Resisting the lure of hiding

December 9, 2011 at 6:02 am (About my process) (, , , , )

So its near the solstice, right? The winter solstice. The fracking cold and long dark night. Evil.

Usually I’m a little on the batshit crazy side of things, but this year I’m trying light therapy and whatdoyaknow? It works. Sort of. Now I don’t feel completely emotional and crazy, but I’m still feeling tired and finding it hard to concentrait. All I want to do is sleep and run away from the things i have to do that are keeping me from sleeping and feeling ok. Like, you know, the show. Or work. Or people. And definitely cooking. Definitely don’t want to cook anymore. Hell… I could do away with most eating.

So its like this light has evened out the moods, but not saved me from the need to hibernate. Nor is it saving me from the feeling of unpreparedness.

Ergh. Back to work.

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Solstice

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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