If you follow my blog you might get the sense that this time here has been an exhilarating and terrifying roller coaster ~ wildly, inspiring highs and intense, self-doubting lows .... all part of the process i figure. Last night as I felt myself slipping into the abyss I called a friend, a wonderfully wise friend. She posed the question to me ~ "what if one goal for this trip was to come back refreshed?!?" WOW, what a concept!! I am coming off an intense couple of months ~ starting a teaching job, negotiating what it is like to be a working mom with a schedule that is not my own, trying to help the household adjust to this situation, preparing and installing gallery shows, so I arrived here a bit depleted (to say the least). I arrived here in a manic state of exhaustion, determined to create magic to warrant the sacrifices that I have asked of my loved ones, not a good set-up. When I heard my friend's question my work ethic brain was protesting yet my core was saying a resounding YES!!. So today I am trying to walk this new path, a path of self preservation. It is an interesting path... I took a nap today!!! and I am thinking that I am not going to work until 3AM tonight (even though I took the nap).
Now why am I sharing this? I have wondered that myself... one reason could be to assuage my work crazy internal critic; another could be a sort of 'get out of jail free' card ( let everyone know that I am struggling up here:). Or maybe because this is a HUGE lesson for me ~ and one that I think many artists/moms & moms struggle with, taking care of ourselves. An idea that I have been kicking around for many years is a 'dress' using the oxygen masks from airplanes. These masks embody a life lesson that i am trying to learn:put your mask on FIRST before assisting others, such as children. Translation ~ take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others (if you so choose:).
Another reason I maybe writing this blog post could be for support, like the AA model, putting my intention to take better care of myself out into the cosmos so that I can have support in this endeavor ~ who knows, I am sure it is a little of all the reasons. But it did seem important for me to share. But now to the other things going on here ~the wonders!!
Here are shots from my studio - as one can see I am making myself at home!!! Also I had my first studio visit from one of the visiting artists ~ Xenobia Bailey. I wanted to come this week so that I could be here while she was here. She is an amazing fiber artist, a master crocheter!! She came to my studio this morning and we had a wonderful talk!! She is also friends with another artist that I so admire, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. I saw her show Symphonic Poem at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and it blew my mind!! I saw it right before I start the Dress Project and I know that her work was a powerful influence. The show moved me so that I bought the show's book and I brought it with me to VSC, as a talisman. When Xenobia saw the book she ask me if I would like to talk to Aminah!! OMG, of course!! So not only did I have an awe-inspiring conversation with Xenobia Bailey today I got to speak with Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Have I mentioned that this is an amazing experience?!?!?
So there is a little from my life up here in the north!! Thank you to all who read this entire post ~ I know it got a little long; hope it was worth the read & peace from the green mountains!!