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Greedily hoarding up impressions, hardy knowing why

March 2, 2010

My brain often feels like mush. Somewhere, deep inside, it is working, “…greedily hoarding up impressions…,” like the character Smerdynokov in Dostoyevsky’s the Brother’s Karamazov. The expression gave me a new understanding of my own dilemma, which, in very simple terms, is this; my impressions and perspectives stay submerged somewhere in my consciousness and come in out in bizarre ways until I can later make sense of them. This is in part why photography has been so useful for me. It provides a visual perception to share and engage with and hopefully provide a discourse and further understanding. But there is a problem in that there are just too many…photographs, thoughts, words, ideas in fractions. The thought,  “I just need more time and space to be able to process it all,” occurs with regularity, but provides no solution and only raises more questions about, “how?” and “how much time and space is enough?”   I’m in a MFA program right now where part of what I am working on is my editing process with both words and images. The whole affair of developing some kind of tangible methodology is excruciatingly painful, but I am gaining a better understanding of myself, my work, and how I can better use information.

While it’s fantastic to have things make sense in a new way, my strange and fractured brain can only deal with so much. Most of my life I have felt awkward with the outside world and completely overwhelmed by my own thoughts. Yoga has helped a bit, as have other devices, but I still suffer. This phenomenon relates directly to the editing problems and sense of confusion I often experience. It is difficult for me to process and regurgitate even simple information sometimes, its like I’m too busy trying to sort through the dense mass in my head and the resulting anxiety. As a result I become confused and addled.  Often times I call people I know well by the wrong name.  A couple times I called a friend the name of another friend with whom they were having a conflict. Recently I have started calling one of my classmates by the name of another classmate. I try not to do it but it always happens when I’m tired and overwhelmed with other information.

Sometimes I think it has to do with all the drugs I did when I was younger but I honestly suspect it has more to do with genetics. My lovely paternal grandmother would often refer to me as Toni, my cousin’s name. Once my mother called me by our dog’s name, Maggie. I had no choice but to forgive them as they are my family and there are far more egregious offenses that take place within the family sphere.  But will people forgive me!!! I know other people do it, but I’m prone to look for reasons to feel bad about myself specifically. I’m looking for evidence that I am damaged from my sordid and dysfunctional past, or just intrinsically. Not dwelling on this is probably in my best interest, but I’m prone to obsessiveness too.  Hopefully people in my personal life forgive me, maybe even classmates.  I don’t know what kind of job I can get where people will forgive me for being a ding-ding. I recognize that a discussion of ones flaws at length is not for everyone. There is only a certain kind of person that will even think this is okay to admit or talk about.  I guess I’m one of those kinds of people.

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