April 29, 2010
April 29, 2010
I am at the end of my Missoula trip. Sitting at my sister’s table, her house smelling of trapped sunlight and sweet child, I feel as calm as the atmosphere surrounding me. No dark flash of insecurity, no ripe shadow of loneliness. In fact, I am almost worried. Where is my personality? Where are my sentiments? This afternoon Nat noticed me sitting on the couch staring forward with both hands resting on my knees. I don’t have anything to do I said. I don’t have anything to think about. Do something fun she suggested. What is that when all is well? I had to be honest, mood swings are fun. I am traumatized by the things I crave. I am repelled by the things I claim to be searching for. Oh, is that it? I keep looking for a cure to my malaise, to my heartbreak, to all of the saturation that makes me interesting. Interesting to me. My sister simply listens and by just acknowledging what I am saying, she parents me toward profound moments of clarity. I am not ailing. I want to be a little injured. A slight limp, a bleeding heart.
And so, I return to Portland bringing with me a new lightness. Knowing that even the bad days are kinda good too.
April 28, 2010
April 28, 2010
Signed up for a month of unlimited yoga. Applied for a library card. Looked on Craigslist Missoula for a small truck. I was riding my bike and passed Nat and Echo on the street. Yelled a hello and kept going. Romy and Salome helped me pick out a kid video for Echo. I checked out the Moosewood cookbook and made enchiladas. A normal routine. There is a peaceful life to be had here.
But if my surroundings color my work, what would Filly look like? Lime green, florescent orange, and pink pink pink!
April 25, 2010
brought home a horse named Felicity?”
“Okay. And my girl saw her and loved her. Alright?”
“Yeah. And my girl was the oldest.”
Is there anything more soothing than little girls playing? Soft voices, small movement of people and parts, unconscious shifting of bodies as plot twists occur. Alliances are made, marriages arranged, betrayal, retreat, reconciliation! Hours of this! Nat and I sit and sip tea, cook and wipe up, all the while thankful for the chance to talk with one another about “adult issues”- which are simply the embodiment of girlhood play. Without the horses. But that would be really great.
April 22, 2010
Done. With designing. With shipping. With being inside and filled with those Filly thoughts. After a very early yoga class Wednesday morning I began driving east. 9 hours. Not even a tape player and the radio offers religious programming 90% of the time. Silence. Except for Bello’s snores and my reactions to his farts, “Geez Bell. Rank.”
Heading toward my sister and the beloved beings that surround her. Nathan, Bella, Xi, Echo, and Henry the dog. I imagine my life slowing down yet another notch. Down to number 3 on the dial. There was a time I was running at 8 or 9- packing it in, pushing my body, letting my mind race, eating rapidly and without thought, impatient with everyone including myself. I wanted to live more and more “fully”. But I could not fill myself up no matter how I tried. Sometime in the last month I realized life’s value lies in the day itself, not the manipulation of it. The day passes. That is the tragedy and it trumps whatever I did or did not do. Right now I am truly content to sit and listen, to notice and appreciate this day behind the wheel.
April 20, 2010
I finished. Fall 2010 is done. Fuck. Damn. Holy shit. That took so long! And so, to honor this occasion, lets take a look back at the previous three months in the studio. This is embarrassing. Really. Terrible expressions. Terrible voice. Terrible moves. But honest. Here is an authentic and ridiculous version of my work days.
April 20, 2010
This was the day. Spring 2010 pieces were ready to be shipped. I started early, coffee in hand, boxes prepped, new printer up and running and Cat Stevens intermittently crooning and screeching on the turntable. Shipping is exciting but it is also terrifying. I am excited to send these beautiful clothes into the world. But I am also terrified that I will fail to meet expectations and ‘they”, “you”, “me” will not like what I have done. My heart races and clenches, I eat a lot, I want to stop, I am scared and sad and alive and exhilarated.
The boxes made it to FedEx at 9pm. The clothes are tagged, folded, stacked, bagged, and packed safely inside a padded vessel. They are ready for their long journey to new homes.
April 18, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 15, 2010
April 13, 2010
I am bird-sitting for Sarah Hendrickson until she finishes the run at her house. Three additional hens running around with their little football bodies and belligerent eyes. You know, hens make good company. It is fun out there and I want more ladies of my own. So, with a larger family in mind, I began building my own chicken run. And yes, it may be overkill, but I sunk posts and went about constructing a proper fence. I think Josh would be impressed with the number of little nicks on my hands.
I am sliding. I have a couple of Fall 2010 items to finish. I just don’t want to be inside anymore.
April 12, 2010
Sunday morning in the kayak. I spent over two hours exploring the perimeter of Smith Lake and spotted two juvenile and one mature Bald Eagle, a Northern Harrier, an Osprey, Herons, Coots, Red-winged Blackbirds, Buffleheads, two Canada Geese and…a flock of ambiguous water fowl with a grunty little call. It smelled like summer this morning.
April 10, 2010
I work from home. I am home, inside, alone, a lot. I start to feel that I am home because a. I have no friends. b. I am boring. c. I am insecure and can’t / don’t want to venture out. That I am working is never on the list. I tried renting a studio. I went to work. I worked. I came home and read or gardened and was happy to be back. But creativity comes at odd times and can not be reduced to a 9-5 slot. Often I would be in the studio and not have anything to do then get home and feel inspired. I spent countless nights reading when I could have and wanted to be sewing. I missed deadlines and that collection is my least favorite. So here I am, in my pajamas with my coffee, looking at a top I worked on until midnight and threw down in disgust. It is crumpled just beyond the computer. I am crumpled in front of the computer.
I resent the days I don’t have right. Right is a delicate mix of socializing, exercise, adventure, love, productivity, alone time, and rest.
I keep reminding myself that this day counts too.
April 9, 2010
April 9, 2010
You know you are at the end of a long and solo process when your dearest companions are a stack of books, including not one but three journals covering the last nine years.
4-8-01: “We leave for Europe on Tuesday. I’ll be there 1 1/2 months. I miss Bello already. Amy had a dream where she and I were staring at each other through a hole in Josh. I gave him a mohawk today. Bikes and Europe. Oh my gawd.”
5-8-03: “Went to the CCAC fashion show tonight. I am done! Josh is coming up to get me and take me home!”
3-1-06: “The day I should be shipping my first delivery. BUT as befalls most new designers the manufacturer isn’t done. So tomorrow I will ship.”
5-10-08: ‘I am sleeping in jeans to stretch out the upper thigh. So tomorrow up earlier. Oatmeal, paint here and the studio, desk search, square dance? Signed up for Shaun Deller’s tracking class. I can’t believe I did that. I like it in Portland! Despite the rain. Took a bath with a j, cried a little. These jeans feel terrible.”
4-8-10: “Sunset. Bluffs. Out in a sunny hailstorm earlier. Twice. Completed a jumpsuit. A mechanic’s suit actually. 3 days and many adjustments. Head down. Hopefully Filly can drive herself. Really I just work in the studio right now. Talked to Josh. I feel dry, shallow, scratchy, acrid. Like chapped lips. I am wrung out. Almost done. Writing with mittens.”
April 7, 2010
April 6, 2010
I like to walk at dusk and peer into houses. The lights have come on but the curtains have not. Everything is illuminated. What a treat to witness someone else’s evening routine. Dinner, TV, last-minute gardening, decaf coffee and the news on the radio. Maybe a book on the porch. I like to see how they have arranged their house and if they have good taste. The most exciting houses are those with many people gathered around the table. I stop and stare for a bit. I try to figure out the relationships and see what they are eating. They look happy.
On Easter Sunday we were that house. If I passed by, Bello in tow, I would pause and smile and feel hopeful. It was a holiday and this is what you do. We were just right.
Andrew Joseph Weaver brought chocolate.
April 3, 2010
I dreamt last night that Kenya bought another house and I went to check it out. I walked in and knew this was the house I wanted. It was one big room, a square, with lots of wood. Wood floors, partial wall paneling, and a wide staircase leading to the bedrooms upstairs. Along the back wall was the kitchen and across from the staircase was the fireplace. That was it. One room. In my dream the ceiling was low, there were few windows, it was really dark and Kenya owned it but I would skip those parts. It was actually a combination of Josh’s house and The Brown House on Berkeley Way. Okay House God, a medium-sized bright wooden square house with a sunny large yard and a double garage that I could turn into a studio. In my neighborhood, in my price range and in the next month!
April 1, 2010
Taxes! This was the first year taxes were fun. I got to hang out with Emily. I got to sign my name, with a grand flourish, on many documents that looked really official but that I did not have to fill out. AND I barely owe any money.
This “appointment” was another example of how weird Portland is. Everyone is the same age (if “the same age” references similar lifestyles instead of time on the earth). Everyone can meet in a coffee shop in the middle of the day. And everyone has chickens. Has this happened before? A crushing influx of aligned young adults take over a city. Can we support each other’s entrepreneurial zest? Can we all work part-time? Will we really keep eliminating car lanes for bikes lanes and MAX lines? What about another Farmer’s Market, an Urban Farmers Collective, an Educational Future Farm, and your own plot brimming with veggies? How about affordable big-boned houses with wrap around porches? And dogs don’t have to be leashed on city streets! What will this experiment look like in years to come? What does it say about the future when even the taxman is beautiful?