Mundane Daze: Camus, DSLR, and DAMN.

You guys ever get the feeling you’re subject to seasons, er, chapters, in your life? That moment when you’re sitting there minding your own business and suddenly you feel a “lift “as if life itself were lifting the page to end a chapter for you and start a new one? I’ve had a similar feeling the past few days. Days spent contemplating who I was, what to do, where to go, and the ever so persnickety why somehow managed to invoke a change in the subsequent days. Whether it happened as a force of nature, God, or myself, is almost not the point because the end justifies the means. I, too, am a child of the sun. I also know why It happened.

The other day I went and got one more book to add to my collection: The Myth of Sysyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus. I was close to picking up three more books, one on international education and another one by Murakami, but then decided to hold off and save my money. I can always go back for more. Ever since I read The Stranger in high school, I knew Camus and I had a special connection. His lyrical way of writing and how he thought about identity, the pied-noirs, nature, inspires me every time I read this works- and in English! How much more impact they would have on me in their original French, I don’t know yet. I’m working on that.

One of the essays in this book was titled “Summers in Algiers”. He talks about the magic of the Mediterranean sun, the people, and compares them ever so lyrically to the people of Europe. This is one of my favorite parts of his essay:

Almost immediately afterward appears the first star that had been seen taking shape and consistency in the depth of the sky. And then suddenly, all consuming, night. What exceptional quality to the fugitive Algerian evenings possess to be able to release so many things in me? I haven’t time to tire of that sweetness they leave on my lips before it has disappeared into night. Is this the secret of its persistence? This country’s affection is overwhelming and furtive. But during the moment it is present, one’s heart at least surrenders completely to it.

This example I have shared of course doesn’t do his more keen observations any justice, but of all of Albert Camus’ fiction and philosophical writings, his poetic writings tug at my heart the most. There are hints of it all over his fiction and philosophical writings. There have been many moments during my sojourns in Mexico and Mongolia that I have felt this way. That my native lands, at least by blood, were beckoning back with their siren call, splitting me in half but in that present moment consuming me completely. He is one of the few writers I read whose words make me feel like he gets it.

Between working my day job and writing poetry and prose, I have also spent more time playing with my camera. My poor baby has been ignored for almost a year and it needs to be used. I’d originally got it for vlogging purposes which I will revisit at some point this year but not yet. Right now I want to focus on learning how to use the Manual settings properly and with a respectable level of mastery. I own a Canon 600D and have installed Magic Lantern on it for better video features for when I do venture out into vlogging/doco making. Below are some of my better shots from yesterday and today:

On a completely different topic all together: I have just now gotten to listen to Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN. and whoa it left me floored. Every lyric, every emotion just so real. Never mind what the haters say on social media because all that matters is what you feel when you are alone with that piece of art and that album is a piece of artwork just like To Pimp a Butterfly. On a side note, I enjoy the graphic choices for KL’s albums. In a world where graphic designers are paid to be unique, the fonts and imagery keep getting simpler. A little rebellion of its own. Kanye did sth similar with his TLOP album. My favorite tracks from DAMN. are FEEL. and PRIDE. I’d post it here but vids are getting removed from YouTube on copyright grounds soooooo next time.

Hell-raising, wheel-chasing, new worldly possessions
Flesh-making, spirit-breaking, which one would you lessen?
The better part, the human heart, you love ’em or dissect ’em
Happiness or flashiness? How do you serve the question?

See, in the perfect world, I would be perfect, world
I don’t trust people enough beyond they surface, world
I don’t love people enough to put my faith in man
I put my faith in these lyrics hoping I make amends