being the reclusive sort certainly has its rewards for me: working out of my isolated home as i do, i am able to wander off task and steer my interest in a completely different direction if i choose. this, of course, has its disadvantages as well, but i am fond of the ability to divert my sprawling attention to another point of focus altogether, even when barely managing to keep the barking dogs of deadlines at bay. what you see here is a journal page from a self portrait collaboration that has been circulating hither and yon across this wide and deep country for going on nearly three years. i've both hated and loved this project; at times, i'll be the first to admit, there were as many as three of the twenty four journals stacked up in boxes here on firefly road, waiting, waiting, waiting for me to splash out my entry and send on to the next participant in line. i've hated (and sometimes, by procrastinating, ignored) the monthly deadlines that made what should have been a joyful time of creating become a dreaded obligation. but, now that the project is nearing completion, i'm relishing the chance to express myself in ways i'd not ordinarily take the time to do.
yesterday afternoon, after having spent the past six days snugly within the comforting four walls of this house i call home, i decided to venture out, up and over balsam mountain, to an antique mall that is located in what was once an apple orchard storage facility. i've passed these weathered red doors of a garage, part of the orchard's property, probably one hundred times; but never before had i noticed them, or their aging beauty. but something about the way that the afternoon western light was spilling over them caused me to pull over and snap a series of photographs while aspen waited patiently in the car.
i surprise myself sometimes by actually liking how these pieces of artwork turn out - the ones where i'm clueless, as i sit down at the table, as to how they'll actually transform into something that in any way resembles what is called art. the photograph of my bare feet was quickly snapped yesterday morning, when i noticed their reflection in the blank face of the turned off tv. my short, stubby toes appear longer there, i see, as well as my legs, and i like the way that the sun is spilling across the rug from the windows that afford me a view into the outside world - the world i normally keep, along with the barking dogs, at bay.
i walked down to the mailbox yesterday in the last lingering light of afternoon, and pulled out a small box that had been sitting there since friday - a mystery box, sent from the office of somerset studio magazine, which held a tiny little acrylic shadowbox, with glittery stars and me inside. the collaged photograph is one that i took and designed in 2002 for the author page of the true colors collaboration and publication - o! so many years ago. i look at this image now and recall both the good and the bad things about that stage of my life: i was suffering the lingering after effects of an excruciating separation and divorce, trying to find my way as a single mom (again) and struggling artist. but, i was walking four miles in an hour every single morning, and weighed a good 40 pounds less. would i go back? hell no.
times change, and so do we. i'd like to think that i've grown deeper into the person that i am today, that the change is good, the chance to mature both physically and emotionally a welcoming one. since that time i've suffered the loss of a brother and a second marriage, had to move from a beloved rental house, and the boys have moved far from home. i still have aspen, my sister, my parents, and i've moved to a home that is far from town, far from anything. my jewelry work, i like to think, has progressed, and i continue to express myself in each and every piece that i design - so much so that the owner carries a little part of my heart with her or him, everywhere that piece of jewelry is worn.
as my friend lynne once told me, all is possible, all is well. xo