Monday, October 8, 2018

I can't give it away.

Dear Patience,
I have re-assembled some journal pages on some large water color sheets that were my grandmother's.  The paper is quite lovely in itself, with wave-warped edges and a pale gold glow of foxing from storage.  A few years ago, I cut some of the sheets into cards that I mailed out; hopefully I sent one to you.  I took a sheet and painted a field of lupine and owl's clover in the center of it in vibrant watercolors.  The last six were made into images like you see on the left in the photo above.  Little cuts and scraps of words, pasted down and into water color pools and puddles.  I suppose it was a bit like constructing a fake streambed in a suburban yard, or maybe a Japanese rock garden.
My plan now for these six large paper pieces is going to be harder to complete:  I'd like them framed up impeccably, with linen and museum board and lots of space.  Then they must be hung in the office of psychiatrist in Memphis, Tennessee, where patients will ponder them while they question their own relevance, and it will quietly dawn on them:  Oh, yes, of course, I just need to re-order my life- it's all in the placement and emphasis.
I don't know any psychiatrists in Memphis, so that's an issue right there.  Ten years ago I painted a very large canvas with bubbling lilac and taupe ovals- the painting really simmered with happiness.  I knew it should be hung in the Zuni Café, because I had been there and felt it.  I wrote to the restaurant and told them I would give them the painting free of charge, because I was convinced of it's belonging there.  They did not reply at all.  Did they dislike the painting, or mistrust my motivations?  A reverence for the restaurant, it seems, was not enough.  What then, is enough?