When I first started “Wabi Sabi for Robots,” it was meant as a steam-valve and a place to showcase my art as well as short films and even attempts at music. It eventually just became a place to share screengrabs from “Conan the Barbarian” and Babel remixes (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
What I am having trouble with now is the concept of “wabi sabi,” the beauty of all things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete or, more succinctly, the beauty of sadness.
For reasons I’m not going to go into, this has been a hard week. There’s a lot of sadness going on in my life right now and in the lives of the people I care about and I can’t find beauty in any of it. I’ve been reminded at each turn how this is a far from perfect world and there’s no poetry or catharsis in that recognition. Only pain.
Oh and there’s no beauty in unfinished works either. Maybe after you’re long dead and even then you have enough finished works of lasting value for people to bother. Who would take the time to sift through Tupac or Kurt Cobain’s notebooks or J Dilla’s storage unit without each of them putting hours of sweat and blood into their bonafide hits? Who would sit through a documentary about Jodorowsky’s unmade adaptation of “Dune” without at least a casual awareness of the director’s finished work?
This week has given me a lot of reasons to reevaluate how I spend my time and energy. It’s also allowed me to see that certain doors are now in fact closed and others are closing and closing fast. As famous drunkard F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, thirty is five years too old to lie to yourself and call it honor. It’s the time to put aside childish things. This doesn’t mean you have to stop watching cheesy horror movies or boxing up your Godzilla toys. No, it means you have to stop talking about the art you like and don’t like or the stories you want to tell someday. It means you have to begin the awkward, unsteady work of actually making the things you want to see in the world and putting them out there to be judged by strangers.
What does this mean? No more reblogs. No more pictures or videos or stories or songs that aren’t original works. Eventually this might even mean no more Tumblr or at least no more “Wabi Sabi for Robots,” at least as it exists now. I don’t know. The only thing I’m sure of is there’s much to be done and no time to lose.