For the past five or six years I've been asking people to describe a "picture of how they think." Like they'd describe a place I'd never visit. The answers have been all so different and all of them are really wonderful. And I find myself thinking about these cognitive process landscapes more and more, referencing them personally and psychologically like I would think, "Oh, that's like Thailand." A place I know exists but haven't seen with my own eyes. Well, in writing this little bit, my father's mother's CPL (cognitive process landscape) came to mind. Hers was so typical of her, and one of the funnier responses ever to that question. She goes: "Black and white." Yep, that was it.
That's just the preface, today's issue is about sandcastles.
You know, I complain about my folks all the time, and to pretty much everybody. They totally drive me crazy, in a way that nobody else ever can or will. It's really a special thing. And, I really love them.
A lot of people have some difficulty understanding how the previous sentence might begin with an "And" rather than a "But." But it is And, because that is how it is.
For some things, I do think a little like my grandmother. Black and white. That part of me tends to be the part belonging to proper noun concepts like Duty and It's Lunchtime. Though, whether or not I always act on my "black and white" instincts in certain regards is a whole 'nother can of worms. Ok, well: relationships, the words and actions of others...never black and white. And that goes just as much for my relationship with my parents. I love them and they drive me teeth-gnashingly crazy; they drive me teeth-gnashingly crazy and I love them. Nobody has to get it, or understand (myself included). It just is what it is.
The weekend of my opening I was definitely feeling both, which is pretty consistently how it happens when I engage with my parents. They've been really supportive of my solo show, even though they, self-admittedly, "don't understand any of it." But because they sensed that it was important to me, it became important to them. This doesn't always happen, mind you. I find plenty of things important that they've disagreed with or pontificated against, causing much ado and gnashing of teeth on both ends. Case-in-point: turning down multiple "good" jobs to "work on art" that "nobody's gonna buy." But, when I ignored them took the plunge anyway, they 1) recognized it and 2) supported me anyway. I can only hope to do the same in like situations.
Again, I digress. So they were supportive, and came down for the weekend, and it was really nice for them to see it, for everybody to see it, who could. Well then, being the super-annoying ultra-duper efficient human specimens they tend to be, they ALSO decided to have a going away party for themselves at their house (which they've sold) the night after my opening, followed shortly thereafter by cleaning and packing the ENTIRE house and moving out the day after THAT. Obviously. They were there anyway. It was "just easier." Oy ... let us say, there was much epic gnashing of teeth, literally and figuratively. I ground right through my night guard ...
Well. After hours of packing and my dad weeping every other minute ( El Padre Doloroso Muy Largo y Obnoxioso ), we kind of took a break and he stopped running around in a tizzy and the two of us watched the end of Shawshank Redemption on TV. My dad and I watched Tim Robbins crawl through miles of shit and were just quiet and still.
Again, not the point. The point was that it [all] got me thinking about this strange and messy and complicated and maddening and wonderful and very rarely quiet relationship I have with my parents.
It is what it is.
What about the sandcastles, you ask?
I determined it'd be best in a separate entry. Aren't I funny? Trust me, it'll be better that way. Stay tuned.
notes - Mel Chin talk at MCAD
1 day ago