Everything anyone does is in the context of death. We have existential bookends: birth and death. What happens between those bookends is the story of our lives.
Yesterday was one of the more sumptuous of my life. It started by trolling the streets of Brooklyn with my friend Dan Paluska and his Brooklyn Mobile, getting to know one another and see how we might collaborate on some projects. I feel a strong kinship with Dan, for he seems to fully grasp that any undertaking must always serve as a buoy for our collective happiness in each and every moment (the words in the story of our life).
I got escorted into (better than out of) an event called Green Drinks, which was having its Holiday party. It was at the St. George’s Ballroom in the Flatiron District. Unlike last years party that I attended, this one, with its $50 admission, was a far more staid affair. Many of the predominantly middle-aged crowd seemed as though they were there to see the marine biologist Sylvia Earle, the current TED Prize holder. She talked about our imperiled oceans. Newsflash: They’re really fucked.
The party had some pretty comical moments. There were a few graceless dance performances and a musical number, where the chanteuse sang long notes that may have been designed to mimic the submersive sounds of sea mammal. Then, as if the half-hour speech by Earle were not enough, a hushed narration describing the plight of the oceans accompanied the singer—“over 97% of large fish have been fished into extinction…” and so forth. It’s not that I don’t have compassion for the situation—in a certain way, I feel like greenhouse gas reduction might be a cakewalk compared to the blight and acidification of the oceans, but that’s no excuse to make bad art around it.
It was a fun day, and yet there’s always a thirst to do more. To go toward building monuments—something to transcend that endpoint of death, a way to live on. We’ll see whether I build such a monument or die trying or just give up, because it’s all a temporary installation.