Thursday, July 29, 2010

My thoughts on ,"Out of Orbit"

  This piece is a triptych,  the  small dark square in the left corner, is painted with "black" encaustic created by the mix of Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.  The lower left is Burnt Sienna with mixes of encaustic medium and Umber. The right side is created from colors  mixed only from Umber, Cobalt, Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Titanium buff encaustic.  The "orbit" lines are  inscribed and then filled with Oil pigment sticks in Ultramarine, Cobalt and Burnt SiennaThe band that separates the colors is about 1.5" encaustic medium .  The inside edges of the three pieces are  painted with Cobalt blue that can be glimpsed as one walks by bwithin the slight separation of the pieces. The piece measures a total of 30"x 48" x 2"

My thoughts on its content:

 By default or by intention I am the center of my universe. Like a planet I rotate slowly on an axis, that I imagine to be my stability, my ego, my self. This axis is still steady but it does not stand straight and tall and, like the Eiffel tower, its slant increases with the passing of time.
Around me there is constant circling movement;  relationships , ideas, dreams, desires; all  that I have ever thought of, longed for, or  hold dear is an entity in my galaxy and has its own orbit.
Randomly mixed among these brightly colored and lit orbs are other globes that exist only in the shadows.  They are there to remind me of embarrassments and failures, my darkest thoughts and losses, my secrets of haunting shame.  There they remain, my fears and dreaded imaginings, nightmares or real events, pain I have felt or inflicted; needs  that remain unmet or have left me disappointed.
These  globes of the night, also orbit,waiting to inflict their specialties of guilt, anger or anguish and though I avoid making contact they are as essential to my life as my joy, for what is pain but validation of life?
Together the orbiting globes of light and darkness combine to create the chance of a reality that creates my identity, my self. All that I am depends on the possibility of reaching out and finding these global entities still spinning within my gravitational grasp.

All of this is immensely tenuous, a tedious and volatile arrangement of pulsing energyin the time and space I inhabit.Unsteady balance is achieved by continual motion and unrelenting tension that remains in check only by the mutual push and pull of ecstasy and despair.

As I age I am aware that the axis is slipping, its slant is becoming too severe, the angle altered and the hard metal showing signs of rust, not unlike the pigmented spots I find now on my arms. The metalic pole itself  is beginning to show little bends and curves where once it was steely and straight, strong and dependable.  The change of this slant manifests into an embarrassing self concious angst and I know  that in spite vain or noble efforts, reversal is impossible.
The orbits too are stressed, their necessary tension giving in to stretch. Like an overused rubber band, they veer away from my outreached hand, becoming ever more ellipsed from their circular spin.I can only watch as their wobble increases, their elasticity loosening more and more like a worn out pair of gym shorts.

As I watch the increasing elipses, I am aware that I am in jeopardy of losing my center.  Like a clay pot on a spinning wheel, it must stay intact or risk collapsing into self destruction or flying off into oblivion.

At times in the night as I lie safely in my bed, panic posseses me and I grasp desperately to the farthest ends of my outstretched fingertips ,   hoping to connect with a circling orb that will give me the reassurance. Again I will remember myself and be able to sleep with that familliarity.

 As I enter the later stages of mid life I bravely continue, standing in the center trying valiantly to keep all the orbits in flight.  Like an old woman with  multiple hula hoops balancing on hips that have lost their shape, I seek the easy whirling rhythmn that I remember. The essential tension of confidence and snap loses tautness, everything begins to sag and fall.

Eventually  all that is me will break away and go soaring  into a youthful ,more confident universe still full of mass and sure of its own importance. My axis will quietly, or perhaps with a screaming screech, simply come to a halt.
With the finality of nothing to hold me up,  I will simply dissipate and silently fade into gray memory
... a used up star.