Choose Your Authoritative Source

From Spring Cleaning, a collection published in 2015.

Choose Your Authoritative Source

The calendar says today
is the last day of the month
if you listen to the calendar instead of
letting the calendar go
in which case
you might say
It is the second warm day in a row.
So then
the calendar page turns.
Here is tomorrow
whether or not you were listening
to the calendar.
It might be the third warm day in a row
or it might rain
and you may get some important news or
your grocery bag may split on your way to the car.
The calendar has nothing to do with today.

Three collages whose images I used in a hand-made calendar for 2000. These months are November, July, and May.

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16 thoughts on “Choose Your Authoritative Source

  1. Ooh I love these! Such rich colors and textures. This definitely resonates with me and calls to mind the difference between living present and our punctuality-obsessed culture

  2. Thank you. I am the poster child for glancing at my watch and making schedules. Getting rid of my watch helped but I still put myself on a schedule when my life, at this stage, is up to me to decide if I have one at all. Ugh. I’m hoping to keep going in the direction of living in the present with just a bit of schedule rather than the other way around. As for the collages, they are from long ago and yet I still remember making them. Another example of time passing and yet not passing!

  3. The idea of linearity is more of a human construct than we realize, I think. The way we experience our lives and memories are more based on the relation of like experiences and emotions than in any particularly strict chronological order. That said, I have the same problem. It’s so hard to escape schedules. And I think it’s also a very human impulse to try to impose order on things, so they help me feel more organized, even if I’m terrible at being on time haha

  4. I love the poem and the way it captures that tension between time as an artificial construct and the way its passage is experienced. The collages are magnificent.

  5. Thank you. I have an adversarial relationship with time or maybe I should say, it’s all one-sided coming from me – time is paying no attention, it just goes, and so I hope to be doing so myself. The collages are the kind of thing I did in the past – I used to use photos I took for references and was more faithful to “realism”. Plus I only used papers that I painted, nothing else. One day, I could no longer do this. I do still look back at these old photos and think how much I like what I did, but, not for me anymore to go back to it. Funny how that works.

  6. Thank you. I know the schedule feeling. I remember thinking 35+ years ago, when I first starting working, how nice it would be not to have to make the train, or get to the office, or take lunch, or whatever, plus then the whole family schedule thing came along, like you. Now I have no schedule except for the gym classes and sometimes that gets to me. I’ve certainly gotten spoiled and I like it!

  7. I think that attitude towards your art is not only sensible but probably natural. Our growth and progression has a forward momentum. It doesn’t feel “right” to go backwards. I’ve actually had people ask me if I could recreate an illustration for them that I created years before and the answer is always no because, even if I was inclined to revisit it, I wouldn’t be able to recreate it because I’ve moved on since then. I think that’s as healthy in art as it is in other areas of life.

  8. Thank you. When we lived in our previous house, this was the front porch of our neighbor (I changed the colors but this is pretty much what they had there). I loved how comfortable it was to sit there in the summer.

  9. Yes, I agree. I have come to feel that I have a certain amount of “whatever” in me, certain amount of collage, knitting, etc., and when it’s done, it is done. I’ve also been asked to reproduce a previous work and I just laugh.

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