The Hitting the Ceiling Blog
“No poem is intended for the reader.”
Walter Benjamin - The Task of the Translator "My brain rebelled. It just won't accept anything nice happening to me." Arnold Rimmer - Better Than Life episode
“I’ve been pissing in the wind
I chanced a foolish grin
And dribbled on my chin”
Badly Drawn Boy – Pissing in the Wind
There's no such thing as non-human art. We invented art as we did our Gods. The limitations will remain our limitations until we distance ourselves from art. Someone else usually sets the bar. They dictate your goal. There is a ceiling. You can choose to accept that ceiling or break through it. This you do by 'comparing' and judging based on your own preconceptions of how you compare with the other. If you give yourself permission to ignore all previous parameters and barriers, where do you draw the line? Well, you don't but even then it seems your body and subconscious will do it for you. The little bastards. The very concept of a goal brings its own walls and ceilings. No goal, no net. The ceiling is directly related to what you wanted to or expected to achieve at a given point in your life.
Remove this milestone and free yourself from unnecessary judgements.
This does not mean give up and stop trying to do things, it just means doing those things without paying too much mind to any 'end' vision. Our 'goal' is to die having experienced as little discomfort during life as possible. There certainly is a hint of Marxism here and the idea that a full stomach each day outweighs the need for competition. Because it is competition which creates the ceiling. Success by comparison. The art world of all places should be free of competition and most artists you speak to will probably claim that they have a strong distaste for such stuff. This doesn't exclude them from competition, however. Not as long as they depend on others to show and share their work. To be chosen by a gallery feels like artistic success, looks like artistic success, smells like artistic success but in reality, it is a pod person from the planet Mars. Success for me is wanting to paint again. Paint new pictures. Write new books, New poems. To actually 'want' to do it. And even here I give myself a net. What if that desire wains? Will I have failed? Well no. That desire is bound to be replaced by a desire to sleep or watch TV or potter about the garden till I pop my clogs. This would not be due to any ‘judgements’ but a more natural process of 'success' management.
There is no ceiling to break through.
Not only is there no ceiling. There is no up or down! By considering an increase in happiness as a rising measure we are making happiness itself the competition when in fact one cannot compare feelings. Feelings just are. To attempt to sustain a certain level of joy is to commit emotional and psychical suicide. It occurs to me that the ‘end of the day’ itself is a self-proposed barrier. One frequently considers the ‘day’ they had and compares it to others. This can make one disappointed in themselves or else give them a momentary boost that they have just succeeded in having a ‘good day’.
Remove this charade and we are left with one big day. Life. A continuous moment with no recognisable pattern or purposes. There is no template for any of this and yet we struggle to bind ourselves in tautological chains.
This thought process began with a conversation in the pub. Surprise. I came to the realisation that paying for art advice or life advice beat any religion hands down. Motivational courses are big business these days and I have begrudged them the money they have asked for. Except once. And the one time I paid for the advice, which was basically ‘It is up to you what you do. Now do something,’ I fucking made sure I did it! Because I had paid. We are still stuck in this world template whereby one believes they earn a thing if they pay for it. As long as this is the case and until we come up with an alternative to money, I say throw your money at the people who are going to work at reminding you that it is YOU who sets the bar and only YOU who can smash that bar into smithereens.
Then you can start your own motivational course and so on and so on and so on…
3. "Everything said or 'communicated' might be said to be 'the inaccurate transmission of an inessential content'"
By this I understand that unless you ‘cop on’ by yourself you are doomed to weakly impersonating others in the vain hope that you may be received in the same way as they are. And so I am brought back to the idea of the content man. The regular guy who accepts himself as he is. Sleeps. Eats. Drinks. Kierkegaard's happy man. The knight of faith.
“Most people live dejectedly in worldly sorrow and joy; they are the ones who sit along the wall and do not join in the dance. The knights of infinity are dancers and possess elevation. They make the movements upward, and fall down again; and this too is no mean pastime, nor ungraceful to behold. But whenever they fall down they are not able at once to assume the posture, they vacillate an instant, and this vacillation shows that after all they are strangers in the world. This is more or less strikingly evident in proportion to the art they possess, but even the most artistic knights cannot altogether conceal this vacillation. One need not look at them when they are up in the air, but only the instant they touch or have touched the ground–then one recognizes them. But to be able to fall down in such a way that the same second it looks as if one were standing and walking, to transform the leap of life into a walk, absolutely to express the sublime in the pedestrian–that only the knight of faith can do–and this is the one and only prodigy.”
Johannes de Silentio, Fear and Trembling, 1843
Sarcasm.com (Crooner Punk) I'll do what you do And I'll say what you say And I'll go where you go And I'll feel how you feel Chorus If you wanna hit someone Then I'll hit you in the face It's just the same as you doing it But I've taken your fucking place I'll see what you see And I'll be who you are And I'll die when you die And I'll cry when you cry
If you wanna hit someone Then I'll hit you in the face It's just the same as you doing it But I've taken your fucking place
I’ll read what you read
And I’ll have what you have
And I’ll wait when you wait
And I’ll go when you go…
I’ll do what you do
Mook Rowland – Sarcasm dot com - 2019
Live outside the box. It’s not nearly as messy as you think and there aren’t so many out here that ‘chaos’ has started to become an issue. By the time everybody else gets here some clever spark will have figured out a way to ease the transition for all.
Leap, dear friends. We have wine and nibbles.
I am committed to making this blog as snappy, fun, experimental and accessible as I can. If any of what I post, paint, paste or print resonates with you, please forward to friends and colleagues with wild abandon!