Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Liquid white forgiveness. Thick, drapes my canvases in layers of love, erasing the smeared and awkward. The crooked, the ugly....the failures. Plaster grace, gypsum clemency. I have canvases that have 3, 4...6 different paintings sleeping beneath the one that was finally accepted, hung, and purchased. The gentleman from Florida that took four of my forest series home with him has no idea that lying under the graceful branches of that shady path is a blackened thing. Angry. Two in the morning and four whiskeys and slumbers in the quiet of the woods.
I've come to treasure that bottle of ivory exoneration. The morning after, when the tears have passed and the light filters through the curtains....I can start again.
Mistakes. We all make them. Some of the landslide errors I've committed have decimated mountains. Tsunamis that have wiped my triumphs from the map...earthquake misjudgements leaving sinkholes and black chasms in my life. I've wept oceans, mashing palms into my eye sockets till there were bruises....redefined regret.
Yet we breathe.
The sun rises, the wind blows. Somehow the grass keeps growing and the dog needs fed and you pay the electric bill. We go on.
So tell me....why do I still stumble so? You'd think that I'd learn to leave the light on, to watch my step. Sometimes I feel my snarls are simply hunkered down beneath the bed, festering. Am I going blind?
Where is the gesso for life? Is there a magic pigment that will turn my monsters into ghosts? Take away their claws and give them fluff instead of fangs? I have faced them....I have paid. I am tired.
It's not a quest for euphoria, I assure you. I'd settle for peace. I've known the mercy of the Lord, the compassion of friends...somehow though, the monsters are still there. Perhaps they live inside me.
It's begun to snow again. Alabaster flakes blanket the mud and barren branches....gesso from the sky.


Mandy's Kidding said...

Little arm hairs all standing on end. That's how good this was.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Wow. This is searing and powerful. And beautiful.

Out on the prairie said...

Pentimento,an underlying image in a painting from an earlier painting or previous rendition that shows through usually when the top layer of paint has become transparent with age.

A friend always painted over to save money and it was fun to try and remeber his last work of that size.Very nicely worded, the gesso of life is not letting things go deep and stay with you.If there wasn't a bumpy road to follow we would all be the same. If that were so what would we have to talk about each other.

chris said...


Shrinky said...

Oh Chantel, your writing (and your wisdom) takes my breath away. Life is always a bumpy path, often the longer we travel along it, the steeper it appears to rise! The victory dear lady, is you do NOT sleep with the lights on, and still stride courageously out to tackle (and mostly conquer) each day.

Danielle said...

Wow, you are amazing! Breath taking

Chantel said...

Mandy--thanks...sometimes the hardest things to write bring out the best?

Bliss--again, thank you.

Prairie--pentimento...I like that word.

Chris--thank you, and every time I see your profile pic, I smile.

Shrinky--you make me feel stronger. :)

Danielle--sometimes we all need a little gesso... xox

Candice said...

Reading this reminds me that your blog is the dessert of all other blogs I follow. I absolutely love your prose. God damn woman! I have a crush on your brain :)


Agnes said...

My friend... how I wish I could take away your pain... how I pray for peace in your life... how I feel your anguish and share your your words hit my heart like a heart bleeds for you...How I just want you to be happy...really happy...perhaps if you can find peace and happiness ...i will too!

Anonymous said...

That is amazing!

I'm your newest follower! I would love for you to stop by some time! :) Hope you have a great week!


Anonymous said...

Stopping by from the Tuesday Hops to say hello.
Come on by if you are able to.

Living Shallow, Living Well said...

Clearly you are a good writer.

Mom et al said...

Beautiful, Chantel. I have no answers for you, but how I do wish you peace, friend.

~ Lyndsay The Kitchen Witch said...

I've been saving this to read at just the right time - your blogs are to be savoured and pondered.

As fate would have it, my mind was swirling with many of these same questions. Your words, like a warm blanket, provided me balm.


Chantel said...

Candice--it's a redhead thing. ;) Adore you!

Ag--when we're old, we are so moving in together.

Chubby Cheeks--adore your squeezable little guy!

Shallow & Well--thanks!

Maria--thank you...what more can you ask for?

Lyndsay--Some day we have to just meet for cook, I'll bring the wine. :)