spent the whole day behind the hook and am now enjoying an over-poured glass of Auslese. this is the very definition of a wonderful day off.
and i've needed it. the passed week or so has been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. a huge box arrived unexpectedly containing my mother's collection of family photos, more than 3 1/2 years after her death. i opened the box only to be sure of what it was and then closed it again. i wasn't in the mood for that type of upheaval and i wasn't prepared to slice open a cardboard box and be greeted by my mother's face and the dresses she saved that my sister and i wore as little girls in an Olen Mill's portrait so soooooo many years ago. kelly must've been 4 or 5. that would have made me 7 or 8.
a few days later, i reached back inside the box and pulled the dresses out. i remember hating them as a little girl but, now, they look like art pieces. something possibly akin to the Kiki Smith piece, Sisters, or the twins in The Shining. ha!
i gazed at them in between rounds of digging through the 7 portfolios that are stored in my bedroom closet. it was a strange walk down memory lane. it's amazing what an accurate barometer of emotion art is. looking at my work from just a few years ago, i relived the pain and confusion and longing i was entrenched in during those days. and the sheer MASS of my personal collection is astounding! i've thrown away SO MUCH each time i've moved and i still have such an enormous stockpile of work! it was heartrending to go through it all but there were also moments when i smiled. and smiled wide like a goofy child, at that. in the middle of a portfolio that largely houses work i did during the last year i lived in Calistoga, i came across a self-portrait i drew when i was 21 years old. it was made during one of the happiest times in my life DESPITE the fact that i had yet to leave my hated home town.
it was drawn during the time Jose and i lived together in my very first apartment. we were inseparable and i loved being with him. we smoked way too many cigarettes and drank blended frappaccinos way too often and squeezed our bellies and called ourselves fat just like two silly teenagers would. :) thinking back on all that makes me so happy. we listened to Bikini Kill and dreamed of New York together. what's really special is that sometimes we still do. it's not at all irregular for Jose and i to refer to each other as Rebel Girl more than 10 years later. :)
all this made somehow brought me to the realization that for the last several years i needed a deep round of PLAY. it's no secret that life is hard and it's no secret that my life has been hard. looking at my own work, my own hand smearing charcoal and graphite, the words i'd scrawl sometimes in the margins or on the back of the paper... i realized that in the span of 3 short years i lost all three parental figures and the person i considered to be the closest member of my immediate family, my partner for 7 years. with the exception of my siblings, my entire immediate family basically collapsed. and all the emotion of those days was right there. right in my hands, in the black and white smears and screams of my drawings.
it was hard to leave the house that day. i wanted to hide in bed. i wanted to be dirty and dumb and lounge around in dingy pajamas. i wanted to not give a fuck about anything and just spend the day drinking. i wanted to raise a middle finger to the world and cry my eyes out. sometimes i hear my voice inside my own head and it sounds so small. so painfully small. so heartbreaking. i think of my mother and i think of my father and i think of my siblings and what their pain must be and i whisper inside myself, "this isn't fair"...
but looking at the artwork i made during such a tumultuous era allowed me to see that i have, in fact, healed from a great many pains and that i long to return to a certain type of seriousness again, a particular breed of deep introspection and artistic investigation. basically, it made me want to draw again. :)
we'll see. i sure enjoyed laying in bed all day with my crochet hook and black yarn today, that's for sure.
i'm confident the Future is an interesting place.