Wishing it Away


"237. In any case, I am no longer counting the days." [1]

—I am seeing myself through the fog of a treasured memory and wishing those vestiges away. Blemishless skin, curious wide-eyes, sleeping with you on the phone the whole night through. The artist must be true to themselves above all else, I am told. And what about being untrue to that which is not myself? Would that suffice?
—All the parts of me that live in other people: I want you back and I am wishing away all my former selves (living in me like Russian nesting dolls) and all my former thoughts. You are still a part of me, but I am wishing that part away. I am the sky wishing away the stars. And I know I am still a part of you but, again, I am wishing it all away.
—Counting the days is wishing them each away, wasting them wishing for yesterday, or pining for tomorrow. Living for summer is just wishing the other seasons away. Waiting for you is wishing my life here away. I am no longer counting the days.
—I am wishing it away as if there is nothing to lose, or as if I haven't already lost it. Washing the night off us and slowly coming to be. Take consolation in the fact you are irredeemably and irrevocably yourself: that which you can never change nor divorce. Eschewed from fantasy, but hallowed ever still. As if beauty surrounds you only because you cannot see it. In every shower, every meal, every passenger drive, every undressing and dressing. Every bed unmade, finger broken, cigarette unsmoked, grandmother promised. Unbecoming what you are not. Wishing away the words still left unsaid, birthdays yet celebrated, needles un-inking virgin skin, breakfasts skipped, dances spent tied to walls.

Evie | Chromogenic Print | 2021 | 9 × 12 in.

Lovers, Walden Pond | Chromogenic Print | 2022 | 9 × 12 in.

Delaware | Silver Gelatin Print | 2023 | 9 × 12 in.

"238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world." [2]

—If you ever read this let me begin by saying that I would rather have you than any of these. I am wishing that feeling away.
—Your head is turned and resting slightly on the crook of your shoulder, somehow turned both towards and away from me. That feeling accessible, per usual, in its safe warmth. And optimistic excitement. Some exhausted moments after spending time with my family in their new backyard on Juniper. Your glance, profoundly and smile sweetly. I am god damn lucky to receive these, if only in recurring dreams.
—To say I am wishing now is in an understatement.

Wakefield Thanksgiving | Chromogenic Print | 2021 | 7 ½ x 9 ½ in.

Remy and Julian | Archival Pigment Print | 2023 | 5 x 7 in.

Joe’s Birthday | Silver Gelatin Print | 2023 | 9 × 12 in.

Teo | Silver Gelatin Print | 2023 | 9 × 12 in.

One of Ten | Chromogenic Print | 2023 | 5 × 7 in.

Untitled | Archival Pigment Print | 2022 | 5 x 7 in.

"239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. 'Love is not consolation,' she wrote. 'It is light.'" [3]

—Love is not consolation, it is all this darling light in which I'm submerged. Just as light transposed has born these images. So now I am wishing away what could have been and I am showing you the results of my laborious wishing, in all its ugly nakedness, of merciful sacrifice. These being what I have given up. I will stop destroying negatives and stop waking up at 4 am.

Trina | Archival Pigment Print | 2023 | 5 x 7 in.

Somewhere, New Jersey | Silver Gelatin Print | 2023 | 5 × 7 in.

"240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light." [4]

—I will bloodlet Connecticut with the leeches of our remains. Caught between wishing it away and wishing it back and to stop wishing all together: to stop muttering these whispered prayers between bedsheets. And in the day, I may from time to time, catch myself welling up, realizing my ostracization from the life I once lived. But I am no pariah, since I am the one who has done the wishing.
—Prone to gluttony. In any case, I begrudgingly accept Nelson words, a mother's wisdom.

Joe | Archival Pigment Print | 2023 | 5 x 7 in.

[1] Maggie Nelson, Bluets, Wave Books, 95.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.

Lu Encarnacion Aubin (b. 2001) is an artist living and working in South Royalton, Vermont. Aubin is a 2023 graduate of Fordham University with a dual B.A. in American Studies and Visual Arts. The resulting practice is introspective, negotiating liquid forms of being: introduced blur, unraveling subjects. They are notes on unfaithful and fragile light cast onto smudged and faulty glass of the lens. Obfuscating reality, the images are transmuted, paradoxically, into trailblazers or instructions for remaining vulnerable, loving, and fostering devout faith. If nothing else, the prints should service testament to a life well lived: indulged by the delicate and grotesque. An unreliable narrator but, at least, a forthcoming one. Unfearful to admit a slow melody folded into itself. 

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