Drippy Sunday morning; the world outside has shrunk …which appropriately rhymes with Funk, because Funk is precisely what I’m in.
… niggly, prickly snappish me with a million essential things to attend to but instead I chop a fridge full of vegetables and chicken into tiny tiny pieces, beat up a dozen eggs, fry severed onions into carbon, do five sets of loud dishes and answer every question with a maximum of two wedged-out words …
“Mom, can I have a hug?”
Grunt. “May I.”
I don’t know why I’m feeling this way.
While chopping onions I feel grim satisfaction at my power to slice through, to un-make a still-living thing. While I feel this I think about art and manipulation and rage; growth and green and death which in turn makes more growth and green.
It is possible to smile though a clenched jaw.
Of course we are all far too busy for real sanity – what did Norm Bell tell me at the afternoon TOM Gallery opening today… that our generation is the last that has experienced what we now think of as ‘down’ time. (Link to a review of Michael Harris’ book, The End of Absence – thanks Norm)
I do remember, in my bones, what it felt like to be empty of everything but the sky I gazed into, far away from any connection to the rest of humanity or it’s obligations or measurements of my time and effectiveness and function.
I remember the micro sound of a caterpillar chewing leaves beside my head – wondering what the sound was, discovering it’s origin then …wondering in a larger way that I could hear it at all, so small a thing…
I write from tomorrow about that volatile place I was in. It has taken me to my studio, where I wake to the clutter of promise, the smell of colour, the yearn and memory of cello.
I know what to do, when yesterday I did not [I will dig into paleontology and paint artifacts]. Yesterday in the storm of my own inexplicable rage I felt battered and almost violently unexplained. At the gallery in a crowd of people I know well I felt awkward, too-strong and my words, like a pack of battling cousins came out sideways, fist or feet-first. Yesterday it was next to impossible to find compassion.
I’ve read somewhere recently about the making of art that it comes from these places of unexplained pain, answers the pain through process, then tells the story. This could be so, for those who must make art, must make, must … self-provoke?
I do love winter. We get more beautiful winters here than anywhere else in this vast province, (larger than France and Spain, combined). Perhaps it was the melting of the white into dirty brown that set me off unexpectedly, traversing the landscape through my own unstable lava fields. I know I’ve been missing green, and gardening, but I strongly suspect that there’s more to my rancour than this.
I have a day in my studio to paint, to practise and to tick things off the long list. Another tomorrow, then Wednesday and Thursday. Friday afternoon we will travel to Toronto to visit with good friends, and on Saturday I will visit the Zoo, which is wonderfully peaceful in the wintertime.
I’ll say hello to the river otters for you,