It’s hot. Some days I don’t know if I’m dying or sick or exhausted or it's just hot. Well, two of those are inevitable.
I’m taking it easy this summer but I really don’t know how to take it easy. Physically I seem to be doing less but mentally I’m on fire. I thought that with some success a bit of my insanity would be relieved. Some of it has been but some of it is just as active and intact as always, like a bad gear and a faulty gasket. It is outdated, limited equipment that only does one thing at one speed but is so deep in the engine it is intrinsic to all the other parts that have been updated and replaced. I have to get in there, update that machinery or install some kind of separate bypass box. The problem with the old parts is that they seem to be fueled by panic and negativity and they are feeling like that are being phased out so they are overworking now. It’s annoying and it's fucking up the engine a bit. I’m aware of it and I’m going to the mechanic.
One of the ways the faulty equipment seeks to stabilize the engine is to keep everything the same. The same patterns, same ticks, same self-regulation. It doesn’t adapt to new things or want to introduce new fuel into the system. I have never felt more compelled to take in new things and to pursue things I am interested in and push my creativity in a different direction. If I don’t do that, what’s the point of anything? Engaging is what life is. I engage with people all the time and it has definitely expanded my emotional capacity, my intellectual capacity, my knowledge, and diminished my negative and false assumptions constantly. It’s good. Shaking up that system, getting to some truth. I need context. Life context, other than just being alive and moving through the day-to-day. Need some meaning. I get it sometimes.
I talked to David Remnick who is the editor of The New Yorker. That magazine is a context and it is a noble context. Journalism, poetry, humor, theater, film, music, literature, visual arts. It’s like an applied liberal arts education every week. It is the context for a rich life of the mind and heart. It is something I aspire to. Because of my inability to compartmentalize and because of my outdated engine parts I can get hung up on one thing, one story, one piece of journalism and it will just seize up the machine which will then just spin in the mud of panic and negativity and make everything else seem pointless when it is exactly those other things that are the life preserver. We need to take them in and also create them. I know I’ve talked about this before. The human spirit, resistance, anger, pursuit of truth and justice need to be balanced with seeing the progress in good things in life and art. See, just writing that shows that I clearly know where the torque knob is on the old parts and I can adjust it. Maybe, I can get it working for me and not against me. Maybe I can torque it into a new place.
Today I talk to the amazing Edie Falco about her legendary roles and her life. As I said, I talk to The New Yorker’s David Remnick on Thursday.