Happy New Year again, everybody!
Does anyone else feel weird about the new year? I feel differently than I have felt in the past. Perhaps it is because the bloom of middle age is past; maybe it is because of the ridiculous political situation in the US; I don’t know, but for me, this year is different than past ones… so far.
This quote from Camus may shed some light on the way I feel:
“… [D]uring every day of an unillustrious life, time carries us. But a moment always comes when we have to carry it. We live on the future: ‘tomorrow,’ ‘later on,’ ‘when you have made your way,’ ‘you will understand when you are old enough.’ Such irrelevancies are wonderful, for, after all, it’s a matter of dying. Yet a day comes when a man notices or says that he is thirty. Thus he asserts his youth. But simultaneously he situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it. The revolt of the flesh is the absurd.” Camus comments on the last sentence in a footnote: … […revolt of the flesh is the absurd.] “But not in the proper sense. This is not a definition, but rather an enumeration of the feelings that may admit of the absurd. Still, the enumeration finished, the absurd has nevertheless not been exhausted.” (from Albert Camus (transl. O’Brien, J. ) The Myth of Sisyphus. New York: Vintage Books. 1983, pp 13-14)
First let me say, THIRTY? For me, this revelation came when I was about 13, but I suppose that is beside the point.
What is the point?
The question is, how does one live one’s life with the realization that we’re all a knock-in-the-head from oblivion or total debilitation, and even if we aren’t oblivion awaits us, no matter what? Perhaps Camus has the answer at the end of The Myth of Sisyphus, but it is so densely written that I haven’t successfully gotten through it. At any rate, suppose I disagree with his answer? Everyone has to come up with his or her own method of coping and successfully moving through time to the end. Maybe my method needs some adjustment this year.
But I don’t want to kvetch just for kvetching’s sake.
Part of my solution is to keep my mind busy (on non-death related matters). Thus my emphasis this year will be on learning all I can about art and visual self expression, trying to paint or sketch every day based on what I learned or based just on how I feel – if I can make that connection.
Below is the finished piece that I started a few days ago. I displayed the first drawing in Progress in Iconology; I displayed the first watercolor progress in End of Year Review; the last incremental progress was in yesterday’s post.
Here is the final product: