this time of year generally is like an insane sandstorm. sometimes i feel like i have a homing beacon, something that sounds in the distance, alerting me is i'm off course or right on track. but much of the time i feel as though i'm just caught in storm. i can't see very far in front or behind me. i know big things are coming to a close, grades are due [someone will be disappointed]. i also know the sheer amount of tasking - the grading, the buying, the wrapping, the mailing, the cooking, the talking [both small and big], the hugging, the unwrapping, the eating, the emotional instability and extra time spent with a semi-dramatic six year old will blindside me.
oh holidays. they stop for no one. there are candles and treats [first gingerbread houses] and trees.
and dinners, generations gathered - even those no longer technically with us if we count who provided the china and the silverware.
and somehow there still are moments of pure magic. when your child runs upstairs to emphatically tell you that REINDEER LEFT FOOTPRINTS IN FLOUR [because we have no snow] ON OUR FIREPLACE MAMA !
and in this mix was the slow decline of our beloved tonka. cancer - most likely brain [but who knows for sure. not worth finding out. that sureness would leave nothing changed, nothing fixed]. i've said it before... having pets is one of the most wonderful things in the world. even this part, the end. the part that makes my heart and soul ache and wish for magical powers... even this - standing toe to toe with grief - doesn't ruin it. what it does do, though, is offer up mortality [again] for a closer look. there is no one way, right way, possible way to guess... how one day is just all of a sudden different and worse. and that then you have to do what is right. what is hard. what no one wants to do. and you will stand, as a family, in a cold room and pet your little love until he goes into that place that i can't describe or know, but i'm hoping is a good and happy and warm place. one where we reconnect with other lost loves and no longer have a care in the world.
for reasons i can't even begin to get into 2014 was a year of extremes. some incredible, wonderful, never thought possible things happened [like a new kitchen, a residency in kansas, a museum purchase of my work], and some hard, challenging, and even a few down right miserable things - things i don't want to have to go through - or watch my family go through - EVER EVER again. yeah this happens every year, but for some reason this year they all seemed smushed together; more intense, more urgent, more indescribable, harder to process and harder to maneuver than ever before. it's not that any ONE event was worse, but somehow this is not a year i want to repeat in it's entirety.
maybe in some ways as we get older we have much more patience and wisdom in some areas and much less tolerance and ability to put up with certain things. at least that's how i'm feeling.
but oh. but oh it's 2015. it's a new year. a perfectly metaphorically wonderful way to turn that page. to start fresh, to try again, to dream again, to plan and scheme of the next things, to stretch, perhaps to rest a bit, but not too much because god damn i miss the studio.
happy new year friends.