In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Killer Thoughts

3 Comments

It’s been around for a while, but I just saw this delightful Ryan Woodward animation “The Thought of You,” which has made its rounds on Facebook, Vimeo and Youtube ad nauseum. And my fresh look adds yet another interpretation among the hundreds of others mostly fawning observations and applauding. The difference in interpretive tone–positive or negative–is probably affected by the accompanying song. In one version, Nick Lovell’s “Cradle in my Arms” is the backdrop, which is slow, severe and mournful, whereas the other version is accompanied by the Weepies’ “The World Spins Madly On,” a much more upbeat though just as disillusioned song.
 
In the short animation, I see thought, airy nothing, on display. I see the “lost in the world” lyric, with two ideas dancing around each other, illusive in the acting out: he grabs her but she evades him, slips from him but then there she is again, and they dance and she caresses him but he ducks away, also slippery.  
 
And the lyric, “woke up wishing I was dead…the night is here the day is gone,” floats into my consciousness as the scene changes to dream sequence, a longing, where she is an angel, the feathers falling as she flies from him. Is he about to kill her off? When they finally spin together as they and “the world spins madly on,” she suddenly becomes real to him, her clear yearning to touch him, there standing in all of her need–real–and he lets her go.  She is real, depicted with shading and fullness, depth, and he is still an idea. He lets the real go. Dreams and fantasies are far more interesting, full of potential.
 

Nick Lovell’s “Cradle in my Arms”

I don’t mind
Where I wake this morning
I will only be misjudged

 

You are here
But your mind is elsewhere
You have battled for so long

 

Just call me when you feel like coming home
Call me when you feel like coming home

 

Have I changed?
Or do my eyes just see things
So much differently now?

 

Lay the blame
Only if you have to
But it’s you who brought you here

 

The animation suggests thought as the figures are mere sketches until the woman acquires shading, a touch of reality, when she is more concretely identifiable as herself and not the projections of the male configuration’s imagination: as angel as the feathers that fall suggest or even a dancer. When she stands there just herself in want of him, not playing chase, at the end, he leaves her. He loses interest or runs in fear or both.

 

I want to peel off my skin and roll myself in salt when I see this where others–Youtube and Vimeo commenters–look to the beauty of the dance and feel warmth and loveliness. The projection of my own thoughts on someone else, making that person an extension of my own desire and will is a life-long habit and a doom to so many relationships.Too often have I wished another to fill the expectations of my imagination, which is powerfully creative and unrealistic as if totally unleashed from senses.

 

The result: not actually seeing or finding the person standing before me because I have never been there–present–in the first place to notice. Wrapped up in my mind’s eye, not my physical eye that sees not envisions, causes blindness–and eventual loss.
 
When she is an idea–a thought–it is easier to hurt her. Experiencing another as flesh and blood makes it more difficult to hurt that human being, compassionately and empathically sensed as one senses him or her own self. 
 
That is how genocides or near genocides have been possible in the past–making whole populations an idea, a problem needing a solution, the Jews of pre-War World II Germany as only one example. No human being but the most unfeeling, the sociopathic, could be convinced that the economic solution for a failed economy and the woes attending such is to kill another singular, seething human fleshly being standing right before one’s eyes. No, that person would have to become an idea–the economic drain, the problem, caused by immigration, greed, religious destiny, or some other idea.

 

For me, fantasy has always been greater than reality and my heart is a painter. Those who show up to be my canvas often cry out, insist on themselves as I sketch and color them brighter, fuller bloom. 
 
The Weepies’ “World Spins Madly On”
 
Woke up and wished that I was dead
With an aching in my head
I lay motionless in bed
I thought of you and where you’d gone
and let the world spin madly on

Everything that I said I’d do
Like make the world brand new
And take the time for you
I just got lost and slept right through the dawn
And the world spins madly on

I let the day go by
I always say goodbye
I watch the stars from my window sill
The whole world is moving and I’m standing still

Woke up and wished that I was dead
With an aching in my head
I lay motionless in bed
The night is here and the day is gone
And the world spins madly on

I thought of you and where you’d gone
And the world spins madly on.

 
“And the world spins madly on…” The world of the imagination is a mad spin, crazy making in its delusional world making.

 

How many of us do this–imagine what we want rather than experience what we have?

3 thoughts on “Killer Thoughts

  1. You have always been good, Gaze, but today you were particularly inspired and inspiring. The images your words invoke leave a visceral impression – indention – in my mind. You had a real Socratic dialogue with your Muse this morning, didn’t you? It wasn’t as simple as listening to her recite yet another lesson as she spoke to you today. Instead there was conversation between 2 like minds.

    Is it interesting, or ironic, or paradoxical, or some brew of two or all three, that your words, as simply ambassadors of your own thoughts and ideas, should cause such a real physical feeling? I’m struggling for my own words to describe this feeling, but it is somewhat like a resonance, as in the harmonic synchronicity of a musical chord triad.

    “I want to peel off my skin and roll myself in salt when I see this…” left me actually shuddering in imagined pain.

    And these lines, “For me, fantasy has always been greater than reality and my heart is a painter. Those who show up to be my canvas often cry out, insist on themselves as I sketch and color them brighter, fuller bloom”, coaxed a bittersweet melancholy to well up inside me as I remembered my own heart’s failed attempts at turning blank canvas into Masterpiece art.

    Thank you, Muse, (sorry; I mean ‘Gaze’) for your contemplations today. Perhaps our fantasies and reality(ies) together weave the authentic tapestry that is our lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s