Friday the 13th.
Day 6 – There is nothing more comforting and expansive than the feeling of artistic “flow”. To feel that you have stepped to the side to let the energy that runs the universe ricochet in a perfect ping-pong from out of your body and every conclusion feels new and feels right. There is something always terrible and shocking when the long and heavy pendulum swings back and the chord has become a minor (threat). The pendulum is still a rhythm and is still constant, but the light became darkness and the limerence of new love has given way to the unbridgeable gap between all people.
I find myself today in this dark place. I feel it as soon as I wake up. I feel it in my weight on the bed. To the extent that I had found an ecstatic place yesterday, today is a hangover. It always feels like a surprise. It always feels like the first time. The rule and discipline I have adopted to weather this is just to remind myself that this is simply a different place. And that there is value and meaning in every experience in life. This is a tough one because many societal reminders will tell you that you are always supposed to feel “good.” But I know from seeing it this way and that that I can make bad work when I feel brilliant and I can masterfully break my own heart when I feel like shit.
The day is bleached white with sun.
I take the train to Bushwick to meet Mark Osmundsen to shoot on his friend’s roof. It’s the middle of the day with the light punching straight down overhead. I feel too inexperienced to shoot like this and it’s hot out. I am looking for excuses. But Mark (a dancer with burlesque Company XIV) has enough energy and calm for the both of us and everything is worth it.
I connect later in the day with my longtime friend Andrea Lauer and she teaches me about wearable technology. I sit with Betty and Maria Karla and hand over the Malpaso Instagram account that I have started for them (check it out!)…and in the evening, see the performance. The company is starting to look comfortable in the work and that’s a good thing. I feel less open and inspired and am worried that I lost the spark that was propelling me through this trip.
Day 7 – Today is Friday the 13th. I loved this holiday when I was a kid…actually I still love it. People love it. Looking for omens that connote a mystical and malevolent force that is interrupting our day like a heh-heh-heh’ing imp…it’s fun. It’s fun like a Ouija board. It’s fun like a haunted house. We are quite prescribed in how we allow our darkness to manifest. We are cute about it.
Tayte Hansen has connected me with a dancer named Jaime McGregor. He introduces us via text and Jaime’s semi-star-struck response is enough to make me think my life has been worthwhile. On the train ride to the shoot I catch myself going into my own little world on the subway. Now this is significant because all of New York is doing this seemingly all the time…and I have never done it. One of the principal reasons I didn’t live here well is because my nature is to connect and make eye contact with everyone on the street. And people in NY tend to create their own little bubbles as a way of dealing with being smashed up against everyone else’s bubble day in and day out. And now here’s me staring at an orange work-boot, inventing this world in my head and forgetting I was on the subway. I was back on track and feeling the flow.
When I get to the studio we are shooting in, the landlord hasn’t shown up to let me in and doesn’t show up to let me in. There’s a passport office on the 2nd floor so there are enough people coming and going to at least get me in the front door. Jamie is texting me that he is stuck in traffic and going to be very late. People keep pushing past me on the stairs to get to the passport office. Friday the 13th is coming for me. I’m completely energized by the challenge so I use the time I have now to explore the building and figure out where we are going to shoot. I head up to the roof, but we are surrounded by right next door skyscrapers in every direction. Not ideal for a naked person.
But at the top of the stairs is an amazing little alcove. It’s a symphony on the head of a pin. Graffiti, a big window with diffused sunlight, a discarded art piece, stairs, a rat trap, a big white wall, and a fire alarm. Jaime shows up and we have a great time making beautiful photos. He is gentle and creative with the most righteous ginger hair. A beautiful person to work with.