Tuesday, November 22, 2005

bloom and grow in the dead of winter

the weather is turning cold and wet, finally. if it hadn't been so warm in the past few weeks, it would probably be snowing. for once, i feel ready for the lousy weather at hand. i love my government issue parka so much, i can't wait for the city to turn into an ice cube, so i can brave it like a native. i've been spending a lot of time uptown lately. everything i need is within walking distance. fairway. the bank. a decent movie. staples, fer cryin' out loud. the only reason why i go downtown is because i have to meet someone there and now that everyone is skipping town for thanksgiving, that's not an option.

the winter months are a time to hibernate creatively, a time to nurture some project along so that it can bloom in the spring. tracey moffatt's latest exhibit has really inspired me: it's called under the sign of scorpio. it's basically her posing as various females throughout history, all of them scorpios. everyone from mahalia jackson to joni mitchell. there were quite a few. she took the photos in the dead of last winter with an assistant in her 10th avenue apartment. she invited a few of us to see all of the photos a few months ago before they were delivered to her dealer and even made posters that showed how she did it -- standing in her bathroom with baby powder in her hair and a scarf on her head, and with ugly glasses on, pretending to be indira ghandi. just brilliant.

like the grade school teacher that asks what you did with your summer vacation, something in me always asks what i did with my winter months, when i usually have nothing but time on my hands. if you're creative and if you have your own ideas, that's ultimately what you want -- free time. the season seems to hand it to me on a silver platter: everything gets snowed over so there's nowhere to go, everyone is out of town so there's no one to hang out with and i get snowed in. there's nothing to do but workout every day and practice, practice, practice. somewhere in there, i get to go home so my parents can chew me out about what a lousy life they think i have, and then i return to the city and get back in the saddle again.

actually, i always feel the need to have something that i've done in my hands every season. i can't stomach the idea of living in nyc and not having anything to show for my time here. this mentality has turned me into an underpaid overachieving highly creative workaholic that lives in a constant state of readiness.

there are a lot of flowers that bloom in the winter. my favorite is the narcissus. by the way: it's not named after the beautiful greek boy that was transfixed by his own reflection. it's name comes from the greek for numbness. interestingly, the plant is a narcotic.

i know that daffodils are in the narcissus family but they're a little too yellow and happy and sunshiny for my tastes. seeing them everywhere is like living in a place that never has inclement weather. they belong in the spring, in someone's window box.

lets see if mine will bloom again this year. i think i'm going to try to wake them up before the end of december. heck. i've already got two projects on the front burners. there's never enough philodendrons but an indoor garden that blooms sounds pretty tantalizing. why not add one more log on the fire?

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