I’ve been looking at Louise Bourgeois’s Insomnia Drawings, and recalling events from my childhood, which took place in France ( a balcony in Rouen; a country house and forest in Sologne). I remember going swimming in a big dark pool. It was raining, I was alone, I was around seven years old. There were large trees surrounding the lake, and everything seemed to be a muted deepening green. I remember crawling along through the water, my palms on the soft squelchy bottom, fingers pulling me along. Suddenly my fingertip felt ice, and warm, and alarm. My finger was cut, the pond was full of broken glass, the blood hung a red cloud in the water. I stood up, blood pouring down my arm, and ran down the path towards the big house. The rain was pouring down, the path was wet with millions of frogs, tiny baby green beings a torrent of legs and little hands on the path all around me. I found a strange woman in the large cold kitchen. No mother. I cried and cried. She wrapped my finger with something. I could not be soothed. Later, walking in the forests with my family gathering yellow mushrooms, I spied a family of goats. There was a pretty young kid. I made friends, I put my arms around her, she was close and warm and smelled of earth, I was comforted.
A recent dream of an electric current, my father was connected to it, and another man, and so was I. It was full of pain, terror, and pulling. In the dream I knew I could let go of the current. I let go of the current.
I’m thinking (always through drawing) about seeing with the navel; how the umbilical cord connects us energetically with ancestors and future generations. Bodily knowing. Bringing into sight what is hidden in the abdomen, or the womb, feeling oneself a bee, a queen bee; a carrier of seeds, a distended flower head in the autumn, ripe and full and flooded with the stain of dusky departures.
We can also see above the skin, above the skin of the mid-section, with the solar part flexing like a drum, or the voice cords, humming.
Drawings of a figure with head wings and spine wings. And animals as seers.
I think of my dream of the five little discreet lumps, like glands or tiny breasts in a row, vertical. I think of the dark-eyed man who stands before me in so many pictures, of the book of love I have read again – of the boat, of the wine, the cheese and the metal, and of the dead children and the rain. The lovers in the rain. And the lake, the mountains, and the snow.
Of time wasted; of the erotic in art being sacred, of the energy of desire the same flame as the dull ache I experience as I sit before my easel.
The pink stain of Lucretia’s gown is the stain on my cheeks.
oil on linen.
Soon I will be in Italy again, in Puglia, working in a cave, researching.
I’ve been looking at Louise Bourgeois’s Insomnia Drawings, and recalling events from my childhood, which took place in France ( a balcony in Rouen; a country house and forest in Sologne). I remember going swimming in a big dark pool. It was raining, I was alone, I was around seven years old. There were large… Read more »