Monday, July 16, 2012

In heaven warm souls flutter

 [photos by Francesca Woodman]

Aimlessly browsing through my Tumblr feed this morning, I came across photos by the astonishingly talented Francesca Woodman. I dug deeper and tapped into a story of a tragic artist and dreamer, who did all her greatest work before the age of 22, which is when she committed suicide in a haze of heartbreak and confusion. Her photographs feature mostly herself in the nude, and in unusually beautiful poses and settings. I searched all over google and drowned myself in her images, the melancholy and sadness cutting through me like knives. And after watching her documentary, I had fallen in love with her story. In her diary she writes about her lover: 

"I am happy
except when he treats me like vermin
or when he acts like my sexuality is a pain in the neck
and then at 2 in the morning
he looks up at my pictures
and says he doesn't see
what that has to do with art anyway."

How mindblowingly appropriate was it for me to find her at a time when my current state of being reflects exactly the things she expresses in her photographs. I am no stranger to the exquisite feeling of being forlorn and with time, crying has just become a routine way of cleansing my soul from all that brings it down. Sometimes we tap into the same pile of shit over and over again, hoping to walk off with clean soles. As human beings, we are almost guaranteed to be subjected to becoming habitual slaves to our desire to believe in the good. And when it doesn't work out, even if we knew to begin with that it wasn't going to, we are disappointed anyway. But I am glad still. Because even if I have to crawl on the floor picking up the the shambles of a shattered hope, my heart is still whole. My biggest fear in life is to live with regrets.. and regrets I do not have. I tried. I believed. But now I know..

Lesson learned.

“I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ.” 

― Anaïs Nin



Wow these are some pretty compelling images. I love that one with the body print on the floor. I love what she wrote about her lover! What era did she live in? I can't tell?

kenna said...

It's sad, yet so beautiful and haunting.

kenna said...

Sad and so beautiful.

Milsters said...

Those are heartachingly beautiful photographs. Although yes, very melancholy, very sad... Still, that only adds to their beauty. Thanks for sharing.



Reham said...

Dane, Ive been following your blog for years. I envied you for having a beautiful life. It is sad to know that you feel melancholic. Just want you to know that some people envy the life you have. Just live one day at a time and do not worry about tomorrow.


Jeane M. said...

Wow shes really remarkable, such a waste of her talent. Really creates a deep impact on art regarding sorrows. Got my eye on your blog now.

Joanne Faith said...

The photos are beautiful.. what a tragic story thought. Thank you for sharing. : )

Style by Joanne

Dane said...

Wildflower - She died in '81.

lasophia said...

So my mom and I totally stumbled upon this documentary one night. It was the one narrated by her parents, right? It was such a sad/interesting story.

dramonovich said...

I think life offers a strange set of contrasts, I have yet to see her documentary, I speak of artists. Those seemingly day to day moments that pass before us, I liken to a door that I have opened every day for years - the sidewalk continues out and beyond. One morning I'm asked to check for the paper - as I step out there is only an empty void where the sidewalk should be. I call back in the house clinging to the door- there's nothing out here. I close the door and walk back inside. Might life mirror that. We step thru a doorway in our lives and for some reason we can not return. Adore your words.