Young Burdock, now isolated from his parents because his father will not accept a competing male, lives among the chickens and yearns for a wife.
The fiction of the on-line world originally seemed a field of play to me.
Here was the first arena of the imagination that could be shared globally. It would be a playground of possibilities for poets, novelists, animators, artists. I innocently imagined a playground where all the children could pretend and create as they wanted. It would be my childhood mind gone global. I had omitted the bullies and the hidden-under-the-rock ogres who also infest the child’s world.
So here we are with our minds stolen out from under us and now instead of creating we are all sucking at its teat and ingesting horror after horror of doubt, misinformation, unsubstantiated claims and slowly turning into wobbly, wild tribal people.
Twenty years ago, the night before what we now all call 9/11, I was having dinner with a friend from the gallery with her little black and white puppy, Tuxedo. We ate in the kitchen at the back of my floor-through loft at 156 Chambers Street. There were two ceiling-high windows that were filled with the North Tower a few blocks south. One of the things that we discussed were the Artist Studios in the World Trade Center, a program developed for artists to have space to work and magnificent views over our beloved city. My gallery had arranged for me to get one of those choice spaces and yet I kept putting off doing the finishing things needed to make it happen In a dreamlike state, whenever I was asked about it I’d automatically mouth: “Well…it will take care of itself….” but for some reason I could never get myself to do that last thing I needed to do to make it happen, some paperwork I recall or maybe just a phone call. It was like I went into a hypnotic disconnect whenever it was mentioned. Yet it was a real opportunity, one I wanted. My gallery friend, again, urged me as we were drinking red, eating pasta with tomato sauce as the North Tower smiled down on us. She said to get on with it, that she had already spoken to the director of it who was waiting for me to complete whatever I hadn’t. “It’s yours!” she emphasized, “Just do it!” “Well…it will take care of itself….” I blankly repeated.
It is things like that come back to me as we honor all who perished and who living were forever changed, hurt, and scarred. The smallest incidents seem now to glow with meaning. It may be the nature of tragedy that we seize on anything that gives us an explanation of our supreme connectedness. My friend is now thriving in Texas, Tuxedo has already gone to God, as have all of my pets from then and here I am living out in the country in the Hudson Valley far removed from Tribeca and the reminders of those events. That evening sitting with my dear friend, enjoying our meal, patting her sweet new puppy, and catching up on things, marks for me the last moment when things were normal. I feel so lucky to have lived before that day and to have known life before Terror overtook us.
How harried and anxious this period has made us. Health worries, ourselves, our planet’s it all seems in a state of collapse. How does a person move through this with grace and continued contribution? The beauty of this night critter is a certainty. I hold onto these certainties about beauty and form as my salvation.
I spent more time in the car waiting than I did caring for the flock. The rain was in deluge mode for most of the day. Like many artists I search for the unified field theory of what I see and feel as I work. Why this not that? Why here not there? Why transmute it in this way and not that way? An artist does nothing if not make thousands of decisions as she works.
Suffused with longing for spring and yet an almost gasping consciousness of the spare beauty of deep winter.
Ours is a long season, longer and more expanded by the pandemic and isolation.
Longer and more shocking as memories of the Insurrection vomit up
On the clean snow
As we wait for more.
Zach is assisting me in this. He’s a very sweet boy and as white as a cloud. In fact, to hold him is to feel you are holding a cloud, except a cloud that occasionally grows irritable and bites.
A plant moves in the morning air
After a week of being tempted, Zachariah braves it and gets in the tub. It’s so much fun to watch these milestones by these beautiful Geese.
The new documentary is not for the fainthearted. Planet of the Humans is free on YouTube. See it at your own peril. You won’t get through it without being changed and sobered. And very saddened. Don’t watch it alone. You’ll need comfort after it’s over.
Now that I live on the land, I am more sensitive to the sacredness of the planet. I expect if we continue our greedy consumption and yearning for more and more, we will just be killed off. Fairly quickly, too. This may be only the first of more coming pandemics as we destroy swaths of forests and deserts and gobble up more and more for our energy needs. In the big picture, humans just aren’t worth it. We are too greedy, out of balance and let’s face it, too destructive.