Monday, December 14, 2009

seven months in animated suspension

. . . and the next thing you know, your entire world falls careening from the sky . . . or no, wait, maybe the perspective is completely upturned and your whole world rises gracefully spiraling upward. Sometimes, the way we look at the events in our life misleads us. Our focus is on what's missing rather than on what spaces have recently opened up around us, allowing new growth to occur. Sometimes we create the open spaces ourselves because the overgrowth, untended for so many years, has started to choke the life out of us, and our last resort is to clear it all away.
. . . I guess in a way, that's been my process the last few months. Without mucking around in the dirt (-y details), I'll just say that my life has changed considerably in the last few months. My relationships have changed, my habits changed. My teaching is the same, though actually a little better since I am leaning so heavily these days on the familiarity of it, and the sense of confidence I get from it. But every other relationship has changed, as has my physical environment.
. . . and I guess what I really want to write in this entry is a question. How do we remain tethered (and I mean the good kind of tethered, the grounded kind) to our identities, our true artistic and creative selves, our spiritual selves, when everything we are familiar with is gone? When all faces are new and we've put aside the comfort of the familiar in order to find something better for the second half of our lives--a truer sense of self, a clearer vision of what we've wanted for so many years, and the courage to take that path to find it? When an artist decides to walk away from her secure, familiar place because she has examined her life and sees that place as creatively oppressive and draining, and instead walks toward the unknown, the unpredictable, and the last thing she feels like doing is making art (because it's soul-baring--soul-flaying-- and fills her with more fear of the unknown), how does she get past that?
. . . nothing left to blame my reticence on now. I've changed my world so that I can fully engage and explore my artist self. I can't very well say now that I can't engage and explore because I've changed my life. A bit too convenient, don't you think? And a bit cowardly.
. . . so that's it for now. A question. A pause to consider parameters, or the lack of such.

Monday, May 4, 2009

. . . but we need poetry

Someone once said I should be careful about putting my unpublished poems on my blog. Yeah-so?

Here's one for you, as I perceive it, because otherwise the world doesn't make any sense:

The Anatomies

The possibility of a world without shadows
terrifies her. Trees floating without anchors,
the position of the sun persisting mysteriously.

Ground was meant to bear weight, the heft of objects,
of oak, madrone, pickup trucks, oil rigs,
people maybe. The anatomy of shadow connects

with the anatomy of light, two disciplines in her mind,
but of the same mother, like art and science
providing a strategy for the existence of things.

Careful when she sketches the hemisphere’s curve,
the convergence of depth where orthagonals meet,
she arrests all points at the horizon.

Line is all-important to me, whether it be an orthogonal line or the turn of a line of poetry. Line is the boundary we create, a matter of form, or in the flatter sense of the word, shape.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

And Then Came Maude

Bea Arthur. That incredibly low voice . . ."Oh Walter," . . . that dry sense of humor . . . . . I always thought you had the coolest hair ever. In the 70's when I first saw Maude, I saw in you my mom and most of the women she worked with--strong and self-possessed. What an awesome role-model you were.
Thanks Bea Arthur . . . the world is soooo going to miss you.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

plugged back in

Indeed. We gave the grand "internet-free home" experiment a hardy try. And now we're done with that and have re-entered the 21st century. For a while it wasn't too difficult to find access. Cafes, friends' homes, work. But I'm barely good at the internet here, readily accessible in my living room, let alone in places I need to get to. So, to all of you who expected responses to your emails, to facebook entries, etc. . . . lo siento. I can be better, faster, more in tune with the current! Talk to you soon.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

a teasing taste of spring

Well . . . ? Is it spring or not? I have to ask myself when I ride my bike out in the country and notice blossoms drifting off trees in February and I can't help but wonder if all this warm weather is going to confuse the trees as much as it's confusing me? Will there be blossoms left when they're supposed to be here? In April/May? I haven't moved to another part of the country or world and I have certain expectations about what spring will bring here in California. So what? Is there nothing left to count on?
What I can count on? Not so much, maybe--except that I've always gone back to one thing and it's always been there for me. Art. Or maybe I should say my relationship to art. Even if I'm not making art, I need it around me. Pictures satisfy me. Disturb me, yes, and they should. Inspire me, sometimes. When I look at certain drawings or paintings--and I mean really look at them and see them--it's like my soul exhales. Mostly it's powerful color combinations and interactions that do this, but here's a B&W picture by T.H.Benton that does it as well--both because of subject matter and composition. Sometimes when I look at his work I notice my body swaying with the movement of his lines. Pretty cool thing.

So there's a constant.

Another constant is the way I feel when I go into the woods to visit old crone redwoods. Pogonip in Santa Cruz . I suggest you try it sometime. There's a good path that takes you through redwoods, across a meadow and past an old polo ground. Not for bikes--only boots. And a walking stick if you're like me and your knees need a little support down the hills.

Or you can find your epicenter at Nicene Marks. Some places are for bikes and others are for boots. Who knows--a trip there might help if you have constancy issues. Maybe it'll feel okay that things aren't supposed to be constant.