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Paintings, November 2008

#1, November 2008

Acrylic on paper, 44 x 30 inches.

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#1 November 2008


Notes about #1 November 2008 and other things...

What it says on the painting—

How will you grow? How will you live? How will you make?
How will you die?”

“Fading and dying, stooping, shaking, thinning, wrinkled”

“Make the picture, make the picture, old age and dying,
not him, not her YES you.”

“Save me, save me from going down that hole.”

“To read writing in the first person [I] aloud is to be it.
To read it silently is to hear a call from far away.”

“All these souls blown like autumn leaves down the sidewalk,
like petals falling from dying flowers,
each soul that formed of love, now the love gone too.”

I did not record the dates of making #1 November 2008
(and it is the only painting I made in November)
but during the weeks I worked on it I wrote in my studio notes:

November 19, 2008
No place no time indicated.
Not “Marks of weakness and of woe,”[1] but everywhere I see marks of age, decay, decrepitude and death. And for my art, the same. This is not good. We have got to change. This is not good.

November 21, 2008.
Oakland, late night.
Death knell, death knell,
Bad time, bad time,
Gather in the children
They should not see this.

November 22, 2008.
Oakland, early morning.
So much still to do, so much, so much
So much broken never to be repaired
So much more irreparable.

Oh, the mystery of it
Oh, the mystery of it—
The sunset each day
A luminous fading sign in the sky
To make you cry.

November 23, 2008.
Oakland, morning.
Looking through my January to June notes to make a book of them…
It’s all there for the next time that’s already now but I don’t know it yet—
Streams of small thoughts blowing far down the winds of time.

November 24, 2008.
Oakland, afternoon.
A little bit of music, a charming melody to hold the eye on the thought that hurts
and never goes away.

Late night.
Put the 44 x 30 inch paintings (Oct/Nov) away, re-make the studio space to tell the story of the last years of life… thought by thought, each set in a charming melody to hold the eye through all the centuries to a time when the people of the future write their own thoughts over the melodies we have made in the past—

And tonight I told one of my students, “The archetype only wears the clothes of your own space and time, the clothes of you. And you yourself are only a temporary costume laid over the body of everyone forever.”


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