Over and Over Stitch | Jorie Graham
Late in the season the world digs in, the fat blossoms
hold still for just a moment longer.
Nothing looks satisfied,
but there is no real reason to move on much further:
this isn’t a bad place;
why not pretend
we wished for it?
The bushes have learned to live with their haunches.
The hydrangea is resigned
to its pale and inconclusive utterances.
Towards the end of the season
it is not bad
to have the body. To have experienced joy
as the mere lifting of hunger
is not to have known it
less. The tobacco leaves
don’t mind being removed
to the long racks—all uses are astounding
to the used.
There are moments in our lives which, threaded, give us heaven—
noon, for instance, or all the single victories
of gravity, or the kudzu vine,
most delicate of manias,
which has pressed its luck
this far this season.
It shines a gloating green.
Its edges darken with impatience, a kind of wind.
Nothing again will ever be this easy, lives
being snatched up like dropped stitches, the dry stalks of daylilies
marking a stillness we can’t keep.
Thank you. I’m not even sure what I’m doing with this blog beyond weird archiving so I’m glad it’s helpful.
I think one of the points of the exercise of creating these axioms is locate the weird junctures in life where the only possibility of movement is created through repetition—or more precisely iteration. I’m interested in the parts of the world you have to repeat to move out of or through.
I also think you shouldn’t underestimate the kinds of strength and weird savagery you can find when everything has left you. I remember the first time I searched for dented cans in the soup isle because I knew they’d be cheaper. And I can remember the next time too.
YOU ARE THE STRONGEST YOU’VE EVER BEEN AND YOU WILL NEED TO BE MUCH STRONGER IF YOU INTEND TO SURVIVE
This is not Jenny Holzer. This is me. From a series called “Holzerisms”. So it’s cool that you thought it was her but also
LEARNING FEAR WILL KEEP YOU ALIVE BUT FORGETTING FEAR WILL MAKE YOU IMMORTAL
YOU ARE THE STRONGEST YOU'VE EVER BEEN AND YOU WILL NEED TO BE MUCH STRONGER IF YOU INTEND TO SURVIVE
There are also not hundreds of countries, but I’m just being pedantic
Kyle is casually the babliest.
You gotta come back with a fully operational definition of “socially advanced” before we can have this conversation.
I appreciate all the of the critical analysis that folks are doing about the darker history of America today, I appreciate the refusal to forget that we live in a world where things are bright and cast long shadows. But I also want to acknowledge that it is ok to celebrate. It is ok to be proud of a country that has taken historic stances on trans rights, on LGB equality, on the rights of refugees and immigrants. Do we have a long a way to go? Absolutely. Will we get up tomorrow and keep working? Absolutely. Do we deserve to be proud of how far we’ve come from the chains my great-great grandfather wore? Absolutely.
Landscape Light Installations by Barry Underwood
This man taught me photography and also shaped some of my earliest critical capabilities and I still can’t begin to touch how his mind operates. He used to critique our work like it was professional grade (“Because it should be”) and I remember one time I had done these large format photos of this beautiful sort of androgynous boy named Lee buried in flowers and all the other photo majors were praising it and it came to him and he said, “I mean it’s fine and it only has two technical problems but honestly I don’t understand why everyone is so excited that you’re making sexualized dead people. It’s not original and it’s not even like you’ve done it all that originally here. So.”
He made us cry so often during crit that eventually he made a “No Crying in the Photo Lab” sign and would make us actually leave if we started to cry.
He taught me the importance of having a practice that can take a hit, learn something, and keep on moving—regardless of what you do.