“I once was lost, but now I’m found…
Was blind, but now I see.”
I had a great conversation with my friend, Pigger, this morning. And I really needed it. Helped to lift me out of some sour spirits from a pretty sucky day yesterday.
Not only is Pigger a gentleman and a scholar, but he’s also a helluva guy. And on both an interesting plane and journey right now. I am very interested to see where this guy lands.
Anyway, the conversation was good for me on many levels, not the least of which was I was finally able to get out in SOME form, thoughts on a topic that I have been contemplating for quite some time: living in the within versus the without. In other words: living in your head versus living in the world.
The conversation–and my comments–were by no means exhaustive. It all pretty much just scratched the surface, I suppose. But it was a good start. And it means it is a good day because I was finally able to put at least a LITTLE bit of what’s been rolling around in my head into some sort of…form.
And so…I got so excited that I got to finally talk to my friend, Pigger, and have this great conversation, and use iChat/AIM (I never do that)! …I saved it and decided to post it here. Seems only fitting, eh? I mean, what is it, if not TRUE LIFE?
AIM IM with Jonathan Wrenshall
B: can you hear me now?
whats up dude
B: I am a bad friend…that’s what’s up.
J: well…i would say busy…haha
B: Na…I been letting it slide. Sorry for being incommunicado.
J: im not worried…alife….what can you do…one thing at a time
B: Are you working now? school?
J: are you at home now
B: Yeah…got back on monday
J: no working no school
B: Why don’t you pop down here for a few days? All you gotta pay for is gas.
We would love to have you?
We miss ya.
J: yeah i know…its tricky though…then i have to tell the govt, who is generously paying me, why i went to america…its actually a big deal…i still plan on coming…sometime
B: Ah…I see. Goddamned govt
Are they expecting you to be looking for a job?
J: yes…despite being left and somewhat oscialist in comparison to bushs regime…they still have rules
i think that is the general understanding…but lets get serious
B: I felt bad about blowing off your parents. I hope they were okay. Your mom redid drapes! In the end, I had to go to OK. I was worried about my mom. All VERY last minute.
I felt REALLY bad, in fact.
I guess we will see them on the 6th, though.
J: i will tell you that all concerned parties…ie the family, think that i do nothing all day…which , in the view of general society, is true…but in actuality i do quite a bit…just contrary to the general beliefs and flow of the real world
B: You exist on the metaphysical plane. That’s all you need to say. And you eat a lot of Kraft Dinner, which is keeping an entire industry vibrant in our great land.
J: yeah she was a little upset about that…not gonna lie to you…haha…but i assume its because she was excited much as i was…
B: Yeah…I know. I got served. Told that I am “this close” to getting into the asshole club. Maybe I’ll send flowers..?
Would she like something like that?
J: hayha./..its true…except for the KD part…i spend so much time with my thoughts and brain…its weird…ok let me give you an example of what i am faced with daily…adn then i will tell you about the flowers…last night i was in the chair reading and chris’ girlfriend came in and said…”oh . something productive.” …oh man…i almost lost it…and so i said “what is so productive about reading?” because i wondered what the difference between sitting and reading and sitting and contemplating or imagining or thinking or whatever was…i do nothing right now…but i do so much more…ok i got that off my chest…i am redeemed….now for flowers
i dont know…im not sure if it was…umm…flower worthy…hahaha…not like that…i dont know…maybe flowers and a nice note…i have no clue basiaclly
J: its funnyt bill…people need you and your family just as much as you need others…you know?
you have a lot of goodness to offer…as a whole…and in parts
B: I think I’m gonna do that. Your mom and dad are SO MUCH like family to me. Which is probably why I did a brat thing, eh? Anyway…I think it is flower worthy. Just ot let her know I love her. To let her know how much she matters to mer.
J: i think deep down people get excited about 5that
B: Stop now, kid. Yer making me blush.
J: hahaha…well no…i mean im just trying to say something true……
its really easy and makes for better conversation…haha
B: So…are you thinking now about perhaps sharing a few of these kernels of wisdom that are popping in your head with the rest of us? Perhaps via…I don’t know…a…blog…or…something?
B: I read your entry on the “thinking I was going to die” thingy. It was very interesting reading. Pretty brave, as a matter of fact. It made me want to read more of your stuff.
J: hahaha…yeah…but they are toguh…the really good thoughts i get are always so hard to keep…they exist on that outer plane where my memory is dealing with unfamiliar territory making it hard to grasp such thoughts…i try to write most down immediately…but i dont know…and when i write now…i never think its good enough…because i always think i can do better
B: Of course you can do better, dork! We can ALL do better. I feel like I write for shit! But the doing it…that’s what helps me get better.
My hope is that you will try to share even a fraction of what’s going on up there in your head. Otherwise, it feels a little–wrong word, but I will use it nonetheless–selfish?
That’s one of things I know you struggle with…putting it out there. All I can say is come on in, the water’s fine.
J: you know the hardest thing…and this was something iw as gonna ask you about when you came here…i have ideas…and they seem lame but they same that you could use them for the basis of a story…but i dont want my stories to be driven by a central idea like that…i want them to revolve around some sort of philosphical or moral question…or something that is not so tanginble…umm…its hard for me to explain…do you copy ??
B: Yes…but I will wait for your next ballon before I respond.
J: and i think the word selfish, although some mmight say it is a cop-out, describes, deep down, almost any human reaction….
my next balloon was random
B: Absolutely…re selfish. What I meant was…stingy. These thoughts feel like something you should share.
Anyway…re your point. I’ve done A LOT of thinking about this. It’s gonna be hard to put into typewritten words–so much to say–but I will try. here goes…
J: i mean say i have a story about a bum who lives his life listening to radio contests and calling in to win…over his life he was one tonnes of neat stuff…and almost survives this way…ok…so what…no where is the juice…where is the struggle…what happens on a deeper level…
i know its tough
B: Like you, I have spent A LOT of my live residing almost exclusively in the landscape that is my own mind.
To me, it felt awesome. It was wild and wooly, and somehow safe all at the same time. And it was cacophonous and quit all at the same time.
J: caco what…
B: And I marveled at similar things–these scenarios, I will call them…revolving around some deeper and esoteric question, rather then mere plot. Scenes that commented on…examined the question, rather than always trying to–I don’t know–answer them, or make some sort of tangible statement, etc.
B: Cacaphony — it means loud.
J: i just looked it up…thanks..hahahaha
yeah so you know…but i havent been able to break through to somehow add thoses elements…i mean those are ideas…but they are different sort of ideas…and you have to think completely differently
B: One thing I began to realize in my late 20s, though–and I knew it earlier, but it was more like a sliver in my finger kinda of thing–was that it was lonely. It was difficult because I really felt like I had no one to share all of these cool insights with. And further, I realized that because I had created this entire context and almost an entirely new language–no one else could understand what I was trying to say, even if I wanted then to.
Yes…and when you look at my last bubble, you may see a hint of the truth in there, which is this–there IS not way to add in those more…conventional elements. Because you’re talking about apples and oranges.
And then I realized something…
J: i hear that…i dont know if this is what you are getting at…my friend james eluded to this once…being a writer can be very lonely…often times people will lock themselves away for a time and try to pound some stuff out…much like that life of a magician…they grow up having no friends because you have to be a geek and you have to always practice…
J: realization…a window to the truth
B: Yes…what you’re saying is close, but not quite what my point was. Here it is…what I meant was that it’s all about CONTEXT.
J: i knew it was out of line…but thats waht i was reminded of
B: No…it wasn’t out of line…it was REALLY close! A shade of what I was going to say–which is…
Personally, I came to a realization–I love your “window of truth” statment, because it’s true. I realized that I don’t LIVE in my mind. I live in the world.
B: I have a “life” of some sort in my mind. My consciousness exists there. But why? If not as a means–a tool–to help me exist better in the physical world?
J: well sometimes i just feel like i should stop thinking about everything…everything…everyday occurences….and just let it all happen without question like it seems most others do…but i dont know…i cant completely abandon thought
B: In other words…my mind, and my existence in there, wasn’t the be all and end all–there was more to me than just that. And the tangible me–the only me that I could share with anyone else in any sort of connected context–was existing out there in the physical plane.
B: No! Don’t do that! That’s not the way.. The trick–you’re making me get ahead of myself–is to live in BOTH worlds.
J: haha…that was probably an out of line comment oagain..haha…but thats what i rolled with
B: My point is that I realized if I didn’t want to be lonely–if I wanted to–
No out of line comments, Jon. There are none of these here. Put it out there, if you are feeling it.
This is pretty freeform.
J: i know there are always points…but i love to blurt out wht the first thing that comes up in my mind because i figure…no matter how relevant or not…you will somewhat understand…haha..i know there are others points usually…hahahaha sorry to make you bounce around so much…haha
B: If I wanted, on some level, to be connected with the rest of the Universe–or the Universe outside of my own head–well, then it was a simple case of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do’>
B: In other words, you live simultaneously in two worlds. You need to speak the language and do the things in your own head that are meaningful to you.
You also need to speak the language and do the things that are meaningful in THE WORLD, if others are going to understand you. And…you can’t forget.
B: You are ALSO a citizen of the physical universe. THis is your home as much OR MORE than the Universe in your head. For, at least on some level, your conscious self could not live–maybe not even exist!–without your physical self.
So…which one is more important?
J: ok./..two quesstions…do you feel you have a group??? im not gonna explain further…see what you come up with…and why did the narrator brick up fortunato in the cask of amontillado
oops…i didnt wqatnto send that yet
B: In the end, I believe both and neither…I believe they are interconnected. That they feed each other. And because they are as important as each other, they deserve equal time and attention.
I feel like I have server groups.
J: server…like church server…or computer server???
B: And in order to best function in the physical world, there are conventions–the language of words and action–one must follow, at least in some fashion, in order to be comprehended by others (who are also living in two worlds).
I meant several. Sorry.
J: ok…thats cool…i have several…or at least two groups of compoeltely diff friends…but i doubt i could pick more than two to talk about what i want to talk about….you know…like…yes here we go back to kerouac…but he had his group…and i think it ehlped his mind develop….
B: One of those conventions–one that I found–was the craft of writing. It has structure and it’s kinda rules based, and it sometimes feels like I am fitting a quare peg into a round hole–meaning the thoughts and concepts generated out of me head world into some world-based (and comprehensible) form.
J: i gotcha…i understand what you are saying…but exploring the physical body as compared to the oh so mysterious mind…??
B: In concert with…
J: i understand my body is an agent…but the mind man…i dont understand that at all
B: There are two landscapes. We are explorers of both worlds. And we have..responsibilities..? to both.
And I suggest you don’t understand your body as much as you do your mind right now.
J: traveling is fun…on both planes…yes
whoa…you think so
B: Yes…I do.
J: why is that
B: Maybe “understand” isn’t the right word. Maybe it’s that you’re struggling with how to reconcile them..?
I’ve come to realize that the two worlds will never really match up.
J: maybe…im with you…im just trying to see the light…maybe its almost like taking your body for granted…and forgetting about it while going off to discover this, almost cliche, idea of gettting insode your mind
B: And there are very few people who can understand the language of my head world (e.g., the same kind of people you were referring to when you said you have groups, but only two people in the group got what you were tyring to say)…
Yeah…that’s pretty much it.
J: thus we ….man…we have to look outward more often…yikes
B: As much as you do inward, I believe.
J: it makes sense…now…since you are part of that kerouacian group…..have you read edgar allen poe…the cask of amontillado…or seen the short moive version perhaps…??
B: And you need to…HELP others–those who are not going to readily understand your head world language–to get what you’re trying to tell them, in the manner that will best be received and comprehended by them, and still –hopefully and at least–contain the core of your original concept/meaning/whatever from your intended message.
J: i am sure there is no other reason then to entertain the reader….but why did he bury that man alive
B: That is, if you give a shit about doing that. I am a writer, so obviously I choose to pay attention to it.
Am I going to show my ignorance when I say I’ve never read it?
But…I do know Poe. it was probably because he was obsessed witht he morbid.
Hey! I got smileys!
J: ok…well it doesnt matter…i know it is just for show…but that is the whole story…all 8 pages of it.
J: you may be on to something….so tell me…right now…i meant what…are you sitting in your little chair…is elvis hanging out….grey skies out the window….what are you working on?
B: I am actually lounging in bed. Minnie is sleeping next to me. I had a TERRIBLE day yesterday. Really knocked the wind outta me. I really need to get up and start my day (see, I haven’t done that, either!), but I have still been a little shell shocked, I guess.
It’s funny…this conversation has really helped to pick me up. Thanks, man!
J: hahaha…nothing like a single topic debate with controlled sturcture
B: At the moment…as far as writing…I am supposed to be working on a script I am writing for my friend Dean. About reincarnation. reading a fascinating book by a guy named Hans TenDam…
J: so when and where is runway coming out…and how can i date ronim tunney
B: See what I mean, though? Following a conventional structure in the physical world, helping the head world somehow.
J: of course you know i mean robin
your good for me
B: And I used this convention to make a point to you that the only way I coulda done so in head world language would be to go “AAAAAARRRRGGHHHCCKKKKKKKFFHSDJFKSALDJHSLKJHKASJHAKJ!!!!!’ Didja get that??
And you for me, my good friend.
Just call Robin. I am certain her Aussie director boyfriend won’t mind.
J: aussie’s///what do they see in them…i got an accent too eh
B: Anyway…we gotta finish getting the thing edited first. Last word is sometime by the end of the year? A rough cut? We’ll see.
J: shes old anyway…i was really hoping for rachel leigh cook…more my age range
ok…i want to see the debut though…or the playing of it at a festival or something….
B: The producers are taking care of all that. Hiring the best of the best, which is good. But…I won’t know more until Jan/Feb what the trajectory is for the movie.
You GOING to the premiere! All of the Wreshalls, dude!
B: Right now, I am focusing on other things. What to do with STAGGERFORD. Getting the next thing done. I have been, for some reason, thinking a lot about the book I 2/3 finished…The Bottomless Pit. I might go back to that. Get it done, finally.
J: i like the bottomless pit…never read it…but i like the title…and what you told me of the basics….anyway i have to get this day going…get a coffee, shower, get oot and aboot…, maybe write something, and check out the outside world…
B: I DID see, however, a very rough assemblage of scenes a few weeks ago, though. I was very happy. I could see the movie poking out in there. Like a newborn, crowning.
Me, too. hey! I had fun. thanks for talking to me.
that must be like music for you…
yeah me too…my brain hurts in fact…anyway man…lets do this again…until we will live only through our blogs…hahaha
B: Yeah. See ya. And REALLY think about coming down sometime–hopefully soon. It would be great to do this with beer.