It has been overcast in North Carolina - green and mossy after flash floods yesterday. We did not get to see the supermoon. John and I have been lazing around, decompressing, buying ample groceries, too many flowers at the farmer's market (my basket full of bouquets of impressionist snapdragons and irises bachelor's buttons stocks instead of any of the produce on my grocery list), walking around eating things like small soft peaches from Georgia and toast with too many choices of jams. John is now reading the newspaper. I have stopped reading the Sunday times - I don't know why. It bores me. It doesn't seem to represent my life. I am maybe having difficulty reading. I have gathered my advance copies of the New Directions Lispector books at the kitchen table and am flipping through them, like cards. Such a wonderful find in there - they are publishing for the first time a novel I have never heard about, A Breath of Life, written at the same time as Hour of the Star, as she lay dying. I *think* I might be writing a review or essay on Lispector for Bookforum. It seems absolutely at the perfect time to be reading her now. Of course I'm not reading her, really, I'm thinking of reading her, but I'm still swimming all the same. We are cuddling with Genet constantly since we've been home. He will be neutered next week - we have no way to warn him - and we both feel guilty, a little sickened, by the violence of this. Our pack leader, our poor darling. We make plans to take him to the ocean when he has recovered, before we leave in June for weeks. Take him swimming. To Ocracoke Islands in the Outer Banks. I will read all of the Lispector. No, I will read all of Acker. I have I think promised three essays now - something will have to snap and I will have to become a person of action again, a reader again. I look forward to the challenge. As I am now blocking myself from reading too much on the Internet, I find I have time to read again. Have time to write again! I can perhaps actually work on something. This is scary. Of course, first: must proof Heroines. Must launch author website, which will be up soon. This author website won't reveal a more polished, professional self, I just think of it as a better tool for archiving,so maybe the blog can be more of a pure space, although still publicizing self.
To decompress from the symposium. That is what this post was supposed to be about. I come away from the symposium being more aware of how I write about and through violence in my own texts, of the role of community in my writing and practice. Also, yes, that that community can also be violent. Melissa and Gabrielle both speaking of the need to remember BODIES. Gabrielle speaking of intellectual violence. She quotes Foucault: "Knowledge is for cutting." And we spoke of gossip, gossip considered a new form of hysteria within a community, women are cut away - dismissed with a severe gesture - if they attempt to speak of those within a community, of problems within a community. David quoted Gertrude Stein: Genius as the ability to speak and listen at the same time. I began to think of ideas of radical listening. Of the necessity of being an activist as well as an artist. John and I have two projects in the pipes now for La Genet - one art-making and curatorial, the other more curatorial in nature. Both involving a community. And radical listening. One that will hopefully take place in the South, in North Carolina, here, and the other away. We came away from the symposium feeling quite pleased about our first effort, these three pupas, how the university space could be used as a site of confrontation. How even those who said they didn't know how to respond to strange objects invading their space had more perceptive things to say than they knew. The idea that the objects weren't instantly translatable, they were pregnant. One of our future La Genet collaborations will be another pupa series. More TK. The other one will involve archiving. I also realized I want to make more use of my skills and pasts as a journalist to document these projects and their processes, both the interpersonal communications between the two of us, as well as the communications with the public.
I have a great desire to make film, video. Yesterday I began a DVD account with Facets back home in Chicago. Canceled my Netflix. I want to go back and rewatch - Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason (does anyone know btw how I can watch an international DVD on a MAC?), Catherine Breillat, more. I want to make a video about Barbara Loden. I want to go to the chimp sanctuary in Oklahoma with Bhanu Kapil and make a video/collaborative text. I want to be active. I want to continue. I want to grow and learn.