“The vast night. Now there’s nothing else but fragrance.” – Jorge Luis Borges
I’ve spent the past few weeks, absent. In more meanings of the word than one. You know you’re doing something right when something, someone, consumes every moment of your existence. Every waking thought and feeling. Every drifted dream and sleeping movement. It’s always been that way though. I choose something, someone, to love, and allow myself to fall into complete absorption. Utter submission. Both mental and physical. That, for the most part, is the reason why commitment and I can never co-exist. I lose myself in the consummation of another. Neglect. Savagery. Desire. Its bloody work built for the brave. Stomaching the entire flesh of a person, devouring every inch of their shrunken soul. It’s no easy feat, to navigate between the impulses of passion and thirst. Creation. I starve for creation. We burn together, brilliantly. And flame with it. Until the remains of decayed being are singed blackly wax enough to bloom into a new form of heightened living. I cling to the light, the white heat found in the crevices, the cracks, the fragments of self. And again, I rise.
And that’s what I love about creation. The constant pull towards divinity, the highest form of self-expression and endless discontentment. The passionate rage, no drought in memory. Like the time I went insane with addiction, diseased with numbed behaviour and crazed by poison, veins, teeth and blood. Bitter resentment and hollow-eyed pain, stinging on tongue. The addiction that almost killed me, is the one I love best. Its head now reared into an abstraction of disgust and desire, towards one’s fear, one’s savagery, one’s wild, sinister, nature. This inner moral compass, forever skewed. A rejection against conventional living, conventional relationships, conventional creativity. Sirens luring limp bodies into black water. I, who only live for ecstasy, will never need societal acceptance. Figuratively tragic, real life, even more brilliant. All the angels, all the demons, within. And that’s what life is. An endless stream of fleeting feeling. Light and dark. Shifting into new being.
And then there’s this gathering. An Autumnal Supper, hosted in honour of coming together in celebration. A menu created around seasonality, an embracement of Autumn. It’s an art, to put a gathering together from scratch. It usually demands months of agonising, planning to the hilt. The fact is, I threw this gathering together on whim. Two weeks planning max. The scene. Food. Lights. Candles. Florals. Wood. Fire. Smoke. Table. There’s a poetic nature to table setting. Combining mundane objects to form something beautiful. Ordinary ingredients, eaten daily, worked into something far from usual. Untamed trees and florals, neglected often, blooms and foliage foraged into something wildly diaphanous. The drunken overhang of ivy. Unruly vines cut and woven into the scene, up a wooden ladder, over lights.
Nature I grew in, people, I grew with. Every artist returns to things from their past. A home, a thought, a memory, a flavour, a feeling. This was no different. The past making a thematic emergence throughout creative life. The tablescape, more ephemeral than ever. And people too. We dined on things like, Fire Roasted Brown Butter Pumpkin with Sage, Heirloom Tomato Galettes, Seasonal Crudités with Whipped Curd and Salty Smoked Butter, Cheeseboards that could go on for days. Sweet things like Brown Sugar Sorghum Cheesecake, Spiced Almond Cake with Apple Compote and Mascarpone Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Fiery S’mores, and Salted Brown Butter Cacao Nib Blondies. And that’s just a small sample of the menu.
This Autumnal Supper. It’s an ode to magical moments, to living sacred and untamed. To the ordinary made effervescent. An ode to people, to story, to conversation and moments that weave each life into one. Relationships that just fit, reigniting old friendships, old loves. I crave that. To all the people that made it possible, that helped execute the vision, thank you. To my good friend, Justine who flew in to help the event, thank you. I love you all. And you too, reader. I wish I could have shared this experience with you all. I have so many more things to speak on, but for now, these images. Expect more gatherings to be hosted in the future.
Thank you to Justine for being such an amazing model! The image of myself is credited to her also.