painting walls and scrubbing floors.
But clearing out the stuff --
completely emptying my studio
as per my dream drawing above--
and going on to create a calming,
almost anonymous space
that wouldn't make my brain buzz
(the kind of space you might find
at an exclusive artist retreat center
in a glorious and exotic location
where wonderful new ideas cannot help but flow in
and where they serve you lunch in an attractive basket
just when you're getting peckish),
proved to be easier dreamed than done.
without the luxury of that imagined, anonymous space,
but WITH a powerful drive to find it,
(and with the joy of picking lunch in the garden
just when I'm getting peckish,
and having neither to update my CV nor pack supplies),
I actually had to confront myself
in the form of my stuff:
towers of books,
(I am not a collector but somehow have an absurd number),
pipe parts for looms,
baskets of toilet paper rolls,
frogs of many forms,
And that proved fascinating.
At least to me.
while doing all this clearing out
are much the same as those I make
when creating new work--
(the satisfying work, that is),
which allows the whole process to be about NOTICING--
not just with my head, but with my whole body.
(even if sometimes it is about my head,
for who knew ancient and slightly rusty
thinning scissors would be so full of possibility).
What does it feel like,
this funny skein at the bottom of a drawer,
this book at the back of a shelf,
this color, this technique, this teapot, this material, this image?
Like a lead weight on my shoulders,
Fluttery-- like wings.
Like I can't breathe.
Like my Grandmother's frown of disapproval.
Like the center of the universe.
the joys of clearing up, uncluttering, death cleaning,
the miserly counting of garbage bags of routed stuff,
the endless compelling discussions about issues of abundance and scarcity
(all which made me not want to do it
much less write about here cuz -- HUGE topic),
but all that aside...
I didn't actually have much to toss.
And it is useful to take stock--
to ask questions.
What am I doing.
What do I like.
What do I think I like.
What do OTHER people think I like
(teapots and frogs apparently).
What do I think I like because other people think I like them.
What do I not stop doing despite the weight of judgment (internal and/or external).
At least I bet dollars to donuts you know...
And if you're a regular reader,
or read the post before this one,
you also know these are things I was trying to do
before my staycation.
But apparently I required
summer school remedial work.
And to show you how helpful it has been,
(since there was not a final exam),
I will say that at this very moment
it is lovely to notice
how great it feels
writing to you all,
and poking at ideas
in this particular way.
I'm so glad.