This is the first time I’ve been in town for Halloween in some years, and the first ever for decorating here.
The real problem, you see, with creating something Halloween in my front yard, is the yard.
It’s similar to the obstacle I must overcome each time I make a sculpture, i.e., I must create an entity that can hold its own in surroundings I can’t control.
When I create a painting, I can fill the negative spaces with whatever I want. If it’s going to be a scary image, the corners and farther regions can be shadowy spaces. I need go no further; the viewers will equip those shadows with horrors that live in their own minds. Or, I can surround my figure with solid black, taking it completely out of this reality and placing it in a void where anything is possible---including the figure.
So, back to my front yard. That difficult canvas. There’s not a gnarled old tree, bare
branches reaching like blackened fingers into the darkening…..
No, nothing like that. Hell, there’s not even a tree with leaves, except the orange tree. And, sheesh, how much more cheerful can you get than an orange tree??
It’s damned depressing.
There are eleven palm trees. I use the term “trees” loosely here, you understand, as a palm tree is merely an overgrown type of grass. Ours don’t even produce coconuts or dates, only date beetles, which look suspiciously like big flying cockroaches to me. And, once a year, flesh colored little worms that get in and seem to materialize on the ceiling.
So, there are eleven palm trees, an orange tree, a ring of small olive trees, a cedar fence on one side, a wall on the other, bright blue skies, mountains and happy, happy just mocking my black October soul.
The answer to the problem is, I believe, to go with the surreal.
It’s the only way, I think, to work with what’s there. Right now, in my head, I see a pack of giant rats. Right. Short trip after all the rat, rat, ratty, rat work I’ve done for the past few weeks. But really, a pack of rats, one exploring the mailbox, one on the roof, one digging in the trashcan and another climbing the fence… Looks good---ain’t happening. Not this year. Not that much time.
But I can get it started. I could make one big monster, probably the one for the mailbox. Our carrier is such a grouch. He’ll just love that.
Hmmm. So much other work to be done. Do I dare take a couple of days off to make a yard rat?
Orion is enjoying a Halloween costume on a not-Halloween day. There seems to be some connection here….but what?
Oh yeah…he’s wearing the Spiderman getup for the fun of it.
What was I thinking? I somehow forgot about doing things for the fun of it.
There you go. Problem solved. Just like that. Cup of coffee, started writing and figured it out. Hmm, I think this is how I meant this journal to work in the first place. Thanks, guys! I’ll keep you posted along the way. Would you be interested in watching wire and paper become a giant rat?