Monday, January 24, 2011

The Bluebird of Chaos

Acrylic, canvas, twigs, wire, and trash. (2000)

Back in December, Amy at the Poem Farm  was thinking about bower birds. I thought, I like bower birds, too. Whatever happened to that painting I did in 2000? I wanted to show it to Amy. Unfortunately, I couldn't. Because, while I share the bower bird's enthusiasm for collecting, I lack some of his curatorial precision. Put another way, it was in a closet with some hacksaws and the Halloween decorations.

Around here, there are two possible outcomes when I search for something: 1) I make a mess; 2) I clean things up. I try to avoid times when outcome #1 is inevitable. It was only a couple of days ago that I thought I had a chance at searching without creating chaos.*

I found it. It was dusty and most of the original collection of blue had disappeared. I especially regret the loss of a mountain bluebird feather, which struck me as an especially funny thing for a bird to collect. Now, of course, thanks to Amy, I know that bower birds will murder for blue. I replaced it with the kangaroo-shaped rubber band. Kangaroo shaped rubber bands didn't even exist ten years ago. The world is full of wonders.

Anyway, here it is. Amy, I like bower birds, too.

I found a number of other things while I was searching, including these puppet parts I made. I really ought to finish making him. He looks like he might be an interesting character.

Finally, I would like to say this to writers: Don't throw out all the drafts--not even after the final thing is published. Just don't. And, if you shove them in the closet with the bower birds and the hacksaws, it may not be easy to find them again.

* A person might assume that an indexer would be more systematic in approach to the physical world. A person might be wrong. My teaching assistants once made a plaque for my door that said Chaos. They wouldn't have gone to the trouble if it hadn't been true.
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