the reality of life

i am sitting, while my fridge is getting repaired. a new fridge. a steam cleaner is running [to clean the fan before a new compressor is put on] and the door ajar noise is beeping and CNN is on the TV and i am multi-tasking on my laptop. i need to be working on illustrations for a book i'm writing [on color. so excited. this is a topic for another day], but i can't until the repair guy is gone.

and this. this just seems like a very typical state of affairs in my life. the tug of things that need to get done vs. the inconvenient messiness of life and obligations vs. the pull of the things i really really really want to be doing.

us now
i am thinking about how i was up in portland a couple weekends ago for lisa congdon's 50th birthday. it was so fun to meet some genuine friends in real life for the first time [how can it be this is the first time i've hugged them or met their children in person?].

lisa lisa mug
us in 2008 [i was pregnant in this photo but hadn't told anyone yet]

i stayed with folks who are like family. i saw friends from right here in the bay that i don't see often enough. i saw portland or so-cal people who i usually see in other places. i ate amazing food and had thoughtful conversations. i even saw some live music. it felt adult, and rejuvenating. i missed my family and pets as i always do when i travel [i actually love that distinct feeling of longing. and i relish in my rebuked duties - particularly making school lunches], but i walked in the brisk cold and drizzle and wandered into stores, galleries, powells at my own pace... what a luxury.

this was an interment collection center
i also realized that i missed a deadline [so unlike me and worrisome], that i can only stretch so far - and like a rubber band when taught i am close to snapping back, that i can shove things aside but in the end what really really matters are those MOMENTS. you know the ones ::

• the real conversation with someone who sees you and knows you [even if you just met]
• being catty about art world things with people who get it [there are so few who really do]
• laughing hysterically from the gut numerous times
• a plate of citrus cod, crab gratin, bone marrow on toast and winter salad shared
• talking about the reality of fairies with a six year old whose brothers keep convincing her they aren't real
• driving around with a friend hunting down an internment camp collection center because you need to see it and it's now a music venue and you imagine what it would look like with a line of japanese people and suitcases outside
• the smell of palo santo
• the pollinations of ideas for shows and workshops of all sorts
• the wearing of a vintage dress/jacket combo

in the reality of my life the grading of readings and projects never seems to end, the coordination of girl scout cookie booths and art auctions vie for precious mental space. sometimes i read novels while brushing my teeth, or in the dark on my phone with a snoring husband and dogs next to me until i can't keep my own eyes open. i can make big things fit into small spaces, and find a way to utilize every. single. moment. of. every. single. day. and i know this the reality for many of us. and we are privileged and lucky and hyper aware of our prosperity.

there was a lot of talk in portland about blogs. how we all created our blogs and met in this magical era - i started in 2004. hello. i mean i guess i can go back and read those archives. it might be scary. then i was writing for myself. for my family. there was no one reading. and then all of a sudden there was. and this community formed. and it was not just virtual. and it has stuck. 14 years later i don't write here nearly as much as i want to. but i love that it is still here. that i can. the possibility of it is almost as important as the reality of doing it. 

writing makes my brain focus in a way that other things do not. reading other people's writing does the same. articulating what is most important to me in a hopefully coherent way is an exercise i should complete more often. time. time is just never simple or a friend. there is both an endless amount of it, never enough of it, and a misperception of it. continually.

i've started another daily project. #mydailychroma  because it's been awhile and why the hell not pile on... and it's already doing what daily projects are so good for. holding me accountable. making me look at things differently. i find something, photo it, then replicate the colors... and so it goes. hoping to do this for the whole year....


Anonymous said…
How GREAT you got to spend time with friends/fellow artists! Now that 'the little' is older I hope you do that kind of thing on a more regular basis. It is wonderful for your artistic soul.
yes to so much of this! xo.

Popular Posts