Tuesday Morning in Suburbia

I want to say outrageous things. Like: “I wish I was only consciousness for a little while. No body, no brain, no mind. Only to observe and perceive the universe, from afar, unfeeling.” No mother should say such a thing. The selfishness.

I want to take acid and become only consciousness for a little while. Also, to leave my bed unmade for a whole day.

I want to descend into the carnivalesque, Rabelais style. Let the excess take over. Like when I was a student and hid in my house for days with dozens of movies, watching one after the other without acknowledging the outside world or its wants from me. Let the body disappear behind the decadence. Leave only the eyes and the ears.

I want to cut my head and body off so I may feel better for a little while. Bottle the consciousness in a clear jar in the meantime. Put it on top of a shelf for when I’m ready to come back. No suburban mom should say such a thing. The madness.

I want to say outrageous things.

Image: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, “The Fight Between Carnival and Lent,” 1559 (Wikiart Public Domain)

RM’s “Indigo”: to be artful is to be human

“Still I found myself glancing at the paintings and then looking at them. “The Potato Eaters.” “The Cornfield with a Lark.” “The Ploughed Field at Auvers.” “The Pear Tree.” Within two minutes—and for the first time in three weeks—I was calm, reassured. Reality had been confirmed.”

John Berger, “The Production of the World,” The Sense of Sight

The first time I read that essay, I was in my 20s. I didn’t know it then, but Berger’s words about how in a moment of profound existential dread, looking at van Gogh’s paintings had helped him find his place in the world again, would resonate for the rest of my life. I too have found solace in art in countless moments in my life, but more than that, Berger’s words have guided me and comforted me when life felt like it had stopped making sense. They tell me that the emotions we experience when confronted with art are real and worth thinking about and living for.