el 20 de septiembre
I had been feeling so undisciplined, but ana changes how I understand this concept of discipline. She talks about how discipline is a way of walking through the world, that I am incredibly committed to a particular way of being in the world, of my vision of the world and that this is a kind of discipline. This is really true and especially important for artists to understand I think. The way we experience the world is a totally different language.
I finally made a piece that I really like. It is a breakthrough. And I realize that I dreamed the piece when I first arrived.
as artists, we are really vessels. I realize the importance of allowing the work to flow through me—it doesn’t really need to stay with me for long—each piece is one in hundreds, a story, a song, a memory, a rock in the river, they have a life of their own.
each piece must move like the river. One idea, a thread, a stitch, a pencil line takes you to another piece, explains something more, opens you. Open close open close open open open.
it rained--the ants outside of my studio gather pale yellow flowers and leave them in piles around the entrances to their tunnels.
el 24, sábado
ví un búho encima del río, a small white owl flying over in the night. I haven’t seen an owl for a long time—death, birth, spiritual protection, guides. My work continues to change from what I thought it would be. It is so much about the river right now. me encanta este río. It’s so incredible, magical, greenish gold almost. I feel so connected to the river now, to the land here. We feel each other, we know things about each other. And I feel myself breathing the fragility of other people, don’t we?—we see everything and reveal everything about ourselves in every moment.
I have realized the significance of walking on our paths, of doing what we are called to do, or following our passions in life even when it seems impractical, even in the face of fear. When we don’t take responsibility for our power, our gifts, we affect other people, we involve them in our fears either intentionally or unintentionally. It’s really a huge responsibility to assume your own power. especially in those moments when you know the world does not share your vision, does not understand, does not even speak one word of your language. I feel this in my work sometimes but I also remember the power of speaking. That we affect each other, that we touch each other. even when I am struggling to speak, to explain myself in Spanish, I know that that act is beautiful, lovely, alive, powerful (and often funny) We have a huge capacity to give love even when we don’t fully understand where the other person is coming from or what they are saying.
talking with the paper, cutting out, putting in, somehow I am able to stitch these small bundles back into. the paper holds the sculpture.
el 29 de septiembre
my performance will finally happen next week. So I am thinking a lot about something Ana said to me this summer: “If you want to talk about universality, forget European humanism, let’s talk about the way people relate to land.” This was in the context of talking about the Taino Indians, the Taino mythology, creation stories, history. So the Taino’s tied stones together to stop the rain and opened them to bring the rain. People in the countryside still do this. Most cultures—with connection to land—have rain spells. There is this deep way of calling forth the rain that occurs all over the world, it is ingrained, gestural, cellular. People talk about cellular memory—and really this is more than something physical, biological. It’s a kind of spiritual communication I think, a way of exchanging information at a very deep level—and you have to be completely embodied to feel this connection, to hear. I will begin my performance with oshun, the body, our first homeland. gender, sex, desire, jealousy, love. everything, every word has a body, homeland, birthplace.
the rains have arrived. heavy pounding. They make mud of the red earth outside of my studio—I have wrapped a large sculpture with thread, rope, canvas. Stones. I cover everything in the red earth. it stains my hands. Camilo—another artist in residence—says, ‘it’s so african’—I wonder if I will find this red earth in nigeria as well.