Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Things You Might Ask David Lynch

My friend Insa and I once concocted an elaborate plan for a performance piece in which we would attend lectures and readings by famous writers and intellectuals and would stand in line at a mic for the Q&A portion of the event. When we got to the mike, we would ask three possible types of questions:

1. A Question that Isn't A Question, but A Long Story about ourselves

2. A Question that Isn't a Question but a Fawning Praise of the Speaker (wrapped in a long story about ourselves)

3. A Question that IS A Question, but is So Obscure and Meaningless that it Causes the Audience to Contemplate their Own Morality as They Sit Waiting, Desperately, for a New Question

Needless to say, we never performed the piece. Why not, you may ask? Because every Q&A I've been to already has these three characters. I guess we could have exaggerated it a bit for affect, but I'm no performer. I prefer to be present in my words.

So here are some of the questions that DID get asked in Fairfield at the David Lynch weekend, where the venerable filmmaker spoke at TM, or Transcendental Meditation:

Q: (Incomprehensible question about TM and filmmaking), I would like to make a film about TM. Do you have any suggestions for people who want to make the transition to film.

David Lynch: (Long rambling answer with no suggestions)

Q: I've been trying to think about something that is closer to my own understanding that could have a similar effect to the type of meditating you're talking about. And I thought, well, what about napping? I do it for 15-20 minutes, and I wake up really refreshed and ready to take on the world.

David Lynch: Meditation is lively, it's not like sleep. Napping doesn't engage your whole brain the way meditation does. Napping won't make you reach a state of infinite bliss. If a nap could unfold your entire human potential, it would be the same thing.

Real Important Question: Mr. Lynch, with all of the problems in the world, political unrest, genocide, people starving, how can one person meditating in Iowa help foster world peace?

David Lynch: You have to envision the world as a tree. Our world has drooping branches and lots and lots of dying leaves. Right now, we are going leaf by leaf by leaf. You get a green leaf and 30 other leaves are brown behind you. The experienced gardener doesn't worry about the leaves. He waters the root. We always say water the root and enjoy the fruit. In the root being watered, the root is transcending.

Q: I'm a theater student at the University of Iowa. (Long story about his experiences as a theater student at Iowa). Could you give me some limitations that I could use as a writing prompt for my next play? I know I'm putting you on the spot here.

David Lynch: Huh?

Q: Limitations, like things that have to appear in a scene.

David Lynch:

Blue Electric Clouds
Bowling Ball in Space Filled with Red Ants
Opossum with a Clown Nose
Buick with 15 16-year-olds
Roy Orbison on the stage with Moby, Donovan, and Christobel

Q: (Incompressible story about how the practitioner came to TM) Mr. Lynch, I want to make a film about TM.

David Lynch: That's just beautiful.

Special thanks to Dave Henderson, who contributed this TMZ-worthy photo of David Lynch passing in front of his own event sign.

1 comment:

roric said...

Q&As at events are generally embarrassing for everybody involved. That said, I like to tag along with my boss when he meets visitor groups, where it's usually a bunch of students or average constituents, just for the Q&A. In that context it's interesting. Of course there are petty questions sometimes, but nothing along the lines of: Why don't you wear a flag pin?