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.

Oct 9, 2012

letter to a friend

dear KATE,

most of the time i'm not really sure what i'm doing.  what The Work is and is not.  it all feels like The Work to me.  it all feels like a world i'm creating, like a world i'm mustering-  me and my spills of ink.

language is a crazy thing.  and writing.  and poetry.  i'm not even sure if poetry is what i write.  what are these snippets that come out of me?  these fragments of a life, of a human being, of wishes and dreams.

sometimes i feel like maybe i'm doing something wrong by giving away so much of my writing here on the BLOG.  i worry that i'm going about all this the wrong way and that i should actively try for "real" publication, that i'm somehow selling myself short by not trying to be published.  i'm just too impatient for all that at this point in my life.  i like the instant connection.  i like the rush of blood. 

i kinda hate the word BLOG too.  i definitely hate the word BLOGGER.  i do not title myself as such.  i tend not to think of this space in those terms.  like you, i see it as a notebook.  or better yet, as the white cube.  i see it as a gallery space that is entirely open to hosting any performance, any image i want to display.  in some ways, this is definitely where the real work is done.  or, at least, begins.  some of the best writing i've ever done is nestled here, in electric light, lost in the backward reaching scroll of the blog format.  i don't know if i will ever go back and fish them out from the messy wad of text i've coughed up here.  maybe one day i'll be strong enough for that.  maybe one day i'll be Writer enough for that.  i'm so impressed with you for being able to do it and i can't wait to read Heroines.

but for all my worry and ambivalence, i'm delighted by this little playground of mine.  these games of identity.  the shifting nature of the Self reinforced by the shifting nature of language.  words make the world.  we build our own images.  we erect our own mirrors, our own temples, our own sloppy signs.  not everything is accurate and maybe it doesn't need to be? 

for a long time i was obsessed by the idea of accuracy.  i wanted to be as accurate as possible.  needed to be. otherwise, i felt like a liar.  then one day, i noticed the difference between accuracy and honesty and i chose to move in the direction of honesty instead.  sometimes fogginess, sloppiness, sketchiness is the most honest expression there is.  the diary.  there's something about it that is so barbed, so dangerous.  the potential for danger, the potential for making a mess, the probability that a mess will be made is so attractive...  the taboo of keeping secrets, the danger inherent to teaching females how to read and write.  who knows what the bitch might say?  i don't want to be calm.  i don't want to be measured.  at least not when it comes to writing and not when it comes to art and definitely not when it comes to my own life.  sometimes i think my diary is the best work i have ever done.  it is where everything begins.  all my work starts there, on the cool blue lines of my private notebook.  it is my life's work.  daily, i reach for my pen and, daily, i tell the truth.  it isn't an easy thing to do.  to tell the truth, i mean.  especially about myself.  there are times when the mirror i create in the pages of my diary is quite brutal.  i have felt such massive shame.  but it is a necessary and good thing. i could only watch myself write the same words over and over for so long before i had to act, before i had to cry out against the life i had allowed to spring up all around me, before i had to cut it down.  i cut it down with my pen.  i cut it down with your books by my bedside.

anais nin's diary changed my life.  it's still changing my life.  we've talked about her so many times-  her undeniable courage and dedication.  i think of her when i get afraid.  i think of her when i don't feel equal to the challenges in front of me.  i think of her laying in bed with her diary, the same way i lay with mine, scribbling a world in to existence.  a world she needed, a world she preferred.  i think you're right that she would've kept a blog.

it is brave work you do.  your example has helped me become capable of my own bravery.  and not just bravery on the page either.  if it has been your Work this year, i am thankful to have had access to it.   the world you are building encourages my faith.  i read your words and gather strength.

all my love,

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