"Here is the time for telling. Here is its home.
Speak and make known: More and more
the things we could experience
are lost to us, banished by our failure
to imagine them.
Old definitions, which once set limits to our living,
break apart like dried crusts."
-From the Ninth Duino Elegy, Rainer Maria Rilke
I am capricorn, hear me roar. It is said we capricorns are pragmatic, logical, sensible, and hard- headed. The latter is true, the rest, well, in varying degrees for me, on odd days.
From my apartment in Naples, Italy, above Montesanto, the very core of Naples, I can hear motorcycles revving, a plane hums over heavily, car horns beep beep beep. It is evening and given the proximity to ones neighbors, one can hear even the sharp ting of silverware as families eat together.
I have been in a sadness so deep of late, at times I do not allow myself to meet the eyes of those familiar to me, particularly the bar man who makes my espresso: there is something so personal about coffee service in Naples, once you've chosen your designated caffe'. They know you. Your little saucer and tiny spoon is set at the counter in front of you along with your choice of water, naturale or frizzante/gassato. I'm frizzante. Drink the water first, if you drink it after the coffee the barman is likely to believe you think his coffee sucks. (I drink my water whenever I want.) Then he places a demi-tasse cup in front of you.
Since I was a hot blooded teenager, literally sweating from my armpits, leaving stains; I was so embarrassed by my body, tall, voluptuous, angular. Of late I feel the same. For some insane reason I cut my hair, here in Italy, the temple of hair. Hair is areal thing here, salons are like churches in the bible belt of America, several on every block. Hair is worn long, dark, ombre, straight, and perfect, EVERYDAY.
I, I requested a haircut that would have brought an Italian woman to her knees, short, choppy, half-mullet, super-punky. It looked good for a day or two. And then I remembered all the short haircuts I've had and reasons to hate them.
1. My hair is akin to a a stiff brush, but alive.
2. Without hair products it looks like a solid gold helmet, a puffy gold helmet
3. With product, usually two-thirds of the container, plus about 45 mins of zzushing, it may look presentable
4. It's horrible growing out. Think Jr. high school, bad hair and braces everyday, add in some pimples.
5. None of my clothes look the same with short hair. I went from wearing gypsy-dangle earrings to plain pants and solid color t-shirts...like a postman. Dark blue pants, blue shirts. Earrings look ridiculous.
I'm making myself laugh which is good.
and I just called an Italian man an idiot. (oh, fyi..all Italian men over the age of 21 are married. Now you know.)
ok. where is this all going?
All I know is I'm an artist and I have been fighting that thing for sooooooooooo long, trying to fit in, trying to play nice, trying to make others happy, or at least not uncomfortable and frankly, I'm sick of it.
I'm tired of standing on the sidelines, I'm tired of making myself small so others can feel ok. Recently a Neapolitan cameraman who follows me on Instagram thought I was a photographer. "Your photos are beautiful." And we talked camera versus I-Phone...(there is a conversation to be had),
It made me feel alive.
Same as when I go haunting through my artwork, collages, hand-stitched sweaters, art boxes, photos, drawings...it's all there.
And I've been crushing and smoothering the life out of this gift my whole life. And I can't do it anymore. I can't be a capricorn, a perfectionist and rock-hard...I need imperfection and showing up with broken words and phrases to stay alive..because the me that is really me will die otherwise.
I break apart.