Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Home is On Fire While I Drown

I am not the kind of depressed I can draw through... an hour or so in bed with sketchbook confirms. Am wondering if perhaps this is the brand of depression that can be written through.

Currently, there is a frightening carnival of flashing red lights in my front yard stretching up the street a few houses, where smoke is vomiting up from my neighbor's house. She is, I think, the woman who I only know as She who in summer sunbathes in the small patch of unshaded grass in her yard. The first of three ambulances arrived, screaming and my heart missed a beat thinking about Papaw. Then the rest of the ambulances and a small army of firefighters and police arrived. I don't see the attraction in the group amassed to witness and worry. I'd rather stay out of the way. It's surreal; neighbors and press walking on my lawn. The ambulance nearest the mouth of the hollow is gone... I think she lived alone. Dog barks now from across the street- does she have pets? Are they OK? Some neighbors are retreating back to their homes.

Red parking lights diffused by car exhaust trick my peripheral vision into thinking I can see flames in my own yard. My stomach lurches.

Depression shakes itself into anxiety. I don't feel I'm allowed to leave my desk at the window, watching. Now the news car leaves. Bu and his brother and more neighbors come home.

I might take a bath. I might curl around the laptop and watch TV. I will call the clinic tomorrow; I'm low enough to find a way to get a prescription. It will be spring in a few months.

When I'm writing I think, this is ridiculous; I am a visual artist. This is all wrong, I'm pretending at it. When I draw and paint I think this is self-deception. Nothing new or particularly important is being said, I'm not as skilled as I am with words. Often I wish that I had practical skill, something useful and tangible with hammers or thread and needle. Potter's wheel balance instead of strangely formed sculptures: waxy snakes emerge from a collapsed woman where her hands should be.

But forever my paintings are books and my words are sketches.


  1. I wish I had a dollar for every time I'm sat with that cursed book of blank in my hand and tried to shake art from my comes, it goes, we fight to make it real and normal, like a job, but it isn't, it's fickle and smells faintly like cupcakes.

    Get thee hence to clinic. Hasn't been a fab-o week around here either. HUGS

  2. I haven't written for months. I miss you. I want to just curl up and talk.

    Japan has made me realize how much I missed baths, but the american way of bathing, with all the dirt from the day, just freaks me out too much to do back home.

  3. I am sorry it is feeling hard right now.

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