When you remember his toasted words, “Here’s to our new relationship” from the other side of the white tablecloth of a new Turkish place two blocks away, post-affair, all airwaves frosted with the mutual attempts at your repair and you think, yeah, Choice is not mine, There is no right trajectory, Forgiveness is the way, Life starts and is always now, so It must be all ok…
And it feels like it is, for the consistently spliced in milliseconds that nudge your belief into your own self talk and the false reinforcements coming at you like Pops cereal from across the table, yellow like cheery bursts yet filled with air; all those puppet-like projections meeting your shoulders as you stare at your chutney and hope that a sparkler eraser combo stick might show up.
But whether or not the man across the hummus platter actually had any longterm intention to keep holding my hand by choice, I shall not know for certain. His frequent struggle with my hand was enough to break my heart from very early on, as I conditioned myself to not seek or expect yeses as things that could be born up from inside of him naturally.
But I stayed, and I kept looking the nos in the face, pretending they had frosting and positive ideas about our redesign behind their opinionated posts. That they could convert to smiley faced right thinking, given enough time.
And therein lies my… MORE
Here’s a little self-portrait / photogram composite and part of a larger installation I made at 19, the final of my darkroom class. I had brought my partially broken 35mm Canon to my favorite little cemetery, a tiny fenced in plot holding the 19th century remains of the Chamberlain family in East Albany, VT; I grew up on that family’s hill. I always felt comfortable there among the graves somehow, like their inhabitants could offer me some understanding from the depths of their silence over the heartbreak and health plagues that both cast their shadows upon – and also sought some comfort within – my trips home to them in college.
Grief burns no less at 19 than at later points in life. But at 19, we might wish to dramatize its demons, as the rearing of their heads is more fresh somehow. We are obvious about our pain; we paint it upon ourselves in bold strokes like war paint. We put our heads behind the bars of our dollhouse chairs if actual prisons hold no place for us and our seemingly clean records, and we make selfies.
That is, until we wake up and realize that we all suffer, and that suffering isn’t exclusive, precious, or noteworthy, but simply commonplace. Until we realize that those who need not paint their pain so obviously are maybe the stronger among us. Until we realize that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional, as a friend just reminded me over the phone… CLICK for more. MORE
I was just going through a stack of old snaps I’d taken with my film camera back in my early days in NY. I took this photo where I was living in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, on the morning of 9/11. My friend and roommate had just learned that she was pregnant with her first child, and was out jogging; it was my Dad’s birthday; and I couldn’t understand the tension I was feeling about getting dressed for work. Prior to being alerted, of course, to what was happening just across the river.
I went to the rooftop. Moving my camera from the point of terror upward (CLICK MORE to see it), I found myself shooting the soft and haunting abstracts of a sky whose crystal blue gradient was quickly, but quietly, being taken over by an aggressive courtship with brown, and with the off-white of only those things that are sick…
As a standalone shot (as with all things abstracted from their original sources of muck or stain) what really is happening here in this second shot as a resulting gem of this – the greatest blindside in our country’s experience – but a gorgeous pastel form? One I’m almost inclined to have printed on some bed sheet from a print-on-demand company soliciting from my inbox, so that I might wrap myself in the celebration of being a breathing, seeing enigma in a sea of breathtaking compositions emerging from even the harshest of tragedies. And stay wrapped in that, often.
I am willing to soak in the beauty that is the result of being blindsided. And I know about being blindsided.
Yet if I could feel this openhearted sensitivity about the skyline’s beauty on 9/11, why could I not arrive at that abstract bed sheet of smiles more easily when blindsided by betrayal in more personal a form? CLICK FOR MORE MORE
I am developing a new product, and I am seeking three people from among you to practice on!
WHAT YOU WILL GET: a high value, signed, custom performance piece about your life, programmed onto a 2” push-button playback device, in exchange for simply offering me 10 minutes of yourself via a recorded call, and a testimonial once you’ve received your piece!
MANTRA ME is a 90-second poem about you, written & performed by me. My Mantra Boxes are a new form of custom performance art where I speak to your pain, your person, or your projected desired future, with the intention of prompting emotional catharsis, self-connection, and life celebration within you.
Maybe you need support breaking through addictive thoughts or patterns?
Maybe you are suffering a breakup and need some emotional anchoring to get you through to the other side?
Or maybe you are simply curious about owning a one-of-a-kind performance box that offers my take on who you are?
IF YOU’D LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR MY FREE PRACTICE ROUND, CLICK and you will find a link to a form. Please fill it out and submit it back to me by midnight on Thursday 10/2, and I will be in touch! MORE
I have been silent during some significant life transitions these past two months. I hope the summer has treated you all well!
I wanted to let you know that I’m back, and that I’m currently creating a podcast focused on shaking up our perspectives on relationship – in the broadest sense of the term – expanding upon the more audio driven nature of my recent work, The Betrayal Project. (For those of you who have inquired, yes, you will see its face again!)
Why a podcast? I met this summer with Howard Stern’s former manager at CBS Radio, and I’ve thankfully been granted use of the CBS studio for recording a radio pilot. I have also been offered the directional support of the Founder of Big City Radio as well as Programming VP at SiriusXM – both of whom are ready to receive and review my sample clips as I have them prepared – a huge gift. As a podcast acts as the sister format to virtually all radio programs today, there’s no reason not to get started with one as my next step on this path.
Click MORE for how the last two weeks have shaped my direction with this podcast, and how you may get involved and share your own story with me at the mic! MORE
There are some wonderful things happening on the career front, and I’ve been extremely busy focusing my energy where it needs to be right now. I look forward to sharing more about this in the Fall. In the meantime, I am wishing you all a tremendous summer, and I will resume posting my new content before the arrival of Labor Day. I share this matchbook message as a reminder to myself as much as to anyone… that the best things come when we focus outside ourselves. Have an Inspired Summer!
Cyril Connolly said, “The artist one day falls through a hole in the brambles, and from that moment he is following the dark rapids of an underground river which may sometimes flow so near to the surface that the laughing picnic parties are heard above.”
I don’t think the artist one day falls through a hole; I think she is born inside of one. The climb out shows up as creativity to those around her. So she gets the title of Artist, but titles hold zero gravity inside of her inevitable and sometimes desperate pursuit to illuminate the cavernous abyss of her heart’s living room.
But climbing and climbing until finally busting through that river’s surface offers up a potent daily candy made of a sugar for which there are absolutely no substitutes. We get to be mountain climbers while sitting on park benches… Overcoming is great exercise. The eyes it produces can travel the stars by way of some smashed sidewalk glass.
We are all these artists – designing our creative climbs out of what hurts – to where we heard there is some plateau with a picnic spread.
So may you laugh hard inside of an extended reward born of making it above whatever currents have kept you water-bound. May your witnessing of the upcoming overhead twinkling explosions of emerald and white summer snow rewire your attention from the darker rivers to the mystery of the camaraderie inherent in our human order.
I raise a toast to you for busting through, and for being my friend inside the river, too… MORE