Thursday, February 26, 2009

October 23, 1963.

Someone must've been cleaning out an attic space on Polish Hill recently; I found this check--it was written and cancelled a little less than a month prior to the Kennedy assassination. Sometimes chaotic tragedy is the best way to demarcate time. The natural chemistry took innovative care in its development, thinking, we need an interceding force. Something memorable: This time a simple snow won't do. Thusly did we learn about how snow is older than misfortune.

On the afternoon of 9/11 I recall, in the second, more mundane, wave of realization, in which the world was starting to take its new shape, thinking of Borges' short story, 'The Aleph', and my grandparents, none of whom exactly knew the world as it quite unexpectedly was.

The picture must've been snapped at the house in Sharon, probably 1978 or thereabouts. My brother popped out in '77. Each time I think of that house something is in a different place. It gets larger and larger with time, its details fewer and parsed by the emptying space--can I expect an extinguishing white mural when I finally go? Actually, I suspect death isn't so much blank as it is garish. Like bad carpet or wallpaper.

Each time I paint a picture like this I imagine a volunteer panel of archetypal Austrian psychiatrists hovering over it, examining how small I made the mouths, and how wanly these figures seem to pry for sustenance. Or even light. Just once I'd like the panel to be made up of "the fashion police", eager to spread wide my ideas of a somber coverage.

Janine: You know Wilfred, this is the kind of sensible attire a man is liable to wear when, against the pit of sensibility and the advocacy of his own personal welfare, he looks back.

Wilfed: Looks back indeed, Janine. I couldn't agree more. Bawdy Smallmouth Glycerine is a dominant color this fall.

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