Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I'd Like to Thank the Academy

As I sit in the home of total strangers in Barcelona, this memory popped in my head.  It made me laugh, so I thought I would share it.   

     I was in the mission one day, staying at my twin-best-friends' house.  They had left for the day, and I was taking my sweet ass time to get my day started.  I decided, as a gesture of good will, to take their charge (and my dog-friend) Medea out for a walk.
     While I was walking the dog on the usual loop around the city block, I saw a 10yo kid laying face down on the sidewalk with his arm draped over a skateboard. I asked if he was "catching some rays" and I kept walking. After I walked for a few seconds, some sort of feminine nurturing protective electric charge went off in my brain, so I turned around and yelled

"Hey kid! you alright?"
to which there was no response.  So I yelled again,
"You hurt?" to this, he responded with a low mumble,
"What hurts?"
" back"

I looked him over, and found no scrapes or scratches, and he didn't appear to be seriously injured.  At this point, I realized I had been baited.  I recognized my dramatic brethren. I was a fish dangling on a hook with no immediate way out, so I just had to see this through to the end.
     I knelt down next to him and asked if I could call anyone, or if he needed my help getting home. He said he just lived a few blocks away, so I told him i'd escort him there safely. He moaned and groaned as he pulled himself onto the skateboard like a seal beaching itself on a dock, or a surfer pulling himself back onto his surfboard after a spill.  After fully situated on the skateboard, he started using his arms like paddles, his legs and shoeless feet extended behind him so as not to create more drag.  I began to walk him home while he scooted behind me, ready for it to be a few blocks away.        
     About two seconds after we started moving, he was pulling himself up onto the steps of a lovely Victorian mansion and was using his skateboard to pry the gate open.  He was staying in character really well, and I suppose he knew that a hurt back can affect your legs, because he was choosing not to use those.
   I, of course, knew that he was playing up his injury and didn't want to compromise his position as a forlorn and helpless victim, so I played along.  The hardest part was to keep from laughing, so as not to compromise my position as a concerned citizen. I understood this sort of drama, as I am a bit of a connoisseur of dramatic moments myself.
     When I was 9 years old, I lived in Juneau, Alaska.  My mother was attending the University of Alaska Southeast, and we inhabited the dorms which were on the top of a very large hill.  In order to get to the fishermen's docks near the water (where I would harass fishermen with questions about their catches, tactics, and other curiosities), I had to ride my bike down a long, steep, gravel-covered road that met perpendicular with a major highway.
     I remember riding my bike down this hill one day and toward the bottom, while braking to avoid flying into the highway, my wheels slipped on the gravel and I crashed my bike. I'm sure I had some road rash, but I wasn't hurt that badly (I had a helmet on).  I was about to brush myself off and carry on my mission to the docks, when I looked at all the cars passing and a light bulb went off.  I pulled my bike over to the ditch (so as not to get run over by a car driving down the hill) and  lay there, limp and lifeless.
     After what felt like hours but was probably five minutes a car pulled over and a concerned woman got out (women are such suckers for injured children).  The gravity of my actions hit me at this moment, because I realized that she thought that I was really hurt.  I thought "I could get in big trouble for this," so I really had to play up my injured-child routine (which was something I didn't normally do, as I was constantly crashing and smashing and cutting and scraping myself).  She helped me up and reluctantly left when I told her I was fine and didn't need a ride home.  I carried on to get my funny papers and Reese's cups from the corner store before hitting up the docks to hopefully see a King Crab or giant Halibut.

     I remembered this as I saw this kid lying face-down on the pavement, and I didn't mind that I had become a part of his experiment.  At least he knows if something were to happen to him, he wouldn't just lay there as another obstacle for passersby to circumnavigate.  When I was 9 years old and lying on the side of the road, I too was wondering if and when someone would stop for young, helpless me.  Sometimes all we need is a little attention, even if it is from a total sucker.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I haven't posted on this blog in over a year.  Where does the time go? Have I time traveled or is it possible I experienced every moment from there to here? Perhaps i was abducted by aliens during a massive flash of light on some St. Hallows Eve and my abductors neglected to return me from whence I came.  It's all the same to them.  What is time when you've the ability to move through its folds and toy with its elasticity? Nothing more than an experiment, I suppose.

"Putting Money on the Moon" collage. Hailey Gaiser 2012
I'm still the same as I was, as I've always been.  My skin perhaps isn't as tight and my ass may have swelled and shrank with the ebbs and flows of scenic work and tempura rolls.  I may have moved through numerous cycles of pain that have continued to carve the crevasse between my eyebrows.  I am still me.  My name has not changed.  My cells continue to duplicate and replicate in order to move me closer to death.

More of my loved ones are dead.

This doesn't mean I understand death any more than I did before.  I could even say that I understand it less.  Though I do feel certain that death is a passage and not a wall, a hole, or a void- I feel no comfort there.

I find comfort in knowing I don't want to die slowly.  I do not want to emaciate until there's nothing left but bones and breath.  To go quickly, that is a true gift.  To crash and blink, to seize and collapse, to slip silently in the night; if only we could all be so lucky.  I will never get the image of slow death out of my head.  I have never seen something so horrifying.  It has changed me at a cellular level, and now I am stripped to the basics.  My life is reduced to a series of flashes, some of which bring me to my knees with my chin to my chest.

And now, as I sit in an apartment in Berlin, I attempt to travel into the future without moving a muscle, and materialize my wildest dreams at a modest budget.  I continue to make mistakes, but without mistakes, life never would have figured itself out in those bubbling toxic pools some 3.9billion years ago.  So, as I move accidentally through a series of events and activities that make up my life, I do what I can to make it with purpose.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My gaze hits your backside

man on the mountain
we meet in my dreams
the magic you spin
with those spider fingers
weaves fractals and summer rafts

                    to float downstream

you are a natural charmer
and shoot it like robin hood's arrow
                   unwavering, precise

your string of hearts,
              a day's catch
dangle, waiting
to help you solve eternity
as you dare to strip search time

the beast in your body
hammers at home and hardship
friends and foes
death and dreams

love is not a luxury you endulge

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

 in May, I went to the cutest wedding that EVER happened.  My friend Risa made a dress that looked like a house, with a sunburst veil and a cloud bolero.  Her train was a long road leading up to the house.  We swam in a pond and tried to catch frogs and didn't wear shoes.  It was a magical wonderland that we had been invited to, surrounded by oak trees and blue-green lichen.  The wedding party was led by a giant seahorse down the long trail to the pond, everyone else in bright colors and playing trumpets and kazoos, banging on buckets and twinkly triangles.  We played the compliment game, and watched Risa's parents read a children's book about forgiveness using two hippopotamus hand-puppets.  At the end we threw colorful plastic balls up in the air.  All was as it should be, and I knew it.  I decided recently to create a little doll-camping installation every time I go camping somewhere, and this was the first.  It's Jane West and Jordy LaForge with a Tyrannosaurus hat.  

Dying Gods blog

I made a blog specifically for this show i'm working on, so all posts on the show will be there. I'll post process pics, inspiration, thoughts, motivation, etc. as I build, redirect, focus, lose focus, re-focus, explode, and vacillate my way through this process.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ink On Paper

Hailey Gaiser
Brooke (2006)
etching, drypoint, chine-colle
Rives BFK White paper (France)
Kitakata hand colored paper (Japan)
47x31 inches
artist's proof

 The Mary Alice Cooley Print Collection at Cornish College of the Arts has finally been published, and I am one of the contributing artists!

INK ON PAPER is 25 years of print art by selected Cornish Alumni. It was published by Cornish College of the Arts and produced by Marquand Books, Seattle 2012