Thursday, April 30, 2009

from here to there

My grandmother sold her house on Long Island this week and is slated to move out by July 15th. When my mom and I spoke on the phone yesterday about it I told her how I want to see the inside of that house one more time, even it is empty. So we slated a plan that my little brother Will will fly out here to San Francisco for us to drive back across the country together. Will and I haven't really spent any time together since I graduated from high school, and boy-oh-boy did we not get along when I was in high school, nooooo sir. I was 18 and he was 13. Now I am (almost) 25 and he is 20. I'm excited to meet and learn one another again and, despite the richness of looking at other peoples pictures, would like to use the opportunity to start doing some archiving of my own. I thought I might ask my dad to borrow his video camera for the trip and record our conversations while driving. My parents initiate all of our most serious family dialogues when we're in the car, us Baldwin children at the mercy of our parents behind the wheel. For this project I like the idea of turning that power dynamic around by having the person in the passenger seat doing all of the recording, asking all of the questions, directing the conversations. In this way, both people are driving. Who ever is behind the wheel (I imagine we will be taking turns) will be talking towards home, their words flying out the window back towards from where we came. This sounds like a lovely drawing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I love this passage.

Once objects and stories are untethered from the singularity of their possession, they become infinite. In her book, On Longing, Susan Stewart writes, “The photograph as souvenir is a logical extension of the pressed flower, the preservation of an instant in time through a reduction of physical dimensions and a corresponding increase in significance supplied by means of narrative. The silence of the photograph, its promise of visual intimacy at the expense of other senses (its glossy surface reflecting us back and refusing us penetration), makes the eruption of that narrative, the telling of its story, all the more poignant. For the narration of the photograph will become an object of nostalgia. Without marking, all ancestors become abstractions, losing their proper names; all family trips become the same trip—the formal garden, the waterfall, the picnic site, and the undifferentiated sea become attributes of every country.” The ‘marking’ Stewart refers to is that of possession. Without this referent new meanings can be born.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

quilting bee

Met with Allison today and started a new big-time quilting project.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Here and Now: Queering Authorship and Ownership

Today I did my presentation for the Queer Theory Symposium about photographs and storytelling, Gertrude Stein and Roland Barthes, Tom Phillips and Tacita Dean, and some other things too. Here are the first and last paragraphs for the general gist. Summertime is almost here, my friends.

The English noun, souvenir, comes from the French verb meaning ‘to remember.’ History, or, social memory, has a tendency to simplify the complexity of events into a falsely singular version of the truth. A queer reading of memory accommodates for the possibility of alternative outcomes. Stories and photographs are souvenirs, evidence of passage through time. To queer the souvenir is to understand it not as evidence but as a prop, to open up its meaning beyond its possession. I hope to connect and complicate the exclusivity of souvenirs and memory using the writings of Gertrude Stein and Roland Barthes. After deconstructing the relationship of possession by which objects and narratives have but one meaning, I will explore how contemporary artists Tom Phillips and Tacita Dean use photographs and storytelling as props to strategize new understandings of ownership and authorship.

(...imagine 8 pages of incredibly verbose and illuminated writing here...)

I’d like to return to the word souvenir. Found at a flea market, a photograph once a souvenir from a particular autobiographical narrative becomes a part of a social and phenomenological landscape. The wealth of memory is that it is fluid and resourceful, with no scarcity in its infinite alteration. By teasing photographs and stories out of the singularity of possession we can open up the possibilities of ownership, where we defy the conventions of autonomy to foster greater notions of collective consciousness. The story and the photograph are both props that aid us in this shape-shifting process of discovery, essential to defining and redefining who we are. As Barthes writes, “I am the reference of every photograph, and this is what generates my astonishment in addressing myself to the fundamental question: why is it that I am alive here and now?"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Enough is enough

On Thursday Allison Smith told our class that she has found the graduate student work at CCA very conservative, tight-laced, and frugal. I don't know how my peers interpreted that, but it totally burned me and made me sort of sad. But it also made me anticipate and envision bigger projects and bolder commitments. For example. Whatever sort of quilting project I choose to do has got to be bigger than a quilt. And if I do a small drawing there had better be a quite a few more related ones marching up behind it. I'm glad to get this kind of criticism because it ruffles my feathers and makes me uncomfortable enough to make some changes. Like this kid in the picture. You can tell from that crazed look in his eyes that he knows it's time to get out of that chair.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Two stories

I got these two photographs recently for what's written on their back sides. I'm interested in what the text reveals that the picture doesn't, and like wise what the picture reveals that the text doesn't. The text and the image, once you've seen both, seem to need one another, neither one of them doing the 'whole story' justice. It also reminds me that there are lots of parts of both of these stories missing and fettered to the proverbial wind.

On the left:
Ned Tuttle + family of Omaha
He was a drunkard.
Girl- Bessie
Boy- Johnny
This girl Bessie was crossing a railroad bridge on her way to her grandmothers. A train came. She slipped down thru the ties + hung there until the train passed over her- some men came and pulled her back up.

On the right:
Judy was three days old. Picture was taken through glass cage. That's why it looks blurred. Judy now has red hair and grey eyes. She is very pink. Side view shows Japanese but front view everybody says she looks like her daddy. She has big round eyes. Also everybody thinks she is about 3 months old. She was crying when I took this picture.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adah is waiting for Ruth, Ruth is waiting for Esther, Esther is waiting for Martha...

I found a few pictures labeled like this last weekend, names on the front. It's a conflicted method of archiving because it simultaneously reveals and conceals the image. It seemed to me, as I thought about this while walking, that perhaps this act of simultaneous revealing and concealing is symptomatic of larger themes of growth and entropy. I love this picture-- it almost seems like their dresses were designed for the exact purpose to be photographed and scrawled upon. The only person left unnamed is the bride herself, known only as "waiting matron." It reminds me of a project by Swedish artist Elin Wystrom called "Rebecca Is Waiting for Anna, Anna Is Waiting for Cecelia, Cecelia Is Waiting for Marie …" This performance piece, which could happen anywhere, is one in which women volunteer (ahead of time) to show up and wait at a table until they are relieved after 15 minutes by the next volunteer. That's the whole piece, women waiting for women. Of course, in this context the Waiting Matron is waiting for a man... but there's something about the anticipation of bridemaids that suggest that the wedding is a ritual about women and their shared destiny rather than one between a husband and bride.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

but I digress

I realized today that this blog has slowly evolved into more of a showcase of autobiographical photographs when it was begun to showcase anonymous snapshots from a collection I began three years ago and continue to add to. As the school year has wound up I've had more people and event to write about than when I first got here to this new school and community. It seemed to make sense to write about those things. It's time to stop doing what makes sense and get back to my roots. I like to look at other peoples photographs, to hold them in my hand, to examine their backs, to consider them as objects, images and evidence. Some photographs I even love, and it's those that I am most interested in understanding-- this feeling of love evoked by images of strangers. My new catchphrase could be, "The stranger, the better."

last stop

Went to Baker Beach to read and saw the ocean. I've seen the ocean 5 times since moving here 7 months ago, though I've always been less than 6 miles away from it. Pathetic! More adventures to come.

Monday, April 20, 2009

cup of joe

In response to some complaints that the scale of my work has been consistently polite, I made this drawing of coffee stains, about 5 feet wide and 4 feet tall. The idea was one I actually started in college and never completed (it was suggested that it didn't fit in with any of my other work, which was true, but how I wish I had been encouraged to make mistakes more at Wesleyan-- I would, without a doubt, be farther along today if I had made them then). I like this piece for it's impoliteness but also for how it relates to my other projects. It talks about a complete immersion in a mundane object/occurrence, about obsession and ritual, time and presence. It raises the stain to the next level-- the stain no longer exists as the interruption of cleanliness, but as the complete composition. This is the biggest piece I've done this year. Funny that I chose stains to be the subject matter, as opposed to something more respectable and grandiose. Goodbye, manners.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dena. Margaret. me. Ralph.

I had a great weekend. Made some good art yesterday, started some new projects. Read most of Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida, am still spinning. Adrienne's birthday party, had good talks with good people. Went for a long walk. Had my last day of work for the semester. Sat in the park. Took myself on a date (table for one, please). Looked at many photographs, chose a few of them (here is one). Roland Barthes told me today, "what I can name cannot prick me," when explaining his inability to describe why he loves some pictures and not others. He goes on, "The incapacity to name is a good sign of disturbance," which I interpret to mean that good pictures shake us into silence, a place where thought can begin to become audible.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

put into print

I collaborated with Jackie Im from the Curatorial Practice department here at CCA to make this card-- it's going into a small edition publication that she and the other first year curatorial students are putting together. The actual card looks way better than this picture-- I scanned the one Courtney Dailey slipped onto the windshield of my car. Exciting nonetheless!

We left the swingset behind.

We are in Illinois, I think.

Something new I'm trying. The text describes a photograph and is cropped and formatted to the same dimensions as its subject. I'm SURE that someone has done this before. And I'm okay with it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Go for the punctum.

I'm reading Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida, a short text in which he dissolves and resolves the photograph. It's amazing and easy to read and is helping me consider new strategies for projects I'm interested in trying. I read the first 15 chapters today-- here are some good parts:

"... strangely, the only thing that I tolerate, that I like, that is familiar to me, when I am photographed, is the sound of the camera. For me, the Photographer's organ is not his eye (which terrifies me) but his finger: what is linked to the trigger of the lens, to the metallic shifting of the plates."

"Of brief duration; I have no need to question my feelings in order to list the various reasons to be interested in a photograph; one can either desire the object, the landscape, the body it represents; or love or have loved the being it permits us to recognize; or to be astonished by what one sees; or else to admire or dispute the photographer's performance, etc.; but these interests are slight, heterogeneous; a certain photograph can satisfy one of them and interest me slightly; and if another photograph interests me powerfully, I should like to know what there is in it that sets me off. So it seemed that the best word to designate (temporarily) the attraction certain photographs extend upon me was advenience or even adventure. This picture advenes, that one doesn't....The photograph itself is in no way animated (I do not believe in "lifelike" photographs), but it animates me: this is what creates every adventure."

I was especially interested in Barthes' dissection, later on, of the attraction between individuals and certain photographs into two co-dependent elements: the studium and the punctum. He attributes studium "to a kind of general enthusiastic commitment, but without speical acuity," while he calls the other element punctum, a word also connotating "a sting, speck, cut, little hole-- and also a cast of the dice." Barthes caontinues, "A photograph's punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me)." I think about this a lot-- how the volume of the interaction between an image and the person looking at it is erratic and often unpredictable-- how some pictures really seem to ignite a fire while other's remain inert. It's the same with any kind of image, song, or choice. The picture I am posting for today is not my own, just one of many classical black and white calendar-type nature shots. This one though, I'm almost embarrased to report, simultaneously massaged my studium and hit me in the punctum.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I've started some new silly muscle-memory projects that are helping me keep my hands busy and in practice while my head cools off from the momentum of open studios, applications, my review and the end-of-the-semester log jam. I've been making some prototype quilt pieces-- this one in the picture is comprised of small 1 1/2 inch squares. I also started doing some watercolors from 1960's square-format interior snapshots and polaroids to see if something fruitful happens. My plan is still to have an incredible summer of making, so I've been spending most of my time drafting epic and all-essential "to do" lists in my rediscovered journal.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

this week in the MFA fishtank.

I felt a little shy and awe-struck today when I discovered that an artist in the East Bay named Kate Pruitt posted on her blog about my work. Unfortunately, she took the dismal pictures found on my blog (all the more reason to get better at documenting my work! the ongoing struggle!). But it still made me feel pretty special. Check it out!

In other news, one of our orange fish at school gave live-birth to 4 little minis the other day and we sat around and procrastinated and watched the whole thing. Not one of our most academic performances, but it felt, oddly, kind of like family.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

520 East Main Street

When I was small we lived in a red and blue duplex at a busy corner on Main Street in Somerville, NJ. Once there was a horrible car crash and we let a lady use our telephone. Once a dog showed up and we got to keep him tied up to the back porch until his owner came to get him. Two girls who were older than me lived across the street. They had a huge father. A girl who was younger than me lived next door. I always climbed over the back fence to play with her, we never went through the front door. She had a doll that peed. My babysitter was named Mrs. DeMaio and she was very very old. She kept her Christmas Tree through Valentines day when she would decorate it with construction paper hearts. We bought her a scarf for her birthday once but forgot to give it to her until my mother told me it was too late to give it to her, so we kept it.

We rented. Our landlords name was Tony and he had two daughters that stole the good swings on my swing set when their father was talking to mine. The people in the unit next door were a couple named Gus and Theresa. Gus worked a Shell station down the street. He may or may not have been a veteran. He used to pick me up a lot and put me on his shoulders and chase me around in a our shared back yard. Our attics were connected and my parents used to tell me never to go on their side because it wasn't ours. Our basements probably also connected, because there was only one set of red builco doors leading down there from the outside, which were fun to run down when they were closed. Gus and Theresa watched a lot of tv. I have a distinct memory of being in there once with them and a really old woman sitting on one of the couches in the front room. I don't remember ever going upstairs, ever. I think Gus may have played some sort of big brass instrument. I remember their side of the house being really brown and yellow and orange. Our side was more grey and white and blue. When I was in kindergarten Gus had to go to the hospital. I think maybe for cancer, maybe for gum cancer? maybe for intestinal cancer? I made him a card-- I drew something that was supposed to be a puzzle. It was a structural drawing with lots of lines and letters all over it-- like the spawn of a crossword and tic-tac-toe. I think I remember my dad asking if I didn't want to draw Gus something different instead, but I can't remember what I decided. We were doing this activity on the side of the dining room table closest to the windows.

Gus died and Theresa had a baby, I don't remember in what order. I do remember that the baby cried a lot and that my parents often talked about how sad Theresa was. We moved to a house down the street and one block over, on Grant Avenue. When we moved out, some people with a water bed moved in (they let me jump on it once). We left the swing set because they had a kid and my parents said we would get a new one, but we never did. Sometime later we found out the dad was arrested because he may or may not have been part of the mafia. Our new house was near the hospital Gus had been when he was sick and where my brother Will was born. We drove past our old house on the way to my parents work. We drove past that Shell station every time we went downtown. He's the only person named Gus I've ever known.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a humument, meet grayand grey. grayandgrey, meet a humument.

My freshman year in college I was accepted into a poetry workshop taught by a really wonderful professor named Elizabeth Willis with the most incredible green eyes, strawberry hair and way with words. She showed me a copy of this book, A Humument, and I remember feeling smitten in that wonderful 18 year old way. This project, by Tom Phillips, began with a mundane Victorian novel which the artist treated by blocking out parts of the text with illustration, illuminating new hidden narratives within the prexisting page. The book has been printed four times and each time Phillips has re-treated 100 pages, so that the book is slowly evolving. The project will be over when all of the pages have been changed from the first version, revealing an entirely different text. The project is genius, although it's execution is at times didactic and visually insulting/assaulting. I've been thinking about how the project is an analogy for how I've been thinking about memory-- that when we tell stories we are using a pre-existing text/vocabulary through which endless variations and ommissions are possible. It's interesting to look at how Phillips treats the same page in such different ways over the course of the past 30 years. It reminds me of Sophie Calle's project, Exquisite Pain, for which she wrote the story of her lover leaving her by telephone over and over again for 100 days to understand how her words change with time and emotional evolution.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

words with wings

It's always eerie to read something that seems like it came out of your own head, like the author somehow stole a dream from you, or knows you so completely in the way only a total stranger could. Here is one of those passages:

"What does it mean to be oriented? This book begins with the question of orientation, of how it is that we come to find our way in a world that acquires new shapes, depending on which way we turn. If we know where we are when we turn this way or that way, then we are oriented. We have our bearings. We know what to do to get to this place or to that place. To be oriented is also to be turned toward certain objects, those that help us to find our way. These are the objects we recognize, so that when we face them we know which way we are facing. They might be landmarks or other familiar signs that give us our anchoring points. They gather on the ground, and they create a ground upon which we can gather."

Sara Ahmed, from the introduction of her book, Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others

stitch and bitch

I going to start a quilt project tomorrow. I've got an itch. This one's going to include paper. We'll see what happens! In other fantastic news, I purchased a flat file for myself yesterday off craigslist-- these things cost over $1000 new, but I got mine from an architect who was downsizing for $150. It's the kind of furniture that deserves a name. I mean, it's practically a car-- easily 200 pounds of putty-colored metal. Obviously female... I'm leaning towards "Olga."

Friday, April 10, 2009


Margaret De Bona, an old girlfriend, was in town this week and we kicked it on Tuesday. It was the first time, for me, that we've hung out together without any sort of residual tension. I showed her my art, we perused through some silly old love letters, went to my apartment, took a walk, checked out a bookstore and ate some Indian food. We even shared some naan. It took three years, but it's never too late to have a nice day with someone so lovely. Here's a picture of Margaret from the summer we met eachother, on a rooftop in Boston.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

we both live on

My mother was given a figurine of Saint Pancras (aka San Prancracio) for her desk when she was writing her dissertation in Spain. I was a small blonde roly fidgety thing and I loved holding onto Saint Pancras's halo much to my mothers chagrin. Saint Pancras was a Roman citizen who converted to Christianity and was beheaded for his faith at the age of 14 in 304 BCE. His name is Greek and means "the one who holds everything." My mother always told me that he was the patron saint of lost causes, but that is actually Saint Jude. Saint Pancras is the patron saint of children, and wards off against cramps and headaches. The last time we went to Spain for Juan and Jorge's wedding my mother bought a new one for her and one for me, since I was just about to leave home. He has broken six times in the past two years (at his neck, his foot, his pointer finger, his book, his palm) but I just keep gluing him back together and carrying on. Today he broke again on the day of my review, but both pieces of him cheered me on for my review and I passed. I'm left tired and beaming and he with a new seam of glue around the neck.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

little sales ladies and other little nouns

I'm reading a piece called Tender Buttons, by writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), an American ex-patriot who lived most of her life in France and who has one of the first public coming-out stories. She lived with lover Alice B. Toklas, with whom she managed a famous salon for most of her later life. Her book, Tender Buttons, is a prose-poem in which Stein breaks her world into three subjects: Objects, Food and Rooms. The prose is hard to read and, though lyrical, difficult to interpret. In fact, very few people have even tried- most critics shrug their shoulders as to its meaning, calling it "cubist" or "sensual," letting it end at that. I don't really like reading her work but I like thinking and writing about it. I appreciate that it is a nonsensical piece of writing about nouns-- something seems very true about that. Comprehensive descriptions of nouns are guided by a predetermined understanding of what they are and what they are used for. That her descriptions are tangled into intricate and nonsensical webbings of words seems true to nature-- that the meaning of an object is fluid and changes with it's context, with memory and with a dreamscape of unconscious associations. Though edited, it seems like this writing could have derived from or was made to mimic some stream-of-consious writing. Here's a passage from Tender Buttons, in the section titled Objects:

Suppose it is within a gate which open is open at the hour of closing summer that is to say it is so.
All the seats are needing blackening. A white dress is in sign. A soldier a real soldier has a worn lace a worn lace of different sizes that is to say if he can read, if he can read he is a size to show shutting up twenty-four.
Go red to red, laugh white.
Suppose a collapse in rubbed purr, in rubbed purr get.
Little sales ladies little sales ladies little saddles of mutton.
Little sales of leather and such beautiful beautiful, beautiful beautiful.

I'll leave it at that except to say that I took this picture of a still life I happened upon in Hooper 3 at school this morning, an arrangement which also seemed to speak about the absurdity of nouns.

Monday, April 6, 2009

side-yard apparition (with chickens)

I love this picture. A man in a suit and white shoes cornered into the fenced side yard by the chickens he's apparently feeding. If photos are taken as evidence of something having happened, it invites curious speculation over the reasons why snapshots like this one were taken. The place is obscure, the white house in the background ecclipsed by fencing. The man is small and unrecognizable, the event mundane. Photos were expensive when this one was taken, probably in the 1910's or 20's, and snap shots from this era are rare-- usually shots are of formal portraits or serve as documentation of places or special events. Photography is interesting because it is so new-- a tool accessible to most only in the last 100 years. Still so new and already on it's way out (according to some), and replaced by film. It's existence as an art making tool is even shorter-- having started as a documentarian medium for the press and not really taking off as Art until the 1950's. In the photographs of my collection the look of photographs changes so quickly with each decade-- the move from b & w to color, the take-off of the snap shot, the paper photos are printed on, what people write on the backs, the quantity and thoroughness of sequenced shots, the things people wear, the expressions on their faces, the poses of their bodies and the spaces in between them.

celebrity sighting!

I got this picture last year at a small store called SMUT in Portland. They had a suitcase full of snapshots that I perused through once a week on my day off from the gallery. I picked out this one and several others for a project I was doing, and afterwards I met up with Lydia and Vanessa to get ice cream on Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's. While we were standing in line Lydia was looking at this one and kept talking about how it looked like some actress she couldn't remember the name of. She was holding the picture up in between us and looking at the front. The back towards me, I asked her if the name of the actress was named Juliette Lewis, and she said, with surprise, yes. Surprise because this is the kind of information I would normally never be very helpful with. Here's what I found out on the internet just now: Meet Juliette Lewis in 7th grade, the same year she started her acting career. She would later have major roles in Cape Fear, Romeo is Bleeding, The Other Sister, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and most famously, Natural Born Killers. If you look her up on Wikipedia there's an onslaught of random personal information mixed in with her professional development, reinforcing once again how strange the internet and celebrity culture are, especially when they are woven together and just one search engine away.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Open Studios was fun and I'm excited to get back to work in my studio. My advancement review is this Thursday, so until then I'm taking it easy, keeping the studio clean and getting some paper-writing done. A couple of weeks ago I got this picture and thought I'd try to draw only his freckles, an idea I once tried with my own, with Sarah Lipkin's and then again with Emmet Moseley's-- all attempts failing miserably, usually because the person didn't want to sit for that long with their shirt off and because drawing freckles from pictures is hard. Now that I have a scanner, everything is different-- it's totally revolutionized my ability to figure out what size I want to draw things before starting and helps me keep in scale. Last weekend I went up to the Headlands to help Desiree Holman finish some of her drawings for her upcoming show and she showed me how she overlays a grid on her pictures in photoshop to help her draw from them- a system I might try someday.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

CSI San Francisco

Well, I officially live in a big city. Someone threw a brick through my back window today in front of my school. This would normally get me all tied up inside but-- huzzah! There are other things to worry about! Tomorrow is Open Studios and I've got things to do! Ellen helped me take these crime scene photos.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Steve's last mousy breath

I got this update on the pet mouse I took care of for almost the entire two years I lived in Portland, named Steve. Randi took this picture of me holding him as we sat in the car in front of the house of the first grade teacher who adopted him one morning last May.

Hi Mara,
We were happy to give him a good home and he seemed to be a happy little mouse. Unfortunately, he developed a tumor of some sort and passed away last fall. He didn't seem to be in any pain and was eating and playing right up to the last. Hope things go well for you in San Francisco.

So sad! Steve was a silly pet I relieved the family of someone I worked with at Powells Bookstore who had too many pets and children of. He lived with me at 826 Roselawn, 3525 Washington, 4327 Long and 2434 Ankeny. Right before I gave him away a cat got into my apartment and knocked down his terrarium sending it shattering accross the kitchen floor, so the last week I owned him he lived in the bathtub.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Arrivals and departures

In class on Monday we talked about an article by David Eng who draws connections between displacement of queer identity within a heterosexual model of ideal citizenship to the experience of the Asian American male who struggles between misplaced cultural stereotypes and disengagement from nationality. One word that kept coming up was "arrival," as in queers and Asian Americans not being able to access arrival into "wholeness," stuck in between identities. I'm suspicious that there is a structural problem with the concept of "arrival" as something that is attained in adulthood and think that a better model of passage would be a continuous one where arrival is neither sought nor accepted. It seems that the only arrival we all share is that at the end of our life, and we, as a nation, should focus on making sure that that arrival occurs at the end of a life full of opportunity, experience and fairness. The idea that there is one ideal destination or concept of stability seems dangerous and insulting to a celebration of diversity.

Isabella & Arthur

Isn't this strange? These people weren't ever alive at the same time. I wonder if this cemetary plot was just Isabella, alone with an empty neighboring heart, until 27 years later when Arthur came to her side. A grandmother and her grandson? Family thrift? Victims of time warp? This is a good posting for today, April Fools Day (this morning I told the Student Accounts receptionist that I was going to settle my account before saying "April Fools!" and giving her my measly monthly payment). I took this picture at Colma back in the fall and then made a drawing of the lichen in the letters. It was only halfway through the drawing that I realized that something with the dates was amiss and then thought it was pretty amazing how Isabella and Arthur had pulled the wool over my eyes. If you haven't I suggest reading the Griffin and Sabine trilogy, a beautiful Nick Bantock series that charts the correspondence of two people who have never met. If you're into mail like me, you should also check out an artist named Donald Evans who draws articulate arrangements of real and fantastical postage stamps.