I look out my window to my left and watch birds dust-bathing in a pile of leaves, which is a new substrate, to me, in which to witness this behavior. I look up the word substrate and estimate that I am using it incorrectly, but then decide to give myself some wiggle room with this here lampshade sentence. And on it goes.
The sight of the birds – of animals, natural-habitizing and all – is one of my few joys in my modern existence, limited as it is. “Natural” is incredibly relative here, and I suppose I use it more to mean animals acting like animals. So, for example, a dog on the subway perking its eyes and ears about as it absorbs its surroundings is part of this, even though a dog probably wouldn’t be said to be in its natural habitat on the subway. Interestingly, this seems to extend, equally briefly, to people… Fictional people, that is. Surprise surprise. In watching the most recent episode of Banshee, the actress who plays Deva (Ryann Shane – no, I did not know her name offhand) had to respond to having her life threatened, and having to shoot the threatener, and having that person fall on top of her after having done so. Ms. Shane did an excellent job, and I responded, emotionally, to that. Not directly because of her acting, though, but rather in consideration of the actress having to figure out how to portray that on-screen, and to do it convincingly. This is an incredible achievement of representing something. My appreciation of this – of someone I don’t know’s fake emotions – is so absurdly removed from, I dunno, humanity, as to be hilarious.
The analytical evaluation suggests that as I retreat further into this rabbit hole, I’m running away from having to face my own emotions, the unpredictability of which – and the possible vulnerability of which – I find unpleasant. And that’s fine. No denying that. “But…” But… I have been doing this for as long as I can be aware. In the past, I was searching for something which would connect the pieces of why things are the way they are, and / or distractions (inadvertently) that would keep me chasing my tail. I reckon we all do this, and we all land on a something that keeps us spinning for a few years more, until we need another wind up: a new partner, a new child, a new job, and new book, a new painting. All this is fine as well. We need those. We need those people who continue to pursue those. There is no version of the world that works when we / it stop/s spinning.
But as I have gone along, and gotten more clarity on my questions and answers, it boils down to something of which I’ve spoken before: self-worth. The “switch” that some people have on. What’s interesting about being so far outside of this consideration is that I can note that my switch is off – admitting that I have no inherent self-worth – and not be upset by it. This isn’t power, or better. Not that I seek to change it, because I don’t understand the world otherwise (the question to counter with here is whether or not I understand it currently, and for better or worse, I guess maybe I do – for me – and that’s what all this is about), but I just mean to say that if noting my nullness was upsetting, that would be motivation to do something about that. And I don’t have that.
I’m interested in other people for those natural habits I admire above. I think it’s hard to witness those in people you know, because you end up knowing them. Unless there was a way to observe without upsetting the system, which has been my goddamn fetish for as long as I can remember: a watcher, an ogler, of whom you aren’t aware. I can fuck off to my corner whenever I please, or return to watch your small moments of doubt when you look in the mirror, or concern when she doesn’t say I Love You back. Yon humans.
I just don’t have anything to offer with conviction. I am a barely held together pretender. I can’t expect anyone to provide self-worth for me. I don’t desire for anyone to try to turn my switch on.