Surrealist Doodle

Surrealist Doodle
This was used as the cover of Karawane in 2006 and I have included it in on a number of bags and postcards over the years. Someone on the subway asked me if it was a Miro. I was very flattered!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Kansas City Fringe Festival July 19 - 26, 2014

Losing Words

Losing Words


I hate losing things. You would think I'd be used to it after all these years, but it never gets easier. I try to be philosophical, to be anarchic and anti-materialistic and shrug it off. I focus on how little it would cost to replace the lost object, if it even needs to be replaced at all. or I treat it like a dying acquaintance, grateful for the short time we've had together. Misplaced, stolen, permanent loan, left in a hotel dresser or on a restaurant table--makes no difference. Keys, jackets, cassette tapes, purses, words . . .

I hate losing words most of all. It's not a problem of losing objects full of words. I keep my notebooks and scribbles closer to me than my wallet. Money can be earned or borrowed. Every dollar bill is interchangeable-- crisp or wrinkled, ripped, laundered in a jeans pocket, with a love note or government conspiracy theory scribbled on the front. I'm no robber baron, industrialist, or fledgling shopkeeper, and one dollar is the same as another, not suitable for framing.

But a lost word is a tragedy. It's a tender moment with a lover that you'll never have again the same way. You'll never get the exact color and combination of touches and whispers. Losing words is worse than having to climb through the back bedroom window without your keys. And most words are lost to sheer callousness, not innocent forgetfulness. They are lost because I am unwilling to stop in my tracks, pull out my notebook and scribble in the middle of the sidewalk. I don't want to be inconvenienced.

I watch parents in Burger King with their five year-olds. The child wanders around, exploring the concept of orange plastic & vinyl furniture, which clearly does not exist at home. She looks out the window, slowly pulling individual french fries out of their small paper sacks, discussing the color of birds, while mom or dad admonish her to "hurry up. We've got to get to the mall."

I never wanted to be that kind of parent. But I am. I won't give my words the time to make mistakes, to take in everything around them. Instead, I drag them down the street without looking behind me to notice that their feet are barely touching the ground. When they run away, I run around looking for them, call the authorities, worry promiscuously, and promise each thought, each infant word, that I will eat more slowly, contemplate orange plastic seats and small brown birds and give them time to nourish themselves. Next time.