I know that its not the artists job to interpret the work, or to answer the questions left hanging in the air by the presentation of the work. But, somehow I feel like some kind of addendum is in order for this piece. I started writing this unsure of what to say about it, and I as write I’m still not sure. I hope that by typing something closely akin to a stream of consciousness on this blank screen maybe something will occur to me….it hasn’t yet.
Maybe its not so much that I don’t know what to say in regards to this piece, so much as there’s so much to say, and I just don’t know how to say it or where to start.
It was a beautiful letdown
When I crashed and burned
When I found myself alone, unknown and hurt
The deep seated letdown of finding oneself lonely, anonymous, and brutally damaged is a feeling I’m all too familiar with, even more so now that my life has seemingly plummeted into the ground in an explosive blaze.
This, too, reminds of a few lines in a poem by Philippe Jaccottet that I cam across recently:
Love, like fire, can only reveal its brightness
on the failure and the beauty of burnt wood.
And yet, another poem still. This one by Antonio Machado:
Last night I dreamed—blessed illusion—
that I had a beehive here
in my heart
the golden bees were making
white combs and sweet honey
from my old failures.
I relish the thought of something beautiful being wonderfully made from the burning debris of our letdowns and failures; as if the fires of our fatal wounds were a forge in which the hurt can be hammered into something meaningful, where we can somehow, someway, be wrought back to life. But, I struggle to see it. The crash is so visceral; the burning so incendiary, the shrapnel so serrated, that I grapple to find the beauty in it.
Maybe that’s why I continue to turn to the practice of making art. If I cannot find the beauty in the pyre, perhaps I can make it myself.
Perhaps, in the flaming face of my failures, there is a place where even my smallness can reach deeply into where destiny still swings…