“As I can”

This summer I slowed down on a lot of my writing. Worked on the screenplay and some poetry here and there but mostly just backed off and you know what? I realized I have been working my booty off the past two years and not realizing it. And not appreciating my own best efforts. Not in a bragging type of way but in a way that made me realize This Is my best effort. And I feel like the artist Eyck reached through time and confirmed that for me.

Jan Van Eyck is a Flemish painter from the 15th century. Below is what scholars believe is a self-portrait of him titled Portrait of a Man in a Turban

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From Wikipedia

Above the portrait painted on the frame which isn’t show here (but you can see it here) the words As I can or “Als Ich Can” written in Greek are painted on the frame. Now there are different ways that line has been interpreted. One is that it is simply a self portrait and he is playing on the pun Ich and his last name Eyck.

Another interesting idea is that as I can is coming from part of a motto that scribes would put at the end manuscripts that they have copied. They would write the entire motto “As I can not as I would.” Or in other words this is the best I can do, I wish I can do better. So he dropped I wish I could do better and just wrote As I can or This is the best I can do.

For some of us artists this is a profound realization. Coming to the place where you accept that you are doing your best work and having the ability to appreciate that. I think that this is a portrait of that moment for him. He found his niche his sweet spot. Makes me wonder if he ever looked at sculptures or mathematicians and thought man I wish I could be more them. But learned to find joy in the talents he excelled in. Oil paints, adding depth, and making sure to add the minute details made his work stand out from the rest even to this day. His works evoke feelings, thoughts, curiosity, and even with me his work confirmed that I need to accept my best efforts for my best efforts.

 

Here’s a blog post on the MacDonald Sisters some inspiring female artists

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Crumbs Dishes

I’m in search of symbols

I search the worst places first

starting with Social media

the dusty ones

Those few I should’ve deleted

a while back

I clean the house

Because they could be mixed in with the dishes

Or with the crumbs on the carpet

And when that’s through I sit and think

And think

If I were a metaphor where would I be?

There’s the trees

the oceans

The sky and wild creatures

Love, heartbreak, Death

Is it possible that the search

is the metaphor

The crumbs the dirty dishes

the urge to find a connection

-Saschia Johnson

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~*Energy Drinks*~

~*Energy Drinks*~

I take a sip and my vision comes clear

My thoughts come from behind my skull

and hallucinations would plague me

if they weren’t the object of my reseach

Sleep after a glass of relaxation

my feminine eyes narrow and

disperse into the horizon where

wind meets the lips of God

And when the can is empty

I’m woman no more.

-Saschia Johnson

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Skin Show

I.

I see the crevices where my mind has changed route

Where the blood has stopped flowing and changed direction

To kill off the illusion of rage and hypocrisy

There’s a skin shed in the corner of the room

no one speaks of it but me

Who’s skin is that? Who was left so empty?

I cry and point and stammer on revealing my weakness

Telling them I can only be human and nothing more

Not a god, not a demon, but the pattern of survival

And the louder I plead the looser the skin

til it falls to the floor

Just like that one in the corner

then a sliver of light shines between the curtain

 

II.

Behind the scenes, behind the curtain

I reach out a hand stitched together

with puppets of skin.

They roar and laugh and join in in song.

What a masterpiece!

                                     Pure Genius

                                                                Everybody must sing!

 

III.

sometimes

Once in a blue moon

a shed human like me steps behind the scenes

With their skin in hand crying begging pleading to be loved

And the whole time I was begging and pleading with tears in my eyes

Hoping that just one other miserable misfit would shed,

step behind the scenes

And join me.

-Saschia Johnson

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between the carpet and the comforter By Michael Morlock