Between the Waters

I turned 44 in a place between waters.  I turned 44 this week in a transitory community of artists and writers, utterly at home with people I just met.

With a room of my own and the daily responsibilities shelved for an interlude, the studio calls.  I thought that I would go for long bike rides.  I thought I would spend more time at the ocean, a little time shopping.  Passing fancies.  I wake up, do my yoga practice, have a thoughtful breakfast with coffee and walk the short distance to the studio.  Once there, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.  The need to eat lunch is a bit of an inconvenience, but I know from long experience that decision making deterioriates without regular meals. So I eat, but it’s simple and brief and back to work.  Making plates, pulling prints, learning this new to me art that feels familiar and right.  It fits in organically with painting and collage.  I love the rich play between media, how one informs the other.

Maturity brings a new perspective, a more relaxed approach.  Having a daughter who is similar in temperament to myself has taught me well.  She gets attached to concepts very quickly, and changes course only with difficulty.  It’s as if in order to chart our course, we latch onto the first star we see, changing tack only with reluctance.

In the studio, I see this tendency to rapidly become attached to an idea.   How unwieldy to change course when reality offers an alternative viewpoint, when other options present themselves.  I notice my own tendency to obsess, and in that awareness, I… relax, just a little.  It’s okay if I don’t accomplish everything I set out to do.

On Friday, it is hard to leave.  I and two other women make prints up until the last minute, when we can no longer avoid the need to clean the studio and be out by 5PM.  One of my partners mentions that she wanted to walk down Commercial Street, or go to the beach.  We laugh, we three.  If you could leave, I said, you would have left already.  And so it is, until we have to, and no one, not one of the three of eight who are left, wants to say goodbye.

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