Breton’s clarion call to wage ‘a victorious battle against strange forces of the mind” in the name of imagination conjures images of the monument. But a monument to surrender, victory by surrender as Rumi says “slide out the side”. The battle within ones mind seems only winnable by surrender and acceptance. The image of the horse as monument pervades my mind, the equestrian symbol of courage and triumph. The horse evokes life, the primitive, the wild earth, standing tall amongst modernity. Growing taller in its distance from the age of anxiety and “the gram" but no less relevant. It stands for memory in its grace and links to myth and icon but also change, changing technology of the past, Muybridge. Swiftly and helplessly I’m lead back to my values, and a large bronze horse looms over me asking me what to leave behind and what to build a monument to. My mother grew up on an island off the coast of Istanbul (Heybiliada) there are no cars there, just skinny fly bitten horses carrying people around on brightly coloured carriages. Those horses were the only way to get around the island except for on foot.
In western culture I have heard that if a statue of a horse is rearing then the rider died in battle; one front leg up means the rider was wounded in battle and if all four hooves are on the ground, the rider died outside battle. I have decided that if the horse has three legs then the rider hasn’t decided how he will die yet or by implication, how he will live.
On the relationship of individual thought and suicide (rather than as a social phenomenon) Camus says ‘an act like this is prepared within the silence of the heart, as is a great work of art’.
“Anthony Bourdain had the greatest job that show biz has ever produced. This man flew around the world and ate delicious meals with outstanding people. That man, with that job, hung himself in a luxury suite in France.” - Dave Chapel
To seemingly have it all and still feel empty, to look around and not recognise anything we have as connected to us, to feel that our lives are not an expression of ourselves and that none of it is able to help us escape this nauseous feeling, is exhausting. Our quite lovely lives begin to feel like a magnifying glass refracting a burning concentrated beam of guilt down on tiny ant us who can’t FEEL the immense gratitude that, intellectually we know, every second on this planet rightly deserves. This is a common feeling in the depressed and the anxious and the awake. Maybe it speaks to our expectations and from where we expect to find fulfilment. Maybe everything we build is an attempt to quench a thirst, a thirst born from an indifferent universe we want an answer from, ‘everything conspires to maintain silence about us, perhaps half out of shame, half out of unspeakable hope’ - (Rilke, second elegy). It is within poetry and absurdity and with the help of poets like Rilke and advocates of the absurd like Camus we may be able to find a response to the “only true philosophical problem”. Art is a response, it is an ability to respond to images of the imagination, memory and perception, to deliver and digest the absurd, the real and the unreal, never distinguishing between the two, allowing us to revere the vulnerability of values and check that our own remain vulnerable.
I am stuck in a bad dream
I dont control this dream
who is in it, what i do
scenes keep coming, heres one now…
‘how do you do it?’
- no response
- no response
Im on a bridge now by the river and the girl is stood in front of me with tears in her eyes and a long coat. She’s so fucking elegant. I told her I can’t be with her and that I need some time and I don’t know why I’ve said this, she makes me happy in ways I have never been before. I look at her and she is tall and her eyes are big and her lips are pursed and her wrists are slender. She walks me across the bridge and i am calm and i look at her and feel that i don’t need anything else in my life, just her in that coat with those wrists and that smile. But i am married to this idea of leaving and being on my own because I’m a child who can’t try anything new.