Sunday, May 13, 2007
Screaming at rainbows or pregnant women
I met J. on what was my headiest trip home for Christmas. We spent a few days in the entry way of a door left unguarded, and I came home to Montreal.
I started to pour myself into the mailbox across the street, and the one at the post office, hoping that some far-off mailman would, in turn, pour me into hers or retrieve her to come flopping and rubber chicken like out of my mailbox. We spoke on the phone, she didn't write back.
Months passed happily this way.
I went back to Calgary, to be terrified by the gaps that lay between her and the her I'd been writing to, and me and the me who'd been writing. We stopped speaking. I continued to write her and then stopped. I began writing here, in the beginning I was still writing on this blog to her.
I had never written so much, and the beauty of letters is that I can't even remember anything from them besides fragments. My house is filled with unsent letters, they surprise me stuffed in books and drawers.
To sit and write to someone, unanswered(or maybe even unsent), you build a them to write to. And you build a you to write from. To continue to write when no hope of answer exists, you build without any new information, in a vacuum. The she I wrote to was me, in her clothing. The me that I wrote from was me in my clothing. Both imaginary, all me.
Writing those letters changed my relationship to the studio and to working in it.
To find myself having built another's veneer strangely enough to be called "other" was terrifying. I could not even worry about violence done to her, as she had ceased to be another months before. It was terrifying because it was so well built I counted it as another person, as her, for months.
This killed outside. There wasn't and isn't any outside. It is always all me.
Just as the love of love songs is misleading, as the other that is being sung about is the constructed other of the self singing, my attributing otherness to accidents in painting was misleading as I have spent years in the studio, and those years have built control.
As I constructed a veneer of J. to cover the mysteries I couldn't access because of silence, I constructed a veneer of accident to cover the mysteries of what paint did when I wasn't looking, touching, acting.
In the end the only unintentional part was the construction of the veneers because it is too slow to see and works seamlessly from some space where you can claim knowing.
At some point I was near enough to J. and accident to name them, now those theys go by the names "me" and "me" because in stopping writing to her, and in stopping chasing fleeting accident, nothing is left but the veneer.