Friday, September 13, 2013
Grandpa Nofun, Part I
I'm no fun. And now, since I became a vegan yesterday after about 5 years of gluttony, I’m probably less fun. Growing up, my sisters called me “a bump on a log.”
When my neighbors played cowboys and Indians, I watched and tried to figure out how they could imagine that they could be anything other than who they were. Maybe if we had a TV I wouldn’t have had this my problem.
I just wanted to take things apart to see how they worked ... and then when I was twelve I discovered art and I just wanted to do that ... and then when I became hooked on computers I wanted to do that and art ... and when I realized I could change things in the world, I started doing that. I don't even drink—not even a soda pop. No donuts, only 100% chocolate … no sugar … zilch! I was eating almond ice cream, but I decided that I don't like how the sweetener makes me feel, so I quit that.
I’m not one for imagination. I don't think of my art as creative or as making thing up. I just take advantage of my lack of talent ... and my faulty memory … and all kinds of good stuff seem to come out. My friend and fellow artist of 50 years, French Fry, has a great imagination. He makes up enough stuff for the two of us. My wife too has been an artist for 1/2 a century, and she too doesn't have too much fun with anything. She just likes to perfect things. Once she had fun in graduate school with some art about her love for peanut butter, but that soon ended.
When I was in high school my girlfriend’s father was a minister and he gave a sermon about how we had to find new ways to celebrate life. I really liked that, but, looking back, I would have been happy celebrating in old ways. In college I got drunk a couple of time, and I went to visit some elephants, but generally my life has been pretty dull and boring. I identified much with Andy Warhol when he came to our college to talk. No matter what he was asked he'd answer, “I don't know. We just work a lot.”
When I studied literature, I wondered if writers made up their thrilling and passionate stories. How could they be serious craftsman and have fun too? What was that about? Did they live the lives they wrote about? Or take a movie actor like James Dean. Was he a craftsman or a hoodlum? I couldn't imagine how someone could be both.
I think I was attracted to Buddhism because it seemed like it would be no fun. All work and no play make Kim happy. Black was the color of choice, and tea was the drink, and silence was the word. Everything was overcast. All was dreary until ...