Rummaging around on the internet this evening, reading random things, looking at pictures, listening to a lot of new music, generally being inspired… and this is the quote I read that stuck out the most to me:
“I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.” – Saul Bellow
Double exposure photo of the boy and I; Taken on Ilford HP5 Plus 400 B/W film; Nikon F3. A photo I had used in the exhibition.
I’ve never read anything of Bellow’s, but that was so eloquently and perfectly put that I know I will eventually have to hunt down something of his to read. I know I spend too much time dwelling on art, and the whole “art for art’s sake” thing, but stumbling upon something amazing once in a rare while is what makes it all seem to make sense and worth it in the end. The feeling of “stillness in the midst of chaos” and “an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction” is exactly how I feel like when I write, or photograph. Or the even rarer occasion during a jazz performance where I feel like I am perfectly static and calm even as the song moves past me, with me… that frozen moment where I feel the stillness enough to acknowledge the occasional brilliant note choices that happen.
I was txting the boy about a self portrait that I need his help to take sometime in summer (because it’s temperature dependent…), and he asked why. Fair question, but it’s a question that I’m always rather afraid of, on some level. Reason being, self portraits are so damn self-indulgent. That’s why they’re called self portraits, not just a portrait on its own. I’m sure I could pass off many things as photos other people might’ve taken, but there’s also a weird joy in taking self portraits. I’d rather not discuss the finer details to this particular potential-self-portrait, but mainly it made me reflect on my motives once again. I want to immortalise what is mortal. The me today will resemble the me tomorrow or me next week, but I will not be 100% the same. So it is with this self-indulgent motive in mind that I would like to immortalise my “self” now and then. Even if it seems rather vain and completely superficial to most people, I know and feel that whenever I’d taken self portraits in the past that some piece of my then-spirit was captured. What I wore, what I looked like, how I held myself, the look in my eyes… that sort of thing just can’t be claimed back.
A couple of evenings ago the boy and I went to Cassette #9 with some friends. It was funny because his younger sister was also there, and a friend of mine got into a fight with the boy’s friend. They dissed each other pretty bad, much to the amusement of us. I had told the dude earlier in the night that he’d have much better luck with the ladies had he worn a collared shirt rather than the tight t-shirt he was clad in. He disagreed. Then I was joking to my friend who only stopped by to say hi as to whether she has any single friends for him… she proceeded to (drunkenly) tell him how his shirt looks pretty gay, and had he worn a collared shirt she would definitely have hookups for him. Oh dear. The comeback was “if you were hot I would hook up with you”, followed by a drink thrown in his face. Eventful indeed. It was just weird going back to Cassette after all this time, for once not single, and for once with the boy when so much drama has happened there in the past. Ironically, it was the first bar we ever went to together two years ago. And how scary time flies, it will be two years to the day we met, next week.