"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind."
Eugene Ionesco said that a very long time ago, but it is a timeless reality. Lately I've been venturing into my own mind to see what other art lies within me. You know, for so long I've been a painter only. I've dabbled in sculpture a little and played with graphic design but I always come back to the paint brush. It's what I know. It's what I'm familiar with. It's what I'm comfortable doing. But is that the only art I can do?
A few months ago I was outdoors laying down the wet elements of a beautiful full blue-green daisy-like painting. I was in the middle of an exciting portion, when a bug crawled into the edge of my canvas. No, I'm not joking--I mean a LITERAL outdoor creature got into the inside binding of my canvas and freaked me out so bad that I made my husband immediately walk it to the dumpster....I think it was a spider?... Anyway, I put all my stuff away and took it as a sign that I needed to continue my hiatus from painting and revisit other elements of art such as writing.
I've always been drawn to books that are so detail heavy a picture easily forms from thought. I love deep, thought provoking, brain stroking, rainy day, enthused, infused, gut-wrenching, joyous, porous writers. I don't read often, but when I do it's usually something written a long time ago by someone long dead, or it's something on the lines of Eckard Tolle (I'm still working on that ego thing). Usually my non-fiction reads are poems, but my favorite fiction authors are those like Toni Morrison. She's that kind of writer that makes one mourn the end of the words when you breathe those last lines of her books. She's fantastic! I wish I could write with such grit, and intelligence like she does. However, I know the faithlessness of TRYING to paint like someone else so I do NOT try to write like someone else does either. I've been inspired lately to create from more than just a paintbrush and pallete. In fact, I've been writing up a storm and subsequently stopped reading anything already published so that I wouldn't be influenced. My hope, my dream really, is to one day publish the stuff I've written. I've been writing poems since i was 9 and one day it hit me that I should write a memoir that includes some of my poems. I toyed with the idea and put it on the shelf of my mind, until my mother's passing February 2010. After her burial there were so many vacant nights that I longed for her voice in my ear that I was beginning to unravel a bit. I didn't know what to do with my crushing grief. To cope sometimes I'd re-read old emails from her. While doing so once the thought occurred to me to write out my feelings (both good and bad) about the life I experienced with her. And so I did. I wrote and wrote. Now I have 120 pages done, with 2 of the 7 chapters I plan to include in the work. I'm honestly really excited about where this will go, Whether it be picked up by a publishing house or simply handed down to my descendants.
Originally I started this book because I wanted to write down all the lessons that Joyce Croseford had taught me in her 51 years of existing on this planet, and in this form. I also thought of my grandmother and my great-grandmother and all the wonderful and ordinary things that I wish had been written down for me to reference long after they had also passed away. It would be beautiful to have my great-great-great grandchild able to archive my written life, in my own words, whenever they feel curious about who I was.
I encourage you to think about those that you will one day leave behind. Hopefully they're memories of you will be filled with a tremendous amount of joy and great stories about who you really were.
This poem (below) is an homage to my mother. I hope she is happy, pain-free, and enjoying her new life wherever she is in this Universe.
"When I die lay my body at the bellows of the river.
Take up a handful of crushed sand and toss it into the vigorous rush of it all.
Bring no bond made of words.
Carry in your soul ties forged beyond the edges of this world.
Drop Lillies of sunny tears into babbling brooks.
Leave the stones where they fall. Make no memory of loss.
But do not forget the sunlight on your cheek as I lay next to you, or the lightning rods we hopped over while clutching at each other.
And I won't forget your steady hand pouring into mine as we spoke of Jasmine, or the stick figures I traced clothes on from paper left under a dusty mattress.
Yes, when I close my eyes--at last--I will only hear your voice