I’ve been meaning to read Italo Calvino for a while now. I’ve heard amazing things about Invisible Cities, but just hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. Then last week I started reading about his collection of stories/novel Cosmicomics, in which every story is based on a supposition about the world.
The first story, “The Distance of the Moon,” takes place in a time at the beginning of Earth’s history when the moon was much closer to the Earth. It was so close to the earth that it rested just above the sea and its gravity actually pulled sea creatures out of the water, leaving them suspended in the air between the ocean and the moon. The moon is also described as being covered in scales that protect the moon’s milk which people collect by climbing ladders from their boats to the moon’s surface.
With last week’s super moon still fresh in my mind, I had to read the story right away so I went straight to the library, got the book and jumped right in. The descriptions were so vivid and evocative, really just the kind of writing that stirs up my imagination and sets it wild. I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories!
It’s hard as hell to keep things in perspective, so I’m starting this blog to do just that. To remind myself of what inspires me so that I always have something to come back to when I begin taking myself too seriously.
When I think of what inspires me, I think of art. Not just paintings, symphonies, and novels, but art in its truest sense. As X Japan put it in their epic song, “The Art of Life.” It’s the way we live our lives with style and passion. Sometimes it’s just out of reach, but we can always catch glimpses of it in our thoughts and inspirations. It is this art of life that makes every moment worth living, if only just to provide a chapter that we find meaning or beauty in later.
I’ve also always been enthralled by people who are amazingly talented at something, to the point where their activity has become so ingrained in them that it evolves with them and they make it into something new altogether. I’m always watching videos on YouTube of Rodney Mullen turning skateboarding into something other than a sport, or amazing acrobatics like this crazy AZO guy.
In the novel Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Tom Robbins writes about a girl named Sissy Hankshaw who has ridiculously large thumbs. She uses those thumbs to do intricate dances, becoming essentially the greatest and most artful hitchhiker ever. The elevation of this simple activity is so amazing, even more so because it is so pointless in and of itself, but she transforms her deformity into an artform that becomes her life.
This quote from the book captures the art of life in such a perfect way:
“If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond where it has ever been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic.” Tom Robbins. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues.