Third Ave, Seattle

A bit of holiday shopping today, and happened to park (most carefully, with full awareness of signs and the proper paid sticker affixed to the window) in front of Free Sheep Free on Third Ave.  In the window of what looked like an abandoned building was a beautiful instillation that makes me want to make art again.  I go through waves, where words are enough and then again they aren’t, and right now they aren’t.  I don’t have a photo of what I saw though.  It wouldn’t do it justice, not really.  There were three elements, connected with red string.  On the wall, a series of ink drawings, both of birds and of other bird-like things, each connected to a red string.  Beside that, a quilt with a multi-dimensional bird, it’s chest open and the organs quilted and sewn.  It was like seeing something I wanted to make but never knew about.  Red string from bits there too, and the strings sagged forward to a table with a bird on it.  Taxidermied I think, but still looked like road kill. (Again, it was beautiful, so don’t think of the smashing things with maggots, though there was a bit of that sort of impression.  Perhaps I am just drawn to grotesque. The fine line between grotesque and beauty.)  The strings were to pieces, the leg tied to the ink drawing of the leg, the heart to the heart to the drawing of a girl.  I want to meet the artist who created this instillation, but the font was a bit illegible and the space is only open on Fridays from 12-6.  If I bustle, perhaps I can make it from work the Friday after next, but I doubt it.  What amazed me most was the quilt, and I thought how shoddy my dresses always were; the edges raw because I have no patience, not because of intention.  I am trying to be more intentional these days.  Trying to put more effort forward, to create things finely instead of slap-dash.  

Again, and I only thought of this now, I run into the black birds of Seattle.  This place is black birds to me.  The black that isn’t black but mirrored sky on shimmered wings.  The lift and settle.  The shadows and sun and the delicate curve of hollow bones.  How strange that I wrote a sequence of birds, a bird becoming woman, and then here I find them surrounding my body.  

Excerpt from the series After:


I woke

and thought I was home


against the glass of your bedroom window

            a bird crashed  again and again

            the awful sound

            of beak against glass


I was not home


I sit beside the window

half hoping the bird will return


I am that lonely here   waiting for another impact

Bird on Wire