Sunday, January 01, 2006

c l o u d s

I've never thought much of clouds, but they've come up a bit this past week.

Iris said that there was an experiment in which one group of college students were told to think about life for a certain amount of time everyday, another group was told to think about clouds. The group that thought about clouds was much better off.

And then later that night I had a dream. Some prestigious woman said "let me see your portfolio." And I thought " I have a portfolio?" And she reached to the shelve behind me and pulled out a black binder and browsed through it carelessly. It was replete of photos of paintings of mine and I wondered when I had put all that together and how much more/what was in those other binders of mine on the shelf. Then, she, pointing to my pictures of some neatly-diagonally-gridded clouds and the photos from Barcelona of empty facades (windows through which the sky is visible) she said "don't you see the resemblances here?" I didn't respond. But she was right. (And she was me...) It was a great juxtaposition. Both were relatively-flat planes that defy gravity and distort light.

Clouds are cumbersome to paint. Have you ever tried to recreate clouds? They even resist cameras. Maybe the only good representations of them are the abstract ones.

From my new apartment, whose chapter is only 2 days old, I no longer see clouds, or sky, or anything organic for that matter, with the exception of some food, water, and a plant that I found hanging from the bathroom ceiling. I look up and say "Hello, Plant." [It doesn't respond...] I'm going to try to keep it alive. In return will it keep me company?

Clouds I recently saw from Interstate-77 in Virginia on December 28, 2005.

Empty facade from the streets Corcega-Bailen in Barcelona, May 2005.

"Esas fachadas, en verdad, son como sus caparazones después de que haya sido sorbida su carne, aspirado todo la blando y jugoso, suculento, sustanciosa, que tenían dentro. Las manzanas, los bloques y las casas de algunos barrios de BCN han sido vaciados también de esa carne y esos jugos de que está hecha, al fin y al cabo, la vida, una vida atesorada por el tiempo, acumulada. Las fachadas no son más que lo duro, el caparazón, el hueso que está afuera, una triste armadura. A veces, en las marisquerías, uno encuentra langostas disecadas, rojas y brillantes, no muy distintas de las de plástico: ¿qué puede haber más cruel, de más feroz, que aspirar toda la carne de una barrio conservando sus huesos o caparazones, y de más vergonzado que usarlos como signos de supuesto respeto, de recuerdo o de memoria? Memoria: ¿de qué o de quién?" (Juanjo Lahuerta "La destrucción de Barcelona")


Update: September 2006: From 36,000 feet in the air I spotted some strange spots. At first I thought they were clouds.

But then, using my camera as a telescope ;-) I realized that the spots weren't clouds but icebergs, Greenlandian icebergs!


Ken said...

Hey Megan,

I did get through and really like what I see. I'll return on a regular basis and keep up. And you keep writing. R was right, "you just go on your nerve." That's a quote from Frank O'Hara, one of our favorite poets. -K

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