J O U R N A L / B L O G


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Personal Journal Excerpt,

October 17th, 2011

Drove out to the beach today after reading and sharing writing and editing in a café-- On the manicured plateau crowning the steep asphalt's descent to the sands, in a wide green field of short grass there were two trees, one a spire and the other split, casting a double shadow back over the hill. From between its two pillars I looked at the other tree, behind which a sun shone too bright to see. Beneath, the stretch of the Puget sound, a bed-like pedestal for the Olympic mountains, haze coating their bellies in blue but silhouettes still sharply defined in the cold air… the sound of wind blowing across my ear, I tilted my head to steady the angle of it and the sound, looking across the grass and taking in the solemnity of the two trees, the base of the first which captured my formal imagination, squares of sienna peeling bark and yellow-green worm-splashes giving way to tattered soft silver sections of dead bark, all cut through with a vertical rectangular grid of macro-cell separations, going down to the roots which simply terminated in dirt, a dirt which concealed a mystery as potent as any in painting but hid the mystery all the more for not suggesting it, for being so perpendicular to the tree, even though it was the surface which diffused the tree’s individuality, which fed and supported and dispersed it. It tricked me into seeing only the ‘end’ of the tree, into forgetting where the tree goes, how it might end up inside my own cracked tissues and skin. The ground functioned like the rectangular edge of a canvas. With such a stump and adult at once in the foreground, the brilliance of the sun through the second tree which could only be a shadow cast across me a larger scene, the mountains and ocean and meager clouds above constituted place, mythology, whatever you want to call it—memory, nostalgia, all the elements of dreaming were there, for whatever short moment, it just took a while to find them and piece them together. In looking for those pieces I hoped to clarify how they made me feel, for reflections in future painting and writing, to gain another example with which I could talk, question, and possibly explore again in some even more interior dream, to bring closer to me what the world really is, how it fits into my own puzzled perceptions or spills out of them—what it says when it does so, how it looks, how it moves… what it breathes, to make my own response more relevant, more… responsive.

November 14th, 2011

In thinking about why it is I so often want to find myself in the mountains, with only the solemn charge of the peaks in the distance calling me, I suppose I just want to be someplace random, someplace outside my knowledge, with further discovery in plain sight, but not revealed yet: a promise, a chance, even though… when I walk to that peak over there, there will only be the next—and of course backpacking is fundamentally the time between those two peaks, the walking, the looking, the moving, and there is something there between the pauses that I trust. Something that opens hands so regularly closed around disappointment, around expectations, around a rational structure of the self that unthinkingly slices apart the warm beast in my heart as it designates significance and creates a constant choice between right and worse.

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