I've mentioned a few times on WATMM that I have Manic Depression. I prefer this name to "Bipolar disorder" because, aside from my sweet tooth for ironic names, it doesn't have that negative feeling of the word "disorder". I think MD is a gift, a wonderful way to see the world.
I could write pages about what this really means to me, about the creativity it inspires every day, about how much I appreciate things like contrast and irony. But for now I'll tell you a story, about what happened a few hours ago, right here. C'mon, this is a blog, after all.
These last couple of months, I've been on a high, and I've enjoyed some of the good times. I come up with new ideas every few seconds. From little things ("Which song should I play next, now that I'm thinking about the Neo-Nazi movement?") to bigger things ("It should be a trilogy. But the first film should have no dialogue.") to insane things ("If the number four represents death, does that mean twelve is a composite number that unifies the Holy Trinity with its ultimate demise?").
I could literally go through that stream of ideas, and still have time to hear the reverb in Pigeon Street. But the shitty thing is, I can't create things in real life anywhere near as quickly as that. Yesterday I did a storyboard for a Bogdan Raczynski music video, a keyboard riff inspired by Roald Dahl, and wrote a draft for a story about Pagan gods. I just wish I had the hard-working attitude of Sean Booth:
"We don’t get lazy. It’s really easy to, especially if you’re getting a bit older and you’ve bought a lot of equipment."
So true. And I'm only 20.
As well as having this continuous stream of thought, I can also get very, very stimulated. Simply by listening to music, or looking at images, I can tune myself into an even greater high. The "Equation track" by Aphex Twin is a good example of this. When I listened to it earlier, I could feel the hairs growing on my chest. I saw my future. I saw my past. For a few minutes
Shit, sorry, that was last week. No. It was like being on a rollercoaster, I suppose. I'd eaten some of those energy bars where they mix caffeine in with the chocolate, and the bottle of Pepsi is still right here, nearly finished now.
And to top it off, I was looking at this completely insane website created by Lord Steven Christ. You don't have to click, basically he thinks the sky is made of glass and the world will end in five weeks. The images on that page, oh my.....
So once I decided I'd had enough, I switched off my monitor and lay down in bed with my MP3 player. I think it's nice that, even when I'm all revved up, I know when it's time to chill down and turn off the braindance.
The track I chose was "Two Pages" by Philip Glass. It was already set to that track, I fell asleep to it last night. It's a very still, very calming piece of music, and I urge you to look it up for those chaotic moments.
As I was lying there, I thought of so many vivid things. I began to shake at the atmosphere of Part 3, thirteen minutes in. I guess that's just a testament to my sensitivity; this could easily be the most minimal piece of music ever written, yet here I am absorbing its simple melodies like it was the Mona Lisa.
As I thought about the year 2005, the timing of the full moon, and my music video idea for 'Sixtyniner', I began to ponder the meaning of the title "Two Pages".
Originally, the piece was physically written down on two pages, because that was all Glass needed to notate this 18 minute piece of work. It is based on a single melody that repeats itself in five different ways, and he simply writes "Repeat one. Repeat two. Expand to twenty", and so on.
This got me thinking about the number two. I usually think of it as a divisible number, something that can be cut exactly in half. It always has some kind of twist to it, I thought, like a pair of opposites clashing into each other.
But as I continued, I realized. And I calmed down. Two Pages doesn't have anything like that. It is a single, whole piece of music. It's only called "Two Pages" because that's how much paper it takes to write it down. That's arbitrary. Here is an example of the number two, where the amount doesn't matter, and the real thing is one, complete body of music.
It was a very comforting thought. Oneness. This music was whole and complete. And, like the buzzing, creative mind I was, I was reminded of something I read in one of my favourite books.
Two Trees One Root
The esoteric traditions teach that the differences of the physical world stem from an original state of oneness. The two trees with one root symbolizes duality emerging from unity, and also the fundamental oneness that underlies all life.
What a beautiful idea. The Language of Symbols by David Fontana is an amazing book about symbols that have appeared throughout human history, from ancient gods, to cave paintings, to doodles in your notepad. It amazing how he combines history, psychology, human evolution and all-out artistic beauty in one book. Hah, I guess that's four trees.
So, just as the music ended, I lay there feeling completely reassured. Whatever worries I had before just dissolved, and this was an idea I could use whenever I wanted.
Now everything is back to normal, and I just realized that fiftheenth paragraph had another joke in it, which I didn't notice. So that's three BoC references. lol.
I think that's enough for today, but I hope to write again some time. I'll never run out of ideas, I'm a modern day Ian Maxtone-Graham.