British painter and grandson of Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud, died Wednesday.
I felt a terrible pang when I heard the news yesterday. Somehow Lucian Freud got mixed up in my past, with a very specific time in my life that was full of emotional intensity. I never knew Lucian Freud, of course. I saw his paintings for the first time at the Tate Gallery when I was 26 and engrossed in a heady, trans-Atlantic romance. Already high on the sensory overload of being in love for the first time, his work made a profound impact on me. Soemthing about his paintings seemed so full of adoration - I could feel the affection and admiration he had for his subjects. Sue Tilly, a benefits supervisor who appeared in many of his paintings (and became known as "Fat Sue"), was a particular favorite; his doting hand lovingly painted every fold of skin, every blemish, every grubby heel as if in celebration. Of Leigh Bowery, the oversized transvestite performance artist, fetish designer and muse, Freud said, "I found him perfectly beautiful."
He painted the winsome Kate Moss naked and pregnant, and captured Queen Elizabeth II on canvas (fully clothed, thank God), but I like to think he rejoiced in the homely, the imperfect, and the marginalized. When I look at his paintings, I rejoice in them too.
Separately, I'd like to thank you for all the wonderful comments you left for me over the last few days. I am so touched and so buoyed by your response. Much love, P.
I finally quit my job today. I quit the job that kicked my ass six ways to Sunday for the past two years - the one that scared me silly, rubbed against the grain, left me depleted, worked me harder than I've ever worked. I made it out alive. No - more than that. I fucking killed it.I turned that shit around and quit on a high note. I'm proud of that.
This is what I made before I quit - a reminder of what I had to do so that I'd do it:
But it was all wrong.
I took one look at my boss's face - crumpled, shellshocked, hurt, baffled - and I didn't feel rebellious or triumphant or jubilant. I didn't streak down the hall skipping. I felt like absolute shit.
It's a terrible thing to let someone down, especially when that someone hand reared you like a newly hatched chick when you were lost and confused, and believed in you when you were down and out.
It downright broke my heart. I went back to my bile green pod and cried my eyes out, pulled myself together, and hit the Peppermint Patties. Even under the influence of the Patty, I had to remind myself: This is not what you want. This doesn't make you happy. You can't spend your life making other people's dreams come true when your own are languishing.
So I went through with it and got what I asked for - a blessing. In about six weeks, I start something new, something I hope will hit more of the right chords. And I'm so unbelievably scared.
But better to be scared and moving than scared and standing still.
Good people of the internet, I call on your collective sweetness to send good vibes my way.
Fortitude is not my strong suit and I need all the help I can get.
P.S. Female matadors slay me with their grace and ferocity. Let us leave aside for the moment the fraught issue of animal cruelty and dwell instead on how incredibly fearless and foxy these women are. See more of the toreras captured by Gina LeVayhere.