I’ve come to the realization that since I don’t hang out with a lot of actively showing/exhibiting/art worldish peeps these days, that it is actually up to me rather than random coincidence/occurrence to make this happen. This is how I use to move artwork. Opportunities frequently presented themselves. People I hung out with knew so-and-so who was organizing a group show or knew about a cool space to show in that was looking for artists to work with. This kind of thing made it all seem very natural and possible.
But I am no longer floating in the sphere of the art person. I’ve moved into the realm of the human who can almost pass as a normal person who goes to work in an office full-time and cares for her family outside of work hours. I am desperate not to have the act of creating art disappear from my life completely. Which means that the art that is once again piling up in my studio needs to leave. I need to marry these pieces off.
2014 will be the year of moving art. Mark my words.
Haven’t had a marathon sick-fest in a few years. Sure, people get colds, fevers, broken arms, lice. But not the current, virulent scourge my little snotty family has withstood for the good part of a month.
First the ladies busted out with twinsie fevers after running around a little too long in one of the hundreds of snowstorms that have dumped on the Mid-Atlantic this year, then Mimi went on to a week of on and off fevers coupled with chest cold, nighttime hacking, antibiotic delirium, a rare ear infection and the beginnings of pink eye. Then husband got a very nasty bronchitis that has dragged on for at least five weeks and lots of weird medication. Then I got an unsavory sinus and ear infection coupled with, yes, pink eye. Antibiotics have actually helped me over what was a never ending situation. And then, of course, Beenie was like a 102 degree zombie when I picked her and Mimi up from school yesterday. Home again home again, jiggity jig.
I’m reminded of the bad old days of non-stop coughing, angry infants who would not, could not sleep a wink. Which meant I didn’t get to sleep either, which in the olden days didn’t matter as much as it does now — now that I am supposed to appear to be a coherent person at my job. I can’t imagine how horrible going back to work after having the girls would have been. I would have been such a useless employee. I don’t know how single parents do it, goddess bless them.
A cavalcade of illness like this, dancing from one unwitting host to the next under the same roof, causes a shift in normal operations. I am the mobile device, nighttime checker of fevers and deliverer of liquids and liquid cough and fever remedies if need be. I check regularly to make sure the children are alive. I assume the husband is alive if he’s made it this far. As for myself, I believe I am still alive, though a variable volumed left ear sometimes causes me to wonder if I’m floating in a nocturnal plane. I am, actually. I set up a small pull out futon in the office, which during these times of duress I refer to as the European hotel room. Jokingly refer, with some wistful sense of lost youth, because I did get to stay in small European hotel rooms when I was young and unencumbered by things like other people’s health. I like my single lady’s servants quarters. I stay up extra late on the computer even though it makes waking up the next morning terrible. But you know what? I don’t give a shit.
Finished a new, small map. It took a ridiculous amount of time to complete, but I kinda like it.
I’ve been doing a little thinking. Only a little, don’t worry. About a lot of things. About this space here. About why I started writing like this and so publicly. It started out of necessity. To find some kind of community in a particularly alienated-feeling time of life.
20/20 ended up being such a great way to process becoming a parent to two people at once, to weather the mania and magic of toddlers, to watch the rubble of my old identity tumble to the ground and then, miraculously reassemble in some freaky, adultish way. This, here, just made sense.
I am not completely sure it still makes sense in its current state, as the basic premise for starting it has gone. I am no longer alone with these tiny babies, I’m now working a full-time job and hanging out, doing homework, making art and music with my insane seven year old daughters. It no longer seems right to talk about them or even my interactions with them the closer they become to actual humans — wait! I think they are actual humans. It seems not right in the same ways it doesn’t seem right to put pictures of them on the Interwebs. They have as much right to privacy as anyone else — more even — because they don’t know about the rotten things that can happen with their personal bitness online for review. Nope, not interested.
Do you see my conundrum?
If 20/20 isn’t about twin toddlers and their exhausted mother’s struggle to hold her shit together while also trying to be a creative person and connect with humanity, then what the eff is it about?
Yes, it does seem unlikely that Keith and I would be hanging out. But he set it up. We were in a cavernous hotel bar in New York City, the kind you used to frequent back in the 1990s before they were all renovated. One of those. We met there. I don’t remember what I was drinking, or if I was drinking. Or if Keith was drinking. But who cares.
We spoke of art and music and Johnny Depp. He shaved for the event. And was a total gentleman. He wanted me to continue to make art. I needed that.
Thank you Keith, for your creative support and for just being there.
Last week I started a new job. There was a magical two week interval betwixt my old job and this new job. If asked which situation I like the best, it would have to be that fourteen day immersion in non-job activities. I had anticipated having nothing but free brain time, and was a bit disappointed to realize that those days are gone regardless of the fact that I am employed or not. Because there’s always some stupid shit that has to get done, and there are three people relying on me rather than just me. And I am extremely easy on myself when it comes to gettin’ shit done. Not true for the fam.
I was able to get in a bit of painting, and also completed 1.5 pieces that will be in group art shows early-mid next year. Nowhere as much art as I’d hoped, but still, not a complete wash.
The new job is similar to the old one, except it is above ground, with different people.
Neither of them were/are as awesome as being unemployed for two weeks, knowing there was a job on the horizon.
Now that I’ve had a chance to experience it, probably for the first time since I was in my early 30’s, I want more of that good, jobless stuff, without the stress of needing a job. Oh, I know! I’ll tap into my trust fund. The one I don’t know about yet, but am sure some long lost relative will notify me about any day now….
I am tired. Not thinking clearly. Eyes blurry from late night sleep interruptions by the resident six year-olds.
No, not really, but I am doing a test to see if the slightly sleazy blog titles still get the attention they once did. “Hot MILFs Taking Spaces” is still the most searched for 20/20 post, other than the most popular “Oh my…” post, of course!
Day ten of my hiatus. The studio calls and I must answer, while my darlings are away learning their lessons at school, the very same lessons they learned last year in pre-K. I am considering enrolling myself in kindergarten next year. Do you think anyone would be opposed to the idea? I could get down with some snacks, endless birthday swaree invites, art, P.E., music, library and technology, school lunch pizza… maybe I could really learn math this time around. This seems better and better to me every time I think about it.
Also, I wouldn’t have to suffer the same indignities all the other little peeps have to suffer, because that damage has already been done! Plus, I’m bigger than each and every one of ’em. Maybe I could be the bully for once.
Ten minutes of lust have been wasted. Now it is time to go.
Last week and this week present something strange to me. A visitation of days past, where my hours in the morning and afternoon are strangely silent, where I have lunches with people not seen in months or years as a single person. No longer are there small, cute, intense people attached to me as I attempt to have a conversation with another grown-up. No, I have not died, nor gone completely delusional. My daughters are in kindergarten from 9 a.m. until 3:50 p.m. and I am in-between jobs.
My last day of work at my previous position was October 10 and here it is, October 22. My new job starts a week from today, October 29. I think this is the largest stretch of time I’ve had to myself since I was in my 20s, working three or four days a week at a florist, with the rest of all eternity to do whatever the hell I wanted to do with my time and what little money I had.
Certainly as a mother, this twelve day stretch of quiet, broken up by the two day weekends intermixed, is unprecedented. I can’t say it isn’t good, because it is. There is a part of me that feels profoundly sad that this freedom will end in a week, and I’ll go back to being just a little bit overextended in pretty much every way possible. No, actually, that makes me really sad. And I am definitely mourning this precious time off before it is even over, similar to the way I mourn the end of the crepe papier pink trees at the climax of spring before the buds actually explode. Because I know this idea of perfection is only an idea. That my creative energies are not quite where I’d like them to be with this much unstructured time alone.
Why is the only time a person can have this kind of time is when they are between jobs? Am I wrong about this?
I still managed to get into the studio this morning for an hour and a half before the outside world started calling me with responsibility requests. I should have left the phone downstairs. I will leave it downstairs tomorrow morning. When I attempt to find out where I left the small amount of creativity I used to think I had.