Monday, January 25, 2010

Remind Me Why I Set Certain Goals, Please?

"Write in recollection and amazement for yourself."

Jack Kerouac

Four years ago I would have thought I had fallen into a huge vat of self-indulgence-syrup if you had told me I would be beginning not my first, not my second but my third year of taking daily self portraits. I can hear my self-righteous indignation, "Come on, look at yourself, you are nothing special... you keep getting older, you never lose that weight you think about losing - why on Earth would you choose you to be a subject of anything looking remotely artistic?"

I don't even like looking at photos of myself. Looking at images of me staring back makes me nervous. I don't like doing it.

I can hear you now, muttering, "That makes no sense." A caveat in response to you - I never claim to make sense, by the way.

I knew when I started down this self-portrait road that devotion to my image would somehow help me grow. It has.

When I look at my first attempts at Flickr, I see one person.

When I look at my second, half-hearted and incomplete attempts, I see another person.

And in this third set, which I call "365X3" I see the me I am now: the me I am most comfortable with and whom I think is by far the most multi-faceted and interesting.

Then I think about my upcoming theater project. What was I thinking, exactly? I could not have possibly come up with something more different than "First Kisses", the show I am directing right now which opens in February.

Then I remember, "Oh, yes. Stretch as an artist. Don't be limited by societal standards."

And then there was that pesky, Goal Number 101 for 2010. Here's what I wrote:

101. Stretch cultural view of beauty in older and/or “imperfect” women… taking Dove’s campaign to the grassroots.

I prepared for read through and was nervous beyond words, nervous. Those pesky rambling words were at it again: "Who did I think I was, Colette?"

I knew what the script contained. Besides stretching creatively, I was going to experience several of my friends in different ways.

I should be at least somewhat used to this.

After all, I am known for being comfortable with who I am, in all stages and places and showing up... as a playful and "hippie-ish" person.


But when I show up as a hippie-ish person at the hot springs or with a photographer in Echo Park, I am creating solely for me.


I am not thinking "What will people think? Will this be horrid for my collaborators? Will they want to run, screaming, pushing me off the cliff labeled " this project?"

I need to return to my poetry. Curvy Truth, for example, which I wrote in response to these photos and others, taken shortly before a beloved friend's birthday. I had them taken by a complete stranger who was willing to create "ethereal, gritty" photos with me.

I never considered myself the least bit modelesque, but this was my body and I was creating this, for me. So that I could write, primarily.

The poem This is My Body, performed this Summer at Fishlips in the event Two Hours Inside was very well received and could only have been written after all this exploration I have done.

I just didn't ever realize an opportunity like this would come up.

Reminds me of what happens when goal-setting meets divinity - situations that seem completely remote wait, restlessly, for you to step into them, and when you do, everyone is rewarded in ways that reach beyond what you might know when you start.

Dreaming me from 2006

I think I will hold onto that thought, and remember this moment perched on a rock at Remington.


  1. Stunningly lovely ... a juicy, rich, powerful, tender, artistic/creative/inspired you.

    The self portrait project is amazingly empowering. I think it is the taking time, every day, to place oneself in the center of it all. We do so much for others, in our portraits we take time to uncover and met all our selves.

  2. In your self portraits I do see a difference in all 3,how interesting.It gives me an idea I might like to try something like this,so I can look at my self in another light.I find it is so hard to show this side of ourselves,almost like exposure to the world.great pictures.Thank you for visiting my blog,-Tammy-


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