As much as I dislike not being able to fulfill last month's
promise, this journal will not a report of the Istanbul Biennial.
This is a "strike while the iron is hot" decision
because I have a journal full of impressions, supplemented by
more memories and images floating in my head. I will begin by
exploring the idea of experience transforming itself into inspiration.
Is any experience, especially one captured as "significant"
in my many journals (see October 2004), fodder for the creativity
mill? No, not everything I record will necessarily find its
way into writing or artwork. There is a sifting process that
takes time before an experience eventually filters through to
a poem and/or painting. As I learned when we visited it in Turkey,
Troy was as Milosz describes it: "an obscure little Greek
state." For whatever reason, Homer was inspired by the
story and the rest is literary history.
My poem, "Responsibility," describes my dilemma whenever
I have an experience that seems to cry out for a place in a
poem and/or a painting. The title comes from my feeling that
I somehow have a responsibility to record inspiring experiences
in words or paint.
Caught in the sunset
At the ship's rail, I
Wanted to dip my hand
Into the water
To scoop up gold flakes
Wild with shimmer and pulse
Strewn in the path
From ship to sun.
The sight seemed
And therefore forbidden
By the laws of art.
Wondering what was left
For me to do,
I stood for awhile
In the wake of the sun.
During the three weeks of being with friends and traveling around
Germany and Turkey, there were many inspiration-soaked occasions.
I dutifully recorded images in my journal, knowing that I will
return to it in the coming months or years if that transformation
should occur. I compare it to the 750 photographs that my husband,
John Gaumond, took while we were there. Some will end up in
a future exhibition, but most of them will be there to reinforce
a fading memory ten years from now. My journal will be there
when I need it to recall a name, a color, a sequence of events.
Here are some entries: