Early summer – still, hot, slow. Small plants started from seed on the tiny sun-porch make their way downstairs, taking their seats one by one in the garden’s warm, dry, newly dug soil. Why do I do this, I wonder? We choose our pleasures. The outdoors distracts, luring and coaxing me away from recently started works and the written word. My apparent new rhythm, a post every two months or so, allows for other things to dominate.
Not knowing who or how many read what I put out – message in a bottle – there lurks a small fear that what is written will be disregarded, disliked, shunned. Talking to myself again? What seems imperative is to devour – in one swallow – the whole as I see it; hunting and gathering, winnowing, gleaning, gaining nourishment from this gnawing on bitter herbs and tough roots.
The desire to sink one’s teeth into the cacophony of reality offends, I know it. Mostly, rather than seeking an elusive, exquisite balance of the oppositional, people are inclined towards an easy harmony of sweetness and beauty, a shining joy or gentle sorrow, or a fathomable, familiar outrage – anything but a damned Greek chorus; masked, offering commentary unequivocally and in unison. I continue anyway, in what may well be a personal echo chamber, picking at bones of contention, of life…
…Speaking of bones, an unhappy fall this past weekend has led to a couple of broken bones. The world is breaking up, I think to myself, and so am I… a time to heal, I swear it’s not too late! Ruminations on distractions, questions of priorities and choices pale in the face of this latest imperative. Once again, time slows to a crawl as attention to physical needs and limits forces a maddening focus on minutiae. While laid up yet again there will, however, be time for new posts of work, poems, thoughts.
Meanwhile, the beginnings of the Split Commentary Revisited Series can be seen here. This group of eight forms first emerged from the Big Series of 2009 – 2011 but the diptych extractions were never fully developed as envisioned. With the Ünneptelenül pieces of 2019, work on this concept resumed, only to be halted suddenly by the same thing that confronts me now – broken bones! The explorations can either continue on a more manageable scale or once again, just wait.
Once again, my recent zoom lecture Working Through Our Plagues. Recent Paintings by Diane Sophrin (5.23.21) is now available for streaming here.
Finally – a few words on some works by others. I was recently introduced to the remarkable polaroid photos of Walker Evans. Evan’s black and white photographs were of course well known to me, but I knew nothing of his explorations with the spontaneous and strangely colored polaroid process. I was also steered in the direction of the distilled, lyric color abstractions of Serge Poliakoff. Posts on both will follow next.
– Diane Sophrin
Montpelier, Vermont. 6.30.21