Saturday, June 22, 2013

happy summer


I woke up this morning with what seemed like a million nagging thoughts running through my head. This is Saturday morning, this shouldn't be happening, right? Though I'm teaching a two- week long summer art course to middle and high school students, it's still, technically my summer break, so again, I shouldn't be stressing about anything. But, for some reason I was, so I rolled out of bed and made some tea and decided to sit out on my porch and take in some morning sun and listen to the birds singing their morning songs. Instead, I found myself chugging down the tea as the chattering in my mind kept on rolling, telling me I need to do this, go here and do that. That's when I had to stop myself and consciously slow down the chugging to sipping and actually make an effort to listen to the birds. It took a few minutes to get to this point, and when I did get there, it became almost automatic. Interrupted by the occasional sound of passing planes and the air conditioning unit, I was still able to listen to the marvelous sounds and songs that most people probably take for granted and go through life missing out on completely, myself included. 


During the past couple of weeks, Kris and I found ourselves contemplating some life changes that involved finding a new home. After searching for about a year, on and off, we think we've found a house, and it practically fell into our laps it seems. After renting for years, it's due time to finally own a home, but as anyone who owns one knows, it's not an easy process, especially the initial steps. Nothing is written in stone yet, but so far so good.


I find that sometimes the more responsibility you take on, the more you have to meet deadlines. I've been working on a couple of very involved art projects these past couple of weeks as well, both of which will be published in physical form, in the not-too-distant future. I've also got a few shows, both big and small, where some of my work will be hanging soon, which I'm very grateful for. I find I don't think of any deadlines at all while working on these art projects. It's only before and after I add to them that the mind chatter begins. I guess that's what they call being present, or being in the moment - a place I strive to be more often in my life. Making art and loving what you're making can certainly help with that. It's the deadlines that can be a bit of a nag, though sometimes a necessary nag. Just the word deadline has a terrible ring to it, and to think we go through life using it so often in our vocabulary. It's pretty absurd, actually.


Perhaps it's all about how you frame it. I always disliked those goofy, ultra cynical phrases like "life kills" or "life's a bi@$h and then you die". Uh, ok then, if that's how you want to see it, so be it. Have a nice life then. I choose to believe that life is a challenge, with peaks and valleys both daunting and restful, though not to be taken for granted, like the songs of the birds I heard earlier this morning.