So what was I so mad at? My paintings were pretty violent back then. Lots of black and red slashes and bleeding things. How I had anyone like that stuff is unknowable to me. I was rash and arrogant. Where was that coming from? who knows. All the things you do when you are in your 20s if you feel absurdly confident and mad. But in my mind I remember angry meant strength.
I was like that for a long time in all ways that you can be. Risk taking , fearless, stupid(looking back) But I was sarcastic too. Oh that was the best strength . Slash that wit around and show everyone how strong and tough you are. I used people, manipulated people and was used in return. But you could not tell me I was anything but super nice. Funny how we cannot see ourselves when we are young.
I remember thinking how honest I was about life. I was intelligent and realistic. In my mind I was right about everything, I never questioned anything I thought. Or how I came to those conclusions. I had zero to come to those conclusions.
I remember once standing on a corner in Berkeley California and this guy came up to me and looked me in the eye and said.” You are unhappy'” Just like that he came up to me a total stranger . I practically spit on him. Boy. I sure showed him who was happy. Its funny now but I remember telling my friends about that and they thought I was psycho to get so angry at him like I did. I was psycho but did not know it.
Sand gets into your shoes when you walk on the beach no matter what you do. The grains are as tiny as they can be. It is hard to imagine that once the grains of sand were a big rock. Rocks seem so stable and forever , but they turn into sand eventually. Sands of time.
It is hard to imagine timelessness. Eternity. It hurts to imagine it .
My Grandmother lived to be 101. She used to say “I worked so hard but that made me better. She had obstacles to overcome . She had a husband who refused to learn English when they came over from Hungary. Can you imagine how hard that must have been on her and the five kids. No, the kids did not learn Hungarian. But she did manage to create a little empire consisting of a huge garden ,five successful children, spectacular cook and sew and knit, handmade everything. She brought the alter flowers every Sunday to the Catholic Church. from her own garden. Florists bought flowers from her.She grew grapes and made wine and sold it. Same for eggs and clothes. Oh and she worked full time till she was pretty old. She worked in a cannery for 20 years then worked as head cook for a well known family .
I think about her more the older I get.
The rocks of stability I had in my life. All 4 grandparents were like this. Not a slacker in the bunch . Parents that were likewise . Stable Stable Stable. I was given so much.
Was I grateful as a 20 year old??? heck no. The walk in the desert continues.
The hardest thing to do is make yourself do what you don’t want to do. A sort of inertia sets in and the very thought of moving in a different direction is difficult . It is always easier to keep doing the same thing. You know it , it is safe.
it is familiar. Its you. Your identity.
It’s hard to get cold and hungry and feel the pain of not knowing what will happen next. The anxiety of the unknown , untested, foreign.
The desert is like that. It is uncomfortable to actually walk through it. Much easier to just drive by. But hiking through it is a thing I would rather put off.
till another time. When it gets quiet, you have to listen to your fears and the doubts that come up.
Unfortunately nothing good comes from being safe . It’s a trap. A death trap.
I was watching a you tube video about being an artist by Ann Rae. She said that if you can put into words what you do and why, you will be able to communicate it better. How can people know what you are all about unless you can verbalize it.
Three months ago I started on this problem. The words are hardly easy to find. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about them . They keep flying away into a vapor before I can see them.
I decided to do a blog on the process of verbalizing why I paint paintings. The best place to find a deep place, a deep answer is the desert. Its quiet in the desert and hot and you have nowhere to hide.
So Lent starts today . Lent is is a desert . The desert makes you face things you don’t want to face. Being an artist and doing Lent is a good thing. . Ash Wednesday
Catholics wear ashes all day today to show they have entered the desert . Day one. The next forty days blog will be my ashes on my forehead .