Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dreaming of San Sebastian and beyond...

Much to my dismay it is August in New York and I'm finding myself at home.  It seems that, for reasons I don't understand, I have no place to go. This year I've been to Thailand, Key West, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Mexico, Chicago,  Macau, Red Hook and yet somehow it isn't enough.  Why doesn't someone invite me somewhere?  Why do I do better in motion?  I always have.  And yet the artist needs to settle down.

This painting is of San Sebastian.  I did it last night while watching the news.  I'm not sure why I needed to listen to all the miseries of the world as I painted this serene setting, but for whatever reason I did.  San Sebastian is the closest I have come to a home that isn't my home.  And so I long for it.

So I've been reading Paul Nizan in French (something I haven't done - reading in French that is - since grad school).  Aden-Arabie.  And dreaming of the far away, the beyond, the elsewhere, the not here, the exotic, the Far East, the imaginary cities, imaginary landscapes, places I remember, places that are no longer what they once seemed to be.  My head is full of nostaglia which I believe is a form of denial.  As if some place else is better than here.

Isn't that what Elizabeth Bishop says in "Questions of Travel?"  One of my favorite poems that states the paradox of travel.  "Think of the long trip home.  Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?"
Or as my mother said when she put me aboard the SS France for my junior year abroad, "You take yourself with you."

My mother wasn't the world's wisest woman but that was a wise saying - one I carry with me wherever I go.

But for now I am going no where fast and so I am dreaming of other places.  Why can't I relish these final dog days of summer?  Why do they call them that anyway?  I think I remember that it doesn't really have to do with dogs.  Now I'm dreaming of Labor Day and the bustle of the fall, the busy-ness of it all, and soon I'll be yearning for the days when I found myself with little else to do except dream and paint images of places where I no longer am.

No comments:

Post a Comment