Sometimes a struggle is captured in a single painting. Or photograph, or sketch… And this is one I’ve immediately identified with. It’s a representation of where I’ve been these past few days as I’ve struggled to stay awake, or get out of bed. Or stay focused. Or write a few words, or wonder why I can’t have a magic pill that would allow me to overcome whatever it is I need to overcome. This is what I look like today, purely as an abstraction as I’m not that thin. You can see the depth of despair that you know will always linger within even though there is a bit of hope or signs of life that have surfaced—not entirely, mind you—yet skimming the face, eyes, lips. Maybe the eyebrows perched into a worrisome frame. It’s not clear to me what the worry is contemplating or considering. Maybe nothing at present—perhaps a comment on the state of being. And then again sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a comment and a reflection.
I looked up Roman having not heard of him before seeing this painting. That effort has rendered the painting yet more of an enigma, as Zakrzewski is a man and his primary focus was painting this singular woman. Not a “Her portrait…” as indicated on the post. Not much more information is given as entries are in Polish and one of the signatures of the particular struggle I seem closed within is laziness. Translations are often a mouse click too far. (Not a bridge at all.)
And so here we are left once again, with the waaaayyyyy things are.
Of cats and literacy
At last I looked up ineffable and found it to be not at all what I had made-up for meaning. When I was much younger I was also much lazier. I also read books ahead of my abilities. Or some of them at least. Meaning became context coupled with then-current knowledge, not learning. (Although there were many areas of learning, of course.) There also was no omnipresence of computers. I used the library and dreamed of one day owning the OED. Within that labyrinth of childhood I thought ineffable meant inevitable, unavoidable, inescapable. It doesn’t. It means something much better in that it is: too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words. Not only better but much more usable, yes?
I spent the morning looking at cat rescue places with cat photos. I found I only favored those cats which looked like Squeek. Perhaps I am not ready. Besides, did I not say I would not get another cat? I believe I did. Did anyone hear me? Besides 2, did I not say cats scratch furniture? Zeus, not Squeek. Did I not say that some cats pee outside of litter boxes? Squeek, not Zeus. What about a pet rat? I ask myself. They are not long lived, I say. Let’s not line up the heartbreaks.
So I shall take myself off to the cafe where I look like this woman only with a book and a moleskine on the table.
Of Art and Life
A canvas that sold for over a million dollars was shredded by its frame but no one is sure if it was destroyed or simply transformed. The frame was included in the art work, and it was also created by Bansky.
I’m not sure why there is a confusion about the intent of the art work—it all came from the same creator. A clear message, it seems to me. A metaphor for the life we live, the art we adore, and the crazy of it all. For heaven’s sake, there was an alarm inside the frame and it started going off as the gavel went down.
Ah, Sotheby’s, you just got Banksy-ed.
“Girl with a Balloon” (2006) was the final lot of the evening sale at Sotheby’s and ended things off with an impressive final price of approximately one million dollars, give or take a few thousand. Playing the assumed role of the greatest street artist, Banksy once more sent a message across the streets of life—nothing matters. We all die. The things we worship disintegrate. Whatever.
And of course this sent me off on a tear for a few days. Days wherein a lot of writing got accomplished and much thinking left me staring off into space.
- And it’s a wonderful day today, sunny and cool—jacket and knee-socks weather we used to say.
- I watched “Nurse Jackie” on Netflix and was quite impressed. It’s a very good story of drug addiction within normal lives and at what cost to essentially good people. Great character development and acting, especially by Edie Falco. It’s a good series. All of the actors do a fine job. And it’s not just a show of drug addiction. The obsessiveness of the lead character—Jackie—for good nursing and care of patients easily transfers to an obsessiveness for the feeling that is transferred by the drugs she takes. She is going to do what is right for her patients and never loses that. The viewer cares for her as well as the rest of the characters, coming to care for them all. As I watched the great conniving and manipulation by Jackie it was with such creative and duplicid storytelling (of hers), that there were times I couldn’t believe there was a way out, but there always was. Fine writing, fine storytelling. And the realism was too much to be disturbing. In fact, many times I thought an addict watching the show would have to leave and contact their dealer.
- As I reflect upon my first marriage I realize that each of us wanted three major things at odds with one another. I wanted to be loved, adored, and have a partnership. He wanted to be adored, indulged, and have a great deal of sex. A lot. But of course we were too incredibly young to be of any maturity that was necessary. And it took me many years to realize what a jerk I was, invested in waiting for someone else to do what I expected of them. (I picture myself with arms folded and a look of disdain upon my face. But also hurt and longing.)
- Very late one night I decided to play the keyboard. It was then I discovered that only one ear on the headphones worked. Crap. It’s too late to take it back, unused tho it was. I played nonetheless. How sad of me that ability rots with disuse.
- Why is nothing more being said about the immigrants and the children? The ones detained and abused by ICE. I cannot believe all is settled or we would have heard. I’m sure there must be more which is appalling and not being reported. Is it just that I don’t watch the news on TV? Is it not in the reporting I read? Children used as sex toys by despicable guards, the dregs of society. Women raped. Will any of them be the same? This is the world we live in. This is the United States today.
- Glenn Gould never played Chopin. He said he did not care for the Romantics. Huh.
- I wish “Nurse Jackie” was still on and unfolding—I miss those people—I want to be with them. All of our heroes are flawed. Except for the mice. The mice are perfect. And that’s the “waaaaaayyyy things are.”
Les Fauves / The Wild Beasts
Auguste Herbin (French, 1882 – 1960)
Bateaux a voiles 1907
oil on cardboard 52 x 65 cm
Sails always make me think of time. I’m not sure exactly why, perhaps because of the movement. But boats alone don’t feel that way, nor does water, open or not. Maybe some long lost association from childhood, or a passing comment. The mind always a gyre of secrets and stories.
Green Bay at Detroit and so far not going well.
Jan. 8, 1994: #Packers win their first playoff game in 11 years on a scrambling, across-his-body 40-yard TD pass from Brett Favre to Sterling Sharpe in the final minute in Detroit.
That one went well. It doesn’t matter when, just so it does.
Integrated highlights from an article in Quartzy By Annaliese Griffin
The original Greek myth of Medusa offers plenty to be angry about. The monstrous being with snakes for hair starts out as a human woman, who Poseidon rapes in Athena’s temple. The goddess then punishes Medusa by turning her into a Gorgon and exiling her. Perseus is later sent on an errand to bring Medusa’s head to King Polydectes. Equipped with a mirrored shield, winged sandals, and a special sack for her head, Perseus creeps up on Medusa while she lies sleeping, cuts off her head, and then uses it as a weapon for turning enemies into stone.
Poseidon rapes, and the victim, Medusa, is punished by another woman. The Scene, the Myth, the Archetype, was set a long time ago and is the foundation via Greek and Western Culture—for the lives we play out today. Not just the woman as victim, but the slayer as man supported by other women.
A sculptor, Luciano Garbati, decided it was time for a change.
“Medusa” by Luciano Garbati
Garbati came to question the characterization of Medusa as a monster, pointing out that she was “raped and cursed and killed.” As an artist, he became fascinated with one question: “What would it look like, her victory, not his? How should that sculpture look?”
Before the attention on social media, Garbati’s Medusa had been lingering in relative obscurity. Though he sculpted her in clay, then cast her in resin with fiberglass reinforcement a decade ago, the work has only been in one show, and remains in his studio in Buenos Aires, available for sale in the original resin for $35,000, or in bronze for approximately $25,000 more, depending on the foundry. Standing at more than two meters tall, she’s larger than life, even more outsized than her social media presence.
“This difference between a masculine victory and a feminine one, that was central to my work. The representations of Perseus, he’s always showing the fact that he won, showing the head…if you look at my Medusas…she is determined, she had to do what she did because she was defending herself. It’s quite a tragic moment.”
Garbati posted photos of the sculpture to his Facebook page earlier this year. He immediately noticed friends, then friends of friends, and then people he didn’t know at all, using the image to illustrate their reactions to the news, or as a profile photo. An Italian writer named Sara Giovinazzi published a blog post that used his sculpture to reflect on the idea of mythological inversions spread the image even further.
When Medusa started popping up all over social media, on Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram, Garbati joined Twitter to gently remind fans that he was the artist behind the work, and that the sculpture was not, as some had reported, in Florence, Italy, but in his studio in Argentina. Garbati says he has appreciated finding a new audience for an older work, but what was really gratifying and striking to him were the messages about Medusa and his version of the story.
If I had $35,000, I would have a statue of Medusa in my living room.
8 Obscure Book-Related Words You Need to Know
These are quite a challenge!
There is no shortage of weird, obscure, and specific words in the English language. Here are a few cool ones about books, reading, and writing.
The fear of running out of things to read
A person who reads in bed
A lover of words
Reading or writing by candlelight
Obsession with recalling a forgotten word
One who reads excessively, to the point where they are said to be “drunk” on books
A distorting of the original meeting of a word
Too lengthy or containing too many words