Something wicked this way comes. Wickedly awesome that is! An experience so completely foreign and bittersweet that it's sort of surreal in it's culmination. All of my children... all three boys, are going to school this coming autumn. Gone are the days of running wee ones to preschool and picking them up for snack and snuggles mid-day on the couch. It will be my first experience with an empty nest. Not a full swallow, just a small spoonful. A taste of less noise... toys... and laughter. Sigh... like I said, bittersweet.
As quickly as my oldest boy has arrived at the double digits, I can't help but feel the heavy sensation of realizing that as fast as he got to the age of ten, even faster still he will graduate from high school and head to college. It's an odd sensation that fills my heart with a plethora of emotions. I am jealous of friends with babies, I am mad that my body doesn't work in the way it should so that I could bear more children. Or at least have the choice to decide if I wanted to. I know I still have my boys for a long time to come, but I can't help but feel a little bit of loss as I go through bedrooms filling a donation box with baby books that have long gathered dust because science and dinosaurs have replaced the likes of Sesame Street and Curious George.
It's obvious that I feel sadness, but you know what? I equally feel the excitement!! Come September I will have the majority of my days back, and the opportunity to focus on my artwork full time. Knowing this, it hasn't been hard for me to pinpoint what this summer is all about. Fun and preparation. Fun for them, and preparation for me. Of course I've been working when I can on some artistic projects (that's what I do!), but sorry folks I can't share them just yet. They be secret ;)
Fun for them means swimming, friends, trips to the beach, shopping, a family vacation, ice cream, time at grandmas/great grandmas, the movies, museums, camping, hiking, fishing, playing outdoors, and just being boys. Preparation for me means readying my studio. Getting everything exactly how I need/want it to be in order to easily and fluidly create. Up until now, my creative space has been a modge podge of random furniture and the hoarding of things I don't wanna throw away. But it's time to embrace the change. On the task list is a deep purging, visit to the dump, and moving things around so I can get to what I need, when I need it, without emptying out the closet first or digging through a mountain of Ziploc bags.
(this is my mess, mid purge and going through it ALL - My BEFORE picture)
I've had some really fantastic light bulb moments. Very important in times such as these. I realize now, I've sort of spent the past year dabbling. Hopping around, questioning myself too much and comparing my skill to that of others. I've switched to new paint, I've retreated back to old genres when I was uncomfortable with change, and now... seeing everything as it needs to be, I get it. You'll see what I mean as time goes on. I'm not ready to reveal what's culminating in my head. What matters is, that...
I. Am. Inspired.
Recently I sat down with me, myself, and I and worked out an old fashioned spider-web chart. The kind we all made as kids in school for essay writing where you explain a main idea that then branches off into sub-genres/ideas. This diagram, I centered around "me" and let me tell you the process was so revealing. It led me towards many a conclusions about myself and my work. Sometimes... it helps to just lay it all out on paper and then visually observe what's there before you. It really helps you gather your shit together, see it as a whole, and ask yourself some seriously important questions.
It's gonna be a great experience, I can already feel it beginning.