–Thoughts from October. I dig up this saved draft I’d hesitated to share but now it’s wrapping its arms around a sleepless night and my travel bug, that escapist impulse to jump in a car, on a plane, a train, a boat, anything–
All that really needs to escape is that toxic tendency toward self-censorship.
Writing is still elusive. Writing is hard, unforgiving in a way at times. Writing involves so much organization, I often can’t even handle it without also making visual art. Words have felt like pressure cookers, images like rivers. Images like relief.
It’s said that words, language, are limited and inadequate – but which mode of expression isn’t?
Images aren’t enough either, as enamored as we are of them. There’s things that pictures just can’t do, can’t show the same way. Pictures can not take the place of words. So then it’s the writing that happens by surprise in the midst of creating art. Writing is the relief. Out of a sudden desperation, exasperation that can’t be expressed immediately enough without switching mediums, turning to words.
Images and words have never been separate to me. Two sides of the same coin.
There’s the times none of it seems to satisfy – images, words, whatever. The moment’s raw and the only thing to do is keep going. With the current project, with any project. Whatever’s in front of you. The medium hardly makes much of a difference. It might make you feel better, or just more like crap but you don’t stop. I feel strangely serene now in the face of intensity when it’s there. Its presence doesn’t scare me as it once did. As if my brain partitioned into two coexisting sides of reality, dark and peaceful.
When the inspiration gets intense, weird, dark, I imagine some of the reactions and opinions those pieces could incite. Oh well.
Mixing beige paint in my room and laying it over black I contemplate my favorite person to be with. Wanting this man is futile. Will you leave once again and call me months from now, and what will I say then? No more? I love you?
Even the worst of you could not make me cold for long. An inescapable fact, love. I want out of here, too, restless. It’s the middle of the night.
I toss this whole situation into question. My job, my expensive life here in Oakland. What am I doing? This art. These photographs. This writing. How much could I sacrifice to be able to do this all the time, nothing but this for as long as it takes? Almost everything, I’m thinking.
What if I just said, everything? What would everything look like?
I wake up to recognize my room, my bed, myself. The ceiling, the highboy with drawers still open, piles of stuff everywhere for lack of time and energy per high season at work. Nobody to judge me for this mess, I’ll let it wait for a day off. My body feels good moving and stretching from biking and lifting two days ago.
Something inside me wants to cry, terribly, but I don’t even feel like going there. I’d better get to the cafe early, not worry about how I look, what I’m wearing. Just get a cup of coffee. When I get there I’ll feel. I know I need to write. To put the feeling into action.
I lie in bed a bit longer not wanting to get up and face the day. I miss you, I miss you. Do I? I don’t know. I want you. Do I? I’m so lonely. I think about my brothers who seem to have each other. My other siblings too, who also share both their same parents.
I probably think of you almost every day, but don’t call because why would I do that to myself. When was the last time I saw my friends?
I think about my job and everything I’ve been putting into it, get a text message and lately it’s like I can’t do anything right there.
I want to get on the bike later but accept that my body’s maxed out today.
I get up and walk to the bathroom. In the mirror my eyes look tired from the six nights a week racing around work. Yet still bright from all the exercise and the sun during the days. I’m hungry, starving yet can’t imagine what I’d be willing to stomach this morning.
I could handle holding you in bed, I could even imagine sitting in your lap and kissing you, but then I might have to be somebody for you, somebody you want.
I think about my writing and how much I want it. I think about how afraid I am to do it. I think about the pictures I want to make this winter. The photographs and the mosaics and the painted collages. The clothes I want to learn to sew for myself sometime, done with feeling frustrated at my own shape instead of at average sizing.
I think about the seagulls I want to watch at the beach.
The languages I want to study.
Of all the things I’ve hoped for myself, I rarely think anymore about actually putting in effort to seek a partner. What I’ve got left in me to give, I don’t want anything to ruin it. Not another judgment, not another comparison, no disappointments.
I will no longer need to be anybody else’s dream. Nobody will need me to be larger than they feel in order for them to love me. Nobody will expect me to walk on their stage either. Nobody will fit me in or drop me at their convenience.
Today I will just be a random woman at the cafe drinking coffee. I am small and I like it. I want to want myself more than I want anybody else to, anyway. I lie to myself but this lie is like medicine.
It’s okay for me to have some tears under my sunglasses feeling lonely, missing you, and others who came and went. I choose it. I choose this.
It’s really been this way since childhood; I just never believed it was all that significant. I didn’t want to include it, didn’t even want to know. I didn’t have to. I was in my twenties and I got all the love I wanted. Love was desire.
All the love I believed I wanted. My mind wanders into its broken second language that I can write but barely speak which sometimes feels like a safer, more comforting place to be. Chaque nuit je rêve seule, chaque matin je me lève seule. Sans personne, je me sens presque comme une étrangère tous les jours.
Le désir, il vaux mieux l’éviter. Il m’a faite sentir si invisible.
I lie to myself but this lie is like medicine.