Blubberstick, 5,1/2 years, 2011
In the present, these are a few of the things I have come to like, despite any pretext to dislike them from experience, imagination, or persuasion….
1. Making my sweetheart laugh, until the tears roll down her face, is an astonishing thing. Thinking about it earlier in our relationship, I never would have imagined liking the sound of her sides splitting (she is the all-time best critic of my writing and humor).
2. The sound of my dog snoring…. this lets me know he is okay, content, and probably perched at the edge of a dream that takes him to broad fields of green clover, where he runs faster than the wind. I am continually surprised at the peace of mind this sound creates.
3. I’m surprised at the pleasure I get from hearing Cary Grant’s recorded voice. I know he was a gymnast (there’s no reason this skill would affect his voice), and I respect him deeply for that. He projected such class and incredible control in his art.
4. Making the folds of paper as I construct a hand-made book gives unexpected pleasure. I never would have learned to do this 20 years ago, thinking it was a feminine activity (silly misconception). Now I love the satisfaction of holding an Artist’s Book that contains my own content. It is the ambassador of my personal esthetic, and totally different from the sculptures I make most of the time.
5. Listening to news from Canada on NPR in the evenings surprises me with its hominess and concern for rural, and sometimes radical issues…usually having something to do with the environment.
6. Wading through the barely decipherable texts of the fronts and backs of postcards from the early 20th Century really captures my interest (perhaps my geek quotient has risen with age). Even if the messages are mundane, I might find two from the same writer that establishes some crude, but interesting continuity suggesting the passage of time, along with the wants and desires of two or more strangers. If the images on the other side are interesting and the text refers to it, then I feel like an old, grizzled prospector might have felt finding a fleck of gold amid the vast landscape of uncertainty.
Postcard from 1905
7. On the subject of wading, the Atlantic Ocean at Brigantine Beach, NJ has surprised me over the years. I carefully walk out into its embrace, feeling the healing power of the salty ocean, looking towards the East, as the dolphins chase away the sharks from the shallows. For many years I shunned the ocean, then I found a missing part of my life on that shore. It is eternal... eternally good.