Archive for August 19th, 2021

Can’t Let Go

GC Myers- Show's Over, Folks

Show’s Over, Folks“- At the Principle Gallery, Alexandria, VA

The patient cannot remember the whole of what is repressed in him, and what he cannot remember may be precisely the essential part of it.. He is obliged to repeat the repressed material as a contemporary experience instead of remembering it as something in the past.

― Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle

I am sharing what might seem like an odd triad this morning– a passage from Sigmund Freud on compulsion, a Red Chair painting of the aftermath of what looks to be a wild party and a song, Can’t Let Go, from the odd and wonderful pairing of Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.

I think there’s a connection in there somewhere. Just can’t be sure if anyone else will see it.

A compulsion to repeat ourselves is an underlying theme in my work. I sometimes think I know there is something more in these familiar forms and colors and lines and icons –the omnipresent Red Tree, for example– than meets the eye and that if I keep delving into them, they will at some point reveal their secrets to me.

Some tidbit of wisdom, an iota of truth, that will make it all make sense.

That must be close to a definition of compulsion. Probably much in the same way that we– both individually and collectively– seem to constantly repeat ourselves, making the same missteps and covering the same ground as though we have some sort of short term memory dysfunction that prohibits us from seeing the patterns we have followed all along, that keeps us from learning from our mistakes.

I am hoping there is some constructive effect in my own compulsion. I would hate to think that the decades of work that have came with it are a matter of me making the same mistake over and over again.

Maybe I should stop contemplating my navel this morning and get to work. Who knows? Maybe today will be the day I figure it all out, the day that bit of long sought wisdom is finally revealed.

Or not. Doesn’t matter. My compulsion would most likely blind me to it and keep me at it even if I find it now.

In the meantime, enjoy Alison Krauss and Robert Plant‘s version of Can’t Let Go, from a soon to be released album. It’s a song famously covered by Lucinda Williams on her great 1998 album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

Good stuff.

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