The child's room is now lime green. I mean electric lime green. Intense lime green. And she is very happy. She chose the color, got to help paint, and then decided how to rearrange the furniture. Big, satisfying choices whether you are nine or much older.
When you feel stuck, take the smallest possible next step.
Today my family gave me the present of time. The children looked after one another and the house, and I went off on my own. Spent the morning in a cafe, writing notes and thinking about my work, ate a slow lunch in an Indian restaurant, then went to the library, where I renewed my card, read, wrote, and thought more. A vacation from daily responsibilities, even if I was not far from home. I plan to spend another whole day next week - but in my studio/office space in our house, where I've let things pile up on surfaces and need to spend time de-junking.
Two weeks of time away from school. We are not planning to travel - instead, we'll attend to projects and play at home. We have rooms we plan to paint, art projects to explore, and new materials and tools to learn to use. I'm sure we'll also sleep late, read, rest, watch movies, cook great meals, talk, play games, and relax.
I've kept my virtual desktop clear for nearly a week. Now to begin on the actual desktops... I'll start with the one at work, since I'm headed toward vacation at the end of the week.
After a week of steadily warming weather, it's chilly again. We've set the clocks forward, making me sleepier for a few days, while I adjust to the changing hours of light.
Train whistle - one of my favorite night sounds. It connects me, in my stillness, to motion, power, distance. I feel even more solitary, and then that passes, and I think of the ocean.
In less than two weeks' time, I'll have two weeks of spring vacation. Have plans to complete some house projects - would also like to clear time for the kind of art project I can't carry out in a weekend or the edge of a day.
I work with a tension between the temptation of new materials and the challenge of finding new ways to use what I already have. New materials open new doors quickly: "Ah, I can do that?" Finding a fresh approach with what's on hand is slower - but maybe more sustaining.
And I find this his tension, whether I'm thinking about art supplies or learning a new technical skill. I love new stuff. And I love reappropriating, reinventing the familiar.
However tempting it is to save a great idea for later - use it now. I've learned that the more I use my ideas, the more new ones come along. The well refills from the bottom, and if I keep the ideas in motion, that flow doesn't stop. Work leads to inspiration, rather than the other way around.
Welcome, visitors. (Here's where I apologize for not cleaning the house ahead of time...)
For the past two months, this blog has been a set of notes to myself, just
half a conversation. I never intended it to be a permanently solitary space, but while I was just getting started, I wasn't ready to invite anyone to come read things. I knew it would take a while for me to find a voice and range and rhythm for the project.
Now that it's March, I've learned that I can write here every day about technology, or teaching, or making art, or balancing life and work in the world, and still keep my other work going, and still have something else to say a day later. And still sleep. The pace is sustainable for me. I'm happy to have company.
So that's my plan. I'm glad to have you here, and I look forward to seeing where the conversations take us.