As a child, at the end of one of the TV shows on stars and galaxies, being so fascinated by the possibility of life on other planets and the wonders of the universe itself, I would return to my room not knowing how exactly to resume my existence. Sitting on my bed and munching on chips, I would think that wow, the universe is so amazing, yet look at us, in our flats, eating chips and going to school tomorrow! It didn’t make any sense.
What I could not make any sense of was the impassivity of daily life, how things had to be done the way things had to be done, day in and day out, how the mundane and routine prevailed no matter what, whereas the greatest things, the essence, the truth were mere subjects of weekly TV shows. When the show ended, life would go on just as before.
At the end of my two-week winter holiday, I feel like the TV show has ended once again. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I don’t know how exactly to process this. The last two weeks have been populated by many places, situations, ideas, and people. And I am not referring to our holiday in England this time. I am referring to the time I spent reading, discovering so many interesting concepts and partaking so many courageous lives. The lives of writers, the lives of artists, the lives of all those people who make something valuable and put it out there into the world. I wish I were one of those people. If only I had their courage and talent!
And so, after rambling through David Wojnarowicz’s New York and literally shaking when reading his memoir “Close to the Knives” about his torturous life first as a homeless teenager and later as a gay man in the 80’s, after wandering the streets of Paris, London, Venice and New York again with the women authors from the pages of Lauren Elkin’s “Flâneuse“, after reading Olivia Laing’s “The Lonely City,” a book about the connection between loneliness and creativity and how this translated into the work of various artists (it’s in this book I discovered David Wojnarowicz in the first place), and, lastly but not least, after browsing through works of art and their interpretation in Will Gompertz’s “Think Like An Artist,” I feel so overwhelmed with the possibilities of creativity and so humble in front of those who lived their lives trying to shape it through art.
I barely left the apartment ever since we came back from England, a week ago. Just to see friends on New Year’s Eve and to do grocery shopping today and on Wednesday. The weather was miserable, my boyfriend had the flu (and thus we had to cancel everything), and, to be honest, I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere and do anything – anything other than reading.
The more you isolate from the world, the more hostile it appears. I didn’t like my walk to the shops today. All I could see were families with children and elderly people walking their dogs. It pains me to see there is no diversity in this neighbourhood we are living. What I was looking for was something similar to what I was reading about. Something to catch my attention, something to inspire me, something to make me take out my notebook and write. But no. Nothing to ponder upon and nowhere to wander, other than the shops. Which was fine, since I had to buy a present anyway.
If this little “adventure” around the area put me in such hopeless mood, I wonder what going to work tomorrow will feel like. It will certainly not be inspirational. Not to me. Once again I feel like that girl munching on chips in her room at the end of the TV show. How can we sit like this when such amazing things are happening out there? How can I go to the office tomorrow when there is so much to read, so much to find inspiration and consolation in, and so many interesting people to meet in the pages of books? Do you know?