Thursday, 11 December 2008
Three commas and a coma
I am between ideas, with my art, with my writing. Several miniscule, barely graspable notions flutter like tiny insects at the edge of sight, but when I turn to look more closely, are only meaningless specks on the wall. A larger idea hovers too, but it has been postponed until my energies have improved and my arms feel stronger.
I can't complain though - something wonderful has happened this year: I found poetry, poetry found me. My thinking, my capacity for expression, for pleasure, my whole being has been affected. The world has grown and my ways of being in it too.*
Even if my art-making has not quite but stopped, it's mostly suspended, for now. (The preparations for Xmas have something to do with it, my creative arm-energy goes into wrapping presents.) Poetry is ‘easier’ to work with, not because it’s easy to do, not at all actually, but because my body does not need to function as well – I can turn over a few words, lines, a verse anyoldhow, even when ‘grounded’ energywise, in bed, on the floor, in my armchair, without lifting a limb.
Although I love the writing more and more I’m not quite ready to let the art go, body obliging or not. Have rummaged in my box of false and forgotten starts and taken out a little thing crocheted two summers ago from hairy-thin red wire. It’s not very interesting in itself, but intrigues me when I look at it through the camera lens. It may be flat now but it’s gained extra dimensions: there is something here about mark-making, doodling, drawing, maybe something precursive to writing… I’ve often thought that crochet stitches looked at closely resemble writing, hand-writing, cursive writing, esp. when done with wire. It’s the air around the stitches that turns them into mysterious letters, signs, hieroglyphs. Here is a loose form of writing, a scrawling, a trying out, not quite concerned yet with the production of meaning, not concerned with staying neatly between two horizontal lines. This is where I am, now, between, not the easiest of places, but with my two loves beckoning
* The M.E. impacts on every aspect of life; the social and mental effects are maybe even harder to live with than the physical ones. My reading too is turned by this illness, when I'm most tired letters scramble, regroup, blur, words loose their meaning, and it’s become one of the many activities that I cannot maintain for long. Sometimes interesting bits can surface from that alphabet soup: ‘there comes’ becomes ‘three commas’ becomes a ‘coma’ before it becomes again what it always was.