Don’t we all?
Sometimes I have days like this too.
My body and mind are here
but my heart is in a shabby blue house
on Adams Street.
The furnace isn’t working
and neither is the oven
and I sit in pajamas all day and think
I’m more of an artist than I really am.
I’ve heard artists do a lot of thinking
and sometimes there is some doing.
But I keep hitting refresh hoping a
friend will jump out and save me
knowing all the time I can only save myself.
Stomp around without any socks
and slam down my wine glass, pocking
the hardwood floors with velvet drips.
I’m failing miserably at this act.
I shouldn’t have been given this part
Where is my understudy when I need her?
I guess this is where I will post awful angsty poetry and weird collage photographs of public domain images.
So, I am starting a first draft—of what exactly I don’t know—but I have these characters, or rather a character who has been dancing on high-wires in my brain for years now—I am finally giving her the space to speak—and already this is what I am learning:
How presumptuous it is to be a writer. I keep thinking to myself, why would anyone ever want to read what I have to write? But the question is true for anyone—why do I want to read what others have written? Those writers have presumed their story is interesting, or interesting enough that at least they want to write it in the first place.
I’m glad I am finally doing this.
February is like the winter jacket I wear to shield my back against the rain and snow and sleet. Every day I put it on and it pretty much does the job—but the end of winter is so close and it starts to get worn out. The down has shifted uncomfortably, it doesn’t quite fit right—it is starting to get that “worn” smell. Once I felt snug and warm—safe—within the polyester shell—now the winter parka hangs heavy on my shoulders, uncomfortable. I once had a cocoon, now I have a tomb. This is how February feels to me. Things start going wrong, people misunderstand, confuse the facts, die. The ground is neither solid nor soft. The future is unsure. February exists for the sole purpose of reminding us no matter how much we think we have our life figured out—you, my friend, know absolutely nothing. What once was safe, can so surely turn sour. Then, next November, as I search in my closet for something suitable to wear while walking the dog I observe the juxtaposition of the world shedding her raiment as I add more layers to mine. I find the winter jacket, pull it over my back and put my hand in the inside pocket, and find five dollars, or a movie ticket stub from the year before, or a particularly interesting acorn I found on a walk. And I forget—forget that February will come again. It always will, until the end.
Sculptor Ethan Schandelmeier is a butcher in his day job. Here he is pictured with some of his sculptures in a local hanging meat locker. The photograph was taken by Maura Henn.
Ethan’s is the first in a series of portraits for the new Art book, The Artist Zoo. Follow our progress on our website: www.theartistzoo.com
Ethan’s amazing sculptures are reminiscent of H.R. Giger and Fuchs. I will have more from Ethan added to The Artist Zoo website soon.