March 10, 2007
This piece by Joseph Cornell comes to mind for no reason in particular.
Every time I think of artwork by Cornell, this portrait of him by Duane Michals sticks in my head.
I think of Cornell living out there on Utopia Parkway with his mean mother and his sick brother. And I think of all the boxes scattered around his room in various stages of completion. I think of the boxes he made for Hollywood starlets. I picture the care and love that went into each one, the precision with which he wrapped them in brown paper, hand addressing them and then sending them from a Queens post office (In my imagination he always mails things on rainy days). Then I see a sunny day in California; the package being received by a maid at a house high in the Los Feliz hills. I see the packages opened, considered for a moment, and handed over to a star who waves it away without ever a second thought.
Cornell must have known this would happen 9 times out of 10, but was kept going by the hope for that 10th time and the knowledge that while the connection was intangible he was connected—if for a moment—to his intended audience...
And this brings me back to Duane Michals who wrote in one of his books:
"It is no accident that you are reading this. I am making black marks on white paper. These marks are my thoughts, and although I do not know who you are reading this now, in some way the lines of our lives have intersected... For the length of these few sentences, we meet here.
It is no accident that you are reading this. This moment has been waiting for you, I have been waiting for you. Remember me."