I had to take down my show this weekend. Michael stepped in and saved some of the pieces from destruction, which is cool. I took some pictures of the work finally. Here is a closeup of something that got saved.
It was happy news that some of these were allowed to remain intact. Never got around to writing that artist statement for you. Not sure what could be said that hasn't been alluded to either in this blog or vocalized in person. And never personally liked reading artist statements in past exhibitions: usually an 8"x 11.5" sheet of printer paper slapped on the gallery wall; blocks of text that you have to crane your neck to read, and even then there's too much going on around you to concentrate.
No, wait. I take it back. That piece of paper taped to the wall has its uses. There's some point at many openings where you dip into the awkward moment, where you've finished up one conversation and the next waits to find you. So, drink in hand, you saunter over to the wall with the artist statement. Squint your eyes to read. Ah, Times New Roman, so we meet again. Good, good. What's this, a sentence ending in a preposition? Bah.
After a moment of reading-but not really reading-I remove myself from this wall and go back and look at the artwork, as if new vistas of revelation are about to open up. "Ah, it all makes so much sense now! Of course!" Thank you, little piece of paper. Thank you for showing me the way.
The hull of our little boat scrapes along the top of these alien shoals and comes to a stop. What a strange place. I can't get my bearings; I see no significant landmarks, just empty blue running off to where the horizon meets the sky.
But this is solid ground, albeit a few feet submerged. I climb out of the boat and my bare feet meet the reef. Walking is difficult. The coral is jagged and I stumble several times trying to find purchase.
I look back at the wooden rowboat, and see the giant sandwich I left there. It's a hoagie, and over two meters in length. Why didn't I eat that hoagie? There's no way I could take it with me. The mayonnaise will surely spoil in no time. Poor sandwich.
I walk on, leaving behind boat and sandwich, and disappear into the horizon.
Today I drift happily on the winds of change. Come what will, I'm thrilled by the prospect. Change. We're all changing. I can't believe my eyes. My ears. What I'm seeing; what I'm hearing. It's all good news. Our little corner of the cosmos is blessed.
It's late in the afternoon. Close to the rollover for evening, and I am still wearing pajamas. How does a thing like that get started? Can a man still accomplish mighty works in his bedclothes? We will see.
Jon showed me how to make a larger brush in GIMP today. The default brushes only went up to size 10, which is too small for my purposes. With this newfound knowledge I went to work making a bigger brush. I ended up building a brush of such immensity that it would destroy the world should it fall into the wrong hands. Luckily for you I am a gentle tyrant, and will only use this new-found power in neat blog pictures. Aren't you the lucky one?
It's time for another adventure, kiddies. I'd like an excuse to go investigate a mysterious sound, my flashlight dancing off the tombstones in a sinister place. A twig cracks underfoot-- but not my foot-- and now sure I'm not alone in this place.
Ironically, it's just Reggie. My flashlight falls across his proud, beaming face and I feel like strangling him.
"You tryin' to give me a heart attack or something?!"
"Sorry, I had to run back to the car to get supplies."
"Oh, umm, good. I-- hey, wait. Where are the shovels?"
"Shovels? I thought you were joking about that." He shrugs, pulls out something small and plastic.
"Damn it, Reggie. Get it together man. And-- what are you doing there? What is that?"
Unbelievable. I turn on my heel and walk away. My flashlight reveals tree branches ahead. I duck and make my way into the undergrowth. Progress through the tangled weeds is slow-going. After five minutes I'm out of breath and sweating. I stop for a moment to listen for Reggie, but there's no sound. Maybe he's gone back to sit in the car. Who knows? I turn around and jump out of my skin to find him standing in front of me.
We walk along for fifteen more minutes, finally coming out of the forest into a clearing. Voices can be heard nearby. I switch off the flashlight and crouch low. The undersides of the trees ahead are awash in the reflected glow of a fire. I grab Reggie and pull him onto the grass, "Get down, you dummy. I think this is it! We've found the cultists, and it looks like they're doing the ritual tonight. We'll have to keep our wits if we're going to stop them."
"Golly!" He splays out on the ground in an exaggerated attempt to look sneaky.
We crawl forward and hide behind a fallen tree. I risk a peek over the top to see the events beyond. And immediately stifle a cry. I fall back into cover, shuddering, near panic. It takes all my fortitude not to run screaming into the night. Those things, those terrible things. How? How are these things possible? I can't comprehend this evil, how could we ever begin to presume to defeat it?
It only took a glimpse. I saw them all there, all the villagers, dancing around the fire. Gibbering awful incantations to the nether gods. And the things they were doing. What were they doing? Writhing, morphing, taking on new, grotesque forms under those death masks. The impossibility of it blasted at my sanity, leaving me cold and despairing. I collapsed and wept aloud, sobbing into the grass. Oh, oh.. We have to get away. We have to run. Get back to the car. This evil is beyond us! We have to get away! Get away!
Reggie took in my reaction, and frowned in confusion. At first he suspected I had been struck down by a physical projectile, and then the truth settled in. His perplexed state changed to one of alarm. He started breathing harder and harder until I thought he was going to hyperventilate, his eyes never leaving me.
Abruptly, he jumped up, turned to the cultists, and yelled, "Hey! HEY! You guys gotta come here! Quick! I think there's something wrong with my friend! He's having a heart attack or somethin'!"
Two hours later
"Damn it, Reggie." I break the silence, slurring over a busted lip. He drives the car down an empty country road. We are both splattered in blood and slime.
"Sorry." He looks over at me apologetically, and tries to avoid seeing the place where my shirt was torn open. "That... hurt?"
"Yep." I stare ahead.
"So... was... uh, was that a shoggoth?" He gestures back the way we came.
"Yes, Reggie. Yes it was."
"Oh." He glances at the rearview mirror. "Well, at least it doesn't seem to be following us anymore. But sorry for, well, you know. I thought you were having a heart attack back there or something."
"Oh yeah? Or maybe I was just overcome by the eldritch horror? Or maybe some idiot who jumps up and lets all the cultists know where we are?!"
"Sorry... It looked like the shoggoth had eaten most of them though."
"Yeah, haha. I guess so. What was that you threw into the ritual circle anyway? I didn't see much because the stabbing knives were blocking my view."
No power this morning. Or afternoon, I should say. My schedule is an interesting little counterpoint to hers, the difference is that I find time for sleep. No idea how she does it. Maybe sleeps in her car between classes. Maybe in class. Who knows.
I wonder if people get sick of hearing it: my surprise at watching my wife turn into something new. It's a daily thing where I run to someone and blurt out, "She's stopped eating! She's stopped sleeping! This is not normal."
A larva thumping around in a cocoon. I see brief flickers of what is to come, and there's no doubt in my mind it will be awesome. The first semester was hysterical, suffocating, aching torment. Every week was a crisis. This second semester is less so. She's in the groove now. And what a groove it is.
I'm pretty sure she draws all her energy from the space heater. Like an obedient dog, it never leaves her side.