hovering just above normal
just below sane
a line but the edges are blurred like rain
infinity but never reaching
and we imagine
perfection but the results are varied not stained
into our bliss
a constructed ideal
which we imagine
exists but reality is lost without pain
My grandfather was a US nurse in WWII and I found a bunch of cool patches from his service. Over the years, I’ve sewn them over all sorts of holes. Recently, I’ve been called out on my blatant ignorance… what I had once thought were a couple of cool lightning bolts symbolizing who-knows-what, is actually a Nazi SS patch, which I have been parading around for who-knows how long. Now, I think it’s interesting that he had an SS patch in the first place. Did he save the life of a POW and get the patch as a gift? There’s a story here about humanity and the realities of war, I think. I’ll never know, but I’m proud of my grandfather for his service and think he was a wonderful man. However, no one else knows this but me. Anyone who sees my SS patch will come to other conclusions. I will insult, push away and alienate who-knows-how-many people if I keep wearing that patch, and I will continue to show my ignorance. I’m removing the patch, of my own free will, because even though I like where it came from I don’t like what it symbolizes to the rest of the world. And by the way, the government will never force me to remove the symbol from my pants, but neither will they use your tax dollars to stamp it on my license plate, or paint it on a school mural in honor of my grandfather. Happy freedom day.
Lately I've been feeling rather uninspired by staring at a blank computer screen. More than that, I've been feeling unsatisfied by words and craving substance - things that speak with texture and form.
I suppose that's what you call art.
I spoke to an old friend about this - someone I grew up with, produced backyard plays and bubble machines with, and who is now working towards her Masters degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. It turned out that she, too, was breaking out of her usual medium, and had written a beautiful piece that explained some of the abstract art she had been creating over the last few semesters.
So when I visited Grace in Chicago we collaborated - she gave me her words and had me write them across her body. Photography was a medium I fell in love with in high school but essentially gave up after after losing access to a darkroom, so I was extremely excited to photograph the result using a top-notch digital camera (and knowing that I had a top-notch digital editor).
Grace DuVal is a lifelong friend and inspiration. If I told you she makes amazing things, you wouldn't begin to understand. So don't try to understand. Go see for yourself.
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