Although I thought I knew what the word aesthetic meant, I Googled it to be sure. I found that the official definitions jibed with my concept of the term, so I was ready to start writing. I considered talking about a declaration I made years ago to improve the world by adding beauty to it. The statement was a response to my inability to fix the world’s problems. I figure the least I can do is make a few people’s lives a little better by showing them beautiful works of art.
My search brought up more than standard definitions. Urban Dictionary defines it as “Something that tumblr weirdo’s say way too often and use it for every damn thing under the sun. A generally annoying word.”
A site called Know Your Meme says, “Aesthetic, often stylized as a e s t h e t i c, refers to retro-inspired visual art and music associated with the vaporwave subculture, which typically include Japanese lettering and nostalgic themes from 1980s and 1990s computer operating systems and video game consoles.”
What is Vaporwave?
Vaporwave sounded interesting, so I did a search. I skimmed an Esquire article about it and found myself not caring. There’s a YouTube playlist you might visit to see what the genre is like. I’d say that it’s not my thing.
Back to the word aesthetic.
Vlogger, Ben J. Pierce did a fun little song about the word aesthetic.
It looks like aesthetic is a word tossed about by hipsters hanging out in independent coffee shops and talking ironically about hipster topics. Here’s a guide to being a hipster if you’re looking to get involved in the movement.
The prompt is interior.
When I was a kid, my mom had the Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book. I loved this book! I would look at the rooms (all in 70s style) and dream of having my own house to decorate. As a teen, I read decorating magazines like House and Garden and House Beautiful. I continued to dream of one day living in immaculately decorated spaces.
Now I have a house, a husband, two inside dogs, a cat, and a lot of clutter. I will never live in one of those magazines. I have not made peace with that fact. It makes me anxious and upset when I see all of the disorganization and clutter in my house. If I’m feeling depressed, thinking about dealing with the clutter worsens the depression. I know there’s a way to overcome the problem, but I have other priorities just now. Yes, I’ve considered reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The idea scares me for some reason. Sometimes I watch Hoarders and thank the gods that I’m not one of them.
I ordered a used copy of that Better Homes and Gardens book. When it arrives I will gaze at the photos and fondly recall my childhood dreams. The book itself will contribute to the clutter problem. I am sometimes not so smart.
Better Homes and Gardens Decorating Book on Amazon
The prompt is gone.
Is it a good idea to sit down and list the things that are gone from your life? Let’s see how it goes.
1) My childhood (but, not really)
2) My modern dance technique (mostly)
3) My mother (but she’s always with me)
4) My Cincinnati Reds toboggan – some call it a knit cap (lost a few days ago)
5) My strong desire to perform (mostly)
6) My beer can collection (from childhood)
Some, but not all of my fears have disappeared. I’ve lost some bad habits and gained new ones. Counting losses doesn’t feel productive, but it may be a legitimate way to evaluate one’s life. Self-evaluation is something we should add do from time to time. Right?
Mom and me.
The writing prompt is open. I like the word because it feels right now like everything is open. Things are up for grabs. I don’t know what the future holds for me. Of course, none of us can really know that we have a future. One could be hit by a bus, or swept up in a tornado, or swallowed by a sinkhole. You would think that given life’s uncertainty, I would be able to enjoy each of the precious moments that I’ve been given. No, what I’ve been doing is spending most of my waking time in a state of anxiety.
The world’s tragedies are wearing on me. I’m wondering if I can give myself art therapy. Are there any “do it yourself art therapy” books? I’ll have to look into that. In the meantime, I plan to get more serious about my art journaling. I started a new blog to share my experiences with making art. I’m hoping my art blog will be the one that eventually makes money. The first post is about the fact that my cat room doubles as a studio.
I’ll be able to blog more since my summer class is over. Speaking of the class, I wrote in another post that I thought this class was the last one I needed before graduating. I was mistaken. I need one more. I plan to take Digital Curation in the fall, and it’s actually a class I’ve been wanting to take, so it’s all good.
Here’s wishing that I’m open to new possibilities in the coming week.
The prompt I’m working with today is circus. What if I said that my life resembles a three-ring circus? Could I make the case that this was true? I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to an actual circus. I remember going with my parents to the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. If it was the circus that we went to, I don’t remember anything about it.
When I hear someone refer to something as being like a three-ring circus I imagine a lot of different things going on at the same time. That’s kind of the case with my life, but maybe the real circus is in my head. I think about money, I think about MS, I think about my father’s health, I think about the readings I have to do for class and the paper I have to write. I think about writing and whether I should have used semicolons to separate the items in that list I just made.
I finally made an appointment with the doctor to have my depression medication adjusted. I’m wondering if I should start seeing a psychiatrist instead of relying on my physician for this. I listen to a podcast called ‘Wrestling with Depression‘ in which the virtues of seeing a therapist are often extolled. Do I have time for another regular commitment? I get a little stressed thinking about it.
Yesterday Ernie and I stopped by Planet Fitness to check it out. I asked for a tour and had to give them my name and phone number. I guess that’s how they get you. I liked that they had a lot more equipment than the YMCA does. The thing I don’t like is the constant music and the lack of natural light. It’s a lot cheaper than the Y, so I’m tempted to switch, but it just felt so much like a gym. I’m also considering quitting the Y and just working out at home. That would be the cheapest option of them all.
When I looked up circus on Wikipedia I found some nifty public domain images. Here’s one of them.
I didn’t want to get up this morning. I thought if I could stay in bed all day I could avoid life altogether. I recognized this for the bad idea that it was and got myself up. I heated up some leftover fish and sweet potatoes even though I didn’t feel like eating. I know that I have to eat. I don’t eat enough on weekends. I probably don’t eat enough on the other days either. I need lots of money and a personal chef.
I finished my assignment for class. The next thing is the paper and presentation. Five more classes left!!!
I watched a little Law and Order Criminal Intent, worked on an art journal page, and cleaned up my work area a little. Then I put my clean clothes away. It’s always an accomplishment when I put my clothes away.
Art journal page in progress.
I sat outside and meditated for a few minutes. It went well. I was able to keep my mind sort of blank by telling myself to “come back” every time stray thoughts crept in. It was a good start.
I consiered writing about my dad’s health situation, but I think I owe him his privacy. Suffice it to say that I’m worried he will never be his old self again.
I still haven’t gotten an appointment with my doctor to have my depression meds increased. I really should. I suspect the coming months will be kind of tough for me.
The prompt is grain and once again I’m not inspired. I considered writing about rice. I could talk about the importance of including whole grains in your diet. Those topics would require some research, and I’m just not in the mood. I guess I’ll go to the dictionary and take a closer look at the word grain.
Dictionary.com shows this definition as being from medicine: “A relatively small discrete particulate or crystalline mass.” I like the word discrete. There’s something elegant about it. For some reason it brings to mind a slender woman wearing a slinky cocktail dress. She’s standing behind a pillar or sculpture almost as if she’s hiding from someone. That image reminds me of a photo I took of myself when I was living in Champaign, Illinois. I did a lot of self-portraits back in the day, and still do. I had two single-lens reflex cameras, and a darkroom set up in my bathroom in the Clark Street apartment. I made some arty prints in my make-shift darkroom. Photo processing got to be more trouble than it was worth in the end though.
In the kitchen on Clark Street-digitally enhanced version
Photography could take me back to the word grain since prints can sometimes come out grainy. That is a reminder that I need to start learning how to use my new digital SLR.
I don’t have much more than a tiny grain to say in this post.