“Groove is in the Heart” but I am Asking for Another


Of late, as most of you know, my posting has been erratic and, perhaps, not as obsessively maintained … as it had been at the old site. Since Posterous went dormant in March, I started, and quickly abandoned, the tedious process of archiving. At the same time, Facebook (in all its prudence, abuse of censorship, and bizarre strategies) deleted over 400 of my albums, almost all of which paid some level of tribute to unknown, forgotten, or unexpected artists and writers. Finally, as my health declined further, I was told in May that the time has now come for me to trade in my weary heart for a younger and updated model. Damn, I even find sentence construction and its subsequent transcription exhausting.

As a result, I have been napping rather often and maintaining nothing that might resemble a schedule. Changing bed sheets, unloading the dishwasher, or “sifting” the pusses’ litter box all get the better of me. Thank God that I have my beloved and my quirky pets to dote on me, and nurture me so selflessly. Yes, that adorable marmalade, Henry, is almost always curled up in my arms while in bed or asleep in my lap while I watch television. Although I may be temporarily weakened, I am confident that I will feel terrific at some point on the other side 0f my procedure at UNC.

That brings me to the motivation behind this apologetic post. Yes, I shall triumphantly return to form soon. Until then, please be forgiving and join me in positive thoughts. (Also please excuse my hammy semi-reference to the 1990 club standard by Lady Miss Kier and Deee-Lite.)

Quite a few folks have inquired as to why I do post very few “albums” anymore … here on WordPress or on Facebook. While entertaining and adrenalin-spiking, the necessary research and scoping the internet is exhausting. When I have assembled the anywhere from forty to several hundred images, I must then crop and fine-tune the images and, finally, upload and organize each. Before I press “send” with any confidence, I also compose an accompanying narrative or brief biography to the tie the final product in with Tartuffe’s Folly, my mission, and my aesthetics. Understandably, I may or may not ever publish a portfolio again, but if I do, it will likely be in September. I shall ponder a worthy embrace of the season and harvest.

Until then, my musings comfort and distract me from my woes. I anticipate to soon have the heart to resume both my pace and my compulsive ways.

(Image: “Big Pumpkin Event” by Jean Hélion, 1948.)

Ma Bell: “Call Me Madam”


Ma Bell has gone and gotten a pedigree. Once an oft-vilified form of communication she, through all our technological and lifestyle changes, has become “special” and modern. The mega-medium, the internet, has defeated lackluster print journalism, wounded uninspired television, and obliterated what remained of the decaying radio market. In contrast, while the”Princess” phones of yore are virtually extinct, personal cell phones have become, if not a vital component of daily life, at least “de rigueur”.
     In steady numbers, consumers are increasingly foregoing landlines, usually to both save a few coins each month and to streamline the roster of phone numbers upon which we rely. Some people might have two or more phones, dedicated for specific uses or jobs. Cell phones obviously give us the tool to contact folks more readily and at more times. With minors (and, yes, pubescents) eager to text, gossip, and to search academic topics, most seem to have their own cell phone as well.
     Cell phones are no longer expendable. They store photograph albums, myriad records and data, and files. They allow us access to the internet, the ability to “text”, and even video conference. Those functions are just the basics. The available “bells and whistles” are deafening.
     There was, however, a time when telephone conversations were often inadequate and we would seek a “real” visit, discourse, or assignation. Now, we communicate primarily through the internet, primarily with both email and instant messages and the occasion “Skype”.
     Ironically, with these “virtual” relationships, the value “continuum” of various modes of media communication is skewed. While we spend less and less time nurturing friendships with co-workers, neighbors, and day-to-day acquaintances, (for many people) are primary social outlet is on-line. After a period of “chatting”, exchanging thoughts, and overall discovery, we may opt to grab a glass of cabernet, curl up in roomy and comfy chair, and D-I-A-L. I’m sure we have all confessed: “oh, we even talked on the phone” as if the act symbolizes a profound intimacy. In these instances, the exchanged numbers are cherished almost as if they marked entry into some inner sanctum.
     Yes, I am as guilty as the next person, perhaps more. This topsy turvy world of communication bears little resemblance to that of, say, two decades ago. The functional processes are more intricate, sophisticated, and versatile. The telephone is indeed crucial to most, but no longer just for conversation. In fact, I know of many an internet junkie who uses a phone for many diverse aspects of life, except talking.
     Ma Bell has come along way since the archaic days of crank models, dial-up, switchboards, and that iconic Princess model, preferably in Barbie Doll pink, sky blue, or generic white. These days, she is more of a “Dowager Empress” with both scepter of adaptability and “orbs” of titanium.
     “Hark, the herald angels ring!” Who did you expect? The sea?
(Image: “Her Majesty’s Pearl Telephone” by Jacek Yerka, 2011.)

Please Excuse the Scaffolding


 Oh gracious and gentle reader, please be patient and forgiving. By now, you have probably noticed that my musings for 2013 seem rather infrequent. Of course, for nearly three years I have posted obsessively, while I explored the impact of “blogging”, as well as the dynamics of social media. While “Tartuffe’s Folly” kept me energized while Jon was critically ill, I was also able to search for and cull readership. Yes. Yes. Yes. I was essentially testing the water in the “baby pool” with my toes.
     In a perfect world (if I had the pull of a strong vote), I’d like to write full-time. It seems as though my nostalgic narratives of both relationships “gone awry” and silly tales of the Twelve Noble and Apostolic Pusses of Marklewoodincite the most responses and attention. I try to balance my frequent zaniness by sharing bittersweet, sometimes humorous, and always intimate memories of being a caregiver for Michael, who ultimately passed away in 2001.
     In any case, I have spent the past few months pondering my options, and trying to do so within the twin realms of reality and practicality. I have also experimented with different formats and graphics, although I have yet to find one that is fully satisfying. But I am not giving up!
     So I urge you to share any feedback you might have, either via email, Facebook message, or a comment directly on “Tartuffe’s Folly”. Meanwhile, I’ll likely change formats and content a few more times before I resume my compulsion and apply my usual verve.
     One might say that Marklewood is still open for business while remodeling and tending to much needed repair.
     And thank you for your kindnesses and generosity of spirit. You have literally kept my spirit on “life support”during various obstacles, crises, and setbacks.

Singing the “Woe is Me” Relocation Blues


     It is almost time for me to mail out a “change of address” form to my readers, subscribers, and supporters of “Tartuffe’s Folly.” As predicted, Twitter is shutting Posterous down, turning armies of weary bloggers into the mean streets of internet purgatory. At least, we were given over sixty days notice, which should be ample time to relocate, archive, and adjust to new formats, and to do so at a dignified and genteel Southern pace.
     Admittedly, I should have sensed that such a change was a-brewing and simply be thankful that Twitter was gracious with the advance warning. As late as I was to the very process of blogging, I shall likely postpone any transition until after March Madness. Further, I’ll need to study the various options and forums, especially if I continue with any “art” posts.
     Do not fear, gentle reader. “Tartuffe’s Folly” will remain thus named even though I, at times, feel more like”Prometheus Un-posted”! If, in the interim, we should lose contact or connection, please seek me out at our new “digs”. I hope to maintain a similar format, perhaps with more graphics.
     If you’re having a “light bulb” moment, please contact me. Henry and I would be most appreciative of your input. Otherwise, be on the lookout for a splashy launch party. We’ll even hire those naughty Marklewood fairies to bartend.
     Note to self: Change is a good thing!

(Images: Envelopes created by Jacque Prévert intended for correspondence to his editor, Albert Mermoud, and to that rascally Pablo Picasso, 1952.)