Val Nelson & other thoughts

Blogging has felt lately like a memory of something I used to do. I haven't stopped, but the gears aren't turning the way they used to and I have yet to figure out what that means. Am I uninspired? Is blogging done for me? Should I try a different approach? I know I'm not ready to strikethrough this whole thing and walk away. But I'm not sure what staying looks like. Maybe it will just be a slow death.


I looked at these paintings by Val Nelson tonight and thought, my home and life and way of being feels more like one of these paintings than it looks like any photograph. The ways in which I'm moved in life are less material, more embroiled. It's stuff that's hard to share here, where the moodboards and the curated lists reduce life to something attainable, shareable, somehow detached.

I don't want to deconstruct looks or blather on about the act of blogging. I want to live with blurry feelings and not lean on them to have a clever blogging hook. You know, birth and death and sorrow and sex and work happen too and it all gets left out here. And when all that stuff feels especially real and present, a blog post feels like a bit of a lie — a simplistic and fatuous sort of alternative reality. And I'm not up for that.


I'm up for these messy paintings of rooms where it looks like people fuck and cry and think and live all of life. I'm up for fictional stories that say something more true and moving and real than our primped and preened "real" blogs. And what does that mean for here? I still don't know. Maybe I just wanted to tell you that I like these paintings. And to give you some kind of warning about a potential retreat to a wordless and blurrier place.

A Room in Kent and The Room in Hampstead, both by Val Nelson, via Bau-Xi

22 comments:

  1. For what it's worth.. I would very much miss your posts. Hopefully I would be able to access your writing in other forms.

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  2. I love those paintings, and know exactly what you mean. They look like home. I hope you'll keep posting, but if you find yourself uninspired, then change it up a bit. Let yourself evolve, write whatever you want. It should be interesting for you--a place to be creative, thoughtful (or silly--whatever you want). I always look forward to your posts.

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  3. Changes are inevitable. Sometimes it takes time to figure out the direction, and still remain true to ourselves. I hope that your online presence will continue to inspire and stand out, no matter the form and way you decide to adopt.

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  4. Long live fucking, crying and blurry feelings, but I too hope you'll keep on posting and living all of life, julia

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  5. I'd move right into those paintings if I could. Often, for me, the visual is enough to satisfy my need for narrative and there are lots of stories in those rooms!

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  6. I completely relate on the blogging deal. I learned from it and enjoyed it, but have set it aside and like you, I have no idea why.

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  7. I too echo the sentiment that I would miss your writing. You ask thought provoking questions and have astute observations on many topics. Also, I think you have a very good eye for things that are not only beautiful, but quality. Keep us in the loop wherever your writing takes you.

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  8. These rooms are my kind of rooms. And to add my voice to the chorus, I would miss your updates enormously. Blurry feelings have a way of sweeping in and changing the perspective of everything else, though, and I trust them.

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  9. Blogging has felt weird for me lately too. It's like it is fizzling out, losing its vibrance. I hope you stay, but I do think I understand where you are coming from.

    I'm not often attracted to the too tidy. I prefer a bit of a mess, not carelessness, but something closer to reality. I think that's true for me with food, plants, blogs, poems, novels, photographs, paintings, people...

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  10. I'd miss your posts dearly, but it's understandable that you might want to take an open-ended break. I'm finding more and more that a lot of blogs are feeling like a chore to read. Maybe there's a lifespan to this.
    At the risk of sounding pervy, I'm thrilled you brought up sex in a real way. All that's missing is swearing and drinking a few too many and you'd be in my living room.

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  11. I've been a long follower of your blog, though this is my first time commenting. I understand what you mean by all the glossy, well-poised blogs out there that seem to be far removed from real life. I've recently just started my blog, and in the beginning I felt the pressure to have my blog flawless, with perfect writing and pictures. I realize, though in this short span, it's not the direction I want my blog to go. I prefer to keep it real and grounded. I'm always looking for blogs such as yours that are thoughtful and honest. Keep up the good work!

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  12. ah damn..I really love what you're doing here. I love the thoughtfulness and the introduction of so many new characters into my life from Lisa Eldridge to that painter that did all the swimming bodies way back last summer. It's poignant and visually nourishing for me to attend to your blog.
    There's a grocer in our city who runs an Italian deli. He's full of life and has been genuinely so for years. How does he do it? I presume it must be his full heart bursting to be free or just access to some really good cheese...I suppose cheese and flowers aren't enough to keep you posting but may I just thank you in advance before you render any decision. Thank you for the good times (usually carved into my late night alone time), the fulfilling pauses, and the deep holding your blog has offered me.

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  13. Bless the mess…good things emanate from messes. Yet for that to happen, some times we need to get in there and sort and order it all, open the windows, and be silent in our work. Maybe that is what is happening here. Will miss your writing, astute observations, artistic eye and so may take the time to wander back in time and reread. Blessing your time you spend with us the readers and bless you! Will always be checking in to see how things are sorting themselves out.

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  14. I'm not a blogger myself and I would't want to be one. Still, this is one of the very few blogs that I've been reading continuously and I'd miss your genuine writings a lot.

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  15. I'm not a blogger myself and I wouldn't want to be one. Still, this is one of the very few blogs that I've been reading continuously. I'd miss your genuine writing a lot. Greetings from Germany

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  16. Your blog is one of the few I've continued to read for many years now, and I do think it's because your words ring true.

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  17. Your site is one that I return to week after week, year over year. There's a uniqueness to your writing that is different than any other. While I look forward to your Sunday Best posts each week, the poetry, art, and writing are the things that set you apart when every other blogger is pushing out promoted post after promoted post, pretending it's the life they live. They live for the sake of the next blog post. I visit your site when I want to think and push myself to find the next thing that will spark inspiration, as opposed to just sitting back and absorbing images. Thank you Jane for being so honest and real!

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  18. These paintings remind me of Margaret Olley. A favourite.

    PS - This is your space. I like it when you share and I admire it. But it's your space/place. It's good to have things in your life that you control. Lord knows we have to 'collaborate' in so many other aspects of our life!

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  19. Once again you have given words to a feeling I have been struggling to grasp, far better than I could have done myself. Don't stop writing Jane! Maybe just not blog form.

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  20. I must echo the compliments of the others -- please keep writing, and update us if you decide to write elsewhere. You have a lovely voice and eye for design

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  21. I am missing your blog...the literary references...when you talk about clothes and design and Ireland. And well, all of it...I wish you well if you want to go on to something new..but I hope you are just on hiatus...

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