Wednesday, July 29, 2009

flying by the seat of my whimsy-pants

I'm going to try and give this blog CPR this week. bust out that binaca and get ready to make out, internet!

here's an excerpt of a letter to b:

my trip back to the bay was short and sweet, but also made it evident that I'm mentally detached from sf in a pretty official sense. things in new york are magnificently and unbelievably lonely at times, but the frenetic energy of the city and the golden rat race that everyone is a participant in (willing or not) lends it a unique charm. it truly is the mecca. and the other day I stepped in dog shit on ludlow in the lower east side and when I looked up alan cumming was chuckling at me. where else could you poo your shoe in front of boris grishenko?

this newfound clarity hasn't come without a smattering of strifes, and the past 5 months were more of a growing charlie horse rather than just your average pain. there was nary a psychic banana to ease my mental cramps to be found anywhere, high or low. my parents might call the past five years 'directionless', but I read this article the other day that detailed a newly identified common life phase that I'm fairly sure I'm in the throes of. it's called "odyssey", the decade of wandering that frequently occurs between adolescence and adulthood, where a "young adult" transitions in and out of school, cities, relationships and the like.

if the odyssey years are to be considered legit, then consider me to feel a hell of a lot better about my intemperate emotional flailing and hesitance to commit to anything, be it higher education, a person, a hair color, a brand of cola, etc. I suppose just the word "odyssey" resonates, as well, because I really look at my Big Picture as a grand experiment, a voyage, an epic that I write as I go. odysseys don't always go smoothly, they don't guarantee an ideal storybook ending, in fact the most famous one, ithaca is at peace in the conclusion, but not without some shit getting SERIOUSLY fucked up. so, maybe new york is my troy, and I've rolled myself in via a giant virgin america metal bird, and the war I wage is really one of personal growth and a righteous quest to find the best slice of pizza in all of the 5 boroughs. yes, odyssey is so much better than "quarter life crisis".

odyssey years: legit... or just a nice way to call someone a fuck up?

also, julia davis:


ModernSophist said...

It's an interesting analogy. The trouble, of course, is the fear of ever settling down (returning to Ithica and slaying suitors, were I to stick with the metaphor) because of the risk of the story, essentially ending.

I know I get pretty worried sometimes, that the glory days are over, that there is no more adventure to be had. It makes me wonder, must one be wreckless to give a story its due pith?

I mean, classically, if there's no risk to the character's personal growth (as we would imagine a post-Ithica life being) then there's no real story.

Feels like I'm missing something here. Give me hope, fair siren.

lydiaw said...

this is good. as my literal odyssey is winding down, I anticipate an interesting mental odyssey in the months ahead.

funny that I was just reading this: