Zappa, reincarnation, and a really good sandwich

My biggest mistake, on a daily basis, is identifying too strongly with sensory input.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (I AM THAT) warns me. But still, I persist.

Every day I find myself attracted to some visual stimuli, repelled by others. Choosing ‘this’ over ‘that’. Remembering pleasure. Leading to desire. Remembering pain. Leading to fear.

Two sides of the same coin: attachment.

Watched the movie “Enter The Void” the other night. My buddy Netflix says:

“Enter the Void / Soudain le Vide (2009) NR

When Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a foreign drug dealer living in Tokyo with his stripper sister, Linda (Paz de la Huerta), is fatally shot in a police raid, his spirit leaves his body in a hallucinatory odyssey that merges his past, present and future into a chaotic whole. This riveting third film from provocative French auteur Gaspar Noe screened in competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Cyril Roy co-stars.”

(Spoiler alert.)

The movie tells the story of the wheel of samsara. Round and round we go. No getting off this carousel until we wise up enough to turn away from the suffering we, ourselves, create.

(By the way, there’s a reason they show all the credits right up front. And if you can get through that chaotic first 3 minutes, with crazy music and credits flashing, I promise you’ll be glad you did. Or rather, I promise I was glad that I did.)

In a sense, “my” music isn’t really mine. Post it online. Press cd’s. Get paid. Still not mine. Because, like everything here, it has a beginning and an end. Which means it’s hollow.

If S.N.M., D. T. Suzuki, and the others are right (and I’m betting they are), the only thing that is real is that which can’t be tasted, touched, seen, smelled, heard, or conceived mentally. And that no-thing continues on the moment the senses fail.

So, what to do? Turn away. Again and again. “Neti-neti”; not this, not that. “I am.” And every time I feel pulled toward or away from anything, turn away again. Conceptually, I know this. Yet during Enter the Void, I recognized the main character’s dopey lack of wisdom as my own.

Hey Jason, who does this look like?

Reminds me why I admire Frank Zappa, taskmaster extraordinaire. Demanded top-quality musicianship and excellence from himself and those around him. Was not afraid to say what was on his mind. Was not a perfect individual, nor did he pretend to be. Once he put out an album, it was ‘on to the next project’.

At the end of it all, when asked what he wanted to be remembered for, he replied, “Nothing. It’s not important.”

And in one of his final interviews, Warren Zevon said that what he eventually discovered to be important in life were the seemingly small things. As he put it, “eating a really good sandwich.”

How about you, Fellow Artist? What matters? What doesn’t? What do you grab onto? How does it affect your art? Your life?What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?



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5 responses to “Zappa, reincarnation, and a really good sandwich

  1. Texas J

    I love a Turkey and Avocado w/ Swiss from ThunderCloud Subs in South Austin. Only the the ThunderCloud on South Lamar next to Heart of Music, not the other impostors. I will only eat that sandwich in a “Car” with a “Teenage Prostitute”. In the end… nothing really matters. Given enough time all things will be forgotten, or reduced only to a vacuous facsimile of what once was. So do the best you can. Life is like the famous mythological figure who pushes the rock up the hill to have it roll down, feet from the top, only to start over again. It can be pointless and requires a lot of effort. The sooner we realize our futility, the sooner we can free ourselves from it. I’m still figuring it out myself. By the way… If it has your name on it, it is yours.

  2. Texas J

    It looks like Frank Zappa. What? (as D busts out laughing)

  3. Texas J

    Yeah well. You have to get your name on it first, but you just put yourself on the “no touch” list. So.. Good luck.

  4. Texas J

    What is that mythological guys name? It’s not Antigone, but it something else that is in our language that means tortured or burdened, but I cannot think of it to save my life.

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