Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Lines Written on Ashes
A break from packing before bed. This apartment is burstingly full of mostly empty boxes stacked into precarious towers. Yesterday was my last day at work and tomorrow morning we are catching a plane to Paris for a funeral. Whatever I do or don't do, everything in all directions seems to be ending, changing.
So, today while clearing out some shelves, I had a little test print fire to get rid of all the accumulated printing experiments of this past while. When you are working on an etching every now and then you have to pull a print on cheap paper to see how things are coming along. I sometimes go through more than twenty stages of test prints before I get things how I'd like them to be. So, naturally, I had a lot of test prints sitting around that I don't really need and can't afford to move to some place new, and then, it's been cold in here lately. Some prints had vermilion-coloured ink and they were the loveliest when they caught fire.
Someone told me that when they were young, their family had a tradition of sending letters to St. Nicholas at Christmas by setting their letters alight in the fireplace, and as the ink burnt up and the letters glowed, the words magically travelled to The North Pole. I was thinking about this today as I added more papers to the fire; who are these pictures and letters going to? Where are we going to?