Friday, May 21, 2010

Writing on the walls

I'm painting over the graffiti walls today. I had the idea of preserving everything that was written on them, but a combination of the banality of some of the writings and the fact that I remembered this idea after 10 minutes of painting lead me to discard the notion. There are a few things I want to remember though, and I was hesitant to paint over those, and so I record them, and their stories, here.

Jon Rasmussen is a friend of ours, I believe through Adam, and he has a passion for philosophy. There are a number of things he wrote on the wall, but the one that I was most hesitant to paint over read "The poet asks 'to be or not to be,' but it is the philosopher who asks what it is to be, and not be."

There was a squandering of profound potential as I painted over the phrase "Only those who attempt the absurd achieve the impossible." The act in and of itself did not have any grand symbolic meaning, but the potential for it was palpable.

My father's addition to the wall was a phrase he described as the punchline of a friends wedding long ago. I don't know the full story of that, but the phrase "We must imagine Sisyphus happy" has a great deal of meaning and dark potent truth.

The wall itself started with me writing "Who is Cain," and extremely obscure reference, and for that reason I held back a bit before painting over the thing that had started it all.

There is a cartoon, a high quality one, which I will photograph and post before painting over it. The artist is unknown to me, but the quality is indisputable.

The last thing I'm going to paint over is currently directly to my right. It reads simply "Auld Lang Syne," a phase with has gained a great deal of meaning to me for one simple reason. It was Bridget's addition to the wall. I'll be seeing her again for the first time in a long time only a few days from now, and in theory that should make it easier to paint over this, but it is as things always are with her, that every moment is precious, that I hate nothing more then saying goodbye, and that when I have to the only thing I want is to hold on for another few precious moments.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


There's a tradition I have that hasn't mattered for a while now. It started as a practicality, but now it's strictly tradition. Tomorrow, at 8:00 a.m. my registration ticket opens. At UW it was at 5 a.m, which is why I started staying up the entire night prior to class registration. This time I don't really need to, but I'm still going to. I'm still ironing out exactly what I'm going to do these next 12 hours or so, but I'll work that out later.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


I'd like to take a moment and comment on something that I think we should all be amazed by. I'm currently writing this and distributing it to you on what is essentially a giant circulatory system for lightning that we humans have built and put up over the whole damn planet, but that's not the amazing thing I had in mind. A few moments ago I went out to my car to get something, it's 12:15 a.m. right now, the sky is mostly clear, no moon. In nature this would mean that I couldn't see. I've spent prolonged amounts of time in nature, by which I mean away from civilization and society since nature is really the normative state of the world, and the one thing you'll find while you're living outside of civilization is that you're not up past midnight. You wake up earlier too. There are a lot of little reasons for this, but the biggest one by far is that it's dark. And when it's dark you kinda can't do anything.

And this is what we should be amazed by. I went out to my car, middle of the night, clear sky but no moon, and I would say I had 85% visibility. Humans have beaten a lot of the things that challenged us. Our ability as predators is now greater then anything else the world has ever known. We've done more against disease and hunger then any other species could comprehend. But how often do you stop to consider what it means that we've beaten back night? Nighttime, darkness, it's one of those inexorable forces of nature that's supposed to be more or less the hand of God sweeping in and changing things. Now we have street lamps. They're everywhere, and they're free, and that's absolutely amazing.