"Historical amnesia is starvation of the imagination;
nostalgia is the imagination’s sugar rush, leaving depression
and emptiness in its wake.
Memory is nutriment, and seeds stored for centuries
can still germinate."
My studio is a hazard zone of hand tools, power tools, wood, plaster, wire, Styrofoam, polyvinylchloride pipes, paper, garbage, and dirt – lots of dirt. But it is my own dirt, and daily I find myself on my knees, on my butt, on my elbows rolling around in it. I pace. I jump. I sit. I squat. I find myself without enough room for anything. I am mostly in a state of frenzy to complete the task of making something. The something is usually the outcome of a frantic but short journey that I try to close like a drawer.
The presence of dust and dirt signify that aging and decomposition have begun. Dust also means there has been a long enough history to compile. The dirt is nutriment and feeds the stores of seeds that hold my memories. Smells and textures, sounds and images trigger the recurrence of a memory like the wind that shifts stale air trapped inside a drawer closed for a long time. Like a time portal, that opened drawer drags and pushes into my brain all the things I have forgotten. The dirt on my studio floor is the bed of my own garden. I am constantly walking in my private grove of trees that grew from seeds of long before. I try to find the richest fruits, a manifestation of my richest nourishments.
In my studio, I am thinking about the night and dark shapes with grasping limbs. A million dead things, a million living things. Everything else is about beetles, dragonflies, and fertile soil. Fertile soil is dark, almost black.
Dirt is what nourishes everything. The dirt is in my mind and my heart. The nutriment has been fed into me through an umbilical cord by the actions of love. It is re-fed to me by persistence.