I know that I am supposed to be calling The Contortionist right now, but I have been exploding on the way home; I need to write. And I think that she will find this more interesting than another phone conversation with me, anyways. I am much more me when I write. I hate talking on the phone. I suck at it.
I need to talk about what it means to have a project. At least a project when it is going well. It is the culmination of having desires and passions and ambitions; and one everything stars going in the same direction, there is this sudden feeling, like when the roller coaster clicks on to the chain belt that lifts it up to the top of the first big hill.
Everything yanks you forward, and your head snaps back and all of a sudden, you have this great feeling of losing control. The project takes over, and all of a sudden, your life becomes this project. It becomes a source of inspiration; every second that you are alive, every breath that you take every inspiration and expiration is this fucking project.
As you are sitting on the train, you realize that you are wasting your time here. Why not have books to read? So you buy a million books and go through them just as fast. Every moment that you are not doing something else; just going from here to there, you are reading. And hey, why the hell not listen to new music at the same time? And if there is space, let’s stretch a little bit as well.
I am watching a TV documentary, and I realize that I have grant research and visa applications to do, and why not get my laundry started and the rice cooking as well?
This is what it meant to have passion in my life, and this is the feeling that I crave.
I am in one of the most creative times of my life right now. Every time I go out, I need to run back to my computer because my brain is busting with new ideas, words that sound so good to me at the time.
And I can’t talk to anyone when I feel like this. This is like needing to go to the bathroom, but ten times worse because you actually need to save what comes out of you.
This is what is going to make you your living.
And I don’t feel so bad anymore that people do not understand me, because when I look around, I see that people have no purpose, they have no direction, they have no plan…
This is a rare thing, and it is the people that pursue it like a chimera that are going to get somewhere in the world.
No one has had great fortune or great work thrust upon them; nothing has come by chance. The problem in the arts community is that we come to expect exactly that from the world.
There is a companion to the artistic nature, and that is discipline.
Perhaps the circus artist has an advantage because it is discipline that gets us to the place where we have an act in the first place – but physical discipline is nothing compared to mental discipline.
Everything comes at you like a sign.
You need to be able to read the signs and everything starts to make sense.
I used to be depressed because I thought that i needed to drink to find inspiration, but now I realize that it is not the drinking, but the company, the words that crash around you like the spray of mountain rapids of people talking and feeling important and wanting to tell you what it is that they think you want to hear.
I met an artist the other day who was excited about this new idea that she had about sitting with someone as though you are painting their picture, but the whole point, rather than getting them to stay still, is to get them to talk. then, you transcribe as much as you can and write it down on that paper. In the end, you have a real picture of that person, but drawn entirely out of their own words and ideas.
Some people have no ideas.
Once I realized that it was not the alcohol that was making me creative, I could go out and enjoy the potent ingredient without diluting it with its tasty companion.
And when I am there I drink life in hungrily because the world is information and life is processing that information, and the more we can take in, the more we can process, the more we are living.
I am sure that there are lives that have been lived that are worth ten times other lives. Some by choice or by obsession, others have been forced into a mold by external circumstances.
The more I hear about Baltic and Balkan countries, dealing with various degrees of success with the independence that they have won from the soviet empire not 15 years ago… the more similar stories come up.
An understanding of the look that these people have in their eyes.
Passion is genetic.
I feel like I saw a trickle of an idea, a work, a way to make a living as my own man. as an artist; maybe.
And by chipping away at the little rocks that were in my skull, using tools like the people I am meeting and the books that i am reading an my own thoughts, the own dramas that I am going through at this moment in my life, this trickle has become a deluge.
And I am trying to hold my footing and hoping that this is all going in a good place, and I am drinking it all in while trying to save as much of it in little jars like this one that I am writing right now.
But there is no way that I can fit all this into jars; and there is so much that is flowing away from me; never to return.
But that is where the choice comes in, and that is why art is about what you leave out as much as it is about what you decide to put in.
In fact, maybe more about what you leave out.
Someone asks me ‘why the hell do you want to do it in Bulgaria?’
Well Bulgaria chose me; there was no other choice; I intentionally let the choice make itself.
A man who controls everything in his life is a man who lives the same day over and over again.
If you can open yourself up to the circumstances and events that are constantly going on around you, you will find yourself in places that you could never find on purpose.
More jars, more jars…
I can only write about 20 percent of the ideas that go through my head.
As i am typing, I am thinking of the next thing that I want to write, and telling myself; ‘oh, save that for later, that is good’ but what actually gets written is what my fingers want to type all on their own.
Writing is a training and compassionate writing, instant writing, honest writing, is something that needs to be developed.
I liken it maybe to guitar;
At first I wanted to play sounds; the technique was in my way.
Then I wanted to be able to play anything that was in my head;
Now, I am only concerned with making the things that I hear in my head any good to listen to in the first place.
It is impossible to get all this down; there is too much information in a life; it is infuriating. it is like trying to download the internet or record every show on cable at once.
Random moments of any given life are not as good as the random moments of a passionate life; and then imagine that you take the tool of selection to that life.
That is when we are talking.
I feel deflated, now. empty.
I didn’t cover everything I wanted, but now I feel the sails filling again.
On the surface, this is a project that is researching Aleko Konstantinov and Bulgarian history, but what it will Actually be on stage will be very different.
It will be like taking a pill about the last hundred years, a country that fought to be free, lost its freedom, and then won it back at great cost to itself and its people, about letting go; about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe feeling that way, and maybe not. It is about travel as a means to seek your place at any time, right or not, and about travel being a search or a journey, physical or internal. It is about letting go; of control, of desires, or just letting go in the face of extreme pressures, like the fact that there is too much information about any one topic in life let alone life itself, to try and hold your footing.
It is about self-doubt, of course, and travelling as an escape.
It is about nice music and lights and movement.
It is a show, and it is about important things, but unfortunately, it will be stained by me. I am a filter, and I am utterly mad.
I miss her.
Now I will call her if she is still up.