yesterday was glorious and strange and exciting and emotional and full of insights that i was completely ready for- a surge, a sweep of ideas that have been swirling swirling and then wonderful conversations that extended such a forcefully bright clarity that it shook my insides, shook things in to place.
i spent a magnificent hour and a half at the gallery talking about work and process and where my head's at and how i'm choosing images, what i care about, the moral (?) impulse inside art, the cry, the collecting of evidence, art speak art speak art speak; and it was so happy and fun and inspiring! i love visiting my gallery. i love everyone who works there. i love laughing with them and talking shop and making crass jokes.
after i left, i made a subconscious detour and ended up at my old school. i parked and went inside. as soon as i was through the doors, i saw an old school-mate of mine who is now in the masters program there. and lucky for me, he's a talker and likes to tell you everything he's learning and all his thoughts about art and jobs and education. so i stood there and listened and picked his brain for an hour. he gave me the insight i needed, the swift kick in the ass, the hard answer. i don't think he's aware of how completely meaningful and helpful the conversation was. but at one point he asked "do you want to teach?" and i said "well... no, not really but it'd be a lot better than waiting tables. what i really want is to find myself represented by a blue-chip gallery in new york. i've got every cliched, lofty goal in the book, to be totally honest." and he said then to just stop worrying about grad school and focus on The Portfolio. focus on the work, get it done, wrestle with that and that alone. and he's right. i already knew that this was the correct answer. i've known it all along. but finance works its way in to the equation at every turn. insidious and cruel. but i have always been poor and never really had much of a problem with that since i became an adult. i knew when i made the conscious decision to go ahead and nurture the unconscious reality of the fact i'm an artist, that it would spell a lot of struggle and a lot of hardship. i was not deluded about this. ever. and i know that one day, if i keep after the dream, it will change. i must trust myself and i must be true to myself.
after our conversation, i walked through the senior painting studios. i walked passed my old studio. my heart dropped and welled up with such a hurt, painful longing for how my last year in school went. the massive regret over lost time...
i have no clue how i graduated, let alone with high distinction. no clue except for the unconscious drive to BE HERE and DO THIS. i was running running running toward the goal and busting through every single hurdle in front of me and, yes, i lost my mind for a bit afterward, but as i walked through the studios i realized that the simple reason behind that big bad 2 year depression was that i had handed over the life i was trying to create. i realized that somewhere along the line i had handed over control... i thought that's what love was. i thought that's what daughterhood entailed. i thought that's what good people do. when i realized these thoughts were entirely wrong, such a deep deep sorrow and despair spread through me. and as i walked through the studios, the shadow of that sorrow spread over me but, this time, it brought a strange, painful, healthy clarity. the knowledge of who i am and how to trust myself, how to be true to THE PATH...
the answer i came to was, simply, to keep doing what i'm doing. keep reading, keep writing, keep drawing, keep painting, keep playing, keep reaching out to others who appreciate these things, who understand these things, who care, truly care, about these things- people who KNOW the relevance of these practices, these hard hard hard pursuits. i don't want to be anything else than what i am... and so i am charged with finding a way, no matter how long it takes, to build a life for myself that feels right, that feels respectful of who i am, what my loves are, the things i value. i am charged to protect and sacrifice in its honor. i am charged to stand on the foundation of my values and somehow be courageous enough to keep going. to let TIME take time. to let love this enough to be okay with 'the long haul'. all i want in this world, in this life, is to be an artist. to write and to paint. that's it.
i do want to go to grad school but not for professional reasons ie: a job. i want to go for The Work. i want to go for the sake of The Work, My Work, to nurture it, to make it stronger, to take it to a deeper place. that's the reason i went to art school in the first place- The Work needed it. when the work needs it again, it will get it. i will find a way to ensure that the work always gets what it needs.
now, the work needs me to give it as much focus and attention as i can. every single day. read, write, draw. read, write, draw. and trust the whole spinning wheel of the thing. this is what i am built for.
the work i dropped off yesterday will be shipped to New York in a couple weeks for AAF. i will not think about it anymore. i will not have any expectations of the event. i will only enjoy the beautiful sign of support this is. the fact that my gallery believes in me and to rest warm and safe in that knowledge. it is a generous and wonderful thing. i will curl back around my pencil and keep working.
and the desire to write, to be knighted "a writer", is as large a desire in me as to be a painter. i want to send these words out, as flawed as they are, to whomever might be able to used them. i will trust them. fearlessly and ferociously and without apology. this is who i am and i want nothing different.
i think the last few weary trappings of my depression were swept away yesterday. i am ready to get back on the good grey horse.
these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.
thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.
my artist website is here.
my artist website is here.