The one about my dreamboard: Spaces. When I dream, it's in rooms. It's all close up within reach. Why don't I dream in far away?
The one about Dnd: "This winter I wanted to play. I wanted to escape & dig into my imagination & allow stories to unfold."
The one about housekeeping: "We must pull out every single hair. There must be no hair anywhere."
The one about fashion: "In the future, the thrift store will be less open." -3/27/20
The one about gifts: "Would you rather I wake you in the morning with your favorite morning beverage or a bunch of kisses?"
The one about natural dyes: "Take your time collecting."
The one about teachers: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood & don't assign them to tasks & work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -Antoine de St-Exupery"
The one about my mom: ""In the morning she has tea. She wakes up much earlier."
The one about magic: "& above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest are always hidden in the ..."
The one about singing: “Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn't do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic. -Florence Welch”
"When do you think an artist's project is complete? How do know when that moment is?" I asked Jamie in early April.
"When it gives you goosebumps or makes you cry. Then you have to cut yourself off or you'll change it again... I always want to edit forever."
I put this goat bell near my workspace. It's a reminder of the imperfect resonance my art creates when it's ready to slip into the world. I always wished I could relate to other artists and that harmonious moment. Maybe the secret angst of artists-in-process takes away from the romance we like to project. Or maybe I am alone in this feeling.
I ring the goat bell because there is no more work to be done, what needs to be said is said, the muse has become quiet. The cover is pasted on and the zines are posted online with a brief description.
There's this sense of control I get to have when in-process. The moment can last forever, with no end. A continuum without expectation of completion. It's not a joy-filled process most of the time, but a dance of holding and letting go. I'm not kind to myself during the work, attempting to tune-in to a certain frequency and emotionally lashing myself when it doesn't sound right. But the work is something in itself and as an artist I recognize myself as more of conduit.
When the work is done, it doesn't belong to me anymore. It runs like a wobbly-legged kid across the meadow seeking a poppy head to gnaw off. I'm its keeper for a time, an overprotective parent with knowledge of a harsh world, biting my knuckles as it stumbles on its own.
The project I started working on was a series of little one-off zines made by the folded archives of my old gallery prints of The Thread #16. I had folded them almost as a means of containment, keeping them organized with the promise of doing more in the future.
At the beginning of Lent, in late-February, I unearthed the little books and dedicated them to the forty-days, dedicating each day a little zine. Each zine intended to be an exploration on a certain subject I could dig into until it was exhausted.
Because there was no intent of making copies I was excited at the prospect of not limiting myself. I could work in a deep, dimensional way, crafting little pockets of water-colored illustrations and collage bits. I could include scraps of writing in carefully constructed nooks that didn't fit into a conventional essay, or boldly and lavishly print color images and photographs without the need to make more then one copy. I could let this project be a bespoke mess outside the constructs of a black-and-white xerox containment.
These zines came together as I nested myself cross-legged in my studio, surrounded by a flurry of papers, magazines, books, old journals, modge-podge, pens, stamps, and cups that testified to the time range I spent there: coffee mugs, jars of water, and wine glasses.
There's a lot going on right now, I was grateful for the time and space to create through it.
I came off medication in January, separated from my partner, transitioned back into serving from housekeeping, and found myself living with mom and depleting my savings while a global pandemic shut everything down. During that time, a pinnacle of the art-community and a dear friend passed onto the ancestral plane.
Girl Kaycee, as she's known to her friends, was a prolific creator and lived through her work with this inspiring strength and thoughtfulness. Her ability to dedicate herself to a project and see it to fruition was a kind of alchemy to me. She truly created as she lived, there was no separation.
While working on this project I had to remind myself of her boundless encouragement to all of us in the art community. She was known to send an emoji of blowing wind juxtaposed by a blue heart. It was her thing. I had to remind myself often during this project, when shit got really frustrating, that we were creating together. I feel this way towards all my artist friends as we create in our certain spaces. There is no separation.
So for me, the goat bell rings and the work is done. Rather than slipping into the world like a slick black-&-white assembly of pages, it clunks cacophonously like an ambling goat. It has a hand-made paper cover and the pages are thick with layers of things I can't even remember now, and honestly would prevent me from putting them out there.
These are zines are done because they're letting me know they're done. Because they're ready to be in someone else's hands.
Hailey told me purple and yellow in nature can usually be found together.
Jasmine and Oregon Grape within a stone's throw of one another.
Close enough to my house to sneak a few from my neighbor's garden.
Hyacinth and Daffodil.
Violet and Balsamroot.
Dandelion and Crocus.
Amethyst and Gold.
I've been wishing to make bitters lately. It sounds very simple. Add a bittering herb to a high-proof alcohol alcohol and let it sit.
Dandelion root, burdock, orange peel, lavender, and coffee I've heard suggested.
Sprinkle in an effervescent beverage for a nice drink or directly on the tongue to stimulate and aid digestion.
In my personal experience, I've discovered the perfect recipe for bitterness.
I've realized it's easier for me to be bitter than it it to communicate through pain. Holding grudges has become my super-power as some might have learned in knowing me.
Here's the recipe:
Take your pain and bottle it up. Put it deep inside the shelf of your basement and think about it often. Stroke your minds eye over the details of it as you lay in bed at night trying to sleep.
Don't let sweetness in. You can be around it but don't let it permeate you.
If this doesn't come naturally to you, you'll have to practice.
Never ever be vulnerable. Never cry in front of anyone. If you must cry, do it alone. Go in the kitchen when no one is paying attention and cut the onions. All the onions.
Your bitterness might change slightly in flavor in time, but it will never expire or go stale. You can hold onto it forever, perfectly preserved. Mistrust, silence, and self-preservation are survival skills that make excellent bittering agents.
Some sweetness has snuck in recently. Some softness. A strange feeling. The script has shifted a little bit. My strength has always been in my ability to hold a grudge and forgo love.
(Hunger hurts, but starving works)
This is honey.
It's pleasant, this feeling, I've known it from before.
It's hard to maintain.
Left alone, I identify as an acerbic brine.
Recommended ingredients: red onions with a a fresh floret of dill and small palm of juniper berries.
Ah, purple and yellow. There they are again.