I’m doing a bit better today than yesterday. It really is amazing how much I’ve improved mainly from quitting my medication. I went to the bookstore today and got a whole bunch of stuff. I have Classics In Cree, a cd of songs like Amazing Grace and Wind Beneath My Wings all in Cree! I’m learning cree so learning it through music might work better for me. My Grampa’s writing up little lessons for me too, I have to practice those. I also got A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut, it’s sort of a collection of essays and thoughts and autobiographical details. I love his work, Slaughterhouse Five is my favorite anti-war novel. And his narrative style is so humourous, he basically starts out each story by telling you how it will end, you always know the destination. I also got Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond, who wrote Guns Germs and Steel. I loved Guns Germs and Steel so I’m looking forward to this one. It’s about great civilizations collapsing due to environmental catastrophes.
I remember in elementary school when we did our ongoing Save the Planet curriculum I had a nightmare that we were driving and I saw a hole in the sky, but it was like stars against a night sky exposed through this tear in blue sky. It scared the hell out of me. And that was in the late 80’s and still no one’s done anything to effectively counteract it.
I also got Identity And Violence: The Illusion of Destiny by Amartya Sen, which talks about how divisions in humankind have been marked with violence because of confused hatred. The cover has my favorite painting by David on it, Les Sabines. When I saw it at the Louvre I burst into tears. It’s huge and shows the Sabine women stopping a war between the Sabine men and the Roman men, because their children are a mix of Roman and Sabine. But there’s one kid, he looks about two or something, he’s the only figure in the painting who meets your gaze and he has such a haunted quality about him, like he’s totally aware that his identity is in conflict due to intertribal warfare and hatred. And it was like looking into my own eyes. I love that painting.
I also got a copy of Velcrow Ripper’s Scared Sacred, because it’s a really good film.
Now I have all kinds of things to read. I like reading on the internet, but there is something about a book, I dunno. And some people prefer library books, but I’m one of those people that just has to have books forever, because I like revisiting them. I’ll sometimes go back to a book just to read one paragraph again.
Someone online was talking about how we’re moving out of an era of specialization and back towards a respect for people with various knowledges. I hope that’s true. I think the compartmentalization of ideas and knowledge can be dangerous, it leads to reliance on too many different specialists, and a more global cohesive understanding of the world is lost. I know there are certain branches of knowledge I know more about than others, but I still, yeah, I’m a know it all. It’s good though, because you can apply things in an interdisciplinary way.
Some people were vaguely suspicious of me choosing to try for a graduate program outside of film, because it’s not really seen as what I should be doing or something. But I love ideas, and I feel like I can keep learning film outside of universities, and maybe it’s even better to learn outside of university. Not that I begrudge doing my undergraduate degree in film, I think that was a wise move. I did learn a lot, and I had a lot of fun, and the security guard laughed at me one day because I had a frame of 16mm taped to my forehead and I didn’t know it. Yep. I have fond memories of film school.
Anyway, I am alternating between mourning myself over the last four years, and being super excited about just being me for the rest of my life, without a diagnosis hanging over my head. I’m going to be okay. I’ll have some sad days though, and flashbacks, and I’m sure I’ll cycle through anger more than a few times. But as Toni Morrison says, Anger is good, there is a presence in anger.