The blue line of sea and sky. Just a line in the midday sun no matter where you are. When the periwinkle sea meets the robin egg sky with looping wisps of clouds meandering for the sun that shines so bright. So bright and you see the blue line and it is stoic as a horizon, just waiting, depending on where you are, for a little sphere to go down or come up in a brilliant pastel wave of color smeared with the soul.
I think sometimes about my mistakes and the awful choices I’ve made and more often about the wondrous choices I didn’t make. I chalk it up to the color blue and all the things and love I associated with blue and couldn’t grasp. I’d tell you that I don’t care, that I’m an apathetic slob of life that is secure and unjustly indignant, but that wouldn’t be true. I still love the color blue and I love all the mistakes I ever made.
Often, when I wake up in the morning I dry heave and cough for about twenty minutes until the coffee is made and I take my mongrel dog out so he can shit and piss. I look at the trees and feel life and that’s all great and stuff, but inside I feel real sick. I shake it off and get on.
After I get up and shake off all the cobwebs, I go get to my tasks. I travel to the studio via a new route after the bridge collapsed and after many stop lights and waiting in traffic. When I finally arrive, I open the door and byline to my studio space. If folks are around they say, “Hi” and I chit chat with them about my latest endeavors outside the studio, like looking for a house or the latest exhibit I’m touring and I joke and play guppy like I used to and then I get to work. I get to thinking about what I want to create, if I want to make new fish or glaze the abundance of bisque fish I have on my shelves. It’s a decision of indecision. Sometimes I don’t do either and I go and fill up the mop bucket and start mopping the studio. That’s work too. I mop and think about my life and how much crumby clay dust is all over the place.
When I do get to making fish, it’s easier than it used to be. I just get in this zone and roll out he clay and put it in the mold. Then I put on the hanger holes and sign and date the back and sometimes I draw a little fish in there and sometimes I write some other things. Those other things I write are the same things I cry about and drink shot after shot of tequilla or whisky about late at night when I get drunk.
I get drunk every night. I try real hard to break the wave, but one thing leads to another and next thing I know, I’m at the built in buffet looking in the built in mirror, holding a Sake cup filled with Mexican or Canadian booze up in a toast to the image of myself saluting the lost loves, my dead friends or my dead father time after time until I’m so drunk I sometimes burn a hole in my pants with a cigarette passing out in my chair and then I know it’s time to go to sleep.
It isn’t as bad as it sounds in these words. I assure you. It is just an existence. A way to maintain all the awful sorrow I swallowed as a little boy. I don’t make excuses. I may lie to my dear mother so as she won’t worry, but I don’t make excuses. Sometimes I try not to “Clink” the bottles on the buffet so my lover won’t know that I’m drinking so much, but she knows. She sees the recycling every day. So she knows, but barely says a word on account that I’m such an admirable fellow.
It’s amazing what you can get away with if you lead an awesome life. All the time people are telling me what a great guy and artist I am, but inside I think that I’m not an artist at all. I’m merely a man that makes art because it is within. I needed an outlet and the fish are mine. I mean, for Heavens sake, how many artists make ceramic fish and can spout off trivial knowledge endlessly about fish? I’d guess less than ten and I’m one of them. The best of them, but I’m not an artist. I’m a fish maker.
The thing about art is, it isn’t art until someone else says it is.
Like I said, I’m not an artist, but only a lonely fish maker. I study fish and make their ceramic likeness. I apply dots and stripes of glaze and hope without hope that the kiln will ramp to an admirable pace to make the chemicals in the glaze melt how I want them to. When they don’t I put them on a top shelf as garbage, but I don’t have the heart or resolve to discard them. There they sit, accumulating clay dust like all the mistakes I tried not to make.
In the meantime, I maintain and love the process, I am a being with a momentary semblance of progress. In the meantime, I try to grab that blue line on the horizon and tie it in a knot.