Thursday, June 30, 2016

Process Notes: To Live in a House of Grief

83º ~ a brief respite from the heavy humidity, time enough to have mown the yard yesterday so the view is tidy, the sky nothing but blue all the way up

For those who have said the process notes help.

My summer goal is 20 collages and 20 drafts of ekphrastic poems based on those collages. The count stands at 12 collages completed and and 5 drafts written. I continue to struggle with letting go and trusting that the process will work, even though it is the letting go that works every time.

The collages are 9" x 12" and collected now in official-looking portfolio to protect them. When I sit down for BIC time (BIC = butt in chair), I flip through the portfolio and try to let intuition guide me in choosing a piece for the day. This is a bit difficult because I made each piece, so each has already spoken to me in some way (the disadvantage of self-ekphrasis). However, eventually, I choose and pull a collage from the portfolio. The size makes it easy for me to sit with the art, to run my fingers over the surface (the benefit of self-ekphrasis), to hold the image very close or prop it farther away. I sit in silence. I observe. I absorb.

And then, hopefully, a line strikes me.

Today's first 2 lines are:

A girl born reaching

3" x 5" detail

This is my fifth draft in the project and the second one in a row that uses one of the human images in the collage as subject (the earlier one I wrote process notes for did as well). These human images happen to all be girls. Three out of five drafts with "the girl" or some variation at the center. So now, because what would we be without our worries, I'm worried that I'm simply re-covering territory I already covered in The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths. However, there is little of the prairie in these, little of the agriculture that marks that book. So, maybe...maybe it will be okay.

I set myself this project because I wanted to discover, again, my obsessions, and I wanted to come at that discovery aslant (via images). It may turn out that my obsessions are what they have always been: what it means to view the world through female eyes and live in the world in a female body & mind. What if I'm a one-obsession poet? I do not want to be the kind of writer/artist who simply re-creates the same work over and over. I want to stretch and grow, and yet, I write/create what is in me to write/create.

For now, I will repeat to myself for as long as it takes: trust the process, trust the process, trust the process.


Kathleen said...

Great project, and I think that's a good obsession! Hmmm, maybe I could try this with the collages you gave me!!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, K. It's be cool to read what you come up with if you do try it.