Samizu Matsuki Diaries
Samizu Matsuki Diary Entries 1977 Translated by Samizu Matsuki 2007
February _?_ 1977.
Many thoughts regarding 'death' still haunt me. Feel like the matrix of existence itself has lost its essential connection with core principles and dispersed helplessly into the gravity-less dark universe. Thinking about giving some systematized order to the daily living.
Yet I know i can't even create first step toward such practice . Feel very helpless or powerless with intensity never felt before. Seems like “power itself” somewhat dried up and turn into the dust and dissipated away. Emily Dickinson depicted (in the form of poetry) in 1882 (she was 42 years old) perfectly self sustaining nature of a “stone”. (dead object). (1)
Her poetry of “stone” is the ode to the absolute independence from the environment of inanimate object “stone”. In the background of fragility and inconvenience of existence against inherently conditioned to the interdependent environment (e.g. eating...depends on the existence of food, breathing: air, etc) for the sake of the organism's very survival itself, the recalcitrant presence of self sustaining mode of existence of inanimate object's pale imagery will emerge out of a deep sigh. (inorganic existence)
(1) “self-sustaining” = ”self integrated”. Dead objects are the best example for the stillness of inanimate state of being called “life” of the half – life is beyond ordinary speed of time after the life-period.
The presence in this paradigm (dimension) can become terrifying pain, literally tearing the guts up.
Almost every day I've got to suffer terrible headache. Yet the pain of existence itself is so stronger that the headache itself almost became a thankful escape.
Basement is strangely cold. From the sole of the foot to the backbone, a lucid frigidness steadily crawls up. Began to have feelings of freezing.
Hate to paint. Can't find a justifiable reason for it. The more I paint, the farther the meaningfulness of the act of painting escapes. Something is there, controlling my urges.
Just finished reading Chaim Potok's “In the beginning.” Feeling as though I have walked through someone's passage of life myself. Honestly speaking, I, at this point of my life, would rather walk through someone else's (doesn't matter who it is) life passages, in the fashion of the protagonist sits inside the painted dimension, and under the effect of the delusion conveniently believing that this life is mine.
This dimension is eating up what I am in me.
Aspect of suppressed faculties can soak up innards of humans and at some point eventually begins to dominate area of one's psyche. Under such conditions, ones inner mirror which reflects environmental elements, becomes only projecting dull imageries of environment, thus shutting off light and enlightenment (of perception) from “future” dimension. The meaning of existence becomes as inhuman as external objects, causing sensation of danger of vulnerability and ambiguity of existence. Artistic production becomes a big burden and occasionally create too much difficulties to do anything.
Then, in this extremely dangerous situation, one can begin to experience vibrations of time (moment) caused by “contracting-stretching” motion of outermost membrance of the time.
Yet because of membrance it self's diminished stage of power center, the struggle for existence becomes extremely dependent on external (environmental) effects, and, no longer just described as “struggle” the entity (time membrance) moves as mere reflection of external realities. And eventually will become a barometer-like entity (3)which endlessly repeat mechanical motions reactively produced by environmental stimulations.
Naturally existence itself becomes desperately meaningless. To an automaton always controlled by “others”, self itself becomes “other”. The presence of this pale, fragile, illusory image of “other” nonetheless is so intense synchronization with “other” now is a natural extension.
The factor which proposes the time-slot, called “future” right on the slot of the line extended from the time-slot called “present” is an activated “self”. And this act of activation is the very element which liberate “self” from environmental or external limitation.
9:15am. Snowy rain is falling. Accumulated snow looks very white. Dark sky.
1977 February. Some random thoughts on the book about Freud written by Jack Spector – for example there are several descriptions about symbolic expressions of directly or indirectly experienced death, such as decorative elements predominately curved lines and functional aspects, e.g. structure of the lid of coffin, which has easy freedom of opening and closing.
My own symbolic emphasis seems far removed from resonating with the description s (in the book) predominately because of the lack or corresponding objects, (such as wester-style coffin) within my reality experiences/ Interesting thing is that I must live within the environment with very scarce objects symbolically connect me to the common experiences Perhaps this might be a cause for my feeling of alienation.
Fine weather. 8:20 am. Went to gynecologist yesterday. He says may be the syndrome of “change of life” disease. It's hot flash caused by surgical menopause (hysterectomy).
The doctor gave me a blood test and prescription for two medicines (one for water level control, another for sleep.) Perhaps the catharsis caused by a sense of accomplishment (of going to the doctor) is working positively. Swelling became reduced and feeling good. Feel like purged of obstinate impurities.
I must not, doctor says, intake any sodium in order to reduce body-water. Instead of NACL table salt, I must, doctor says, use potassium chloride.
Because of the history of cancer, doctor says, I must not have hormone-related treatment, etc.
I could have thought of such things as above, yet I need directions to follow issued by authority (a doctor this time). I needed defined circumstances in which the absolute principle rules. Seems like context dependent non-independent mode of being. Thinking about Judaism.
Explicit and rational system made up by some one else.___ I want to be inside of such system with complete satisfaction. Must be an urge to run away from myself. After all my perceptions of present self is no more than melting tar under the burning sun. Ten minutes before 9:00. It already is cloudy outside.
After all there resides clearly utilitarian intention behind the intent to major in Fine-Arts. Namely to get job ready made by establishments. The most palpable manipulation of difference between play (Arts for arts' sake) and art (art for sale) is that in this context the art will have very much established economical functioning in the said social structure, whereas the play (not dramatic presentation, but children's play) doesn't. It is unrealistic to presuppose “motivation” (for artistic expression) without considering such things as above.
This has something to do with publicly accepted value system (for Fine Arts) having close connect with utilitarian value judgment, and very little to do with intrinsic value of the Art itself. (end of the “scarlet letter” writing.
How about to pay more attention to Buddhism and or Shinto-ism before thinking about Judaism?
For example there must be some religious practice a priori to the race called Japanese –some primitive religion. Must develop more insight to local characteristics of religions. Is there any pan-human religion?
Excerpt from a book about Freud.
“...The most satisfactory condition of organism, to Freud seem to have been a steady state an equilibrium of those awesome forces within and without on which the fragile ego rides or is ridden.” -Jack J. Spector, “The mechanisms of homeostasis.” “Schopenhauer's momentary suspension of the will.”
Very good weather. Very brilliant fine day of March. A few starlings are already here and chirping inside of huge southern blue spruce. They stay all summer around Riker household.
Usually a few monitoring birds come first followed by a flock of them Today my physical condition is good. 1:20pm
Every act (physical, metaphysical) which does not result in actualization of every-day utilitarian purposes is nothing but a play—is the feeling I've got while reading Heidegger. R
aining 3:00 am. Dark. Not so cold.
They say that today is the first day of spring. Got up at 1pm. Dark sky. While reading Hans Vaigold's “Gothic Sculpture”, it began snowing. Wet snow. Melted away as soon as it touched ground, but after a while the ground was covered by white. Impression: there seems no aesthetic nor metaphysical causes exist in the process of artistic decaying, such as Gothic Classicism to Gothic mysticism.
What you see is no more than material-greed's and money powers called as bourgeois spirit. This is the very spirit disgraces all the nobleness. Good example is today;'s tendency (artistic) in the process of decay the technical excellence will be lost because of narrowness of philistine spirit.
(scarlet letter writing)
There is not one to help me know on. This is the writing job, the loneliest work in the world. -John Steinbeck (the end of S.L.W.)
Doug's parents came back from Puerto Rico. Rain 10:30pm.
1977 April Yesterday (Sunday) was Easter. 40 degrees Fahrenheit. David, Tomoko, Charlie and Carole came to visit. Talking about taxation etc. Very much bored. Finally begin to feel thinly disguised hostility from constituting members including irony.
This thought about plot for a detective story. Plot. A conspiracy to obtain life insurance money against naive and clumsy woman of foreign origin, by incompetent man with criminal record. The son of old family with monetary problems seduces the woman with self-destructive tendency and creates circumstance, such as accidental situation caused by extreme clumsiness of the woman, which makes her death acceptably accidental. The woman notices the scheme and pretends ignorance. The son feeds the woman with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs oping to weaken her defense mechanisms. The woman tries to escape from family by acting out madness (e.g. Conversation with psychiatrist indicating his plot, etc.
Describe several episodes related to the plot. For example, “strange” incidents created by the criminals the son had associated with in prison, etc. The woman put herself in the mental hospital pretending ignorance characteristic of foreigners.
Ah well from my own viewpoint, Donny is a psycho. And his mother appears to be an idiot whose personal growth had gotten stunted and can manipulate her own son to gratify her greed for money.
The day before yesterday (Night) went to the a meeting held by Allied Artists of America after four years of absence.
The tragedy of mediocrity is that one must walk on the tightrope made up with politics and greed. It is an unpleasant picture of the outcasts from social system commented with material acquisition and status quo, yet still clinging obsequiously to the system which kicked them out with some degree of cleverness and extra-sensitive sensitivities. After the meeting went to “Izakaya” (5th Ave and 54th Street). Only the sushi bar was open (10 pm).
Talked too much with chef and attracted too much attention from customers. Felt uncomfortable and retreated as soon as finishing eating.
Walked back home from Rockville Center train station Approximately 1 mile. Donny was with me. The temperature of the day at Central Park went up to 90 degrees F.
Yesterday and today the temperature came down. Cool. Spent afternoon washing the windows. Starlings, blue jays and robins are beginning to make nests among gigantic blue spruces, flying up to the trees carrying dried grass, string like objects and wet mud.
They say mockingbirds and blackbirds are also among them but I failed to distinguish one from another. “Natural History” send me a copy Found an interesting article about conservatism among Aztecs, written by an anthropologist. One arrived today is for March. There was an article about public ceremonies in South Korea.
I am not painting at all lately, because of desire to soak up sun's beam. State of being of sitting in the basement arose singular sense of depression.
In other to escape from a type of guilt permeating the occupants of this house hold which generally drives them to pursue meaningless little labours; spent nearly four hours polishing up old window panes in decaying condition. “No free lunch” a protestant virtue. Since it is extraordinarily brilliant and beautiful spring afternoon the act began to appear a masochistic presentation of repentance. The mundane trivia of housework became colored by the characteristic ceremony.
The young leaves of trees are spreading yellow-green colorings all over the sky. Chubby young woman wearing a pale coat is walking with an enormous shepherd dog. Some unidentifiable bird is crying sounding like a cat. I can hear “Mittens”--a big cat that belongs to the house across the street--walking toward here going through garageway with a big bell ringing aloud. It is not very pleasant feeling to be chosen for ceremonial sacrifice.
April 20, 1977
Tomoko sent me the material for translation. Specification for consideration of Narita airport in Japan. Planning to drop by at Fumi's place and drop papers after having delivered my latest junk paintings to a civic organization on Washington Heights.
New York had just passed a law that effectively prohibited me from exhibiting my paintings within city limits. The organization bought up all of my paintings and they wanted more.
I sold about twenty or thirty of them at $30 to $60 apiece – an oil painting wholesaler bought them. They are signed “Sami”.
If only place I could exhibit was outdoor shows, I went to those. Washington Heights was one of the last outdoor shows I exhibited at. I was doing rather sketchy junk paintings to make money, so I displayed them alongside my more serious much more highly priced works.
They liked my paintings so much that they invited the TV station. They wanted some of my paintings I gave away the impressionistic junk paintings to the civic group that sponsored the show.
Strange situation. After the telephone conversation with Fumi, I called Tomoko and conveyed that the material had arrived. She wants me to keep the material without translating it because of a problem related to the fee! This also is strange.
Hoping to get xerox copies of papers.
Translation contact: Mr Satori, Phone 242-3040 Mon or Wednesday 6664698 Japan Art Center.
Without territorial independence, the act of creating is impossible.
Yesterday brought lobster painting (“ah!”) to Jewish Center. Some days earlier, I had set up a 3 man show in a gallery in Manhattan. Tons of people came. Place was nearly packed. You could hardly move around. There were two other artists, with their work in the other room. But their pictures were virtually ignored; nearly everyone was at my exhibit. It seemed that nearly no New Yorker had seen any serious realism.
The people hadn't been exposed to good realistic paintings for a long time. It was the art season and many galleries were open. I was surrounded on opening day by lots of Jewish people. The amazing thing was they looked at the lobster painting and instantly realized that it is a painting about war.
Even though I hadn't added the NYT story about the Arab Israel war in the paper that made up the background of the painting. They got excited and decided they wanted to display the lobster painting in NYC's biggest central synagogue.
They wanted to pray. The war was going on, very serious and sought some kind of meditation worth looking at. Went in through a big door into a big chamber . People came and treated her like some big shot, so Riker got really nervous. They said they were going to put it on an easel and display it.
Two weeks later Riker went to the synagogue and picked it up.
Night scene of Manhattan viewed from the Triborough Bridge is magnificent. Darkly glazed glass. Because of Donny's “anthropo-phobia” we got out of the Jewish center place quickly.
Drop by Fumi's place Stayed until 11 pm eating strawberries and drinking Koji-tea.
At 3pm Fumi called and said that she'll mail the copies of the papers tomorrow.
Fine weather. Delicate little leaves began to n show up on huge oak tree. Looks like yellow grass colored, tangled up threads. Flower like magnolia is falling. Donny thinks it is a dogwood. Doesn't look like one. Need a Japanese English Dictionary.
1977 April. The sense of depression gives me a feeling of sinking into deep sea. Left half of body feels strangely languid, heavy.
Weather: cloudy. Condition of stomach isn't so good either. That big pale-violet shaded white flower really is a magnolia.
The tangled up net like thing hanging from branches of oak tree was a small crust of flowers. Turn into yellowish brown and eventually, falls down to the ground. Nearby cherry is blossoming. Is it cherry?
May 2nd 1977 Monday. Yesterday afternoon (Fine weather, pleasant) went to nearby park with Donny and walked around for 3 hours mainly taking photos.
There's a little lake or reservoir in the park, covered with waterlilies' flat leaves. There was a wild goose sleeping and standing with one leg on driftwood-like object, Near the bird there hid a dark coloured frog. In the center of the lake where the water was reflecting blue sky and trees with young leaves, a huge Canadian goose (male) with a shining dark blue head, was circling around occasionally putting its long neck into the water, paying no attention to the humans There was a little stream of perhaps one meter width running into the lake.
End of 1977 Excerpts