“Going high tech?” a woman with a grey bob and shades asked me yesterday as I knitted. She told me she had been present when the streetsweeper pulled me off my bench and down the hill. (I had been so distracted by my dash down the hill after the truck that I didn’t remember her.)
“Thank you for voting!” This is the third time my friend the Dem. has thanked me for fulfilling my minimal civic duty. She told me that she has a list with 32 things on it today, and that’s probably why her headaches. She complimented me for my blue pants, the same color as the knit line. “I’m camouflaged,” I told her, and she said, “I don’t see you.” I felt like a rare species of bug, insecta bellinghama knittera, with a brown top that blended into the bench, my skinny jeans that matched the line perfectly. Perhaps I am disappearing into my art, and the thought makes me happy.
Love has no why, life is its own justification, and this has major implications for my work.
I feel liberated from the pressure to “say something” through my art, or to give it a “purpose” or “meaning” that can be distilled out of it, the artwork discarded like a husk.
It is enough that I make things. I find myself drawn back to portraits, a theme I had all but abandoned since the hell of courtroom-like critiques in graduate school where words like “presence,” “beauty,” or “poetry” were dismissed as weak and passe.
Yesterday, I disappeared into the painting completely, abandoning all self-conscious methodology–dead formulas–for an intuitive pushing of the paint. It was immensely satisfying. I feel that I’m on the right track for now–painting the people I love, for no other reason but Love.
There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.
–Miracle Max in The Princess Bride