Suzanne Mancini, Profil Perdu. And thank you.

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I mentioned earlier in the blog that Suzanne was willing to model for me when we didn’t know what would happen. I hadn’t drawn whole single portraits for some time. Some years of time. But she was willing to give it a try, and I can’t remember which was the first drawing, nor do I know if I have a picture of it, but I guess it went okay, because we tried again.
And because she was generous with her time and self I made some work that made me comfortable to offer to draw other friends, who were also brave enough to try an experience of being drawn, which is kind of a rare one. Being drawn. I was about to write, ‘these days,’ but then I reckon that being drawn has always been a rare experience, though relative to what, I’m not quite sure.
I mention Suzanne’s help and contribution to thank her again, thank you Suzanne, but also thank you to all of my friends who have sat there and let me try and spell with color a something of themselves on a sheet of paper.
Have you sat for your artist today?
There should be bumper stickers.

Your artist. I like the idea that everyone has an artist around here someplace. Now, where did I put that thing?

p.s. something essentially the same as this was posted at Tumblr. I’m don’t know if that means or matters.

 

Moriah Burchfield, leaning on a ghost.

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When I first posted this photograph of Moriah, I posted a dusty one, and I’ve time to spot the dusty one and repost it. I’ve also included a close-up of the spotted versus the unspotted versions.

I find spotting photographs very relaxing, but certain aspects of the process frustrates me. Due to the way I work, removing the dust very clearly shows how her T-shirt has developed several dark spots that are separate from shadows.

Sometimes, in materials from Mississippi, I’ve seen those dark spots like a fungus or mold appearing on prints and negatives. On this image there’s a combination of environmental damage and various limitations of my abilities with the equipment that resulted in those spots, and they’re all over the fabric. Those are not as relaxing to remove.


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By this time. By this time. This is the by time.

I’m having memory problems.
The problems are that I don’t remember.
I feel as if I exist inside a single room of memory. Some people have mind palaces. I have a mind shack.
Right here, right now, I am sure of myself and my few things. Pens. Computer. The normal detritus of an admittedly extremely limited life. But still. I am convinced I know me, thoroughly, know my thoughts, the location of my few things, and what I plan to do a little while later.

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But. But.
Later?
Depending on what, I cannot fathom, many aspects of my life will have faded, drifted, and probably even, snuck away. Like with health issues, when I talk to anyone else about my fears, they say, oh yeah, we’re getting older, you know? I know what you mean. But do they?

Is this how we all feel?

While she is talking I’m scrambling inside my head throwing open cabinets full of old papers and screaming at the little old men who sit on the shack of the porch who claim to be in charge of naming things because this person who I love and who is even a former lover and who I would give my life for, this person? This wonderful kind generous person who deserves at the very least that her lover best friend confidant whoever the heck I am remember her damn name.
And yet. Her name escapes me.
As do some details of her life. Names mainly. Of her relatives. Her hobbies. Her hometown.

That I used to know.
That I want to know.

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And I’m sure that if my friends could see how little of them I manage to recall at any given moment, they would be angry. Because that’s what happens when I try and talk about this, or when I don’t talk and forget something important.
My friends get angry. They see my forgetfulness as a sign that I don’t care. That there are things that I must care about more than the names of their people, or the place they live, or what they do for a living.
Sure, everyone forgets those things. No big deal.
After a day? Or an hour?

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It so happens that my brain, for a variety of reasons, most of them beyond my control, is a swiss cheese of brain damage and drug damage and being old damage.
But it also so happens that I used to have a pretty good memory. Never for names, or titles of books, but for other stuff? I used to be able to trust myself.
And now I can’t trust myself.
What that means is that I can’t trust my reality.
That feels so melodramatic, and yet absolute and true at the same time, in that I’m often not sure if I’ve met someone before, or even worse, if I actually know them quite well and worked with them for months or years and simply hadn’t seen them for a while. A few months, say. Or in my world, a semester, as everything until recently was measure in semesters in my life.
Once I’m reminded of who someone is, then I can usually reconstruct some aspect of our time together, and sometimes, our shared lives reappear as if they had never been missing.

And not only people, as I routinely forget that I can do all sorts of things, and then I end up in a situation where I’m supposed to be able to know what’s going on, and what I’m supposed to. For whatever, perhaps because of muscle memory, I’m often saved by trusting my body and letting it guide me. But it’s an odd way to live. I eye PostIt notes and ponder my future with everything labeled.

An app for that could be that I point my phone at whatever, and it calmly says to me, that is your cousin Gerald, you do not appreciate his political views, and you owe him five dollars, walk away.

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