“T.V. Eye” contribution to Live to Tape publication for Artist Television Festival.
collected voices of Kenneth Ward, Helene Ward and Sean Ward
I rotate the corduroy coffee brown cushions of the couch to prep for a nap. Turning over the two to even out their use. When watching TV my father sits on the right cushion and I on the left. He sits in a particular way where his weight is focused on the edge of the cushion forcing it into a steep decline towards the armrest. He wedges himself into this valley when watching TV or reading on his iPad. If anyone wants to take a nap or sit comfortably it requires all the fluffing and flipping so it doesn’t feel like you’re falling in your sleep.
For siesta, I turn on Apple TV, flipping to HDMI, Netflix, pick an episode of Twin Peaks and settle down on my back. The opening title helps me move into sleep quickly on the couch; an image of a wren and the single plucking of a baritone guitar - images of a saw mill, the welcome sign into Twin Peaks, then a rushing waterfall and stilling water. Like guided imagery it moves you through pain into your imagination. I focus on the wren in my mind’s eye while my lids close.
Sep 9, 2012 (Sunday) They finally tried to get Ken to sit in a chair. He slumped over dead to the world. They put him back in ICU. First in room number 9, but now in lucky number 7.
City rehab. We were being forced to crawl through some kind of pipe that reminded me of a sewer. It was wet, things hanging, and “counselors” inside yelling at us to keep moving. Reminiscent of “Aliens”, all dark with steam shooting out. We wouldn’t be “cured” unless we made it all the way through. I was crying. They beat you to keep you going. I emerged out the other end onto a street somewhere in lower Manhattan. Daylight. Hospital gown flapping in the breeze.
Wren encourages us to go beyond the realm of the “known”. Confidence aids it in adapting and being resourceful in the unknown. This small bird, The Oak King, rules the Waning Year, from Winter’s solstice to midsummer, killing off the Robin.
Sometimes I would wake up and just be staring at a black eye like thing in the ceiling. Waiting on my back I anticipated there would soon be a doctor or nurse in to check on me.
“Good morning, Mr. Ward. How are you doing today?”
When they weren’t leaning over me, I’d look up at that giant black orb that never wavered its gaze down. After they examined me, I could feel the dreams coming back…
I set my match.com’s profile to “Spiritual but not religious”.
Strangely as I descend the mountain I slip further back in time to a quasi stone age. A band of neanderthals capture me. Don’t know if they are welcoming or going to eat me. Then like every caveman movie the outsider is befriended by the “attractive” female. Now under her wing, she protects me from the young bulls. We go on a hunting trip and somehow end up in a version of the Museum of Natural History. We look at dioramas of prehistoric times together. The female draws me closer and I end up making it with a semi-ape. That’s when I knew I had to leave because the bulls were getting upset. And besides, I could feel this dream…ending.
Robin reminds us to shake the sleepiness out of our head. Guardian or thief of fire in legends, it wears its red breast as a sign that warmth is returning in winter’s place.
Oct 9, 2012 (Tuesday) I arrived to see Ken sitting up in bed - OFF THE MACHINE!!! I feel like jelly all over 😃 Was it the anointing, Tania or a COMBO?! Caitlin can’t believe her eyes. AMEN. The nurse says “sepsis”.
TV back on. Bring his glasses tomorrow.