pep talk

A text message on 1/19/10 4:19pm, continued via email.

ME: Do you think making art is really that important?

YVONNE: Yes, i think art is more important than looking at/appreciating art sometimes. LOTS more to say about this though . . . What prompted this?

ME: Larry Sultan's Memorial service - he was so convinced that art making was so damn important- it seems it was the only thing he was sure of- he questioned everything else obsessively - I was always in awe of this stake in the ground, this bedrock of faith. I often would sit in his class and wish I could feel as committed to making art, that I could Believe like he believed. I wish I could have the same faith in art making. I think maybe one human is only allowed so many strong convictions - maybe we only get one a lifetime and I have mine and he had his. Maybe that's just silly ... I can't tell at all -
He said, days before he died that his life was important, he was lucky because he was able to touch culture, grazing it light like a feather and creating ripples well beyond his lifetime which had nothing to do w/ fame.

You think that's true? I hope so - he was so awesome, I'm really sad he's gone.

YVONNE: never heard him speak about making art but to hear you talk about what you absorbed from his classes makes me excited to hear what he thought about it. i'd love to hear more, both what he thought and what you got from it. As for faith in what we do, i feel like that's a little different from why i think making art is important. definition of faith is a belief not based on 100% definitive proof, no? it's more like a hypothesis, that is, a guess based on certain information received. whole point is to get closer to what is true, hypotheses and faiths can be abandoned when and if appropriate.

maybe he had proof. that making art (for him?) was certainly and without a doubt important. sounds like it.

also, i don't think we get one conviction a lifetime. hope not. hope i get many that continue to be revised as i get closer to things as they really are.

wanna talk more about this. miss you. think it's awesome you're discussing this. reminds me why i think you're dope. one of many reasons.

hugs to you,


commit for life

my father holding a crawfish he "saved" from a crawfish boil out front of his local randalls grocery


I guess you never know how much time you have with another human being. It’s 6 am, a time my jobless ass doesn’t see very often but I woke up this morning thinking ants were crawling all over me and I couldn’t get enough air.
I don’t know what to write or how to feel, I guess sad is all. Every decision she made over the last year didn’t seem like a great idea but then I’d think who the fuck am I to tell someone else what’s right for them, right? She knows best for herself and her set of problems. What do I know about depression? I don’t have it, I‘ve been blessed with somewhat normal brain chemistry, what the hell do I know. So I would just nod and say, “ok, yeah, I guess if that’s what you think you need to do”
What makes a person so desperate to take her own life? I take small relief in the fact I know she didn’t suffer, that this is where her suffering ends. I’m grateful it was the police that beat my 3 friends to her apartment because putting the image together in my head is bad enough but seeing it first hand would have haunted them forever.
What should I do with the photographs? Should I get rid of them or give them to the family? I always meant to reshoot her, I thought I didn’t get her right. After I told her I wanted to do it again but this time her all dolled up, she kinda laughed and rolled her eyes but was willing. I didn’t want to show her the photographs, as if they would show someone she already didn’t know she was. I never got around to the second shoot, I mostly didn’t want to bug her or put her in a position where she had to fret about the way she looked. The pictures are taken a year and a half before now and I can see the depression digging its heels in. I think back to all the decisions and I can see her go, piece by piece while the depression came in and finally took over. It’s not her who killed herself, it’s that god damn disease. She was so fiery, so beautiful and young. Fierce when she wanted to be, quick to say fuck off to people that pissed her off. She was strikingly gorgeous – one of those women that could make a room stand still.
Her self-hatred was so intense, I never new what to do with it. We would sit after yoga class and eat noodles and she would start in on herself and it made me so uncomfortable I wanted to jump up and run out of the restaurant. I tried “your not fat,” “you don’t have lines around your mouth,” “thanks for the complement and you know, you have nice skin too.” “Are you crazy?” I’d often say in response to some of her comments about herself. She’d look at me, give a half smile and say “well… yeah.” I’d laugh. Its weird how we take each other for granted, I always appreciated her presence in my community, she was so rock gut honest.
I’m devastated that my friend is dead but I’m glad she’s not in pain anymore, that she doesn’t have to fight day in and day out with her brain, it looked so painful and there was nothing I could do. There was nothing different I could’ve done or anyone could’ve done to prevent this, right? To get back to sleep I have to believe this whether it’s true or not. I miss you already lady, I’m sorry it turned out this way and I hope you have found some peace. All my love.


houston tx

back to the family project started in 04? 05? i want you to know that the film is still unprocessed, this is some crap digital quick shots. i don't know, i feel like i'm shooting all crap. i'd say i'm to tired to care but thats untrue and why i'm still awake blogging instead of zoning out to dads cable.