[and orange you glad?]
The government is tracking me. My friends are actors. That car is following me. Those are the kind of thoughts I have at times. Am I a paranoid schizophrenic? Probably not. I know the thoughts are all fantasy. None of it's real. But they still pop up from time to time. I think it's a byproduct of the world I live in. Reality is serial boredom for me, if the fabricated sense of normalcy we've created even represents something that's real. Any sense of fantasy is a welcomed escape for me. When I watch a movie or read a book, that world they depict becomes realer to me than the world of cruel drudgery and hatred that exists outside my window.
Think of it this way. Imagine you were transported back a 1,000 years ago. The people, or at least society as whole, would seem crude, superstitious, and overly violent. Now, what makes you think a time traveler from 1,000 years in the future wouldn't think the same of us? I think that unlucky person would. And what's our excuse for our behavior? I can't think of a good one. Though we're armed with a fairly detailed knowledge of our species that goes back thousands of years, we keep making the same mistakes.
But the average person in 1,000 AD didn't have access to history books. For that matter, not many existed, and they weren't as thorough as ours. And most of the people were illiterate, anyway. Given those facts, I judge them less harshly. But us? It's pathetic, and what's worse, I'm part of the damned problem. I'd save my own life before I'd save yours. I've come to accept that we're all failures when measured against our potential, and I'm very likely going nuts because of it. The people here are selfish. I'm selfish. We'll never listen to the obvious answers to our problems because we're selfish. We'll never stop fucking each other over because we're selfish. That's life. Wouldn't you want to escape?
That's why I write. That's why I make music, why I doodle in the margins of my notebook. Those are the only places I can go where dreams can become reality. A story, a song, a painting. Those are gifts to God. I can feel it in my bones and my nerves, if not my heart. I don't know what the word God represents, or what God is, or God's form, but I know one thing. God is real, whatever God is. Maybe God is the miracle of creation. Maybe somewhere inside that miracle is eternal peace. I don't know.
A few weeks ago, I watched a documentary on Philip Glass called "Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts". Near the end of the film, Glass makes some wonderfully profound observations. The Boston Globe captured their nature perfectly in a review of the film:
"...[A] thoughtful moment comes near the end of the film as the screen goes dark, focusing attention on Glass's voice alone. He speaks of an author friend who describes writing as 'the antidote to the chaos of the world around him.' Glass tells us this friend lives almost entirely in the world of his mind. 'It's all real,' the composer explains, 'it's just what you choose to establish as the core of your being. He makes the core of his life an act of imagination.' Glass then wonders: 'Is it escape or is it liberation?' He says he has no idea, and you believe him. You also appreciate his humility. If only someone would save him from his own ubiquity."