I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Trouble in mind…

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Last day of classes at Bard. Final party tonight. I’m a bit jittery and I’ve woken with a troubled mind.

The thing I was worried about in coming up here to teach has happened: I’m depleted. What have I been doing? I feel sandpapered by the contact with students, other teachers, by the injunction to respond. I still get to the point where I find others burdensome, despite my best efforts.

This may simply be my “only child” syndrome; I was eleven when my sister was born, so the majority of my childhood was spent alternating between putting on a brisk, open face for the world, and periods of some what melancholic solitude. Even now I see those two states as inevitable and mutually exclusive. That thinking can often infect my most intimate relationships.

It can also influence the way I look at this blog, which is a forum that has encoded in it the capacity for either pole: public broadcast or private musing. I forget that I have the capacity to shape my use of it to my own needs. That feeling has returned more often now that I’ve made the effort to turn this into a daily blog. Now not posting has become the equivalent of sulking in my room.

It’s easy to look at my friends page with envy of those who post daily cogent essays, who grapple with lives far more arduous than mine (and please I’m not fishing for any “whatever you post is fine” comments). I think that there is something else that provokes these kinds of feelings of envy and frustration: I have the sense that on some profound level I’m wasting my time, that I’m not really working at the stuff I’m meant to.

Sitting down to work is the most difficult thing. And lately I’d rather do just about anything else. You can’t sit down to work when you are rolling around with someone. Or sitting in a movie, or jerking off to internet porn, or running to a store, or browsing iTunes, or racing to class, or doing the laundry, or engaging in any of the thousand other little time and attention nibblers that I am so often ready to embrace. I am unwilling to allow my self to relax. To think something through. Even in drafting this I have wandered over to check my email, respond to old messages, read the technology column of the Times and so on and so on.

Usually that level of avoidance means that there is some large uncomfortable emotion that needs to surface in the work, and that I’m trying hard to keep that from happening. I dither, and resist and turn away from what ever it is, and then blame others for distracting me, for making demands.

Note to self: sharing is not demanding. Learn to tell the two apart. And while you’re at it, learn to claim the time you need.

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Written by naylandblake

August 2, 2007 at 8:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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