Is it immoral to find beauty in these bleak woods? In invasive vines destroying ponderosa pines, slowly strangling them from the light, winding up and spreading out to take the sun, using years of tall majestic forest stands for selfish, greedy growth? Am I wrong? Am I wrong to love the grays and browns of spring without the glamorous celebrity floral flourish and bloom? Should I turn away from the icky twigs and twines of drying grass and seek more heroic views and spacious skies? I cannot do it. Beauty speaks straight on its own, immorally insistent on itself, its power, its freedom, its strength, its right – to be there wherever and whenever it so pleases.
A Los Alamos family! We were like every other happy Los Alamos family – unhappy in our own way. My mother, the brilliant, beaming center of it all! My father was brilliant too, ambitious but overshadowed by the Justice, fascinated by atomic science but ignorant of it, a gifted clumsy seeker, searching to make his mark. The eldest child, talented and unmoored at eight, already off the rails, was hurtling toward the cognitive abyss. The second, full of bullying fueled by grievance, later subdued to crushing gentle restraint, is now dead. My sister, beleaguered by brothers, is now a sparkling poet and tells her own story with crystal clarity. My youngest brother has turned away from me, not sure to what or when or if he will engage again. Then there is me, big saucer eyes, culturally void, I watched it all billow up in sensual mushroom clouds about me. So, now I see, “to survive, we must tell stories.” – and make pictures.
“Flash is about freedom; Flash is about expression. Flash is about just the joy of exuberant running and of freedom, and the moment you weight him down with too much Batman-like baggage… that’s not the Flash anymore.” – Mark Waid
Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.