Wednesday, 31 October 2007

About wanting

I have been thinking why I came to write a poem, and why this poem, now. How the feeling of abjection can change one’s perception of one’s body/physicality is something that I started exploring years back at college. It still informs a lot of my visual work and I guess that’s also what’s at the centre of that poem of mine. The images conceived of were not alien to me at all, but writing them down and trying to form something coherent in words, for its own sake, whether successfully or not, is new.
While I was lying on my bed this afternoon I came across a poem by Louise Glück who I hadn’t known about until I read a reference to her either on Mien’s or Erin’s blog and I realised I had been asking myself the wrong questions. There is a line in this poem (The Wild Iris) ‘…that which you fear, being a soul and unable to speak…’ which made it clearer to me. For several days after the Louise Bourgeois-exhibition I was physically too tired to make work, even something tiny, but, and that is relatively new and hooray hooray, part of my mind was working. You have to understand, deep fatigue does not only make the body tired, leaden, painful, but the mind is the same. You have times when all you can think is ‘I am soooo tired’ again and again and again, it’s all that exists, your whole being is overcome and consumed by this fatigue. Coherence is on holiday. You don’t want, you don’t wish, you don’t long for, you have nothing to say, you just are, and you are tired. And here is what is new, what is different: while my body didn’t function during these first days after the show parts of my brain did. I wanted. I wanted to express myself. I wanted to write. And I did, in small mouthfuls. Fatigue did not obliterate me completely. My health is improving. And that’s what I understood when I read Louise Glück’s poem today.

5 comments:

redredday said...

hey there, so i finally put up a new post on my blog...more personal than i'm comfortable with but what the heck. need to just be.

once again...touched by your visit to see those clay guys...i have already been neglecting them and treating them like *dirt* (eheh). so thank you for reminding me not to. so great that you noticed the black mouth of the wings and connected with the clay ones. i myself sensed a connection but couldn't really pinpoint what until you mentioned specifically. haziness i am.

i am also feeling that wanting you described. have been aching to draw and make books, did i tell you? with drawing and working in the book format, it leaves open a less intimating space to let go some inhibitions and self-judgment. and maybe even incorporate text and writing in it too. sometimes i wish i could be more of a writer than a visual artist.

so cool that you checked out Louise Gluck. funny i am also going through that collection you mentioned, along with the one that Erin mentioned (Averno).

you know, i have tried to read Cassandra but having a rather hard time getting into it. not sure if it is my lack of general/in depth knowledge of Greek myths or the writing itself. which is it, you think? so fascinating the predicament of Cassandra being cursed like that.

btw, i can't stop thinking of that line in your poem of the sky turning colors. i notice the light and color of the sky more and more each day, it seems. and those neatly folded wings...i think i would like to put them on my crying girl maybe...

Uschi said...

Since I can so absolutely feel with you I only say "Hurray" and hope for you, that this feeling increases more and more, and more and more parts of you feel mended and...perhaps...lucky!

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marjojo said...

Hey Mien, you were apprehensive about your more personal post, do you feel reassured by the positive reaction? I understand and share some of the uncertainty but feel that actually people in turn are very open in their comments and a real dialogue progresses.
Re: Louise Glück, I only know that one poem (found it in an anthology) and can’t wait to receive Averno, but the post here has been on strike and everything takes positively ages. Wished I had ordered The Wild Iris too, but am being a bit greedy here.
Re: Cassandra. I’m wondering if it’s the translation that makes it more difficult to access it. The original German is very dense and particular, a bummer to translate. It certainly doesn’t flow as easily as Margaret Atwoods Penelopiad.
Wondering if you’re working on your book. You’ve done such brilliant ones, esp. the one done with swarms of letraset-letters springs to mind, and the one with drawings of your sister. Hope to see something soon. And so glad you’re looking at the sky!
And Uschi, thanks for your good wishes!

redredday said...

yes, i do feel reassured. been wanting to tell you that right when i was starting to question if what i wrote in that last post sounded a bit too cheesy, i got your ever-so beautifully written response. i indulged myself and read it a few times over and over again. :). i love how you connected the lines with the fluttering of the wings. did you see that i compiled a list of wings for you?

Cassandra, yes, dense. glad you said it too. but it's true my reading level is not too above average. heh.

so i am still working on that altered book. at a point where i almost wished that i didn't reworked it, and wanting to rip out the pages. finding that the lines i make are not the same anymore, and i can't seem to go back to how i used to do it. the original mood of the book is ruined, and displaced.

aching to go out on the trails. it has gotten so dark after work that i haven't been able to lately at all. maybe i will just go now.