Of the things I lost in a stretch of computer mishaps was a winning e-mail collection: replies from Dan Savage and Dr. Phil. Correspondence with crushes, dates, lovers, and friends.
During a period in which my personal space shrunk to nil, I became self-conscious about having anything around that would reveal things that I felt quite private about--including e-mail exchanges with a talk show host and advice columnist, of course.
Reduced to the virtual world, that space was eliminated as well in November 2010 when my laptop self-destructed; Swung From The Gutter (Tortoise--TNT) provided a soundtrack stuck on repeat--this malfunction was one of many symptoms of more serious internal trouble. Nobody Belongs Here More Than You Do (the Miranda July book on tape) cover art strobed pink while my history went into the black hole quicksand portal of the trash.
A week later, my dad retrieved the contents of the trash--albeit in a scrambled series of lists...tracts of data plotted in rows of storage in a hard drive for future use.
Far from feeling discouraged or jaded, the loss of the computer and easy access to old work made it more or less impossible to ruminate in a the way that had become routine--I was deeply comforted by returning to the same photos and old poems and interviews, and embraced the melancholy and reminders of past loss and and failures. It didn't seem possible to overcome, but I quite unexpectedly lost my preference for the kind of premature sense of nostalgia that has so often gummed up my potential to make motions toward changes significant enough to threaten the already quickly evaporating present moment.
Needless to say, the attempt to slow the loss of the present was fruitless, but perhaps something will prove yet to come out of the care that protected against the kind of dramatic change that seemed to have the potential to cause a more violent form of erasure than the kind of erasure that comes more gently with time and the failure of memory.
If nothing else, this internal running back to the door to check the lock several times may illustrate the place that nostalgia has had in my life--less bittersweet than hysterical, and renewed by the self-perpetuating hyper awareness as I found myself locked out of both the present moment that is never there, for we have already always passed it, and whatever corridor that would suggest a more normal kind of forward momentum without so much indecision about whether to keep going at all.
What are these present places then, that are always behind us and never revealed. As experienced in the sense of present experience and memory, a present moment is a sum of a stunning array of phantasmagorical parts, moving past and through each other, catching enough light through these iridescent filters to cast a projection onto the wall that we call memory...this "memory" being limited in scope--I mean it's the part of memory that recognizes some familiar thing that a narrative can be quickly paired with, tossed together and onto the shelf with little more care than would be paid to items on an assembly line, paired without close examination, with one eye on the time clock, one hand reaching for a cell phone, and nodding to your co worker's never-ending gossip.
Finding an ability to engage with the possibility of change, I have decided to return to my original goal, which was and is now to become an architect.
My first building is in progress; the sketches have everything to do with something that will be built; this is not intended to be a self-effacing exercise in reaching for unattainable goals, with drawings as end product. I have no interest in planning to draw for the rest of my life, escaping into a fantasy world that remains fantasy.
P.S. On that note, if you want to marry me, I'm on the loose and don't have a shred of intuition left. And to clarify--I guess by marriage, I mean commitment of sorts--probably a formal romantic and collaborative partnership with someone that works best without having to try to interact in naturalized domestic ways or something, interested in performance in a gender studies way, and does better in life when there's someone in close proximity almost all the time.
Note: drawings in this post are 2009-11 architectural & spatial studies; please e-mail for information about current and forthcoming projects. I'm not sure how protective to be of my sketches for the architecture project. Any thoughts on this more than welcome. Thank you!