Thursday, February 14, 2013
True dat ...
Just back from another creative weekend with some of my favourite people on the planet ~ my art journalling group. We've been meeting a couple of times a year for about 4 years now, and when we began I struggled with the art journal form. Sure I love books, love making them, love writing in them, and can't help arting up the pages, but it seemed to me that everyone else's journals were so much more art journally than mine. I longed to be able to see the colour, pattern and texture of the images I was using without feeling bound to use the image for what it was, a boat as a boat, for instance, instead of upside down and turned into a person's leg. On this trip I edged closer to having that experience, but obviously not on the journal page above.
"Time is the thing you can't get back" has been running through my head for weeks now, and it came together on this page with some nice 1950/60's-ish images from a magazine and a school textbook. This page is from La Musee d'une Vie Inventee (Museum of an Invented Life), a journal I made at another of our retreats, as I posted here. It sat empty for quite a long time until I figured out how to tell the story of an invented life.
It isn't my life exactly, but since my life is the only one I know intimately, then it's probably closer to mine than anybody else I know. Each page reveals something about an unspecified woman ... where she lives, how she sees things, bits and pieces of her memory and the experiences that made her who she is. Like me, but not exactly me, which turns out to be a comfortable balance point somewhere between fact and fiction. At a Q&A after a book interview I heard Margaret Atwood say proclaiming your book to be 'non-fiction' brings out the obsessive fact-checkers. She said every true story contains some fiction, and every made-up story contains some fact, and it's more interesting to have people think you've cleverly hid some truth of yourself in your fiction than having them distracted from the story by the search for false facts.
Time is indeed the thing you can't get back, not only that we can't get back to childhood, but also that wasted time is wasted time, and can't be bought or bargained back at any price, so it's important to use the time we have wisely. True dat fo real.