after Ongoing by Jenny Xie
So what…the heartaches and headaches she collected like paper cuts over the years? Her early twenties—the twin beds of naiveté and wanderlust lay between book covers, on movie screens and in ballads along with all the angst of tragic heroism. Mood swings hitched-hiked in her Volkswagen Beetle over potholed backroads and the Parkway bound for revolutions on salty ferris wheels tottering on piers along the Jersey shore. Still, there was hope. Inside poems and under the canopy of trees. Work championed her thirties and forties until the prefixes of peri- and meno- attached themselves to the huge pause that followed many false starts and ambivalences. Books no longer satisfied and workmanship dulled into duty. Paint brushes and solvents hued the corners of her fifties and sixties. Self-Doubt trashed canvasses and shrink-wrapped perspective and poetry offering proposals of a loveless marriage or spinsterhood—what difference anyway? Until composition and compassion, juxtaposition and abstraction and other -itions emerged. New frames started to replace stale views of filtered servitude. With charcoal under her fingertips, she labored hard for beyond the so-whats and the for-whats, graying ever-so-lightly lightly into just this.
It’s good to get lost sometimes. Sometimes on the road and sometimes in general. It can open the way to a new vista both literally and figuratively. I got lost the other night on my way to an art center in another county. I googled the directions haphazardly (no GPS), as I am prone to do, and figured that I could easily find my way. An hour past my designated arrival time with the sun setting and sensing that I passed my destination, I started my usual inner dialog getting annoyed with me for yet again getting in the car without really knowing where I was going yada yada yada. However, I found myself mostly alone on a winding rural road that led me through fields of goldenrod, odd striped cows (or bulls) and semi-wild meadows. It was almost sublime, and I vowed to return with camera in hand. This (Sunday) morning I retraced my tire tracks and happily discovered a beautiful area of New Jersey within twenty minutes of my home. And on my ride to there – I solved a dilemma that had been plaguing my painting and artwork. In every way lately – on the road – at my easel – and above all in my daily life – I am finding a new and better way after finally giving in to getting lost.
lost in its bloom the goldenrod alters my perspective
a full rainbow
fades to blue
after all is said and done
grass between my toes