Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tikkun Olam


A couple weeks later, and another collage. I feel like things are coming to a head.  Have been contemplating where I am in my life, and it is exacerbated by the state of the world, not only with the wars we are fighting overseas, but those we are fighting at home and within ourselves. 

I made this poster for Barack Obama, because I hope. I hope that he will prevail, and that he will be successful in bringing about tikkun olam, that is, the perfection of the world. I know this task is impossible, but I think that with him in office we will improve the environment and our place in the world. It will be a more perfect union, and that is all we can hope for. 

I have a friend staying with me. We stay up late drinking wine. I smoke cigarettes and he lectures me. We talk about what's going on in our lives, and it is good to have constant company, someone who knows me so well. 

Last night we had some wine and I started making this poster. It was strange, because I usually work alone, but good because I've been wanting to do this for months. My little contribution, show of support. It is an overly idealistic poster--I know that of course; my deeply-rooted pessimistic outlook accompanies that absurd idealism. I posted it with an invite to an Obama event and I realized that I wanted to show my art: this is something I do on occasion, and something I want to do more of. It is a strange feeling, to want to assert your existence even when you are unsure of it. 

xojy

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nouvelle Annee


So after my rant (below) wherein I exclaimed--proclaimed!--how I was going to make and do and write and create, I sucked arse: was all talk, no action. How embarrassing. Not that anyone is reading this (Ha?!)... But I have to be honest with myself. Sure I have been scribbling, writing notes to myself with ideas,  some (bad) poetry, but I had not put it out there for no one to read. After I got back from my trip, all the way back in August, I got dragged back into work and life, love, not-love, deadlines, &c, and neglected my promises. I thought about it every day. I felt, still feel, like a paralytic charlatan.

On Sunday, the eve of the Jewish New Year, 5769, and the start of a new seven-year cycle, I sat down and just did it. I had to. I listened to music, looked up occasionally at a very bad late-night movie (which provided for a fun story that I told my family over my madre's brilliant honey chicken), and made this thing, a card. The possibilities for change in the coming new year are reflected in this little piece. Maybe it's a bit too hopeful, a bit too sappy. I know there are other things I have to do, but I must make all this a top priority... Maybe I will tell people how to find my blog so I am accountable. But I'm still not sure...my cojones are still developing. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Impromptu Balls-Out Beginning

I signed up for this blog ages ago it seems, have been thinking about it for so long, and my lack of cojones, my cowardice, has kept me from starting it. Not that I expect anyone to read what I write, but still.... I have been talking about doing this for so long, and I knew I had to shut the hell up and just do it...not think twice. But I had been thinking twice, and three times, for months on end.

But today--after a full day of walking about the city with my madre and an old fabulous friend, and then rushing back downtown to finalise pre-trip errands after they both left the city--I received a gift from the universe, which inspired me to start. I was on Seventh Avenue, just outside the salon with its buxom Russian babushkes who wax my legs, rummaging through my bag for my sunglasses. It was a few minutes I was standing there searching, and I finally found them in another bag between pages of a manuscript. I put on my rose-colored glasses and turned to cross the street, and there, on the other side, walking her fluffy white dog, was Maira Kalman.

If you (and if there is someone here actually reading this, then you are the "you" to whom I refer) do not know who she is, let me tell you: She is a vibrant artist, who grasps joy from her surroundings, and transfers that life into buoyant gouache paintings and other pieces. For a while she had an illustrated blog, The Principles of Uncertainty, on the New York Times website, which was turned into a book. I have loved her work for years, wishing I could do stuff even a smidgen like hers, and here she was before me. I crossed the street quickly, and stopped her. 

I told her I loved her work and that she was an inspiration to me. I was blabbering really. She was kind and welcoming. 

I didn't tell her I'd read through her blog and book multiple times, and I did not ask what brand of paints she used (which I really wanted to do). I knew that would have been a bit much. I just thanked her and wished her a great summer and then went on my merry way. Seriously merry.

I walked ("skipped gleefully") north, thinking about the timing involved for this meeting to have come about. If I had not been rushing downtown, if I had not been stuck like a worm on the 1 for an extra seven minutes, if I had not had to wait for my appointment, if I had not stopped and searched for my sunglasses, I would not have had this chance to personally praise the work of this woman whose paintings and words have put smiles on my face and made me think about life and what I want to do in a different more joyous way. Perhaps this bout of randomness was an intervention on a divine scale. Perhaps not. But I have to think more positively, so I will view it as such. And here I begin.

My goal is to write bits & pieces and hopefully post paintings and collages based on what I experience--an attempt to connect with the universe. I thought this blog would be an impetus for me to put something out there on a regular basis, instead of holing up in my apartment like a recluse (a word my madre once used  to describe me) and only making one card a year.

I wanted to name the blog "Title TK" because I was never quite certain of what I would do on this intergalactic post, and because it is the name I use on Flickr, but that was already taken. So I decided on XOJY because that's how I've been signing my email messages. And I figure an X and an O put a bit of a smile on everything. 

Anyway. I am going away early tomorrow morning and have lots to do (thus the running around today). So I hope that I will be able to post a wee something after I finish my pre-trip tasks...and if not, then definitely upon my return and then again and again...

I want to stop being a coward and just put stuff out there. I have been impressed by friends and even people I don't know who go out and write, draw, make music...people (like Ms Kalman) who just do, and I want to be part of that group. I can't complain about being a failure if I haven't done anything. So here I go!

Onward and upward!

xojy