The scriptures give us a useful idea what art is, if art and the creation of humankind are the same or similar, both acts of God or god-like beings. Art—at least good art that makes us feel or comprehend some aspect of the human condition, or predicament—is not merely made of dust or clay, of the environment of the god-like being who created it. But in the act of genesis, art is breathed into by the being herself, just as God breathed into the clay which made Adam, or the rib which made Eve. Though art is impacted by its environment (God had clay at hand to work with, I some gray matter), art must have breath in it to be of actual value, to be alive, to be a creation, otherwise it’s just practice, or a mode of imitation. I guess I believe in genius. Genius and dust.
Today I am seeing* The Shape of Water and am excited. I don’t know where, yet. It’s nice to have options. Furthermore, it’s nice to have options of theaters serving beer. This was not the case for much of my life. Movie-going was sobering. But now two of my favorite theaters, Cinerama (downtown) and Admiral Theater (whose marquee inverts the letters of the final syllable, to Theatre), serve beer to those twenty-one and older with valid ID. My valid ID is rarely checked anymore, I suppose because movie theater employees are generally high-schoolers or early twenty-somethings. They look at my worn visage and know immediately I am older, or oldre. The environment got ahold of me. I look weary, like the breath of God was kicked out of me, while they still seem works of art, newly breathed-in clay. Yet I pity instead of envy them. For this is the predicament: We begin with promise and vitality, and time and world take them away. To dust they shall return, no ID required.
I have written myself into the future state of seeing The Shape of Water.
I saw the trailer for The Shape of Water at a theater that didn’t serve beer, in Columbia City. I made up for it beforehand with a ginger and rum drink at Island Soul. I forget what it was called, such was its power, and the power of many other drinks I’ve had. My girlfriend and I were to see** Lady Bird, which I believed then, having never seen its trailer, to be a biopic about Lady Bird Johnson. It was as refreshing as my ginger and rum drink to find it instead an indie-like coming-of-age film, brilliantly written and directed. God-breathed. What a surprise. I don’t know that I can overstate my excitement (though I’ve only begun to state it, poorly, so I should probably pull back and give up).
After, we had more drinks. But since my buzz had been interrupted for two hours the ensuing drunk was unpleasant. The next day I remembered liking the film very much while recalling little of it. This is a good sign I ought to quit or rein in my drinking.
Still, I can’t wait to purchase a beer at noon and watch The Shape of Water.***
*I learned the term prolepsis in this last year and can’t get over how thrilled I am to recognize the device and confidently use it in writing. No one believes I am seeing The Shape of Water now, though grammatically that could be argued. I have written myself into the future state of seeing the film, though so far I am nowhere near a theater. If something prevents me from getting to one, I will have lied, or less cynically, fictionalized or over-promised. Right now I am in an uncertain state, somewhere between fiction and prediction.
**You see here I do not care to invoke prolepsis. I wonder why.
***Since I will probably remember little of the film tomorrow, please consider this my proleptic review. Probably more preemptive, as I am now abusing my new favorite linguistic term. Apologies. I have also here abused the term review.