last night i was editing a few poems when i heard the BOOM BOOM BOOM of fireworks. instantly, i stood up, pulled my jeans and shoes on, and raced up 3 flights of stairs to the roof of my building. silence, save for the orchestra of thunder. there were two couples snuggling in the dark. a soft evening and so lovely. i thought how wonderful it is that new year's day and independance day are 6 months apart... each, an opportunity to take a closer look at one's self and life, to discern the dreams and ethics that must be fought for, and who to be amid the swirl, the chaos, the collision. i don't mean any of this in the national sense (though it can and should extend there), but the personal. i have learned (and am still learning) that all change begins within the individual. it is a hard fact to look at sometimes but, barring any biological reason to the contrary, completely true. this fact kicks my ass every time it gets the chance. afterward, i think less of Success, and more about what it means to Overcome.
i lucked out and got to see the Balenciaga and Spain exhibition at the De Young the other day right before it came down. earlier in the day, a friend and i walked through corridors of old paintings and entire rooms of french palaces re-installed within the Legion of Honor. elaborate couches and desks, mirrored walls, trinkets, figurines, lamps... gilt on everything. and then arriving in the evening at the Balenciaga exhibition and seeing so clearly the influence of painting and art history alive inside the clothing Cristobal Balenciaga designed. the rituals and ornamentation of catholicism were everywhere. the somber beauty of monks robes, the grandiose drapery of popes, the fascinating spectacle of religion itself installed on a catwalk. for as new to fashion as i am, the exhibition brought tears to my eyes. and reading about this man's life... the shit he had to overcome... it just really touched me. i thought of Coco Chanel and all that she overcame. talk about having the cards stacked against you!
and then i think of myself. the recent horrors and the not so recent. the roof i was born under and the great distance i've travelled from it to rest under the roof where i am now. i think of my childhood and feel so far away from it. i feel like such a different person. it feels like a completely different life. even what my life was 3 or 4 years ago seems like a completely different life... maybe it is.
there are moments when i look in the mirror and think who the hell are you? what the hell are you doing? what do you need? be honest! we all do it, i know, in one way or the other.
and if i have a religion at all, it is Art. it takes a lot of faith to be an artist. it takes a lot of sacrifice. but it is beautiful and a privilege. it is a privilege every step of the way. last night, watching six different fireworks displays from my roof, i realized there is no way i will ever be able to see it all, do it all. i snapped my head back and forth like an excited little kid trying to watch all the fireworks at once. hahahaha! impossible. but the attempt made me smile. the attempt was a human thing to do, a human moment.
i remind myself that the point is to try.
don't you give up either.
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.