Bookmark #460

Did Van Gogh want to be called a post-impressionist, or was he just trying to paint? I think about the Lost Generation. I wonder what came first. Was the remark why they became legends, or were they simply remarkable enough to warrant being called something? To me, it is the latter, but I often ask what makes us, then? And who would decide what to call this generation, and which is more important, which remark would stick long enough to define those like me? I know there are others like me, even if I have come across only a couple of them.

I wonder what we have to say, or perhaps, in our case, what we must omit. We are a generation gliding across the line that separates distraction and focus. Our art is to omit a plethora of information at our fingertips. Years from now, if these bits of data remain and stand the test of time, a historian and part-time connoisseur of art and literature with tenure at a cushy university will call us something. Until then, we must take this noise and turn all eyes away from it. I know there are others who wish for a simpler world and, when they can’t find it, turn to the blank canvas or a page. It pains me to admit how I have rarely come across artists I have natural, genuine respect for, for no one does it for the sole purpose of doing it, no one indulges in it, no one obsesses over it. It does not matter when I write; I am thinking about it for the entire day.

I went for coffee with someone a while ago, and when I told them I was a writer, they told me they also liked to write in their free time. From that point on, I did not listen to a single word they had to say, for that told me enough about what they were not, and it told me all I needed to know about how much, or in this case, how little, they would understand me, and which is more important, how I live. I do not yet know what will become of me or these words, but some moments are filled with sheer disappointment of not being born a while later or, in this case, much earlier.

To be out of synch with your own times—a terrible ailment. I wonder how many writers felt it. I wonder if they found a way around it. It gets terribly lonely much too often than it should.