Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sometimes it's a hydra writhing

The creative energy seems to be related to that gushing of emotional force slightly diverted by a soothing hand. reassurance of the right kind. That reassurance which transforms the hate into work, may come from a certain amount of past success, or a "certitude" of attaining some may be a form of being wanted,

Sometimes it's a hydra writhing and sometimes it is a sea of lava

In the mornings when I wake up it is right under my fingers if I touch my heart, tense in a angry silence. Any fear as tiny or unjustified as can be open the dam. Pouring of aggressive reproaches, 

—  from The Return of the Repressed: Psychoanalytic Writings, by Louise Bourgeois.

I'm struggling to finish reading a novel I don't like. Everything I read these days starts off as a good idea, until it bores me. Lately I'd arrived at some self-realization, with the further aim to better see myself, know myself — reading no longer provides the access to myself it once did. Instead, finally, I strive to engage in acts of creation, but I struggle to do so.

This is what my days consist of:

  • One lost right mitten, one hyper-insulated left mitten repurposed as a phone case.
  • One 4,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, a landscape in Croatia that radiates a calm, cool, entirely imaginary warmth.
  • One broken fine-crystal champagne flute. I'm devastated for about an hour, and am truly surprised that a possession of this sort, of mine, lasted 30 years (enduring regular usage over the last 5).
  • One 352-day streak of language-app German lessons. Aber ich verstehe nicht.
  • One-third of a 5-pound bag of beets found moldering away in the depths of my refrigerator.
  • Too much work.
  • One box of company swag. Scarf and toque, among other things, but no mittens (or champagne flutes).
  • The occasional respite with a lover and a flask of single malt on a park bench or in a hotel room, violating the spirit of curfew and limitations on social gatherings.
  • One dead houseplant, succumbed to a draft. Two other plants struggling with hydration issues, or possibly fatigue.
  • Three sculptures in progress (two clay, one soapstone). This is the part of the process where I lay down my tools for several weeks or even months and think about what I'm trying to achieve.
  • Contact info for a psychotherapist. Just sitting with it for now.

By chance, while looking for inspiration or guidance, I discovered the art of Louise Bourgeois (how did I not know her name before now?). It speaks to me. It's organic, visceral, and weirdly erotic. I ordered a book, for a more coherent retrospective, and insight, than internet can give me. What I see as "intestinal" may be that internal writhing hydra.

[I want to sculpt bodies, my body, bodies I know, maybe the bodies of insects (see Maman, only think Clarice Lispector). I want to turn bodies inside out. How do you turn stone into pillowy flesh?]

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