Stay six feet away, put me six feet under, the groundhog tells us if there’s six more weeks of winter, and it’s said that God created man on the sixth day. Six is synonymous with death, distance, damnation and divination. I haven’t really figured out why six has become a standard indicator for such upsetting things - maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Anna Nicole Smith once said, “You know those bumper stickers where it says ‘Shit Happens, And Then You Die?’ They should have them where ‘Shit Happens, And Then You Live.’ because, that’s really the truth of it.”
I recently went to see the new Frick on Madison. There laid the heart-wrenching series of the Progress of Love by Jean-Honoré Fraganord. In the sad and sick world that is dating, I physically felt my heart rise and sink to my stomach as my eyes navigated his courtship for Madame Du Berry. The tale of the DTR is as old as time, from Rococo to the new millenia. While I turned to self-help videos from celebrity therapists to gain insight on how to go from mistress to misses, Madame Du Berry asked our dear Fraganord to paint her secret lover, King Louis XV. The saga that is the courtship of any true love holds a special drama- the meeting, the pursuit, the crowning of said lover, and lastly, the love letters. We invite Cupid in to disarm him. Love is not a collapse, but a growing organism. Like all good parasites, it can not dwell in us without a distinct burning. The proclamation of love is a raving hallucination - humbling, unmasking - it requires one to be in a degree of pain by admitting incompleteness and of giving away the innermost Self that has been burned away with paranoia and cynicism. Oh, but I do love it. Nevertheless, Madame Du Berry rejected Fraganord’s paintings only to go to Joseph-Marie Vien for help defining her scandalous relationship with the king. There is something so simply powerful in Madame Du Berry’s persistence in making her indiscretions of her love known, and for that we applaud her. Side chicks unite.
Chemtrails Over The Country Club. As I listen to what my friend has deemed “the same song eleven times over,” I hear a healing woman, one who has romanticized her scorn over the last few years. While this album did not change me the way Norman Fucking Rockwell did, I will say that I am far less vulnerable now than I was then (or so I hope.) Lana Del Rey, in her agony and in her yearn details the long standing history of women in pain. She defines a new era of longing through flower crowns and heart-shaped sunglasses, up until Lolita-fication and Tik Tok videos.
Menander, an Ancient Greek dramatist once said, “Woman is a pain that never goes away.” - and Lana Del Rey once sang, “What’s the worst that can happen to a girl, who’s already hurt?” At the mercy of pain, the act of succumbing becomes the cure. The Blessed Ludovica Albertoni screams in pain as she orgasms. She cries out for God and as we listen to Lana Del Rey, we go towards what Julia Kristeva would explain as a place where meaning collapses.
What is it about getting caught in the rain that makes your skin so soft?