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.

May 31, 2011

hannah, yes, i think you are right (see comment box of post below). i read through what was available online at the amazon link you sent and i nodded and nodded and nodded. i came to that word - that horribly popular word - and thought yep, that's exactly where i am. the word is liminal.

in-between. that's how i've been living for so long it seems. in a mist or in a tantrum, it's hard to say. i swing back and forth between knowing, for sure, which road i need to take, and having absolutely no clue who i am or what i'm doing. lost.

there are days when i feel so angry. angry to the point of hatefulness. so angry i go cold.

i suppose a death will do that to you. i spoke with a friend this weekend and, of his father's death, he said for two years straight i was moving in ten different directions. such a sense of relief swept over me. a cool hand on a fevered forehead. see, i'm not crazy i thought. but maybe my problem is that i'm not crazy enough? that i am so afraid of Shame that i do not allow myself certain expressions, certain risks of emotion and behavior. i'm afraid of "being bad". i'm afraid of being a bad daughter. my horrible lessons are surfacing and the anger i feel, the sense of being cheated, is so strong that it is hard to feel any sense of security or stability. i need an environment of stability in order to work, in order to wrestle with all the chaos that births these images and words. i need a safe home so that i can be unsafe in another: my practice.

the past 5 months have been odd. especially the last three. living between towers of cardboard, all our books packed away and book cases broken down, knowing that an exit was on the horizon but not when. unsettled and afraid of so many things, i took to smaller modes of work. the diary and the sweaters. i made a few paintings and a few drawings but no where near the usual amount. it felt true, honest, to work on the sweaters and scribble in secret. it felt true to not worry about oil painting and that grand history of art. it felt honest to just look at the installations and sculpture of louise bourgeios and read anais nin's diary. it felt right to to work in these tiny loops: the loops of my cursive, the loops of yarn on my hook. black ink and black wool and the slip of graphite every now and then...

maybe my practice is changing? how could it not?

and now this change in location, a change i've wanted for so long. still, there is something hard about packing one's life and history (self) in to boxes. it is sad and sentimental and heartrending. handling the old objects and wondering why i even have them. they are here because they've always been here. i give them to The Goodwill. i must. there is such a tremendous need in me to crawl out from under the weight of my family, the weight of our Past, yet it is so hard for me to toss out certain scraps from that Past. of course, i save the photo albums and heirlooms... but the trash that has followed me must be let go of.

most of it is gone.

next to me there is a pile of old drawings that i need to go through today. j is washing the tops of the walls where i couldn't reach. there is the small pile of books i kept with me just so i could feel safe, feel like myself in the middle of this chaos, and my diary is almost filled. only a few pages from the end but, even if i don't fill them before we leave, i will buy a new notebook to begin the first morning i wake in the new place.


Hannah Stephenson said...

I always feel such honesty and braveness in your words and work.

Isn't it funny how we can hold ourselves back with self-punishing words and ideas...while yours is the fear of being "bad," mine is the fear of being "selfish." It's important to hear these voices and figure out why they are speaking and what cranks their volume up and down.

It's funny...I always say I am so bad with change, that I hate it---and I keep seeking situations that put me in it (frequent moves, teaching jobs that are contract and end each term).

Not to play guru here (I am far from having all the answers--but I think our brains might be somewhat similar), but I wanted to share with you this poem I wrote about the idea of holding ourselves back/limiting what we do protectively. Just wanted to share it:

Hope you like the book. Be nice to yourself during this transition.

angela simione said...

hannah, thank you for the huge compliment! i often feel that i am nowhere near brave enough or honest enough in my work. and, like you, "selfishness" is a big concern and worry. instilled, horribly, at the very beginning of my life. such a hurtful, harmful lesson of shame that seems to be reiterated over and over and over again. daily sometimes. and what a hindrance it is. what an insanely tall hurdle. i agree our brains may infact work very similarly. :) the self-policing your poem speaks to is dead on. thank you for sharing it here. i begin to think now about the conspiracy of silence and how staying quiet, being polite, not wanting to be "bad" or "selfish", fearing those lables and slurrs more than death itself, is a tremendously powerful cage.

i came across an orwell quote the other day that seemed so fitting. not just for Our Time but for my time too. these years of writing in a diary and all the change swirling around me. death and life, life and death. and art. always art. and wondering what the hell i'm doing/supposed to do.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. "

George Orwell

maybe our diaries (of which this space is a piece) can be part of such a revolution?