Claudia Drake, ‘The Hermit’, 2010
Digital Collage, 8” x 12”, Limited Edition Print
King Krule // Neptune Estate
Let My Baby Stay - Mac Demarco
Mac DeMarco - Go Easy
Beach House - Childhood
If something happens to us when we die, the same thing happens to everyone. The whole concept of a hell is so absurd to me, that there’s some line in the sand dividing the good people from the bad. Everyone is both a good and bad person simultaneously.
(My grandfather, the most defensibly sincere Catholic I’ve ever encountered, said he pictures hell like this: living his same life over and over but with the immense absence of everyone he’s ever loved. I think that’s so beautiful.)
I like to picture the end this: a hotel lobby where everything is hushed and shadowy, and there are tall dark-wooded walls and dim chandeliers and a stone floor, and between thick curtains you’re given a soft leather armchair and you just sit there, feeling always as if you’re just waking from a nap. Everything is a little foggy and formless but through your eyelashes you watch faceless people walking slowly down the long hall, being led to chairs of their own. You can hear the footsteps, the sound of rain falling gently against the ceiling. I have no basis or reason to think it’ll be like this other than that I just like to. Religion is a comfort to a lot of people, a lovely one, so I don’t see why people who don’t have that comfort shouldn’t create images for themselves that make it all seem less daunting.
Virginia Woolf said that when we die we go back to where we came from, and it will feel familiar even though we can’t remember it now. This feels very right to me. We start alone and will return there the same way.
I’ve always felt very alone. Not in a sad way, really, it’s just kind of an aspect of my personality. People just don’t mean as much to me as they probably should and I feel bad about that. For as long as I can remember, all throughout childhood, I’ve felt a very distinct sense of solitude. It’s not that I don’t care about other people or can’t connect with them, because I love feeling like I’ve truly connected with someone, but it even then it always feels so transient. I watch people I know making homes out of other people and it seems not only impossible to me, but alarming. And when I sense someone trying to make a home out of me I recoil without fail. This is probably one of the worst things I do to others, and why I can never picture myself getting married.
It keeps scaring me that nobody learns anything and gets to keep it. You’re born and you spend a your life trying to become, and maybe some people do, but then you die, and you can never pass on everything you’ve learned to the other people being born, only little fragments of it, and who knows what they’ll do with it. There’s no one that is always there and has always been there and watching and helping people figure it out, all of this world has just been people and bodies plowing forward and forward into perpetuity and carving out a bigger and bigger cavity but nothing’s getting any easier, nobody is any closer to finding meaning or consequence because it’s something that can’t really be found. It’s chilling to think that life could mean nothing, that what we think of as our distinct selves could boil down to nothing more then chemical makeups, that the complexity of our world is just an evolutionary feat, that we’re just rubbing words and ourselves against other people and naming it love…
One of the most important things Ive noticed is that being alive is so embarrassing. Constantly, helplessly, and in every aspect. All you can do is learn to live your life as if it isn’t, and you should do your best to help other people feel less weird about themselves, because think about it, in the best moments of your life you’re always with people that made you feel not weird. Be those people. Be gentle with the way you look at and treat others, because they’re also embarrassed and looking for refuge. Be a refuge for yourself, if you can manage it. It’s too exhausting to judge every aspect of yourself, to rank everything on some totem pole of right and wrong and cool and otherwise. Lighten the ridiculous load.
People are silly and false and trying to hide within their fronts and schticks and styles because they’re scared. They’re scared of you, of society, of themselves. The fear turns people cold and critical, avoidant, sometimes frantic, but it’s all the same. We’re all dying. So you can sit up in your gray lonely judgment tower and keep scaring yourself or you can come down and listen to how similar you are to everyone else. I’m trying not to be the thing I fear in other people.