Last week I found my way back to paper collage. You might recognize the bones of the above because it was my Above/Below/Within creation during the collage challenge. Within the remake I'm speaking to the experience of my uncovered eye gazing out at the inferno of psy-ops and dis-information. What I can personally do to counter-act it, sure, but for me the true lede centers on the fact that it's a pic of myself when I was quite ill. In re-working the original statement I see that Below hovering somewhere between my sense of energetic taproot and a constantly roiling sense of fragmenting reality/root chakra I remain sickened.
I mean ... I know that intellectually and experientially. I also think at this point I'm perceiving everyone I talk to or email in a mutually honest way to be sickened. We often use the word repeatedly. Some are very clear what it is. Some don't know but they realize it isn't any closer to normal than it mirrors their organic comfort zone. Some are painfully aware of their escalating mental health issues.
When this whole debacle first started debacle-ing there was only one thing that was really clear to me. We'd all collectively been thrown feet first into an abusive relationship (a-hem...) the [utterly pathetic] likes of which the world has never seen. And given that fact pretty soon the whole world got dragged into what happens when you let a country simmer and stew in its own exceptionally un-exceptional juices for far too long.
The entire planet and all its life forms are now engaged in an existential corridor of life: not-knowing when or how exactly but being unable to always completely forget that It is out there. And now it's got the overt totalitarian paramilitary backup Howard Zinn illuminated as inevitable once a country lets such a regime gain a viable toehold. I think about those lectures a lot - and I think of the direct impact it had on me and all his other students through the years. But especially then being carefully and thematically awakened back when the world seemed fully dystopian to our still-young eyes circa '80-'83.
This is the first collage I made after a 4 month absence. The ongoing farce of meaningful existence in the face of an endless bad news monsoon season has baked my noodle to the point of one night telling J I need an entirely new brain while you take this one through the car wash for me.
2020 being the absolutely brutal annus horribilus that it is I found I had no taste for taking pieces of things that used to be whole and recombining them with other no-longer whole things. In order to express what, exactly? And why was it my job to do this kind of work? Shouldn't, I don't know, this be added to a certain son-in-law's portfolio or something?
Projection, internalization, personal grievances galore endlessly piling up in my psychic mudroom because I left them there to wither-down before I dealt with getting it all composted. Creatively I found myself with a bad attitude. not a vibe I wanted in this space - not in my home/summer studio or up here in the real thing on cool enough days - that's a haven for much light brought to bear upon dark things.
A lifetime of somatizing disavowed feelings has taught me not to do it anymore. But what could I do? Where could I put the stuff that was my honest response to insanity layered-over with all the unique strength/endurance qualities those of us who are trauma survivors have been leaning into all along?
The voice I heard the loudest wasn't even my own. It was a considerably younger subset alterna-culture voice - the voice I most identify/empathize with in today's world three quarters of the time for sure but definitely not my own. This merged with Dee Mallon suggesting my fictional characters might be getting restless. Well hell yeah, yes they were! And one of them was top dead center the loudest voice I heard in my head. So my imagination swiftly gave him a brother in arms level of friend that could solidly (reading and writing-wise at least) ground the narrative by spinning through the necessary thematic calls and responses in between major plot exposition points. Or maybe at least in part so a reader wouldn't notice that mechanical moving along stuff happening quite so much.
And then! I was driving home from an errand when I was struck with that all too rare but also true pure creative thunderbolt of awareness that the person who'd just helped me in a store was also part of that call and response. BAM so okay. As I'm driving home I felt my mind reshaping absolutely everything I thought I might be doing in the fictional sense.
But that was last week which feels like several by the now. So I'm relatively adjusted to the reality of doing something new and mildly terrifying if only because it boils down to meaning I wasn't really very deep into my characters until this other character showed up fully formed so as to fit right in and amplify the true terrain of a story that hadn't quite articulated itself upon its initial resurrection. Kind of happy and gratified to be pressing forward with a more fully layered tapestry of generational skews. the next time I post concerning my word slinging ventures you'll see some of the results in a bigger chunk of text that relates to itself sentence by sentence.
hopefully anyway. There's a piece right past the middle of the section I thought it would be fun to share that's still pretty murky in a way that clunks rather than evoking mystery, magic, or even plausible mayhem among the sentences.