I am almost going home. Sort of.
Why sort of?
I could say “oh my god my home is here in Peru I belong here its so fantastic.”
I feel this way. Its true.
I feel comfortable wandering around aimlessly, repeating myself because one cannot understand my accent. I feel comfortable in this house with these amazing people, who make sure I understand the Pedro Almodovar film we are watching. I feel at home with this beautiful bald dog, I feel at home when I am watching pornographic performance art which gives me conflicting feelings, I feel at home when I am cooking southern (united states southern) food in the southern hermisphere.
I can’t believe the kindness here.
No joke, no joke, no joke.
But I am going home. To the place where I am from. The place that I have been alternately criticizing and missing. The place where I will speak English and it might feel a little weird at first. I’m hoping not to have a strange nervous breakdown.
I probably will. I probably would in about a week anyway. I’m due.
Here are the four things I wanted to write about and think about during my stay here:
“1. The Theatre.
2. Gay Men and their culture.
4. My Feelings.”
I think I’ve done pretty well, to be perfectly honest. I’ve definitely gotten in touch with my feelings. My friends know this for sure. They are sick of it.
But too bad because I’m going to talk about them now.
I mean, they’ve become valid here. I feel alot more valid now. Everything is more valid. We’ll see how this holds up against the sometimes invalidating cold technography of Seattle.
(Sorry Seattle, sometimes you are cold and white and grey and hard to engage with and it drives me crazy. And I miss you, because you are also pithy, because you are also delicious. And you have no idea what you are in for when I get back, and I hope I can back up those words.)
And spirituality kind of factors into this.
I mean, I feel much more spiritual when I am in touch with my feelings. Gross. That sentence sucks.
But its true. So very, very true.
I am figuring out that, seriously, my god seriously, things exist on a horizontal plane. Things are horizontal in terms of hierarchy. Things are horizontal in terms of relation, of nation. Nations are horizontal. Feelings are horizontal to information. What is empirical is horizontal to what is terribly terrifying and indescribable.
Why did I learn this in Peru? Why is Peru special?
I mean, it is special, its very special, but its not exotic, its not a mystical strange place. Its a place horizontal to our own, special, different, and the same. What is cold is cold, what is spicy, spicy, what is hard to do, hard to do.
The Theater is The Theater.
And what I’ve learned is what I knew, but what I knew was formless, and now adheres to form when it needs too.
And I’ve leaned that there is an urgency to work. There is no time any more to worry too much about criticism. See, there is this terrible, terrible habit that people seem to have before they create anything.
They criticize it.
They try to form it perfectly before they even have started.
And this is not new news. Everyone says it.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
— Ira Glass
My fucking hero Ira.
(I love you Ira Glass.)
But when we sit down to do this, it seems like none of us can get past this idea that we are going to fail.
“Many times I see you as a portrait of torture.”
— Ira Glass
Many people lie and support each other with remarks such as “You are amazing” and “Its going to be so beautiful, its going to be so great.”
Yes. It will be.
But to reinforce the fear of failing by denying it is no better than sitting in your room drinking until you pass out. Because they are the same.
Because good is subjective.
“It’s hard to make something that’s interesting. It’s really, really hard. It’s like a law of nature, a law of aerodynamics, that anything that’s written or anything that’s created wants to be mediocre. The natural state of all writing is mediocrity… So what it takes to make anything more than mediocre is such an act of will…”
— Ira Glass
I say this not to flipantly create without working hard and paying attention to detail. Criticism is so important to improving one’s art.
I say this not to discourage anyone from creating.
You create without even knowing it.
You act every day.
You cannot avoid it.
You cannot avoid creating, in fact.
So if you are worried about not being creative, that’s too bad, because you already are.
If you are worried about making something good, that’s too bad, because you already are.
If you think you are the best, you are not.
If you think you are the worst, you are not.
You are made of stardust and transmit information just like the fucking rest of us.
“…uncorny, human sized drama”
— Ira Glass
So make something. Especially new theater. Especially gay men in their culture.
What I’ve learned is that Gay culture is far more expansive than we could imagine, it is far more interesting than simply Lady Gaga (she’s interesting, but shes not the only interesting thing.)
It is from the north to the south, it is across the goddamn globe. And although at times it may seem (to me) to be impotent (sometimes, yes, sorry Seattle. Sometimes it seems impotent.) sometimes it seems to be superficial, sometimes it seems to be all these things.
These are a reflection upon myself. My feelings about myself. (Like every other goddamn thing, sorry.)
I’ve learned we are all part of one great big living gay beast. However sexy and scary that sounds. I like being part of it.
We’re not in the same boat. We’ve all got different ideas of what gay is, what it needs to be, but honestly, although it seems awfully petty, we are fighting together. Whether we want to or not.
And its nice to rest in that.
This is my last post to this blog. (More to come.)
Peru has given me more than I asked. Thanks Peru.
Thank you everyone who let me stay in their house. Thank you everyone who could teach me something. Thank you every one who gave me ideas. Thank you everyone who helped me learn spanish. Thank you everyone who drove me in a taxi, who ate with me, who cooked with me, who lived with me, who agreed with me, who disagreed with me. Thank you for letting me love you.