Republished from May 26, 2017
Since last September, my life has thrown me one punch after another.
The savior, which blocked the punches or made them not hurt as much, is my work.
My intentions for doing and for which I have been punched have all been greater than how they were received.
If I have dreamed of some glistening ideal, none of those dreams have even shown me a glimmer of spidery-webby
Faith? Well, how does it work?
Do you know how many times I have thought of ending it all within the last months? For one simple reason: to extricate myself from problems that have no solution. From the burdens I carry for which there is no service, no person, including myself, to free me. Where do people go when the confusion is so dense that seemingly no exit appears?
The wonder that is my work disappears as I am making it for I am always remembering that something else to do is coming next. And how will I ever get there?
Finishing, finishing, finishing. Ensuring that the perfection of any piece is not that perfect. Imperfect. Slightly off. Peculiarly human. This woman human drew those lines. Painted those brush strokes.
Who on earth ever gave artists the idea that perfection is mandatory? Why was that a lesson? Guess it had to be back when painting was executed on panels with quick-drying egg tempera or oil paint. I mean we gotta think about Memling and da Vinci and those countless artists whose works line the Renaissance Galleries in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
So given that imperfection is acceptable, why do I think often that it is not?
Because I hear these voices coming from someone standing behind me that I am making art that no one will like, that no one will pay any attention to because it doesn’t measure up to what that male artist did, the one who is financially successful and can coast through the rest of his life without a care in the world.
I do the work as I see fit anyway. In the afternoon. I drink my power smoothie that leaves green gunk in the glass when I am done and following that I eat an entire chocolate bar, one of the kind that has an image of one of the endangered species on the label.
While doing the art, my mind swims in another state. Sometimes, my body responds to how difficult reaching up to the top of large drawings is. Stand on a stool, silly; no? Ok, go ahead, make it hard on yourself. You are almost done with this section anyway.
Sure this blog writing resembles a personal piece that should be recorded in a journal. But my purple, lined page journal is filled with meaningless chatter; if you call “I AM UNHAPPY,” meaningless. Large letters. The only words on the page.
In a black book, brand new, I have begun to write poetry. “Poetry is the record of the last thought,” as Allen Ginsberg said once in an interview. Oh, so many last thoughts. Oh, so many words evoking the mind of one sad sack. Ridden with exhaustion. Ridden with uncertainty. Ridden with the next thing and then the next and the one thing after that. Which only can be known when the first thing is confronted and seized and done something with.
My struggle is with how do I leave my house of thirty-eight years into which I have poured tens of thousands of dollars and love and grunting. And where I raised my son.
Where is my heart?
Where is my soul?
Reflections. Memories. Bad ones, Great ones. Nonetheless memories.
Of the repercussions of mistakes. Of the hardships of the repercussions of the repercussions.
Of the bitterness. The strain of extruding all the poison from my system.
Where do I need to be? Here? There?
Follow the money?
Find the money?
Follow the people? What people?
Just be a goddamn mensch.
Open the opportunity doors.
Are these words revealing more than they need to? Are they revealing secrets no one else needs to know?
The jostling of thoughts to form into words here requires a kind of energy that jettisons in a direction that is unlike any other.
Even though it seems I am baring my soul for the moment; really I have launched into an effort to relieve my anxieties. Anxiousness is a terrible affliction; a melding of the mind and the body that implodes, rattles, tears one apart, and whose amelioration necessitates the imposition of calm, and peace. Floating away from the materiality of doing into a cloud of restfulness and that ol’ standby, The breath.
What I thought I knew years ago was that I would act out my life in the picture that my parents constructed for me. So far, trying to do that has caused nothing but pain because I washed my brain of the idea, realizing that its truth was false. And what remains is the creation of my own life. The miseries associated with that life.
The gardens are beautiful. Wet. Wet. Wet.
Not one time do I go outside and is it delightful. The ticks walk on my body into the house with me.
I retreat to my studio. I retreat to my comfort. Of smoothies and chocolate bars.
I long for my son, I long for a family. I long for the parents I did not have.
This is about art. These words concern where my art comes from. These words are another way to express the golden mean of sanity.