i cut my own hair today. perhaps i was inspired by a regina spektor song or maybe it’s just something you do when you first move to new york city. i was very aware that i was becoming a cliche while i was doing it. mid-twenties aspiring-actor moves to new york city and cuts her own hair in a fit of impassioned transformation. a redefinition. a release. a renewal. i can read the captions now and i’m pretty sure i read about this moment in a book once during my teenage years.
i do feel this urgent need for re-exploration here. as a country girl from the canadian rocky mountains, i am used to seeing the horizon when i look left and right. but the mountains here have been transformed. they have gone through a process, maybe like the one i am looking for, where they have been shaped and reformed, cut and molded and pressed into concrete blocks, then stacked into alignment to please the symmetrical western eye. right angles and smooth surfaces – for what purpose? to bring us aesthetic pleasure? or are they there to teach us how to be? our eyes take in these straight lines and seek to become like them. our spines are not straight lines and yet we want to stand up tall and present ourselves well. there are people here to impress. so we press in.
but the mountains know that the triangle is the strongest structure and maybe they are waiting for the days when these human beings will destroy themselves so they can get back into shapes that actually make sense. anyway, i will try to recognize the buildings as repurposed mountains so as to think of them as friends.
i’ve lost 5 pounds since i moved to new york. probably from the intense gripping of my quads as i press my way through the crowded streets. the adrenaline of new york makes everyone lose 5 pounds when they first arrive, didn’t you know? or it could just be a decreased desire for consumption. consumption seems to be unavoidable here. the street itself is a buffet for the senses. we are hyperstimulated, unable to shield ourselves from the sights, sounds, smells, unexpected brushes with strangers. at the end of the day, i go back to my little white room in my little white apartment and i do not have any desire to take in any more information. i need to create, to expel, to go to the fucking gym.
perhaps that is why so many great artists come out of new york city. we are so hyperstimulated by all the input that output becomes essential – necessary – urgent. to write. to make art. to dance is a release. most people spend hours of the day seeking out consumption to fill the boredom of the empty space. they consume food and drink through their mouths. they consume film and television through their eyes. they consume fashion onto their bodies and objects into their houses. they consume music to dilute from the sound of their own thoughts. in our culture, consumption is equated with pleasure and production with work. on the prairies, i was hungry for the distraction of consumption. but here, in new york, we – the artists – are here to produce. to create. to release. we cannot receive all the information. it is too much. the news is too much. the street is too much. the lights and the sounds and the faces are too much. donald trump is too fucking much. we cannot process.
so we make something to relieve ourselves from the pressure of consumption.
the view from my balcony is one of the land of dreams and tall buildings. but i think i’ll keep my walls blank for a while.