At semi-regular intervals, she spoke to save her life, or something like it.
Tuesday, July 02, 2002
In the convent of San Marco in Florence, in cell number three, there is a painting of the Annunciation by Fra Angelico. This convent, now a museum of Fra Angelico's frescos, made a huge impact on me and I've been thinking about his Annunciation, the only bloodless painting in the place-- which was filled with frescos, one in each cell, where the monks would spend their time praying. Most images of the passion seem puncuated with a flourish of blood-- fresh, streaming down, spattered over the fine pastel surface of the fresco with the furtive intensity of grafitti. These were paintings for meditation, and I imagine witnessing the pain and bloodletting was a way to tap the source, almost literally.
But the annunciation is not like this-- the two meeting-- Mary and the angel, full of decorum, speak without language, without suffering. Their faces share a kind of symetry and one might think, in a Jungian way, they are indeed two elements of the same being.
When I was in art school learning to paint, I was trying to paint a pair of angelic wings. My teacher, Karen Carson, thought my meringue white wings were banal-- she insisted I paint something more "glamorous to fly around on." And she lent me this amazing coffee table book of the Museo de San Marco. There I saw what she meant-- the wings were orderly, eyed and motley, almost fairy-like.
But what also captivated me was the barren architecture of the background, the arches which seemed of an interior space-- a womb-like stage set where the most essential dramas were to take place. I spent the rest of the semester trying to paint this kind of space, unsuccessfully.
The angel, of course, is male. But his skirts contain one golden vulvic fold that belies the true nature of a message such as the one he bears-- it is a feminine message-- one of vocation, calling, creation.
Mary, the somber listener, averts her gaze, prayer book in hand. She was a reader! Reading the as yet unwritten, as all those who are inspired do. We all have our annunciations, but whether we listen or not, that's another thing. And whether we have the courage or not to follow the calling, that's another thing still.
The big news is M got a job-- benefits, the works. A real job. Which means I'm freed up-- I can write again. I'm dying to write again. It's been way too long. It's almost overwhelming to consider that I may actually have my days to myself now. Time to start back on the novel. (Though which of the abandoned three it will be is unclear now.) No doubt I will be able to finish it by summer.
I've been checking out Fiona Smyth's amazing website . I loved her estrogen fueled phantasmagoria of a comic, Nocturnal Emissions. It's cool to see her recent paintings which look more like abject body landscapes, sans the almond eyed kitties & naughty saints one expects to see in her stuff.
I aslo found this super cute source for washable menstrual pads, Urban Armour. I haven't ordered anything from them yet-- as I pretty much have all I need from Many Moons. But their site is worth exploring-- they also sell the Keeper menstrual cup, which has really made my life much easier. It's much more convenient and healthier than tampons. Their pads have super cute silk screens-- one even has a Smyth design, which is just too cool! They also sell underwear in a great size range with super cute silk screens. They sew the stuff themselves-- no sweatshop labor!
I've been listening to a lot of Angel in Heavy Syrup. They are an all-woman Japanese psychadelic rock band. Supreme magic carpet ride to fairyland! I mean that in the best way.
Last week I went to Milk at the Echo to see Nomy Lamm and Spider (a.k.a Suicide Cola) in the Fat Sluts tour. They blew me away with their sincere intenisity-- they can really belt it out! Nomy Lamm plays accordian and sings like she's in some amazing riot grrrrl version of a Kurt Weil musical. And Suicide Cola played her cutting version of the star spangled banner & her DIY guitar. Once again, it all seemed lost on the Silver Lake hipster crowd. We talked to them afterward & were saying how weird LA is, and how powerful their message was in this context-- it's almost illegal to be fat down in So. Cal. I was so powerful to see talented women being themselves, their bodies, in their own way insisting our bodies are not liabilities, the shapes they take are integral to who we are.
We spoke to one woman there (who we'd seen at the hideous Disco Wreck the week before). She's starting up a psychobilly night in August at the garage. She was this amazingly beautiful woman with a Gibson Girl face-- classically beautiful-- her skin glowing, her mousy hair pomaded in to a perfect bad boy pompadour, one cigarette tucked behind her ear-- a tight white men's underwearshirt. She had a swagger to match it all-- a total heart-throb androgyne. She said the Fat Sluts were too dark for her. I felt like saying, that's when you know it's working! But I didn't say much, as she and M were exchanging psychobilly trivia with absolute fervor.
Tonight I made my famous spaghetti sauce in the crock pot. (it's vegan!) Lainie has inspired me to include recipes in my blog-- I'm always looking for good vegan recipes, so I thought if others are, too, I'd include some of mine.
Amazing(ly easy) Spaghetti Sauce-- Makes 6-8 generous servings
1 lg onion
2-5 cloves of garlic (the more the better), chopped
1 28 oz. can of organic diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can of organic tomato sauce
1 can of black olives, pitted, sliced in half
1 can of green olives, pitted, sliced in half (only use canned green olives-- not the salty martini ones in jars! Santa Barbara Organic Olives are super-yummy)
10 button mushrooms, sliced
1 tblspn brown rice syrup
1 tblspn liquid aminos
optional: green or red pepper, browned gimme lean sausage or TVP "sloppy joe".
Saute the onions, salting them to make them "sweat," in the pot on the stove burner until they are transparent. (Brown the Gimme Lean Sausage with the onions at this point if you're using it). Add the chopped garlic and then saute the garlic for just a few moments-- when you can smell the garlic becoming fragrant, that's usually enough time. You don't want to brown the garlic, cause that will make it bitter. Then transfer the pot to the crock hot plate and add the Tomatoes, sauce, sliced mushrooms, syrup, liquid aminos (& peppers if you have them). Cook on high for about four hours. In the last hour of cooking, add the sliced olives and let them heat through with the sauce. Top cooked spaghetti & tell me that's not the best sauce you've ever had!
If anyone has any good recipes which use regular bulk TVP flakes, I'd love to hear them. I've tried the TVP balls in the farm cookbook and they just didn't turn out. I'm not really sure what to do with the stuff.
It's in the air-- can you feel it? Something powerful, invisible, tracking. Part of the acasic records-- that ethereal fluid diffused in space, audible, containing the memory of all that has passed. It's at your back; it knows you, though you may not know it, yet. The vague return of deja vu: that's it, whispering to you of past futures. It's where I am now, heightened.