Work as a distraction

December 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm (About my process) (, , , , , , , )

I need to get blogging again, I think it keeps me honest.

I’ve been working in the studio, but work-that-pays is stressing me out. I feel they have unreasonable expectations of just how much I can do in a day, but then what if they don’t and I’m just not very good at office work. I take the time to do a good job, and to be honest when I see the person who was before me’s work (who did everything they wanted to have done) it was slipshod and poorly done. So I do think they have unreasonable expectations. ON the other hand, I’m having to fight that awful voice inside me that tells me that I’m worthless and I’m always always always going to fail.

I hate that voice. That voice is a piece of shit, but I can’t get it to shut up and go the hell away. Of course I’m going to fail at times, but I also succeed. So why in hell can’t I remember my successes, only and always my failures?

So I feel stressed out at work, and its the time around winter solstice which means I get to struggle with SADs. So working in the studio has been hard. I just want to hibernate, really. Sleep, read, occasionally eat. Write a little.

Still I must persevere. Today I’m going to go to the studio and glaze my work for the show that’s going up next week. (EEP!) I don’t think its going to turn out how I wanted it to, but I hope it will turn out well.


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When life stabs you in the back, you’ve just got a new tool to work with.

November 11, 2009 at 8:24 am (About my process, inspiration, Studio and Environment) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

If you have a thick back, anyhow.

So I lost my ceramics job. It’s been rather depressing, especially because the studio my job was in is in the same building my personal studio shelf is in. AaaaWwKward. Anyhow, I generally like my former boss, and I would love to have the job back (an actual possibility, as I lost it due to lack of orders for the studio) I’m trying to keep down the bad feelings about how the boss handled things and treated me. Or at least out of the public eye. Still, I want to cry a little every time I go past the door. Its going to be a while before I can (sanely) talk to my boss again. I really loved that job.

I’ve never had a job I loved before.

In the meantime I’m redirecting my angst and seasonal depression into more productive things. Like therapeutic hole poking. I’ve got a tripod that is very largely influenced by Ernst Haeckel etchings that I’m a little in love with. Different types of holes on this one, they’re bigger and less clean. Yet more clean. Hard to explain, I’ll just have to go take a picture tomorrow to show you. 🙂

I also think that the change in light bulbs is really helping me. I’m using full spectrum florescent, mostly in combo with warm florescent, but I spend time in my bedroom every night with just the full spectrum ones. I feel less inclined towards addiction and escapism (which has been my major symptoms of depression in the past, since I buried all the bad feelings in game playing and book reading. It is kinda’ OCD.) I’m still pretty sensitive emotionally, but not as out of control as I usually am at this time and the bad feelings don’t cling and seep into my pours like the usually do. Well, except for the lost job, but even that seems a bit more remote and less in my face than I expect.

I’ve also been re-familiarized myself with the best motivation for getting on the job-search ball: Looking at your bank account and credit card bills. Damn.

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December 22, 2008 at 6:51 am (About my process) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today was the solstice. This is my second year celebrating solstice formally. Informally I’ve been celebrating it for about 4 years now. As a person who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, this day takes on an importance that is above almost any other day, so I honor it with ritual, mark its passing in celebration. My celebration is simple. I go outside, find a place to sit, smoke a cigar, and think.

I feel that I should tell you that this is the only time I smoke. There are plenty of good reasons not to smoke, the least of which is that I don’t enjoy it enough to really want to do it often. I’m also a bad smoker, my technique is a quick suck into my mouth and then out it goes, curls of white drifting into the sky. It seems appropriate though, to sit with a glowing ember and face the night.

I think about the year, about what has passed. About mistakes made and victories won. I thought about my stint at Paradise City. I took that on with only a month to the show, it was not enough time and I didn’t have enough experience to be able to handle such a high quality show. Really, I’m quite embarrassed by it, but I try not to dwell on it. I learned some very important things, now I just need to take those lessons with me and move on. I also made some great friends that weekend. Two people stepped out of their lives to help me and I will be forever grateful to Joan and John.

I miss the people from Dew Claw. John, Jason, Tom, Clayton, Bonnie, Joan, Judy, Aki… the crazy Russian Ladies… so many good people on the other side of the country.

I thought about the move to Portland. It has for the most part been a very good thing. I love this city and the people are so open and friendly. I’m making some real friends here, playing games with nerds and meeting potters at the studio. I even have some great Mud Team friends nearby, though I’ve not had the chance to meet them in person yet. There also seem to be some great artistic opportunities here, if only I can get myself to jump on them. I’m still finding my feet here, and I don’t yet feel ready to start showing my sculpture again. I will though.

There is also a MFA program I’m interested in. I’m going to go see the facilities next week to see if it’s a good fit for me. Imagine, someone finally had the idea to put together an MFA with business classes. That’s something I really need, if I want to get anywhere with my art. I really suck at this business thing.

Not all my thoughts are about the past and future. The experience of being outside with my cigar takes up some of my thoughts. The tingling on my tongue, the sharp surprise that comes when some of the smoke winds its way up into my nasal cavity. This year I also had a candle in a wreath, provided by my parents. It seemed wholly appropriate that I be imbibing flame tonight. I am a potter, fire is a part of my existence. It is an element that I identify with, and it burns so brightly in the darkness. So fluid and so present in the surreality of this cloudy night.

Today is the shortest day of the year. From here on out, the days get longer and depression rises from my shoulders as the sun rises in the sky. It is a new year, a new life.

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Feeling wonky.

December 7, 2008 at 6:19 pm (About my process) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So I went to the studio yesterday, but didn’t get anything done. My clay wasn’t dry enough to work with. 😦

Anyhow, right now I’m fighting seasonal depression. I just plain feel bad when I don’t get enough light, and then I start worrying about philosophical conundrums.

For example: God. Lets say for the sake of argument that he exists. (She he, God is genderless.) Lets say that God made all this. Why? What is the point? Is it fulfilling to be entertainment for a deity? Or companionship? If we still continue on after we die, what are we doing? Is it going to be worth our time? Do we keep growing and changing or do we freeze into the person we were when we died, unable to change and unchallenged in our afterlives? To sum it all up, what is the point of the spiritual afterlife?

I’ve realized that there aren’t answers to these, and fankly the questions come riding in on waves of fear, dispair, and general unhappiness. Sounds like a lotta’ fun, don’t it?

So now we’re getting Dog. My husband kinda’ needs one. He’s also been really depressed, but he just didn’t realize how depressed. He thought he was OK. He wasn’t and I could tell it. So now in addition to gerbils we will have a little Italian Greyhound running around.

As for me I’m going to get my ass to the studio more often. If nothing else it lets me make things that will last forever and a half, even if those things are in pieces.

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Easy Listening

November 9, 2008 at 6:03 pm (About my process) (, , , , , , , )

The CD player in the stuio is broken. No problem, someone connected up a portable cd player to the sounds system and there you go! Now that CD player is broken. So now, whenever I go in, I’m setting my station to the local NPR, OPB.

The result is that I am a lot better informed about random topics, while I work. Since I’m always thinking about something (can’t stop the brain!) I figure this is much better than getting stuck obsessing about past battles, frustrations, and times when I was so embarrassed I just wanted everything else to vanish and go away. I also tend to get a lot more done.

I still think though. I’ve been thinking about my tendency to live in past and in fantasy. While I don’t want to loose my fantasy world, living in the past just isn’t healthy. Living in my fantasy world all the time isn’t healthy either. I probably need to do more to get that out on paper, so that it has somewhere to go instead of just swirling around in my head and eating me alive every fall when the SADs comes around.

Still, when I put my pots away for the day I know more about what is going on in the world, I know more about migrains, Iraq or the after effects of the American Civil War.

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