serious and cynical (the only reason my friend told me about this incident was because he was glad to see that I in fact hadn't changed, and was really as goofy as ever I was).
... This all of a sudden appears to be a topic I should consider on my own and not in this journal since everyone here first of all probably has no doubt in their mind that I'm serious and cynical, and secondly couldn't care either way anyway. Wait, was that my serious and cynical side talking just now.
Anyway, so it's not that interesting. The only reason I bring it up is to bring attention to the fact that I'm thinking about who I am, who I have been in the past, and who I want to be. The last few entries sort of make that obvious though. An interesting comment from jacqui in the last entry was that she noticed that I do care what you think, regardless of my statements otherwise. Perhaps, true, but it doesn't mean I like that. Or, maybe, true, but it doesn't stop me from trying to effect what you think. Jacqui, I notice you're going through a bit of an identity crisis yourself. We should compare notes?
Shouldn't life be one continuous identity crisis? Those who have no questions about their identities may find themselves in situations where there comes some conflict between who they are and who they think they are, and rather than think about who they should be, they take the path of who they think they are (usually the wrong path). A person in an identity crisis will be much more aware of the discrepencies and perhaps redefine him/herself in the process. Now, I may not be full of blanket hatred, but that was a blanket generalization if ever I saw one. I was cold anyway.
On my honeymoon K and I will be co-re-writing a short story about beauty and ugliness I wrote many years ago. Then, when we get back, we'll collaborate on a painting. It is so much nicer to think of consumating a marriage with the conception of art than the alternate.
There has been something cheap and wasteful going on in this diary, and I'm very sorry to all who noticed. Rather than continue in this wasteful way, I've decided that every once in a while I'll take the time to actually put effort into an entry -- both its presentation and its content.
With these entries, I want to spend a little more time examining what's going on in my life. This way, I might actually have something worth looking back on -- but more importantly, it'll help me refocus on the present.
This is what I call an Anchor Entry. It's just the beginning.