Just another depressive rant

Sometimes it’s hard to get my feet to reach the floor.

Though it’s Tom Waits birthday, my thoughts couldn’t be further from that frame of mind. I walked outside on the patio around midnight last night, and the whole scene was enveloped in a thick fog. It doesn’t happen often around here, but it made me think of Bakersfield. The major difference was that it was warm, around 75 degrees or so. The air was just thick, and wet. Then tonight, I sat as the sun went down to sirens. Tornado warnings. Hook echoes on the weather radar near Pinnacle Mountain, not that far from where I live. I can’t stop thinking about writing, and what I really want to accomplish by doing it. Having to reject the publication of that piece a few days has just stuck with me, and it won’t go away.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are on the TV, the HBO Project Greenlight thing. I was thinking about how I couldn’t bear the thought of being judged by these young idiots, or by the smug Miramax executives that supposedly are going to make some young filmmaker’s dreams come true. I just couldn’t take the bottled water swilling “I’m going to be a bigshot” wannabes for too long, before I had to turn down the sound. To quote the Pontiac Brothers once again, “I don’t care about winning / I just don’t want to lose.”

So is this what it comes to? Placing your soul on the block hoping for some form of affirmation? As might be apparent from the trend of entries over the last few weeks, I can’t get John Lennon out of my head: “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round / No longer riding on the merry go-round, I just had to let it go.” I was thinking about the couple years of effort I put into getting my photographs shown. There never was any hope of financial reward really, it’s just that I wanted to put them up where someone could see them. I did manage that, but it didn’t really mean much. The worst critic I have is me, and I suppose it will always be that way. I don’t want to place my hopes in making other people like me, that hasn’t been that much of a success thus far.

Depression is such an awful and insidious thing. I think it sinks deepest when communication fails. I suppose that’s why I gave up on photography when I moved back here to Arkansas. I lost what little audience I had, and I had reached a level where progress could only come through feedback and communication. So what do I do? I take up writing, thus lowering my possible audience even further. I suppose it’s an attention span thing. I am seldom, if ever, brief. Especially in the way that photographs allow you to be. I tell myself that I should continue, just for me. But there is always a plateau in that; not that I’m ever satisfied, but without feedback there is little reason to refine and reflect. It takes more than one, in order for there to be communication.

Don’t take this as a call for feedback and or affirmation. I just need to whine sometimes to get it out of my system. I have, indeed, let most of these things go. But they creep into the back of my mind, especially on foggy days, when I think about the time when I actually thought I might amount to something.

It’s funny, but I when I searched the dark recess of the collection of photographs I lug around, I found a landscape that I think I’ll give to my expository writing teacher. Just to let her know that my anti-nature rants are not that misinformed. I did spend quite a lot of time there, it’s just that I prefer the company of people. Trees don’t say much. But I really don’t want her to think of me as a nature-hater.

There’s a soft insistent rain outside tonight. And all I can think about is how much I don’t want to judge anyone else, or be judged. But I suppose I’ll have to get over that. I’ll have papers to grade next semester.