New Time Capsule: Katharine Hepburn after the Long Island Express Hurricane of 1938
A heart dangling from the picture frame, obscuring a landscape with two goats.
This print from the Physica Sacra (an illustrated bible by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer) is typical for the set. The engravings (executed after paintings by Johann Melchior Füssli) are framed with trompe-l’œil effects going on on two levels: objects jot out from the picture plane obscuring the ornamental moldings of the frame and objects are placed onto the frame that obscure the picture plane. Some engravings feature trompe l’oeil sheets of paper tacked to a wall.
Illustration: Goats & Heart (Ventriculi quatuor Caprilli)
Tip of the hat to Roger Caillois.
(I wrote this a year ago I think…It was sitting in my Tumblr draft box )
The End of the Line
It’s december and we’ve reached the end of the line. It’s time to light the fires. To hide from the cold and damp and cover ourselves in blankets. Time to leave school and go home to the houseboat.
I once read that theatre artists live life up to each opening. That we cram and stress so we can meet a specific moment—that magical moment when the lights come up and glare in your eyes and in that blindness the impossible is created.
I do this every 10 weeks. I go to school and trudge through the wind and sometimes the snow every day for ten weeks. I always cry too often and sometimes my heart is broken and sometimes I just sit and glare at myself, but at the end of that time, the lights come up and its all mysteriously worth it.
And at the end of the 10 weeks, I stay out all night. I throw a few changes of clothes into a carry-on bag and ride a cab down garfield through the south side of chicago and buy a Glamour at an airport newsstand and drink buckets of cheap black tea on the plane and tear up just a bit when the wheels touch down at Seatac.
I remember in all my childhood art classes, I received the same note: don’t drop the ends of your lines Jesse. I would crescendo to the middle of the phrase or my wrists would break the extension of my arms or I would mumble the final words of the couplet. And I would think of a certain blunt-cheekboned Broadway star whose images I had plastered on my middle-school walls and envy how her melodies would seemingly snowball into the next phrase.
Now, I’ve stopped acting and singing and dancing and I find myself standing in the back of theatres squinting at performers and reminding them not to drop the ends of lines.
But I have to keep going. I have to keep on pushing through to the end of the line. Can’t stop now.
1) I cleaned my apartment just before my father arrived in town for the weekend. This was coincidental, but I wondered if this is what people do for the rest of their lives—clean their apartments for when their parents come to town?
2) The shoes I was wearing today were slightly too big and so, as I walking downstairs from the El, In tripped and my stuff fell everywhere. A very nice lady who seemed slightly drunk helped me up and asked if I was ok.
3) Today, I sat in the back row of a theatre and the front row of a movie theatre and I wish I had done the opposite.