posted by susie on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 4:53 am. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
iteration in sketchbook. this composition is stuck in my head like a catchy tune (”house of the rising sun”) or mesmerizing turn of phrase (”talll walls all fall”). i haven’t painted on a larger scale the past month, but i’ve just replenished my stock of paper and bought new paints, so that will change. i feel more charged to paint new shit since i found two old paintings. it’s so strange to see.
i witnessed three stupid school administrators interrogating a kid with bruises on his arms. he refused to answer those idiots. he was still loyal to the “complicated love” — those words always a death sentence — that turns the cycle of abuse. he stared silently and blankly ahead. he had turned off his feelings and gone away.
tonight i am thinking about the piranesi print i recently saw at risd’s art museum. i am thinking about his views of rome, his imaginary prisons, the letters he hid amidst his renderings of urban decay. i am thinking about philadelphia’s magic gardens, an outdoor maze of mosaics and bottles and pottery and parts of this and bits of that all jammed together by one obsessive mind. i am thinking about the bell tower of notre dame, the paris opera house, hill house, the castle gormenghast, daedalus’ labyrinth, the overlook hotel, and some haunted ruins in the carpathian mountains.
i am thinking about the two poems another kid wrote for me. his words, “talll walls all fall.” i am thinking that i’d like to hug the kid i saw today, not ask him any questions, just tell him a story. the story i would tell is this -
once upon a time there was a small person who religiously watched his shadow grow every quarter of the hour until dusk, when sleep would release him from the day and its limitations of form. then he would return to his true domain, a metamorphic stronghold, and roam from room to shapeshifting room to find marvelous secrets or flee from murderous monsters (but he preferred their hate to any complicated love). when strangers came knocking at the front door, he would construct a new maze against the intrusion, partly because it was easier to contain familiar monsters than risk introducing new ones, mostly because he was ashamed: he suspected he was becoming a monster himself. just as he was ready to give up language forever, he discovered the letter “t” hidden in a crack in the mortar. he found another letter. and another. finally he strung together a full sentence: “talll walls all fall.” …an epiphany! an incantation! the walls must crumble, the spell will break! here is the happy ending found only in fiction.
of course in the end it comes down to a single small room. no spell, no key, no epiphany. no more corridors, no more doors, no more monsters, no more excuses. just four walls and yourself, breaking your nails and bruising your fingers against the tiniest rift in the stonework. with no certainty can i say it’s worth it. but i do know that over time, all walls will fall, and whatever is out there may not be so bad after all.