This Week's Distraction

I don't know what possessed me to agree to take part in a print exchange during the busiest time of the semester--maybe it was the temptation of receiving prints from ten other printmakers that will likely rock my little world. Perhaps it was an opportunity to forget about my thesis for a little while. Or I could have just been sleep-deprived and delirious--that's how I fell into the last one.

So this exchange has a theme: "Equilibrium or Dis-equilibrium." I feel like at this point in the semester--and let's be honest here, in my life--that's a recurring theme, and one I shouldn't have any problem responding to through ink and paper.

It proved harder than I thought, this equilibrium business. The rules of the exchange say that the prints must be dry when they arrive. I chuckled the first time I read this line, but now I'm cringing because it took me longer than I planned to come up with material for this image, I laid the ink on a bit thick in the monoprint phase of this adventure, and then a storm front moved through bringing the added bonus of ruthless humidity. I may have to take a hairdryer to them.

In the end, I recycled a bit of text and image from my thesis. The whole book deals with balance and imbalance, really--I didn't see it that way at first, but now it seems obvious. It's a collection of stories about relationships and romantic encounters that are viewed through multiple lenses: what was, what might have been. At times it pits fiction against fact, which I think is a recurring theme in all of my relationships. It seems to always come down to the unreliable nature of memory--I'm that gal who will argue that the first song we slow danced to was "These Arms if Mine," while the guy I danced with will swear it was "Into the Mystic." These songs are nothing alike--it's not like confusing Sam Cooke with Solomon Burke. It's like confusing a hamburger with sushi. So how can we recall the same event so differently?

Memory can lead to balance or the complete lack of it--maybe this is why it's so fascinating to me. And maybe I find my own equilibrium somewhere in the pull between the real and the imagined.