|||

Anything for a Weird Life

In Praise of Repetition

Jeffrey LewisJeffrey Lewis

Imagine a crowd gathered, chanting, one person leading the chant below over a bullhorn.

What do we want?”

Small, incremental but meaningful changes over time achieved through consistent hard work and laborious effort!”

When do we want it?”

Whenever that sustained effort leads to lasting change!”

It does not fit neatly on a bumper sticker nor will it be chanted at any rally any time soon, but it is one of my current core beliefs. In my art practice, it is expressed through repetition.

It was not always this way.

In the beginning of being about that (underground) life”, in my adolescence and early adulthood, I embraced chaos, UK or American. I was the least consistent person you knew. I could not be counted on. Each time you handed me a guitar, I would not stop beating on it until every string was broken. It was extremely unwise to invite me to crash at your house if you valued your musical equipment, records, and store of provisions. Life was a continual attempted mosh pit. Ask people who knew me back then.

I have grown to understand that this was a reflection of an internal conflict. If you can imagine a young person having a conversation going like Minor Threat’s In My Eyes”, but in my head, with myself, all the time, you can begin to picture a person running scared, rejecting all, trying to figure out what to do with this mind, this life and not getting many solid answers outside of get a job with computers. You will become a millionaire. It was a different time, the 1990s

Then my best friend died in a car accident when we both 19. I can’t share any extant online details because there was no online yet.

Everyone in my circle of friends reacted powerfully to his death. Many chose despair, oblivion, more chaos. It was all sort of heading that way anyway… we had our anthem. It was more comfortable to be the cynic that our youthful idealism had lead us to become over time. It was more comfortable to continue to drift. Another option? Shave, bathe, go to a rave… PLUR, you know?

I didn’t do either. If I was going to continue on, then I was going to show up and make it count. Not in grandiose ways. In small, daily ways. Of all the potential ways forward, I chose that one. It seemed the least easy and the least obvious. It has lead to a better, more balanced, more productive life over time than the one I seemed fated to have.

Writing this column each week might seem to some like an impossible feat. I have done so consistently and weekly (with two breaks, sure… one short, one longer) for a year or so. What can you do if you put your mind to it? What could you do if you stopped making excuses? What have you done to fix the problems you have? What are you going to do with the life you have left?

Start today. Continue tomorrow.

Tim Kabara

IG: kim_tabara

Jeffrey Lewis

www.thejeffreylewissite.com

Up next "Vanquish" by Dorothy Lune December Shows at the Compound
Latest posts NIAGARA by Juliette Sandoval TO MAKE OF THEE A NAME by Andrew Buckner Two poems by Jessica Heron "Grocery Outlet" by Lisa Loop "Gatorbear" by John Biron Interview: Skizz Cyzyk on Baltimore Filmmaking and the Mansion Theater "On Time" by Hanna Webster "Only the Most Neutral Executioners" by GRSTALT Comms Poems for Clara Peller by Ella Wisniewski "I've Got a Fake I.D. from Nevada and No Name" by Max Stone Truth Cult (Last Show) [Anything for a Weird Life] Three poems by Stacy Black "Bob's on Fire" by Alex Tronson Two poems by Alexandra Naughton Reflections on Series Two: How Does He Do It? [Anything for a Weird Life] "A Sadness that Sings" by David Hay "The City" by Ryan Bender-Murphy Three poems by Abigail Sims "The Depth of the Abrasion" by David C. Porter Steve Albini 1962-2024 [Anything for a Weird Life] Some Things are the Same Everywhere [BRUISER Field Report] BRUISER ZINE 005: Foul Black Rookeries by David Simmons "Bilbao" (for Richard Serra) by Damon Hubbs Beyond Periphery by Ada Pelonia Mayday [Anything for a Weird Life] "Drones Drones Drones" by Aaron Roman Review: White Paint Falling Through a Filtered Shaft by Adam Johnson "Buckskin Jacket." by Noam Hessler A User's Guide to Universal Order of Armageddon (Numero 221) [Anything for a Weird Life] "Sepulcherality" by Cora Kircher “Barricade” by Will Marsh