Mar 30, 2015

Beginning...

Strange to be laying here like this, staring at the ceiling, hardly able to move, and thinking of the plane I am supposed to get on the day after tomorrow. I didn't think I'd pushed myself too hard but I guess I did. I'm trying to not let my disappointment get the better of me... The cancelled dinner plans, the people I am unable to go see, the hours I must spend in bed.  I'm trying to just breath, just relax, just feel gratitude for this day, despite pain, and recognize my great luck in this world. For however rough the start, the adventure has begun. It is here.

Freya dropped off a huge suitcase on wheels to me this morning. Annie is on her way to fold my remaining clothes in to it.  Brian shipped boxes of my art to my sister this afternoon.  The bathroom still needs to be cleaned and a box of odds and ends needs to be set out on the curb, but the bulk of the work is done.  I must find a way to relax. I must let go of disappointment and tell my body that I love it. I must care for it. I must stop the chorus in my head that goes on and on about how horrible this is. I must be bright. The future is wide open.

If I was in a better physical state right now I'd be feeling quite sentimental.  I'd want to take pictures of the sky. I'd want to write dreamily in my diary of all my hopes and wishes for the road ahead. I'd write about watching clouds being cut by an airplane's wing and hearing sad trumpets weep in New Orleans. I'd spent a bit of time tearing down my large sheets of Rives BFK and wondering what I might draw during this great voyage across the United States...

I can wonder and I can be excited for the adventure ahead. Though I must be gentle with myself, I can still experience my absolute exhilaration about embarking on a path I've yearned for for so long. I can be strong in other ways today.

Mar 29, 2015

3 days

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sifting through pages, the never-ending pile of papers, the abandoned manuscript(s), the poetry collection, paragraphs cut up, rearranged and taped back together again;  a mangy, coffee stained scroll.  gorgeous.  i tuck it into the box that holds my diaries.  i close the lid.  i close my eyes against the sting of tears.  how badly i want to lay around today and read these things.  especially with my back such a stiff mess of pain.  later.  another day.  one fine day, it'll be such a gift when this box comes back home to me.  for now, a hard patience.  for now, a closed lid.  for now, vicodin and ice. i'm hopeful that tomorrow i won't need the crutch of this little opiate but today i do.  the injury wins.  i am a snail.  i do what i can 20 minutes at a time and then i reward myself with 20 minutes on ice.  i must finish the task of sorting, boxing, throwing out and making way.  yesterday, such an existential crisis about clothes.  i looked in my closet and thought, "who am i going to be now???  i'm paving the way for someone new.  will this new girl still need this sequin jacket???" ha!  i  leave clothes on the street.  they disappear quickly.  more sketches and half finished drawings find their way in to the recycle bin.  suddenly i hate all my earrings and i leave them in a big pile on the kitchen table for whomever may want them.  i pawn off my nail-polish and perfume on my roommate, sara.  i pawn off my big binder of cds on my roommate, ben.  i'm sure i'll find something to pawn off on seth too.  i leave a silk pocket square hanging on his door-knob.  what to do with these old rosaries?  what to do with this huge mirror?  what to do with the ache in my heart?  this old red trumpet that wants to blare and blast and scream.  dear friends, what am i without your hands on my shoulders?  i am going to miss everyone so much.  i close my eyes against the sting of tears.  my 20 minutes are up.

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Mar 24, 2015

i'll be your blade

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that scene in Gia where Angelina Jolie is freaking out, afraid of her surroundings, afraid of the world and all the assholes who inhabit it: "You can't just take someones knife when they need it!"

i pulled my Francesca Woodman book from the stack of books meant to ship to my sister's house later this week, a book i've slept with and needed near even if i wasn't looking at it.  some sort of balm.  some sort of knife.

objects go in to boxes.  boxes cover the kitchen floor.

a maze of piles.  piles and piles and piles.  all the trappings and papers and matchsticks of a life.  it isn't detritus, this build up.  these objects have significance.  i think of the shoes i must soon sell and i close my eyes.  i don't want to think of it just yet.  the other half of my book collection too, must be sold off.  i put my diaries in a box.  8 years on paper.  i couldn't bring myself to tape the lid shut yet.  i pulled Aase Berg's poetry collection 'With Deer' from the stack destined for the used bookstore.  "not this one", i whisper.  a balm, a knife to keep at my side.

but let me be honest: i wasn't much help today.  mostly, i pointed from my place in bed, laying on an icepack.  i've been locked in bed the passed three days.  today, at least i could stand.  today, at least i could walk.  slowly, but i could do it.  another round of drama with my damn iffy disk and, can i just say, the timing is absolutely awful.  the only thing that would've been worse is if this had happened the night before we head to the airport.  still, it's far less than ideal.  i missed my last three nights of work at my restaurant.  not only are there the lost wages and tips i'm thinking of but, more importantly, i didn't get to say goodbye the way i wanted to.  i tell myself that maybe it's better this way.  no ooshy gushy, tear-laden au reviour. but i know i'm wrong.  it's not better this way.  there are people i want to hug.  there are smiles i want to see. and for however selfish or paranoid it may be, i don't want to go out being thought of as fragile, as a victim.  i hate the way pity feels.  this moment, this entire event is supposed to be one of staunch focus and bravery.  i hate that it is being tempered now with the inconvenient fragility of my body.  i hate it.

let me sip this beer.

there are pleasures to keep.  despite the pain of my particular ailment, i've enjoyed the very rare opportunity to just lay in bed and spend the day reading.  it isn't a luxury that i have often these days.  i finished Kate Zambreno's 'Heroines' and want to write a huge response to it here but i need to digest it a bit more first.   i need to calm down a bit. i'm having such an emotional, nostalgic reaction to it.  it brought me back to aspects of my life as it was 4 or 5 years ago, an era i choose not to dwell upon very often.  an era i've chosen not to write in detail about here but her book has made me rethink that stance entirely.  there are memories that should be set to paper.  there are stories that should float in this electric ether.  i keep thinking about my mother tossing her journal pages into a large aluminum coffee can on the back porch and setting them on fire.  i saw her do it on several occasions there at the house on Frontier Avenue.  there is no personal writing of hers left.  none.  i have a few cute notes she scribbled and that's it. a birthday card here and there, nothing else.  that's the way she wanted it.  that's the way it is.

but i'm not her and she's not me.  despite her big Angelina Jolie lips, i've got a much bigger mouth than she had.  i wake up talking and there's no one left to disown me anyway.  having any fear of family retribution is ridiculous.  it's simply not in the cards and there are stories within this family that deserve to be told.  there are stories that have been denied a voice for far too long.  there are stories that could be a balm for someone else, that could lay like a knife at their side.

part of this act of writing (of making art) is to build one another up, to lend each other a bit of steam.  at least for me it is.  the lineage we create, how we talk to each other across time and space.  i lay in bed this morning looking up at my big drawings on the wall to my left of The Bell Jar's book covers. i looked at them and wondered: is there any way she could have known how affective her book would be that a girl would make huge drawings of its cover and tape them to her bedroom wall?  there is no way she could've know that, let alone trusted it, but we must trust our lineage.  we create it.  anyone can be a member.  anyone can add their voice to the chorus. 

i think of all this as i point at this and that and say which box what goes in to.  i think of all this as i secretly wrap my mama's old aprons around christmas ornaments and hide them in boxes labeled ART.  :)  i think of my nephew and the lineage i can open a window to if i just keep writing, if i refuse to choose silence.  i think of him and want to be a sort of balm, a knife laying at his side...

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Mar 22, 2015

of death and shame

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i write about my mother a lot here.  i suppose it's one of the only places where i feel i can.  i don't feel guilty for bringing it up here, the subject of her death and death in general.  i don't feel ashamed of my big emotions here.  i can have them, loud and unruly behind the ineffectual whiteness of the screen.  no one knows if i am crying or not.  everyone can imagine whatever face they prefer for me to wear.  or they can look away.  many people have and i don't begrudge them for that.  it's been 4 years. eventually, people want to hear about something else. 

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i just re-read that paragraph and feel that it is a half-truth.  i often feel guilty about how much i write about my mother's death.  the last several posts here are specifically about that and i'm sure the majority of posts i've made during the last 4 years since her death are about it too or at least reference it in someway.  i look at my blog sometimes and back away from it because i don't want to be that girl who's droning on and on about her dead mama, about her broken heart, about the tragic twists of her life.  but why not?  why am i ashamed?  this shame is, perhaps, the thing that has made blogging so hard in recent years.  for awhile there i seemed to only manage the courage for it when i was drunk and disgusted with the world, drunk and disgusted with myself.  and for a moment, even i was afraid of those outbursts.  i started wondering if i'd fallen it to that weird literary alcoholism where one believes they can only write if they've had a few drinks.  i'd read back over my posts the next afternoon and feel the knife of shame in my gut but i wouldn't erase any of it.  i wanted to let it stand.  i wanted to be brave enough to endure my shame.  also (dangerously), i was attracted to being a bit of a mess, repulsive.  i was at odds with so many things and i wanted to force the issue of my pain, my disappointment, my revulsion.  i also thought the writing was simply that damn good.  i was willing to scare relatives and friends and the mothers of friends that i was in the midst of a total breakdown.  it wasn't the intention of the writing.  not at all.  but if it was the result, so be it.  i was trying to say something true.

and maybe i was unravelling a bit too.

of course i was.


2008, graduated from college.
2008, decided to end my relationship with my father.
2008, moved to Calistoga and absolutely hated it.
2008 - 2009, explored the possibility that maybe i was bipolar simply due to the fact that i could not get along in my new surroundings. this was encouraged by my partner at the time.
2009, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
2010, her cancer metastasized.
2011, my mother died.  i was 30 years old.
2011, left Calistoga and moved back to Oakland.
2012, left a 7 year relationship that had been sexless for the last 3.



there's a lot in there to fall apart about.  of all those things, my mother's death is the only thing i've really written about.  at first, her death just made everything else seem so small and irrelevant.  it was the biggest, most obvious horror.  maybe it was also the most acceptable thing to write about, despite the overwhelming public discomfort surrounding death.  no one really writes about the trauma of sexual neglect.  at least not in the first person.  not that i've seen.  and not from the female perspective of being denied touch and how wounding that is.  i'd be very interested in reading a text about that if anyone knows of something.  and i'm still afraid to write about certain things, despite just sharing that secret.  i'm afraid i'm going to make some sort of horrible, unforgivable transgression if i write about a past relationship, if i write about my father, if i tell the truth of what really happened, if i tell the whole truth about my mother, her marriages, our family, our undoing, our pain.  despite my bravery, i still sometimes feel stopped.  i censor myself.  i don't want to dump lemon juice on the wounds of others.  one of my biggest fears is hurting other people- a fear that has derailed the lives and selves of so many people.

thankfully, the only member of my family that reads here with any regularity is my sister.  at least that i'm aware of.  all my relatives on my mother's side, curious about my life as an artist, stopped reading here once the drunken 3am posts took over as the norm.  long gone are the days of beautiful paragraphs about running with my dog down highway 128, through orange and red leaves, squirrels lobbing acorns at us from the tall trees, the scent of the vineyard crush filling the air.  so idyllic.  at least if that's all anyone knows, and that was all anyone knew for a very long time about my daily life in calistoga.  i never let on about what a tortured, ignored, untouched "housewife" i'd become.  i was so ashamed of myself and the deterioration i'd allowed to happen to my own life, my own dreams.  i was ashamed of finding myself in a scenario that so horribly resembled my mother's 2nd marriage: man on the couch watching tv, woman reading a book in the other room.  i remember so clearly the night i drunkenly confessed the sin of my sexlessness to my friend, Anne, while puking in the toilet at a mutual friend's house after having gone out and had one too many greyhounds.  at that point, i'd been single about 7 months and no longer felt a responsibility to shield my ex from judgement.  the reality of what my previous life and relationship had been burned within me, an awful dirty secret.  in that moment, my shame burst forth along with all the booze i'd consumed and whatever i'd eaten that day.  unstoppable.  the next afternoon, hungover and dazed by the night's events, i felt embarrassed but also free.  someone knew.  someone knew my dirty secret and they didn't sneer at me.  she sympathized and rubbed my back.  i looked at the crust of vomit on my sequin jacket, called myself "a mess", and went home and wrote about it in my diary.

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there were more deaths than just my mother's.



there are more deaths than just the physical.


perhaps i did "act out".
perhaps i still act out.
i won't allow another death to occur where there should be only one.
i won't be another girl burning her papers on the back porch, afraid of their power to incriminate.


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Mar 21, 2015

grasping and scattering

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it is a strange territory, this place of transition.  a part of me wonders (has been wondering) if it's time to let go of the blog, to let it be an archive of a particular era and move on.  i don't lean on it as much as i once did.  i guess i don't need to.  i am an entirely different person than who i was when i started this blog 8 years ago.  it's hard to believe it's been that long.  it's hard to believe the amount of change my life has undergone in that time.  i look back and feel an almost total lack of connection to who i was when i published my first blog post.  this has become a strange sort of time-capsule.  i never really go back and read it.  maybe one day i will.  just like the diaries.  i very rarely go back through them.  the passed few years have been so much about living and not at all about reminiscing.  i don't want to page back over my life right now.  i'm interested in the view that is opening in front of me.  i am interested in my Future.  i've spent enough time dealing with the Past.

but it's complicated and i can be so inconsistent when it comes to certain things.  i spent an hour reading a diary i kept when i was 23.  it was amazing to read.  i loved flipping through the pages and seeing my handwriting, almost identical to what it looks like now, and reading my complaints and passions, also almost identical to what they are now.  it's funny what remains the same despite growing up, despite leading an entirely different life.  the diary volume felt like such a treasure and i feel lucky to still have it in my possession.  such a window.  such a view.  i know i'll feel the same way about the diaries of the passed few years too.  i'll feel that way about the young days of the blog.  i just don't know what this place is anymore other than a place to cry out in the dark.  it isn't part of the community it once was.  and that's okay.  in some ways i prefer the silence that exists here now.  i never fear my comment box.  i never feel any pressure to blog.  i never feel any eyes on me at all. every time i write here, it's a sudden impulse and not at all governed by rules or expectations.  when i made rules for myself to blog everyday, i was probably a better writer in many regards but i also posted a lot of meaningless shit too.  it's better this way - only posting when i have something i actually want to say - but i silence myself so often.  i don't write here as much as i want.  i'm not sure why i stop myself and the only answer i've come up with is that perhaps i've moved in to a different era of living.  perhaps i don't need to do this anymore?  or at least for awhile.  i'm not sure.  perhaps i need to make myself do it everyday again and wake the impulse i once felt to pound the keys back up.  it's so easy to hide away in my private diary.  it's so easy to close the cover and let my life stay there, stay put, remain safe.  untouched and unknown. 

i've been feeling a strange nostalgia lately from going through all my possessions and getting rid of things.  i put all my nail polish on the kitchen table for my roommates' girlfriends to take.  i pulled all my photographs out of the photo albums which housed them and left the albums on the street corner, too bulky to consider transporting on my month-long adventure across the US to new york.  i put my mother's possessions in a box to send to my sister.  i made a stack of books to send to Jose: Jean Genet and Kathy Acker, a Keith Haring coloring book.  i send texts to friends asking them to come over and pick out what they want.  i sold a third of my book collection the other day and got $200.  i sold a third of my wardrobe and got $100.  i sift through the objects i've lived with for so long and either feel an absolute connection and affinity with them... or nothing at all.  the closer i get to the day we leave, the more i want to just be done with this task and leave everything on the street.  that might just be what ends up happening.  the last time i did this i even left art on the street.  nothing good, nothing i was sad to be without, but even art was left behind to find its own way in the world.  the urge to begin again, to be unfettered.  the instinct to grasp at freedom. 

i've written these types of sentences before.  i've expressed these same sentiments and made similar statements.  i guess it hasn't really been all that long since the last time i moved but i've never made such a big leap. moving across the country is a pretty major thing and it absolutely feels like a new chapter is opening.   a deep sense of calm has found me despite the stress of needing to wrangle the possessions and memories which remain.  i fight the urge to simply let it all scatter in the wind.  some things must be saved.  the diaries especially.  everything else could burn but the diaries need to be kept safe.  maybe that's the biggest perk of keeping a blog- it can't be destroyed.  even if these words are never read, they remain.  my mother burned everything she ever wrote.  there are no poems and no diary entries.  she burned them.  she burned everything she wrote within a few days of scrawling them. she was that paranoid of feeling ashamed of herself.  she was that sensitive.  she was that afraid of her thoughts and words being used against her, of someone else twisting her emotions or statements.  i don't want to be like that.  for however obscure my life is i don't want to obliterate it.  i don't want to erase myself.  this desire to burn it all down, i don't want to share in it. 

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Mar 13, 2015

moving and packing and unpacking and showing

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i keep telling myself that i should be packing but i don't even know for sure what that means or how to begin doing such a thing, let alone WHERE to begin, and i've done this so many times before but this is so much different.  this move is an entirely different experience. 

i secured a little Airbnb studio this evening for our first three weeks in Brooklyn.  that's not long but it's an address.  we have a launch pad and the tickets are bought.  this is happening.  i should be packing.  but what?  what should i be packing???  there are still 3 weeks to go. 

thankfully, i managed to get some art out in to the world so i have far fewer worries in that regard than i did before.  i really didn't want to cart a ton of artwork with me to the other side of the country.  i want to see what new images emerge.  or what old images return.  i want to see what i'll write and what i'll think and what i'll be drawn to, what i'll want to read.  i want to see what types of images and vocabularies i gravitate toward once i set down all these possessions, all these histories and ghosts.  but it's such hard work to make this type of room.  i have to touch everything.  i have to hold these objects in my hands.  i put on old necklaces and look in the mirror.  i try on sweaters i haven't worn in 2 years and consider my reflection.  even the mirror will need a new home.  everything must go.  almost.

there are things that i can't part with, most of which will be shipped to my sister's house in southern california during the next several weeks.  things that belong more to the family than they do to me.  the pictures in the previous post are, by and large, of things my mother owned.  i took these objects from her home when she died.  i filled a cardboard suitcase with things which seemed to bare witness to who see was, things which articulated the indescribable corners of her heart, things that would someday comfort me, someday make me smile.

it's nice that that "someday"  has finally arrived.  i've only looked in the suitcase once before since packing it 4 years ago.  right before i moved here, in to my beloved white room where the reformulation and re-imagining of my life has taken place, i looked inside. i cried.  the sight of these objects carried too much weight.  it broke my heart to look at them.  i couldn't deal with touching them.  it was a happy moment the other evening to come across a picture of my mother as a young woman, to look at her image and smile back at her big grin.  I didn't look at her photo at all for the first 2 years following her death. it derailed me entirely to see her.  i'm thankful that is no longer the case.  i've wanted to be able to look at her for so long.  i've wanted to have her hair and her eyes and her style in my life.  i've wanted to look at her and see the features of my face that AREN'T hers.  i look in the mirror and see so much of her face in mine.  too much.  sometimes i hate looking in the mirror because of it.  i want to see where she ends and i begin.  being able to look at her photograph again is part of that road.  packing and unpacking and coordinating these objects is part of that road.  the exhibition of the "sweaters of death" are part of that road too.

i was very proud last night at the reception to see them hanging together in one place.  i looked at them and decided that they are a single work-  a sculpture.  i do not intend to let the collection be splintered.  i don't want to parse them out.  it is symbolic of a particular era.  it is an act of healing as well as an artwork.  the texts of the individual pieces are too beautiful spinning together in a room, gaining too much poignancy and sensitivity to be splintered.  the collection needs to remain in tact.  it is a diary...  writing that i am proud and privileged to share.










i felt incredibly appreciated and loved last night.  so many friends came out to support my work, to support ME, and to give me a hug while we're still in the same region.  i feel so lucky to be able to share this work as i prepare for a new phase of life.  a chapter is closing.  the people who came to the show last night were present in my life through some of my darkest days.  many of them have seen me cry on the anniversary of my mother's death.  many have gone out dancing and drinking with me when all i wanted and needed in the whole world was a friend to have a bit of fun with.  many have read this blog in the middle of the night when i published hard to read (sometimes scary) drunken rants about my anguish and longing.  for however sad the work itself might be, i am happy it exists.  i am happy to be able to display it so publicly.  and i am happy that it is done.  i'm sure i'll make more sweaters in the future but the subject of that work will be very different.  this "work of mourning" has been carried through.  every stitch is dedicated to my mother and siblings, to my mother's siblings, my grandparents, and to anyone who might draw a bit of comfort from the existence of these black twists of yarn.

this is one way to pack and unpack, i suppose.  :)

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Mar 7, 2015

I LONG FOR YOU WITHOUT END, the collected "SWEATERS OF DEATH" at ATA

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textile art by Angela Simione on view at Artist Television Access Window Gallery, San Francisco CA March 2015

artist reception Wednesday, March 11th, 7-9pm


Statement:

She got sick when I was 29.  When I was thirty, she died.  It was January.  Cold.  I curled up with my crochet hook and I kept my hands busy.

Looking back, I see it as an attempt at repair; each stitch, an act of healing.  A simultaneous meditation and distraction.

In the weeks following her death, I would wake up crying;  a mess of sadness.  I hid myself.  I didn’t want anyone to see me cry but my confused despair was impossible to hide.  I was ashamed of my red eyes.  For as sympathetic as people were, they were equally uncomfortable.  I was deep within the landscape of my mother’s death (and the early confrontation with my own mortality) and I was in it alone.

There are no spaces for these conversations in our culture.  No one wants to talk about death over morning coffee.  Or afternoon coffee.  Or after-dinner drinks.  And after a few weeks, there is a collective pressure for one to bounce back, for the grieving to subside, for a smile to flicker and pull at the corners of one’s cheeks again.  The pressure to resume one’s previous dance, to return to business as usual is torturous.  I couldn’t stand it.  Still, I wore dark sunglasses and waterproof mascara.  I tried hard to contain the mess of my sadness.  I tried to control my tears.  Sometimes, I would suddenly start crying on the street.  Never wailing or sobbing, no bunched up red face, just tears silently running from my eyes.  The dark glasses and waterproof mascara were my preventative maintenance.  They helped me prevent myself from making other people uncomfortable.  They helped me prevent my mother’s death from spilling on to their lives, such an unwelcome topic, such an inconvenient contagion.  They prevented me from embarrassing myself.  Nevertheless, the tears came.  An overflow.  A mode of expression that wouldn’t be denied.  A supplemental voice.

Eventually, I got angry about the silence but I didn’t know where to go to say the things I needed to say.  I didn’t know where to go to find people who were interested in talking about death and its aftermath.  Behind my dark glasses, I was stoic.  Straight-faced.  I marched across this city silently, clad in black and smile-less.  I noticed that no matter what I wore or how I looked, someone was bound to notice me.  It was then that I discovered the power of my body to speak for me, to create an area for discussion and exchange of ideas.   My personal billboard.  My own private gallery wall.  My mobile wailing wall.  

Taking phrases from my personal diary, lines from deeply loved songs, and scattered bits of my own poetry, I began to speak of my mother’s death.  I embedded my longing for her in the clothing I wore.  I broadcast my anguish, my confusion, my loss, my unbelievable anger, and my longing for a reckoning.   I emblazoned my feelings across handmade sweaters, each stitch bearing witness to my silent suffering.  They spoke the words that I couldn’t say without completely falling apart.

Now, 4 years later, the repair that I was attempting feels as if it has largely taken place.  Presented at ATA in their entirely are my “sweaters of death”, a fragmented poem of sorts, my “work of mourning”. 




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Feb 21, 2015

reverie and residue.

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i was feeling all GUNG-HO industrious and shit, pulled out the boxes from the back of the closet, fully intending to throw away whatever was inside in order to make way for a new life, in order to lighten my load and get myself in a new york state of mind.  i pulled back the cardboard covers and found a huge artwork i'd made for my mother-  a deadbed/rosebed i made in the weeks after her death; a huge collection of crocheted roses in varying sizes and shades of red, displayed on a piece of dark red felt on the floor which was cut to the exact dimensions of the bed she died in, a bed which i layed down next to her in and crocheted red roses and lay them on her thin chest the last day she was alive.

there's no fucking way i can get rid of something like that!  there's just no way!  it's impossible!  i texted my sister in a panic because there's also really no way to bring my entire art collection to the east coast (at least not initially) and asked her if she had any space at all in the back of a closet in her house where i could store some art for a time.  sweetheart that she is, she said yes immediately and told me not to get stressed out about this stuff; "i'll make room for whatever you want to keep, sweet sister" she wrote.  i breathed a deep sigh of relief but still this strange anxiety.  it takes a lot out of me to go through these boxes, these memories, these secrets, the evidence of a life...  of lives.

i went through the red suitcase that houses tons of saved photographs and postcards.  there were some old scraps of paper with messy notes to self scrawled across them that i easily tossed in to the recycle bin, and a few books given to me by a long-forgotten acquaintance that i never got around to reading due to sheer lack of interest which are now sitting on the sidewalk in front of my house. then, i came across my 23 page poem-thing/manuscript that i haven't worked on since i left my last relationship.  i shoved it into this suitcase and then the suitcase was shoved into a tiny storage unit where it sat silently for close to a year.  i couldn't bare to read it once i brought it home.  i sifted through the pages tonight, skipping the intensely sad parts, but thinking that i really should go back to it, dive in, see if i can finish the thing...

going through all this...  it's an entire life!  it's who i've been and where i've come from.  it's the residue and evidence of my growth, of my Becoming.  it's the maps i've used.  it's the maps i made for myself with words and images and the sweet postcards that came to me from friends. how do i get rid of these things?  and should i even be trying to do such a thing???  they are not trinkets and baubles, they are meaningful objects.  objects which contain the spirit of a Past, a Family, a Mother, a Daughter, and the puzzle of love and loss. it's a diary.

and then there's THAT.  my diary!  it's humongous!  i've been keeping a daily diary for more than 6 years. i don't even dream of parting with these volumes of scribbles and rants.  not for a second.  but they definitely pose a bit of a predicament for someone who was hoping to move by airplane with two bags of luggage.  hahaha!  that's certainly beginning to seem a bit unrealistic. i'm feeling a bit like Anais Nin right now wondering what the fuck to do with a diary that needs a suitcase all to itself.  :)  i'm glad i still have almost 6 weeks to figure it out but that's not really much time at all.  6 weeks is nothing.

sigh...

and i'm not even complaining.  not at all.  i'm looking forward to this change so much!   i am exhilarated!  i'm ecstatic!  i've been wanting to do this for so long and i am overjoyed that the day when i can hop on a plane with a one-way ticket to new york in my hand is almost here.  and the fact that brian and i are doing this together makes it even better.  i'm so glad that i'm doing this with my best-friend.  now, if i could only find a way to shrink all these things down and make them miniature-sized!   i truly do want to make room for a new life, a new world.

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Feb 17, 2015

i look to the right...

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you fall asleep with your glasses on.

i turn off the movie you suggested.

i make a little film of myself dancing in the mirror:

black dress, swaying hips.

i send the film to jose because it's not out of the ordinary for him to be awake this late.

he sends me a film in return: 

girls dancing in short skirts and my art on his walls.



i should send him more.  what do i need all this art for? 



sometimes i wonder about who i am
vs.  what i was taught...



i think about that a lot lately.

maybe it has something to do with the time of year?  the slant of the sun?`  the yellow cast catches my eye- the way it drips from the leaves, the way it oozes through the blinds.  i think of home...  days when i'd come home from school to find my mother standing in the kitchen, days when i'd drag my body home so begrudgingly...  always feeling at odds, always feeling the pull toward something else, always unable to just get along...


i look at myself in the mirror and i can see that i'm older but i don't feel as old as i am.  really, i feel like i've just begun.  maybe i'm just a late bloomer?  i was simply getting ready all this time.  i was simply gathering wool.  i was only learning the vocabulary i'd need. 

.

i walked down shattuck ave in the late afternoon and it felt so much like the late afternoons i spent in my hometown.  i'll never hate oakland the way i hated redlands.  i could never hate oakland at all, it's just that i've been here too long.  i lust too hard after other sunrises.  i lust too hard after other winds echoing across other avenues.  i've drempt too hard for too long of far off places.  the residency sealed it.  i belong elsewhere.  i've known it for quite some time.  it feels good to have finally made the decision to click the BUY NOW button on a plane ticket and choose a new adventure.  i need to walk down streets i'm inspired by again.  i need to welcome the next phase.


i tried to throw away old art supplies today and couldn't do it.


there's so much to get rid of.

 i cleaned the toilet instead.

i want to give myself the gift of a fresh start but it is horrendously painful to part with certain things.  i'm leaving the contents of my bookcase until last.  it'll break my heart to have to part with certain books.  today, i looked at my copy of the collected novels of Jean Rhys and thought of Kate- those old days of writing back and forth to one another through email and the comment boxes of our blogs.  i read all of Jean Rhys' novels during the 8 days i had to wait before i could board my plane to tennessee to go watch my mother die.  then kate mailed me a copy of Roland Barthes' "Mourning Diary" after i returned home to california after the funeral.

i shouldn't have become so distant after all that (with everybody) but i honestly couldn't help it. 

i couldn't help it.

sometimes i still can't
but i'm glad to not need such a deep silence now. 


.


brian is curled up under my white quilt.

i love him and i'm glad he is here. 

tonight while we walked home from the bar, i looked at him and said, "hey, brian elder, you're my best friend!"

he looked at me and said, "oh yeah?  you're my best friend!"




i'm happy as fuck.  :)


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