the friendship allegory
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.
We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.
—T. S. Eliot, from The Cocktail Party (Boulevard Books, 1950)
What if I told you I’m incapable of tolerating my own heart?
“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.”
—Haruki Murakami, from Kafka on the Shore (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005)
Painting: Edvard Munch, Love and Pain (since known as Vampire), 1894
Let me go on being naked. Let it hurt. But let me survive.
It was getting dark as I came down the hill, swirls of snow sticking to my face. I thought about the dog and was suddenly very sad; sad for her death, for my death, for all the inevitable dying that comes with change. There’s no choice that doesn’t mean a loss. But the dog was buried in the clean earth, and fears and dangerous thoughts and the shadows I had put away for a more convenient time. I could not put them away forever, there is always a day of reckoning. But not all dark places need light, I have to remember that.
I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon… And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.
Don’t depend too much on anyone in this world because even your own shadow leaves you when you are in darkness.
Floating cabin in Perry Creek, on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. Photo by Marcus Peabody.
Technology has made the process of finding information incredibly simple, inhibiting our capacity to become truly knowledgable.
Part of “Dangerous Ideas”, my thesis work exploring controversial concepts proposed by various scientists and intellectuals, using visual metaphors to investigate how these ideas can make us so uncomfortable.
Check out the OCADU Illustration website for more stuff from all of this year’s thesis students!