Artist Daily Journal
Amazingly, no one has yet been saved by (my) art. Even me, though believe me, I have thought that the drawings of my son are so wildly exciting and fun and well-put that they would alter everything, and that if I finish a piece, with the right move, the right aesthetic idea, we will all lift off the ground, and rocket to the next dimension. Hyperbole, not.
I have been saved by art before, faced with Degas pastels in softened lighting, but then even going to see art. I see in my photos, picturing art, that these were events that changed me, each time. Even now, two small Sculpey figures in front of me on the desk, one made by myself, one by my son, suggest another world to me.
I hate white. The pressure now to put everything on a white background, to remove noise. I understand the brainwashing of the thing, how we're overloaded and JUSTCANTTAKEITANYMORE!, but I can't abide it. These details are everything.
In a book I read recently (1 hour ago, I mean very recently), a woman who had helped cause her own mother's death, by desertion, manipulation, and weakness, among other things, drank a cup of tea with her sister as she learned of her tragic end. They drank it the way her mom used to make it in the old country. These motions, so insignificant, at a moment of crisis. As this same daughter ran to escape for her life, she paused to move items around in a toiletry bag, placing the shampoo next to the pink-handled hairbrush. It's nothing, and yet it's the tangible we can hold on to, the location, the feel, the dust. We live on air, water, food, love, and security. Everything else comes afterwards.
We will be camping in a week, for three days, a three hour drive, a carload of prepared and bought items to give us a modicum of comfort. We will sit outside, remove walls, clocks, and flow amidst each other. This is what we will have, and we will be left with it. I keep thinking about time today, about the cumulative time I spend doing things that I imagine will make my life more full, and that will somehow secure my value as someone important in other people's lives. The hours add up. I keep a tally as the year goes on of what I've accomplished, hours I've logged in different efforts, taking photos to prove progress, diligent and responsive to calls of manufactured duty. I feel young lately, because I see how old I will be, and so I call myself young and smile about it. When I really was young, it was all so overwhelming, I had no appreciation for any of the advantages.
Today when my son comes home, I anticipate that we'll both be too tired to rise to the occasion. Monday was overcoming, Tuesday was family fun, but Wednesday I have no plan to bolster us from despair. I am going to face these paintings and make them new again. They are both the mundane and the uplifting testament to a day when I believed I could leap over the moon.