What a Psychiatrist Would Say About This Picture:

The drawing suggests a disconnection from reality, a segmentation and slipping. There is an obvious bilateralism in presenting the subject and the dark imprecision of the eyes suggests a deep confusion about humanity.

What I Would Say: I was trying to draw the quiet lady in the convenience store. I had, unfortunately, spent the early morning hours studying photographs of noses online, many of them Jacksonian. This picture reminds me of Janet in the 80’s. Nothing is pure. Nothing is pure.

The title: How I Hit Myself in the Face with a Hammer.

I had begun to sense that some divine source of serendipitous carpentry was at work. The pieces of wood were – miraculously exact in length and heft. I measured only once. Realized I didn’t need to cut a single thing. That I didn’t even really need to measure. Suddenly the wood pile that had seemed so useless, so miscellaneous, seemed to be drawn together in some slant roofed, geometric structure (yes I realize the redundancy of using the word geometric. Everything is geometric. To see only geometry is to see only the obvious. Once you examine the details of that geometry – then you can claim to have seen something.) The wood laid perfectly together, though it came from different places. Huge landscape timbers dragged during another fit of unlikely strength drawn from unusual places. A ravine at the middle school, a 60 degree slope. A twelve foot 4×6.

A coworker, another this time, told me once that, in essence, once you find the center of gravity you can dance with anything. I am – on my very best days – a genius at finding the center of gravity.

I appear to be strong, but the fact is I refuse to fight with heavy objects. I try to work with them and the heightened sense of my musculoskeletal system interacting with something that is pure, dumb weight and edge is simply delightful, if not strenuous. So, I had a bunch of landscape timbers – some with a handy length of rebar protruding perpendicularly to their length. I also had stubs from the shed my dad and I built. A fine, meticulously-intended structure. A hexagon tower in the driveway a red-stained 1/2 of a french door. The lovely door won’t open in the rain. The easternmost segment of hex waves ever so slightly along the diagonal between it’s two opposing edges. I learned a lot from that shed. And that is why the chicken castle will build itself. I will not fight with it.

I did – incidentally – hit myself in the face with a hammer. Blunt backside, clumsy backswing, full contact on the bridge of my nose. It hurt, but my clumsiness was precise in a way that suggested some form of divine intervention. Nothing happened. No blood, no bone splintering, no frontal lobe damage. My glasses didn’t even get scratched.

dateSun, Oct 4, 2009 at 11:46 AMsubjectRe: Notesmailed-bygmail.com
hide details Oct 4 (3 days ago)

This. Is my year for moving wood around.

dateSun, Oct 4, 2009 at 10:20 AMsubjectRe: Notesmailed-bygmail.com
hide details Oct 4 (3 days ago)

Hi-I really just greeted myself.

I have a coworker who leaves herself voicemails all the time, reminders and compliments. “Lookin’ good!” “You know, you’re a really great person!” So she claims anyway. I’ve never heard her leave a message like this for herself, though I’ve heard a number of reminders. “Leave the pirate costume on the porch for Faith or whoever.” (I love my job.) So, I don’t know if she really strokes her ego via voicemail. I hope she does.

Technology has so advanced our means of affirming ourselves and recording our experiences. I never kept a journal – though I always thought I should. For a couple of years I used a long-distance friendship to chronicle my impressions. Long lovely letters in envelopes handmade. The tone of that sentence pretty much discloses how dreamy it was. I loved the medium as much as the man. But, I was never really great at recording my thoughts simply as a personal record. It seemed indulgent and self-helpy and the freedom to drivel has always undermined my inspiration. Why do it if it sucks? If you never have to show it to another person? I guess my insight into personal writing is lacking the facet that allows me the ability to understand how ritually allowing ourselves to blather on and on about ourselves can possibly be healthy – even if we’re only talking to ourselves. For young people I can see how journalling can be a valuable exercise in spelling, grammar, and mechanics, as well as a tool for building internal dialogue. So, don’t be mad English teachers. I get the point of journalling as a valuable curricular component.)

The point is that it – this tech-aided process – works for me. I’m sitting on the porch. The sun is coming full-up. I took the dogs for a walk. They had fun until I found two perfect produce crates for the kids to disassemble. The walk was no longer about them. Their leashes caught on the wood-slat boxes and we got tangled…a lot. Then I found the perfect golden picture frame for my halloween costume. (I plan on being a self-portrait. I will get to wear a lot of makeup if I want to. The costume so far is free.) And an old screen. Bent frame, good screen. Chicken castle? Kid art. Priceless. So, the dogs got a token walk and I came home, both arms full. I noticed the neighbors had a bunch of dead tree limbs on the sidewalk. Must get those for the Halloween party. At which point we will have both chickens and dead christmas trees inside the house. Okay.

Note to Self: We are destroying ourselves through genius. Too many crystalline minds that are enabled by psychotropic medications to function. They would have been simply insane half a century ago. Now, their brilliant ideas complicate the world.

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