Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wondering Woman

That's it: Wondering Woman!
That's my secret code name for myself. I've been searching for a proper secret code name for a very long time. For years I have been deceiving myself, flattering myself by thinking (hoping) that the powerful moniker "Wonder Woman" suited me. I know, I know, Linda What's-Her-Name really owns the title...and before that there were the comic books...and before that there were (surely) countless wonder women wandering anonymously around the world--wondering. Identifying with the Wonder Woman character has long been a way for me to entertain myself, a way to boost my wildly vascillating sense of self worth...It amounted to nothing more than a chronic case of wishful wondering.

(note to readers: sometimes a perverse penchant for accidental alliteration overtakes my marginally more measured means of word selection--my apology)


Why, I wonder, have I collected so many random, kitschy Wonder Woman items: magnets; a jelly glass; note paper; dolls; books...The piece de resistance---because, when I saw it I couldn't resist it---is a Carol Sarkisian Wonder Woman doll, with a gold-leafed body, bejeweled in ersatz rubies and diamonds, standing stalwartly on a snowy peak, in a glass and powder-coated metal diarama--fantastic!

And now to answer my own question:

I collected (accumulated is the better word here) all those odds and ends of "wonderwomaniana" because...well...pretty much just because! The book bag, the lunch box...they simply appeared (as gifts and from wanderings in flea markets and second hand shops) and I simply found a place for them in my life--on shelves, in drawers, on my refrigerator...

In an attempt to find clarity, through pondering possible answers to a loose variation of the chicken and egg puzzle, I posit that first there was the wonder and then there was the wonder woman and then there was the wondering...Or was the wondering first?

This started out to be a personal celebration of the wondrousness of the act of wondering. It was meant to be serious. Profound, perhaps. Now, I see that it has morphed into an unintentionally (and embarrassingly) exposed view of a not infrequently frequented part of my mind---the part that gives me no peace of mind. May I add that it's late, late at night!

I'm wondering (I can't help it) how chains of thought are linked...There is a drinking/parlor game that, from time to time, I've played with others---but that I play most often with myself--when I am caught without people or books. It goes like this: think of a common two word phrase...take the second word of the phrase and make a new two word phrase starting with the aforementioned second word...and so this:

table top---top hat---hat trick---trick pony---pony tail---tail end---end paper---paper trail---trail dust---dust bin---bin Laden...

Now what, I wonder!?

1 comment:

  1. I never thought of myself as Wonder Woman, but it has occurred to me that I wonder about an amazing number of things over the course of a week. I don't think I ever outgrew a child's curiosity. About almost everything. (Just ask my husband.)

    Is the Wonder Salon named after this kind of wondering? I find myself wondering a lot in my art. I wonder what this color would look like next to that color. I wonder what kind of a line an old fork would make in wet paint. I wonder what would happen if there were a lot of the same painting together, but they were each a little different. (This last wondering, sparked by seeing Donald Judd's 100 aluminum boxes in Marfa, is what led to my latest body of work.)

    What a joy that life can be so wonder-full.