Ten years ago, on February the 13th, 2009, I planned to die in a train wreck while traveling alone in Orissa, West India. I “planned to die,” because the train derailed, and knowing we would all die, I made plans. I followed the instructions for a smooth exit. Hair pulled from butter.
But I came back. (Did I GO anywhere?) I opened my eyes from inside of this body.
This piece is a recollection, a re-collection, of the web of life- specifically mine. From the lens of acute trauma and nihilism, this web seemed the ultimate lie, the ultimate illusion laid bare in rubble and fine dust. “My life doesn’t have anything to do with me.” I saw it. I saw it like a gaping hole. Mouth of Yama. Size of the universe.
What’s so wrong with a web? Without a center? Is it a problem that I am only made of you? Utterly only relational. A collection of parts, places, people, insight, terror, love, shame, and brilliance. Dependent Origination. The Great Mother- who teaches that the vast emptiness is not an abyss of nonexistence, but a womb of possibility.
Watercolor, pen, paper, matte medium, some rupees, an image of the Great Mother Prajña Paramita, light, a suitcase I got in Albuquerque, Sequins, feathers from when I was an Eagle
Fabric from when:
-I was the ocean
-I lived in India and collected fabric
-I was a holy man
-I was a Vagina warrior
-I was in junior high, fat and picked on with bad teeth. But I liked this color pumpkin.
-A French lover gave me this scarf
-I found this delicate lace in the consignment shop on Oak Street
It was cold, muddy, and windy as fuck.
A train graced us with it's presence.
Nothing was perfect. I let go.
I am tying the shock to a branch, tying it to a rock. It will stay there.
It is apparent I no longer need to do this. It is cold. I need not keep remembering. Luckily, the main shrine is portable, and I go inside.
As the white wash is rinsed from my cells, travels down, grounds
Such human sadness
such pure, tender, grief
there's a beauty in the sadness these days
not about me
it's not about me
the fear was all.about.me.
the sadness is us
the great web of our humanity