Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sometimes during the summer, the cool breeze come up from the river and carry their voices into my room cutting through the thickness of the heat. I can hear the creaking of the wooden rocking chairs on the porch; them, kissing their teeth, cracked lips curling and twisting, cleft tongues tricking every last drop of water over and into their mouths. Their feet tap the floorboards, going on like they're talking in code, but not so much talk today. I stop breathing for a moment and strain to lift my head to try to hear their voices. It's the only connection that I have with the outside now. Their stories lift me out of this room, out of this darkness. I close my eyes and listen hoping to hear one sentence, even a word that will break my mind to think of something else. I feel the roughness of the curtain as it brushes against my cheek. It carries with it a smoky sourness that rushes into my nostrils and stabs at my brain. That curtain was so pretty, so bright... so light. Whenever the summer breeze come into my room it would dance past these curtains and carry the scent of Jessamine with it. On some afternoons if I finished up early, I would take the long way home from the field, not too far from the willow that I seen since I was a little girl, to gather some more Jessanime to make my room smell pretty. Sometimes, I put a handful of them in a jar that was only for them, but if I collected a lot that day, I would take some down to the river with the curtains and rub some of it into the cloth . But it's been a long time since these curtains lit up the room. It's been months since I smelt the scent of that sweet Jessamine. I turn away and breathe into my pillow. The odor of my skin on the bed sheet that I lay on is one of the few things in this room that are familiar to me anymore. My body once stiff becomes tempered. It comforts me because it helps me remember us. I can smell his love. I feel the softness of his touch through his callused hands blackened by work, his skin hardened by the sun and soothed by my touch. My bones ache, my muscles are weak. My head falls back down to the pillow. One of the chairs on the porch scrapes against the wooden floor, and then I hear a shuffling of feet for a few steps.
Say something.
I open my eyes hoping that I will see his face again.
It's dark all the time now.

Above was my most recent homework assignment for my Fiction class. We had to create a written pastiche mimicking the voice of William Faulkner from his book, "As I Lay Dying." It was super challenging to say the least, but I enjoyed every bit of it. It's strange, but I'm beginning to apply my process of working on my drawings, and my illustrations towards my process of writing. And as I move forward, I believe the opposite will occur in which my writing and the stories and theories that I learn will influence my (visual) art and illustration. My instructor read a passage from Annie Dillard's, "The Writing Life," suggesting that,
"when you write, you lay out a line of words. The line of words is a miner's pick, a wood-carver's gouge, a surgeon's probe. You weild it, and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow, or this time next year."1
What powerful words.
How awesome that this can be applied to other disciplines such as illustration and picture making. It's true, sometimes during my process of working it's important to truly let go and allow the act of drawing, the act of painting, the act of picture making to take over. It sounds very abstract, but it's possible. Consequently by doing this, I allow the piece to come to life, and I'm made aware of the kind of marks that I make, the colours that I use, the motifs that I design which are inherent to me, and to my work. This is one of the most important things that an illustrator can do which is to influence the way in which others see his/her work, by creating a oeuvre that stands apart from his or her peers; which when viewers look at it, they understand especially who created it, and how and why it is different from others in the same industry. The difficult thing is being patient and tenacious enough to make this happen.

1 Dillard, Annie. The Writing Life. Harper Perennial, 1989.


Kalo said...

What a very poetic piece.

Steve said...

good post, keep up the writing. I re-read this a few times, very sensual.

Marcos Chin said...

* thanks steve!

* thanks kalo!