Oct 5, 2014

trying not to count the days

.

i am awake and alone inside a silent house.  the light is beautiful and i had no bad dreams.

i booked a room at The Jane in new york for a few days in mid october before heading up to Montreal and then back down to Vermont for the residency.  less than 2 weeks now until i board my plane.  last week, i was full of excited anxiety and it was incredibly hard to go to work. this week, i'm calm.  i'm trying not to think about it much, only in terms of what needs to be handled before i leave my life here in Oakland for 6 weeks-  the packages that need to be shipped, the day i'll need to spend at the DMV replacing my lost driver's license, bill payments that need to be scheduled, etc etc.  when i start thinking about anything beyond these types of regular responsibilities, my blood runs too hot too quickly and i return to that semi-afraid state of elation that finds me so easily at the mere mention of travel.

but this is more than travel.  this is Time.  it's been years since i've had the time to just curl up with a book for three days straight if i want to.  it's been years since i've had the time to curl up with a drawing for three days straight if i want to.  it's been years since i've been surrounded by other artists on a daily basis.  not since art school.  and i'll tell ya, hanging out with other artists is what i miss most about that experience.  it's one of the things i'm looking forward to most about going to this residency.  i'll be one of 50 artists and writers.  i'm so excited for the conversations that we're going to have. 

i've been reading Keith Haring's journals the last few days and his descriptions of art school, going to painting class and poetry readings, putting together shows, and his own ideas about his practice are so intoxicating.  i revel in it.  i turn the pages hungrily, grateful for each word and insight.  i'm comforted by his texts, so full of casual language.  that's how i write in my diary.  i am no Anais Nin.  my eloquence finds me after a flood of slang and swear words.  i've always sort of felt bad that my diary is not a place of eloquence.  until now.  perhaps the eloquence is simply of a different variety?  perhaps my aims are totally different, totally my own.  i'm looking forward to traveling with Keith Haring's diary pressed against mine, two of the best travel companions i can think of.  i'm looking forward to walking around new york city and seeing the places he describes in these pages.  those that are still there.  i'm looking forward to going to the Guggenheim for the first time and central park.  funny i've yet to do such quintessentially new york things on past visits. 

but there i go dreaming. :) 

it's important to me to stay put in The Present the next 13 days.  i don't want to slide off into reverie just yet.  i want the realities that surround me.  i want to enjoy the peace and quiet of a slow morning at home before work.  i want to enjoy the sounds of the street and the screech of the train.  i want to enjoy walking in to a neighborhood bar at midnight after a long day at work and seeing my lover sitting on a bar stool waiting for me.  i want to see him turn and smile at me.  i want to hold his face in my hands and kiss it.  and i want to stay in that moment.  i want to laugh with him.  i want to laugh with my friends and fellow waiters and roommates.  i want to enjoy every single thing about the simple goodness of my life right this second and not slip off in to dreams.  the future will find me.  i am creating it.  there is no need today to loll inside such images. there is a need, instead, to be gratefully happy for the day i'm standing in. 

i am a very lucky girl. 

.

Sep 25, 2014

simple

.

today, i bought myself flowers.  big, red daisies.  i don't know their actual name.  i cut their stems and put them in a mason jar.  i put the mason jar on the dresser by the bed.  i listen to patti smith.  i twist thin, soft, black yarn around my crochet hook and sink into a revery about how life once was.  not all my reveries are sad but i allow myself even those that are -  the freedom to mourn, the freedom to be upset, the freedom to feel lonely and singular.  the light was beautiful today and the food i'd bought for myself tasted good.  i walked in the sun, bought myself a new notebook, let my deep scars shine inside of me.  i tried to listen to them.  today, they want to cry.  sometimes, the old aches wake up.  sometimes, the best thing to do is to let them...  to give them their due, to allow for a reckoning, to give them their say.  and so i twist yarn around a hook and listen to car alarms, listen to my laundry tumbling in the dryer, listen to patti smith.  i pour myself a glass of Dr. Loosen Riesling and salivate all over a tiny hunk of Saint Auger blue cheese. i allow myself these pleasures, these luxuries, so distant incongruous to the life i once lived.  i allow myself this moment.  i allow myself to be silent, to stop the performance of so many things, to free myself from the cage of constant smiling.  i lay on my bed in front of the small electric fan and twirl my hair.  today, i am grateful for it all, everything that has happened even though my spirit lowers its feathers to hide its diamonds. despite the anvil of memory, today was new.  and tomorrow so shall be.  

.

i just love her. :)


Sep 18, 2014

always david

.




he is almost an instinct of mine.  in my alcohol-fueled lethargy, i began to quiz myself over the relevance of art...  what it means, what my art means and whether or not it even matters.  this is an aggravating little game artists play with themselves, it seems, but in the moment it really hurts.  it hurts to ask yourself, "is art meaningless?"  it's so close to asking whether or not life is meaningless.

and maybe it is.  maybe life is meaningless.  maybe art's role is to provide the meaning we're all searching for?  or at least an avenue to it.  i don't know.  i just suddenly found myself wondering this evening whether or not i'm defeated...  whether or not i still contain the requisite amount of FIGHT.  despite recent encouragements, i suddenly felt worn out.  

i got out of bed and went to my book case.  i needed another artist.  i needed a mentor.  i needed someone to tell me that everything is okay and to pull my shoulders back and fuck what the rest of the world thinks.  my eyes flowed across my collection of art books.  so many volumes of kiki smith's work, louise bourgeois, keith haring, andy warhol.  i paused at francesca woodman.  i paused again at terrence koh.  then i came across a book i forgot i had.  a book i hadn't even read yet.  i pulled it from the shelf.  david wojnarowicz's 7 MILES A SECOND. 

the moment i start reading his work i come face to face with the truth that art is a way of life.  i don't need to torture myself with the question of whether or not my work "matters".  what does that even mean?  i don't need to make myself cry about the accomplishments i've not yet made.  art is a path.  or better yet, art is a language.  it is how i speak.

i read his texts and i want to cry.  not only because of the sadness his work so often describes but because of his fearlessness in telling his story, his bravery in regard to confronting the twists of the heart and mind.  his love of humanity was so unapologetic, so humbling...  and so i want to cry when i am confronted with his work:  i am humbled.  i realize, in the face of david wojnarowicz's work, to ask, "does my art matter?" is a waste of time and effort.  just do the work.  just speak.  and even if it's just to speak about something as aggravating as my struggles with my own artistic temperament, that's alright.  i silence myself too quickly sometimes.  i mean, we all need to complain to each other every now and then.  it does us good to know we're not total freaks in this regard.  we all fear our work is total crap...  that how we are choosing to spend our lives is an act of  futility.  david's work reminds me that this is absolutely not the case.  the point is to care enough about the brevity of life to use what time you have to connect the way you want to connect with other human beings.  the point is to breathe as deeply as you can breathe, so deeply it hurts and then to tell the truth about yourself...  the truth that hurts.  the truth that nags and won't stop tossing and turning until you finally acknowledge it exists and needs a space in which to be seen, to be dealt with, to be wrestled with and contended with.

.

Sep 12, 2014

one slow stitch at a time...

.





untitled (i want to hold your face in my hands)
filet crochet curtain
angela simione, 2014




i need a much taller window.  :)

the full text reads: i want to hold your face in my hands but you go on backing away away away.  the text is from a poem i wrote over a year ago that will probably never see the light of day, save for this excerpt.  and i like that...  the secrecy of it...  which is very much what this work is about. i like the idea of hanging my secrets in the window, allowing the light of day to use the twists and turns of my private thoughts (and the hook that has given them shape) to make shadows sigh and heave on the adjacent wall.  i like the tease of it.

this piece taught me a lot.  it's still teaching me.  not merely about the method of production and where i failed and where i succeeded in using it, but also how i want to use light and shadow as materials themselves...  transparency...  absence and presence.  in this regard, this method is very much like drawing.  the emptiness of the page is just as important as the mark.  it's poetry.  the things that aren't said add weight to what is.

it's hung up in the window of my bed and i stare at it for a little while every day.  i finished it over a week ago and i'm still so bowled over by it.  it's a new "first step".


.