Sometimes bits of life strain through to me. No one really lives, the way we’re forced to live—you go to work, you recommend the strength that gets you paid, you get off work, you buy groceries and pay rent. Buying groceries is the fun, bright part. Then you do it all over again.
When you’re a journalist you’re forced to exit the everyday—your job is to raise to the surface what’s been buried under the heavy sludge and dirt of everyday life. The exposé—I think of it like a reverse exhumation, what you unearth is the real stuff of life itself; everything above, none of it is really alive.
I think this is true of all writing. Whether you author a history book or a short story, a song or a blog post, you bring life closer than it used to be. Oscar Wilde noted, “There may have been fogs for centuries in London. …But no one saw them… They did not exist until art had invented them. At present people see fogs, not because they are fogs, but because poets and painters have taught them the mysterious loveliness of such effects.” Artists spend so much time and labour simply to bring life closer, why is that? Is the normal, everyday life so unsatisfying? Or is life so wondrous that a person who notices these things has no choice but to sift sands for this gold?
I think it’s both.
The others [Ansel and Ant] asked me to write something for the website. I don’t really have anything interesting to tell, though—not factually, not fictionally. Writing something like this [note: for an audience] is totally different from writing a private journal entry. We learned that when Ansel combed through our diaries—lots of extraneous things that aren’t interesting, even to us, even though those things happened to us. Daily fluctuations in emotional states. Roller coasters of relationships that ended up not being that meaningful to us. Binge-reading our journals—there were lots of times we said, “Hunty, no!”—and even those things, didn’t really matter. Let me clue you in on something—he didn’t publish everything we wrote. Great chunks have been excised—not for privacy but for irrelevance.
What’s really left to us? I think I want to write about art, like everyone else. At the very least I want to study it. I want to study filmmaking, I want to learn about composition—I certainly can’t teach it, you’d find a poor source of education in me. I’m only a student. I don’t know if there’s much I can contribute. Maybe a dialogue with the others on the films we watch, that might be good. Like everyone—I want to point out things. I want to get closer to life.
People vent but I don’t want to vent. I want to magnify.