“Feel” Project Part 4: Don’t We Usually “Feel” Neutral and When We Do It Actually Makes Us Closer to the Universe?

What are you trying to say?
What are you trying to say?
What are you trying to say?

I’m not trying to SAY anything, I’m trying to FEEL feeling itself and share that feeling.

FEEL feel FeEl FEEl feeL feEL feEl fEel
FEeL FeEL Feel f-e-e-l


Feeling as expressed through facial expression. I am mostly neutral-faced when using the internet.

Am I neutral feeling? What is a neutral feeling? To feel default? Defelt? Neutral. Phonetically similar to natural. Neutral colors are earthy tones, more muted, though often conjures up gray for me. Colors and feelings. Angry as red. Sad as blue. Disgust as green. Fear as purple. Joy as yellow. Pixar as inspiration. Surprise as orange?

So often we’re defined by our emotions even though emotions can be viewed as deviations from a neutral state of being which is likely our most common state of being. But who the fuck remembers the neutral hours? The times they felt neither one way nor another?

There’s a quote I once saw shared on Brain Pickings that had to do with something similar to this. I can’t remember or find it. Conducted some unsuccessful internet quote-sourcing hunts. It was something like: it is in the uneventful moments we are made or those quiet days are the ones that define us or something like that. It sticks with me because when you think about the process of memory and identity and how we transmute our experiences into works of art, we’re typically mining the most significant stuff which would be the strongest emotions or clearest lack of emotion. Not a common nonemotion of neutralness.

Yet that’s what we experience the most. It would be like writing a whole book dedicated to the word THE (which I tried doing once). It’s the most commonly used word in English. Yet it’s totally neutral. It serves the same purpose whether it’s articling for The Best (yay positive) or The Worst (boo negative) and doesn’t seem to make any judgements one way or another. In a way, The is like the indifferent universe. In a way, we are like the indifferent universe experiencing itself, most especially when we are feeling as neutral as a body of gases and liquids held together by gravity. If this inspires awe, then you’ve lost that beautiful universe. I don’t see any stars dropping their jaws at the thought or sight of other stars.

Think I got off track there. It’s almost tragic but not really. What if we were defined by these most common moments and emotional non-states? That’s where most of my life lives. What if it was a movie about shades of neutral emotions. Emotions can’t be neutral? An Invisibilia episode introduced me to a model of thinking about emotions that says emotions are “concepts” that are ascribed to the pre-concept feelings of pleasure, pain, excitement, and calmness. Pleasure and pain being the positive/negative valences and excitement and calmness being the level of arousal.

This brings to mind some title ideas:

  • This Needless Neutral Feeling
  • I Feel Like a Forgotten Meme
  • I Feel Like
  • I Feel Neither One Way Nor Another
  • I Feel

On a few other notes, I found these last night:

Cute designs, catchy concept, and pretty smart since it lets consumers buy the right kind of chocolate based on their mood, which I notice is a popular motivator for grabbing a bar.

On an internet-related note, I discovered this song in my Discover Weekly.

Can You Talk to People Around the World on the Internet by Hot DadFunny, I like the tune, and it gave me a shot of inspiration that this musician and is making music like this and other ridiculous, meme-y jams that occupy a near-Wurtzian musical-meme-comedy space like “I Really, Really, Really Like This Image,” “Philip DeFranco,” “I Should Have Made a Song About Fidget Spinners,” an album about TV shows, and an album about pro wrestlers.

I needed this feeling of “internet-based creative type” weirdo kinship. I had a rough day, almost completely oversleeping and sprinting to catch my train with a pounding headache after not getting much sleep. This displeasure primed me to feel down about this project’s prospects, why I can’t just make some hashtag relatable short-form millennial-friendly pseudo-aphorism content on brightly-colored backgrounds that I could sell to Penguin Random House and get invited to do presentations about creativity, why people my age are getting married, why I can’t make any good MEMES, and why these previous two concerns hold such equal weight for me.

I experience a flurry of doubt and resistance with all my projects. If my first “creative project” in this vein was Hand It: The Hand Gesture Manual, I’m in my fifth year proper of doing creative projects outside school or work. That’s not such a long time relatively speaking but my creative projects, especially the written works, have felt like the defining part of my life in this time span. At this point I don’t have a real “audience” to speak of outside supportive friends. I don’t want to diminish the support of my friends because I am incredibly grateful to the people I know who seem to enjoy my work and support it. It helps keeps me going and blows my mind since I know how many creative things out there compete for all of our attention. Luckily I have a full-time job and am not dependent on these things to make a living but it begs the question of how long can I continue doing this kind of stuff in obscurity. It feels like an inflection point in which if I want a bigger audience, I need to do things that are more mainstream and attractive to more people. It’s discouraging in a sense because I feel like I “can’t” do it but it’s also discouraging that I can’t just totally embrace my quirks and follow my weird to the ends of the earth.

These projects are almost as nourishing to me as eating so I’m going to keep doing them, and I enjoy eating alone, but I’m getting lonely and want to find more people to share meals with. I’ve mentioned before how I want all my projects to have some element of interactivity and conversation with it and doing this stuff can make me feel like I’m just talking to myself.

This project blog is just going to turn into a moth joke with less humor and no punchline.

This is Part 4 of “Feel” Project Behind-the-Scenes Blog.

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