Part of me wants to smash the mug you gave me against the ground, on drunken nights when I start feeling down I think of how nice it would be to destroy a symbol of memories. to shatter it into a million pieces and collect them all. I tore up the note you left me. The shreds didn't make me feel any better though. Each individual piece didn't change the collective whole, it didn't re establish anything, it didn't change the way I felt. It felt like a childish way of addressing an issue internally.
Part of me wants to leave a note inside the mug, apologizing and explaining, in this way maybe you could see me as a person who is kind and understanding. I thought about this before I tore up your letter, thought about letting it sit in the bottom of my drawer and maybe one day when i'm older I would look back and reminisce on how good times were. Maybe you would do the same with the mug.
But the note didn't do me any good in the bottom of a drawer, nor did it do me any good torn up. likewise the mug doesn't do anyone good collected or shattered. An image is just an image, a symbol is just a symbol. And the reflection on them as anything more is what creates a negative association of nostalgia. Images like life should be created in shifts and stages, ever evolving and forming into newer and better ideas. Inspired by the world around us and the past that made us. When image making shifts too heavily in either direction we fall into the same childish traps. Breaking a mug against the ground, burning a letter from an ex.
I think I have decided to pack it up, and leave it with your friend, no note, no comment, no anything.
Red State is about similar thoughts. To me its about examining things I find and understanding their relation to a bigger picture, how small objects and memories can be transformed into larger ideological points and pictures. Something personal can be expanded to be something universal. The drawings are a state in the overall idea, plannings and initial memories created. memories of ideas and times and thoughts. From there they will evolve, change forms and mediums, become objects and writings, be given out and taken in. At the end a bigger picture might arise a better understanding of what those times and objects and symbols meant and mean.
I've been reading how we (Texas) became a Red State how demographics and influence and politics and economics all created a push for conservative agendas and belief structures. How data points and academics collectively understand the voting blocks of Texas. Part of me believes this to be the best understanding. Part of me is torn by memories, about rapid changes in beliefs experienced, about political dynamics evolving. and like the coffee mug i'm left with a similar choice. Reaction or non reaction.
How do these images, how do these memories, how do these ideas and people and politics shape our reactions? Why do we smash mugs, why do we leave notes, is it an inherently selfish response to our surroundings? A belief that our memories and our existence is so important that it must and has shaped the resulting culture? Or is it a belief that we are so unimportant that we would do anything to leave a memory?
These are the thoughts that i'm having while i'm starting this newer series. Thinking about myself, thinking about my actions, thinking about the past and the future, thinking about feelings, and politics, and culture, and trying to see how individual work can both reflect and effect that culture. How it can explain and be explained.
The mug use to mean something to me, the things I have use to remind me of memories of a better time and place, more and more lately they remind me the dangerous nature of that type of nostalgia. one that associates itself with only the positive. The type that leaves out the fights and the anger, that leaves out the tough nights. How do we construct a better image? A more complete and complicated understanding. These are things i'm beginning to think of. Things i'm hopefully working on.