let me reiterate: maybe it is true that i am less afraid of you than you are of me. maybe i have far less to lose?
as one who understands the total figment of security, i can afford an uncommon brashness when it comes to certain things. i understand the reality that, daily, i must eat and that, in our culture, that means i must make money. but that's where my concern for money ends. i truly don't give a fuck about retirement plans and home-ownership. the less cages i lock myself in to, the better. i prefer the wild ache of artistry and philosophy. i prefer the torture of thinking and living to scrimping and saving. give me pardon if this apparently youthful outlook offends you. i don't mean to attack or jibe. it's only the case that i watched a certain someone plan for their retirement and then die 2 years in to that solitude. i assure you, she would've much rather kept working and kept experiencing the world if she had known what was coming. and so i expect an unexpected death as well. i expect to work right up until that day, like ma mere, louise bourgeois, sculpting in her studio all day long and then dying in her sleep after a full day's work in the studio. let that be me. let that be my end. how sublime. how ecstatic. how necessary! let me move my pen right up til the end. let me dribble one last blot of ink as i suck in that last, rattling breath. i don't plan on letting up until that exact moment... whenever it may find me.
sometimes pleasure and beauty become the most important things. i remember my mother saying in her sickness, "suck every last ounce of joy out of this experience you can, little girl" and i parrot her voice inside my heart every chance i get.
sometimes, i am thoughtless. sometimes, i am no where near as diligent as i should be, as i am capable of being. there was an era of such prolific artistic production in my life not too long ago and i miss it. but today, i went running down Shattuck Ave in Oakland and it occurred to me that i was so prolific because my self-worth depended upon it. the sad fact is that being stuck in a bad relationship has the effect of sapping one's idea of self-worth. i made so much fucking art because i was actively warring against a life that told me i was next-to-nothing. it had been that way for years. and before that relationship too.
but i'm not blaming anyone for my decisions or my mistakes. at this point, i am glad to have walked this particular road. it is the thing that makes me able to look at you and smile. it is the thing that makes my gaze soften with understanding. i look at you with such warmth, such light, such appreciation for
every awkward moment, every fantastically beautiful gesture and
movement. i look at you and know that i will never have all the information. there is an entire story, an entire life behind you, within you that i know nothing about. there have been such beautiful moments and such horrors. there has been poetry and atrocity all around you. these things, whatever they are, have made you capable of certain actions. these secrets have made you long for certain things. i will not judge you: the same thing is true about me.
i come to realize that i am not a simple human being. i am not difficult either, but i am complex. as such, i gravitate toward complexity. i like complex people. i like complex art. i like complex emotion. i like complex thought. why did i ever think a simple life would be the right life for me? we are taught to pursue certain avenues. it is after going far enough down the dictated path that i reached a primary truth about myself: i don't want a simple life. i never have.
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.