at times my faith has wavered. at times my trust has slid away from me and i get get angry. i feel lost. i feel alone...
my faith in art, as a daily practice and way of living, has saved me over and over again. and even in those moments when my faith has become low and weak, art has persisted. art itself. and has carried me back to a place of humility and trust. i know that as long as i paint and write and breathe everything will be okay. i'll end up exactly where i am meant to be. i've always known this. and i credit my faith in this way of being to art. to the work. to practice. and lately, the odd mix of maids and elsie and poems has renewed me in such wonderful ways. i feel brave again... brave enough to trust that, so long as my brush and pen are moving, life is good, and will be good, in spite of the hardships that come along.
the maid portraits have taught me patience. they teach me that lesson over and over again. and how to hear a whisper... to value a whisper. and these lessons, i suppose, are what has made me able to work on elsie's portraits. she's a funny one... and i don't know if this work will matter to others, if people will even care about a little girl that was killed a hundred years ago. there's one person to whom i know it matters (aside from myself) and that one other person gives me endless, endless strength. her belief in the importance of this project helps me sustain my own. this is what friendship is. and i am thankful. truly, massively thankful.
yesterday, we discussed elsie and how important it is that she be brought out from behind her current status of 'side-note' to someone else's history... that she be given a place of her own to stand... that she be honored, somehow, in even the smallest of ways, and respected.
it is hard work. learning how to be respectful of anothers' history is a delicate thing. but it is important, and so worthwhile, to at least make the attempt. i can see that a lot of the work i've done in the past year or so has led to this place, has made me capable of this attempt... it has at least increased my stamina and made me feel strong enough to heft this, to wrestle with it, to let it call on me for whatever it needs. and the fact i have a friend to speak with about her, about this work, who understands that i can't physically shoulder the weight of her portraits every day and must wait for her call, is a great comfort. it reminds me that this is a life's work and that i am allowed to take time carefully and proceed with at least a fraction of grace.
so, dear friend... thank you. :)
these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.
thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.
my artist website is here.
my artist website is here.