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Pure As the Driven Slush (Personal Journal)
May 17th, Nineteen Ninety-Nine: First Entry

I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder, echoing off of the window beside the bed.

From the breadth of the sound, I assumed there would be sheets of rain, pummeling the grasses and sidewalks. The sound of the thunder woke both B. and I, and I slunk into my jeans and camisole, through the glass doors to the wooden porch to ingest my morning take of nicotene and take in what I extpected to be a strong storm.

Though it sounded like a storm, it was the gentlest rain I'd experienced in some time. The drops fell down so lightly; it was like the softest kisses one could imagine, fleeting and teasing in their lightness. Shy rain, I would call it, just a little warm and very timid. I sunk my bare feet into the puddles on the walk and stood outside for several minutes, kissed gently again and again by the tiny droplets, inhaling the scent of morning, and all things new.

With that feeling, I start yet another journal. I have journals as far back as 1976, when I had just begun to write; six years old at the time. They often dissapoint me. I am an impetuous person: I embrace new projects with all the vigor of war, but often, as soon as something which seems bigger looms it's voracious head, I drop the former notion before cobwebs have had time to settle.

I have many times sat and read through the pile of journals, looking for inklings of myself - as I am now - hidden in the pages written when I was a child, an adolescent, a blossoming woman. Often, I find them, and it amazes me how little - on some level - we truly change from what we were born as.

It is with these things in my mind: the newness of things that are in truth not new at all, and the compulsion and determination to begin, always, again and again, knowing there will be some lapse, but hoping there will not be; knowing it is nearly futile. Though living may be a continuum, there are always lapses, and they come and vanish in an instant that can swallow years.

By way of introduction, I warn you now: a journal for me is not a confessional. I was not raised in that cultural sect which keeps secrets and then feels the need to purge them somewhere secretly. Instead, I was raised with the notion that a large part of being an artist is to bear witness: to record events through individual eyes for the purpose of marking personal history, and perhaps bringing the personal to history in a way that is unique and diverse. By virtue of what I am - an artist who has, since I was a child, been a sensate creature, engrossed with touching, tasting, feeling, and the union of body and soul - I expect, like any journal I have kept, this one will be a bit more salacious than another artists memoirs may be, though I similarly suspect what is sensual, sexual, and considered an event by myself may be those things considered less noteworthy by others.

Being kissed by the rain this morning was an event. It may or may not have been as noteworthy an event as the falling of the Berlin Wall, the day women gained the right to vote, as a death, or a birth, or the union of two souls, but from moment to moment - and in an individual life - those moments spent with our feet in the puddles, the rain kissing our cheeks, are those I never wish to forget.

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