Sorry, there is no fibre content in this post, because I’m in a car, with Stalkermom, the Ed, and a small dog named Barney,

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and I have not got knitting. This seemed like a good idea when I left – I thought I would be in the cab of a truck with no space to knit, and although I am on my way to Toronto to hang out with Emily and Krista, I am also hoping to catch up on what is has become several years worth of missed beer-soaked arguments with their spouses Dru and Simon.

But I’m in a car, and I have no knitting. There is a cat-and-wool picture at the bottom of this post, if you want to just skip to the eye-candy.

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my mother brought HER knitting.

I’m really looking forward to some good conversation tonight. Simon and Dru have always been great people to argue/debate/think out loud with, and more and more I realize how much I need that, how much the way I think has always depended on not just words, but the exchange of words. I’ve complained before about “losing my words” and I don’t know what it sounds like but I mean it quite literally – the way I think and process ideas has been changing ever since we moved to the relative isolation of the farm.

I think that’s partly why I’ve been so enjoying talking to Jodi lately. Not that talking to Jodi isn’t great in and of itself, she’s a terrific person. But the project she’s involved in right now, and her thoughts on it… it’s exciting to hear her talk about, the project itself is fascinating, and listening to her explain it has started giving me a handle on how to approach – no, how to understand – what is happening to me. Apparently my hands went ahead and began expressing the changes some time ago, without actually consulting my brain – big surprise, eh? But talking with Jodi about alteration and destruction is helping my brain catch up.

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Jodi outside Milk in Windsor, modeling a new (although pieced together from older) project dress.

I knew, obviously, that I was expressing myself by decorating my house. I mean, that’s the point, right? In decorating. But it took Emily and Dru and Jodi to point out to me that the house is an organic work, that I’m not actually so much decorating as creating an installation (in quote-unquote artistic terms – I am making a space I want to live in, it just happens to be a bit more representative of my internal processes than I was externally aware of). It is not just a project, but a Project, I suppose.

For example, the walls. In my conscious mind, I am painting words on the walls. The stated purpose being to create a sort of unique and readable wallpaper – thought provoking in places, perhaps, but not profound or especially startling.

But, as I progress, I discover that there are “rules”. First off, the words are all “used”. By which I mean I am not writing anything myself for this project, nor am I letting Raven do so. All of the quotations are from published works. Genre or form doesn’t matter, there are songs, poems, fiction and non-fiction.

Second, many of the words are self-referential within the project. The quotes do not necessarily stand alone, removed from their original context, they often don’t mean anything without the new context of the wall. I have quotes referring to doorways and passages in doorways and passages, quotes about table etiquette and foodstuffs in the kitchen. Many of the quotes are actually about words. One of my current favorites is “these are the things that are written and painted on one part of the wall”.

Another rule I’ve discovered then is that I don’t want the quotes to be particularly meaningful. Raven and I each have some favorite passages that have found their way into rooms, but on the whole I am not trying – I am trying not – to fill my house with moving or meaninful phrases, or deep profundities. Where such things do go up I like to combine them with opposites, frivolities or contrary arguments/observations. The walls may contain a dialogue, but they are not actually intended to provoke one.

Finally, the words in the last stages are obfuscated. I am painting over the decorated wall, in such a way that the words are much harder to read, and much less obviously there. As a decorative feature, my intention was that the words be gradually noticed, that the first effect would be textured walls, and the nature of the texturing would be noticed later, if at all. I hang pictures and mirrors and place furniture in front of walls without regard to the passages being wholly or partially blocked (there are a couple of puns, I have a passage about a hanging a mirror in your entryway behind the mirror in the entryway).

As a decorative feature, this makes sense. But it’s been three years in the doing, three years during which I keep upping the ante in terms of obiliterating the words I’ve so carefully selected and painted, and I’ve only just now realized that as I think more and more visually and become less and less verbal, I do more and more to obliterate these representations of my old medium of thought.

This is connected to a lot of things, not all of which I’ve got a handle on yet. I’m putting this in the blog mostly because this blog is a place I notice my – I don’t think it’s mistrust, not yet – reluctance with words. I write far more entries in my head as I’m working than are ever posted here, and I feel badly that I don’t share here as often as I could/should.

As promised, here is some fibre, with cat:

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