Samizu Matsuki Diaries. February 1 to April 3, 1973
February 1, 1973. Thursday.
Feel like I am at a cross road. Since having found that I could actually create alter ego-being who could pass as an attractive woman with a little trick of illusionistic manipulation, I have been walking around as two persons at once. Finally or at last, this doubled life becomes the life with doubled width. Feeling mysterious excitement when thinking about the possibility in which two identities, middle aged woman and an artist, can walk side by side with natural ease.
Design or idea of the painting took shape. Scarcity of the substance itself gives one a certain degree of uncertainty. Whether or not this vacantness of significance will deserves the labor of execution.
But honestly speaking, I can hardly find some important thoughts or some ideas with substance or some spiritual state worth mentioning, etc...
Time like this is best fit for thinking about the “past”. Maybe I should start writing.
February 2, 1973. Friday. Every sound, every significance and insignificance and all the existences are intrusion. If this kind of loneliness is the necessary condition, its better to immerse in complete isolation. Constantly hoping to move into the basement. I became old, and contracts that make up daily chores became troublesome, and because of those it became tiresome to carry out decorum mainly based on self certified urge, and can no longer find any solace in this terribly boring state of sacrificial endurance I would rather like to spend the rest of my life (*1) exactly how I want.
The act of “painting” is the only ceremonial act left for me now. Only ceremonial act which justify my existence itself. If not I may have no excuse for not sending $30 per month to my family in Japan and getting free meals from this household. And most of all, I'll lose all the pretext for why I'd like to walk around New York City in a hope to meet some splendid spirit.
(*1) I was waiting for 6 years of “probationed-life” to be over one way or another.
Too bad! What surprised me was their extra originally interest in my painting “Still Life” Perhaps power of “magic” is, after all, despite all those advancements of civilization, never really changed.
Mr. Brown is a small Caucasian who can not help himself creating transparent vicarious reality. Around himself because of rather conscious emphasis on romanticization of passion for the pre-modern arts. His wife has chosen the most favored typecast for art-lovers, usually childish naivete, nonchalance, easy accessibility, etc. She was playing well. Their daughter looked most attractive because of her sharp sensitivity and playing the type which has not yet set in a mold. Dinner was barbecued chicken.
February 3, 1973 Saturday Visit the home of Mr. Brown. Saw three paintings that I sold to him: “Opia!” “Still life” and “Barbara and the Fortuneteller” Regret that I did not have enough time to scrutinize again of “Opia!” Despite of their special consideration displaying “Opia!” right in front of my place in table, I did not quite look at it because of petty concern for others (perhaps did not want to give them narcissistic impression?).
Actually, nothing is more pleasing to me than looking at my own works.
February 4, 1973 Sunday Woke up around 11:00am. Telephone call from Craig. He was waiting. Craig Spiro worked for Mr. Nakayama setting up a pottery show in New York area. I went to visit his sister, who is two or three years older than he, this afternoon. She does not look like Craig. Her boyfriend looked interesting. Showed much enthusiasm for pottery. He owns a bookstore.
Craig is smart and pragmatic; hiding sharp sensitivity ( therefore the most fragile) behind massive muscles with some degree of shyness. Once in a while quite he timidly opens a little bit of the door to his hiding place and smiles a somewhat troubled little smile.
All three are voracious readers of books and nearly 2/3 of the content of their conversation was unfamiliar to me. There was a book about Andrew Wyeth and as usual I was very much impressed by the charming quality of his work.
They remind me of pleasant sounds of rivers and birds which far from petty dimension where smooth-tongued smart critics prevail. ___ courteous utterances dominates with quiet persistence keep entertains our senses entertained with pleasure.
I am of different nature, yet, if no one would give me condescending look, I surely would like to own a couple of his works. But unfortunately I am more or less with that crowd who try to evoke superior air around them by pretending they are “above” Wyeth. This is the time Wyeth was not yet accepted as one of the greatest artists representing the twentieth century.
Craig was wearing red-coloured shirt.
February 5, 1973. Slept whole day. Called Craig twice this afternoon but he was not at home. Seemed like when he wanted me to call him up whether I've got reason or not, he looked very open and even serious. About 7 o'clock evening called him again. This time he answered. Doesn't seem to have much to say, no do I; we we talk about Marina a little and hung up as if after some business discussion.
Thinking about what he said when he was sitting beside me. He said that the reason he is not thinking about marrying me is because he is afraid that I would never say anything for seven years about it even if I hate his guts.
Thinking about what he said, but could not shake off feeling of strangeness. I thought it was really strange that Craig was thinking about marrying me--I thought I was asking about a marriage between Kazuko and Craig. Kazuko is an accountant who works with Craig at World Enterprises, Inc. I have no idea what kind of
emotional inflection had caused this momentary expression to take place, but whatever it is, it gave me a good feeling. Sometimes I have trouble understanding his words and behaviors! What hypocrisy! Seems like I am rather stubbornly refusing to accept something existing between Craig and I. Why?
February 6, 1973 10:00 am. I called Craig. “He” answered but I could not believe it's him because he had sounded so much like Craig's cousin Scotty. He is going to meet someone this afternoon and says “Don't know what will happen”, but the way he said it doesn't seem like him. Perhaps he was sleepy.
I went to the City. Looked about a Japanese pottery show at Asia House. Jomon pottery overflows with tremendous charm. Jomon is the oldest pottery (Old stone age) found in Japan. Known for its organic shape. I have long liked this pottery, even though mainly familiar with it by photographs. It was interesting also to see the mid-period production—Monoyama pottery, also manifesting organic stylization. Monoyama is from a period of Japanese Renaissance and manifests a Zen influence..
The fact that the producer of Jomon pottery is Ainu is also interesting. Yayoi (another old pottery from the new stone age, usually paired with Jomon,)was produced by Mongolians and has in its matrix a geometrical symmetry.
Worthwhile to give a thought..Seems like each stylistic expression is more or less influenced by a way of life. (Hunter Gatherer vs Agricultural) rather than ethnicity.
There was an exhibition titled “Women chose women”. Instead of going there, I wound up at “Takashima-ya” a Japanese department store. Bought birthday presents and hurried back to home. Tired.
February 7, 1973 Wednesday Stayed in bed until 3:00pm. Supposed to go to the City but felt it too much of an effort.
David Meth called. I had met him when he came to World Enterprise Co for an interview. (He was not hired.) Came back from Korea with orphans. There was an international project to help Korean orphans by bringing them to the US. David was then employed by the Peace Corps. He was planning to stay in the U.S. For 30 days.
Meth has talked about me to everybody. He was always amused by an incident in Japan in which we walked all around a department store trying to find the exit, thanks to my bad sense of direction.
Too bad, this person he describes as “full of vitality and wit” is no longer me. I am now merely a stupid and lazy and pig-like individual.
Everybody asks: “are you painting?” The answer usually is “No.” Planned to meet him within this week. Every time I mention Craig, David's voice became spiritless. Called up Craig. Scotty answered saying that Craig had been gone since yesterday and wouldn't be back tonight either, but would have him call me back.
10:00 pm. No call. Penn Station is going to get into strike, This means it may be impossible to introduce Craig to Marina. A package came from home in Japan. John Berry's post card arrives.
February 8, 1973 Thursday Cloudy, then rain. Since Penn Station was on strike, I had to go via long Island Railroad to Woodside, then took subway. Got out at 6th Avenue, then took the Number 5 bus and got off at 72nd Street, then I walked approximately 5 blocks and reached Kazuko's apartment at 305 76th Street.
Apartment #2 in basement was her place. She was taking a nap. We gossiped until evening and called Craig. He was interested in meeting us but its not sure whether he would come out or not. Went in the rain to a nearby supermarket to get things for dinner.
After dinner around 9 pm, visited a Japanese man called Sakurauchi who lives in the room across from Kazuko's. Drinking beer and Chablis, talked until after 3:00am. Straight and polite Japanese gentleman who seems to enjoy a little tasting of forbidden fruits. Invited us to go see Niagara Falls next holiday. Smart and good conversationalist but bottom line is always romantic escapade –disappointing. What a man like him needs is an angelic prostitute.
Thinking constantly about Craig.
February 9, 1973. Friday. Slept at Kazuko's place until 2:00pm. Had hard time sleeping last night. Legs bothered me. Talked nearly an hour still in bed, then had light lunch.
Kazuko seems to think there is some secret touch in Sakurauchi's interest toward her. When she found a piece of a note from him under the door, she picked it up and put the date on it and with delicate care put it in a private box.
I felt envious about her freedom. Its rather strange that most of men within my association are of strong possessive nature.
The strike at Penn Station ended tonight. Came back home during rush hour. Huge lobster was on the table. Today is Donny's birthday. He said that he liked my present, but then drank too much and went to bed. He is a nice looking guy, but an absolute bore.
It bothers me yet when he assumes bit a too serious attitude, like tonight. !0pm I call David, but he wasn't at home. Very pleasant female voice. Seems to have heard my name (Sami) often. Felt rather lonely thinking about Craig.
February 10, 1973. Saturday. Posted letters to Lisa Jarvis, John Berry and Sheila and Nut. Shallow sleep until 5pm. I was thinking about Craig. Yet its not very far from truth, if I am pushing myself quite consciously toward such direction.
11Am: David Meth called about going to NYC. Planned to meet him Monday at 2:00pm. Called Kazuko at 6 pm and conveyed the plan.
Thought about calling Craig, but exchanging aimless conversation with him where there are listening ears around evoked somewhat unpleasant feeling. Anyway he won't be home quietly (on the west end!) Perhaps its better by all means to forget about him and really get into painting.
Very cold day. Donny is still sleeping because of hangover; his stomach is bothering him. Sometimes he looks like a pig. Lump of fat covered by hair of carnal intuition? Very boring.
February 11, 1973. Sunday. Stayed up until 5:00am (still very dark) Spent most of the time sitting in front of desk and looking at illustrations of a book called “Brain” and thought about my own. Enjoyed a literal head trip. After talking a little with Donny I went to bed.
My heart beat was mere 45 per minute, Took it in the bed. If I die I would donate my heart for transplantation.
In the news: at around New Jersey-side of Staten Island yesterday, an oil tanker exploded. Forty two died. Because of bad weather, transportation (back to the States) for American hostage (several hundred from North Vietnam was postponed.
Read one of Jean-Paul Sartre's girlfriend's books. She is a famous French feminist. Can't find space for empathy. Just be held by extraordinary curiosity over my own youthfulness. I'm sure I look young. Pursuits of magic power – what else can beat this passionate pursuit of youthfulness!
I've got to start painting. Must write letter to Mr. Nakayama.
What in hell's sake is Craig doing? 4:00am. Cold.
February 12, 1973 Monday. Arrived at Izakaya's , a Japanese restaurant, at 3:10pm. David Meth showed up around 4:00 pm. We sit at sushi bar and talk to waiter called Maki. David has started to wear a mustache. Looked vital in a jumper with yellow plaid over brown ground.
Kazuko came in around 4:45 wearing rather dull looking Kasuri-patterned kimono, which is often chosen by mangers for the workers.. Kasuri is a type of weaving of blue cloth, signifying the working class.
She talked with us for 4 or 5 minutes about visa issues. From there we, David and I, went to “Outlook” a dress shop, and saw Janet (Harold's girl friend.) and then with Janet together we went “the basement” - their living space. Thought it was a good idea to paint all the wall and ceiling white. Can save electricity.
Harold's coloured pencil works seem like screaming or shrieking voice of an epileptic. Lack of skill in rendition rather obvious. If I knew then that Harold was an extraordinarily “beautiful” young man, perhaps I could have seen through type of self-declaration with strong intent of self delusion on the surface of his self portrait. Van Gogh's self portrait (the last one) was on the wall. A book titled “Mechanism of Depression” was in the book case. A Beautiful Cat, five months old, was there.
Afterward we went to Max's Kansas City, a popular restaurant in the Village. Upstairs was a dance hall. Got a flank steak. A huge salad bowl contained a mountainous lettuce. (Max's KC was known for this big iceberg lettuce ball.
They said this place is the gathering spot of artists. A groups of rich-looking businessmen was there, staring at me. There also was a black man with a turban.
February 13, 1973 Tuesday. Met David Meth at “Outlook” on Madison Avenue. I think he turns into a jester when there are more than three people around. Janet, who is of Italian heritage, was wearing thick makeup today. She is a big Andy Warhol-type girl. Her lips sometimes looked like two earthworms.
Then we three headed to “Outlook” dress shop, where Harold was working. Harold was very much of an Adonis! It is rather difficult to imagine such a “beautiful” boy (19 years old) has been pursuing monstrous imageries of mainly female figures. Wonder whether he is merely going after a fashionable way of today, or has intuitively found the way to make himself even more attractively through grotesque and depressive imageries. May be it is rather natural consequence for extraordinary beauty to seek a way out for the soul to shriek.
In a good context with ugliness (in the case of David) which seems to be crushed down by the enormous weight of heart, head and soul, and all it can is to laugh like an idiot, and spewing up very Romantic poems, one after another.
Went to visit David's mother, She treated us with pizza-pie. Called Marine. Entire family took me back to home.
February 14, 1973 Wednesday. Craig has left for Colorado already. When I called Scotty answered. Sounding as though he was having a hard time explaining it to me. Me: “See you sometimes, then,” Scotty: “Hope so.”
Thought about the possibility of confessing my real feeling toward Craig to someone. Thinking about Marine.
Slept 'til 4:00 pm. Couldn't sleep well. Woke up 2~3 hours later and turned around in bed for nest 2~3 hours And slept 1~2 hours and turned around for another 1~2 hours. Since I have had quite a busy time for the last couple days, a certain degree of laziness should be justifiable. Smoked some marijuana and took sleeping pills on top of it. I must sleep well tonight.
Made up the basement for painting.
I call Kazuko. She says she hasn't talked to the boss at “Izakaya” yet. Wonder what makes her so hesitant – perhaps she wants to “be pretty for everybody” (a Japanese expression for not making any trouble).
February 15, 1973 Thursday. Decided: Not to paint anything I don't like. If this brings drought, then I might as well starve to death.
The basement is cold, Painted the “underpainting” of Celebrator. The foundation of the painting.
Guggenheim is featuring Ferdinand Hoddar.
Is the moon out?
February 16, 1973. Friday.
10 minutes before 6 a.m. Strangely agitated (nervous).
Temperature went down below zero. Iced snow. (Snowed ice?)
Design infrastructure of “Celebrator” took shape. Must use biggest canvas available just in order to avoid parallel comparison with Rockwell. Present circumstance is actually in the same dimension (as Rockwell) as far as my own reality is concerned, therefore the adoption of method reflective of this everyday condition is nothing but “proper”.
“Proper” is a strange expression. As though I'm expecting an audience. Sometimes I think that it may be so much easier if I just turn into an insane person. I feel this kind of pulling power for insanity in the night when snow keeps falling. Snow seems like fish.
I really have to spend all my might for painting. Just keep painting. That's all. The shapes jump around in front of my eyes. As if they are little eagles.
Oh Craig, please be well!
February 17, 1973 Saturday. A cold day. Went out to 'steak pub' for dinner. Sirloin steak and lobster, cost $7.00 per person.
Lettuce was ¼ size. Blue cheese sauce was delicious. The woman sitting behind me was constantly criticizing a man she is with. As far as she is concerned. No lobster without stuffing in its belly is fit for her high class tastes. And in San Francisco, you can get $200 per 1 course can be served. So (out of curiosity) I looked back (to see her) and found a middle aged woman looking more or less like a phantom of a rooster, not attractive, wearing cheap sweater with open chest and showing dried up banana-like breasts.
Woman would have seemed to fit in if she was selling cheap jewels or baby diapers in a cheap dime store. Yet with utmost seriousness she kept yelling about cooking methods for high class cuisine. Its a pity she had to act this way in rather cheap restaurant which reminded me of a public bath house in Japan.
Throat is swollen and painful. So is belly. After having taken a couple pills for the cold, I went to bed (2:00 am). Seems like I woke up 5~6pm. Why did the restaurant prefer to use red colour?
February 20, 1973 Slept through two days. Because of this, I found myself with clear wakefulness. I had been feeling sleepy much of the time because of lack of sleep. Feel like I am coming down with a cold, though. Feel pain in left eye. Went to Japanese restaurant called Mikawa at Oyster bay, and had sukiyaki and tempura. Talk to a waitress about Kazuko getting a job there. This waitress talks to o much. Other one, who speaks with a Kyoto accent, “Sumi”, is more pleasant.
Come back around 10:30 pm called Kazuko.
Read a book with is a collection of surrealistic philosophy French group's introductory essay on Ernst Max's book “Natural History” was entertaining.Giacometti is an honest man. Andre Beton (Breton?) is difficult. Dali's vocabularies are just too high blown for me to follow (needed dictionary too often to enjoy the writing). So put it aside for later day. Just too much trouble to think. I've got many points arguable within the Italian Chirico's letters.
Its convenient to have big vocabulary..
Feel nausea. Ten minutes until two a.m.
February 21, 1973 Kazuko's 20 year old friend from her Tokyo period, Minoru, came to visit. They are working together at the coffee shop “Vista”. Says he came from Japan three days ago.
Asked what is the most impressive thing here? The answer was “the skyscrapers and hearing English all the time.” Staying with famous person named Donald Rich who is working for the Museum of Modern Arts.
Kazuko went back early because of the job, but Minoru stayed here, at the Riker home, overnight.
When to nearby disco for dancing. I was not feeling great because of lingering cold, so only danced twice with each of them, Donny and Minoru. Minoru is studying a dance step called Go-Go quite seriously – very much Japanese-like. Afterward went to an Italian restaurant near to the dance and had pizza. Big shepherd dog was there.
Minoru was complaining about the ugliness of American girls.
Andy Delaney send me a notice from the Allied Artists of America and a note saying: “Fee was paid. And one more – I [Andy] can see the suffering you went through because of sanity on your part. “) According to the notice they'd chosen me as a candidate for one of the judges.
February 22, 1973 From the early morning on, Mrs. Riker kept coming to my door wanting me to get up because Mr. Hamakita (Minoru's last name) had been up. Thought it was interesting to find out Mrs Riker ( a fashionable sophisticated society woman really did not know how to treat a twenty year old child.
“Pink cheeked vulnerable beauty of a boy ( a commonly used Japanese cliché expression for fragility of youth) seems to evoke some sexual fear like reaction in this upper-middle class suburban country club-going lady The design for broad day light sexuality (too bright to stare. So I didn't have much choice other than to get up around ten a.m.
After the boy left, I took a nap for four hours.
Marine called. Will meet her tomorrow.
February 23, 1973 Friday. At two pm. I met Marine at the corner of the Empire state building. There was a young man looking like a Jewish commuter with her, but as soon as introduction was over he disappeared. Had a cup of tea while Marine was eating sandwich. Then took the subway to the Village and went to a small dress shop. Marine had to get documentation for green card for her friend, a couple pieces of small paper. There was her friend from her Israel period. Twenty seven years old. Typical Israeli like appearance. Looking like a a muscular Mona Lisa without a trace of smile. Every finger in her left hand will filled up with rings. Incessantly talking in Hebrew.
Afterward went to “Cut Look” to see Harold, but he was off. Went to a French restaurant “la Crepe” and had a crepe (sweet chestnut and banana) Marine talked a little about John, but she seemed desperate. Even seems like resentful of my being there, so quit the conversation shortly after, and went to John's friends Pan and Dick's apartment.
An oil painting of reclining woman in Mannerist style was on the wall. “Zen” in carved Chinese character) was there, too. Pan is a healthy and pretty woman.
Came home around 630 pm. Tired.
February 24, 1973. Saturday
Spent the whole day in bed. Did not a single thing. Thinking a little bit about my family in Japan, and about Craig.
Was he thinking about never meeting me again. If so, what will it be? Is he perhaps thinking in some remote future when he became a successful writer, would he write about how he met me and how everything seemed to have gone astray and ended up in an unfortunate way? Or will I ever paint his “pin” (he wrote me a poem about a pin piercing my shoulder) and that strange “desert” in his face? (An expression as arid and vacant as a desert.) This perhaps is one of those memories that seem to last up to the end of my life.
Perhaps same as that one memory that I stole petals of tulips from the teacher's desk.
Feel like having become an orphan. Because no one in my family any longer remembers me nor worries about me. Once in a while my mother seems to have confused about type of person I actually am and without hesitation and with a lot of sweet remembrance wrote about flowers in her garden. May be snowing.
February 23, 1973 Sunday Got out of bed around five pm. Just sat there in front of the television till 2:00 a.m. After Donny had gone to sleep, went to basement and did some charcoal sketching. Continued till six a.m. There wasn't pain except for coldness in my leg.
Must enlarge chairs in [Celebrator's] background. Put more light on ceiling and added more stuff such as tube, water pipe, electric wires, etc, in the ceiling part. Settled down to mundane-magic effect of painting in the painting. May be some one might buy this. If so I'll go to Colorado to have fun, but I may have to pay for Donny's education fee. Named it “Donny”
Cigarette makes me sick. Felt much better after a shower. Thinking about my family (especially mother) too much. Must write a letter.
MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) is featuring Eduard Munch.
February 24, 1973 Got a letter from my family in Japan. A second son was born to my oldest younger brother Arata. Named Otaru (meaning 'completed', or 'coming'). Feel like I can understand what is come to my brother. (I was thinking about his Communist party affiliation)
Also got a letter from John Berry, who was in Japan working as art director for Mr Nakayama. According to his letter, he might come back for Marine. He gets too emotional when is talking about me. E.C.C. (English Conversation Circle, a branch of the World Enterprise company) may have to close down.
Painted in basement from 12 pm to about six a.m. My painting is a satire. Don't care very much about the French caricature painter Domier, but to be a humorist is not too bad. There are many ways to laugh.
Never as anything been more in vain than trying to explain my paintings. After all I have to express every thought I associate with every brush stroke at every particular moment. In other words its absolutely impossible to give, at the time of completion, words to all those infinite streams of thought.
I'm putting meaning (significance to every little speck on the floor of the painting's back lower foreground. Without this sense of giving significance, I don't think I can paint anything at all.
Came up with another title for the work: Introduction to the Great Centerpiece.
February 27, 1973
Letter from Craig arrives. Wrote a long reply. Copied Joan Arp's introduction to Ernst's Natural History and sent it to him. Thinking almost all day about my letter to Craig.
Craig writes that the air in Colorado is cool and dry. Top of mountains are covered with snow. Getting along well with Lizon, but as he had decided when left for Colorado will eventually separate from her. Craig is looking for job Met many big wheels. Maybe get job as a counselor or guardian at the Court of Justice. Wants to know about Cat, Kazuko and Marine, and now I'm getting along with the Riker family.
The letter is short and dry.
Promised to paint a picture of “flower” May have to go to Colorado since the picture is going to be as big as a whole wall.
February 28, 1973. Wednesday Stayed in bed whole day. Went to bed around three pm.) A couple telephone calls. From Kazuko: her boyfriend is finally coming from Japan.
Sakuraichi: lonely. Please come over. He is a bit maniacal. Minoru: Since Mr. Rich is out he wanted to talked to me. Invited me to a party next Thursday.
Could not sleep. Got up around 11 pm and saw Donny sleeping on couch. Sometimes he remind me of my first husband Ray. After a couple hours back to bed. Did not feel very good because of menstruation. Took Excedrin and went to sleep.
March 4, 1973. Sunday. Supposed to go somewhere, but did not go anywhere. Maybe because of lack of sleep, don't feel very well. Nausea and dizziness. Planned to go to Fire Island, but air is too cold and I'm feeling sick....
Put the leash on the cat and took a walk. What is it like to have a cat-like curiosity? Look around, smell around and touch around at everything in the universe with endless concentration, and keep repeating over and over and when gets tired, curls up and sleeps. Never think, never reflect and never imagine. Cat's inner images must be awfully complex and colourful. And takes care of all those imageries by sleeping through. What a machine of precision a cat can be!
March 15, 1973 Thursday. Kazuko and Ashizawa visit. From Left, Samizu Matsuki, Mrs Riker, Kazuko and Ashizawa
Mrs Riker again became nervous, hysterically talking about people of no one's interest. Perhaps hoping that continuous talking might create a little bit more interesting situation for objects.
Fire was on pale blue coloured candles. Blue flower was decorating the table and table utensils are delicately shining, yet what a vacant feeling to see deep and sharp torrent running through among humans. If you draw a white line from top of their head and bring all together at some point in space and imagine that they might somewhat cross each 0ther, then you'll see strange design in while no line _______crossing one another.
Thick fog-night. Went to Nassau a large casual sea food restaurant, then wen t out to see the ocean in the night, then went into "Peach Pub" and "Living rooms" (Pubs for young people) Seems like everybody was bored. A crippled young blond woman was singing.
March 16, 1973. Friday. Birthday. 37 years old. Be not surprised! Marina called. I was out.
March 17, 1973. Saturday. Mr. Minoru Hamakita came to visit. Donny cooked Shish-ka-bab. After eating and talking, went to disco around 11:00pm Because I felt physically good, enjoyed the whole trip. The place was filled up. Some people climbed all the way to the ceiling. Two or three girls with 1930's makeup and loud decorations (usually described as the 'Andy Warhol style') were pretending to be singing while dancing around. Not very good performance, but young people standing shoulder to shoulder and watching them with utter fascination. To me it is hard to understand their enthusiasm. Perhaps, since performers on the stage were merely mimicking whatever it was supposed to be, the audience might be acting out of mimicry of perfect audience. Most of them began to dance as soon as the band started to play. By all means people in the band are the ones worthwhile to "watch".
But unfortunately the band's worth is only for dancing. An interesting phenomenon. They "watch" at things that should be "watched", and "dance" with things that should be "danced" with.
March 18, 1973. Sunday. Minoru stayed until 9:00 am. Such fragile thing as boyish romanticism. He says he's in love with me. Is Mr. rich trying to walk through the life of "Death in Venice"? (A story by Thomas Mann about a love affair between an elderly man and a young boy.)
March 19, 1973 Monday. Miss Fujita's letter arrives. Found address of Mr Imae and Mr Kikawa. Wrote them down in the postcard to Craig and mailed. Went to post office with cat on leash. The post card's illustration was Max Ernst's "Idol". Mis
March 20, 1973 Tuesday. Finished draft of the painting Celebrator by charcoal.
March 21, 1973 Wednesday Its not pleasant to write down the situation charged with emotional context Because of a little verbal fighting, Donny jumped right onto something resembling an ultimatum. After all the life with Donny has just become important to me. To tell the truth, the very person like Donny is the ideal partner for an artist. Talked to around 5:00a.m.
Going out became a very depressing act. Just shut the door completely and stay in the basement, doing some innocuous thing like drinking tea, exchange harmless conversation with Donny and cut off all the connection with outside is what I want. Perhaps I'm looking at mountains in afar and closing the door against something.
March 23, 1973. Friday. A letter from Lisa Garber arrived. There seems a fantastic misunderstanding about my mentioning the comparability of painting and womanhood.
Actually my intention from expression like "woman hood" meant my own particular need to explain to myself the significance of Craig's existence, and since Craig's being represents vitreous quality to me. I want to display a lot of glass objects in the painting (Celebrator) that I'm painting. Hence, I have used word "woman hood" to connote all those feelings. But my impression is that she mistook these for women's liberation movement. Wonder how she would respond if I told her that I've got not a single interest in such movement. In fact I even feel revulsion toward those activities.
Saw a Kurosawa movie called "Yojin-go" (Means "bodyguard." Nakayama's "pose" meaning became clear. A state of suspended animation) Simpler than what I thought.
Took a sketch of Donny (main character of "Celebrator") and retouched underpaint. Fumbling around until 7:00 am wondering this and that. It is "a beautiful morning".
March 24, 1973 Saturday Depressed. 3:50 am. Depressed. Melancholy and ennui. Saw movie called "Attack and Defeat" on T.V. The sentimentality no longer matters. Realistic or not is outside of category. Especially where it is artistic or not is out of question. Its a depiction of battle between Italian and Russian armies during the Second World War. Direct attack against humanity. Fellini suddenly is insignificant.
Get up at 6:00 pm. Caught up by the thought that Mrs Riker is not treating my cat right. Poor cat. Keeps hanging around me, looking scared of something. I must become rich and at least be able to provide a happy environment for cat, if nothing else. Feeling rather serious hostility from Mrs. Riker. I don't like her. Must get out of here as soon as possible.
Don't feel like painting.
That foolish woman! She even has to put her words about my painting. Acting out loft cashing on my acting idiot. I don't like her.
March 25, 1973. Sunday Go to city. Took the train at 1:05pm, got to Kazuko's apartment at 2:20 pm. Ashizawa was sitting on bed and playing strange looking Tarot cards. After having put together Kazuko's papers and talked to the apartment manager, went to immigration office in downtown, taking the subway. Sun was out, but air was depressive and heavy. Came home around 5:00pm. Nausea and depression. Took medicine for stomach.
At 7:30 pm, I went with Donny to a sea food restaurant and had "Cold Fishermen's Plate" Lobster tail was in the center of plate surrounded by salad-like preparation made of shrimp, crab, tuna, etc...Delicious. $6. From there went to movie house in Lynbrook and saw "Get Away" Uninteresting. the best part was the "getaway" part. Different from ordinary movies of this type. When went back, I saw a pair a earrings from Donny was placed on my handbag. Touched deeply.
Marine called. John Berry, her ex-boyfriend, is supposed to come back around June.
March 26, 1973. Monday. Slept until 6:00pm. because of sleeping pills slept more than 12 hours. Outrageous. Watched "Oscar" ceremony on T.V. Liza Minelli and Marlon Brando won. Brando refused to accept the award on the pretext of Hollywood prejudice against American Indians. (Pressure by his new mistress?)
Wrote a postcard to the parents of Rick (Fumi's first husband) telling them that Minoru would drop by with ball pen sketch of their portrait.
Have to finish oil painting within this year.
Shoulder hurts. Minoru called. Leaving for California today. a four day train trip. Told him to visit Madoka, my younger brother, in Tokyo.
6:00 am. Birds are crying incessantly.
Concerning the relationship between anathema and vitality - Isn't Fine Art after all the result of anathema-evolution? That's the reason for vitality to occupy inviolable position in the Fine Arts. this is the qualitative difference from decorative art. Mutually exclusive.
March 27, 1973 Tuesday Got up at 3:30 pm. Washed hair. Put make up on. 6:00pm I went to city to attend the allied artists of America meeting. Asked the way to the Salmagundi Club Building in which the meeting was held, to a policeman. He not only showed me the wrong way, but also asked me for a date! Salmagundi Club was located at 5th Avenue and 9th Street. Old but not so graceful looking inside. there were, as I expected, water colour paintings looking like they were suffering from chronic "Indian summer disease" displayed on the wall without much of consideration. Among them a painting of a boat was outstanding with its dynamic composition. It was a prizewinning one. Seems like my "eye" for artistic judgment hasn't changed Folding chairs were lining the wooden floor and we were supposed to sit there.
The president was on the podium struggling with the microphone, and all the committee members were sitting undisturbed. Their average ages seemed to be 50-60. New members looked middle of twenties to thirty. Everybody had to take a look at me. General atmosphere was those of conservative tradition which generally assumes hostile behavior against heretics.
Previous president Mr Riljarger was a large man with sanguine countenance, nervous type, spoke in small voice. When I went to introduce myself, he seemed run out of words. Mr. Rolf Fabri was chosen for the new president. And I became a 'judge in waiting'. Since last year they began to open doors to newcomers, so they said. Three young men with long hair were newly accepted I was the lone female.
Refreshment was coffee and sandwiches. Talk to new member young Chinese. Acquainted with middle aged Jewish man. One of the new members send me back home with his car.
March 28, 1973 Wednesday It is supposed to be an honorable thing to be a member of the Allied Artists of America. It lest me with some impression to see a couple*1 seemingly in the middle of their 40s, trying hard to hide excitement of being accepted as new members. they have a gallery on Long Island in Maine, featuring paintings of children and other "sentimental" works. The business called Art. Reminds me of that young Chinese/Taiwanese artist's commercial spirit. everything reminds me of the atmosphere of Albany Arts Center*2 in Oregon. When one trouble has gone another one will come. (*3) I'm going to be an anathematizer(??)
A letter from John Berry. With Mr. Kato (*4) doing sales of gambling machine which pops out English word and illustration of trump card for children. He writes an unexpectedly long letter.
There is supposed to be a disease called "writing mania" . How about "painting mania"? More than half of the Allied Artists members may belong to this category.
Systematic thinking makes you a philosopher, intuitive thinking a poet, and no thinking a craftsman. When all those come together, you become an artist. (A great revelation!)
March 29, 1973 Thursday. Took whole night (why does the Japanese letter for "night" resemble the letter for "death"?) to write a letter to Mr. Nakayama. mainly about my present circumstances and pottery exhibition.*5
*1 Husband of the newly accepted member, who took me back to home in their car the previous night.
My shoulder hurts.
John Berry called me a "scavenger", because of all the junk packed in my painting 'Triumphal Return'. (He didn't know that they are all there in Mr. and Mrs. Delaney's basement.)
Actually the greatest reason for me to be in New York is because of this scavenging spirit.
March 30, 1973 Friday. Several elderly women are playing bridge yelling loudly downstairs. Perhaps they are adjusting their mental mechanisms by yelling like this. Toy house and toy trees inside of water barrel --inside the birds alone alive and moving around. In this decor those decorative display objects are aged and turn ugly. (really, what else is left for them other than appearance!) Yet, the psyche clings to appearances sadly. this is the psyche yelling teaching the graying space. Last night I saw in kitchen a small pamphlet titled "How to make snacks for bridge party or committee meeting". Mrs. Riker is faithfully playing the part of suburban matron, with special silver and plate taken out. And over the last days she is taking meticulous care of each well decorated room. How often this kind of gatherings take place?
For this occasion she sacrifices her sons, her space, her time, her money and finally her husband and herself. Is it vanity? -- the price is too high. Sad life....
April 1, 1973 "Today is Rachmaninoff's birthday" says the New York Times Herald. Schoenberg, composer. said that Rachmaninoff's compositions are popular among populace yet they are original.
Rachmaninoff is a genius piano player and his aristocratic pose is imaginary but this good old memory must be closed. (As far as I'm concerned.) To possess such an outstanding memory power yet to be able to maintain great deal of "originality" is a miraculous accomplishment. It is nothing but proving his genius to scoop up the most delicious part of Romanticism and cook up Shabu-Shabu ( a common Japanese food)
Sometimes I feel that originality is no more than impossibility of memory and its irrational interplay, the ability which transcended everything in a supernatural moment and makes forward progression has no intrinsic connection with originality, and it will have its birth only when one's ability experiences through self evident self maturity, and reaches the boiling point, and almost inevitably jump out of liquid substance called time-spirit. that's why hottest talent (ability) belongs to Michelangelo and Beethoven and Da Vinci became originator.
April 2, 1973. A letter from Craig arrives. Pale and thin. Seems like looking through onion paper. Seemingly he likes park. Says bought the prints of Milo and Gogh and put them up on wall. Seems like he liked to decorate walls. Must paint big (huge) painting of flowers. As time passes by, so something also slides away. Just like on by one petals of roses falling down.
A memory along holding breath quietly in the middle of remaining petals. but it also became gradually opaque. Everything became shallow and thin.
Can hear the voices downstairs. It freezes me.
Maybe visit Craig's room. Forehead filled with irritation and anger. Melancholy brow. The temple that strangely reminds me of an angel's. Beautiful hands and hair. Sensitive and disturbed animal like eyes. Soundless energy-taking sharp features. I'll be sitting in it and keep sitting forgetting time. That outrageous emotional license, inexplicable sweetness and sudden arrival of dark silence.
Then suddenly Mrs. Riker came up saying "Hi!"
April 3, 1973 Tuesday Painted in the basement from 1 pm to 5 pm. Ah! everything is so cold! Black cat curled up on dirty blue rug. Its already been two hours but the cat does not even move. Motionlessly feeling my feeling with his back. As though he knows that if he turns around and looks at me straight, the calmness may crumble down and understanding became impossible, he sits there turning his back toward me, holding breath trying to grasp situation. Toward its shining black back my feelings run seeking for focal point.
That's why my canvas is vacant, and my brush moves around aimlessly as if scratching the back of turtle. What an alienated, worthless act!
Thinking about using wiring on ceiling as motif.
Maybe I should go to Colorado.
End of 1973 Excerpts