Thursday, February 18, 2010

Art imitates life, life imitates art

Prior to Dread's joining roller derby, we had a discussion about art. The missus has the ability of recording the world and then rearranging the images she captures into something beautiful. She had won awards and modest recognition for her digital art in college and the early years of our relationship, but lamented that "there wasn't much [she] had to say." And then came roller derby.

Derby awakened a passion in Dread that is infectious. Beyond the physicality of the game, the strategy involved made her already sharp mind sharper. Which is sometimes a pain in the butt, as I have to get my Loki on if I want to hide something from her, like a surprise party. More importantly, though, derby has given her a new well to draw from when it comes to making cool stuff.

Months ago, Dread came home with an old skate that used to belong to one of her teammates. This beat up, ol' boot had seen a lot of action, weathered hits and blocks from stiff competition, and was able to be put out to pasture instead of thrown into the trash. Dread saw the life story of that skate, and decided to share it.

When she started,  our living room coffee table disappeared under the components she had assembled for about four days. While we have an office with a "work table" for such projects, my desk is also in there. Dread's not wild about bothering me, nor I her, while we're working. This compassionate, mutual understanding often dissolves whenever she notices something funny on television, or receives a phone call that prompts her to ask me questions. But I digress too much in the realm of marital secrets, so I best stay on target with the skate.

 Not Pictured: The office door being shut by a cranky, if loving Pelvis. 
It's hard to write sweet things when you're listening to the missus scream at Project Runway.

The result was a book about roller derby, made from the skate and several bout posters we had accrued over the past two seasons. The skate has been on display at the Cambridge Center for the Arts and will be going to the Southshore Art Center in a few weeks.  Am I bragging? Yeah. I guess I am. Dread's awesome. In addition, she's the mastermind and head sewer of the roller derby quilt.

As for me, meeting the ladies of derby, and their spouses, has inspired a lot of the fiction I've been working on for the past two years. There is something about the marriage of the sport and spectacle that brings out the dynamic parts of people you so rarely get to see. And, I can chalk up all the games and events I go to as "research."

-Pelvis Costello

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