June 5, 2020 § 2 Comments
Did You Purposefully Make a Boring Book: a (text) conversation.
judi: I stitched the second Coptic binding of Zeroing In.
Jesse: You must feel good about that
judi: It’s nice. And clean. And boring.
Jesse: The action of stitching it? Or the book itself
judi: The book itself, no pizzazz.
Jesse: So, not too happy about it?
judi: It’s what I intended, and it came out well, and it will be somebody’s cup of tea.
Jesse: You don’t sound too happy.
judi: It’s interesting how I feel about it.
Jesse: Very. Why would you intentionally make a binding you find boring with no pizzazz?
judi: That’s a very good question! The binding is fine, actually. It’s the pages of the book that are boring.
Jesse: And did you always notice that…
judi: It’s a long and sordid story.
Jesse: It must be. So, I mean, were you putting out boring pages intentionally, to cater to an audience?
judi: Sort of but not exactly. So, it’s not a total bust. And I may jazz it up. And it really is lovely, elegant really, like D. would like it–
Jesse: Ah cause it fits in with the general public’s likes? Perhaps I would too, I am conventional when it comes to many things.
judi: It’s what a book is supposed to look like.
Jesse: And what do you think or want a book look like? If we’re out to perfectly customize your style of book?
(Asked but never answered.)
judi: Here’s the cover.
Jesse: Don’t like the solid color and bold lettering? You like more chaos and mayhem.
judi: It will be stitched with white thread.
Jesse: …and more disorganization?
judi: I guess I do.
Jesse: It sounds lovely.
judi: It is lovely and the text is beautifully printed.
Jesse: I appreciate that.
judi: And there a few wonderful graphic elements…
Jesse: I appreciate that you have many styles.
judi: Exactly, that is part of the exercise.
Jesse: Did you know that you would find it boring afterwards while you were doing it?
judi: I don’t know. I don’t think so. But the different style is part of its intent.
Jesse: Yes it is.
judi: The idea was it was, is (just) a book. The text to stand on its own. I wasn’t sure that I would find it boring.
Jesse: It’s good to know what you prefer and not, if it wasn’t already clear.
judi: Yup. So that too is part of the exercise.
Jesse: You should be proud of it.
judi: I am pleased with it, it is what I intended.
Jesse: I’m sure it’s not as boring as you think–
judi: I may have to modify it.
Jesse: May not be as bold as a lightening strike, but–
judi: I’ll have to sit with it.
Jesse: Maybe a good exercise to only slightly modify it. Keep it the way it was meant.
Jesse: To show yourself you can paint many unique and wide strokes. You may come to temper your modifications, cause that was the mood you were in when you did it, as you have said to me.
Jesse: And have to acknowledge that part too. That sometimes one is more conventional or steady and even, sometimes we are more organized, and focused on stable consistent ideas and have less spoken feelings and sometimes we try and show the world different sides of us.
judi: I need to be clear about what I think I don’t like. And why I think I made it.
judi: And if it is what it set out be.
Jesse: Clarity is good.
judi: And why I’m holding the line with that, rather than allowing my usual process of going where it takes me. That gets back to the art. There was no exploration, in this book, only craft. And aesthetic to be sure. Hmm, very interesting conundrum I’ve created here.
Jesse: Aesthetic is important.
judi: HA! Maybe it needs a side car.
Jesse: No exploration is okay too.
judi: Maybe the colophon needs to be one of the early inky newsprint pages; the proofs of the verses. As an insert on the inside back cover. Bits from the humble beginnings of the piece.
Jesse: It doesn’t need to be changed dramatically.
judi: I like the sidecar idea…this is the most exciting part of having done this version of the book! So maybe this is what it’s about.
Jesse: Each part gives you something.
judi: Certainly I will work with it one way or another, ah! I have it! Put together a smaller companion book, a step sister–
Jesse: To keep the bigger one honest.
judi: To kick ass.
Jesse: So you want to make another book to justify this one?
judi: No. But I still have several other books I intended to make, back to the pages printed on newsprint, and one on thin tracing paper creased and inked on the press. So one of those can be a ‘companion book’ to this one. The tracing paper version wouldn’t have necessarily stood on its own either. Now they can be a diptych. Point counter point. It’s pages are perfectly creased and discombobulated.
Jesse: Chaos makes you feel more comfortable.
judi: It’s about character, somehow. About context. Ha! Again, maybe it’s incomplete, in that it doesn’t create enough of its own context. Funny I don’t feel like the text alone holds it up. I’m definitely going to have to sit with that.
May 31, 2020 § Leave a comment
It was sort of anticlimactic, after the whole build up to doing the binding of the 1st coptic bound version of ZEROING IN. As if it were, had been a question of competency or the rigors of a quest or that stunningly threatening exam on cardiovascular disease and arrythmias, as if it were a passing or a failing situation. Instead of just along the way and some details certainly better paid attention to, but not beyond my ken.
So maybe it’s a sloppy shorthand or misspeaking, and not can I do it, or I don’t think I can do it, but can I do it as well as I would like to, and what will it feel like if I don’t like it even if I do it very well.
Which is perhaps a losing track of why one is doing it at all. Which is perhaps a losing track of why I am doing it at all. And what is the standard, the bar, the aesthetic that in the end or beginning or along the way pleases me. And what is the cost if I don’t. Ah, there it is.
After all is not an equal measure of pleasure in a job well done, or aesthetic, what I may have, will, or did discover, what I set out to explore, what new eye I come away with, what I practiced, what I learned, what I bring forward to the next exploring experimenting excavating doing living.
Anyway it was sort of anticlimactic, I mean it was as simple as cutting a piece of paper the size of the book, deciding where I wanted the holes to go, making little Xs on it to use as a drilling jig, square up the text, drill the holes (2 in this case), thread the needles (curved in this case), and stitch the damn thing.
I even remembered how to figure out how much thread I didn’t need. It didn’t even take half an hour.
One down, one to go.
May 26, 2020 § Leave a comment
A (text) conversation between Brooke Holve and judi goldberg.
judi: if I use crayon to block what the sumi ink will cover is that called a dodge?
Brooke: a resist?
judi: Yes! Close, Ha!
Interlude. After walk
judi: so the Coptic binding versions of Zeroing In are finally starting to get a bit edgier. But the way that it the binding seems to resonate with the text is enchanting.
Brooke: Can’t wait to see. Can you send an image?
judi: some of it is still in the becoming, but yes I’ll send images. It’s the things I thought were side trips that in fact are thematic backstory. That of course belong.
judi: like this
Brooke: With crayon resist?
Brooke: White crayon?
judi: to start. Yes. Lots of black and white and gold and silver but up comes orange.
Brooke: And crayon before the sumo?
judi: and yellow.
judi: Yes, crayon before the ink. Now thinking of course of other colors.
Brooke; Lots going on already without the color
judi: yup. The colors are for the more yellow version, on yellowed paper, that was going to be a Storage Book binding, but now will be coptic binding. Totally jumping the rails I’d put in place! As these things go.
Brooke: Interesting to write about the detailing, derailing.
judi: sort of did on the ‘implementing’ post
Brooke: I’ll look
judi: but it would be good to expand because it is about just that moment when you one I let go, hmm. (Working on a piece, a poem about an experience I had yesterday that might be a bit of a tie in)
Brooke: Interesting using materials that resist while dealing with your internal resistance.
judi: in deed. This time is all about resistance. Ha! And funny I couldn’t find the word and used dodge instead.
Brooke: Dodging can be a way of resisting.
judi: nodding. But resistance to what?
Brooke: A real question as you say.
Brooke: Another way is, holding you from–
judi: what am I afraid of, in the doing? In the finding out, or outcome?
Brooke: Is it fear?
judi: anxiety? Dread? Ah! uncertainty, risk
Brooke: It involves lots of energy and time.
judi: I’m shaking my head. In this instance it doesn’t seem to be about time and energy
Brooke: Having something to show for the effort.
judi: I have a more direct and clear relationship with my time and energy allotting, I wondered at the habit part of ‘I can’t do that.’
Brooke: Lack of confidence?
judi: wonder, present tense. Nope the habit of what if I get it wrong, as if there is that parameter, which in the at-large resistance about restrictions has to do with.
Brooke: What will you get wrong?
judi; that’s just it. Nothing, she responded, laughing. So maybe it is a dodge to buy some time.
Brooke: So it’s about breaking your internal habitual thoughts?
judi: yes. And to have more accurate language. Like having or taking the time, like Cheryl does, to ferment and foment. And, for me add some froth, hmm and impulsivity, ah, so maybe it’s the counterpoint to my impulsivity! And neither resistance nor dodge. Just, the time it takes.
Brooke: It’s a challenge to have both, and that is where the art is. You are resisting your natural inclinations.
judi: three Fs: ferment foment fallow. The thing then is to exploit and harvest the tension. To archive it. Ha!
Brooke: So the resistance is important!
judi: yes. There is a (another) way of explaining my process. Yes. It is a gating mechanism, element.
Brooke: I tend to say that I often am working against myself.
judi: so, it’s important to bring it in as party to the process. Not as a not. But as part of the perspective.
Brooke: Of course!
judi; an element, cog in the process representing or speaking to the tension in a piece. Or versa vice. Yes. This is rather helpful.
Brooke: Where there’s resistance there is energy.
judi: yes. So it’s not then by default bad or negative. It just changes the rhythm or the pacing or the tone, ha! The prosody, let’s say.
Brooke: And there’s something there.
Brooke: Hidden beyond.
judi: and a cry for patience.
Brooke: And trying.
judi: like, wait wait, time to catch up with oneself to assimilate assess the data as it were. Not a dis tract ion, but an in sinuat ion. An in ter pol at ion. Not, in ter rupt ion. Hunh! well, this is good to know! And a lot to work with. Simple as look what the resist added to the whole
Brooke: Yes a depth and texture
judi yes, depth and texture.
Brooke: And different markings. And a complexity.
judi: which might have otherwise gone missing. Yes the side trips the in between yes the meanwhile
Brooke: The adventures.
judi: the getting there the route root the scree? The asunder? The athwart the snigow sliops rust
the can’t of can so. Oh! What a glorious title.
Brooke: I like it!
judi Or cant of can so
Brooke: Another way of saying but or butt or. I’ve been thinking of <<but>> recently…this conversation has been helpful.
May 25, 2020 § Leave a comment
the good that yet resides in us
I heard his voice before I saw him
a yelling without hostility but yelling nevertheless
with a cant toward what can’t be seen, a prosody
the rise and falls the measure of talking to God, or
maybe just a call and response to the voices in his head
swirled in a gauzy black robe falling off his arms in the air,
astride a small bicycle his feet on the ground, he saw me
he yelled across the covid distance between us,
“I’m sort of weird, don’t be freaked out,”
“You are sort of weird,” I yelled back.
and for a short while his yelling gave way to tender
muttering the two of us in that moment of call and
response, time out from the uncertain forbearance–
a consolation prize
the chance meeting on a Sunday morning
at the corner of who are we what do we want.