Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Invisible Net

For someone like me (and there are many like me) this blog is a weird sort of tightrope.

Its purpose, from the beginning, was to open a window onto the process that creates the art.
Because of the nature of my work and the nature of my brain, that process (and therefore this blog) has been less about nuts and bolts and more about thoughts and experiences.
A lot of daily life gets thrown into the mix.

So, always, there is the balancing act between honesty and privacy. That has seemed easy enough. I step along, one foot at a time, preferring the pole to the parasol, because I've seen Wile-E fall often enough to know an umbrella can't slow a fall.

Possibly I should do what my friends and colleagues do---write it as fiction. Perhaps I should rely on the filter of time.

But art is different from fiction. Neil defined it for me once---I can't grasp it now, the entanglement of truth in lie and fiction in reality. I'll ask him again. It was extremely clever---of course it was. But I do know that art is immediate and visceral and won't wait for filters.

These last years I've crawled and stumbled along this path to understanding, inviting you to come with me, writing about the experiences and showing you the art, hoping you could feel the connections. Allowing me to see the connections. Listening to yours.

Always looking for understanding, for honing this visual alphabet I've concocted, believing that eventually I'll become more fluent, yet accepting that the cypher and symbols will evolve, as with any language. And that we might understand it together instead of alone.

The forums are dead for now. Dead from neglect. That's on me. So comment here freely. I'll answer. Answer each other too.

The thing is, this summer has been a personal explosion following a long season of something hard and oppressive and as yet undefined. The details are private, as they should be. But at least for now, the experience and the process of recovery is evident in everything I do. I know that you are aware of this. I find myself surrounded by debris--some of it still falling-- and, though grateful to have survived, now I must assess damage and tentatively find new footing.

The rope seems tighter, and higher, and I no longer see the net. It no longer matters whether it was actually ever there, does it? Do we create our own nets? If so, are they 'real?" I don't know the answer for this one.

So. Here we are.

I'm not fragile. Thinner, and possibly a little harder, but present. I know you get it. I know you experience the same pains and look for the same answers that I do. Of course you do, we're human beings. It's a small planet.

I might fall. Or you might. I might tell you too much and embarrass myself or someone else. I may tell you too little and fail to be of any help in your own searching.

There it is. I'm okay with that. The work is calling me and I'm going back to it. The answers are in there, because that's where the questions are.
I have a clean new apron and a fresh pot of coffee.

Thank you, really.

Here we go again.


jordan's mom said...

While this entry may seem a bit furry around the edges, the message at its core is clear. You never cease to impress me with your tenacity and courage. The Heart of the Artist beats strong and true. I for one can't wait to see what comes out of the mix this time.


Anonymous said...

For me, the question is always, what's the worst that can happen? Usually, I'll carry on despite that. But visualizing gets me past the worst of it.

mordicai said...

fighting is being alive. i used to be the super emotional blogger? i was the MESS. now? i'm on my game. i'd rather be that than the other.

ravyn said...

Actually, the dead forums are in part my fault, i have to submit a ticket to the hosting company about why the forums are broken. But it'll have to wait til my move is over. Hopefully in about a week.

Neon said...

I got worried by the tone then Lisa that you were leaving us! I hope you are ok. I know I dont comment very often and post on the forum even less, but I check your blog every evening to read how its going for you, and it gives me a space to have a think about how its going for me. I've kept a blog for years now and I always wonder if anyone stops by and why I bother writing it- but to get it out in some way helps,like making a piece of art, even if sometimes it feels like contributing too much in the face of strangers. I love your work Lisa and I really appreciate your honesty and that you open a little window for us to look through. I wanted you to know that I am here.

Miss Bliss said...

I too tend to read and not comment much these days, but I do appreciate the energy you share here. You show me what a full time artist looks like and you remind me that if your job is making art then THAT is what you have to work at making. Maybe that sounds dumb but...oh I dunno it makes sense to me and I thank you for it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

I'm new to your world, having only recently discovered Poppets and all of the other amazing things you do. I admire you immensely for what you bring to this world. I'm so sorry for the pain that you are going through now. I wish that I could help you somehow. You've given me so much happiness through your art, it doesn't seem fair that I can't return the favor. Please know that you are in my thoughts.

AletaMay said...

Thanks for sharing so much with us.

I always find your posts moving, intimate, thought provoking. Online life is a funny thing and boundaries can be hard to stake out. I have not been around that long and have never checked out the forums. This is your online home. You decide the rules -- how much to share and when.

One of the main things I have felt coming from this blog in the time I have been reading it is an understanding that the hard work of continuing to put one foot in front of the other is the task we all face -- somehow both by ourselves alone and together with everyone else.

Carl V. Anderson said...

As long as we are sharing blame, I'll certainly admit to my part in not breathing life into the forums of late.

Whew! I cannot tell you how hard my heart was beating reading this post. I felt another 'goodbye' (similar to my shocking discovery of Endicott Studio closing their blog) and I truly wasn't prepared for this. I was so relieved to see that my fears were unfounded.

What you have described, and shared with us, of your summer certainly echoes the strange, deserted season of change that seems to have come over the internet world this summer. I've never seen things so dead and I've never sensed as much weirdness in the air as I have these past few months.

But in the midst of that change is blooming. I certainly feel/see/sense the Phoenix rising from ashes that aren't quite finished burning. One thing that can be said about feeling this way is that risks don't seem as risky as they used to.

I'm glad you are with us. I'm glad you are walking that line between trusting and sharing and holding things back.

lisa said...

everyone: thanks for your patience and understanding. In the context of "stumbling toward the light" I can put these experiences somewhere bearable. Ultimately, it will be processed and translated and distilled into something concentrated and cleansing.
Or it will fucking break me.
I'm not completely sure, but pretty much counting on being able to work it out in the work.
So here I am. In the fairly near future I'll know how that worked out. Then I'll remember today.
It will be like....right. It will be like time trave.

Derek Ash said...

Oh my cup of guilt runneth over. My recent life has been nothing but a haze of over-time. We took on a second vehicle here, and I have literally been working 11 to 13 hour days for the last three (three? really?) months. But I still watch this blog faithfully, though I've grown lax in all my other duties to you Lisa, poetry, forum, or otherwise, and I'm sorry.

But in other news, my wife and I are five months into another pregnancy, a boy is on his way, and that has occupied what has been left of my mind as of late. :)