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Digging through…layer by layer

June 9, 2010

Have you ever had to take stock of your life?  It can be both pedestrian and exhilarating at the same time.  It’s kind of like drinking (I’ll get to this in a bit…) 

I’ve been in kind of a funk lately and, when I’m in one of these moods, you usually get angry grunts and semi-blank stares from me.  I totally shut down when this feeling strikes.  I’ll attribute this glowing trait to my dad (he and I a very similar, according to my mother…)  Usually when a funk appears, I take stock of my life…everything.  Friends, family, job, home, haves, wants, needs and desires.  Last night was no exception–and my creative outlets were on the table, ready to be looked over with a fine tooth comb.  I recently moved about 12 years of my artwork from my parents house  to my (somewhat) new home.  It’s taken me over a year to get motivated, and the other day I was productive enough to get going.  One full car-load later (with more still at my parents house), twelve years of art (and my life) consume the dining room.  And tonight I’m taking inventory….so I pour myself a glass of  Rye to help me along.  Box after box, image after image, I pour through photographs I’ve printed and art that I’ve made. All the while, retrieving the memories and creating new ones at the same time.  So to me, this process is kind of similar to drinking whiskey (wine, beer–anything.)  You hold a card catalogue of scent memories, tasting vocabulary, and reference points and each time you drink your brain goes to that little place where all this is stored (which is conveniently located by using the Dewey Decimal System, and filed under reference number 869.13 ALC)  and brings back a “Cliffs Notes” version of everything you’ve ever encountered before, so you can easily cross-reference what you’ve had with what you’ve got in front of you.  

And this isn't even all of it...

Tonight selection is Russels Reserve Rye, from Wild Turkey–something that I’ve never tried.  Immediately I’m transported to whiskey-land as soon as it lands in my glass.   Similar to when I open a box of prints…hand printed black and white photos have a certain smell.  (The distinct aroma of photo chemicals…brings me back to late nights in the darkroom.)  Standard boozy notes turn into a more nuanced collection of scents.  Brown bread, cigar box, caramel, dried apricots and the like.  (Print after print, I look at the familiar images–but I’m surprised to see them in a way that I’ve never seen before.) Spicy characteristics, rich  flavors and the distinct burn of a high alcohol drink slowly warm my belly with each sip. (Memory after memory floods my thought as I investigate each image.  What concept was I going for?  This was my favorite series!  Seriously?  What the hell was I thinking when I took this picture!)  Ultimately it’s all familiar, but just slightly different from what I recall from the last time.  Just like whiskey.  Layer by layer, you peel back familiar scents and flavors–each one reminiscent of the time (or whiskey) before, but maybe just a shade different from what you recall from the last account.  

I guess I’ll just file all of this back in the stacks for next time.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Andrew Mitchell permalink
    June 23, 2010 4:18 pm

    Not sure how this entry slipped past me. Good one. Makes me want to go through my storage boxes…almost

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