On Structure


I used to make messes. Big, chalky, painty messes. Now my mess is confined to a cutting mat or small cloth. Maybe growing beyond the chaos of youth, or surviving a failed relationship (or 6), has pushed me into this need to re-create patterns and find structure. Maybe that is why patterns are so prevalent in folk art. The repetition, the mimicry of nature, perhaps brought order and calm to a lifetime filled with a struggle to survive. All those triangles and squares placed over and over to delight the eye and distract the mind. It's a strange thing to want to make such tedious art in order to bring about that kind of peace. I imagine it to be like knitting, though I do not knit. The boyfriend will tell you that I am not a person that handles a lack of organization very well. He would not be wrong. I would only add that, inside, I am always competing. The home team wants things to be on time, to make sense, to be efficient. It wants everyone to be informed. The away team could give a shit about any of that. The away team wants the mess. It wants to party. It wants to push a pie in your face right before your rookie card photo shoot. I would like to step into the shoes of a person who only feels one sort of way, most of the time. Is the lack of juxtaposition easier? Or is it boring? I hope it's easier. Until that magical, body switching, machine is invented, I am thankful for all of the borrowed patterns that ease my restless, mammal, brain. And, like knocking down child's carefully made tower of blocks, I am thankful to able to mess those patterns up real good.

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© 2020 by Magan Ruthke