Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Found Objects

Since I was young I have been fascinated with found objects. Little pieces of broken jewelry, tiny shards of something that was once valuable to someone else. I love to pour over a box of little trinket treasures at a yard sale. Each of these found objects has their own energy. You can tell by looking at it if it was loved by a child or an adult, it if was treasured or merely something saved. Did this woman save this little pendant because her child gave it to her? Did a lover have this ring engraved on the back?

Eventually thoughts linger to wonder what happened to the person who treasured these little pieces of found somethings. Did they die and their heirs not find them important? Did they just tire of the extra baggage we all carry through life. I am not a saver. I used to save every little scrap of everything and then one day woke up and just wanted less stuff. I didn't want to save the little candle holder I proudly held since I was 4 because I carried it in the Christmas pageant. I wanted to pack less when I wanted to move. I wonder though are those things someone else's treasure now?

I have the perfect career for someone who is a reformed pack rat. I get to collect and save things and then turn them into something else and present them as my art. It's fascinating. Each day leads down some new road. I have been making shrine pendants to celebrate the Day of the dead. All these pieces are put together with little scraps of this and that on my beading table. My beading table is four long desks all put together in the sunny corner of my studio. Sitting on top are over 300 little drawers each containing beads or findings or wire and scattered little treasures. Scattered all of the tops are piles of this project and that all waiting for my attention. Hanging from the ceiling in long strands of wire are little treasures I've found that I just can't part with yet, a bird full of gliter, a Christmas ornament I found at a garage sale. They catch the light and they inspire me.

In the other corner I've started a mosiac, one of those monster pieces about 7 foot tall. I was inspired by a new friend who has been collecting sea glass and decided to collect my own glass, colored glass and in little stolen moments will just start filling in this mermaid here and there until she's all full of color and life. I am anticipating some bloodied fingers and making this piece into three panels and maybe one day installing them in the garden.

My son tells me I retreat too often to my studio. He finds me there when it's very quiet and I can hear him at the door listening to see if I am busy trying to figure out if I want to be disturbed with an ice coffee or if I'd rather just be left alone. Bukowski wrote about this sort of passion. He wrote of gathering evidence of a kind that needs some sorting and if your hair be blonde or if you you are bald you cannot enter until I've figured the universe. Bukowski was a genius. He was a drunk and a whore monger and he educated himself, taught himself to be a poet through sweat and shack jobs and shirts smelling of vomit and whiskey. If you aren't already a Bukowski fan, then let me wet your appetite a bit;

sway with me, everything sad --madmen in stone houses without doors, lepers steaming love and songfrogs trying to figurethe sky;
sway with me, sad things --fingers split on a forgeold age like breakfast shellused books, used peopleused flowers, used love
I need you
I need you
I need you:
it has run awaylike a horse or a dog, dead or lost or unforgiving.

Whenever I see a frog I think of sway with me, a tiny frog trying to figure the sky.

One of my favorite Bukowski poems is Yes:

Yes Yes
when God created love he didn't help most
when God created dogs He didn't help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low
when He created you lying in bedHe knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high
and He created the mountians and the sea and fire at the same time
He made some mistakesbut when He created you lying in bedHe came all over His Blessed Universe.

I hope you discover a little Bukowski on your own. Ham on Rye is a collection of autobiographical short stories and a good place to start.

Well the little gray cat is curled up sleeping on the window ledge, the sun is burning into the day already and I have some creating of my own to do today. Enjoy the day and thanks for sharing this time with me, Carrie.

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