Sunday, December 18, 2011
And so I thought these things, and a lot of other things that were sad and more specific that I couldn't admit to you today.
When I was a teenager, and lived in a small town under my parents roof I used to watch this terrible TV show. I would only admit exactly what it was to people I trust. I can only count those people on the digits between my two hands. One of them may be you, but I have no way of knowing or proving that to myself, so I'm going to keep it hidden. I only mention that I used to watch it religiously because there was this character on the show, this girl who made me feel like I wasn't the only thing like me in the world. She was blonde and beautiful, two things I've only come to be recently, and may soon leave behind - but that is not what fascinated me about her, or at least not the only thing. She was talented and tormented. She was an artist with a massive vinyl collection. So many people loved her, but she couldn't see that. Not at all. She was filled with passion and insight, but she carried a chip on her shoulder and a hole in her heart that was very awkwardly shaped. She could not count the space between things. She saw too much and too little. She pushed so much love away. I felt like her. I felt so much like her, but in this incredibly unromantic way. Like, when I looked at her I saw everything I was, and that made me feel better - but also worse. Worse because she had all this potential and passion, and that even though she couldn't see it, other people could see it. I could see it, and I was envious of that. I felt like that was the difference between us and I didn't know what to do with it. I followed the show for about five seasons, up until my freshmen year of college. I liked to watch her get hurt, and missed. I also liked to watch her find things, and people. I liked to watch her learn and grow. Her story line climaxed for me in the fourth season. She takes a risk. She does something much more honest than I have ever known how to do. She tells someone she loves him, and it's rocky and unclear for a while...but he loves her back. My teen heart has really never stopped beating in that way. I now own these DVDs and I watch the first four seasons on secret, continuos repeat. It still makes me feel better and worse, but part of me believes that if she can do it so can I. Because in a weird way I think her character may have been written about me, or what I'm supposed to be. It's dramatized for Hollywood, of course, and the events of our lives are very different, but neither of these things changes the fact that we are so much the same. Watching her fictional, badly crafted plot line makes me wonder about what things might be like if they were different. If someone figured out how to love me in the way he figured out how to love her. But then when it's over, and the now old disc is scratched and skipped I see the cracks in all my logic. For this is fiction. She has a different name, and a made up lover. She finds happiness, and there is an end to her one dimensional story line that is a bit too cheery for me to follow. I am, after all, a newly realized torment junky because it is familiar. Sometimes I think I've never known how to do anything else, and I blame myself. I was just sitting out on the porch reading a very good book, and it made me think of her - amongst other things. It also made me think of the gloves I was wearing on both hands. I lose gloves and socks much more effectively than I find things. The glove on my left hand was grey and fingerless. The glove on my right black, full-fledged, and decorated with skeleton hand in the shape of a grenade. One used to belong to someone else, the other was always mine. I thought about how my left hand, the one sheltered only partially by the fingerless glove was warmer than my right. That felt strange and a little sad. Like maybe the whole glove was trying to hard, and that it wasn't really whole at all. It was just better at pretending. Or maybe it's that the full glove used to belong to someone else. Someone that I really love, but is far from me now...like everyone I think I've ever really cared about in one way or another. Before it belonged to her, it belonged to someone else she really loved. And so the glove was aware of not one, but two other people it had really loved and belonged to, and how they had loved and belonged to each other. I was the third, and it was thinking all the time about those other two. I just reminded them of their absence, and so it couldn't keep me warm. The glove was forever lost, tied up, and bound to another. After this fact dawned on me I felt foolish for thinking it could ever have kept me, or even just one small part of me warm. The left glove, the one without the fingers didn't have a history before me. I think it succeeded, if only in part, because it didn't know any better. It didn't know how. Our maybe just because that hand held the book close to my body. Maybe that hand was warmer just because it was close to something living, something real. Even if that thing was just me. That thought made me happy and sad. Neither emotion out weighed the other, they just made me think of all the songs I'd ever heard, and how even the happy ones make me sad. Like maybe there are no real happy songs, only ones that pretend to be happy - like my glove pretended to be warm. It's as if even in those 'happy' songs all the artists are singing about heartbreak to the tune of happy birthday, but people just see the candles and the cake, and the smiles. However hollow or full, they believe in them - because that's what you do on birthdays. You believe in new beginnings an a better year, even though everyone who has ever had a birthday will tell you that 22 feels exactly the same as 23, but than again 23 feels different than 40, and 13 different than 55. How does that happen when one after the next, everything feels so even. I don't have an answer for that yet, probably because I am not 55, but I still feel like I am 13 and somehow 40...even though I haven't gotten there yet. I wondered if you are fucking her right now. I can answer my own question by saying 'yes you are' or 'yes, you just finished' or 'yes you are about to, and then maybe when you're done you'll screw again' and it'll feel good for you, and for her, and only really terrible for me.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Just a few words and phrases that have really popped out to me lately. I've got a niffty lil' spread of them in my sketchbook, but I didn't feel like slapping a shitty photobooth photo up again. I need a scccannnneeerr--
"Move along, there's nothing left to see. I'm just a body, I'm not your property." - Radiohead
"Maybe (not)" - Cat power
"inelegantly and without my consent, time passed." - Miranda July
"Now began the part of her life where she was just beautiful, except for nothing." - Miranda July
"And I could not make a move without making love." - Miranda July
"I wanna do right, but not right now." - Gillian Welch
and the definition of affinity: related not by blood, but by choice
Saturday, July 30, 2011
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Sunday, July 24, 2011
Summer has been strange. It hardly feels like summer in a traditional sense, save the heat and restless energy. It's been about two weeks since I've been back from LA, and everything is ill-fitting. I've been held up in my parents house alone for about a week now, and I can slowly feel myself unraveling. I'm trying to figure this grad-school housing business out, and the stress is unnerving to say the least. I find myself awake into the wee hours of the morning for no apparent reason; stitching, scribbling, or staring at a screen. Each day I wake in darkness, sun leaking in through the small cracks in the blinds, trying to motivate myself to get out of bed and face the day. I hide for a spell, awake but trying to convince my body to black out again. Each day people expect more, and more adult actions from me. It takes me awhile before I can get on my feet, swallow my fear, and do my best to act responsibly. I think much of this is a result of being trapped in this small, stifling suburb for the month. Much of it is fear for the future, and anxiety over the past. I normally like to try and be where I am, and enjoy the moment without losing myself in the past, or fear of the future. It's hard, but I admit that I have gotten better about it. Lately, however, I find that I'm not enjoying where I am. I feel trapped, and motionless. It feels like there really is no beyond or behind in a strange sense...just the purgatory of small town Ohio, and the thought that this stale sameness might go on forever. All of that aside, however I've been making some slow progress on a few projects. I went wandering around the suburbs during record heat the other day, and took a lot of pictures of suburban homes. One after the next to catalogue the face of the midwestern small town, and the erie one-after-the next sameness all these suburban homes share. I will make drawings of them and explore this peculiar phenomenon that gave birth to me, and is responsible for many of my odd sensibilities, and reactions to things. It's funny what you fear when you're lost in a suburb, VS what you feel when you're lost in a city. In the city you worry about wandering into a bad area, or meeting someone without the best intentions. In the suburbs you wonder if people are watching you from behind the tinted windows of their homes, and SUVs. You wonder if they think you look suspicious with your out of place outfit, and small red digital camera. Why are you taking photos of their homes? What is your intention? Are you a threat? You hope someone doesn't call the police. I guess in the city I worry about someone mistaking me as the victim, and in the suburbs I worry about someone wrongly characterizing me as the villain. What a strange shift from place to place.
Anyways, here are a few projects I've been slowly making progress on over the past week: The first is an embroidered map of the US. I will make little fiber state pieces to pin into the states I'v visited/lived in. Sort of a cute/fibery take on sticking a pin in a world map where you've been. The second is a flip-book companion to Andy Warhol's 8 hour film "Empire". Which is literally 8 hours of footage of the Empire state building at night. It vibrates, and the lights shift slightly, but it's eerily similar to watching a still photo for 8 hours...without actually doing so. All that said, the flip book is an art-school inside joke of sorts. The map is still in progress, but please do enjoy the unflattering iphoto documents of both:
Here's a short 6 minute excerpt from the video if you haven't seen, just so you can get a feel for it:
Sunday, January 16, 2011
We are walking contradictions. We are the daughters of feminists who've always told us "be anything", and instead we heard "You must be everything". I want. I endlessly want, desire, and need to be. I want to grow my hair long. I want to be feminine, I want to be beautiful in both a conventional and unconventional sense. I want to stop you in your tracks. I want to shorten your breath. I want to shatter, reposition, and astound...but only so much. I want to cut off all my hair. I want to look beautiful naked and in baggy clothes. I want to be simultaneously concealed and fully exposed. I want to wear lipstick, mascara, and combat boots. I want to wipe my face dry, I want to have raw, calloused skin. I want to be powerful, full of confidence, and self respect - but I still want your attention and concern. I want your hands and your hot lips. I want your ambivalence and careless concern. I want to be outside of it all, this whole thing that tells women what we should be and how to behave, but I still want parts of it and pieces of you. I want to stand on my own two feet. I want to be strong and start my own business, but I still want some form of stability and support. I want to work for your company, but only so that I might inevitably dismantle it, and drive it into the dirt. I want paychecks and benefits, and I want you to give it to me because it might be easier... but inevitably I want to do it for myself. I want to be loud and obnoxious. I want to be outspoken and absurd. I want to shake off everything that has ever made me feel inadequate or anxious. I want to write a manifesto. I want to do it for myself. I don't want to feel like a giant anymore. I want to shrink and feel small. I want to be tiny, nibble, and agile. I want to feel lifted, instead of endlessly always having to lift myself. I want to feel trouble, turmoil, and disaster. I want to eat and be eaten. I want to grow. I want to be a powerhouse. I want to shake the foundation of the earth, and reflect everything meaningful that I've ever known. I want to do it differently than all my predecessors. I want to be radical and go down in history. I want to be above it all, above your perceptions. I want to be solid like stone. I want to be hard like granite and concrete, but I want to melt like ice. I want to be what I know I am, and I want your opinion of me to matter less than anything I've ever known, but I still want you. I want it all in all it's many forms. I want to care less, and I want to care more. I want to be ok with being celibate for now. I want to be free to fuck tomorrow. I want to be outspoken and obsessed. I want to be beautiful and absurd. I want endlessness, but not immortality. I want the earth, I want the ground, and I want ever single star in space. I want my name on it, and I want your attention. I want to wear dresses, and lay in fields of flowers, and I want to kick ass. I want a piece of the picture. I want to look cute and coy. I want to look powerful and predominant. I want to be unattainable and attained. I want to be on my own. I want to be with you. I want the moment and I am nostalgic for the past. I fret endlessly about the future, but I want to be here.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Today I feel like I am taking up more space than I can remember. I don't feel heavy, or wide. I don't feel round, or soft. My tight, dark, straight legged jeans fit in much the same as the did yesterday, and the day before. What strikes me about them is that I think I feel like they somehow belong to someone else today - that maybe yesterday they might have been mine, but today that is certainly not the case. I am very aware of filling them, and how strange the feel to find me inside.
I think of you often and it's beginning to make me ill. Not ill in a hopeful way, not ill in a love-drunk way, but sallow and sick. I'm really projecting here and it's making me tired. I'm riding waves of hope and hopelessness, and I truly find that I prefer the days when I don't care. At the end of it all whether or not I cared doesn't matter, and it will not alter the inevitable result of this whole thing. Which is foreseeably nothing... and that's fine, or good, or even fucking GREAT. So I would really like to stop thinking of you, and all the things I've intended for you to be (which aren't even real), because it's pointless. It's pointless, it's fruitless, and quite frankly it's not any good for me. Or for you really, because I think I've given you far more credit than you deserve. So as you continue to fall short of my plastic, culturally influenced fabrication of greatness you'll most likely develop some pretty severe self esteem issues. I've already started to watch it happen. I've really done you quite the extreme disservice, building you up so high. You don't measure up, because no one can ever possibly measure up to such a lavish, grandiose construction. I've worked long and hard on it. I've been piecing it together for most of my life actually. From my first experience with cinema, to the love song I listened to this morning. Age who knows when up to now. It makes me wretch, because quite honestly I'm fairly certain that there is a large potential that I don't even like you. But I'll never really know, because I've built you up so high, and sealed myself into a tiny box with exactly one hole. I can see things through this hole from time to time, but never the complete picture. This makes for an array of misconceptions, largely based in nonsense, or half the story. I am glad the hole is there though, as troublesome as it's proved itself to be. Because the air inside my box gets rather stale and dry from time to time. Every once and a long while I'll taste fresh air. I'm really considering altering my box, and puncturing the side parallel to that with the existing hole. It would allow for a nice cross breeze, and I quite honestly have no idea what's happening on that side of my box anyway. Sometimes someone will sit down in front of my tiny, oddly shaped window and detail the events on the other side, but I'd really like to see things for myself one of these days. It's cramped in here and I am tall. I often have nowhere to stretch my legs, and I certainly have no idea where to put my feet. I might ask you for a suggestion, but I know I'd just be hearing what I want to hear anyway, and that your suggestion fundamentally wouldn't be of that much use. Or any at all. So sometime soon I'd really like to get out of this box, and start taking my own advice. The only real trouble is that I finally remember where I set you when I placed you up high. I put you on top of my box, and now I am stuck with the seemingly impossible task of figuring out a way to take you down from the top while I am still inside.