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Murphys Pt. 2

I don’t know where my cat is. I have been here only a week and I’m afraid a coyote got her. The old lady kept worrying about it, waking me early in the morning, and telling me to keep her in my room. Well, that was impossible. She’s a nocturnal animal, so it’s either I get sleep and she is happy roaming around, with the only side effect being a window open enough to let the bugs in, or I close the window and she starts using a litter box again and is angry and making noise doing everything to keep me up at night. I would use the rest of the house, let her roam the living room and the kitchen, but Irma wouldn’t have that either, so here I am possible dead cat I’ll never see again. I’ve been thinking about it all day. Irma would say I told you so. Coyotes tearing her apart. I thought about when I got her and she peed all over the bed, and sat huddled in the closet covered in clothes. I thought about Portland, and Berkeley, and Oakland, and San Rafael, and all of the times I dragged her to a new place, to have her throw up and foam at the mouth, completely losing her mind with the change, and then becoming comfortable, and kneading my belly like a content little sister. What if she doesn’t come back tonight. And tomorrow. I’m going to put everything off, and sit here and think about it. Call her name quietly so Irma doesn’t hear. And hope. Miyoki. Miyoki. Miyoki.

 

I’m also thinking about Einstein. My first cat junior year of undergrad at Oregon. Einstein who came up to me at the animal shelter all black and white skin and bones and large white whiskers sprouting off of her face like a mad scientist. Both cats had wild green eyes. Einstein lived with me and five other people so she was more sociable, more friendly, but smelled bad and some people called her Skunk or Pepe le Peu. I took her to the Oregon country and she killed all of the rodents and placed them at the front door for us when we got back from work at midnight. Sometimes we’d step on a dead rat and yell at her. Einstein who sat in empty boxes. Einstein who tore up newspapers and ate the family of baby mice out of the toilet paper under the sink. I left to teach in Korea for year and she only lasted three months, and then she stopped eating and Adam said it was because she was sad and missed me. I told him to take her to the vet; I would pay for everything. He didn’t and a week later she was dead. He said he cried. He said he put her in the ground and prayed for her, but I cried more and screamed at him over the phone and refused to talk to him for two months. I was pissed that he killed me cat. I was pissed that he kissed another girl who was closing the health food store with him now and going home with him after midnight to an empty house with no cat. I couldn’t believe he did that to me. I blamed him. He said she had digestion problems, and that’s why she smelled. I fucking hate you, I thought. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

 

Fuck Irma for saying my cat would get eaten by a coyote. I think if it’s true it’s her fault for making it a possibility. They smell fear, and she sweats it out of her like an old, ripe onion. 

 

Before I came to Murphys I spent the night at the farm. The farm is my dad’s friend’s farm half way between Calaveras County and San Francisco. It’s just as hot and dry and brown in the summer. It used to be a race horse ranch and now it’s an organic farm with berries and vegetables and herbs. Miyoki disappeared the morning I woke to drive to Murphys. I couldn’t find her and I opened a can of tuna and walked around the house and street for an hour. I looked in all of the rooms of the house, and under the house and called her name and glared at the Italian boy who had come to WWOOF with the farm, and was standing there doing nothing, smoking a cigarette, waiting for the day’s schedule. I finally found her hiding in the office closet, invisible in a corner like when I first found her on craigslist and brought her home. She was lost and hiding away in a corner, and I was relieved. So maybe she found another interior corner to hide. I looked in the bedroom. I looked under the couches. The only other place would be Irma’s closet and I can’t go in there without proving I lost my cat. So I’m sitting out here watching the sunset, and frowning. I wish Irma would leave. She’s not supposed to be here. She lives in Walnut Creek with her husband and her renovation plans on an Air BB. She should be there, and I should be here by myself with my dog and cat. I hate how this family friend puts me in these situations. “I have a nice hilltop house you can stay at. $1 a month”. Hell yes. I was paying $1200 for a closet, and grad school is over, why not? I will come here, apply for jobs. Except it wasn’t on the farm it was in Calaveras County. Okay no problem, it’s in the boonies. Except it’s not a house for me, it’s shared with an old lady who comes in and out half the time because she pretends to be working to organize the mercantile store in Angels Camps ten minutes west. That’s where Mark Twain wrote about the famous jumping frogs of Calaveras County. Downtown is a strop of old wester buildings and plaques with the names of all the winning frogs and the length the leapt. 

 

Four years ago I left Portland, Oregon, and drove all of my belongings, with my cat in the front seat of a Uhaul, to the farm. From there the family friend, (John, who was in the Air Force in Spain with my parents and said to have introduced them), flew me to Guatemala with him to check up on his dying sister. She had a little room in the middle of nowhere, an old drunk with a fake bronze wilted tan, and gold nail polish and bleached hair. She looked like a Barbie Doll that fell in a bonfire. We figured out who was helping her cope with her last days, and money that had somehow disappeared with the help of shoddy caretakers. I felt like I was in a detective story. We flew back to California and a couple of days later I flew to the east coast to work for John’s company as a creative director. I quit art school for this, and daydreamed about being a powerful business woman in New York City. Except I wasn’t in New York, I was in New Jersey, and the position wasn’t as powerful as I imagined. I was serving taste tests of an organic chinese food from the New Jersey factory to Whole Foods in New York, and the rest of the time fighting the actual business leaders with the their shitty Logo and brand design ideas. I felt like I was the actual artist, and my opinion was meaningless. I felt like I wanted to stay in New York. I liked walking through Central Park. I even got a membership to the MET. But I was only there a month and John grew angry that I wasn’t doing what I was told with the logo, and that my ideas weren’t real business ideas, and without pay and without discussion, he flew me back to California to work at the mercantile. This is when it was actually owned by the farm, which is no longer the case. When he flew me back he had disgruntled volunteers serving sandwiches and ice cream. They all were my age, and complained about how small the town was and how they didn’t really want to be there doing that. They were like exchange students without the classes, and they were as disappointed as I was living in Clifton, New Jersey, between the longest sewer system in the world and a conglomeration of Russian food shops and Chinese factories. I couldn’t afford New York but I couldn’t survive the mercantile, and the lack of freedom and the dream to get a masters in fine art left me reeling, so I pleaded with my mom to wire me $1000, and I moved into a place I found on craiglist in Berkeley. I knew Berkeley from undergrad. I spent two summers there, one working as a door to door canvasser for the environment and one working at Mills College as a lifeguard and living in the architecture frat at UC Berkeley. This new place was a basement apartment shared with a manic depressive girl who just broke up with her boyfriend. She hated me two days after I moved in, and I was too exhilarated to be free again to notice. The move to the east coast and back wasn’t in my list of life goals, but being near San Francisco and pursuing art was, so I signed up for classes at the largest art university in the city and got a job at a local running shoe store. I quit smoking again. I ran and I went to class and the girl moved out and I move upstairs. What I forgot to mention was that when I was in New Jersey my cat was left on the farm with the promise that she would somehow be flown out to me. And yet a month passed and she never was and I missed her and worried about her. So part of returning was to see my cat again, and here she was on the farm, anxious and waiting. I took her to the basement apartment and she was also anxious, hiding in the bathroom, annoying the mani depressive roommate. So the move upstairs into a larger studio apartment was the first time since Portland that she was happy, and because of that I was also happy. We stayed there for two years. The first year I studied at this art school for a term. I learned that it was a real estate market. I learned that they had buildings all around the city and that it was a commercial hazard and students that went there were terrible and losing money for nothing. I learned that it wasn’t respected as a true fine art university, and my coworker at the running shoe store, a recent graduate from a true fine art university, told me what the good schools were, and how I had made a mistake. So I quit of course. And a term passed and I worked full time looking at people’s feet and telling them how to run better, and what shoes to wear and what size to start buying. I then enrolled at another university, a respectable prestigious school overlooking Northbeach and a block from curly Lombard St. I bought a new camera, and got extra financial aid from Wells Fargo and a grant and a cosignature from my mom that sent my dad reeling. I worked and I went to school, and then I spent three years at this school until it was all over and I had a masters and here I was, talking to John again, trusting him again. I couldn’t help but think about his sister with the gold nail polish and fake tan, the fake hair and the glossy alcoholic’s eyes. She was sent to live in a little house in the middle of nowhere. Wasn’t I sent to live in a little house in the middle of nowhere? I looked at it one way and I was given $1 rent house to take my time and find a good job for the next chapter of my life. I looked at it another way and I saw a man that I discredited as a lying, pretentious jerk, and told to take a hike and bailed on four years prior, with no verbal contact for two years until circumstances had me leaving Oakland and my parents insisted I communicate with him again. The convoluted mess that is this story wraps up in Murphys, where I’m sitting here watching the sunset and worrying about my cat. All of the chaos behind me, and the little stories I plan to tell from the Bay Area, and through it all from Portland to Murphys was my cat, and now the only noises are the birds, and my loud head saying her name again and again. Miyoki. Miyoki. Where did she go?

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Murphys Pt. 1

I’m in what everybody calls limbo. They ask me what I’m going to do next and I say I don’t know and they say that this is limbo. But I’ve been in limbo for at least seven years if not longer. Limbo probably started when I left Adam and moved overseas to teach English, but it may have started even before that when I got my undergraduate degree in Literature and moved to the country with Adam. The Limbo, from Oregon to Korea back to Oregon and then to California, followed me around like a stray puppy dog. It begged to be noticed and fed and understood. I never understood it, but it wouldn’t go away and here it was being verbally returned to me because everyone else could see it again. For three years I was off the hook. For three years I was back in academia getting my postbacc degree and my masters in fine arts at a small private school off of curvy Lombard St in San Francisco. For three years I studied photography and conceptual art, I got a DUI and I moved three times, and I quit my job at the running shoe store, and I started smoking again, and I became even more of a hermit relying on social media as my contact with the outside world separate from the classroom. 

 

The first of those three years I replaced my obsession with a coworker with a fairly miserable affair with a boy who I was positive was gay. I accused him of being gay and he proved to me that this wasn’t the case, though I later decided he was bi. And after him there was my friend’s boyfriend, but he had assured me that they were broken up and that she had cheated on him. Later he accused me of ruining his life and being the reason she nearly committed suicide on her birthday. After that I was raped. I guess it was a pretty lousy few years. They ended with graduation, and I walked across the old theater stage in a flowery dress, and watched as a boy with a fifth grader’s science project quality MFA show won best in show from our final exhibition, and watched as the main alpha dog of our class got up and gave a ten minute mundane speech about passion and commitment to our practice as artists. Twenty minutes later I was far away from all of the students, and except for an an hour one afternoon a week later to clear out the remaining trash in my studio, I was free and far away from everyone I had blissfully ignored this past year from school. The closest I had made to a friend was a girl who needed a ride to the graduate exhibition the last week. 

 

Undergraduate was somehow a polar opposite experience and yet also very much the same. I was still a hermit, completely flattened over my bed, staring at the ceiling, and hiding from people, stoned and melancholic. That was five years of undergrad. The most outgoing was freshman year in the dorms when I bought a two-cd set of love and kindness meditations and made an intense effort to be sociable and find my clique. I did find them, and we four girls started an online journal called “poop in my butt” and each of us had nicknames of a similar embarrassing nature, and from there we created and dramatized the freshman year experiences for our online readership and for our scrapbooks and our later retellings subsequent years when we split into different houses and boyfriends and branches of friendships. We remained good friends until the very end of undergrad, when two of the girls moved to Portland, and one moved to California and I stayed in the country with Adam. This was when I first decided to be a hermit. Adam told me that I needed to  be dead to the world. It was a concept meshed somewhere between Sri Aurobindo and Osho, and further enhanced by my recent class in Middle English Mysticism and the Cloud of Unknowing. I needed to close all my doors and burn all my bridges, and need for nothing, and become detached. And as I burned bridges and cut ties I placed all those cut ties around Adam, and cinched him closer to me, and together we worked and lived and made love and argued and fought for a year, side by side. At the end of the year he said he needed to live alone and I became upset and my restlessness and fear of ending up further entangled with someone who could never imagine marrying me sent me all the way to Korea where I taught children how to speak english better, or at least how to talk about recycling and global warming in english, and how to smile on camera, and conduct an interview from a tree. 

 

In Korea I practiced being a hermit without a boyfriend. I shaved my head and wore a hat to school. I fell into a LOST marathon depression, curbed only by this new passion for photography and LOST and reading. I took bus trips to Seoul. I ran to the center of town and ate street food and bought cheap shirts with english writing on them from the local department stores. When the year was over and my contract completed I backpacked southeast asia, and then I flew back to Oregon and had sex with Adam and returned to this emotional limbo that echoed what I had been living inside. This was the beginning of a more externalized limbo. I no longer looked near marriage. I no longer had close friends or a job that could lead to a career or even made sense (I began working in computer sales and later running shoes). I no longer had a place that really felt like home. From Portland to New Jersey to Berkeley, California, I ran away from one mistake and into another that seemed like a potential something. 

 

There’s nothing nearly so aggravating as someone telling you what you already know, and telling it to you like it’s going to be a great lesson and that this major insight will change your life. Because they don’t know that this is what everyone says. About love. About finding something. About settling down but not settling. That everyone says these things. About it all happening when you least expect it and not to sell out but not to wait and not to expect too much. Everyone says these contradictory things and they are all stemming from what we’ve told through contradictions of dreams and reality our whole lives. 

 

School ended for the last time and my parents came to watch my graduation. The one boy I had thought was cute in our whole 100-person class said hello in the long warehouse hall the last day I cleaned my last pile of photos and frames from the studio. He said Hi and I said Hello as a Bye and Goodbye, and that was the end of a chapter. I even said as much on Facebook: “This is the end of a chapter” and my friend asked what was next and if I might return to Portland. I joked that the weather was better and that the people were too, and from that my crazy cousin lost her mind again and de-friended me. Is that even a real word? So another bridge burned, a flimsy one made of old twine that needed to go and fall into the river and be washed away along with the pretentious boys from my class and the timid professors and the spaced out narcissists. 

 

Limbo is a series of fragments and distractions. It’s procrastination and moments of intense awareness and truth. It’s loneliness and clarity and desire. It’s little moments where you forget where you are and stare at a little green bug for fifteen minutes. It’s mistakes. It’s sleeping with a boy you met from the internet and wanting so bad for it to be destiny and getting mad when you know it isn’t. It’s panicking when all of the general goals you had are finished and not knowing where or how to create a new goal. It’s sitting over the sunset. It’s fearing meeting someone else who will try to cut all your ties and burn all your bridges and consume you completely. It’s realizing that there are no bridges left to burn. That’s one Limbo anyway. That’s my Limbo. 

 

I moved to Calaveras County. Every American knows the name Calaveras. You may not remember why but you do. It’s from a short story by Mark Twain, The Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County. If you go to the little town of Angels Camp you’ll see plaques from all the winning frogs who jumped the farthest distance each year. The whole historic downtown is covered in them. The town I moved to is even smaller. It’s covered in wine tasting rooms and clovers instead. Clovers are painted on the street like little Irish emblems. People come to get drunk and sit and enjoy the sunset over glasses of wine and tapas. I moved to a hilltop looking over the vineyards. This isn’t a story about being in Limbo, but a story of moving to a small town three hours east of San Francisco. 

 

Irma helped Buttercup farms find this house. She said she found the house and it was basically her house and she would be damned if anyone would steal it from her. She didn’t really say it like that. She smiled and looked at me condescendingly. She’s tall so she looked down at me and told me about he previous tenants who nearly ruined it. She was worried about my cat. “We’ve never had a cat here before. Your dog is okay but your cat has to stay in your room.” “But she’s an outside cat most of the time. She liked to go in and out.” “You have to keep her in your room and take her out yourself.” I opened the window a crack. At 5:30 in the morning she woke me eyes wide in panic. There was a grey wolf she said, and it had something in its mouth. “Is your cat inside??” “I don’t know. What time is it?” I went back to bed and my cat came in the window half an hour later. It had been a coyote. Two coyotes actually. An owl was hooting. Or maybe it was a dog howling. It was hard to tell. Maybe it was a coyote. I couldn’t sleep. 

 

Irma went back to her husband and her actual house in Oakland. She would be back again a few days later to check up on everything. For the farm. For her house. She wanted to make sure everything wasn’t ruined. But I spent these days alone in solitary bliss. I swatted mosquitoes. I drank beer and watched shows and got a P.O. box and a bottle of expensive red wine that smelled like blackberries. 

 

If you walked around at night with all of the lights turned off you could see Saturn and Mars and the sky looked like a giant black wall speckled with white paint. It looked a little like my old studio floor, and I downloaded an app for the stars and tried to learn their names. I unpacked my keyboard and guitar and record player and surrounded myself with music. I practiced with violin and the harmonica. I studied french. Mom called and asked me when I was going to find a real job. She got excited when I applied to the Pentagon as a reporter and got an email that I was qualified and might hear back. “Tell them your parents were in the military. Did you tell them that?” “When would I have told them that? On my resume?” “Whenever you can, it will help you. Tell them about your dad’s experience with the CIA.” They emailed me the next day and said the position had been filled. I ordered a telescope and bought a state parks pass. I took my dog up to the Sierras and hiked. I bought a peanut butter cupcake. 

 

31 years old. This is when everyone I know is sharing baby pictures on Facebook. This is when I’m no longer a child but not really considered an adult. The old lady still looked down on me and frowned when I asked to redecorate. “I just want to put up my old paintings.” “Where?” I waved at all of the walls in my room. She took down the little cliche flower her husband had photographed and grimaced. “Well, that’s alright. But this is a trial period. I don’t know if you’ll be staying here. I don’t know if you’ll want to. Don’t do too much.” I took down the other flower and stored it in the closet with the ironing board. I hung the painting of the Alhambra, and the painting of the little girl with the cello. I vacuumed the worms and spiders off the carpet in all the corners. I dusted the bathroom. The mess apparently didn’t stop after the last tenants left, but Irma’s hip replacements made it hard to bend over and maybe she didn’t know about all of the worms and spiders and dust. I threw the trash out at the carwash. I left all of my extra books and clothes in the barn. 

 

Murphys, the town of wine and clovers, was first started in 1848 by the Murphy brothers who came to mine for gold. One brother made nearly 2 million in gold and left to marry and become the sheriff of San Jose. The town burned down three times. The gold disappeared. Vineyards popped up around the valley. The first nobel prize winner in Physics was born. Mark Twain visited. Hells Angels camped out. Outlaws stayed. The town had character and wine and art and culture. Little Murphys with pastel sunsets and a haunted hotel. 

 

 

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a little too sex, lies and videotape

Much earlier today, before I drank three vodka ginger ales with a twist of lemon, nearly got attacked by three raccoons on my way to the dumpster out back, and accidentally slathered my face in hair conditioner in the shower, much before that and my hour of playing fashion runway games on my iphone, I woke around 11 am, earlier than usual, to go to my new school to change my class schedule. When I arrived in Pearl’s office she smiled warmly and then looked at me funny and asked, “We’ve met before haven’t we?” And I assume this is because I’d dyed my hair darker and was wearing a hair piece so it looked thicker and longer than usual. I smiled warmly and said well ofcourse, but she started wheezing and gasping and asked pointedly “Are you wearing perfume?” And I had to admit yes, because I had decided that morning to wear Molinard Vanille and Givenchy Hot Couture, so I was drenched in perfume it couldn’t be denied that this of all days was a fine smelling day for me, and really an all-round fine day in general, what with my heeled slick boots that reminded some of Equestrian riders, and my elegant hairpiece. I was a little amiss from lack of coffee for three days, because usually I swim in the stuff, so out of sorts it took me a moment to gather my things and leave the office. I didn’t realize that that was the only course of action to end the wheezing and gasping, besides opening the window which had been opened for about half a minute before I realized the dire need for me to disappear. I still shuffled slowly out asking, “Well, Um, should I call you, what’s your extension? I’ll just be in the hall then, is that all right?” And just out in the hall by Pearl’s office I called her extension and she directed me with my lottery mini-pencil and the back page of my Seth book to which classes I would need to drop and to add to fix my schedule now that I am excused from that one silly beginning course. Thank goodness, anyone’s grandma could teach themselves Lightroom.
After the perfume allergy incident, I went and bought myself coffee ice cream and a latte. Then I picked up a final from my old school. Three points off for not putting my name on the back of every page. God, I’m not sure it was necessary, but that really miffed me and I was relieved to be transferring schools. It wasn’t about the rate your professor.com, or even my recent mediocre experiences at the old school, it was more just the quicker and more adept transference of mental atoms flickering around in the new school. It was like visiting Berkeley campus in high school after visiting the University of Wyoming. It wasn’t that everyone at UW was an idiot, it was just that the mental energy at UCB was much more intelligent. It is something in the air, and you can’t deny it. The same was true for PNCA. I arrived on the campus, and elite artist snobbery aside, (which is only an impression from all of the sensitive insecure egos, but they sort of dominate Portland anyway), and the mental energy was just a little, no, a lot, sharper than what bubbled, or rather bumbled, around PSU. No offense, it’s just an undeniable fact.
And this energy, this was creative and wild. Completely my kind of neurotic energy! All of the possibilities of what I might create in the next couple of years started brewing around in my head, as I wandered around the Senior BFA exhibits. From the girl who visited all of fifty countries and painted the most interesting experiences, to the video installation of the guy masturbating and the people talking about their sexual fantasies (a little too Sex, Lies and Videotape, don’t you think? Who can beat that subtlety and James Spader, this guy certainly couldn’t…actually this installation eerily reminded me of a similar unexpected run-in with porn in a back room of a museum in Korea. Yes it was an Eros museum, so I should have been prepared, but it was just so blunt for Korea). Aw, blame it on the vodka, the jazz on my stereo, or the freshly conditioned hair and face, but I feel younger this evening than I did this morning. I blame it on the new school.

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Oh, the Artists we go…

I’m about to go out and search for a little foot stool or something chic and transportable to set my laptop on at either urban outfitters or world market. Two stores a block from my house with an assortment of colorful, half-unique looking home decor options straight from Taiwan and less expensive then the nob hill furniture boutique ran by middle-aged fruity men. But anyway, the purpose of this message is to really express my long-felt disgruntlement over the excruciatingly high number of “artists” in Portland, (and from my experiences Eugene and other nearby towns, not to mention the west coast, Austin, NY, etc.), who are known for being the artists in their community but really just a bunch of babbling finger-painting butt wipes. They are good networkers and portfolio-making winos. Many edit a good collage, understand printmaking, buy vintage outfits from Buffalo, and cut their hair lopsided with long side burns. They smell like coffee and cigarettes, or yerba mate and marijuana. They say things like “groovy” and “tight” because these old phrases disappeared off the radar and reintroducing them is appealing to historical connotations of hipness as well as innovative reintroductions of indelible phrases in new linguistic contexts. Yet these collages, reinventions, basic nostaligias are morphed with eager needs to please, and a swamp of character is lost in a blase mixture of gaudy egos, all bright colors and loud spirits regurgitated into a fad of ideas, long mustaches, and big bangs all pickled together in a package of controllable, quotable, calculable, marketable, and consumable widgets and wits. I see widgets because people are further morphing into one-click wonders, their personalities exposed in online portfolios and profiles, their entire character summed up in a paragraph of theories throw-up from a senior course in the philosophy of art, and a handful of photographs of their best friend dressed in a tutu and leather jacket, playing the fashion model of a make-believe cinema still. I am only coarsely judging these neighboring hipster fashionistas, designers, photographers, painters, printmakers, and artists of mixed media, because I too have expressed my share of magazine wall collage torn from Vogue, and scattered costume garments worn to work under a work shirt to express, as immutably as possible, the expression of a character that is at once vivid, youthful, and alive, and also extremely confused, complicated, and immersed in a capitalist world amidst critical parents, eager-to-please businessmen and egomaniacal entrepreneurs. I am merely trying to survive, and in recent months have mentally detached from my job of retail and socially detached from nocturnal outings with fellow creatives and networkers, in order to return to the roots of my inspiration devoid of bad credit and crimped spirits. I am returning to what made me tick at five, and love at twelve, fight at fourteen, and run madly away into the unknown at eighteen. I am reading, and bathing, and staring into the space of everything have yet to understand and can only feel when I’m in my world separated from histories and expectations. The lone artists, and naturists, the hermits and quiet types intrigue me. What is a loud voice but a need to be heard over the quality of your words. I want to hear the silent fellow who returns to his room to make art for himself, and hear what the natural world says apart from urban industries and profit. Profit in the quiet contentment of a product made for a feeling in yourself. Well, that is a big bundle of words I’ve again spitted out with my first cup of “morning” coffee. And now I’ll contradict my own stream of thoughts by going out and finding a foot stool, (one in mind, actually, a purple one at Urban, would complete the complete lack of color scheme in my room). And also time for more coffee…

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Colors of squares

I’m still sad but trying not to think too terribly hard about it, cause if I look t things from one perspective I can barely handle it. So instead I think about others things- like art. Like mark Rothko and his 300+ cm oil paintings with brilliant colors of squares and blended rectangular forms that absorb you like napkins, and penetrate your nerves without your knowing it. Most common museum goers would pass a Rothko and think “but why?” and yet they would feel him maybe on a layer of themselves they had closed or never opened up to realizing…so as nietzsche here was a philosopher with a great passion and musical inclination, who constructed art as Nietzsche constructed words, in order to appeal to something hidden inside you, raw, Dionysian, passion infused with a reflectiveness for Apollonian sensibilities. Why? Because our emotions can’t be continually trampled over for the sake of our social fabrics. They must be expressed and felt even on a fabric canvas, colors of all degrees to express fire-born moods, and bring back life to our patterned little boxes of routine, habit and forgetfulness. We all choose to forget, why not start by feeling in art, then in ourselves, a choice to remember, and then in a relationship, to feel more than ourselves…
I have been all thumb typing again. In conclusion, I am a believer in true love, yes Adam was right and in it I will continue to believe especially as I learn how to love myself, it has been the most difficult part of all.

Ps. Wish I could upload my new DVD project like a movie… Slideshows and amazing music of Portland and my studio for my architecture seminar. I imagine one day I’ll look back nostalgic and a little melancholy. Tomorrow I’ll look back and think goddam I am tired, what was I thinking staying up so late?

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Art, losers, distractions, love

First a quote from the man of the hour: “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” (martin luther king jr) MLK was a force to be reckoned with, with fierce love. He deserves this week of tribute.

Recently rewatched a good film…In the Hustler (a film starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, and Piper Laurie), Paul is a “born loser”. He is talented but always sets things up in his life to fuck up. If his pool is my love life I am him in this film. Or I am unlucky and lost. I think I am 26 and it’s no big deal and I should not worry an stew so. I’m like Piper’s character, Sara. She is lost her imagination and dreams, stories from books, and her little room with little vices. Her ending was the inevitable turning point for fast eddie’s growth to cut out his pattern and win.

Distraction. Sitting in a McMennamins cafe by campus I eavesdrop on two white- haired men. They’re talking about “fucking idiots” and craigslist. Tha craigslist talk is basically you can’t hire on craigslist. That’s where you find and age pool of 19 to 23. Cheap hire. The only consolation is that it’s heap day labor. The things you learn eavesdropping over a cup of lukewarm coffee, (they don’t refill often enough). Ooh con ersation moves to my specialty of he moment- architecture a Portland state… They are both drunk like ugly portland mad men…businessmen, paranoid, red-faced and stodgy. I could tune them out.

The HW reading: on drawing. “dessine moi un mouton”. Dreams too can be drawn. And here and now. We create art especially drawing and sculpture to understand in touch, feeling and gesture (communication beyond words), Where We Are…not a geographical detail but an existential age old question. What kind of place? What us the set-up of thus place we happen to have fallen into? And through art become familiar, tame, master this place or thing that makes us. So the accidental doesn’t invade our imagination. So we can form what we feel somewhere tangible. Each drawing place has the particularity and local knowledge of a here and at the same time a promise of an elsewhere. Necessity and freedom. And dreams. “Dessine moi un mouton” (le petite prince)

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