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Braque Nocking...
Braque Nocking her off her Feet/Drinking H20 on the River Road (Mouse Over)
Dear Kim,

I love your most recent sketch of Pseudonym bringing me flowers. I especially like the perspective with her breasts being seen both in front and side profiles at the same time.

It makes me think of cubism and I LOVE cubism. I still remember the first time I saw cubist work as a teenager by Picasso and Georges Braque at the Chicago Art Institute.

I was thrilled by the possibilities it offered for movement on a flat surface as well asthe implied sense of different temporalities.

Thrilled is too small a word. As Steve Wonder sings, "It knocked me off my feet."

The title of your drawing is apt:"Right Gesture, Wrong Time."

It is not that any gesture is inherently good or bad but context makes it so. There are times when Pseudonym has given me flowers that I have been thrilled. But when we are fighting over the most basic negotiations of time and space, this was not one of them.

Here's what I did to take care of myself. After rehearsal yesterday, I drove to Pere Marquette Lodge, where I had made a reservation and I spent the night and most of today. The drive was so beautiful, with my favorite kind of St. Louis light. Pale afternoon winter.

I love winter light. It is so much more subtle than the blatant sun of summer. I drove along the Great River Road, past Alton, Geoffrey, through Grafton. The water was a glittering icy blue, the cliffs majestic in their blondness.

I drove and drank water and sang along with Mr. Wonder and felt myself unkink after a very difficult emotional week.

It took me an hour and 20 minutes to get there and less time on the way back. I easily drive those distances to see my friends in L.A. And I wondered, why am I not treating myself to this essential time on a more regular basis?

I go to Forest Park, but beautiful as it is, it does not feel like nature to me in the same way. I know most of the nooks and crannies and there is not much that happens that willcatch me off guard. In Pere Marquette during the winter, it is not uncommon to suddenly see a bald eagle swooping throughout the sky. That is not something ones gets to see in the city.

And in Forest Park or most urban settings, I constantly feel like I have to be on guard. To watch my back, not walk off the beaten path too much unless I am with others, to never walk at night.

This vigilance then lodges in my body and the restorative quality of being outdoors is offset by a tension. At Pere Marquette, I felt refreshed. I felt free.

So my plan is to try—and I know you don't like this word try, Kim—but what can we do but try...my plan isto try to schedule such outings on a regular basis. Sometimes with another, but also with my most constant companion. Myself.

Later,

Joan

Sunday, Jan 8, 2006

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