Honestly, I'm a bit weary of that whole plaintive wish for more visibility focused on our physical, dressed selves at that coyly "certain" age. But a broader version of visibility, now that I'm interested in. I'm keen for other demographics to understand how engaged women my age are still, how much we still have to contribute in our various ways.
When I began this blog, over ten years ago, I did so to recover (or even discover) a writing voice that I felt had been either submerged or too forcefully inflected by academe, through the process of writing my doctoral dissertation (which I took on when I was closer to 50 than to 40 . . . ). More than just my writing voice, though, I also wanted to honour those other parts of my life that academe seemed invested in silencing. Even feminism, within the academy, was careful about domesticity, about emotion, approaching it often with deliberate rigour. I value that rigour so very much, value that training, but sometimes I also want respite from analysis, sometimes I just want to observe. Or perhaps, I might argue, sometimes I hope there is analysis made manifest through observation.
What I mostly hoped to do, I say retrospectively, is to become and/or to remain visible, in as much fullness as I could be comfortable with. Part of that visibility, sure, had to do with my physical self, with what I was wearing, but more of it had, and, increasingly, has had to do with what I'm seeing, thinking, doing, feeling, wanting.
When I've been thinking of letting go of the blog, lately, it's often because what I share here can feel superficial, or alternatively, too normal to be interesting. I feel too visible, too exposed, in the slightness of my observations, I suppose. They're too quotidian, too close to home, too particular, too inconsequential.
But if I go back to that Kim Stafford quotation that so often guides me (you'll see it over in the right-side column), that "Coherence is born of random abundance" -- I can decide, one more day, at least, to show you the world as I see it, as I experience it, as I move in it. And for the moment, that seems worth the effort. I provide the random abundance; you, perhaps, might perceive some coherence. One can hope . . .
These particular photographs waited weeks and weeks for me to decide that, however. I took them back in July, before this year's Mural Festival. They answer the question of how quickly these commissioned murals get covered with graffiti -- although they were painted over a year ago, you can see they've been treated pretty respectfully, despite bordering an area where empty/abandoned warehouses often accommodate drug deals, drug use, squatting. . . .
@birdfingersss. So many stories here, am I right?
their Instagram account here).
this article at StreetArtNews.
website. Reading their "About" page will broaden your understanding of "street art," if you don't already know what a solid foundation of skills, heritage, philosophy, and social engagement underlie what many still associate with spray cans and guerrilla art (which, to be clear, I'm not ready to denigrate either). You might also want to check out the photos of their Exhausting Machine #2s, painted in Denmark later in 2016, which extends the environmental commentary of this piece (and suggests the international breadth of this social-artistic conversation conducted through an artform more accessible to the public than that found on gallery walls).