All original images and text are copyright 2008-2018 Liz Sweibel

Sunday, November 29, 2015

How nice to be drawn back to this blog after so long.  Just watching myself choose where to put myself in writing - one of my journals, personal e-mail, Facebook, my Web site - is interesting.  Why am I choosing to give such access to myself today?  A question for our times: countering feelings of invisibility, inaudibility, irrelevance, impossibility.  And isn't it as good a way as any to reach out to the dead?

I problematize everything about myself.  Since when?  Oh, must be junior high, the source of all evil.  I recall a confidence and sense of belonging in elementary school that evaporated upon arrival in seventh grade; everything I knew and trusted about myself came into question in my pining to be "popular."  But since I had stopped liking myself, the effort (and it was gargantuan) was futile.  The story of adolescence.

But I never stopped problematizing myself, a habit surely formed during years of therapy.  My last therapist said she wasn't sure how much more she could help me; my awareness and insight weren't lacking, so perhaps she could just help me stop beating the crap out of myself.  She tried, and sometimes remembering our work together helps me to back off myself.

Recently, I've been self-critical for spending so much time alone at home (also my studio).  Should I make a bigger effort to socialize?  to go out?  I've always been a loner.  Even in elementary school, I had friends but often rode my bike to the Woodmere dock to "fish."  That meant sitting with my feet dangling with a fishing pole, unbaited; I would have been horrified to catch anything.  I appeared purposeful (if strange to the men in the bait shack, which I once or twice entered) but my actual purpose was to be alone.  I once brought a friend with me, tentatively, knowing it was risky, and that confirmed my intuition it wasn't something to be shared.  In trying to connect, I only felt exposed.

I made this pencil drawing in 1996, as an undergrad at MassArt trying to communicate myself to myself.  I'm en route to the dock, passing a willow tree I recall as being in front of Randy Ross's house.

So where is the problem?  There is a problem, but it's only about getting out and doing more, not the preference for solitude.  Winter break is coming (at last), and I'd like to see myself get to the Guggenheim for The Trauma of Painting: Alberti Bruni and to galleries.  What inhibits that I'll leave for another day.

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