Omega and Alpha

Wow, I haven’t posted here in a while, have I?

So, this is 2020 thoughts, coronavirus, covid-19, quarantine musings. Because when you have a lot of time to do very little except spend it with yourself, you get to know yourself better and better.

I have, creatively (and perhaps emotionally, in some respects) an Alpha and an Omega. (I do not believe that this is true of everyone – I do not believe, for that matter, that I’ll still necessarily find this metaphor a useful one a week from now. But right here, right now, it works for me.)

The Alpha is the 1990 movie Pump Up The Volume, possessor of the greatest opening line of all time:

Do you ever get the feeling that everything in America is completely fucked up?

The Omega is the 1994 novel Only Forward, possessor of the greatest closing line of all time:

Everyone deserves a happy ending. Even me.

There is, obviously, more to both of these works than that, but these are the standout moments. They’re (respectively) the opening chords of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and the closing cacophony of a A Day in the Life.

I’ve recently dug back into both works for the first time in a while, and found new things (and refound old things) and learned things about myself. Art is a mirror, but it shows different things from different angles. (And, to continue the metaphor, one of the figures generating that angle is time, or if you prefer, experience.) There’s so many things in each of them that resonate with me.

But taken together, they tell me this: I have forgotten myself. I am not sure that I can again find myself, but I am sure that I can build anew,and that, for now at least, that will do.

And the most way I want to do that is creatively. Is through building things in the world. Is through positive action. So. Projects.

Right now, there’s PROJECT JEAMLAND, which is coming together like, heh, a Jeam. As in it’s going better and faster than I could possibly have hoped. JEAMLAND is reasonably finite, which is nice, and I hope to have it all finished in a reasonably short amount of time. And after spending the last three days doing little else, planning to take a break from it tomorrow.

There’s PROJECT PERIANDER, which has taken a hit from the lockdown, but continues to move forward, just more slowly. (Probably just as well – there’s some aspects of it I’ve underthought so far.) PERIANDER divides neatly into phases, and there will likely be a lacuna of sorts between phase one and phase two, and not one dictated by me. Basically, there’s everything that can be done before reaching the starting line, but the starter’s gun is the end of lockdown.

There’s PROJECT GALEN, which is never-ending, but still, is chugging along in a way that makes me happy.

There’s the marathon projects, the ones in which, so long as I take a few steps forward each week, I’m okay with right now. (Not to say they might not leap up at some point, but not until I’ve cleared my plate of these other projects at least.)

There’s the research projects, where I’m basically still just occasionally filing notes into a folder, and are likely to stay that way until a critical mass gets reached. That said, these are projects for which I do anticipate that happening at some point, and even have a bit of a road map forward, just not one I’m hurrying to follow right now. For example, PROJECT PIPER, which I am currently putting together ideas for, but not actively working on until I’ve cleared JEAMLAND and PERIANDER from my schedule.

And finally, there’s the someday-maybe projects, which may or may not also be research projects, except that they’re not necessarily ever going to cross the threshold into being full on projects. Some of them are inchoate in the extreme, some of them are waiting for the stars to come right (which may never happen). Some of them are idle fancies that it amuses me to tinker with every so often. But you never know when one might suddenly take off.

Anyway, I’m tired of keeping quiet about all these things. I’m tired of being worried that I’ll look like a fool if I talk too much about them. I’d rather aim high and miss than throw away my shot.

So, from now, on this is going to be a weekly update, posted each Wesnesday. I’ll update you on my work and my week, and I’ll be a little less cagey about things as I go along – I might even explain what the project names mean if I’m feeling particularly expansive 🙂

See you next Wednesday.

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