Friday, June 30, 2017

Twenty-Five Years

25 years, June 1992 - June 2017. 1992 ventures into my imagination because Doogie Howser dates a lot of his computer diary entries (how cutting edge that would have seemed then!) in 1992 (I watch Doogie on AntennaTV very very early in the a.m.) - and that year, or as I think of it the gestalt of that time which extended into the mid-90s, really only three or four years, marked a kind of full bloom in my life. Indeed, June 11, 1993, my agent and friend Connie Clausen's 70th birthday, celebrated in the pic I've made permanent on my Facebook page with Quentin Crisp in it, has become that moment's iconic visual for me.

And yet when I really attempt to inspect my memory (which is of course always highly selective and therefore far from trustworthy), and am able to feel something of the strange ambiguous texture of its reality, and more than that, to connect it to the future I couldn't of course have foreseen, it lends the whole notion of imagining any 'period' in one's life as unchanging a sort of poignant deep hilarity. Twenty-five years on, the most fundamental shift I can say I believe I've undergone has been more of degree than of kind: but how much greater a degree! It's simply this: life is only ever immediate. "In the moment" is too stodgy a phrase for it, not least because of its self-satisfied "well, we've figured THAT out, anyway" hubris: in fact "immediate" doesn't for me suggest time at all. Immediate is beyond any facile sense of "now". Probably what I want to say is that life is experienced in eternity, always and ever. And eternity has nothing to do with time. What practical effects does this have on the living of life I can name? A constant sense of curiosity and wonder. We are in, and we ARE, an inarguable freshness.

25 years - let's see - I'm 66. 25 years ago I was 41. 25 years before that I was 16. Let's see what narrative pics I can provide of those ages might suggest.

While they suggest 'events' - indeed the first two are depictions of events: a women's club concert with my beloved Ingrid Bartinique and other Amityville h.s. school friends in 1967; the aforementioned party for Connie in 1993; & the last, merely me in a red V-necked T shirt about 6 minutes ago - such wholesale life-altering events as inevitably will fill fifty years of life - it's not the events that make reality, exactly: they're the expression of it, not the cause of it. Existence is a stranger business than its manifestations can really ever define. No, for me, now, the shift has to do with what it feels like to be alive, and what it doesn't feel like is anything that's happening in "time."

But if any of you guys were to do a similar show & tell, I'd bet you'd come up with a whole different phantasmagoria. And a whole lot more colorful story. Go ahead & show & tell.


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