It’s been an interesting week. I’m on a weeklong train trip, and I didn’t bring any art materials with me but that didn’t stop me wanting to make art so I had to find art materials instead. I shouldn’t congratulate myself, it’s not hard. Everything is art, it turns out.

I thought words would be enough art for me this week but apparently not, apparently I’ve entered a new, slightly inconvenient and mildly feverish stage of needing to have colors and shapes with my words, which seem very gray and dull by themselves. Words don’t seem adequate any more. They’re just not up to the job. Black and white, two-dimensional, only 26 letters…what is that all about? Why did we ever give up hieroglyphs?

So I sit in my hotel room and deal loteria cards out on the table, and I sit in my train compartment and rip up pieces of paper, content to have everyone walking by think I’m a madwoman.

(Being on a train, by the way, is like being an actor on a stage which is being continuously trundled past the scenery. Someone needs to write a play that takes place on a train and has a continuous projection of moving background. Someone do that.)

I’ll be back home in a couple of days and I’m almost dreading it — what will I do for art materials when I have a house full of art materials? That sounds overwhelming.

I’ll be back tomorrow, probably. It turns out this is a wide country, and it turns out that space is time.

11 thoughts on “touch

  1. aloha Red Dragonfly. i know the story of trains well. for years. and it is as you say an ongoing traveling theater show—night and day. i rode for days (and nights). never wanting to reach the destination. i just wanted to keep going. altho those were younger days, years, then. cards all night in the lounge car (do they still have lounge cars?). you could ask the porter or conductor for a deck of cards and they’d give you a deck. a new deck. with the train logo on it. to keep. i still have some. and of course magic in the country side. wow.

    and yes again. the color bug i see has bitten you. and texture. and shape. and line bugs too. exactly. composition and form bugs are burrowing in as well. bwahahahahaha. welcome to my world. and wait. it get’s better. wait till words and letters swing clear around and become exactly these very things as well. line and shape and color and texture and form and compositional elements. it’s all all. and all one.

    and time. and space. you know. . . . you know what happens when time and space meet? —NOW. that’s what happens. welcome to now. fun. fun. fun. and it all get’s to start again on the wow journey of home-ness. and being. exciting.

    of course there are movies. Travels with My Aunt (Graham Greene). Murder on the Orient Express. Transsiberian. Breakheart Pass (filmed near where i grew up). The Lady Vanishes (1938 version). to name a few. . . .

    and that flowing air. . . . from an open window. . . . on a train. . . . yes again. . . .


      • bwahahaha. yeah that just happened to me with the previous comment. cutting up a book. . . .

        still. yeah. trains are a world of worlds. I have memories of growing up years. those are the ones that last in a brilliant clarity for me—growing up years. wait. I’m still growing up. what the heck am I talking about? trains. yeah boxes of books, these train memories. fun on tracks to you. aloha. r

  2. The collage is amazing. I love the story that goes with it, and the lesson here that for the artist, the need to create art is far more important that the need to appear normal (“not crazy”) by our fellow humans.

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