writing here and trying to win the intellectual game against entrenched 40/50somethings is a losing american war game against oneself and others

Geoffrey Lewis
4 min readAug 12, 2022


music is kinder, the business is just as wretched, it’s impossible to be passionate and true and safe; am I ageist or did I just watch a TV show too seriously

Scenes from a Marriage, on HBO, pretty recent; a grown-man intellectual and husband and his wife and their daughter in a house on the east coast; a picture of…overthinking and self-defense and analyzing everything so hard and staying up late and talking about it and crying, and brushing teeth together and joking, sharing an inner language

i really wonder if i want to or should live with someone, “be in partnership”—i like the idea of the friendship and sharing household responsibilities and even raising a child; it may make more sense (i’m biased, this is unfolding in my personal life in real-time; I don’t often have an active love life like a volcano swallowing everything yanking every thread into its spindle and dying it with her color, a feminine form—she’s strong and she can listen, she can dish it back; language and awareness are no longer things I do alone; did I ever do them alone? I prefer to swirl down and call this Thought Painting; I will be just as nasty, wretched, disciplined and obsessed with Work in my 40s and 50s as any of the self-defensive hierarchy-climbers who have douchey dinner parties with wine and talk about supposedly serious things ~ I remember a clip from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters To A Young Poet:

“To retreat into oneself and meet nobody for hours on end — that is what one must be able to attain. To be alone, as one was alone as a child, when the grown-ups walked about involved in things which seemed great and important, because big people looked so busy and because one could comprehend nothing of their doings. And when one day one realises that their affairs are paltry, their professions benumbed and no longer connected with life, why not still like a child look upon them as something strange from without the depth of one’s own world, regarding them from the immunity of one’s own loneliness, which is itself work, position and profession? Why desire to exchange a child’s wise incomprehension for self-defence and disdain? Incomprehension is loneliness, but self-defence and disdain are participation in that from which one is trying to separate oneself by these means.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

let adults try to make a number go up, try to get safe enough, appreciated and respected enough ~ see this leads us right back into music (but not before a dash of theory you could click on and follow the conversation)

🎶 You can’t hold it too tight / these matters of security

gotta love the lioness, from the lyrics—from the imagination

anyway, this thought-train is made on a very alive day, two months and two weeks shy of 36 years old … it’s all just timestamps and the meaning you make, how you compare — we are not out of this wretched earth of Winning, striving, winning, making ourselves OK, making others OK—should that be what it’s all about? Service? Use my burning self-awareness to find some truth and send it to the right place? Trees and mushrooms try to send sugar through the roots to struggling molecules (not enzymes though that’s a great word)

you/i have all day to try harder; sometimes you can’t do more; whose reportage would you believe? Where do you get your permission to slow down? If you’re awake you can keep going; the terrible facts of the always-connected world: you must suffer around the clock and never arrive. This is a sign of our times; we are drowning in truth, baking in truth and … human beings trying and failing, or maybe it’s going fine. Who knows? One just goes on in their own little hall-prism of eyes and thoughts, not meeting others too clearly, lest you lose the thread of You. Ah, men like me typing about You…it breaks my heart and pokes my mind…