For the month of December 2013, I had the pleasure of curating the "Marvelous Movie Mondays" program for the Echo Park Film Center. I'm really happy with the way the five pieces I selected spoke to each other and built an arc to end the year, so I've collected the links and my notes into one single post for simplicity. Thanks so much to Kate Lain for inviting me to do this, and thank you to the artists—Mike Wechsler, Lauren Cook, Jim Lujan, Tim Hope, and Jake Elliot for making work that continues to affect me.
December 2 — New Cold Moon
Whatever might have been left still growing is dying. Without all this green in the way, you can see things as they are. The bones of the world. Patterns that were there all year long, but hidden by the pride of spring and excess of summer. Look and watch, but take care. Get what sunlight you can. Everyday's a little darker and darker. It's still bearable now, not like in a few weeks when it will feel like all you can do to just try and get through it. You'll need to slaughter the cattle now so you don't have to feed them the grain you worked so hard to store up. At least there will be some meat and then maybe you can make it.
Scoop up all the daylight that's left, hold it close to your heart:
"Strange Attractors" by Mike Wechsler
December 9 — First Quarter Cold Moon
All the moisture is frozen out of the air. Lips split and lungs turn to jerky. It seemed like a good idea to hole up here and take refuge from everything that is broken. Start with all that is you, all of you that's left. Now let yourself dry into sinew and salt. More you than ever. The you-est you've ever been. You.
Find something to drink:
"On the Mountain" by Lauren Cook
December 16 — Full Cold Moon
There is nothing noble about paying a bill. But she told me to have a blessed day. Pronounced blest. It would have been better to pronounce it bless-ed. Passive-aggressive proselytizing. She didn't say that God should bless me, only that I should go out there and get some blessings somehow. This is God's country, indeed. But what if God's not here anymore?
Get yourself bless-ed:
"John Henry Unicorn" by Jim Lujan
December 23 — Last Quarter Cold Moon
Earth good? Stars good? Their adjuncts all good? I don't know, I don't know. I don't know. Even once every square inch of the earth's surface is covered with memorials, how will I ever, ever know?
Wrap up shopping season:
"Jubilee Line" by Tim Hope
December 30 — New Wolf Moon
Go then, you. Look one more time on what you've done and go. Here. Today. The bones of the world are still gray and soft. I'll stay for a while and tend to them, keep them clean, turn them in the sun so they bleach out into hollow, brittle things that can't remember what they once held up. Visitors will take pictures and make up stories. Some stories will be better than the real ones then those will become real and we won't know or be able to fix them but it won't matter as long as they start sad and end happy. O forgive me for not seeing that you had become slighter than your own shadow. Go and take a firm bright form and I will make it there. Go and go and go and become the new year and wait for me there. I will make it there I will.
One more thing for you for the old year. I miss you already:
"Ruins" by Jake Elliot