Two Forms of Memoir Part 2 : the Tactile as Vessels of Transformation

On seeing photographs of Picasso sitting and walking amid large canvases and eating from plates decorated wth his drawings of fish, I realized imagery in my work could take up a larger space. . . More and more I tacked up on the wall cards, prints, and photographs, even carried them with me. Finally I took to Scotch-taping my typewritten pages on the wall. It began to make a difference in my work.

Adrienne Kennedy – people who led to my plays

scotchtape

Make sure you gather every piece of clothing and be sure to handle each one.

Marie Konde – The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

clothes

Isn’t it strange how in this digital, sensorily-amplified, modern landscape, actually touching objects, and interacting with letters, patterns, fabrics, textures, words, is a transformative, even radical, act?

 

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The Magic of First Takes

The putting together of this project/ feels so analogue and piecemeal/ not at all peaceful/ her friend says to record it when the feeling hits

It’s strange to listen back.

It’s 1995, I’m living at the Parkside, 19th & Aloha. I’ve taken to writing poems on tiny white pads of paper. In my mind, they’re just frenzied mental notes, slated for the scrap-pile. One day I press record on my Sony Walkman and speak the bits into the room. Later, I listen back. The thing that hit my ears is astounding – polished and confident! I’m ashamed that I had thought so lowly of my scribbles. They’ve morphed into something real, something worthy of existing! Now I have something I have an obligation towards, something to preserve and protect. I stash the cassette in a box and later find the tape has tangled with another tape and must be cut. I keep the damaged tape for some time, but eventually throw it out,  tired of seeing it un-mended.

Flash forward to March 27, 2018. I soak in the tub and listen back to a recording on my phone. It’s rough. I’m playing a few coarse chords on the piano and singing words from my journal about the impossibility of capturing the essence of the moment. Body submerged, the sounds coalesce. The content strikes me as raw, yet perfect. Once it’s in my ears, I know it has become a thing that will hold up for me, that I’ll expect. That I’ll defend. If I hadn’t recorded it, I wouldn’t give it the time of day. The recording makes a claim on my memory, fixes it in my brain as something worth saving. What is behind my fascination with first takes? Is it blind obedience, or something higher, something approaching grace?

Tour Journal Entry #1

Today during rehearsal I useIMG_4321 (3).jpg the cards as props to play the game I’ve come up with for my tour. I see how the ritual I invented mirrors my process. The songs tell a story. The story goes from left to right, like a storyboard or a keyboard. And the songs reel in time to weave a tale which unfolds before the audience. Which is then summarized so that everyone can go home and have a good night’s sleep. The End

Day 4: Infatuation – Cup of Coffee

 

As a child, I once visited my dad’s friend’s family. I think there were three kids and in the basement the man had carved out a workspace for each child out of wood and chicken wire. That image stayed with me which is perhaps why as an adult warehouse life resonated with me! The notion of being secure in one’s own creative world and yet surrounded and stimulated by other creative humans is an artist’s dream!

This song, written two decades ago, has several layers: it’s about having a surprise crush; it’s also about the joys of collaboration – finding the best friend or soul mate or killer roommate whose box of tricks has a keyhole in which your key, the one you’ve worn around your neck all these years, turns easily. Inside the box are photographs, you take one back to your desk and gazing at it, begin your story, which turns into the story of Us. . .

The domestic queen shares the stage with the destructive lady

When he left me, I was devastated; from the perspective of my domestic queen the question loomed: how could he reject such a paradigm of household perfection?

But the destructive lady thought differently. She saw how deftly I handled adversity. She noticed how a part of me leaped with the packing up of boxes, the purging of cookware. She saw how devastation made room for new growth.

And I, in turn, was indebted to her for keeping life vital and exciting.

Now I am pulled towards familiar comforts. Destructive lady says, hang on, don’t forget me, I am the key to so much – creativity, sexuality, as well as chaos and demolition. Don’t neglect my role in your life, or else!

The idea comes. How about letting the destructive lady pick something substantial to pursue? And if she is occupied with something powerful she can really sink her teeth into maybe just maybe lady #1 can go about her needed business without so much drama and fanfare.