One of the reasons why I left New York is because I couldn’t take all the plastic.
Plastic cards, plastic faces, plastic personalities — The stench of fake couldn’t be masked no matter how expensive or exquisite the perfume. I didn’t belong anywhere because I wouldn’t play the game of “Names – How Many Can You Drop?”
Even when I was a rock journalist, during those 7 years, all of those I “know” were still people I took to my heart. I listened to the words and music with ecstasy and I wrote in orgasms. And everyone I wrote about penetrated me one way or another and I wasn’t about to degrade them simply for the purpose of making me a better dancer at the masquerade of corporate suits hiding underneath leather and steel. I was actually one of the few rock writers that actually wanted to write, not live vicariously through those they wrote about.
Whiskey and vomit starts to taste the same after a while…
I put up with it as long as I did because I allow myself to be affected. When I see beauty, when I see love, when I see light, I allow it to affect me. When I see death, evil, fear, and pain, I allow it to affect me.
I let Life affect me until it throws me another bone…or into another room.
I am Her Priestess before anything else; before my name, before my sex, before my race or species, I am the ambassador and instrument of Life and in this instance, in my present incarnation, Life has presented itself to me in the form of Goddess. I love Her with every inch of my being. She is in everything I do, say, sing, paint, stitch, touch, and WRITE.
Yeah, I actually do entertain the thought of how much easier it would be to retreat and sit still in the lotus position connected by Her Light and stay there in bliss, but I choose to bleed instead. And with that choice, I’ve accepted the responsibility to expose myself in various forums in the most selfish, terrifying, loud, and beautiful mediums.
In this theatre, there’s only my voice which leaves me completely naked and wide-legged in front of the gallery, completely vulnerable to anything that can be dished. Toss me flowers, throw me tomatoes, fondle me, rape me, or…just walk away, apathetic and unaffected.
I’m pretty sure I’d rather be told I’m hated and despised than just “okay.”
Life isn’t just okay. Life doesn’t come in hues of mediocrity. Maybe it’s a form of masochism, but I tend to process it like a meat grinder, taking in all the bloody bones, and breath, and bits and sculpting them into a digestible format. It’s not always pretty, but it feeds me. And there’s so much of it, I can’t eat it all – I don’t have that kind of appetite or energy! If I can see the glimmer of light dancing on a diamond, why keep that to myself? If I danced with the devil, I don’t wanna keep that tune in my own head forever!
Yet, I cannot be an endless river constantly flowing of all this bile and beauty just to show that I have it. I can’t expose myself all the time to everyone each and every detail of what I’m writing, how I’m writing, what I’m thinking when I’m writing all the time because I can’t share something I’m in the process of grinding and therefore doesn’t fully exist.
I can’t rip out a fetus from my guts, put a diaper on it, name it George and say, “Here! Hold this!” I can’t share something I don’t understand. It’s not fair to me and really not fair to anyone else.
And I feel judged.
My blog, beneath the skin, is really about Connection. Not just about Tarot, divination, spirituality, or relationships, whatever. It just so happens that these are the main methods of how I connect, but then again this forum can only be from my perspective. I can’t speak for anyone else.
Last month, I did something that really put myself out there: I wrote a book. It’s the first story I’ve ever dared to bring to the public. Every single character, regardless how interesting, paranoid, stupid, sexy, evil, funny, or weird, is a piece of me – whether I liked them or not. So much so, that after a while, they started telling me what they would say and do and my job was reduced to just taking dictation. They made me laugh, they made me think, they pissed me off, made me cry my eyes out. They did things to me that I got used to doing for myself. When “CLEANERS” was finally finished after edits and edits and more edits and lots of puzzlement and tears, the baby was fully grown and thrown out into the world the way I believe it should.
The main difference between making art and parenting is that our artwork won’t ask for our car keys.
Does it make me a bad mother because I don’t talk about my child all the time? Does it make me any less of an artist if I don’t constantly discuss the painful and passionate process of making all my words worth a thousand pictures? It kinda scares me to think that I may have plunged right back into the sea of Seran Wrap and if my work is gonna drown in advertising.
Then again, if that’s the nature of the beast, well hell, I’m not gonna try to pull its teeth out, but still…
Yes, believe it or not, in between numerology calculations, tarot instruction, Goddess worship, and various mundane rants and raves regarding the various this-and-that, T. Ray Verteramo lives, breathes, tastes, smells, fucks, and farts Art. I create because I am. I’m not complete unless I manifest something, but not everything manifested is complete.
And to all of you who know or might know what I’m talking about, who delve head-first into the agony and ecstasy, unafraid to smash their heads against the bottom of the pool, I lovingly embrace you with silence and a smile because we are truly of the same Faith, after all.
And “True religion never needs to advertise itself.”