Sunday, December 13, 2009

Inaugural Address

I've been thinking about blogging for a while now, the idea being that if I could write regularly in small snippets and in less of a complete vacuum, perhaps I'd grease the weasely wheels of my creativity.  The problem? With my gnat-like attention span, I couldn't come up with any particular obsession that I could stand writing about routinely.  I don't want to make all of Julia Child's recipes in a year.  I don't have an ever-expanding collection of Star Wars action figures.  I'm not technically adept in much of anything, so I can't discuss, for instance, the best lens for shooting at night or birthday cake candles.  My travel, for 2009 anyway, is over, so reflections on locations are out.  So, what could I talk about that interests me AND, we hope, other people?  Clearly, this should not include my journal entries, with whinings on family, career confusions, and failed romance (as a public forum, is seems wise not to reveal absolutely all, so former flames, you privacy remains safe.  For now.  Bribes always accepted).

Sitting on the Metro last night, on the way to meet an old friend and her daughters to check out the Natl Xmas Tree, I realized I was humming part of an old Ani DiFranco song I'd dug out recently, sifting through old cassette tapes.  The lines that kept returning: "Art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there and it doesn't seem fair that I'm living for something I can't even define and there you are, right there, in the meantime."

Art. Specifically, the process of creating art.  I am not a product person.  This is a politely-spun way of saying very, very little of my own work is finished, and in order to keep creating I've made some peace with that.  This is another reason why a blog, something open-ended with no conclusion in sight, something with good entries and dull ones, something with (we hope) much less judgement involved than The Great American Novel appeals to me. 

This is the first entry.  It's a starting place only.  I hope this blog becomes a place to ruminate on my own specific projects - The Ugly Mobile, 2.0, various short stories that aren't finished, and the GodAwful Novel, ponderings on guitar lessons, explorations in painting and offkey singing; the specific projects of others - the amazing paintings on my studio walls painted by the late artist Karen Laub-Novak, the upcoming publication of my friend's Neil de la Flor's poetry book, the songwriting and performance by Arminda Thomas, part of Good, Greasy and Baked, and other creatives souls with whom my life has intersected, in person and/or through their art.  But beyond the specifics of Product, I'd very much like to talk about Process, how and why we create,  the rituals and rare, random descents (yes, a little Plath reference there) that inspire and confound.  I expect I'll talk about more concrete issues, novels and structure, about the difference between a poem and lyrics, but also more philosophical - the relevance of art today, poetry, music, visual, movement, personality, transformation and transliminial spaces, quirks, the physicality of art, the stalling and stumping, the wrong turns the led to right turns that led to blind alleys that lead to Oh My, That's Amazing, that is, the process of Artful Mistakes.

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