for the passed few days i've been hunched over projects, pulling things together that have sat, unattended, far too long and bringing them to completion. and hunched is exactly the right word. an old back injury has woken up as a result and i've spent the last several hours lying flat on my back in bed. i should be good as new by morning but it made today an utter pain in the ass. pun intended. still, i got out for a bit and took some lovely photographs of a broken mirror on the side of the road. the walking helped but i've been in a shitload of pain for the majority of the day. and actually, it's been kinda nice to just be in bed with a book. it's something i don't do enough these days. funny to think i used to curl up with a book nightly. was it really so long ago? a year. damn. a year...
as if the cycle of the seasons weren't enough to get my ritualistic brain humming. the new year finds us and 12 days later it's the 2nd anniversary of my mother's death. a week later on the 19th, it's her birthday. all these personal holidays. all these snaps of the leash. these markers of time are serious. and so... i've been thinking about grad school again. wondering about it is more like it. should i? shouldn't i? is it necessary for my practice? is it necessary in order to have a career as an artist? what constitutes a "career" for an artist anyway? i'll go on making things and writing things until i go blind and my fingers fall off regardless. and i haven't looked to any system to supply value to my work in a very, very long time. i'd just as soon climb poles and wrap my crochet around them or write poems on abandoned mattresses. i return to dreaming of New York; the Bowery, the Lower East Side and how magnificently at home i felt there. lately, i look at myself in the mirror and ask "what the fuck is stopping you?"
the big news is that i'm traveling to Europe for the first time this summer and i must squirrel away alottttttt of pennies between now and then in order to make it happen. no bouncing off to NY until after i have bought a passport and a plane ticket to Frankfurt. after that, who knows? i have a storage unit where all my books and art will be safe until i can collect them. i can go wherever i want to go because the truth of the matter is that i can both make art and wait tables anywhere. this is a fact i've been thinking alot about lately. A LOT. a fact that simultaneously makes me feel exquisitely free and exquisitely lonely. freedom is a barbed thing. still, i'd rather have the scars of liberty than the pristine surface afforded by security. i'd rather run this body in to the ground through love and action and adventure than preserve it needlessly through neglect as an atrocious shrine to Safety and Obedience. the only obedience i feel is Moral is to be myself. it is the pinnacle of honesty and truly the only thing any of us really have to offer anyway.
but i'm getting away from myself. the point was my slipped disk and how it fucked up an entire day. while laying on my bedroom floor, i read the first two essays in Chris Kraus's 'Video Green'. i like reading her thoughts on contemporary art paired with her exploration of BDSM. seems an unlikely pair at first but it's something i feel intrigued and comforted by. her level of self-exposure in what is technically an article/essay is astounding. it widens my view on what "serious" writing can be. the body is given primacy. especially the female body and female desire. it makes me think about blogging in an entirely different way too. the level of self-exposure i've attained here in the blackland is nothing compared to what i want to achieve in my art practice (of which this blog is very much a part) but it is leaps and bounds beyond what it was just 2 years ago. i suppose the answer is to simply keep pushing. whether it be grad school or simply relocating, i need to push harder at the seams of my practice, at the seams of myself. it is a lonely endeavour sometimes. painfully lonely. but then i think of all the artists i admire and i leaf through their books. i think of my mother at her sewing machine. i think of my brother on his motorcycle and my sister taking care of animals on a farm. i think of you reading these words and how much i'd rather be sitting on the arm of your couch, cocktail in hand, a laugh ready to burst and saying all of this directly to you and waiting for the heated breath of your response to find my ear, my neck, my heart.
remember what Jack said: to be an artist is a privilege.