Sunday, June 5, 2011


Have you ever had a great idea, made a little plan for it in your mind, and then just chewed it all to hell?

Poor Alice… You’ll have to forgive the navel gazing here (again) but it’s time. It’s time to let go of Alice. Now if I can only figure out how to do that…

Alice came from a dream I had several months ago. She came to me whole, with a back story and an immediate situation. I could see her, and as it sometimes happens with dreams, I could see through her eyes. I was so woven into this dream that when I woke up I felt lost.

I felt loss. Without going much further into the specifics of the dream, I will say that Alice was waiting for the ending. She knew it was coming, and wore a smile for it. Inside, she kicked at it and raged.

For several days after the dream, Alice’s story grew in my head. Maybe a short story, but no, more than that. A series of paintings. A series of small portraits. Alice at the window in her nightgown. Michael. Their companions in the house.

In my head I painted and wrote. I assembled shadowboxes full of hairbrushes and wristwatches. I imagined the sky that haunted Alice’s artist friends. I could see Alice’s ink bottle, and the stains on her hands.

There is more, but… I’m struggling with it.

What came of all of this? Not a lot.

I made one small painting. I sat this painting aside, picked it up now and again. I added things to it. I washed it over. I scribbled at it and scratched it. Nothing made it what I needed it to be.

Just last week, I decided that it was time to stop picking at this poor, overworked scrap of wood. So it hit me… It hit me very hard that this silly little painting represents a lot of things I’ve held on to, if only in the back of my mind, for most of my life.

See, Alice and I both know that it’s time to let go. Neither of us wants to, otherwise she would have been covered with gesso months ago. We have lived together for a lifetime. We stand at the window and look at the sky and know that the end has to come. We rage and cry, sitting quietly with a little smile on top of everything.

My first thought was to burn her, but I haven’t. I pick her up and run my hands over the wood and still wonder how to let her go.

Funny, the marks we make.  

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