anonymousblack: ([tarkovskiy] the heart)
is it strange, this notion of personal mythology shifting? internal language evolving away from what you had no reason to ever assume it would be anything other than it's ever been. down to the atoms. down to the subatomic particles. keep going, keep going, keep going. matter into vapor. vapor, what’s the matter? keep going. eventually you’ll find the nothing at the heart of something.

i'm in a state of thinking about sub-atomic particles when i touch things: empires built of molecules, molecules built of atoms, atoms built of sub-atomic particles, particles which are, in turn, absolutely nothing. i see myself in that: empires of nothingness. but an empire, well, that's something? [journal 2, 12/25/1997]

i guess you could say that.

i grew up obsessed with the atomic bomb. maybe not the bomb itself; i was too fearful to form a real response to that. obsessed with the culture of anxiety that blossomed up around it. i read books, i watched films, i listened for the atomic subtext in my favorite songs. the beautiful work that people created in their terror that such a thing existed. our mutual shame at belonging to a global culture that had a need for such a thing and brought it into being. our mutual shame at belonging to a global culture that continues to see a viable purpose for nurturing such minotaurs in deep concrete wombs.

at the same time, i’m fascinated by the idea of confinement: stories about people exiled in hiding, having their needs reasonably provided for (but only just, you might say; at least at first, you might say again), the glaring lack of privacy in forced isolation. you change, in confinement. the world outside your confinement changes as well, but you do not change in any kind of accord. when you meet again, there is almost certainly trauma and disaster waiting for you both.

this is something not unlike our relationship to the atomic bomb. whether in the hot shadow of the mushroom cloud literally or figuratively, once we know the thing exists, once we've acknowledged the terrible possibilities, we are always in that shadow. we are confined by it. we have no map, no sense of scale. our culture changes, our understanding of the bomb changes, the nature of the bomb's threat changes in these strange and confounding ways. it just sinks in deeper. becomes part of everything. the nothing at the heart of something.

maybe it's not so much that i've lost contact with my fascination as i've gone into denial of it.

he’s king of the universe, this week. doesn’t he realize the universe is only built of empires? [journal 2, 12/25/1997]


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