I should be taking a nap right now because tonight/tomorrow is going to be crazy and long, but [waves hands erratically and makes ridiculous noises]. I’ve got time.
Which is weird to say right now, honestly, because lately I’ve been thinking about temporariness: in both the little cases and the huge overall case. This moment that I’m taking right now, to sit on the floor and type this out, is temporary. Within thirty minutes to an hour or so I’ll be done writing and editing this blog post and I’ll probably go off to do something else (maybe take that nap I’ll need). But when I’m here, it doesn’t feel like a fleeting moment. It’s encompassing and infinite when you’re within it. I could describe all the sounds and smells and feelings of this minute, but by tomorrow they won’t be significant, and they’ll be gone. The place won’t be gone, but the moment will, and there may be other moments like it, but they’ll never be quite the same: maybe the TV downstairs won’t be on, maybe more light will be shining into my room, maybe I’ll have rearranged some stuff so that the record player sits on top of a crate full of records instead of just on the floor. For sure I’ll be older. I’ll be different. Maybe not by much, but different all the same.
I visited Detroit last semester on a day trip with my learning community, and we went to a place called the Heidelberg Project: basically an outdoor art installation that spans about a block. Some guy bought all of the abandoned buildings on the block and decided to do something with them. Some people might have thought the installations to be trash, but they were cool and interesting and very ephemeral, I thought. Last time I went, it was a very haunting experience: I didn’t have any friends on the trip, and I felt very isolated and alone. The surreal installations just made things even more amplified. Last semester, I went with my roommate and close friend. Same place, different moment.
I took some crappy video clips with my cell phone with the intent of making another vlog or something, but in true Emily-fashion, I haven’t touched the footage in months.
The Heidelberg Project as I knew it is gone now. Most of it was destroyed by fire a few months ago—arson. Only two houses are standing still.
When we capture moments with videos or picture or words, we don’t defy its temporariness, I don’t think. The videos on my cell phone are not that moment, just like this blog post is not the moment of me, sitting here, writing it. They are ghosts, whispers, broken memories of a moment that will never truly be remembered, because we do not ever truly remember the things that happened to us.
I think that’s why I have such a passion to create art. It’s not an attempt to push against an unstoppable force, it’s an attempt to make more of these moments than I would otherwise. Things that happen to us are not inherently important. We make them important. We give them meaning.
Without us, the world just keeps on spinning, and even that too is temporary.