Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reflecting on Creation/Discovery

In The Science of God Gerald L. Schroeder tells us that the verbs used in the Creation story have a connotation of discovery; God does not simply will things into existence, but finds them and shapes them, calls them and molds them.
I was on set a few months ago working on Dustin Supencheck's zombie romance Hostility, having a conversation about the ennui of people my age (about 20). The malaise a lot of us have is the concept of identity. This is nothing new, but it has an ever-growing context, especially in an art school such as Columbia. Couple this with the fact I was speaking with an actor, it was pretty engaging.
It was posited to me that travel is the way to discover oneself. I like the idea of having a walkabout around Europe, eating interesting foods, drinking interesting drinks, sleeping with interesting women; all those European things. The idea I like. As I told the actor (Kai Young), I didn't buy it. My difference was rooted in my understanding of identity's nature.
I wondered aloud if the facebook "About Me" quiz could, if completed, be used to recreate a person. My friend Marc said it couldn't, making me realize how much goes into a person beyond a preference for root beer over cream soda.
I told Kai I thought the real definer of a person was rooted much more in the act of self-creation. I told him, I'm working on myself, making myself into something. Explaining my position, I told him I'm looking to change, that at 22 I'm far too young to believe I'll stumble upon some heretofore unknown "me" and that'll be that: Brandon achieved!
"Do you think the things you're interested in will change?" asked my directing teacher.
"God, I hope so," I answered.
I've been rethinking my denial of self-discovery. I'm not into most dualities. I don't buy into mutual exclusivity. Check it: you can be pro-life and pro-choice. Sorry if I just blew your mind (though I doubt I did). Realizing I had made a false distinction in this instance, I had to reconsider my position.
To be clear, it is a false duality (then again, the overwhelming majority of them are). Being an artist, I discover as I create. I write this sentence, choosing words and crafting syntax and this sentence leads into the next. I discover a desire to say, to tell you, to realize who I am in this writing and what this writing says about my context.
In Christopher Nolan's Inception, Cobb (DiCaprio) tells Page's Adriane that dreams are a process of discovery and creation feeding into one another.
Dreams, art, Homer in that one "Treehouse of Horror":

They all feed one into another.
In my life, I've been dealing with some questions of how I relate to people. I've been thinking about whether or not I could be physical with a man. I'm not opposed to the idea, to be sure. I don't even think this is a question of identity (you aren't who you fuck). Even so, I don't think I've found a man with whom I'd want to be intimate. I don't believe people choose to be gay, but I also think I might have the capacity. The bottom line is, I don't know if it would work for me.
I'm looking at my art these days and considering what my characters make, and what I find in them.
At least in my art I can find a universe to help me create my place in this larger reality.

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