19 August 2007

untitled + unfinished. am still learning.

i should be scanning photos for work. or scrubbing the sink. or organizing paper. i have paper strewn all over this little studio area in piles that were once nice + neat: fancy paper vs. crap paper vs. scratch paper vs. cute paper vs. this-just-might-work paper. i feel that final products should be printed on the best smooth white paper around. i've come to know and love and depend and trust the Hammermill brand of stock. speaking of which, i should buy stock in this stock. (i have realized now i get sort of addicted to things; such as pens + paper.) i am a creature of habit and familiarity.

during my mini hiatus (thank you for the well wishes..) i have excitedly printed, bone-folded and prepped signatures of paper for a big (or should i say mini) secret project. it's a new little idea i thought up during my period of solace. i've cleaned up the old scraps and am mid project once again. like a mother tidying up toys during her child's naptime, knowing well that the blocks will be built up and knocked down and spread out all over again once he is awake. but this is what makes playtime inventive and fun. getting it out and building anew with the same colorful and familiar pieces. creating something from scratch is child's play. i have yet to get sick of playing with printed matter.

some days i wish i were like jackson pollock and could live in a barn with my art projects until i've completely finished the masterpiece; hybernating for days at a time; focusing in on playtime and letting everything else go to the wayside. when you are a strange and unappreciated artist, people come to accept this type of wild behavior. instead i choose to lead a normal life without regular hybernation periods. i work. i go to church. i bake cookies. i meet clients. i do lunch bunch. i watch felicity reruns. i watch arrested development reruns. i bind books in the meantime. i go to xpedx to buy my Hammermill stock and spend too much time gazing at red polka dotted chinese takeout boxes. decide they are way too cute not to purchase.. the real problem is how many? i flip through catalogues and dog ear the pages i love. i wonder how i'll use up this buttermilk. i make pancakes and slice strawberries on a sturdy cutting board. i smile at the thought of me two days ago, scooping up three bundles of strawberries in the market, knowing $1 a pack is completely unheard of. wondering if i should buy more. does mary know about this deal? does she need some? i am proud of myself, dreaming of the fresh healthy smoothies and yogurt parfaits i'm about to create with my bargain strawberries. i will become a completely revived woman with these packs of strawberries. i may even swear off everything unhealthy because these strawberries are so ripely beautiful and cheap.

no, i do not close myself off entirely. i cannot live in a barn. i cannot lock myself in a house to simply create and collage my life away. and while that kind of Thoreau type hiatus sounds as tempting and dreamy as Haagen Daaz, i realize i am a girl who cannot afford to venture to the outer skirts of nowhere. nope, i am here in the breezy busy city, with deadlines to make, books to read, and bills to pay. and i'm here to stay. i cannot wait for life to slow down to find extra time to create. extra time does not exist in my sphere. if it exists in yours, please let me know the entrance fee. i have come to know with more surety now than ever that i must find a balance. life does not wait. i must seize the right nows.

this weekend i led my so-called normal life. i go to weddings and wonder what to wear. i delightfully scream and hug old friends. i indulge in buttercream lemon cake, dancing under twinkle lights, and late night chats. i enjoy visiting my folks and taking midnight walks in the summer rain, not necessarily because it is so darn romantic but because that is when it's cool outside and we have finally found time to work out and mostly just tell each other about ourselves. i love our little tradition of strolling the streets when only the shadows are out to play.

yes, my mini hiatus helped me come to the conclusion that all this inclusion (of regular day to day life) has actually inspired me beyond anything else. it is not a roadblock from inspiration, all this dailiness has actually paved a pathway to bright ideas. if i were locked up in a room somewhere my ideas might flow, but it would not be a rushing geyser. soon enough, i'd be a leaky faucet. my mind would no longer be a place to take an imaginative dip to refresh.

because simply, i need life. i need regularity. i need the grocery market, the magazine aisle, and strawberries for sale. i need the bus rides and the infuriating bus waits. i need xpedx and the cute non-essential must-haves. i need parties and people and quiet drives. i need the post office and the bank. i need the silly repetitive actions of washing the plates and remembering my grandmother every time because the blue floral dishes were once hers. the every dayness of applying mascara and loving my mom for showing me how. hearing the buzz of my computer and wondering what it would be like if pete never taught me anything or if dad had never believed in me. i need the ordinary movement of the morning, dan and i dancing around to get ready in time to go our separate ways, having our steps memorized. i need the way he slips his wallet into his back right pocket. i need the way i race out, hoping every morning that my bus hasn't left me. i need the every day grind. i need this normal life stability in order to seek newness. if i did not have my feet on the ground, i would not understand how it feels to kick them up to fly.

today, i give three cheers to folding the laundry (and inhaling the scent of clean clothes), getting up early to exercise (and catching the sun shining between the leaves in such a way it makes you stop and hold your breath), scrubbing the dishes (and remembering grandma and loving your husband for cooking you rice & veggies), running to the bus (catching it in time and smiling at the familiar strangers that make up your every day routine. and there in the bus between the openings and the closings of the mechanical door, between the sounds and sameness of your daily commute, you think of something. something brand new. you jot it down. and dream to carry it out.)

i love life. even the every dayness of life. these responsibilities all add up to make me who i am. i see that i must go through the grit to get to the glory.

12 comments:

Marty: said...

You are an unbelievable writer! I think I'll take a hiatus and see what happens.

Sarah said...

Wow! Nicely put. Very inspiring.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

M,

Never stop writing. Never stop dreaming. Never stop being you. This was truly inspiring and beautiful. I loved it.

Erica said...

Beautifully written, poignant and oh how true!

Tiffanie said...

thanks for the reminders

lainakay said...

What a delicious post!

ann said...

i love this entry. it's all just simply true.

Design Addict said...

that was a wonderful post. it actually made me think of how much i too appreciate those day to day things even though i gripe about them from time to time. and your bit about the strawberries makes me laugh because i do the exact same thing when i see strawberries (or heaven forbid, raspberries) on sale.

Robin said...

So are you the one who has Felicity season 4 checked out? I'm waiting for it!

michelle said...

Simply beautiful. Especially the last sentence! Something I must remember...

donna said...

Brilliant! This might just be my favourite blog post ever.
'Hurrah' for the every-day!!

kaylene said...

I hope you still find this among the many congratulations about your baby boy (who is top priority right now! Enjoy him!), but thank you for this post! It's been re-read many times here.

I've been focusing too much on wishing that I had all day every day to just create. But now it seems so obvious that the inspiration for creation comes from my every day, when I am about my regular life. Now I wake up anticipating what good ideas I will find from my day, and I appreciate the feeling of waiting to create. It's like Christmas. I will be posting about this. You wrote it so well!

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