Friday, September 30, 2016

Amazing mess

"And so for you I came this far across the tracks
Ten miles above the limit, and with no seatbelt
And I'd do it again."

I'll start with a happy thing today.

I'm in a music video.



Look for me at about 1:11.

OK, so I'm a Dar Williams fan and I sent in my photo with lyrics from her song Iowa and her people put together this awesome video of her fans with lyrics from that song.

I'm pretty amazed at the creativity and diversity of lyric presentation, the diversity of age and gender.

My amazement led me to notice the lack of racial diversity. But it is what it is.

I have to say, seeing it made me smile and made my day.

It's not hard to make my day these days. It takes only a little validation, encouragement or positive interaction.

Life is amazing and life is a mess. I cry too much. I think about upping my dose of meds, but then I think, better keep that option in reserve in case I really crash.

Today I told our housekeeper about moving to North Carolina. I didn't plan to but I got the sense that she knew something, since she seemed to think we were supposed to be in North Carolina or to just have come back from NC.

I told her we'd been to New Jersy, Pennsylvania and California last month, but North Carolina isn't planned until late October. But I couldn't lie, not even by omission. Digna cleans for people who know people who know we are moving, word gets around, and I didn't want to pretend nothing is changing when everything will be changing.

If she didn't already know, I'd rather she heard the news from us.

So I told her we were moving next summer. She took the news cheerfully and I cried.

I'm living with this cloud now all the time. Every minute of every day, and in dreams at night.

I don't want to spend a year being sad. I don't want this space to become a perpetual lamentation about change and fear and loss.

It's bad enough that I wail so much about my insecurity and uncertainty as an artist - which is back at fever pitch right now. I couldn't stay away from Facebook and the ongoing ego-bruising I've been experiencing there. No, I went back for more. For the past five days I've sold no beads. That's a new personal record.

I bounce back and forth between believing my beads aren't selling because they aren't beautiful or well-executed or worthy, and feeling flummoxed because I think my beads are so much prettier - or at least as pretty - as other artist's beads that are selling for good prices. My ego is out to kill me, one way or the other.

I've tried many things. Raising prices. Reducing prices. Reducing prices to ridiculously low starting bids. I've speculated on the possible reasons that my flourishing little bead empire has come crashing down. The competition making better beads, the competition selling at lowball prices. Customers already have plenty of my beads - but then why are there so many bidders bidding on other artist beads who have never bought one bead from me? People are selling to their friends and I don't have enough damn friends. There's a Facebook conspiracy where I've been blacklisted.

You don't have to tell me that I'm crazy. I own it. I'm the poster child.

I don't know if the answer is to take a long break both from selling and making. My last break from selling lasted a week, which clearly wasn't long enough. Then again, I equivocate, if I'm not at least trying to sell beads, then I sure as hell won't sell anything. So maybe I'll do a bead clear-out. List beads at whatever low starting price it takes to move them. Selling anything feels better than selling nothing. I'm that desperate.

I can't seem to find the joy in making art for the sake of making art right now. I don't believe in myself and my work. For a long time I did. I don't know what changed. I feel like I am wasting glass. I have all this beautiful glass that I've been hoarding to use when I am a better beadmaker, and face it, that day hasn't gotten any closer. That day feels further away than ever, considering that I've had more than eight years of practice.

Whatever I decide, maybe I'll just shut up about it for a while. Truthfully, I'm feeling pretty fragile right now, and who wants to read about that shit.

Hell, maybe moving is just what I need. A new place to explore and discover, cool days and cooler nights, a garden in a climate that makes you want to garden.

It's funny, the big carrot for me has been the prospect of having a proper air-conditioned, heated studio. It would be ironic if I don't need one by then.

Maybe I'll learn to knit or crochet or sew or cook or can vegetables. Maybe I'll grow carrots. Maybe I'll make a best friend or write a book.

Comfort zones are nice, but maybe change will bring new perspective, foster artistic vision, stimulate conceptual creativity, inspire imagination, reinvigorate passion.

Because sitting here self-analyzing ad nauseum damned sure isn't working.


I've never had a way with women
But the hills of Iowa make me wish that I could
And I've never found a way to say I love you
But if the chance came by, oh I, I would
But way back where I come from
We never mean to bother
We don't like to make our passions other people's concern
And we walk in the world of safe people
And at night we walk into our houses and burn

Iowa oh oh, Iowa oh oh oh oh, oh I, Iowa

How I long to fall just a little bit
To dance out of the lines and stray from the light
But I fear that to fall in love with you
Is to fall from a great and gruesome height
So I asked a friend about it, on a bad day
Her husband had just left her
She sat down on the chair he left behind, she said
What is love, where did it get me?
Whoever thought of love is no friend of mine

Iowa oh oh, Iowa oh oh oh oh, oh I, Iowa

Once I had everything
I gave it up for the shoulder of your driveway
And the words I've never felt
And so for you I came this far across the tracks
Ten miles above the limit, and with no seatbelt
And I'd do it again
For tonight I went running through the screen doors of discretion
For I woke up from a nightmare that I could not stand to see
You were a-wandering out on the hills of Iowa
And you were not thinking of me

Iowa oh oh, Iowa oh oh oh oh, oh I, Iowa.


(Dar Williams)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz