A few things that have me in them this weekend:
I’m going with friendliness.
I’ve been thinking lately that it’s actually more risque and difficult to talk deeply about things like art, love, hope and connection. I feel like I’m selling snake-oil, or worse, luxuries that people don’t need. My twitter feed (yes I quit Facebook for Twitter - I’ll blog that shit eventually) is choked with stuff on elections, corruption, mobilization, public transport, climate change, elections, politicians… opinions, SO MANY opinions, and calls to become an ‘agent of change’. I’ve come to the disconcerting realization that I don’t want to be a fucking AGENT. I want to be a person. Sometimes I could cry (actually I do cry, horribly and often) at how useless my art is, how it doesn’t DO anything. Except this: it remains stubbornly, stupidly, painfully human and incomplete. That’s all it is, that’s all I have to give the world and somehow I have decided to dedicate my whole life’s work to this endeavor. If you do too (part-time, full-time or any time at all) I salute you, my comrade.
This path, this strange path.
Last week we went on a trip, shooting a short film with our favorite people Azharr Rudin and Shahril Nizam.
The film is Azharr’s baby. He wanted it on a train, and so we took a train north - past palm oil plantations, the backs of people’s houses, herds of kerbau, lakes, rivers, piles of trash, half-completed roads…
We got to Penang and spent two nights in the reputedly haunted Cathay hotel. I’m hopeless at taking photos on trips (too busy living), but here are some beautiful shots from Nizam’s camera. Azharr’s decided that the film is going to be black and white, and something about these photos totally captures how I felt on our journey.
We rode ferries:
We’ve been away from home for about a week. In the meantime, the wonderful Grace Chin dreamed in our beds, watered the plants, fed the cats, and even blogged our blog.
I realize that sometimes when I say ‘home’, what I really mean is our whole life here. More or less the same routine of trying to get up before the school next door starts its batshit mind-control on the students, biking out to breakfast, and then settling down to do battle… battle with the day, the self (laziness, doubt, all that good stuff)… battle to make art.
I made Zedeck a card with squares on it to keep track of all the hours he’s been writing. Labour never looked so pretty!
Btw, if you’re an artist or want to be one, read Steven Pressfield’s War of Art. Basically he makes the simple distinction between amateurs and professionals: showing up. TRYING. Every day. Even when you really fucking don’t feel like it. Even if the sum total of literally HOURS of work leaves you with two sentences and a blank page.
Then someone looked through our backyard and into the school beyond, echoey-empty and infested with wild dogs, and said: “Remember secondary school?”
"Eiyer," said we, shivering from metaphorical chill.
We dealt with the spectre of our pasts by thinking up another madcap scheme for 2012:
PESTA BELAKANG SEKOLAH
A programme of short performances (skits, dance, music, readings, etc) performed in the Lot 1699 backyard, for the benefit of curious SDASA students during their recess break.