equal measure

I have long been a believer in the idea that for life to be interesting one has to experience the extremes. That for your life to soar into the sublime it must balance itself in hell. My experiences have shown this to be true, that when good things happen so do bad of equal measure, but in my recent life these things seem to be astoundingly accurate.

On the one hand I feel the my artistic career is really starting to become something. I have been producing works that I feel are challenging both aesthetically and philosophically and people are paying attention to them.

On the other hand my personal life in the past few months has been a roller-coaster ride through hell.

Why does this balance have to occur? Why do you have to suffer to achieve? What is it that makes this some necessary law in the universe?


So it looks as if my immediate plans to vacate the city have been preempted by my responsibilities to my daughter. As I do not feel that my leaving will put her in a place that is secure I must remain here until such time as I am ready to either move with her or she is grown enough to take care of herself. (She is 8 years old)

In life we often have to do things we do not want to do. Our responsibilities are almost always only to our own well being. But in the case of our children we have to make decisions that may be uncomfortable for ourselves but secure a standard of living and a way of existing that is necessary for any child to live.

I guess I just do not feel that her life will be what it needs to be if I am not here to make sure she is happy. The course my life is taking has not changed, but the path I am walking down is constantly growing and unfolding before me. Hopefully being here for Isobel will be the right move.

As adults we must always consider our actions in response to our environment. In particular most parents, in my opinion, do not give enough thought to their children’s environment. We leave too much of the education and upbringing of our children to the schools and institutions we send them off to. (How many yuppie kids are closer to their daycare guardian than to their mom and dad?) Often these institutions are being run by agencies (churches, governments) whose actions we almost certainly do not agree with, yet off they go, to be programmed without our supervision.

The past few months have been a roller-coaster ride through hell. Maybe the coming autumn will sooth the souls of everyone involved and life can go on.

thunder gods

As I watch a storm move over Chicago, outside my windows and on my screen via the Wunderground radar feed, I feel the earth around me responding to the storms energy. Even in the complex array that is the urban landscape I am aware of this sonic/electro/magnetic force that moves over the city in waves of rain, lightning, and thunder. The forces pushing across the surface of the world as they do everyday make me wonder if the earth itself is not a being, a life-form whose weather is in every way paralleled in the electrical activity of our brain.

In all of the religions of the ancient world there is a god of thunder and storms. Thor, Donar, has ruled the sky and struck fear and wonder into the minds of ancient men. As much as the sun or death itself the storm is a force that must be reckoned with even in our overly modern world. To give it sacrifice and do its icon honor is something that was instilled in all men of the past and only now is slipping away from us, reduced to the highlights of the weather channel.

But as I sit and hear the rumble of the storm move away, out over the lake, I know that a god has just passed through the sky (or that earth has just had a thought) and I fell stronger for it.

off switch to love

The problem with emotion is that it is by nature an uncontrollable force. Emotional bonding occurs for reasons of group safety and genetic endurance. But the social bonds that reinforce our emotional states are not necessarily productive of good in our particular situation.

How does love fade? How does the attachment we have for another continue through suffering and pain and abuse? When can one expect to be free of the agony of self that is broken love?

In my past I have been in similar situations and though marriage is much the same as any emotional/sexual relationship it does carry its own weight. I have felt this feeling before, but never to this degree. (Though I probably said that at each breakup along the way in my life.)

When we consider another important to us emotionally the growth period of that emotional bond usually takes a long time to grow and strengthen. When the heart is broken we want the emotions to cease immediately yet for all practical purposes there is no off switch to love.

Chronicle in Denmark!

Chronicle has been officially accepted to screen at the 2007 Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival this November. (with a potential performance by the Chicago Underground Trio live the same night – including myself on video performance!)

Oh yeah….

destination unknown

Since my last post (about leaving the city) I have received a bunch of messages asking where I am going. The truth is I do not know. When I was young, before settling in Chicago, I would just wander wherever the moment would take me. I figure I will just wander away at the right moment and then wonder back when I am ready.

Though I will be leaving Chicago at the end of this month I am tied too closely here for a total move. (That will have to wait until other things can be in order). My daughter is here as well as my studio.

But I need a retreat of sorts, a time and a place to reprogram my mental machine and sort out the various emotional turmoil’s my marriage has caused. So though I will be going soon, I will return to finish what I have started.

passionate embrace

when I see the way
you move through your day
jealously watching me like
the eyes of your lovers

how do you say love
when words have no meaning here
how can you sit and stare
when I am gone

so the truth is pain, yet so are lies

before I knew you I
remembered your kiss
eyes like the souls of my dreams
of melting caramel and summer lawns

now I live in this nightmare
ridden by a loa of jealousy and rage
forgotten are the moments
of passionate embrace

change of address

This is the tenth year I have lived in Chicago. In my time here I have learned more than I ever did in 16 odd years of schooling. More music, film, art, and life has come my way than I ever would have imagined. I am in debt to so many people for the life lessons and the help I have gotten in my time here.

As much as I have experienced the depths of hell I have reached the summits of heaven in my journey through time and my wandering among the streets of this town. No place has shown me as much beauty, as much ugliness, or as much awe as this city has inspired in me.

Once more it seems I will be resuming my travels in the world of mankind. My tenuous stay here as come to an end in a way I would like to have changed but have no control over at this point. I no longer feel the wanderlust of my youth, the push to search out for the new, for I have learned that the new comes each morning with the sun and is old again by the time the moon caresses its shoulders.

One night, less than a year after i came here, I stood staring at the falling snow on Wicker Park (then a predominately Latin neighborhood) as was struck with fear and the urge to run away again (as I had from so many other places). But I stayed here for many reasons.

This city will always be in my heart, it was the birthplace of my daughter, the shelter of my transition from a young man to whatever I am now at 33. But in a handful of days I will see the sun set no longer on windy streets, and the winter will never again bite at the skin of my ankles like a dog.

sex as a weapon

Why is it that so often sex gets used as a weapon? Revenge sex, sex to create jealously, or just plain old “give me what I want” for sex. It seems strange that so many of us will resort to creating conflict through sexual interaction to get back at or draw the attention of others.

“He cheated on me so I cheated on him so then he cheated on me.” Somehow sex gets used as a barrier to communication. Instead of just talking about what is bother us we go out and have sex (as a diversion from our emotional state) and create an even more complex problem than we started with.

How has sex become so fucked up in our society? Beyond the moral/religious/health reasons the sexual interaction of people in the world today is shrouded in misery.

Even the dialog of terms associated with sex is violent. Thrust, hard, force, take, pound – these words have meanings that go beyond the sexual implication of their actions.

I understand that the animal nature of sexual interaction is constantly verging on the violent (ever seen two cats go at it?), but as modern people does that mean that our best weapon in navigating social and emotional relationships is the controlled use of sex?

happenstance incidents

Sometimes in our travels we meet a person, an accidental stumbling into someone we may know already or a happenstance incident of new relations. But in this happening, we find some sort of strength. We realize how strange and wonderful and funny the world around us really is. And the tragedy and the terror of our souls simply melts for a brief instance of knowing that everything will be alright somehow.

The curious cat would question the why and when and how. But simply I say we should lie in our feather graves and smile. Hell, it could always be worse, right?

love unreturned

Not too long ago a friend of mine was told by her husband that he did not love her and did not think he could love her (or anyone). She seemed astounded by the fact that she loved him so much and could not understand how he did not return her love.

At the moment I am going through much the same situation. I am very much in love with someone who does not love me. She says she “cares” for me but is not in love with me. (this is someone I have been married to for 7 years)

How is it possible to love someone so much and not have that love be a two way street? Isn’t love something that is shared? How can we care for someone who dislikes us, doesn’t want to be around us, and continually hurts us?

Love is too small a word. Too many ideas seemed to be crammed into those 4 letters. When we say we love, what do we really mean? I long for my wife every moment she is away. I am attracted to others, but even in that attraction I think of my wife and how much I love her and am attracted to her. I can not imagine life without her by my side, but she is so casual in her need to be “single” and “done” with our relationship.

I do not understand how these things happen. I do not feel that my love is one way, but she says it is. What do we do when love is unreturned?