Friday, December 19, 2014

the truth is not a story

Time is not a line but a dimension
Like the dimensions of space
If you can bend space you can bend time also.
My brother told me that.
I didn't understand what he meant, maybe he didn't explain it very well.
He was already moving away from the imprecision of words.
But I began to think of time as having a shape
Something you could see.
You don't look back along time, but down through it, like water.
Sometimes this comes to the surface, sometimes that, sometimes nothing.
Nothing goes away. 
Images in this post are of my journals, starting to pile up in corners.  I am going through each one a final time, and then wrapping it shut.   The text in italics in this post is from Margaret Atwood's stunning novel about an artist in mid-life.  Cat's Eye.
I'm re-reading it.


Marianne Hall said...

Your post is timely since I am unpacking my life and getting ready to peruse it one more time. I'm willing to let go of a lot more 'stuff', much of it at one time precious to me. And those journals. Stacks of them. I love that you are wrapping your's shut. I think it was in the Power of Now, Tolle mentions that the past has no relevance unless it relates directly to the now.

la petite cervelle said...

my favourite Atwood novel, and I also have that passage written in the front of one of my journals. sending thought love! xo

Mo Crow said...

Oh that's my favourite Margaret Atwood book too!
And the good thing about wrapping your journals shut is you can always open them again if or when need be!

Judy Martin said...

Re: the journals. I am re-reading them a bit each morning, and transcribing the family story within into the computer. So it's kept.
And the ideas that still resonate - I am putting just exactly what is needed into my current journal.
And the notes I've kept about what I've read or seen - I am not doing anything with other than re-reading. If it's crucial - I'll write a bit in the current journal...but otherwise.

My plan is to eventually burn these wrapped up journals, I don' plan to open them up again. But first I think i'll have some kind of exhibition of them and the golden notebooks and some of the other journal - like pieces I've made over my life. Wrapped, they are beautiful. I already have half a shelf full and it is on show in the living room book case right now.


Karen Thiessen said...

Holy cow! I'm in a similar place, purging and organizing, looking at my immense pile of journals and wondering what to do with them, if anything. In one old book, I found a reference to when I first met you, way back in 1995. I am purging some things, but am not ready to purge journals, books of commonplace or my sketchbooks. Brave you!

Mo Crow said...

you are brave Judy! my collection of journals & sketch books go back to 1977 when I burned all my art work on a giant bonfire... a wonderful freeing experience but only needed once in this lifetime (x fingers)

Lesley Turner said...

You are drawing a line/marking a period of time. Are you going to step over it into a new phase in your life?

Wendy Watson said...

I like the idea of binding up a journal and putting it aside.

And I love the title of your post, it reminds me of a favourite quote from Oscar Wilde: Truth is rarely pure and never simple.

Judy Martin said...

I think Wendy's phrase "putting it aside" is probably more apt for what i am doing right now with the journals.
When I get a hundred bound up - then we'll see what I do in regard to destroying them. I might not. For now, I am feeling good about capturing the story of my mother-artist life. Of putting an order to it while recalling it.

Wrapping the journals shut after this final read through does feel really good and I'm trying to figure out why. The impenetrable parcels satisfy me. They've been transformed by the cloth and thread into art objects.

I have at least 200 journals. They mean a lot to me, and I have used htem as a basis for artwork for 20 years. I think this is just another way.

Thanks everyone for your concern and great discussion - and Mo - you are the brave one for burning all your art.

Velma Bolyard said...

i love this: Wrapping the journals shut after this final read through does feel really good and I'm trying to figure out why. The impenetrable parcels satisfy me. They've been transformed by the cloth and thread into art objects.
i love it because it makes me think. and it makes a connection with my thinking about fiber art.

Hedda Sidla said...

Judy, what an inspiring art installation...they stand as witnesses to years of discovery and journey that nourished your creative spirit...of course, I'd like to see inside every single one of those journals!!!

Montse Llamas said...

It is really interesting what you are doing with your journals. I threw mine away years ago. Only let one of them, but I never open it. Maybe I should also wrap it.

And about old artwork, I got rid of 90% of the works this summer. It is a shame that it was impossible for me to fire them! I took pictures of most of them as a nostalgic souvenir. And also gave some as presents to close friends.

I feel lighter.

Anonymous said...

Your act of wrapping feels like an embrace and an honoring.

Nancy said...

I agree with Cindy...a kind of honoring, a way of holding. My journals are long gone, with no final reading. They felt like the silly repeated thoughts of a teen or painful moments I did not want to revisit. I saved the one that has poem I wrote way back. I understand the feeling of lightness and seek that too in artwork. I truly don't know what to do with this 'art'. I can easily imagine an exhibit of all 200 wrapped and bound...what a statement that would be! I am reminded of a statement I read somewhere, a daughter reflecting on her mother's journals. She had seen them her entire life & told never to touch them until her mother's passing. At that time, when she did look...they were all empty. I wish I could remember the source of this because it has stayed with me to ponder again and again. Thank you for this post Judy. I shall share it with my own daughter.

Unknown said...

Hi Judy when an older home was renovated there were journals in the walls. A man took them to my Dad. While reading them they were the history of my sister-in-law's family. She treasures them a lot. It was so interesting to read their day-to-day lives back in the 1930's and 1940's. How many eggs were laid that day, how many socks were sent out to the war effort, what they got from my Dad's lumber mill store. So much history of what went on in their lives. Don't destroy all of yours they are your history.