Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Clearing the cobwebs
It's been a long rough summer, and the things I have felt like writing about really needed to not be for public consumption. Just how much can one take of reading about craziness anyway? I've had a lot to sort out and come to peace with. I now understand that you can have compassion for someone and not love them, and that's enough.....
This summer for me was about dealing with aging, accepting compassion as a new way of feeling, learning more about who I am and what I want my life to be about, learning how to let go of my child just a little bit more, learning to deal with that lonely hollow feeling a child leaves in the pit of your heart, and trying to understand where my art has gone.....
We had one thing after another this summer, first Gerry's skin cancer, then his dad's surgery, then putting his mom in a nursing home, then his dad going there, then the both of them coming back home, then my mom making herself sick and going to a nursing home, then coming home. Then the worst of all for me.... Wesley went to Boston for what was supposed to be a great internship with WGBH and she got food poisoning the first week there. All alone for the first time in a large city, and she is vomiting for days. I was so scared, I almost got on a plane and flew up there. But she dealt with it like the strong girl we have raised, and managed to salvage the last week of the trip and had some fun. She was home for 24 hours and then left for school. This has been the hardest letting go so far. I think maybe because this is the last year of school and then she really is going to go off somewhere.....
I have puttered around with things to keep my hands busy, because my hands must stay busy. I have driven up and down the highways. I have cooked a lot, learning new vegan recipes, Wes is vegan now. I made soaps, I made pot holders on my mom's old loom that she never used. I love these looms for times when you need to make something, anything. I have spent a lot of time with my chicks, they are about a week or so away from egg laying time, so excited! I am feeding them an organic (very expensive) vegetarian layer feed, because I will be eating whatever they consume in the end. I have painted rooms in the house, cleaned closets, worked in the yard, helped move Wes back to school, looked for furniture for her, staying busy, but no art.....
I keep asking myself why I have so little motivation to work with clay. I have this great studio, everything I need and yet I have felt no pull to go to my studio. Then it occurred to me the other night when I was sitting on the porch..... clay is demanding. Clay wants all of your time. Clay caused me to resent the time my family wanted of me. And I got tired of feeling that way. What? you want to eat dinner? but I'm trimming this foot, I have to do it now. What? you want to go somewhere? I just rolled out these slabs, they have to be used now or they will get too hard. What? You want to talk? I need to focus on this math so I can figure this glaze recipe out. Go away, I said in my head, then hated that I felt that way. What do I care more about, my clay or my family? Well, of course.... my FAMILY! so I just stopped, because I can only focus on one thing at a time. I can multi-task like crazy, but it has to be multi-tasking within one project, not several at one time. Clay just asked to much of me. There is only so much of me to go around.
I have done no shows this year, sold no pottery, made no pottery. And my world didn't end. My art bank account has $80 in it, but it never had all that much to begin with. That's the other thing. I worked my ass off, made A LOT of pottery and made very little compared to a salary "normal" people get for the same amount of time and effort. It's just not worth it. I do feel a pull to get some clay in my hands, but maybe just for the fun of making, not trying to figure out how many of something I need to make to break even at a show.
The other thing I have been up to this summer is exploring new career possibilities. Maybe I don't even want to be an artist trying to make a living selling her work anymore. I wrote my first business plan this summer, even wrote out a five year plan which I have never done. I found a business I wanted to buy.... it didn't work out, but it was a great learning experience, and maybe one day I will find the right thing. I have interviewed for a couple of part time jobs. I would really like to help offset the costs of Wesley's college expenses, and selling art is not making a dent in that area.
This summer I felt like I put on big girl pants for the first time. I weathered the storm, and came out on the other side, stronger and wiser. More depressed, but not so much I couldn't function. More of a funk maybe, nothing that needed the meds advertised on TV to solve. I still feel a bit blue, but Gerry has made me laugh a lot, my friends have made me laugh a lot, I got drunk, peed in the front yard, played corn hole, drank bloody marys, went to meditation temples, started doing yoga again, learned more about gardening, learning...... I like learning.......
I feel like I need to find something for this blog to be about, and not just come here to purge the crazy in my life. Some of you still have my blog listed on your blog roll as A Potters Life For Me. It hasn't been that in a long time, sure hasn't been about a potter's life, just a life..... I wonder sometimes why I even write all of this here. But some of you that read have become great friends and your emails these past few weeks have been so great to read. We are an odd bunch aren't we, all of us bloggers..... maybe this is just my journal now. Sometimes I think, Oh God, why did I write that, but then someone will email or post a comment and say they understand exactly what I was saying or what I said helped them, and then I think, well ok, come on along if you want to. I read blogs that help me, so I suppose its the same here. If nothing else, sometimes it's pretty good entertainment :)
I think I need to lighten up a bit though..... let's see how that goes
PS: after I wrote all of this, I clicked on my spam to clean it up and had an email, in all caps it said:
How would you like to have a nine inch d*#k Tracey Broome?
well, I'm not sure what that means! but it made me laugh :)