Thursday, October 13, 2016


No sooner do the petals
of the lotus fall than
They float on the water

-Japanese Haiku

How to start… how to begin, where do you find yourself when you are creating something new? When you have this tiny little seed of an idea and you do not know what it will actually be. If it will be a great big thing, if it will be a good thing? How long will it take? Will you quit on it? Is it even worth starting?
So here I am, starting something breathing something and it is hard. It is difficult to begin with all these voices in my head breaking things down tearing them apart back to where I am now, at the beginning. That is where I was when I left. Where my mindset was… I was looping. I could not imagine how going somewhere else, how leaving everything behind for a time could possibly change me. To shift where I was at. I doubted like I doubt now that everything is different. That I have changed and grown. What is odd about coming back, about returning to the beginning is that it all seems the same but also entirely different. 

I am here sitting where the beginning began, here now in the present, at the end of the thing that I am now here beginning again. Ouroboros Knot is everywhere. It is the loading screen on your phone, it is the recycling symbol, we resonate with it. It is simple and profound because our minds do this thing where they find themselves back at the beginning of something while being simultaneously at the end of it. Our bodies are finite so even if our minds can time travel to the beginning we physically are here to cycle back through the knot of our minds, to loop it all out again and return to the end but as always from the beginning. 

This will be a journey for me my friends, and it will be a strange one as I will be living in the present and the past and lost in the process to both. I will be sacrificing my present to be here, creating this work, and I will be losing my past in some way by sharing it. By dissecting and reconstructing, I lose a simple memory to reflect upon in the solitude of my own mind. Here it is shared and given to you as a gift. A sacrifice. Here is an unconditional surrender of a part of myself to you. To have and to hold for as long as you care to. I will not apologize, these are my thoughts they are mine to give and to hold back. So I will write what I will write. You will read what you see and we will continue to try to come back to our own separate realities despite sharing something that removes us from them. 

The leaving of is the finding of. I left New Orleans two months ago and found myself racing through Louisiana at dusk. Chasing a friend's taillights through the traffic of the Interstate-10. Faster here, passing on the left, blinker, shifting up, lane change to the right, slight break to fit behind this car, accelerate, foot off the gas peddle, slowly slowing and again all over. We passed Lafayette and turned north to a quiet hamlet called Grand Coteau. Well kept yards and simple but utilitarian Cajun architecture, the town feels like a photograph of a time simpler, peaceful. Yet there are still the occasional reminders of poverty of decay and loss. 

Verily the lust for comfort 
murders the passion of the soul, 
and then walks grinning in the funeral.
- Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931

I am exactly where I am supposed to be. When I decided to depart to somewhere new, different. Visit an old city that I lightly remembered or stay with an old friend that I had not seen in a while, that is also exactly where I was supposed to be. I tend to forget that I am supposed to be here; it is okay to be in the place and the time that I am. 

It is easy to get bogged down in a daily routine. To find oneself one day old, or older in a situation that was never dreamt of. It is easy to become complacent. 

I was struck upon my return at the idea that it is much easier to be in the same place doing the same thing, saving the same amount of money, living the same life day in and out. Change threatens to tumble that tower, that construction of the daily life and reality. Home. These habits that form a web of comfort can also be the ropes that suffocate. I may be the spider that builds them but perhaps I am also the butterfly that gets trapped in them. 

When I left, I felt off. I was not overly excited for this adventure. I was calm, placid. Here I was, about to travel almost the entire breadth of America, and I felt “meh” about the situation. What an asshole move. But it is honest, it was true. Not until my long driving stint across Texas did the excitement and the wildness of it all set in.

Grand Coteau was beautiful, it was a comfortable first stop, shared with good company and I could not ask for more wonderful memories or a better safe harbor to christen the journey that I now here reflect upon. But it was also close, it was also still Louisiana, and my heart desired to start, to fly free across the country and embrace the challenges and the discoveries I would find there.

 This journey was long for me, and the reliving of it here will be the same. It will be a long walk, and as an old British man once told me, “The only thing to do on a long walk is to put one foot in front of the other.”

I was going to write something simple.
But now I seem trapped in a loop,
heading back and forth amongst these fantasies 
of belonging, escape, desire and entrapment. 

-Tim Etchells