While watching THE FORGER OF LONDON last night, I experienced a feeling that is becoming all too regular with me: a hungry wish that I could summon the clarity of mind (and somehow arrange the cleanness of desk) to focus on just one thing for awhile and explore it thoroughly -- like the Edgar Wallace krimis for instance. I would love to read all the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan novels, to learn French and read all of Fantômas, and to search out the books that would teach me how to get a proper handle on my life, my physicality, and my disorderly thinking. I wish there were hours in the day for me to focus as much on my physical being as on my cerebral pursuits. I need to cultivate more of an appreciation for working up a sweat, and for a cleaner, more spartan, more inviting working place.
But it also weighs on me that I don't know enough about Jean Renoir or John Ford or Claude Chabrol; I've never seen CHILDREN OF PARADISE though it has been in my collection for years. I want to see more Parajanov. There are too many box sets in my life, clamoring for my time. The temptation to wile away the hours revisiting movies I've already seen, not just once but many times, is too strong; a comfort food for the eyes and a brain too tired at the end of a day to desire new experience. A new experience that might actually be refreshing or revivifying.
And I want to travel. Many of the people who are central to my life and work I have never met. There are many places in the world I know I will never visit, and this is something I probably should have started doing earlier in life, though, for me, it wasn't possible. As Donna says, "Thank God for the travel shows on Equator HD," but as pleasing as these are to the eye and ear, they can't bring you the smells and textures and interaction of another land.
I wish work wasn't so god-damned irresistable. At the same time, I feel I am well behind where I should be. I want to write more film scripts, and actually see some produced. And two novels aren't nearly enough; John Fowles was on the point of finishing Daniel Martin by the time he was my age. I don't want to be remembered only by a stack of magazines. I've got a number of ideas for next books crowding the ether around me, but I have to hold these at bay until the Bava book is out the door. Once I finish my work on Video Watchdog #123, my next task is to go through my manuscript and compile a proper Mario Bava filmography. I always felt that the length of the book itself provided the filmography, but more recently, I realized that, if I don't do this, someone else will go through my book and compile one, so the credit might as well be mine. The current filmographies, even the current biographies, are riddled with errors that need correcting.
I need a vacation. I need to work faster. I wasn't always this much of a Gemini.
My creative energies are chomping at the bit, wanting to surge out in all directions. I wonder if this desire to branch out in all directions, to do as much as possible with my available time, is a result of overseeing the omniverous appetites of my magazine, a desire to serve it best by being better informed, or if it's tied to the fears of mortality that become more pronounced with middle-age. The danger, I suppose, is actually undertaking too many new trivialities when I should be narrowing my focus to just a couple of important tasks, giving them something closer to my whole attention.
Why, I ask myself, did I start this blog? Perhaps to make the panic of a creative life less closeted, less subcutaneous. At least here I know I'm not talking to myself.
Alas, fretting takes time and energy, too.