When I finally had a chance to slow down on the airplane, all of these densely packed experiences started to churn and process inside my head. I wrote this in the air on my way home.
October 23, 2007
I know that I am a fool, trying to make connections out of scraps but how else to proceed? The fragmentariness of life makes coherence suspect but to babble is a different kind of treachery. Perhaps it is a vanity. Am I vain enough to assume that you will understand me? No. So I go on puzzling over new joints for words, hoping that this time, one piece will slide smooth against the next.
Gut Symmetries, Jeanette Winterson
Upon the return of every New York trip that I can recall and often trips elsewhere, I feel that fire inside of me burn too hot. It scorches my insides, blackening the underside of the cage that was built to house my heart, like pulling a pie out of the oven with a tender fleshy hand protecting the oven mitt.
Comfort comes when the door to that cage is opened just a crack to let in the cool. With that relief there is a gamble. Like Pandora, there is the chance that when that door is open even a crack, dangers, big and little, escapes.
Little fragments; Amish aprons and dolls without faces, a medieval painting of a unicorn in a maidens lap, ancient tools of divinity and authority, stories that begin with: they say…, mermaids or mami or mommy water, Japanese embroidery by Saijosen that was said to come to life, digestion and rumination, The realization that old stories don’t just disappear, they survive and blend with new ideas.
Tomorrow I’ll wake up and get my little kittens ready for school. I’ll go to the dentist for a feared first root canal, I’ll make dinner, unpack and wash and sort little gifts, I’ll go to the gym and I’ll answer pending emails and... love my family. I want that, I love all of that... them. They are what is forever but…
I understand why in the personal history of so many artists, there are reoccurring themes of insanity. There are those who have achieved greatness …but the price, it’s big. I don’t have answers and I don’t know how to turn my fire into a controlled burn. Controlled burns…do those work? In my experience they blaze with uncontrollable glory then destroy. If I were a Saint, I’d want to be one that controls fire. But right now I just want to figure out how to manage my life as a mother, wife, sister , daughter, friend and paint with all of the passion I feel inside of me.
A little more from Jeanette Winterson-
I know that I am a fool, hoping dirt and glory are kind of a luminous paint; the humiliations and exaltations that light us up. I see like a bug, everything is too large, the pressure of infinity hammering at my head. But how else to live, vertical that I am, pressed down and pressing up at the simultaneously? I cannot assume you will understand me. It is just as likely that as I have invented what I want to say, you will invent what you want to hear.
Now I am home and so happy to be with my little family, in my house that I love and that root canal behind me, I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio and seeing what will come next. That moon is looking pretty full out there, watching me...it's time to work.