I went subterranean twelve weeks ago, maybe more. Came up again two days ago, I think. I know this because I found myself gardening yesterday.
This was a tunnel of a place I’ve been in, a way into and through the deep, long list entitled Impossible-but-Necessary. In twelve weeks strong and beautiful people died, shockingly, suddenly, and those of us who grieve them turned inward then slowly forward; old and treasured things were broken then transformed phoenix-like amid the mourning, the loss. Boundaries were breached, injuries dealt and received, some old trusts betrayed and also new ones established without question. Concerts were rehearsed and played; family homes sold and contents dispersed, others burned and the tenants embraced by this rich community. Long overdue letters were written and sent; 50-year careers ended; a 20-year-old vehicle sold for parts; the streets in the city opened and excavated in the great replacement of metal with plastic…
As the boxes were packed and the old things released into landfill sites, recycling depots, re-store Judy Collins sang who knows where the time goes? to help the tears come.
As the goodbyes were said after the stories were told, as the weeping hugs were shared, Kodaly’s solo cello sonata raged and softened and spoke …
As the solos were played and the painting delivered; as the portfolio was presented and the university applications sent, Cohen sang ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering…
Through all the overnight insomnia on the studio couch Joni sang dream on, dream on...
As we turned forward into spring, and green and growth, david sereda sings, you’re beautiful. Be You. Coco Love Alcorn sings We gather ’round when we can, and we let ourselves be true… Tyler Wagler sings …out the doorway, ‘way we go. Where you lead, I will follow … Kati Gleiser plays Rachmaninoff and then sings our beauty back to us.
A facebook friend of mine wrote this in his status update this morning:
May 18, Facebook: T.M. – 7 mins · New York, NY, United States :
Everything we do is a selfie.
If you’re reading these, I do SO agree T. And Marshal.
Blessed long weekend. I’m grateful to be here in the Studio for some clear hours, chewing and digging and thrashing at these pieces. Actually, the new paintings and I chew and pull and thrash, together on #Selfie. No blood, yet. We’re still all friends.
There are 27 days to delivery of twenty pieces (among other things), and I must say it’s getting mighty populated in here. Some of the early paintings have been banished for being too loud. Still others, like the 5’x6′ one I just stretched, are too silent, and need some kind of mark, somewhere, so they can begin to whisper their name.
Oddly enough what’s increasing productivity the most these days is getting the heck out of here for a few hours at a time. Sitting somewhere else bathed in sunlight through new-budding leaves, watching birds, listening to a stream run down the ravine to the Pottawatomi river – this has, I’m certain, rescued me from madness. There’s a red-winged blackbird here who has decided I’m alright, a woodthrush across the ravine, ubiquitous bluejays, and a northern Oriole in loop-repeat. The car engines, sirens, industrial arguments are far away from here – ah, peace.
I will go back to ‘Masks’ and ‘Left/Right’ (the 5’x6′) later this evening, but for now, I just breathe and feel grateful.
Unless you tell me, I have no way of knowing who has been reading these #Selfie posts, and following the process. I do know that there are a great number of you, from all over the place. I’m honoured – thanks for reading.
Do check your calendar, and come. If you’re from elsewhere, then absolutely book time off to visit Owen Sound on Friday June 20th – catch the show, stay the weekend too. It’s beautiful here, & GPS knows where we are. Call ahead to the gallery to let us know.
more soon, & if you have any changes you’d like us to make to the invitation, please write. I am actually serious about this…