At the moment I’m not dancing, sleep-drunk or otherwise, not even in my imagination. The last six weeks my meagre energies have been shrunk&shrivelled by sleeplessness. I’ve reached the stage where most mornings my eyes feel as if chafed by sand-paper lids. Anxiety and self-doubt abound. My skin is crackly-thin – I seem to inspect every utterance or lack thereof for slights&disregards. Research, reading and writing for my father/daughter/history-project have ground to a halt: my brain only operates with much coaxing and at minimum level. Concentration austerity!
I have almost abjectly missed posting here – blog&project are where I feel most competent (relatively speaking), plus it is my main communication-tool. Tweeting, as part of my #artling series and a small, delicious&stimulating cooperation with a group of artists (#catalyst2 – about which I will write in due course), has kept me going and at least momentarily connected – each image and the handful of words accompanying it a whispered and tentatively hopeful ‘count me in!’.
As you well know, the crochet-machine never stops. How glad I am once again that I found this way of making work in the supine, slowly, steadily, even when all else fails. It gives me continuity in the best possible sense.
I’m also preparing for an exhibition. Yes. That’s quite a sentence. More about that another time – this is just meant to be ‘hallo’. Part of the process of planning a show is reviewing one’s work, clarifying content&context, choosing pieces which form a coherent (but not overly) and stirring whole. So I’ve been lying here and there, eyes open as wide as possible, trusted iPad on belly, looking at pictures and compiling screengrab-lists. It’s so easy to forget what one has made when most of the work resides in blogs and boxes. The unwavering support of a couple of art-sisters has been instrumental in getting my confidence up if not running, and today, having slept a bit more last night and feeling almost human, I arrived at the point where I believe: This is going to be a really good exhibition!
One of the pieces I ‘found’ (although in full view on a book-shelf) is And maps in silver lines a hungry grid. Searching for a title I came across a poem I wrote aeons ago. I was struck by how much it ties in with my project after all, which is why I’ll post it here:
The waiting game (Clytaemnestra)
Take one who weaves with measured industry a web
that cannot hold her grief. She finds relief
in hating, tracing her loss in warp and weft,
stretching her rage as cord on cord unreels.
How fast he dropped his father’s cloak for armour.
If only she’d unstitched his sails, slashed stays,
lopped masts, strap-strained his greed
to hear his name sung.
A girl’s death plumped limp sails!
Instead she spins fast strands, soft-gleaming
in the light like strings of rain, last robe
to stain in hues that are his royal due
and maps in silver lines a hungry grid,
empty just now, a subtle gift, a trap.