Finishing Vastness suddenly must have burst some creative dams – on Friday I finished the first full draft of my poetry book as if everything just tumbled in place. It had been in the making ever since my first book came out two years ago, and these past two years I worked at a snail’s pace until a week or two ago. Of course after this first draft there will be rounds and rounds of revisions and lots of time spent waiting for comments from my editor(s), but it’s still a big accomplishment to reach a massive goal quite unexpectedly.
Working intensely with my text and suddenly being done with it (for a while) left me a bit overwhelmed by all this creative emotion and energy. So, I try to bury myself into mixed media art while it lasts – god knows it won’t last for long… Today I don’t have anything finished to show you, just snippets of things I’m currently working on. The above photo is of a personal magnetism course book I’m planning to chop to pieces – it’s fantastic stuff, really! Straight out manipulation combined with physical exercise instructions at the back of the booklet. You know the type of exercise fit for women: neck rolls and arm raises. But if you do all that hard work, in the end you’ll become a master of men… Actually I have no idea what to do with any of it anymore. There was an idea, but it flew away. Now the book is on my desk waiting for the idea to return. The eye is a test image transfer onto antique linen. It, too, will become something, eventually.
There’s a reason why I share all these not sure what’s going to happen bits with you today. The personal magnetism book raving on and on about how we can control pretty much the whole world with sheer will power reminded me of something I’ve thought all through the process of writing my own book: the control we have over ourselves and, more particularly, over our memories. Ideas come and go, that’s perfectly natural and unremarkable. What’s remarkable how we hold on to some memories no matter how seemingly unimportant, yet we can eventually fail to remember the people who are closest to us. How you forget you are forgetting. How you have forgotten you should even remember. Also, how difficult it can be to forget if you’re trying to do it on purpose – how you forget you should be forgetting instead of remembering.
At first I thought this memory piece was going to be just a one off piece made with silk and mica, but the more I thought about it the wider it began to grow. I guess it’s going to be a series, then.
This is what my desk looks like when I have too many ideas at once. The clay pipe stem project and the cube thing have to wait, but I have yet to find a moment to clear off everything extra. Now it’s all just about pulling out potential materials, putting together prototypes, jotting down ideas and notes, doing a tiny bit of yoga twice a day, and listening to great songs. One would think creating a piece about forgetting would be somehow quiet and gentle – so far it’s been loud and energetic (that’s why I need that twice-a-day yoga). I even have a 17th C. articulate trumpet on my desk… (no, I have no idea what articulate trumpets are, and the illustrations on that book-plate aren’t helping me understand – I just found the idea quite charming!)
Now I’m off to the library before my editor comes to pick off my draft. It’s a beautiful day here, so I’m going to soak in the sun, and get to work with forgetting things. I hope you all have a lovely week!