Archivo de la etiqueta: Olivia Laing

Close to the Knives de David Wojnarowicz

I.

Last night I felt unbelievably sad and sometimes it happens that way: a sensation comes out across the landscape into the cities and further into the window of the car as I´m coasting the labyrinths of the canyon streets. It feels for a moment like nothing more than wind; it´s something I don´t see coming and suddenly it´s upon me and my eyes are blurring with tears and fragmented spills of neon and ghostly bodies of pedestrians and smokestacks and traffic lights and I´m gasping from a sense of loss and desire. I can´t think of anything I am truly afraid of and I´m trying to give something unspeakable words; some of us live in big cities so we can be alone, so we can avoid ourselves, and yet by living within massive populations we can have help or love within reach if necessary.

II.

I wanted a radical shift to occur so I could have a few minutes´peace or experience the silence of my brain. I wanted to be another person living a quiet farm life in a foreign culture. (…) I wanted to be physically erased and start over again. I didn´t want to be here. I didn´t want to be there. I guess I wanted to be nowhere, I wanted to listen to my brain talk inside of nothingness. I wanted to be untouchable and have no need.

III.

I don´t think the society or the situation is sitting there waiting to reject people; I don´t think it´s aware enough to say, “You don´t fit in”. (…) We set a standard that we can´t even live up to. We expect too much of a society that is probably going to reject us – it´s probably not even thinking of us.  (…) I want to adapt. I don´t think I´ll be giving anything up. I don´t care if I don´t value the thing I want to adapt to; it´s there – it´s a structure.

IV.

If silence equals death, he taught us, then art equals language equals life.

Olivia Laing, sobre David Wojnarowicz.

V.

It is exhausting, living in a population where people don´t speak up if what they witness doesn´t directly threaten them.

VI.

Smell the flowers while you can.

The Trip to Echo Spring de Olivia Laing

I.

Physically, Echo Spring is nothing more than a nickname for a liquor cabinet, drawn from the brand of bourbon it contains. Symbolically, though, it refers to something quite diferent: perhaps to the attainment of silence, or to the obliteration of troubled thoughts that comes, temporarily at least, with a sufficiency of booze.

II.

He says: “It was in my mind that if you weren´t able to function in action you might at least be able to tell about it, because you felt the same intensity – it was a backdoor way out of facing reality.”

“He” es Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

III.

Hunger was constitutional with him,
wine, cigarettes, liquor, need need need
until he went to pieces.
The pieces sat up & wrote.
John Berryman

IV.

Perhaps he also thought of Robert Jordan, who once said to himself of the things he had done: “But my guess is you will get rid of all that by writing about it… Once you write it down it is all gone.”
Robert Jordan es el protagonista de Por quien doblan las campanas. Está hablando de Hemingway.

V.

that one night, instead of warm pajamas,
I´d take off all my clothes
& cross the damp cold lawn & down the bluff
into the terrible water & walk forever
under it out toward the island.
John Berryman

VI.

Pt. admits that he is an alcoholic… Indication of depression, anxiety, immaturity, lack of insight, high aesthetic interests, feelings of alienation, & dependency… Admitted he is full of fear.
Un terapeuta sobre Berryman.

VII.

At some point, you have to set down the past. At some point, you have to accept that everyone was doing their best. At some point, you have to gather yourself up, and go onward into your life.

VIII.

I mean we all carry something inside us that can be rejected; that can look silver in the light. You can deny it, or try and throw it in the garbage, by all means. You can despise it so much you drink yourself halway to death. At the end of the day, though, the only thing to do is to take a hold of yourself, to gather up the broken parts. That´s when recovery begins. That´s when the second life – the good one – starts.

The Lonely City de Olivia Laing

I.

If you´re lonely this one´s for you.

II.

What does it feel like to be lonely? It feels like being hungry: like being hungry when everyone around you is readying for a feast. It feels shameful and alarming, and over time these feelings radiate outwards, making the lonely person increasingly isolated, increasingly estranged. It hurts, in the way that feelings do, and it also has physical consequences that take place invisibly, inside the closed compartments of the body.

III.

If I could have put what I was feeling into words, the words would have been an infant wail´s: I don´t want to be alone. I want someone to want me. I´m lonely. I´m scared. I need to be loved, to be touched, to be held.

IV.

If they had earlier been lonely, they now have no access to the self that experienced the loneliness; furthermore, they very likely prefer that things remain that way. In consequence they are likely to respond to those who are currently lonely with absence of understanding and perhaps irritation*.
*Robert Weiss, Loneliness: The Experience of Emotional and Social Isolation.

V.

Loneliness profoundly affects an individual´s ability to understand and interpret social interactions, initiating a devastating chain-reaction, the consequence of which is to further estrange them from their fellows.
When people enter into an experience of loneliness, they trigger what psychologists call hypervigilance for social threat (…). In this state, which is entered into unknowingly, the individual tends to experience the world in increasingly negative terms, and to both expect and remember instances of rudeness, rejection and abrasion, giving them greater weight and prominence than other, more benign or friendly interactions. This creates, of course, a vicious circle, in which the lonely person grows increasingly more isolated, suspicious and withdrawn.

VI.

If you are not being touched at all, then speech is the closest contact it is possible to have with another human being (…). The irony is that when you are engaged in larger and more satisfactory intimacies, these quotidian exchanges go off smoothly, almost unnoticed, unperceived. It is only when there is a paucity of deeper and more personal connection that they develop a disproportionate importance, and with it a disproportionate risk.

VII.

That loneliness can derive from the conviction that there is no person or group to which one belongs. This not belonging can be seen to have a much deeper meaning. However much integration proceeds, it cannot do away with the feeling that certain components of the self are not available because they are split off and cannot be regained. Some of these split-off parts… are projected into other people, contributing to the feeling that one is not in full possession of one´s self, that one does not fully belong to oneself or, therefore, to anybody else. The lost parts too, are felt to be lonely.
Melanie Klein

VIII.

 The way I recovered a sense of wholeness was not by meeting someone or falling in love, but rather by handling the things that other people had made, slowly absorbing by way of this contact the fact that loneliness, longing, does not mean one has failed, but simply that one is alive.

IX.

Loneliness is collective; it is a city. As to how to inhabit it, there are no rules and nor is there any need to feel shame, only to remember that the pursuit of individual happiness does not trump or excuse our obligations to each another. We are in this together, this accumulation of scars, this world of objects, this physical and temporary heaven that so often takes on the countenance of hell. What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last.