On Othering – A new book of poems

Hello Dearlings, Fiends, and Strangers,


What distressing times we find ourselves in.

Hopefully, this gift will provide you with a small/curious distraction.

So much of what happens in the art studio is difficult to communicate in any format other than the art itself.  But I did promise to help you think about painting differently, so I’m letting you in on this (usually) secret part of my process.  The writing.  It will walk you through the process of shifting perceptions that leads to a painting.   Each of these small poems is a little moment of ‘othering’, and as a group, I hope they will wash over you and carry you into a different thought space than the ones you’re used to.  These little verses are one of many paths to the feeling I have right before I paint. Nobody else has seen this yet.  I wanted to release it to my Patreon patrons first.

When I was a minor human, we had a neighbor the children were told to avoid. Her house was near ours, on a little hill. The first time I saw her, she was ironing her lawn. Her gray hair, tumbling over her skin like brambles, was unbrushed. Her gaze was focused, her iron unplugged. I watched her, fascinated, with goosebumps rising on my pale arms. Through the curtain of my long, dark hair, I was met with a sparkle in her eye. We smiled. In that small moment of shifting perceptions, what I expected to see parted and made room for something Other. The next time I saw the crone, she gave me a collapsing cup. The kind meant to be taken into the wilderness, that sinks into itself and becomes compact. Easy to hide. The adults warned that it might be poisoned, but said I could keep it if I promised to never drink from her cup. I imagined the drink was called Lost. I never saw her after that, but I believed that the cup was a key. That she wanted to tell me that she was folding into herself. This collection of small moments of othering is my gift to you: a collapsing vessel you shouldn’t drink from. Don’t worry too much about the unfamiliar words. Some of them do not exist. Just let the text sink through you like a stone.

You can download the book here.

Until Soon,

Sarah Zar

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