So many boats in my dreams, this last while. Boats and boats and then again boats. I like boats, always have (particularly those powered by muscle not motor), maybe as the result of having for a father a man who in his youth was a sailor or maybe as the result of my Piscean nature.
when twilight grass looks the way velvet feels or the way warm smooth metal can seem in a dream
when you sit outside in a day that’s almost night and the fireflies arrive
all the other places you never know in daylight open out to you
there in the glow
It’s still in my head, the image from a lot of years ago, the image that came to me one day when I was sad and angry and roiled with all the awfulness of what had happened, when my worklife had become void, when the job I loved had been lost to me by bad behaviour not my own. Smashworld came and I fell down until the moment I got up and thought to make my own way, which I did and am doing and will do.
So yes, I’m making a beautiful bookthing. It’s that wondermental thing known as: a labour of love.
What I’m doing right now is I’m writing a thing, a beautiful thing, a bookstory thing. It’s hard going — oh god, it is — and for all the wild-ride moments of outpour, there are many many — many! — ice ages of brainfreeze. When you write a thing as a pen-for-hire, you push through the brainfreeze, because money and somebody else’s deadline are great motivators. But when you make something with joy in your heart and when it’s a collaborative effort to boot — I’m making this thing with James Cook, whose delicious photographs will join up with the words I write — you let the going be slow because you’re waiting for a strange kind of knowledge — epiphany, I guess you’d call it — waiting to see in a way you’ve never seen before, waiting to understand, waiting to make connections.
Dave Kinsey at Fecalface has a treat for you, me, and the lamppost:
Nothing makes me wanna go on a homicidal killing spree (as opposed to a homicidal puppy-patting spree) more than people lambasting someone for doing something new to them.
In all the annals of object porn, there are no objects that incite greater lust in me than typewriters.
A couple of days ago when I was stopped at a street corner waiting for the light to change, a man walked up from behind me, stood beside me, looked at me, smiled, and said, “Nice legs, librarian.” Now, I’m really not a woman who enjoys strangers making commentary on her appearance but he didn’t have the stink of testosterone poisoning about him so I didn’t just default to my “Fuck you, you fucking fucker” setting. Plus? He called me “librarian”. And oh good lord, I do love me a librarian, so very very much I do, and am always so happy to meet a fellow member of that tribe, which obviously that man was.
Butcher’s charts take it all apart.
Sewing patterns put it all together.
The sundering and the reconciling … they interest me, both. I maybe love taxidermy because it requires both; I should maybe love the jigsaw puzzle more than I do, for the same reason.
Often I think of the poetry of objects
about the way a seam is resolved
or the way a spine grows
about the things we make with our bodies
and the bones from out of our bodies
I think I think too much about clothes — mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, whoever’s. Because really? I think an awful lot about them. Like, an AWRFUL lot. Thing is, when the world is being beautiful, I don’t want to be a blight on it and when the world is being unbeautiful, I don’t want to add to the ick, so I end up thinking a lot about my clothes. And in my thinking, I also think this: I think style is an act of generosity. I think fashion is just merchandising. I think one is qualitatively superior to the other, by a lot, and in my mind it’s clear that the superior one is style.
Yellow! I don’t really like it, most of the time, and yet my favourite shoes in the whole wide world are yellow and I love it when a cool-toned garden is warmed by splashes of yellow and I think lemons are not only delightfully delicious as foodstuffs but delightfully delectable in every aesthetic aspect and I like looking at my bookshelves and seeing the yellow spines of Upside Down and Cheap Chic and A Prick Up Your Ears and What It Is and maybe now that I think of it I do like yellow, not as the object or the subject, mostly, but in small illuminating punctuatory doses.
You know, I’m not really a big fan of birds (the Byrds, yes, birds, no). Okay, truth be told, I find them horrible and creepy, more than is strictly reasonable — if in fact there’s a degree of finding-birds-horrible-and-creepy that could be characterised as “reasonable”. Mostly, of course, my distaste for birds doesn’t matter, doesn’t have an impact on my life — except when preparing a whole chicken for consumption. Yow. Now that is the stuff nightmares are made of. Mostly, however, I don’t think about birds or worry about birds.
I read a blog (very intermittently kept) written by a Korean artist who writes in English, which is not her first language. Her tiny strange observations are often very beautiful and made more so by the flaws in her English, a lot more so, I think, because those flaws can be very illuminatory — that skewing of language can make you look at a thing from a whole different perspective. The accidental nature of some of the beauty she writes makes her observations fresh and astonishing.
When colour isn’t present to advance the story, form and texture are what keep the narrative moving.
Last May, I ran a half-marathon. It was a dreadful experience, in ways I can’t, even four months later, fully articulate. I can tell you that I wasn’t jubilant when I crossed the finish line, I didn’t feel the lightness of spirit I had anticipated. Not at all. In fact, I was bitterly disappointed in myself because I hadn’t run the way I wanted to run and because in the months of training I’d done to prepare for the race, I’d lost all the things I value about running, sacrificed them to this goal of propelling myself 21.1 kilometres in tandem with thousands of strangers, in a specific and challenging amount of time.
Red’s not my favourite, it must be said, altho’ I appreciate that it stands for kisses and communism and a vast spectrum of things in between.
Leo Tolstory rocks my world, man.
A lot of [my] paintings aren’t of Canadian subjects, but somehow they always end up looking Canadian — it’s strange. I’m aware that I can’t get away from Canada, because my formative years were spent there.
— Peter Doig
The backbone of the backbone.