So lately, I’ve been organizing. Stacking pans in cupboards so that they don’t fall on you as soon as the cupboard door is open, trying to put book shelves into something like a workable order, and separating content into various cardboard banker boxes: journals and notebooks in one, photos and drawings and such in another, and books and magazines that I don’t plan on reading again anytime soon into a third, etc., and then watching the cats jump on the boxes and shred them to pieces. (I’ll be buying some colorful duct-tape soon, to tape the newly purchased boxes back together. It’s fun!)
And with all this organizing and plugging away at things that might help a tiny bit, but won’t lend themselves to ETERNITY on iota, one has to wonder: Is this worthwhile? Am I wasting what little time I have left spinning wheels, grinding gears, and thrashing my central nervous system, when I SHOULD be forging ahead with THE GREAT WORK? (In my case, it’s the LITTLE WORK, but it’s as good as I’m going to get. For ME it’s the GREAT WORK.) I’ve asked this a million times: What is worthwhile?
To quote Depeche Mode, “Death is everywhere.” We have some fairly strong evidence that people don’t live forever, and I’ve seen family members and loved ones keel over and/or disappear in an instant—leaving behind, what? Memories? Influence? Perhaps they’ve moved on to a different world. (I tend not to believe that.) Now I’m not one who believes in FAME as a worthwhile goal—just being KNOWN isn’t much. (People KNOW Charlie Manson…) But at the same time, I kind’a don’t want to just DISAPPEARE when I phase out. I want to leave SOMETHING behind—a scar upon the Earth, a song in someone’s heart, a nagging thought in the brains of a few people. (It’s like Margaret Atwood says in her book, NEGOTIATING WITH THE DEAD, writers write out of fear of death. I totally agree with her.)
And yet, I have all these HALF FINISHED, THREE-QUARTERS FINISHED, ALMOST COMPLETELY FINISHED books and projects just sitting around NOT being finished! Granted, I’ve already been a party to TEN books being completed and out there in the public, either as an editor or writer or whatever, which is more than most folks will make (and that’s not counting the HUNDREDS of zines, handmade postcards, collages, artist books, and freaky packages I mailed out when I was heavy into POSTAL ART…) And I’ve completed THOUSANDS of drawings and paintings and poems and short stories in my lifetime. (If you don’t believe me, just go back to the first post on The Primitive Entertainment Workshop and start reading. We’re over 6,000 posts now, just on that ONE site!) But I want to do MORE. Making stuff helps insulate against oblivion, but it’s also FUN and can create a sense of SATISFACTION when something is finished.
Finished. We’ll all be finished someday (sooner rather than later, if the anti-environmentalists and destruction capitalists and war mongers have their way…) So, jeez! Should I be wasting time going to “work” when I’ve got so much PERSONAL WORK to complete? Do I continue to sneak moments here and there where I can draw a snake or monster on the back of an order form or the back of a receipt? Or do I DIVE IN and make creation my FULL TIME OPERATION? I suppose I’ll still need to eat and pay rent—so I’ll need to have SOME kind of income… Guess I’ll just keep working the way I’ve been working and build my GREAT WORK out of scraps in my spare time! (It’s going okay so far!)
A mighty tidal wave is made out of tiny water molecules!
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)
[I’m pretty sure death is an Illuminaughty conspiracy theory…. —Josh Erdahl]
[….and just so ya’ll know, I’m going full conspiracy theory, now. I believe em all. Fake moon landing, CIA/Mob hit on JFK, lizard people, Trump is president….all of it. —Josh Erdahl]
[I know, right? —JE]
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