Chapter 6 Verse 21
I took the above photo yesterday and asked you what it means to me.
It can mean anything to you; artful dried flowers, abject failure, the colours of summer. In a world where the temperature has just been turned up, giving up. Resignation. Defeat. Or rest, breathe, try again?
Do you have any inkling as to what I was imagining when I created it?
My art is my creation. My art is my individual statement. If I didn’t tell you its meaning, how could you possibly know what was going on in my head when I took that picture?
Let’s set the scene.
Location: 5th floor balcony – which I privately refer to as my Penthouse on top of the Gates of Hell. I’ve lived here ten years; literally. I cut the lease on June 15, 2010 and my change of address was filed before the end of the month. It’s been a long, hard ten years of doing time.
Murphy angrily curses me for no apparent reason. Well… sometimes. Sometimes there are glaring reasons. I struggle with wondering if I got more than my share, but of what?
I feel as if my entire world has turned inside out and back again.
The flower cuttings are from my feeble attempt at inviting peace and nature into my sanctuary. Slowed down, reclaimed the space from the junkyard it was. Bought some planters and plants – flowers and herbs, and a fern. A few fake fuckers that cost $40 each @ Homesense (just in case my black thumb proved trigger happy).
I just want to snuggle up with the dogs in my imaginary slice of heaven in the treetops.
I need to be alone, but also need support to make it through. That’s something I never have for long. It is begged, borrowed or stolen… misplaced, lost, thrown out.
Slowing down breathed new life into my photographic eye.
The clippings are from the new planters I purchased. I deadheaded the flowers, piled them against the 60 year-old brick of the Gates of Hell – a reminder of both my failure and my defiance. I keep rising above the dust of ’67.
That tuft of green stuck to the wall? A sliver of astro-turf from some tenant gone by. I have no idea who occupied the space before me except that they didn’t leave a forwarding address for some of their bills.
Desperately trying to find my equilibrium while vacating the home with nothing but the items I arrived with or paid for with my money. Conveniently forgot that I paid large chunks of our monthly expenses, but on the operating expenses… the groceries, childcare, all of his baby needs, my car. The lies, the anger, the chaos all sucked me into a vortex of confusion.
Forcing not just me, but our son to live in cheap, fly-by-night accommodations alongside an endless parade of drug dealers and only God knows what else organized crime. That it was in a convenient location near my son’s school and in a relatively safe neighbourhood – its only saving grace.
The really REALLY REALLY fucked up piece of reality is that I am part of the 1% richest in the world. I’m definitely in the bottom quadrant, but still slipped in under the wire. So who am I to say this is hell?
Have I been jailed here permanently? Can I escape the claws of poverty that reach higher and higher?
Have I become that oppressed? The one I vehemently swore that I would never become? When did that happen? And how?
I didn’t fall. You fucking tripped me.
But I keep getting back up, and will continue to do so as long as I am able.
June 21, 2020.