Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Two thousand fifteen

Monday, January 19th, 2015

I’m a little late getting out my wishes for this New Year. The momentum I was creating the first week in January took a detour with the Charlie Hebdo story. People being killed down the street from where I live and work, for expressing their ideas, shined a big light on the word “now.”

Sunday, January 10, 2015.  Paris "solidarity" march.

Sunday, January 10, 2015. Paris “solidarity” march.

Like the little girl in the tutu at the supermarket, happy with herself, at play each moment of the day. Why wait for an “appropriate occasion” to wear that flashy skirt? Why wait until tomorrow to call that grandmother, sister, or father and tell them you were thinking of them, right now, today, for no other special reason, other than they are important to you and you love them?

Do you have something important to say that someone, somewhere should hear? Write it, send it, ship it, say it. Release fear and it uncovers love, they say. I’ve found this to be true.

Place de la République, Paris.  January 7, 2015.

Place de la République, Paris. January 7, 2015.

La Araña

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I lived with the artist Monica Millan in Buenos Aires. She is from the subtropical province of Missiones in Argentina and often works with communities in Paraguay. This is why, when I told her about a scary spider I saw in the bathroom one morning, and she asked me how big it was, after showing her with my two fingers making a small circle, she said, “Ah, no es nada!! En Missiones…” then she put her two hands together to make the largest circle she could, to show me the size of beasts they have up there.

Always check under the bed

She reassured me they were harmless and wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t bother them. The usual speech. Then I remembered some strange marks I had found on my arm, in a circular pattern, and I showed them to her. “Ah, si. De una araña…” she said with a shrug of her shoulders. So they do bite! And likely while you’re sleeping!

It was then that I noticed the spider tattoo on the back of Monica’s neck, and also the spider on the tank top she often wore around the house. Living with someone who revered what I feared, I had some work to do.

Some weeks later, when Bergitta moved out (a tango-dancing Swedish painter who had been living there) I changed bedrooms. I moved into the wood-paneled room with a window onto the garden. The one with the orange light, magenta mosquito net and the spider painting hanging on the wall.

On the wall above my bed

One night there was a full moon. I went to sleep with its silver-blue light shining directly on my pillow. Sometime in the middle of the night, straight out of a deep sleep, I abruptly opened my eyes. And I opened them WIDE. What I saw, was a fat-bodied spider dangling right above my face, back-lit by the full moon. I heard my voice whisper, “ooohh…my god,” as I slid horizontally off of the bed, out from under gravity’s pull on that 8-legged body, and switched on the lights. I inspected the hell out of that wood-paneled room and found nothing but my own fear.

My bedroom’s closed shutters, through the grape vines in the garden, where the cat stalks the night and the queen spider watches from the banana tree

Standing in the middle of the room, now having put on my tennis shoes, I asked, what the hell just happened? Was that real? And even now, I’m convinced the sequence of events began with opening my eyes and that it wasn’t a dream. But like a big baby, from then on I slept with the lights on, so that during the night I could wake up and immediately scan the room for anything menacing. Though after that, I didn’t see another spider. The only pests remaining were the mosquitoes.

Full moon night in Barracas, Buenos Aires

My haunted photo

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I didn’t touch the negative. I didn’t move the filter. The paper was fresh. It hadn’t been exposed to any light that was shaped like a finger. I swear to all of the above. So I don’t have a physical explanation for it.

I was in the darkroom for almost 5 hours, ready for a break, and decided to make one last print. It was too dark, so I thought to myself (again), “ok just one more, then I’m done for today.” Except that the next one had something strange on it that looked like… I put the thought away, because it was on this day and I was a little jumpy in that old house, standing there in the dark on a basement floor of centuries-old stones that used to be the walls of a church.

So. I quickly (frantically) made another print, trying not to think about WHAT had just interfered with my process. The new print was just fine, and as soon as it was safely in the fix I turned those lights on fast and I was packing up. I didn’t even really look at the print until days later when I was back in Paris.

So, what exactly are those shapes, and who put them there?

Bed sheets, un-disturbed

Bed sheets, un-disturbed

Bed sheets, with ghostly interference

Bed sheets, with ghostly interference

There are two distinct shapes, almost a 3rd. Since they’re white, it means the corresponding objects were opaque, and placed above the paper, thus blocking the light. But no one else was there but me, and I didn’t do it. One shape looks like a distinctly male organ, and because it’s a photo of my sheets, it’s a bit of a ghostly joke. Though it could also be a dismembered finger. That other thing, which is slightly 3D, I’ve no clue…

Sleepless in Sunnhordland

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

What do you do with yourself when you are alone?

I am alone tonight in a big house, built in 1841 with stones dating from 1300. My three-week residency has 1/3 passed and Brijesh, the other photographer in this amazing place with me, is in London today for a shoot.

Everyone asks if this place is haunted. Everyone. Honestly, I hesitate to write that “h” word. It is absolutely not. It’s such a lovely, big, warm, friendly house, but my imagination is running away with itself. Because I’m alone late at night in a house everyone thinks is haunted!

It’s not, it’s not, it’s just not.

And it’s silly, but I’ll wait until tomorrow, during the bright daylight, to go into the basement darkroom with the old stone floor, to make my prints. Even though I cut myself off from horror movies several years ago, the ones I’ve already seen are burned on my brain.

Looking at the Kloster Fjord from Halsnoy Kloster monastery tonight

Throwing light into the corner

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

she is always hanging there
upside-down in the corner.

why am I afraid of this creepy little thing?
those eight skinny legs
are totally out-matched.

that angled posture
and the supernatural way she floats there…

she lives quietly in a corner of my studio
though occasionally goes missing
(I wonder where she is, as I glance up at the ceiling)

looking at her closely, I can’t help but make the “ewe” face

yet I want to approach her, get closer,
so I will stop being afraid of
this creepy little being.

Ms Daddylonglegs holding court in the corner

Everything but the words

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

i am the worst procrastinator!
when i have to write.

i am trying to write…

i have eaten dinner,
cleaned the kitchen,
plucked my eyebrows,
updated my facebook page,
changed into more comfortable clothes,
replaced my contacts with glasses,
taken off my hat,
put the hat back on
because it helps me think,
i think.

i lit a candle,
played with the candle wax,
charged my phone,
charged my iPod,
charged my laptop,
changed out of my shoes,
and watered the dying plant.

i made tea,
searched for chocolate in the cupboards,
finished the last two cookies,
cracked some walnuts,
looked out the window at the half-moon floating on a diagonal,
and sat back down at my desk.

i checked email,
i checked Facebook,
i checked Twitter,
i commented on one thing,
and “liked” another,
i clicked apple-tab back to Word, and all my notes,
changed iTunes from “repeat all” to “repeat one”

i turned down the music because i thought i heard the neighbors making love,
i turned the music back up because they are.

i opened a new email,
to get all this out…
and go back to this breakthrough,
because the right idea is now growing.

it’s four minutes from tomorrow

and the fear is gone.

I am ready to put it down.