For so long I've been trying to figure out how to write this post, trying to figure out if I should even write anything at all, but I've been absent from the studio and quiet about my life for so long, and you've been ever so patient and yet still so encouraging. I need to say something.
= my sunsets lately =
Every song and story and play has both beginning and ending, and as we hear other people's stories told following this beginning-to-end format we tend to think of life as neatly packaged into distinct sections and chapters, but in reality each of us knows all too well how the stories of our own lives intertwine, overlap, infect and influence one another. So it is impossible for me to start an explanation from the beginning, because I don't even know where that is.
= NYU =
So while art may imitate life, life is always so much more nuanced and complex than art can ever be. Because of all of that, because of how so many of our stories weave together and because there is no beginning and no ending except in death, there are few clear cut victim/hero(ine)/villain roles. We all have, at one time or another, played our part in each of these roles and sometimes have played multiple parts within the same story.
I'm still not quite sure how to put it down, but how can I just pick my entire life up, move twelve hundred miles, set up a studio, and continue my blog posts without saying anything at all? I'm in Florida now, I know that some sort of explanation is in order, but it seems that is as far as I can get because in order for you to understand what I've done and why I've done it you would have to had lived my life for a little while. Even then a reaction to the same set of circumstances is not universal, so I couldn't expect every person to understand...nor do I.
= April 2011 =
In short I just can't find a way to put it into words, and so I don't think I am going to try. I've gone over this post in my head so many times but I can not strip it down to its most elemental parts and still adequately communicate the layers of emotion involved, and to me emotions are the most essential factors in all human interaction. As Maya Angelou so wisely put it, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
In the end what I need you to know is that up until three months ago I was more lost than I have ever been at any point in my life. The effort it took to live day to day had become overwhelming...my existence was draining the life out of me, and I mean that in the most literal sense. I witnessed a suicide during that time, (a 27-year-old woman jumped from a balcony of the high rise across the street from our building) and for the first time I could feel and understand the desperation involved in making the decision to take your own life...and that scared me. I knew I had to leave my life in order to save it.
There is no way for me to explain or express what has happened, so instead I will just state a few simple facts, that three months ago I left my home, my life, my husband and I had no plan for what would come next, except that I would take my studio with me because I feel best when I am creating. I was hurting and to be honest I still am, but I know that no one had any intention of hurting me, in fact the opposite is true, but being loved to death doesn't feel much different than being hated and it is absolutely suffocating and claustrophobic. I needed time and space to breathe.
I also want to make it clear that I understand that I caused some of that hurt myself, I caused some of my own hurt and also caused others to feel emotional pain as well.
I'd spent exhausting and emotionally charged months questioning and pleading, and then days numbly packing my things up, putting some things into storage, shipping other things ahead of me, and dragging some of it along with my tired self from place to place.
During the past several months, and thanks to the kindness and generous hospitality of others, I've stayed with old friends and new, with family and with strangers. I've stayed in homes, in government housing, in two monasteries, and one night I counted the hours until morning in a train station, but now I've finally landed and will settle for a bit...in the once abandoned but now loved Yellow House.
I'm not sure what my future will bring, and whenever someone asks I just let them know that I've got a summer studio set up, and have made no plans for anything beyond that. My studio, my creative outlet, my balance, will go on hopefully for as long as I do, but I've made no major life plans beyond this season because if I've learned anything in life, especially lately, it is that you just don't know, you can't know. I plan to have a quiet, work-intensive summer, and we'll see where life takes me after that.
= The Beginnings of a Studio =
I'm so much better now than I was a just few months ago, but I'm still needing to do a lot of work to get where I need to be, to a place where I can find peace. My "studio stuff", my tools and supplies and furniture finally arrived on Saturday, so now it's time for me to work. I need to get my hands on metal again, I need to breathe to the meditative rhythm of my sawing, I need to work some of this stuff out, and to make something, soon.
I've spent many, many months reflecting and dwelling on the past, and now for just a little while I will put that on hold and I will simply dwell in possibility.