Sometimes The Paper Talks To You

27 03 2010

I  like the meditation of working silently focused on a document, finding the right texture of paper for a fill, fiddling around with acrylic paints to tone it the right color, creating a tiny beveled edge and pasting the mend in so it fits just so.  Often, I am looking and thinking so much about the paper fibers, the way the pigment is laid onto the weave, the way the tear is broken, that I don’t really notice what the art portrays, or what the document says.

Sometimes, the work is going smoothly and I allow my mind to wander a bit.  Today was such a day, and when I found myself remembering a bunch of Yiddish words, turning them over in my mind, I was a bit puzzled. I haven’t heard Yiddish spoken since I was a teenager.  No one in my life now speaks Yiddish, but there they were: “Hey, schmendrick, what are you doing?  Are you meshugana?  What’s this mishegas?”  (Translation: Hey, moron…are you nuts?  What’s this craziness? – I’m not sure why my inner Yid is so insulting…)

Then I realized.  I am working on a Ketuba.  A Jewish marriage certificate.  Aha! The subject matter creeps in, even when you think you aren’t paying attention.  I spend a few minutes thinking about family long gone, and turn back to the mending.








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