Trying to get beyond the image while keeping to the image. Mostly this feels like an impossible thing to achieve, yet that's what makes it interesting, the uncertainty of its even being possible, what I am spending time and money and my body on, my shoulder, my hand—my hands! I am at war with image, with the figure, yet entwined with it because I am in love with it, with the figure, with the story the figure tells, and with an outcome that surprises me and entrances me with its figurative story and capacity to surprise. I am, every day, practically every day it feels as though I am at war with myself, for it is my deepest impulse to tell a story and to use the figure to do so, and I am tearing at myself in my attempts to tear away my reliance on the figure. Why? Why do I do this? Why not just embrace the figure? Oh, but I cannot! For that would be too easy, and easy bores me, easy bores me, I am in love with the great wild violent wingbeat of ambition.
One day I will tell you everything. I am many years into this, into telling you everything, but there is always more to tell, so it is not possible to tell it now. But I will say this, for it is important to know to hold my words in context: I am a painter. I am concerned with painting, with its meaning and purpose, and I am concerned with locating meaning and purpose in a life deliberately shaped to accomodate my colossal impulse to make art. It is not always easy to find, I do not know that I ever find it, but words have a way of creating the things or ideas that they signify, and so—
Indecision, ambivalence—time is running out! If I continue to be ruled by these twins, these siamese twins, these chariot drivers, these conjoined beasts, I will never, well, I will never, I think I will never unstick myself from this place I am stuck to, it feels as though I have been stuck to this place forever! Every nonaction, every tangled, entagling question—should I or should I not; what should I do; where should I go—these are the threads that bind me, the ropes that trip me up, they are the pins that stick me and the glue that adheres. I say chariot drivers, but they do not take up the reins, they will not move me forward! They are steeped too darkly in themselves, sunk too deeply in themselves, afixed too firmly to themselves to be anything but indecision and ambivalence. How is it that I began to pray to the gods that sent me indecision and ambivalence as their answer to my benighted prayers of unbelonging? Ah, but I do know how, for how could I have wished to belong when belonging was someone else's appetite that devoured me, when it was so destructive, when it gleamed and sparkled and pulled me to it only to tear me apart? Of course I learned to be light on my feet, to be weightless and far ranging! No wonder I came to feel that the greatest safety was in boxes packed and ready to go! Of course I was a runner! And of course, of course, the gods gave me restlessness, gave me indecision and ambivalence!