Monday, October 5, 2009

Mary Meigs

Mary Meigs was an American-born Montreal painter and writer, who died in 2002. She wrote as though she were painting;in her books she delineated her own character and those of the people with whom she had close relationships. I am really taken by her her journals and autobiographical writings.

I’ve just finished reading her "The Medusa Head", an autobiographical work that focuses on herself, her partner Marie-Claire Blais and another woman she calls “AndrĂ©e” with whom they had a brief relationship. Her understanding of herself and her two lovers is astounding and she writes with an openness that I admire. Meigs was very wise, and I am happy that she left behind for us at least some of what she discovered. Here is a short excerpt, an example of how she articulated one aspect of being an artist.

“One is perpetually walking the tightrope between selfishness and generosity, the generosity that comes from a state of awareness of others, and an artist’s selfishness - the holding together of the conditions necessary to be an artist.” (p. 105 The Medusa Head)

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