Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Juicing through the summer.

  Compared to the alchemy of the darkroom, juicing is just raw industrial-grade mechanical work.  It's about like mixing darkroom chemicals.  You have to do this to do that.  I hunt and gather the raw vegetables from the stores I shop, looking for ones with some inside secret, but I've seen enough modern farming practices that even the "organic" labels merely indicate I'm about to pay more just to have bug legs in the Kale.

  Still, you have to be organized to be an artist, so I lay out the ingredients for one concoction or another and a sharp knife and I start feeding them into the chipper.  I'm currently wearing out a mid-priced juicer with a good reputation.  I can hear the bearings and see the wear on the blades and crush surfaces.  It sings no discernible song, just a soul-less post-modern whine.

  But this is the fight I'm in and these are the weapons at hand.  Katie has a taste for this or a taste for that and I was more amazed than she when I took over the kitchen.

  I didn't ask for any of this.  Katie fighting her life out on the couch and me hither and yon like a frenzied dueling second.  I make lists, I rub feet, I peel drug patches, I move the dog, I do laundry, I toss out garbage, I clean toilets, I detect fevers.  I juice.  I live to serve this ship, but it's not a voyage I would choose on my own.  Every once in a while someone among our amazing group of support people will ask how I am doing.  As if it matters.  Who cares?  I certainly don't.  When it's over there will be time, (because humans always think they have time), to de-scale myself of whatever armor or attachments I've acquired.  In the meantime a terrific commission from the Tyler Art Museum and a few shows here and there are keeping me searching.  Plus my devotion to Katie and our little household up here on the Blackfork.  I may blanch and I may blink, but my foot.  Will not.   Be moved.

  As one might expect, some folks were moved, but now we are at the place where the souls who couldn't stand the heat and the process made excuses and quietly eased away.  I understand.  It's a private war we are waging here.  Best wishes and good luck, little hearts.

  I can't seem to find a Biblical verse that applies.  Favorites involve wastelands and wandering.  Early Job.  Genesis.  Exodus.  I'd prefer something about traversing the valley of death, without fear, because I am armed to the teeth.  Or something about God being good, REALLY good, but he drinks, see?....and there just isn't that line anywhere to be found.   Like with most everything, its there but has to be teased out.

  I'd regarded juicing as a vanity.  (Why not just EAT the vegetable?)  Experience is revealing a little more of the interplay and subtleties of mixing flavors and aftertastes.  As the mixture goes through the juicer and then filters into the refrigerator jar I keep up with the ingredients fresh off the mesh.  I hadn't understood apple sauce, (basically a by-product apparently of...juice.) and certainly hadn't tasted it fresh, much less with a touch of ginger or jalapeño infused.  Lately I've taken to throwing in a beet or a plum just to get them as an undertone to the main taste. Anything stuck in the filter usually gets fingered up just to monitor the process.  Always interesting stuff.  Maybe this IS healthy and good for you.  Have a sip of carrot and ginger, you T-cells, then go and KICK some molecular K-RAST ass.

  The maintainence of the whole catastrophe is a drudge, like painting or chopping wood.  Nobody is eager to do it, but when you are finished there a sense of satisfaction.  Then just like mowing a lawn, you have to do it again.

  Killing Gaia, of course.  Electricity and manufacturing and garbage bags and paper towels and water flow and soap.  Thermostat at 72 in August.  Let the power grid sing.  She's staying cool.

  And probably it will add some inflection to art-making.  I'm searching with silver and lens and light for visions never before seen in nature or culture.  Maybe some collision of kale and celery will help get a foothold to see the next thing.


Luke Graham said...

I've been looking through the list of photographers included in the Center Review and thought you'd like to know that your work is BY FAR the most interesting I've seen. I'm not a curator or anything, just a photographer in New Mexico that looks to the photographers in CENTER for inspiration. Where so many of the other portfolios look the same, yours is surprisingly unique. Keep going. I'm glad to be following.

Anonymous said...

Katie and Bob,

May the Lord embrace your love and hold you close to each other. May the Lord bless you and keep you and shine His continence upon you and forever grant you peace and His love.

All our prayers and Hopes,
Sharon and Tom