Wednesday, September 5, 2012

finite erotic creatures

i've got my dye pots and much of the other necessary equipment moved to my new house now and a batch of dyed vintage linens will be in the shop over the next few days.  first, a few tablecloths (one of which could also be a bedspread) should be available by the end of the day today.
here in new hampshire we were graced with so many beautiful late summer days in the past weeks.  then the rain came.  the turning season feels heavy on me.  it mirrors personal transition and even when i try to turn away from reflecting it maneuvers and i find myself facing it again.
i can't not mention to you that i've experienced a loss recently in the death of a friend.  my daughter's boyfriend lost his mom last week and the sadness stops me in my tracks many times each day.  michelle was born the same year i was.  she was young.  may she rest in peace and may her child keep her with him always and live the life she'd want him to have.
in light of all this, a read a couple good essays recently which struck me and my current intense mood.  one can be read here and here's a small excerpt:

It’s exhausting, day in, day out, making choices. Who hasn’t dreamed of a deus ex machina, a magic wand? It’s so much easier to let things slide, to be too stressed out, too busy, too tired or hungover.
But choice is power. It forces you to live in the active present tense, not the editorially lazy passive construction of this-happened-to-me. Make a choice and you can’t abdicate responsibility to the real or perceived will of others or the now of perpetual distraction. Make a choice and you confront the closed mystery of the choice not chosen. If ambivalence is a hallmark of denial, choice is an acceptance of time, mortality, limits.

the other is called "an absorbing errand" by janna malamud smith and it's in the september 2012 issue of the sun.  it's a version of the introduction to the author's new book by the same name.  an excerpt:

we are, as the philosopher and psychoanalyst jonathan lear reminds us, "finite erotic creatures."  i love this phrase because it names succinctly the haunting tension between our expansive desire and our inevitable death.  mastery and creative expression are one way to capture energy from this clash and its conundrums.  not unlike the DNA in our cells, the processes we learn well and the objects we make encapsulate, carry forward, and transmit some portion of us, of our erotic energy, into the world, as much "ours" as any breathing offspring we bear.

the labor pays tribute to death, and yet expresses defiance, as if announcing, "yes, i'm going, but not quietly.  i'm having my say first."  in essence the defiance is about using time and skill to elaborate an expression of feeling-or an object-beyond the crudest utility, and, by doing so, to endow it with an energy, an attractiveness, an aesthetic that invites the interest and recognition of others, sometimes even after much time has passed.  the defiance is the act of giving to the craft more than bare necessity requires, of resisting mortality while acknowledging the futility of the resistance.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lianne, for linking to Martha Bayne's powerful essay. It's a powerful piece.
Also, I am so sorry to hear of the death of your friend.
I have been a lurker here for a while but felt the urge to speak up today- Diane

suzie said...

A though-provoking post…you have described my mood too, Like you I'm having a difficult time of transition.
I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. It must be so hard for you.