Beautiful, Bubbling Chaos

Blaze of Creativity

In a second, one iota, in the tiniest of times,

is the space to make a gesture that surpasses reason, rhymes,

that outpaces every meaning, each idea, concept, scheme,

hold more power than all order and more hope than any dream—

It’s the glint of living freely in a bright, creative flare

without borders, without worries, only hope and joy in there;

it’s the tumbling of the atoms into place where happenstance

makes them line up into beauty as pure music, pleasure, dance—

If the chaos of the openness and depth of space affrights,

how will any of us find a way to light the empty nights?

Let the effervescent madness take a sweeping arc abroad:

in such wild, uncharted wonders, one might hear the voice of God!Digital illo: Beautiful, Bubbling Chaos

Just Because…

Digital illo: Life PatternsJust because something is beyond my understanding doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Just because it defies convention doesn’t mean it Can’t Be Done.

Just because it surpasses my imagination doesn’t mean it’s unnatural and illogical.

Just because it seems superhuman doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Just because I’m small and insignificant and mortal doesn’t mean I shouldn’t seek deeper understanding, challenge my boundaries, learn from nature, investigate logic and the natural order of things, and

lean hard against the edges of

impossibility…

My Portfolio

I’ll leave it to others, preferably sometime after I’m dead and even less likely to be concerned about it that I am now, to determine whether I’m a real artist or writer. No doubt there are, and will be, many who are dubious that I am a real person, for that matter. But it’s of little consequence, as long as I believe I exist. There’s room enough in my delusion for a number of delightful companions, and as long as I am happy in my imaginary world, all is well. But I will stake a small claim that, whether as a real artist or writer or a mere fantasist, I’ve been making art and writing stuff for as long as I can remember.
Photo: Portfolio 1

I think it unlikely that much of either kind of output will ever be considered especially valuable by others. I don’t flatter myself so far as to think that a large quantity of my work in visual or verbal invention is more than a passing amusement even to me, so there’s no reason to believe that the rest of the viewing and reading world will be so moved by my thrilling creations as to consider it important. And I don’t worry about that.

After all, I am as ephemeral as all persons of the human persuasion are, and thus unlikely to be troubled by anything lasting after I’m dead. I’m not one to concern myself with my epitaph (although I’ve written dozens of silly couplets and quatrains that would more than suffice in summing me up for a headstone, so that’s taken care of already if it worries you) or my legacy. The latter, I hope, will be to not have left too much of a mark on the world when I’m gone, but rather have trod on it fairly lightly, as these things go.

But because I am alive in an era when a veteran introvert like me can now also easily ‘go public’ without the great anxiety-production that comes from real world interaction with other humanoids, and in order to keep myself motivated to enjoy my practice of art and writing as much and as long as I can, why then: I am; therefore, I blog. Inevitably, others will feel it incumbent upon them to critique. Thankfully, the most succinct and practical form of critique in the digital age is first, to ignore, and then, Delete. So if anyone finds my work offensive or ugly, or just plain tedious and tiresome, their best defense of their tender eyebulbs and precious time is to run away from my website and never darken its portals again. I take the grand liberty of assuming that anyone who comes here does so unforced, and is free to go galumphing off in a cloud of huffiness when and if that suits them, and has therefore no cause to chastise me with wasting their life-energy here.

Photo: Portfolio 2

Meanwhile, having this platform for self-training and/or self-amusement, I go on producing new posts, new drawings and photos and poems and fictions and musings and digital collages daily and to my heart’s content.

But I consider that my portfolio is more than just a blog. It’s more than all of the art and writing and publications and stashed-away unshared works of my lifetime thus far and to the end of my days, whenever that will be. My true portfolio is all of the inspirations and ideas and inventions from the alpha to the omega of my lifespan, plus every experience and dream, study and accident, fear and hope and longing that led to those works of my brain and hands. And most of all, it is the collected community of friends, teachers, icons, playmates, correspondents, counselors, and loved ones who have moved, and continue to move, me to pour out this satchel of tricks and treats by which I will leave what little mark I do make upon the universe before I go.

Blankety-Blank Blankness

When the mind is particularly recalcitrant and thought refuses to bubble to the surface, what am I to do? Why, curse the dis-ease just a little, and then put my brainlessness to work at doing the Nothing it is so fond of doing anyway. I can hope that some sense will accidentally fall into place, but at the least, I’ll have enjoyed myself with a little ridiculous exercise of the inner sort.Photos + text: Lines Upon Lines

Fugue State in the Studio

It’s not always the case, but sometimes I find that I can lose track of time and self rather thoroughly when I’m deeply engrossed in making art. Writing even a simple email can take ages, if it’s about something or to someone I consider important; an essay or poem can take hours or days, if I get involved and forget where I am. It’s a bit like driving a familiar route; when I’ve been on the same track enough times, I am occasionally startled to realize that I don’t remember passing through the last number of miles, because my brain is so used to noting what is or isn’t as it’s expected and supposed to be that it operates nearly on autopilot, though thankfully if I examine my memory I can indeed recollect noticing real details along that ostensibly missing section of the trip. With making visual images, I can (and sometimes, I think, absolutely should) let go of and turn off my editorial mind for a good period of the work time. If I’ve practiced enough and prepared enough, inwardly, for a session of art-making, letting my attention take a back seat to my instincts and actions before returning to critical mode is at the very least going to produce some worthwhile, thought-provoking, challenging Stuff that will either lead directly to an artwork or, as a bit of not so fabulous yet earnestly glimmering potential, lead to something on the next try.

No matter how that part of the process goes, I’m quite sure that an easy 90% of what I do to make art, whether it’s textual or visual, happens internally and not externally, so it’s no wonder if I wander off at times.Digital illustrations from photos + text: Work Patterns

I Love You Like Crazy

Acrylic mural: Tongue-in-Cheek, after Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun It’s probably inaccurate in more than just the politically correct sense to say that I love my husband like crazy, because it would imply that my affections are only similar to complete madness, and we all know I’m much closer than that in reality. While I flatter myself that I maintain a reasonably plausible façade of normalcy, everybody knows that I’m pretty nutty about my spouse. And those who know him don’t blame me.

He really is a lovable guy.

But aside from the stuff that is evident to the general public, that part about him being a thoughtful colleague, a committed and skilled teacher, a nuanced and inspired conductor of singers and instrumentalists, and all that other excellent and admirable kind of thing, he is smart and curious and kind as a person. I know that when we are together, I matter as much to him as he does to me; that he is a safe retreat from both the minor perturbations of the day and the greater dangers of the wide world when I am in need. And I have in him the great friend with whom I would rather while away the hours either in intensive work or fully at play than with anyone else on earth.

Most of all, I know he not only understands my particular brand of craziness but shares in it as well. Each day, each year, is a surprise package of a kind, and every one of them is somehow richer than all of the foregoing ones as more than the sum of their many parts. Love and admiration and respect and support are all well and good, but if they don’t have the kind of holy hilarity that life with my partner has, they can never be enough.

With that, I wish my beloved the happiest of birthdays, and many more of them yet to come, each in succession with new and astonishing delights.