Sunday, August 31, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Plus, Maya may appear well adjusted and happy as usual as her big green eyes and gregarious personality lead one to believe. Nevertheless, she has somehow come to the conclusion that the old used red couch that we bought from a friend should now serve as her litter box. I have awakened to poop and a not so savoury aroma every morning. She pees in her box and poops on the couch. Go figure.
In the mean time, Silver lives under the basement stairs and growls whenever Maya tries to befriend. Change can be challenging for most of us.
I am missing being creative. Yesterday, I tried to write who knows what great thought I had in one of my journals. I woke up curled over it instead. The weekend is near and I am beginning to see over all of our piles. There is hope.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I was born in war.
Everything around me now is war.
War has always been.
I cannot remember a time when there was no war.
-Zena el Khalil
There is a side of me that scoffs at non-high art materials such as glitter, plastic beads, fake flowers, and doilies. "Oh this isn't real art," the critic in me says. But let's face it. I love and am drawn to these materials precisely because of their kitschy Easter Sunday dollar store quality. And when they say something that makes sense to me, I laugh loudly, cackle really, in a healing kind of way.
These mixed media pieces by Zena el Khalil make me even happier because they get at some of my raw unsanitized reactions to gender, politics and war.
"If men had no one watching them kill, they would stop just like little children do when no one reacts to their acting up."
"If only men would show their emotions."
"Its all about who has bigger balls."
"Women are stuck in their little Barbie doll outfits being virginal and nice wearing tight clothes, bikinis, and high heels."
I also like what I perceive as Zena el Khalil's vindication for my own creative obsessing:
In the beginning I was creating so that people would remember. But now, I have to be honest with myself; I am caught up in existential unrest and I find myself creating these images and forms because I cannot physically do anything else. It is no longer about right and wrong. It is not an intellectual debate. It is a creative offering I make to help maintain balance and order in the world around me.Laugh a loud annoying laugh that cuts through stagnancy, both yours and others, shattering like glass.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
In explaining the photos, the artist quotes Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others:
We view the horrors that take place throughout the world on a daily basis and our knowledge of what is happening in neighboring countries makes us responsible for our ignorance, our passivity and our indifference. And yet, our ultimate response is a floating feeling of total incapacity!
How can we live in a world where daily disasters are continuously broadcast? What responsibility do we bear for the availability of such knowledge? Do we enjoy observing the 'pain of others' from a position removed in time and space? What is being communicated and what is not being transmitted? Are armed conflicts a new source of entertainment? Why and how do the media participate in this paradox? And what is so exotic about war, anyway?
What I love most about these photos is that we consumers of images look and we see ourselves looking. It makes us have to really think about why we are looking, how we are looking , and what we are going to do about it. Because, as far as I am concerned we are all responsible.
I had been wondering, "What if?" What if we stopped watching and consuming these atrocities? What if there was no longer an audience for them would they cease to exist? I think about how much of the atrocities in the world we, and specifically I, pass over such as Darfur and Georgia to name only two. I realize that not showing these images and not letting the larger global community know about what is happening is not an option. I was seeking easy solutions to complicated situations. I too am overwhelmed and these photos remind me of this.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
One piece of wisdom that I heard in the last few days is that a writer has to accept that the story may not have the ending that she/he anticipated. The writer has to be willing for the characters to determine where the story should go. I wasn't yet willing to do this with any of my writings on Lebanon and so I am switching to another theme for awhile. I'll see how that goes.
And also, I have received quite a few e-mails from friends regarding my last two posts. One friend suggested The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. I haven't read it but it looks like it could be helpful to creative types who are going through a funk. He said it was much less fuffy than Julia Cameron's books. This made me laugh.
Friday, August 08, 2008
I read your blog post about writing last night. What immediately came up for me is the thought: can you be ok with yourself even if you don't "produce" something during your time off??? Why do you feel like you HAVE to write something? It sounded like if you didn't produce some writing you would think less of yourself. And I'm just wondering if you can give yourself the gift of being lazy?!?!?! :-) And that's not being lazy anyway.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Part of my issue is that I want to confront any nostalgia and romaticization that I feel about where I grew up. But every time I write, I feel that what I produce is just what I am trying desperately to avoid doing. Plus, I may be being a bit too methodical. I have gone through my journals and color coded all of the main themes and have been typing the best written moments into various word documents. I am feeling overwhelmed. One of my friends, hearing my frustration suggested that I take a three-hour minimum hike. It could be a walking meditation since I do not do well sitting still. Did I? No. I stared at the computer screen again and got nowhere. I am pitiful at balance.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Pink and polka dots
along with neon green
reinforced concrete, rebar
and shattered anything come to mind
a bit of overgrown green
perhaps a little magenta
and you have