Saturday, November 18, 2006

November self-portrait

Saturday starts with a white sky and clean hair. Colors leap out from the November fade. White sky. Grey pavement, the bare limbs of trees, the bricks of the building opposite, which seemed drab and almost colorless in the summer, are a rich red. I take a self-portrait because I cannot write and one has to post something before the rescue teams are dispatched. The photo turns out well. It is not a soft expression – it is a November expression - the red bricks, red hair and green sweater are November too. I like it – if it’s not a soft expression, it’s a typical one – a suggestion of defensiveness and skepticism as I face my own camera. Serious woman. I am more serious than you might think.

Or maybe I don’t know what you think or what impression I give out here.

Lunch with Weedy, a little trip to a new store selling stone beads. The beads are overpriced and the stock is sparse. A beautiful Indian woman, the wife, sits facing the window, making jewelry. Her husband, careful not to push, but proud of the store and the stock, shows me his best turquoise. I buy two beads at ten times the price I should pay. I succumb to their eager politeness and obvious dreams of a new business in a new country succeeding. “Lady Bountiful,” I say to Weedy, “and when I’m eating beans next week…” Well, when I’m eating beans next week, I can consider the fact that no good deed goes unpunished.

I tell Weedy a recent dream: I am standing in front of a mirror posing…arranging and rearranging a beautiful long silk scarf. It’s very teenage. I’m trying different looks out planning to charm the Sc…the love interest in my life. There are sliding glass patio doors at the back of the room and someone is there. Very carefully, I back up to the wall beside the doors, where I see a man pointing a gun at me. He takes aim and shoots. He misses me narrowly and I hit the floor, trying to stay down and get out of range. He keeps shooting, over and over and I’m thinking, Jesus! He’s got a clear shot. There’s no way I can keep dodging the bullets.

Weedy shudders. “Jesus.”

“Naw,” I say, “It freaked me out at first but it’s just one of my internal selves not liking the one at the mirror.” A spat in the ranks. The everlasting internal riot of conflicting personality fragments. I am thankful to KD for sharing the voice dialogue perspective on dreams. That one once would have made me nervous for days.

After lunch, we hit the wine store and supermarket and I pick up the laughable list of groceries I think will sustain me for another week, and later manage to settle down to writing the Dreaded Submission for Very Prestigious Specialty Magazine. During the week, I’ve actually burned pictures of my work onto a CD – a feat of great daring for me. (Here’s how: you put in a blank CD – and some software comes up and tells you what to do. Then you take the CD out. My problem was the part before putting in the CD, when every instinct told me I would manage to blue screen my computer – somehow).

The dreaded submission consists of a tedious list of techniques, materials, sizes and photo credits to accompany the CD, a “career overview,” and the loathsome “artist’s statement.” I write the last thing over and over. Then I write it over again. I add and embellish. I am now designing artworks on paper that I will be lucky to live to find the time to make. In fact, by the time I finish talking about these imagined artworks, I feel that I’ve actually made them already, so I’d be repeating myself if…

Saturday now. Black sky, blue robe, tired eyes.