Wednesday, December 20, 2006


at some point he stopped seeing me, if he saw me at all, and I stopped understanding how one could be both caring and uncaring at the same time. to me it was clear how one prevailed over the other.

his show was last Friday. I was there, but not there. ghost-like. a trail grown cold. a memory one goes to less and less. his affection was perfunctory, without recognition. as though we had shared nothing. this is what hurts and what I can't understand, what makes the whole thing feel eerily unreal. imaginary. worthless, yet hard to put down. had it been anything, guilt maybe convenience. want. all in passing.

testing for green belt

This semester ended much the same way my green-belt test ended when I was eleven or twelve taking karate lessons. The test involved performing a series of complicated sparring combinations in front of a panel of teachers. I lost my concentration half-way through and made a few bad mistakes. The more upset I got the worse it went but, instead of dropping out, which would have been natural and less embarrassing (I was red-faced and teary), I stubbornly persisted through to the end. They awarded me my belt not so much for my performance, but for not giving up.

Not giving up has its rewards - artistically, spiritually, etc. Just when you think you can go no further, a door opens. A few days ago I spent the night on the fifth floor of the art and music building at Georgia State. It was just me, three bare white walls and floor-to-ceiling windows. I swept, spread out my work, hung it up, arranged and rearranged it, communed. Alone with my drawings, I was surprised to find I was okay with them, proud even, where before I had felt embarrassed and incompetent.

There's something special about staying up all night - a peaceful quality to the city you can't experience any other time. A quietness. Solitude. Not scary at all. When the streets are empty, what does it matter if I swerve, if I cry, dance and scream? Alone, I draw closer to myself. I remember to listen. I've needed waking lately. I'm too in love with sleep, with fiction and fabrication, expectation, the past. It seemed right to fast from it. And the place and moment were correct, were purposeful. It's hard to find places that are self-reflective rather than imposing but that night, that studio, the walls, the art, everything was me - even the blood red sun as it rose from it's sleep.

sometimes dreams express reality better than we can, explicitly

I had a dream a couple nights ago. I had sought out a famous painter and commissioned a portrait of myself, staying with him for months while he worked. One day I woke to find my hair, which was long, dyed black with vinegar and the portrait finished. I hurried to see it. Unveiled, I was surprised to find it was a picture of a cherry-blossom tree. A tree and an emptiness also, where it looked unfinished. I wasn't in it. The painter, after much personal struggle, admitted defeat; he couldn't capture me - though he had thought he could. I wrote a check and sealed it to the painting, which I let him keep. In this way he'd received payment, but would be unable to cash it without destroying his own creation.