September 13th, 2007

new year

Creator spirit come

My Cuban sister reminds me that I haven't posted in a while. Instead of going back and trying to pick up the thread, I'll start with the video I'm about to take back that we watched last night, which I suspect she would like a lot. That would be Fur, with Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr, which is billed as "an imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus; a love story". It has the buttoned-up normalized surreality of the fifties, and Kidman's performance is wonderfully intense as one of the original desperate housewives, like Sylvia Plath. The sort of magical realism in which Arbus' circus freaks and other unusual characters are transformed by the camera, in this case the cinematography, I haven't seen much outside of foreign film before -- by which I mean, in American film. Who is outside? who is inside? Trying to explain to Mr S who Diane Arbus was turned out to be completely beside the point.

Yesterday I finished devouring Nicola Griffith's novel Always which is the third in her fine series The Blue Place and Stay, although they each stand alone well. I wish she could be as prolific as certain less talented authors. Today I caught up on sleep.

Having successfully altered a couple of pairs of favorite linen trousers, I have been futzing with a couple of jackets. Far more complicated. Just pin-basting so far.

Then to follow up my re-reading of Art and Fear; Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking (Bayles & Orland; annoyingly the public library doesn't have any of their other books) I started in on Hirsch's The Demon and the Angel; Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration, many short chapters discussing Lorca and Emerson, Paul Klee, etc etc etc. I seem to have picked up this volume at the SF MOMA bookstore, from the sticker I find on the back, and I still know why it seemed so urgent. He starts right in on Lorca's duende which I was introduced to in Bly's Leaping Poetry, but this author explores the idea of the daimon or creative spirit more generally in the arts than just poetry. In Chicago I saw the brilliant Gauguin painting of Jacob? (was it?) wrestling with such an angel, and dreamed of that wrestling myself during the time I was writing my Sept 2001 travels through Canada (while they were uploaded directly to the interweb, after the incident with the moose and the more general catastrophe in NY). "I will not let thee go unless thou bless me."

I know the part about sitting your butt in the chair and putting in your time. I am the picture of industry, a very encyclopedia of craft. I've been putting in my time since I was in first grade. But without motivation, direction, inspiration, you're just going through the motions.