What did you do to prepare for this moment?
Anything? Did you dress up? You look nice. You didn’t know about this moment, though, did you? That you and I would be like this. How could you know? But I did. I knew. And do you know what I did to prepare for this moment?
I’ll tell you.
I spent the day with my stomach churning, thinking about this, right now. I woke up and this was the first thing I thought of. You. And me. Here. Like this. I didn’t eat at all today. I was afraid I’d just throw it up from nerves. I was so nervous. And I’ve been waiting here wanting to run away, not wanting to do this. Now I don’t know why.
You seem nice.
I've either read or listened to the audio book of "Just Kids" so many times that my wife and I have started quoting it in our daily life. "No, Patti, no!" when something is going to go very wrong. And "Patti, you only like them because their French," when the other person has a weird quirk, especially when it comes to food.
I've been thinking about family lately. I think it's because I'm going to see my daughter for the first time since the Christmas before the Covid pandemic. Almost a year-and-a-half to the date. The pandemic help me realize what's really important to me. Family. I miss both my daughters so much it hurts. But, just like me, when I'm supposed to feel joyous, I feel the opposite. When life bursts forth, I think about losing it.
When I make pieces like these, actually most of my pieces, I have to make pieces first to destroy them. These pieces are about decay (and memory, because what is memory but the shadow of something that is no longer here?) I make a piece, then think to myself that someone comes along and gets rid of it. Maybe it was painted on a wall, like graffiti, or many times I think that was made by someone held in a bedroom or an attic, a shut-in perhaps, with light coming in through one dirty window, with yellowed shades, and dead flies scattered on the window sash, and this person writes their musings on the wall, and whoever it is, their caretaker, comes in and sees it and thinks it's just more lunatic ravings, and they paint it out, but they can never paint it all out. That's what I'm thinking when I make these pieces.
For all who died last year...from Covid, Black Lives, war, from sadness...
John Greiner-Ferris is an artist in the Boston area. Sometimes he makes images. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he does both.