Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Bone Cave

This is my workspace, fly strips and all! -That's a worm bin over there by the way. It may look a little scary at the moment and I can assure you, it feels scary too! This is reality folks, this is what were dealing with. It's not pretty, but I want to show it so when we look back we will know how far we've come. This is the 'Before' picture.

The Transformation has already begun. I have undertaken a massive purge which is clearing out the clutter and clarifying my spirit. It has been my intention to set up a studio in the basement ever since we bought the house (7 years ago!). I mean it this time, I have to. . .this is my new job. This is my new life.

One of the most satisfying periods of my life was in my senior year of Art School. I quit my job to focus 100% of my time and energy on my thesis. I had a studio downtown a block away from the school. I remember what a thrill it was heading to "work" each day. I had never experienced such a sense of purpose before. It was incredibly empowering! I was living the dream. I was an Artist. And then I graduated. The school moved into the Pearl District. The building that housed my studio went up for lease, I had to move out. I am opening boxes now that have not been touched since then.

I can taste that purpose again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today's Sharp Sparkle

Today was truly an awe-inspiring day!

Time seemed to stand still in my house as I was glued to the TV. I couldn't turn away, I couldn't stop crying, nodding my head, rocking back and forth, spontaneously clapping!

Part of me wished I had stayed at school to watch the Inauguration on the big screen with Nate. Or gone to my friends party and shared in the collective euphoria of Hope. But the other part of me needed to absorb the immensity of the moment in a quiet, personal way. The Dream has come true, change has come. Things will start to be different now. . .The People Have The Power! "Yes We Can!"

I had planned to watch the Inauguration in the morning and then proceed with my checklist for the day; the dishes, the laundry, the groceries, the Resume! And then it sucked me in. It was polarizing. I watched every minute detail, from Bush's departure, to the luncheon to the preparations for the parade. It wasn't a matter of avoiding my chores, I wanted to get outside of myself - to be a part of the bigger picture! This is History, this is HUGE!

At 2-o-clock it hit me that I should draw something. My friends have been urging me to pick up a pencil and just draw! The first and only image that came was a dove. Flight, Freedom, Peace. It's corny I know, probably even a little generic -but it's all I had. I have to pick up Nate at 3, so I had an hour. I ended up spending most of that hour looking for my pastels in the basement! Out of desperation that I would miss my window, I found a piece of chalk and did a quick sketch. I drew something. I'm starting.

It's midnight now. My head is still spinning and my chest is pounding. I was pacing earlier. I am filled with unrest. I am still pondering the Inaugural Poem by Elizabeth Alexander today. You can read the whole thing here:

But here are the last 2 lines:

"In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The First Step

This is my first step, a baby step, hopefully it will lead me somewhere. But where to and how do I get there? So many roads to take, so many uncertainties.

I was laid off on December 3rd. I had worked there almost nine years and have survived many rounds of lay-offs before, but never thought it would come down to me. I was blindsided. I had been miserable for years and dreamed of quitting but wasn't ready yet. I wasn't prepared. WHAM! BAM! Here I am! Welcome to the club I guess. I know there are a lot of us out there in the same boat. What do I do now? How is this going to effect our life as we know it? How do I fill up the big hole in our finances left by the loss of my salary? The weekly UI checks help a little, but how long can I receive unemployment? I've heard that 6 months is the cut off. I think I've used up about 5 weeks worth already and the clock is ticking!

I've spent the last 6 years complaining that I didn't have enough time or energy left over to create any art. Even just working 25-30 hrs a week, I couldn't keep up with my 6 year old, manage the household, maintain the garden. . .AND be an artist! Well now, I am unemployed, Nate is in Kindergarten 6 hrs a day. . . and I HAVE the time!

I am fortunate to have an incredible network of friends and family who have all been very supportive. They tell me this is a blessing in disguise, an opportunity, a gift, my Do Over. What will I do with it? Can I live up to my hopes and dreams? I intend this blog to document my process, it's my first step.

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned , so as to have the life that is waiting for us."-E.M. Forster