Looking around for some paper to start writing down a schedule for project development and releases over the next six months, I found an old marble journal that I kept a long time ago. Flipping through it, I saw an entry that made me realize something. While in some ways we change so much from day to day, week to week, and year to year, in another kind of mysterious way, we also don’t change all that much. (Though I’ve since revised my position on metaphysics, apparently. But that’s another thing.)

This was written in 1998.

I was driving home the other day with a friend when the car jolted to a halt. Sitting in the middle of the road was a blackbird. Or maybe a raven. I don’t really know birds. It was black.

“What did that mean?” he wondered, once the bird hopped out of the way.

“What do you mean what did that mean?” I asked reluctantly, when the car didn’t move. They symbolize death, right? But why? Apparently this was an important question.

And then it hit me:

All of our everyday experience is metaphorical of a deeper, unknown substance; it points at what we really are. The dark – that is, invisible – side of our persona.

A white car passed us on the road.

What does that mean?

I decided to categorize my all my responses and observations. To make a library of metaphors. I thought about the white car, and about the emotional undertone – subtle but present – that was connected to that moment. I thought about my naive presupposition that there is an object made of synthetically re-configured materials that is a white car. White is the color that it is not, everything that the object rejects as repugnant.

We live in a world of imagined constructs, never thinking about how this perceived world affects, reflects them; never seeing the intangible level the object points at; as symbols (like the word “car” points at what hides behind “car,” it points towards it but neither contains nor describes it.)

There is no higher validity in this metaphor and metaphysical perspective (which an artist calls upon to inform their work.) There is no Jewish father figure hiding behind the world of appearance, ready to chastise his unruly children. There is only You.

If you dig deep enough into the interaction of events in your life, realizing them to be transparent, metaphysical symbols rather than opaque material reality, you will begin to find what you are. Footsteps leading backwards and forwards towards your center. (Death. Incomprehensible non-existence.)  And you will also find that you are not what you think you are.

What a cheery “young adult” I was, huh?

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JAMES CURCIO creates dystopian propoganda for a generation of "hedonists, intellectuals, and drug addicts." Rumors of being a key member of a harem of feral lesbians are slightly exaggerated, however much his Bohemian lifestyle may indicate otherwise.

Previous brain-washing agents have taken the form of subversive novels, essays, scripts for comic and films, albums, soundtracks, podcasts, and performances. He works as creative director for Odd Duck Media, LLC.

4 responses to “You Are Not What You Think You Are”

  1. dwoz says:

    ahh, youth.

    We all individually have to “discover” that stuff all over again, brand new and amazed that the rest of the world somehow never stumbled on it.

    Then at some point, we realize that if you take that Knowledge Of The Universe and throw it in a pot with some garlic, cilantro, salt and barley, you only get garlic, barley, cilantro soup. It neither adds nor detracts from the soup. Thorns and sharp rocks still cut you. Mosquitoes and ticks still bite you.

    Orgasms don’t really change. Much.

  2. Reno Romero says:


    heh. a blast from the past. i love little pieces like this. concise. bare but full of good stuff? and old journals do wonders. i think, dwoz, said it right. we change. but then we don’t. there are millions of crows where i live. maybe i ought to loo at them a little closer. thanks.

  3. Texasjo says:

    I can relate. Wrote about Monty the mouse in my birdfeeder…I chased him away…was glad when he returned…I chased him again…one day he was dead..I gave him a good funeral because I had witten a good story about him which got so many different comments from writers it made me realize how every one sees things differently. He has become metaphor for my life now.
    I’m writing about my years from one to five, to make into a prose poem…didn’t we see things differently all along the way? The truth is the truth, however, and even if I study science, I feel and know the presence of God. If only I had listened better.

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