Monday, October 13, 2008

stupid homonyms and a meditation on art

Okay, so I was going to title this blog post "what do you call 12 pairs?", and then make a clever bon mot about how I spent my morning painting 12 pears while rocking out to Gnarls Barkley, and it was awesome. But then I had to decide whether it was more clever to use 'pairs' or 'pears' in the title, and then it all fell apart because of the written word. Stupid written word. Maybe it would work if you had a Stephen Hawking computer that talked to you in that freaky monotone, but I don't think I know anyone who uses one of those. So pretend it was something clever, please.

Good gravy, that sounds like something Robert Smith would ask in a late 90's Cure song. "Please pretend I said something clever / for ever and ever / everything falls into me/ as the planets fall into the crimson sea". Now I want to go put on a maternity hockey jersey and some nice black eyeliner and mope around. But something tells me that a goth pregnant chick would be laughed straight out of Waffle House by tight-pantsed emo-monkeys, and my tender psyche can't take that.

I had a point.

Ah. Painting. I painted 12 studies of pears today, and it was so satisfying and invigorating. They are mostly indistinguishable from the torsos, except they have stems instead of navels.

I am constantly amused to note that marriage and motherhood have been absolutely key to finding myself as an artist. When I was younger and wilder and free-er, I was simply a crappy artist. No drive, no inspiration, no body of work, no calling. Knew I was an 'artist', wanted everyone else to know, but didn't do a thing with it. Like the difference between the wannabe Hamlet sitting conspicuously around a coffee house with an empty journal and a fancy pen and the fractured MacBeth at home alone in his filthy hovel actually writing something of phenomenal genius.

I work better as a pear than an hourglass, I suppose, and it's a little fun to be always incognito.

I'd rather be full of seeds than sand, anyway.

My point is this: We aren't what we used to be, and sometimes that's a very good thing. When I read the poetry I wrote in high school and college, 95% of it is so pathetic, melodramatic, and self-indulgent that I want to travel back in time just to heckle myself at a reading and pepper my then-self with kumquats or something similarly random and yet insulting. Luckily, that other 5% still moves me in the way that all moments of mercy do, and i'm pretty sure that I was picking up wavelengths from Sirius or fairy static or something definitely magical and outside myself. I used to think that everything had to be deep, have meaning, plumb the depths of whatever-or-something. Blah blah blah. And that's why I hate teenagers.

I like being an adult, knowing that adults don't have to be grown-ups. That things don't have to mean things. That depth and metaphors are overrated. That flow is better than cleverness. I like being able to finally admit that I think Emily Dickinson sucks eggs. I especially love finally understanding that a painting isn't about a perfect finished piece with a fancy name-- it's about bumbling around with some crap until it looks about right, and then having the good sense to put the crap down and go away and drink some Chocolate Silk out of the carton.

In conclusion, jumping in puddles is a lot better than understanding how a flood plain works, and I like painting pears.

3 comments:

Valerie said...

Right on, sister.

Hey, my dog is dying. And when I say my dog, I mean my parents' dog. I only see her once a year nowadays, but she is the perfect dog. She's 14, and it's about that time, blah blah. I figured if anyone would understand just how awfully bad this sucks, it would be you. Man, this sucks. Thanks for writing nice stuff.

delilah said...

Aw, Val. I'm so sorry, honey. We had to put Aunt Bea down right after the wedding in 2002, and it was just awful. Seeing that first life cycle, from the puppy in your family to the blind, deaf, toothless dog that no one wants to live without... it just sucks all around.

That was the hardest i'd cried in 10 years and the hardest I cried until we put Puddy down last winter. I'm sorry, and I hope her last moments are good ones.

Valerie said...

Thanks lady. :-)

Hey, have you talked to Schmoo lately? When's he coming out?