on beginnings and recent reflections from Santa Fe

I’ve always been comfortable with beginnings. The Aries in me (sun/moon/mercury) relishes the thrill and challenge of charging head first into new ventures, landscapes, ideas. However, after recently discovering the writing of Clarice Lispector, I’ve been thinking frequently about how things may be more cyclical than I used to imagine. The idea of infinity, something with no beginning and no end, things that circumambulate spacetime to be revisited, returned to, remembered. Even according to Plato/Socrates, humans beings, ephemeral and thoroughly un-infinite in corporeal form as we are, do not learn completely new information, but recall things from some vast collective-unconscious supply of knowledge and lives previously lived. What a lovely thought, to be always connected to the whole enormity of human history and the universe, consciously or unconsciously, through innate recollection.

And so I begin (or continue, as it were) to make more space for words and language in my creative practice. I’ve written poetry and prosey things since I was a little girl, and continued honing those skills into high school, more seriously through college, and finally they have stayed with me as an adult, although more as behind-the-scenes support for my studio explorations. I find the fecundity of written expression to be a necessity, working in tandem with/running parallel to my visual art, like essential roots from the deepest parts of my brain feeding my other outlets of creativity.

While this is not the start of a written practice for me, it is the first time since my youth I’ve given this particular part of my heart a public platform, a space for openly sharing myself with words instead of visual images/objects/environments. Indeed this blog is more of a return, than a true beginning, though it feels much like a shift in method… a fresh start and rediscovery of how to put my writing out in the world. Here, I hope to document those moments in which, like being simultaneously adrift in unbridled rumination and caught up in the vivid edges of the present instant, I am stretched wide in the grey area of perception, collective remembrance, and the conception of ideas, and in which, playing with the elasticity of language, the pliability of memory, and the jovial-melancholic range of the human experience, I write.

In the spirit of the murkiness of beginning/continuation/return, I’ll find a place to start with a recent poem, extracted from reflections on hiking near Santa Fe, NM a few days after heavy snow.

Snow is melting on the pines.
Drops of water
a webbing constellation

bright weight
a swoon
of bristling evergreen fingers.

Iridescent

heavy foot
leaking eye
a drag in the snow,
I am blood, frantic and trapped in the feedback loop of limbs and torso.

I grow fond of cold these days.
When folding in on myself
like a singularity

When, by comparison,
the cooling embers in us
still glow warm.

My breath hangs in the air.
Little clouds that say, I am

Not a question

I make weather.

Not like when some tepid gaze goes through me
And I unbecome

despite the beat of my heart
despite my density,
cumbersome gait

I evaporate

shifting smoke screen
Apparition.

But alone in the sharp of winter my churning heat is a hard fact

I am luminous
corporeal

wind stings my eyes
water
little stars slide down my cheek
and steam

Iridescent

Open throat and burning lung
I am

A smile, absolute and ephemeral parenthesis

I am

an entrance
enter exit
a beginning and end, tantamount unwitnessed

like    and

  (un)

and   sure

as anything
that congeals and dissipates

- written January, 2019