that scene in Gia where Angelina Jolie is freaking out, afraid of her surroundings, afraid of the world and all the assholes who inhabit it: "You can't just take someones knife when they need it!"
i pulled my Francesca Woodman book from the stack of books meant to ship to my sister's house later this week, a book i've slept with and needed near even if i wasn't looking at it. some sort of balm. some sort of knife.
objects go in to boxes. boxes cover the kitchen floor.
a maze of piles. piles and piles and piles. all the trappings and papers and matchsticks of a life. it isn't detritus, this build up. these objects have significance. i think of the shoes i must soon sell and i close my eyes. i don't want to think of it just yet. the other half of my book collection too, must be sold off. i put my diaries in a box. 8 years on paper. i couldn't bring myself to tape the lid shut yet. i pulled Aase Berg's poetry collection 'With Deer' from the stack destined for the used bookstore. "not this one", i whisper. a balm, a knife to keep at my side.
but let me be honest: i wasn't much help today. mostly, i pointed from my place in bed, laying on an icepack. i've been locked in bed the passed three days. today, at least i could stand. today, at least i could walk. slowly, but i could do it. another round of drama with my damn iffy disk and, can i just say, the timing is absolutely awful. the only thing that would've been worse is if this had happened the night before we head to the airport. still, it's far less than ideal. i missed my last three nights of work at my restaurant. not only are there the lost wages and tips i'm thinking of but, more importantly, i didn't get to say goodbye the way i wanted to. i tell myself that maybe it's better this way. no ooshy gushy, tear-laden au reviour. but i know i'm wrong. it's not better this way. there are people i want to hug. there are smiles i want to see. and for however selfish or paranoid it may be, i don't want to go out being thought of as fragile, as a victim. i hate the way pity feels. this moment, this entire event is supposed to be one of staunch focus and bravery. i hate that it is being tempered now with the inconvenient fragility of my body. i hate it.
let me sip this beer.
there are pleasures to keep. despite the pain of my particular ailment, i've enjoyed the very rare opportunity to just lay in bed and spend the day reading. it isn't a luxury that i have often these days. i finished Kate Zambreno's 'Heroines' and want to write a huge response to it here but i need to digest it a bit more first. i need to calm down a bit. i'm having such an emotional, nostalgic reaction to it. it brought me back to aspects of my life as it was 4 or 5 years ago, an era i choose not to dwell upon very often. an era i've chosen not to write in detail about here but her book has made me rethink that stance entirely. there are memories that should be set to paper. there are stories that should float in this electric ether. i keep thinking about my mother tossing her journal pages into a large aluminum coffee can on the back porch and setting them on fire. i saw her do it on several occasions there at the house on Frontier Avenue. there is no personal writing of hers left. none. i have a few cute notes she scribbled and that's it. a birthday card here and there, nothing else. that's the way she wanted it. that's the way it is.
but i'm not her and she's not me. despite her big Angelina Jolie lips, i've got a much bigger mouth than she had. i wake up talking and there's no one left to disown me anyway. having any fear of family retribution is ridiculous. it's simply not in the cards and there are stories within this family that deserve to be told. there are stories that have been denied a voice for far too long. there are stories that could be a balm for someone else, that could lay like a knife at their side.
part of this act of writing (of making art) is to build one another up, to lend each other a bit of steam. at least for me it is. the lineage we create, how we talk to each other across time and space. i lay in bed this morning looking up at my big drawings on the wall to my left of The Bell Jar's book covers. i looked at them and wondered: is there any way she could have known how affective her book would be that a girl would make huge drawings of its cover and tape them to her bedroom wall? there is no way she could've know that, let alone trusted it, but we must trust our lineage. we create it. anyone can be a member. anyone can add their voice to the chorus.
i think of all this as i point at this and that and say which box what goes in to. i think of all this as i secretly wrap my mama's old aprons around christmas ornaments and hide them in boxes labeled ART. :) i think of my nephew and the lineage i can open a window to if i just keep writing, if i refuse to choose silence. i think of him and want to be a sort of balm, a knife laying at his side...
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.