Monday, December 29, 2008

goodbye and hello

Yesterday, after 15 hours of being on airplanes, I finally made it to San Francisco, and it feels good to be back in the studio today. My good friend, Sarah Lipkin, is down here for the week from Portland so I've hit the ground running-- we woke up early(...-ish) and walked to the studio where I started planning a new (HUGE!) drawing of the kitchen ceiling stains from my house in Ithaca. There's a lot to do, a lot to worry about and a lot to be excited about too. And with the new year a mere 90 hours away it's also time to draw 2008 to a close.

I have a tendency to have existential revelations when I'm traveling on airplanes and this past cross-country pilgrimage was no exception. These experiences usually fall into the classification of life questions like, "I wonder, if the plane starts to fall out of the sky, if it would be better to watch it out of the window or to have the window closed instead?" I find planes pretty terrifying-- it's so much metal and skin hurling through the sky at piercing velocity. Arriving at any destination safely is rewarded with an incredible sense of mortal relief! The top picture is Ithaca at the end of the lake, with the inlet running south, the hills rising on all sides. The second picture is the sun setting towards the west on the other side of the plane-- beautiful!

Goodbye Ithaca, goodbye Mom, Dad, Papa, Will and Dennis, goodbye high school friends and Cayuga Lake and gorges and familiar streets, goodbye snow and yellow house on Salem Drive. I stole rags from our family's rag bin-- old scraps of towels, sheets, and memorable pieces of clothing. They seemed really important when I found them, and these are probably the largest volume of stuff I brought back here to San Francisco with me-- when I unpacked last night it was kind of embarrassing to discover I had just carried 10 lbs. of rags with me across the country. I'm reading a book Alice lent me called The Heart Line, a piece of fiction based in San Francisco and written in 1907 right after the big earthquake that knocked the city down. It's all about San Francisco's mediums and spiritualists and ghosts and good-for-nothing tricksters. Last night two characters discussed how San Francisco was a place where anything could happen, things that couldn't happen anywhere else in the world, a good passage to read as I barrel my way into a new year. Hello San Francisco, hello small room, hello graduate school and scrambly streets, hello ocean and fog and Mexican food and apple fritters, hello new friends and unfinished drawings.

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