Sunday, February 21, 2010
Though I often shy away from nude portraiture, this was one of my fleeting attempts at capturing the constant abstract desire to... so abstract in fact I often fail to find the words to describe it. I have an image of the form, and perhaps sometimes its interaction with the environment, but that image lives only as an idea that I fear I will never solidify on paper. But here I try.
I often wonder how I made it here. How my path has taken me through so many jobs, industries, positions, ambitions, failures, dreams, confusions... and definitions.
From fast food to the car-wash to retail and restaurants to multi-level marketing (i did not know it was a damn scheme, none of the 3 times) to marketing to personal training to photography to massage to nutrition to tanning to finance to marketing... to finally teaching. So many years spent wandering the plains of vocation, lost and dejected, then somehow managing to acknowledge the ever present desire to teach, and to write. Maybe one day I will figure it out, for now I am like the desert traveler who finally stumbles upon succor in the shape of humanity, food, water and shelter; I am still dazed from my journey, still caged by the amnesia of trauma. So as part of my attempt to figure out what it is all about, I write of the beginnings of my path; the single room that housed my family in St. Petersburg:
The gray, of the now empty walls, blended seamlessly with the dim sunlight struggling to push its rays through a thick cover of typical St. Petersburg morning clouds. I wondered why the walls were empty; I was told that we are going on a trip, a long trip, but never the less one from which I assumed we would return. I have been to the black sea many times for months on end, yet we always came back to the tiny single room apartment that my mother, grandmother, late grandfather and myself had shared. He has now been gone for a few years, yet there was no more room, there seemed to be no change but a new blanket of bleak emotive energy to compound the existing gray of modern soviet life. I was of course unaware of this, as many other things, at the time. Like most children I believed what I was told and had complete faith in the word of my beloved mother and stern, fatherly grandmother. They said we were packing for a trip, they sent me downstairs to a neighbors for some compote and bread, and whilst I drifted away on sweet fruit and water dreams, they carefully put together what little of our life we could attempt to bring with us to the new world. They held entirely within their breast the danger, the unknown, the forsaking of tradition, friends, family, the comfort of the known; they made the decision, as my aunt did, to leave everything and without knowing a word of what was to become their adopted tongue, plunge into the abyss of the world unknown, the new world, the world of promise: America. And there I was, along for the ride; innocent of the tortures they would have to endure, blind to the brinks of poverty and starvation that we approached but into which we never fell.
The morning finally came, as I thought it never would, the sun seemed to move so slow, as though attempting to delay the inevitable beginning to the suffering, the doubt and pain that were to be our companions for the remainder of our lives. Alas, it came with force and wind, the wind of change it seemed, and we were up and rushing to the airport, rushing to the nether world, rushing away from the jaws of hatred, persecution, limitations, lies, betrayal… love, family, friends, culture, definition.