this is just about art

It begins in May.
This story begins in May, at the time of the year when nothing is happening, after all the waves have passed that tell us what the year will look like, and everything is just waiting for the heat to set in.
This is personal, but there are collectives involved.
This starts when I remembered that I made a promise, when I was twenty years younger, when there were spirits who were starting to come into my room and introducing themselves.  And they told me that if I dedicated my life to them, they would always answer, and the doorway would always be through art.
And I dedicated myself to art.
And now, after studying and practicing things that are related to art, and more hidden arts that have to do with the spirits themselves, they told me other things.
That they would always bring me inspiration, and as long as I was available to them, they would make themselves available to me.
But they reminded me that they could do other things.

And I got confused when they told me these things, because I didn't know how that would work, so I began to play with them, to see what they sounded like, and what they looked like, and like everyone, apparently, has to learn, things unfolded as long as I didn't try to make them do things in the world, and let them tell me the things they wanted to do instead.
And it took awhile, but I learned that if I let them guide me, my life would continue to unfold in remarkable ways.  My days would be marked by meetings with interesting and lovely people, and if I surrounded myself with the ones who had brilliant ideas, then I would be happy doing the work for which I felt as though I had been assigned.
And if I questioned their motives, or started wanting too many things instead of too many ideas, then things would fall apart. 
If I let my personal life interfere with my art, then things would grow in unimaginably beautiful directions, and the two would work together until I couldn't tell the difference.  And the only mistake I could make would be to get disenchanted with my own life, and let the gold flakes fall of the pages that told my personal relationships, and forgot.  If I forgot that my experiences in this world were always going to be my raw materials for art.  And more importantly, if I forgot that these experiences were in themselves already enchanted. 
I was not supposed to forget.
But I made the mistake over again and again, but as I got older, I started to see that the disenchantment was always shorter, every time, and if I payed attention, I might see that most of the time I was living in a world that was always enchanted.
And art was always my one perfect lover.

My list of enchanted places:

The first is the room where I fall in love.  Like in a play, it opens like a room, that is to say, it opens by the door, and that same door closes it.  But I stopped doing plays as such, and it became something else in my art.  When I started working more often in video, the room wouldn't open by a door, but by the experience of light, of light on a room, and the light could be very bright, or very dim, and sometimes the best light was created by a candle, or a flicker of that same candle in the eye of a lover, and it didn't depend on the door any longer, but depended on my light, and my memory would always work like light on any object, and bring it back to life.

The cemetery.  This is the place I go when I'm too tired to think of anything important, and too tired to fall asleep.  These nights of grim parties with the dead are the nights that always brought me back to life, and brought back the cold steel in the back of my eye, with which I could see the world refreshed, and temporary, and more important because it was always under threat of dying without knowing the songs of the dead.  This is the place that always needed something else for entry, and sometimes it was an offering of flowers, but on more urgent nights it was an offering of identity, where one is required to take on another shape in order to live in both worlds at once.  And this is how dogs came to be my gods, the Other I would hide from until I remembered that I had to become it in order to continue.

The room where I raise my daughter.   Making meals together, talking about art and ghosts, or laughing at cartoons.  This room is always lit, and connects the past to the future, the place where I learn how to see myself reflected, and how to recognize the places that I can never be, the terrible anxious places where my own grieving makes itself told in flesh and blood, realizing all the things I can't do for another person, and discovering that my presence doesn't always mean doing, the road to being and accepting the enormous limitations.  They weigh more when I try to correct the things that already are what they are supposed to be.

The sea.  The place I miss whenever I am there, the always already longing and desiring, the place where the moon enters the heart of the earth.  This is where I can always come back to life, no matter how dead, and I would like to think it's so sacred that I would never let it into my art, because I can't contain it, and I would never take a lover, because it is solitary, but I try to cross those borders because I am contrary.  I might never learn, because it always gives me a narcotic sleep that forgets the rules I set out for myself, and those rules are almost always the ones I need most to forget.

The cafe.  Because everything happens in the cafe.  And the best ones don't have everything you want, but everything you need.

I don't know why it works this way, but whenever I get to the point where I feel like I don't want to do this anymore, that I'm repeating cycles again, and it's all done and there's nothing more to learn, this is the point where I turn fearless again, and everything starts to flow, and the dry desert ground reveals another river, one I've never noticed before, but there are others who have known about it for centuries. 

And it begins in May.

Comments

Popular Posts