A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || June 21, 2008 || 3:03 am

I hummed the chorus to Bon Iver’s Skinny Love for most of that time.

I did it. I got into my studio for six whole hours tonight. I aimed to straighten, to finish the last bit of the organizing I started so long ago, but there were things on my worktable just yelling-yelling-yelling to be paid their share of attention, to be picked through with hands gentle in pursuit but rough in the actual laying-on.

I picked up a ceramic and wire statuette I have been working on passively; I turned her over in my hands and looked at where she is thus far, willing her to give me a hint as to what she’d look like when complete. She does not sing, though: She whispers, a low one that I have to be particularly still to hear. Even then I miss parts of what she is saying. The only thing I know for sure about her is her name (that came tonight) and the fact that she already looks nothing like the something I saw in my head months and months ago.

So there was this busted alarm clock, formerly my favorite. There was a map of Columbus, Georgia, with the Chattahootchie running down the left side, depicted as so many black wavy lines. There was creamy crimson butcher paper and a clay cross and an empty brass locket. A watch chain. A tiny slip of vintage paper. The photograph of an old woman, squinting into the sun, her grandchild perched beside her on the concrete of the porch. A chipped glass cabochon. A blue plastic medal, the Virgin Mother stretching her arms outward from it. A messy pearl earring that maybe hung from a delicate nineteen-forties earlobe. These things got my attention tonight. I was directed away from the other piece I am working on into a Whole Other Something Entirely.

Steps. Everything I do in that room back there –in my studio (and it is still hard to imagine that I finally have one of my own)– goes in painstaking steps. Like right now, waiting for all the appropriate pieces to dry so that I can fit the domed glass back into the clock’s frame and caulk it in there nice and snug. Only then can I lay out all the elements on the circle of map that will serve as the story’s backdrop. Then more glue, maybe some wire, and more wait. Then I can affix the finishing details, cover the back neatly and call it finished. This is the only time in my life I can be effortlessly patient, because I have the end result so clearly framed in my mind’s eye.

Even when the translation has yet to be made –as with the laydeh– I can be patient, because I know that once the barrier is broken, amazing things will occur and I will be soul-satisfied with what comes of it.

That’s something worth the wait, in case you didn’t know.

I ignored all the phones, I ignored the dog (who came to the door to bark at me in remprimand sometime after midnight), I drank a bottle of champagne that I toted out of my cousin’s high-falutin’ but no-holds-barred country club wedding last month. I stained my hands an amber color and decided that getting up to scrub your hands is for pussies and/or whiners and/or momma’s boys, but I did get up to pee whenever nature called. I had to have more room for the champers, yes?

So just half an hour ago, I checked my voice mail to hear The Prime Minister tell me that his daddy died. I don’t know what to do about that emotionally, not just yet. That man hosted me at his table, oh, I couldn’t tell you how many times. This was so that I would not starve during what may have been one of the most trying periods of my entire life. He always made out like it was because he thoroughly enjoyed my mealtime company. A man that fills your belly and stays mindful of your dignity is a remarkable man indeed.

And, let’s not forget that he raised up someone who would go on to be one of the best and most selfless friends I’ll ever know.

I don’t mind telling you that I am slightly wigged out at all the death that has flitted in and out of my life in the last couple-three years. That whole, “Who is next?” hand laying itself on the back of my neck is terribly unnerving. Or, at least, it will be when this week’s round of the Pro has worked its way out of my system and leaves me to be fully enmeshed again in the things I am feeling and thinking.

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

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