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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sewing the Black Ribbon

What to talk about?Making art sometimes flows so easily, it's finding some materials and putting them together according to some of pattern/order/configuration that I make up as I go along. It's a constant dialogue of when to do this, start this, stop this, it's immediate and intuitive and this is what leads to my best work. When I take time and think about things I start to get lost, doubt creeps in, so when I start to flail creatively, it's a sign I need to step away. So I'm trying to do this, to follow this mode of making. I think being away from the actual making for 2 weeks was far too long, I need to always be working on something, that's what is best for me, the best means to access that conversation that issues forth from my purest self. Balance I guess.

It's like writing this blog, I seem to feel most assuaged when I write nonstop, when I just keep going as a stream of consciousness, at minimum it empties out, orders, streamlines the thoughts milling about upstairs. My elevator does go all the way to the top but gets stuck there sometimes, the in and outflow are not well synchronised. So my mind has been blank, my well of creativity is overdrawn, somewhat, I got excited sewing the black ribbon together, and when I rearranged the bottle caps according to colours I felt excited then too, it was soothing, satisfying even. So these are the moments i am learning to notice, then to hear and then to understand as markers of ideas that can take me places.

It is what I hope my art can do too. I may not have the voice, the soothing words, the context wherein I once dwelt, but this new one as a practising artist (the words sound strange) is another way to channel my desire to make a good difference in the word, to astonish people, to simultaneously demonstrate that i have not only seen and/ or heard and/or felt but I have understood. Making concrete the thought trails, the myriad trails broken in my brain many of which remain vital to my survival (redundant???). Pioneering my own brain is interesting, maybe only to me but I am thinking it's the only way I can get through, never around. Mining my neural net for gems, precious metals, or not so precious ones yet useful practical metals! we are all elements each of us a conglomerate of elements in modules of same, yet each unique, each with our distinctive properties of bonding, volatility, natural state: gas, liquid, solid. I understand electricity, currents flowing along the most direct path, always, always finding a way to complete a circuit. This is what I seek, to complete my circuit, to be whole. Is this why the circle resonates so much? Why much of my art is or alludes to circles and circuits and spirals. I think the spiral is closest, and what nature emulates most , and I am a creature of nature, yes?

Why on my recent trip seeing the shells, my fascination with them, the patterns of scales on the fish, the turtles, all very soothing and humbling - nature has all of the ideas. Growth rings, calcification, as we age just as I can see in older shells, the individuality becomes more marked, scarring, historical markings, each of us is our own biography - written, held in our bodies. The memories I can't recall still exist, stored somewhere in my body, perhaps for future reference, mayhap not. Maybe the blanks will never be filled. Calligraphy of memories.


  1. "Nature has all the ideas..." I'm with you on this. I love the opening image to your blog, the way they stand in the water, dark, peaceful, strong. Maybe even defiant. You remind me I have some (perhaps overly literal) metaphors from nature to my mental health pending for future blog entries....

    "another way to channel my desire to make a good difference in the word, to astonish people, to simultaneously demonstrate that i have not only seen and/ or heard and/or felt but I have understood." Me too. Since childhood I planned, indeed studied for and started, a career to 'save the world,' or at least the global environment. Had to step back from that, scale down from global (in the Clinton administration) to local (teaching dance in DC public schools, studying to be a counselor). Then had to step back from that, too. Stepped wayyyy back, but now stepping forward again through the art.

  2. Stepping forward, it's a good image. Thank you. We save the world a tiny piece at a time when we share our wounds, then pick our corner and fight for it.

    Dance sounds wonderful, an artist friend of mine reaches such freedom and self-love when she dances - as I hope you do.