The Rains Return

Posted on September 21, 2010

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Don't you Know The Way To Shell Beach?

The window is open and the fan is on. It is a cool night. And I can think again. Like the deserts suddenly awash in the rains, my creativity has returned and, I want to post.

I notice there is a correlation between weather and my posting on here, and the vids I do. The summer seems to make me want to do absolutely nothing. That was the big problem living in Hawaii. And I know this sounds rather ignorant to say, but there is really no culture there. At all! Anywhere. Unless you count surfing. The second biggest thing to do on the islands is crystal meth.

And if you are in a place like Hawaii, and need to feel some sort of analog to the mood that breeds ideas, try this:

1.  Click this:

Rainymood

2 . Then, click this:

The Fragrance of Dark Coffee

If everything goes accordingly, two separate windows will be playing one of rain and one of jazz.

The overcast was the only respite I ever had from the pitiless gaze of the Sun in Hawaii. Needless to say, I began to appreciate clouds, overcast, and a good rain.

The idea of Hawaii is nice. But the reality: the conversations, the lack of a cultural or intelligent movement is really what astounds me. Don’t get me wrong, most of the people are nice, and will entertain the idea of an intelligentsia or some sort of cultural establishment taking root, and they’ll even give you the funds, facilities, and everything else to bring it to the islands—which is wonderful in and of itself—but (and there is always a “but”)…for some reason the roots never take.

When I was living there I felt like Tonio Kröger, in the novel of the same name. If you haven’t read it here is the plot summary from Wikipedia:

The narrative follows the course of a man’s life from his schoolboy days to his adulthood. The son of a north German merchant and an Italian artist, Tonio inherited qualities from both sides of his family. As a child, he experiences conflicting feelings for the bourgeois people around him. He feels both superior to them in his insights and envious of their innocent vitality. This conflict continues into Tonio’s adulthood, when he becomes a famous writer living in southern Germany. “To be an artist,” he comes to believe, “one has to die to everyday life.” These issues are only partially resolved when Tonio travels north to visit his hometown. While there, Tonio is mistaken for an escaped criminal, thereby reinforcing his inner suspicion that the artist must be an outsider relative to “respectable” society. As Erich Heller —who knew Thomas Mann personally— observed, Tonio Kröger’s theme is that of the “artist as an exile from reality” (with Goethe’s Torquato Tasso (1790) and Grillparzer’s Sappho (1818) for company).[1] Yet it was also Erich Heller who, earlier, in his own youth, had diagnosed the main theme of Tonio Kröger to be the infatuation and entanglements of a passionate heart, destined to give shape to, intellectualize, its feelings in artistic terms.[2]

I think I can say it slightly simpler: It is the story of a man who does not fit in at his home of the blue-eyed blonds, because he is a dark-haired, brooding, yet sensitive,  introverted type. He leaves his home for an idealized place where the people are not so concerned with status, decadence, and cold rationale. Upon arrival at his new home he discovers, although he shares similar physical traits with them, (he describes them as, “those who dance and fall down” meaning they are incompetent) he shares very little with them intellectually.  It is, again, the psychological dimension that separates himself from them.

Growing up in New York City (and no one from New York will ever say “New York” Or “New York City”…they will usually only say the neighborhood) and moving to Hawaii mirrored Tonio’s life to that of my own (save the: escaped criminal).

Hawaii, is very much a place of fantasy: it is neither entirely Occidental or Oriental. But between the two, and the culture has long since been dead, only marketed with virility. It is a dream that exists on a little piece of land exposed amidst a black sea, on the cusp of awakening.

And, like any dream—you can’t live in it.

So I am here, a bit wiser, writing this to you, between two worlds.

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Posted in: Life Lessons