Monthly Archives: February 2014

small(ish) art 2.14.14

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An old journal page finally being worked on. Years ago I’d drawn the sketch in Stabilo blue pencil and today finally decided to add colour and more detail to it (while watching Legion). More still to do but I’m liking what’s happening on the page.

I guess it being Valentine’s Day and what with the previous several posts, I finally had an epiphany of sorts (cue: jaw drop). I was laying in bed this morning (very early) and felt an overwheming sense of love in my heart for none other than me. That’s the best thing to happen in a long time. Perhaps ever.

xo

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Maggie Estep… sisters from another mother

It’s been weeks now that my heart races every night when I lay down.

I’m sure that it’s probably nothing but every night I tell whoever listens – me, perhaps, or the program in charge of my life, or maybe god, if there is such a thing – that I need to live through another night because I’m not ready to die yet. I don’t have a will written up, and I don’t want my 18-year old son to be the one to find me, late afternoon once he returns from school the following day and wondering hours later why dinner hasn’t been started yet, only to find me laying in bed expired.

But Maggie, who I don’t really know (in that I have never actually read any of her work and we have never actually MET, either) seems a soul sister of sorts.

I went to her blog (which I also have never read prior to this) and read her last post (titled “Strippers, Sluts & Umlauts“). I had to look up Umlauts (and I might add I am profusely embarrassed by that fact, because if anyone in the world should KNOW what a fucking umlaut is, it ought to be someone of a Hungarian and Swab descent, but I digress) – the other two I am familiar with.

I posted something (else about Maggie) to my Facebook wall… check it out if you get a chance.

I think a book about old people having sex should be written… because sex doesn’t stop with youth, and it also is more than about the aesthetics of beauty… of the porn of youth… and why is aging considered ugly? It bothers me. Nicki Sixx (or however it’s spelled) had this book with these photos he took of strange looking people. He said that he likes to capture beauty in the decidedly unbeautiful. I get that, because I feel the same way about things. I think Maggie did too.

Putting the dishwasher on and heading to bed. Maybe tonight I’ll finally sleep well.

Adriane xo

on love

Every Tuesday I share Rob Brezsny’s weekly horoscopes with a friend – a “yours and mine” bird’s-eye-view of what the stars according to Rob have in store for us – more out of habit anymore than out of ritual or belief, but they always touch on something (how could anything from Rob NOT do so?) poignant and deeply neural.

This week’s goes as follows:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Do you feel oppressed by Valentine’s Day? Maybe you’re single and reject the cultural bias that says being in an intimate relationship is the healthy norm. Or maybe you’re part of a couple but are allergic to the cartoonish caricatures of romance that bombard you during the Valentine marketing assault. If you’d rather consecrate love and intimacy in your own unique way, untainted by the stereotypes flying around, I invite you to rebel. Make this the year you overthrow the old ways and start a new tradition: Valentine’s Day 2.0. Mock sappy, sentimental expressions of romance even as you carry out futuristic experiments in radically slaphappy love.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I have come to be fascinated with the messiness of desire,” writes novelist Ashley Warlick, “with the ways people fit themselves together, take themselves apart for each other, for want of each other, for want of some parts of each other.” Your assignment, Pisces, is to celebrate the messiness of desire; to not just grudgingly accept it as an inconvenience you’ve got to tolerate, but rather to marvel at it, be amused by it, and appreciate it for all the lessons it provides. Your motto this Valentine season could be, “I bless the messy largesse of my longing.”

I don’t reject cultural bias, or sappy romance, or caricatures of it – not at all. I’m a romantic if there ever was one – I would like nothing more than to crawl into the mystery of romance and love; remaining intact through its messiness but revelling in it deeply nonetheless. I think it truly is the lifeblood of the species – what keeps us coming back for more and multiplying. I think of Persephone’s walk through and with Hades – both the God and the place – how she must return, cyclically, before she can walk out into the light again.

But somehow Rob’s shout out to Pisces fascinates me more at the moment, because desire has been on the forefront of my mind (you already know this, if you’ve been keeping up with any of my more recent posts) and I marvel at its messiness at once deriving from and being the product of its expression.

There was a call put out for love poems from the city of Cobourg, and as I sifted through the stuff I’d written in the past none really resonated with how I felt about love on that day. I can’t claim to understand love, or its’ mechanics, why it exists or how it works. I just know what it feels like, in its myriad forms, and that like air, it is crucial, at least in some measure, to my well-being and survival.

So, here is the poem, because it’s Valentine’s day, soon, and I’m all out of chocolate bars and certainly there is no romantic love to speak of on the horizon, though love flows through everything in deep undercurrents when I sit still enough to feel it move.

What love is
I remember Forrest insisting he knew what love was; it seemed simple to me then,
as I considered his words, his conviction. What of love, then? I’m not so sure now.
The older I get, the slipperier it becomes, this definition of a word filled with connotation,
an expectation, a meaning just as loaded for each of us as our opinion of beauty.
If love is all we need then I would like to be able to breathe it in like air, and hold
it inside my lungs until I am so filled with it that it can do nothing more than escape,
and again breathe it in because nature abhors a vacuum and breathing is involuntary.
Perhaps love is too – involuntary – a reflex that circumvents our attempts at logic
and calculation, simply spreading like a wet spot, hot and sticky, our passions spent.
There is that kind of love. There are others, too – the kind reserved for our children,
stoic and joyful and filled with the resolve to love them despite their differences, their
flaws smoothed over like sheets pulled taut, covered with the warmth of patience
and gentle like a well worn quilt; if only all love could be like that, where the edges of
things are smoothed over by a soft focus lens, and grudging respect grows as we
really listen, present to each other because we want to care – to know more than
merely ourselves – we want to be greater than the sum of our parts, co-creators.
Sometimes I think I’d like to know what that is, really, but mostly I think I’m just madly
in love with the world, mad with its beauty and its flaws and all of our collective
humanness; my heart grows so full that I’m certain it might burst, but it doesn’t.
It’s gentle like that, this love I now know, and it requires no reciprocation since it
feeds upon itself and is exponential. I’m sure that would change if I had a lover.
Then perhaps I would want chocolates and kisses and the garbage taken out without
having to ask, or to sit in silence holding hands, wanting nothing more than the witnessing.

So a Valentine wish for you: may you find love, always. May it be the kind that you want it to be.

Soft or fierce, or the kind that pierces your heart and makes you come alive, or reduces your centre into a flowing molten eruption of desire and simultaneously blinds you with its brightness and sears you with enlightenment.

I can’t say that I am ever the same after being touched by it, in whichever form that it manifests. I’ve learned to be grateful for it when it does come, and to say “yes, I see you, I recognize you, I know how fleeting you are, but I rejoice in you now”.

Peace,
Adriane xo

feeling and artifice…

A dear (not local) friend of mine commiserated with me about how it is common for people to not understand us even when we think they do. I know most people don’t understand me… parts, maybe, but all? Probably not. Many, though, are still accepting because they see my big glowing heart through the wyrdness. (cue: laughter)

Community… that’s always a tough one, especially for an introvert (which is what I am). Occasionally I reach out but mostly I don’t. Some journeys are not meant to be taken with others.

I think, sometimes, (well, no, I don’t think, I know…) I’m too raw and I share too much… people feel burdened by me, perhaps. I don’t want to be a burden, and I certainly don’t expect people to “fix” me or offer a fix… in fact, I really don’t want them to even try. Mostly I just want someone I can be in a space with (a creative one, if at all possible) and co-create with our hair down. I tire of the artifice.

I get that people are many-layered. I am no exception.

One of my former coworkers texted me this morning, chatting and then we got off to the topic of my going for job interviews (it was a gentle prod) and asked whether I was depressed.

Well… depression doesn’t ever leave me, really… it’s a blanket that I throw off to the side every once in a while, but it’s never too far from reach. I swap the thinner blanket, occasionally, for a thicker one, but it never truly goes away, ever.

It also doesn’t mean that I don’t find joy in everything – I do, daily. So very much wonder and gratitude… it’s an odd dichotomy to live with, and yet I do it.

I put my best face on for the world until I don’t, and then you see all of what creeps beneath the surface – always there but disguised. Perhaps that is the wrong term. I’m good at assimilating it into everything else. Otherwise I’d be the guy with the needle in my arm, looking for release from the pain that is an inevitable part of being in the skin I inhabit. All the time, to greater or lesser degrees. I’ve just found another way to cope with it that makes me able to function – and sometimes thrive – despite of it. Amazingly without addiction, though I can be prone to overindulging in things when there is a lot of a good (or sometimes not such a good) thing.

And it leads me to this: people who feel deeply either embrace what they feel (and often make good art as a result of that) or they evade it by medicating it or drowning it out with other things that distract and detract from feeling deeply. You either skim the surface or you dive below it.

While I’d like to think that we are unique in this, we all have the capacity to go that deep; it is a choice or perhaps a predisposition (but still something that can be cultivated if the curiosity and daring is there). It’s plush and richly pulsing in this place, drawing no distinction between what variables constitute the richness of an experience.

It’s scary, to be that sensitive, but also incredibly powerful. The world is experienced to such a deeper, greater, degree than that of most others. So we write about it, or make art to communicate it, and they get to vicariously experience what it felt like.