It feels like I’m drowning with half of my face underneath the white wall of knit and purl and knit and purl and knit and purl. I wrap myself in the suffocation around my neck, waist, and knees while moving slowly up and down the oceans of too-much-room-to-swim-around-in.
I have never felt so alone. Never let myself be so damn alone with my own emotions, my own you, my own need to be touched and held.
The need of letting someone in completely unravels me. Fuck. I wonder if I will ever be ready to drown underneath this knitted gown that has no strength to hold me up except for my own skin and bones.
I am standing unmoving beneath the weight of you. For the first time, I can say that I am hurt. Badly. Not just by you but by what I have decided to want in my life.
A question that keeps harping at me is: Will you unravel? Me. I fear that you would be afraid to touch me. Would you pull at my stitches, knit me back whole, then unravel me again that complete lack of understanding that this is the first time I let you in?
So all I can do now is to stand there and wait. I will let you call the shot this time of when, where, and how you everything should be.
I want to take it all in now. The silence of your movement, the volume of your touch. I want to be your canvas onto which you scratch your emotions – off white and uncomfortably shapeless. I want to be the cliché version of your work of art, your adventure. I want me to let you in.
CONTEXT | Unraveling
On Purple Eucalyptus
Two weeks into my residency, people started to ask about my relationship with eucalyptus. Why am I attracted to the plant? Was it the shape, the color, the smell? I never truly understood why so my answer drifted between their default resilience that reminded me of a woman’s strength and their subtle traces of softness that reminded me of a woman’s vulnerability. As I gave these answers, I knew a large part of me did not want to talk about eucalyptus — it was too personal, too soon, too fragile for me to hold on to. I didn’t want to break the branches, rip the petals apart, in case I might find something that I was not ready to see.
I started to put eucalyptus into every facet of my life: here a bunch of eucalyptus on my desk at work, there a vase of eucalyptus on my dinning table at home, then the makeshift bundles of eucalyptus hanging off of my studio entrance. I hang them upside down to dry month after month, possibly in hope of finding some life left in them that I somehow could preserve.
I remember the first time I purchased eucalyptus. We were walking back from lunch on Myrtle Avenue when I saw them from the windows of a grocery store. I hesitated in buying them, stating my age-old excuses of we don’t need that in our apartment and I will never use it for anything. You pushed me into getting them, the same way you have pushed me to explore my art. After five minutes of my listing the pros and cons, we walked out of the store with a bunch of eucalyptus in hands. You, as always, found a way to give me a sense of temporary happiness.
For my first day of the residency, I took the eucalyptus out of the vase on our windowsill, believing that I was taking a part of me away from you, unaware of doing the exact opposite. I held you captive on my studio wall while refusing to use the purple eucalyptus in my work. I half allowed myself to commit to the idea of the eucalyptus, half wanted to throw them all away.
There was nothing for me here, I thought.
Yet many studio cleanings after, the purple eucalyptus stayed undisturbed. I never thought of this action as my way of keeping you around since we have long cut each other off physically and emotionally.
I took the purple eucalyptus out of my work entirely, but its vestiges still showed up then and again with its petals under my bedsheets, its branches crumbling in the corner of the bookshelf, or in my purple yarn and purple clothes. Always to the trash they went, but their smell is impenetrable — inconveniently difficult to get rid of.
This morning, I woke up listening to a song that we have heard hundreds of times before — the one that I never got the chord right. It was the song we sang together over the phone while I was thousands of miles away from you in Italy, enclosed by the below-zero winter. It’s the song that we have danced to on the rooftop when I came home to Brooklyn on a glorious summer day six months later. I closed my eyes and thought about the youthful memories of our first love. This was us then. The purple eucalyptus was us then. This is me now. In this room with one pillow, one blanket, one coffee mug. The purple eucalyptus was no longer mine.
I looked out my window as the song came to a finish. It was the first snow this winter — my second winter without you — by choice this time or by my lack of conviction to ever fight for or commit to a noun.
There was nothing for me here anymore.
I frantically wrote down these thoughts on the notepad we got together at Strand. I wrote with the exaggerated swoop of the “y” and the elongated dash of the “t” to prevent my fellow New Yorkers of stoic mornings from entering the world of word vomit that I have created this morning in all hues of purple.
I have to end this somehow, and I don’t think I can write a more appropriate ending to our story than by telling you that my love for you has never been and will never be a red, red rose. You have always been and will always be my
Come to Oak Knit Studio THIS THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH from 7-9pm to help knit some hats for the homeless of NYC. Its getting cold out there, and heads need to be warmed. Come learn to knit this super easy ribbed hat pattern, and take home a small handmade pattern book to continue the knitting. Yarn will be provided, but you can also bring your own. This is perfect for using that yarn you’ve had hanging around forever. USE IT TO HELP OTHERS!
I will be mailing in my donation the first week in December, so please bring any hats or other winter gear to add to the donation pile.
Hope to see you Thursday!
PLAY | Experimentation at the Studio
Experimenting with textiles, embroidery, hand-sewing, and weaving at the Textile Arts Center.
I have an Open Studio this weekend at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn. This is apart of the Gowanus Open Studio. If you are free and area, I would love for you to come by.
CONTEXT | Knock Them Dead Fashion
Knock Them Dead is a fake campaign for a fake fashion brand that I made up to comment on the relationship between consumerism, wars, and women. The graphic above is a card inside a fashion gift box, which includes a Syrian Red Gown, a pack of B-52 Rouge Lipsticks, and an Iraqi Tear Drop Necklace.
Part of the B-52 For All Mankind Series.
CONTEXT | Postcard Series
There was nothing left to say between us. Our story is a mixture of an useless Romeo and Juliet plot, and an anti-climatic ending to “A Walk to Remember.” I wanted to apologize to him for how things had turned out, yet every bone in my body refused to give my jaw the energy to do so. From the way he looked at me, I knew that he understood what had happened. It was the natural push-and-pull theory; he tried to make the relationship work while I found reasons to run away from his protectiveness. He wanted me to be there indefinitely, while I wanted to stay temporarily without a contract.
I am writing this now, and will again in the future, in hope that he might stumble upon this tiny letter of confession. I want to contain in this my faults, so by chance, he would understand that nothing was wrong with him… for I did love him in ways that should be flashed with warning signs of construction ahead. It is also a letter of hope — for forgiveness and for a future, in which he will someone new to spend countless hours with.
CONTEXT | Drawing Marathon at the Textile Arts Center
Threads. Threads. Threads. Amber alerts.
CONTEXT | New York, New York.
Fast forward and you will hear it: the sound of a million passerby who flow through New York like tiny organisms inside mother earth’s womb. They breathe in the stuffy air of the yellow, orange, and number trains with a hint of weariness as they look at their watches. They see 59th Street, Lincoln Center, Harlem, Bedford, and Flushing with each second passes — then back home again, to point A, where they leave from every morning and come back to every night.
New Yorkers, they call themselves, the bunch that acts like there is nothing in the world that can scare them but their own shadows. New Yorkers, they all believe, are not just who they are, but also who they have become. Their dreams and their goals might be realized, but who they have morphed into is inexplicable to them.
New Yorkers would stare at their own reflections when the train passes through dark tunnels and ask themselves if it is time to move on — from New York, from her tight grip, from her off-putting charm. But like other New Yorkers and the classic New Yorkers, no one can move away from New York because she has a way of sucking you back in. And sometimes, she pulls you in so deep that you forget the reasons why you have come to her in the first place.
But you — like other New Yorkers — love New York. You love her consistent smell of untreated sewage on a hot summer day, of her burnt pretzels and Nuts-for-Nuts, of her black, tar rooftops. You love her consistent scream of Bachata, Merengue, Bollywood, Chinese folk songs, jazz, rap, hip hop, and dubstep. You love her consistent image of downtown Manhattan, of fire escapes, of crowded stadiums, of the greener-on-the-other-side Central Park. You love her irresistibly. You love her indifferently.
You love her because she has given you the key, but not the door.