feelings on arts

I have come to realize that I am a sarcastic, dry-witted, cynical, yet passionate person. I try to hide behind the guise of being a realist, but in candid moments I know i’s just a ruse to keep from getting hurt by folks who aren’t somilarly motivated and are far beyond convincing.

One of these passions is art in all its forms, visual, literary, and auditory. My mother will tell you that though I have been out of the US for an unbearably long time, I can still sing along with the radio stations I find worthy of listening. I walk around this city with my ears plugged into the endless progression of my life’s soundtrack. Lately this is shaped by Stevie Ray Vaughnn, Royksopp, Sarah McLauchlan, Ani Difranco, and Eason Chan, mixed in with a Jobim tune or two.

Anyone who has even briefly lived with me knows that I hate silence. The mechanical hums and whirs of our world fill the silence, and it gratingly drives me up a wall. Silence is very different and peaceful when you’re in a forest, but there is no true silence in a concrete wired building.

My eyes aren’t more sensitive, but sounds and thythms ring through me. Not all of it is pretty, often I find myself wanting to wring the throats of people who sound awful (and the propensity of awful content on top of bad sound is beyond irksome). To calm my nerves and downplay eavesdropping I plug imy ears into the more organized chaos of music.

When I first got my licence and started tooling around in the neon, my favorite thing was to crank the volume and plaster my left leg to the car door while driving. There’s a speaker in there, and you can feel the music through it. It’s reassuring and pleasurable, like a good hug.

So I like hanging around folks who “do” music. It’s like stepping away from explaining my quirks and just talking shop. I get a little frustrated by the amount of drugs around, but even the stoned agree that I “get it.” That’s good, now pass the pipe to someone else please and tell me more about pouring your guts all over the microphone.

Visual art is more personal. There’s not so much of a need to get out and share, but more of an irritating itch to hole up at home and create. That and I like gawking at other people’s productivity.

I am probably the world’s worst art critic. I can tell you what attracts my eye, but I am not the person to ask for a quality evaluation of a piece. This means that I can’t network to save my life with visual art folk. It’s all gut instinct to me, no detatched ability for critical chat. Often many evaluations sound a little made-up to me. My art teacher in high school had an exceptional ability to use that analytical/critical frame of reference while staying very “real” and tangible beyond that framework. If more folks sounded like Marylou, I might be more tempted to engage in those bigger social discussions.

Writing, this year, has been a bit of a rediscovery for me. At some point I walked away from writing, mostly disgusted with what I had produced. Nowadays, better balanced, it seems not such a horrible place to visit. I also enjoy editing and commenting, so I make a good writing group participant. I’m not so sure I’d be so endearing in a real life group since things have a way of getting out of my mouth before being properly weighed, but online groups have been serving my needs quite well.

Different art forms, different levels of interaction. This doesn’t surprise me really, but the way they are different to me is something I’ve never really thought about before.

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