The last year and a half has been about learning. By that I mean how one learns. Sure, I’ve been on the road taking new metalsmithing classes but this is different. It is examining how one learns. My very bright son learns differently than most and we have spent several years examining exactly what that looks like. We are still unsure what that means and I think it will be a long journey but we are very clear that he does not fit into the model of the typical, archaic learning system. The extraordinary thing is, he has my brain! I never realized I had skirted through and around the system and survived with minor battle scars such as depression until recently. So I’m spending countless hours trying to research and stay ahead of the system which is no mean feat. Do you realize that schools now teach several grades “above” what the grade did back in our day? There is no room to be a kid anymore and one blip and your out on your ear. If I were a brave and patient person I would be a strong advocate for homeschooling.
Technology has blitzed into our world at warp speed yet education has for the most part stayed the same with the exception of smart boards thrown in here and there. So what to do about these kids who need to experience learning not experience rote memorization. Hopefully in a few more years they will be able to tell us how to teach them. And don’t get me started on the perils of underprivileged kids. No wonder they fail and dropout at an alarming rate. Maybe it’s because they have a learning disorder yet the schools are not equipped to handle them. If Albert Einstein would have left a manual on teaching and learning we wouldn’t be in this mess! And yes, he was dyslexic.
I’m sitting high above Collins Street in Miami Beach taking in the sights and sounds of a fairly unfamiliar city. It is not the Miami of my childhood and I certainly do not speak the language. Clearly South Beach is booming. Construction everywhere, masses of people and not a spot on the beach to wiggle your toes.
My gosh, it has been quite sometime since I did a good cleaning of my studio. (And my head for that matter!) Cobwebs are everywhere, dust bunnies are on the loose and I’m finding loose stones in the strangest places. So cleanup time has begun. Luckily this also means that I have been making my way to the third floor and actually working. I’ve been on an enameling roll except that came to a screeching halt when the mapp gas producer recalled the canisters for a faulty valve. Yikes. I’m thinking it’s time to upgrade all of my torch situations so I have spent countless hours researching what that might look like. One torch is on order and the other is still up for debate.
Enamelled earrings waiting to go into the shop! Progress!
Sigh. What to do. January ushers in the beginning of the Spring cleaning mindset with detoxes, cleanses and the like. For me it is about unpacking my suitcase from Christmas and thinking about cleaning my studio. Mostly, it is about wrapping my head around new ideas for jewelry that keep my brand interesting AND that keep me interested. And that tends to lead to bigger concepts. But, whoa, we still have winter to endure.
Admittedly I have been a bit jumpy since January 1st. Sad events during the holiday season kept many asking the big man, “why?”. I think many of us are also feeling the undercurrents of transition and that can be uncomfortable. Perhaps that is what 2012 is all about. I certainly think so. So now that the first full moon of the year has occurred I feel the momentum of change. I’ll delve into quantum physics a bit looking for more information on the noosphere and the collective consciousness. And I’ll strive to bring meaning and purpose into my life and my work that I can share with my family and friends old and new.
Why is it that I feel such relief the holidays are about over? Every year the stress level is higher and I’m starting to not enjoy any pre holiday festivities. Does the ugh factor increase with the age of the kids or is everyone feeling the same thing? Kinda like global warming. I don’t enjoy being an elf anymore and I want a tree that folds up like an umbrella. I don’t want to have to start decorating for Christmas at Easter, either.
On the flip side we did get to enjoy ourselves with my family! And, we had a deadline to be done with shopping so we could ship everything to fla. Maybe if I give myself a deadline of December 5th next year I will be able to enjoy it more. Especially if I get that fancy new tree.
I had a lovely dinner with a terrific friend last night who has the incredible gift of clarity. After tackling a slew of topics, we delved into the “Raleigh” conversation. My stance has been that I feel like I’m living in someone else’s town, which is true, but what became very clear is that I’m not going to embrace my city (or vice versa) if I’m a recluse. At least that was my takeaway that I pondered all night long. So to revise my stance, this is a fabulous town that I don’t know but I’m willing to get out there and meet my new people. What I also haven’t stated clearly is how lucky I am to have the friends I have here. A solid group that is always there for me when or if I need them. And we have quite alot of fun. Maybe what I struggle with is environment and setting. I have always been partial to the look and feel of Florida. Who knows. But I still ought to get out of my front door and see for myself.
And one other thing. It is no secret I can go to deep, dark places. Maybe that’s the chemical brain of an empathic artist. But I have a niggling thought that this is what alienates me from other people and puts me at arms length with many. S all of you that understand what I’m talking about lets start a meet up! We can wallow together.
This will be the season to move from discontentment to contentment courtesy of my great friend Molly. I have lived in Raleigh,NC since 1996. It is a beautiful town but it is not my town and it’s about time I realize that this is not a temporary stay for me. Somehow during the course of raising children I have let life in Raleigh pass me by. I know very little about the city except in passing. I tend to remain on the periphery.
I come from a town, Jacksonville,FL, that tends to be very open armed about its newcomers. Jacksonville embraces new blood and pulls people into its heart and soul. It seems to be a very engaging city. Maybe it is because it does not have several University’s centralizing and dividing its folks. Who knows. But the fact that I did not go to any NC university has me at a distinct disadvantage. And i tend to be reclusive by nature throw in kids and it is easy to have the years slip by being an observer on the sidelines. I don’t have a group to huddle with or a real feeling of purpose here yet.I do, however have many fabulous friends from all different types of groups.
Here is where Molly comes in. A former gallery owner, she has always had a pulse on the arts community and a real knack for being a connector of all different types of people. Over lunch the other day, she was astonished by how little I know of Raleigh and all it has to offer. So over the next few months she will be my guide and mentor. My goal is to become a living, breathing part of the town I live in and to revel in everything it has to offer. And to meet people who get my artistic quirkiness.
We are off to a great start! Yesterday we walked the trails around the art museum and even took the footbridge over 440. I had no idea how to do that before. This is going to be fun!
What to write? The last several weeks have been overwhelming and stressful and in that time I turned 49. I have been thinking a lot lately what exactly that means for my future. I’m clearly on the back half of my life and not yet hit the milestone of 50 but what happens now and what do I have to show for it? Obviously, I have the best kids in the world that are my proudest accomplishment but I’m talking personal kudos. I still feel like a kid that hasn’t grown up in many ways. I feel I have been a successful starving artist i.e. non income producing artist with a soul. So I have shown that I’ve got the goods and that I can tap into an incredible source of creativity and dig out meaningful artwork. I guess I’m stuck in that “I don’t know how to get my work out into the world for all to see and enjoy” place. That’s always been the catch. Is that a self esteem issue or just not part of my DNA to be a salesperson? And what to do about it? It is so opposite of how confident I am in my work. And at 49, are my parents actually proud of me?
Next in my bag of “to deal with” is how to handle my kids. I never thought in a million years that everyday would be spent making sure they succeed. I hold my breath in the morning and literally pray at night that they will make it through the obstacles du jour. There is nothing left for me at the end of the day. Will I ever get to be footloose again in my life? Will I get to wander the world while I can still walk? Not be on the clock? Disney didn’t prepare me for this!
Innately I know I shouldn’t be thinking about the “what ifs” all the time! I’m missing being in the present moment and really living life and seeing, feeling, sensing what is right in front of me. At present, however, I seem to be wallowing in it. Hate this s–t! Maybe Buddhism should be on my radar….
I have had plenty of time to over analyze the inner workings of my creative process since I just returned from art camp and I thought I would do a bit of sharing. Mind you, just writing this post is an ideal way to procrastinate. Anyhow, it goes something like this: arrive at one week camp excited, nervous, apprehensive and hopeful. Attend the first class, divulge any relevant info about myself, freak out about how much experience everyone else has in metalsmithing. Look forward to the first day of working and start in on the first project, marvel at how wonderful and talented the instructor is. In this case, Joanna Gollberg! By day two, I realize I’m starting to fall behind because I want to find my own interpretation of the projects. Waiting for the aha moment. Yikes. Put on the brakes because a meltdown is coming. Midweek freak out. I have no idea what is going on but in hindsight know that this is it! This is the moment when I’m incubating my idea,tossing and turning it around in my subconscious. This is when I need to be put in my own cubicle because it is not pretty or happy. Maybe even with a straightjacket. Paranoia, doubt and impatience precede exhilaration, elation and that magical moment of I got it! And all of these emotions get briefly entangled. (Envision the Tazmanian Devil.) Finally, by the second to last day, I can actually create and get to work and express my ideas. Always in the nick of time. So I’m a late starter and late bloomer but in the last moments I am fruitful. I go home knowing that even though I have forced the process I have come out the other side a changed person with a handful of jewelry to show for it. And hopefully no one was harmed in the process. Thanks to all that hold my hand during these crazy times and continue to want to bear witness to them time and again. Amen.