The Medium

May 29, 2011

I admitted to Sarah that I am depressed. It was nice to say it out loud. And to stop pretending otherwise.
It has been a very physical experience. My mouth is closed more than usual and my eyes are swollen and sticky.
My thudding heartbeat seems to land in a pile of dust,… poof, poof, poof. It’s like I got stoned an hour ago and now just feel sludgy and wiped out.

So I cut my hair. As close as I could get to the blond Roche.

Poor hair, you are the unloved child. The first to be scolded on a bad day.


On Deck

May 28, 2011

Oh yeah, I remember now… Summer’s next up.
No wonder I feel disoriented, it has been raining and hailing and I had to steal the extra comforter from the guest bed.
Kinda hard to start the bender under cold grey skies.

Next Up

May 27, 2011

Show’s over. Next up…?

For three days I acted like the house was my personal garage. The floor was covered with sawdust, nails, sandpaper scraps and wood ends and tons of ceramic pieces. It was not safe to walk about.
I didn’t do my dishes either.

I cleaned this morning with the assumption that reconnecting with the house would ground me. But I still feel seriously disoriented, potentially under the weather, and wondering what the hell I’m doing next.

I wish Luke were here.

One Wall

May 27, 2011

I never realized that artists, at their own receptions, are generally tired, stressed and strung out. I am late to my own opening by 2 hours because I needed, at all costs, to lie down.
I have a new respect for those that show the art they make. Phew! It’s a lot of work!
Ok, I need to change out of these Carhartt overalls I have been wearing for the past three days. Off to the gallery!

Ma and Pa

May 25, 2011

Letter to my sister:
“oh geez, ceramics are so stressful. but i’ve had the gods on my side. i somehow managed to charm the studio tech guy, this man in his late 60s who is crabby with everyone, and he let me have the last half of the last low fire kiln for all my stuff. i got to load it myself after i was finished glazing. so it all went in and got fired in time and the glaze colors came out rad. last night i went in and unloaded the kiln, bare arms, covered in clay dust, carefully removing heavy shelves and student’s precious work to get my pieces out. these are 17 inches tall and hang on the wall like portraits of deceased relatives.”


May 24, 2011

Last night Sarah, Maggie and I had dinner together. It was our last proper hang out before Maggie moves into a tent for the summer. In the fall she moves to New York.
Sarah is also planning on moving within the year.
We talked about many things last night but the place topic stuck with me. That was when my heart threaten to leap from my body. That was when I felt unsafe and worried and like I needed a solution. I glanced from Maggie to Sarah, Sarah to Maggie and saw two young beautiful women with their lives just beginning and full of what-ifs. Full of questions, mystery and hope. It is still okay for either of them to uproot and start over. That is actually the point. They are still gathering information. They are still growing. Up. Out. And away.
But I am full grown. I am supposed to be fully formed by now. I should be describable, pin-down-able, articulated. And on most subjects I am. But when it comes to place, I am just as flimsy and persuadable as the twenty-somethings across the dinner table. Maybe more so. How do I reconcile my need for answers with my desire to keep questioning? What do I want more, to know or to wonder?

Hello Emily,

The dress arrived yesterday at my place, I got to try it on this morning.
It looks very beautifully simple (+ I picked the right size), I’m then extremely happy and proud.

I was also very pleased with the thickness of the jersey. I was expecting something thinner but this feels very sturdy. I appreciate dresses that are easy to care for.

In short, I love it and I thank you very much.
I hope I’ll soon order another dress from you.

Have a nice week end,


Come See

May 22, 2011

This Thursday, May 26th, I will be showing ceramic work at the Together Gallery in Portland Oregon. Evening time. Come see!


May 19, 2011

Seriously. Just total fuckin babes.

Ceramic Wall Advice…

May 14, 2011

At the end of the month I will be showing ceramic work at The Together Gallery . Mounted on the wall, behind the various naked women and porcelain sheep, will be a ceramic mosaic. Last night I spent many hours arranging and rearranging the tiles.
Which one do you like the most?

Movement = Happiness

May 13, 2011

Portland, 2008 / Santa Cruz, 2011

It is the time of year when I want to be outside ALL THE TIME. Is there anything more pleasing than walking through the woods with your dog and your thoughts?
There was a time when I was not connected to my body. That monster down below. That beast that consistently disappointed and disgusted me. I wanted to stand as far away from it as possible least someone think we were friends. If only I could remove my head and go my separate way.
One day I noticed our mailman. I mean really noticed. I was on my way to school and he was not. He was walking the leafy Davis neighborhoods with his Walkman on, enjoying the day. That year I dropped out of law school and got a job as a mailman. Or mailperson. I wanted to move my body. And move it I did! Mail carriers lose an average of 30 pounds simply by walking for hours a day. My body did transform but more importantly my relationship to my body transformed. The gap between “me” and “it” narrowed. I got to know it. I realized I liked it. A lot. And suddenly, I just liked me. There was no it, there was no separation, there was just me. And god, I feel good when I am physically active. When I pedal, stride, bend, stretch, run, grip, pull, shovel, hang, reach, kick…the more I move, the happier I am. Straight across. Movement = Happiness.

How do people live green in their everyday life? What motivates and inspires them? In Re-Nest’s new column, Creative People, Living Green, interesting people are interviewed to find out their habits, thoughts, creative pursuits, business ventures, and green living wisdom.

Check out the rest of the interview here

Name/Occupation: Emily Christensen. clothing designer, dog mom, ceramic artist, teacher.

What does a typical day look like?
Oh great, start me off with a hard one! In my life each day is different. And I’m not kidding. Filly, my clothing line, might require graphic design, shipping, sewing, designing, sourcing… it goes on and on. I might need to go in to the ceramics studio, I might need to prepare for the class I teach at the community college. And I definitely want to go to yoga, walk the dog, kiss my boyfriend, visit with my friends, see a show, take a hike, go to the river, work in the garden… And so I approach each day like a general on a battle field. I make a list of the day’s tasks and come up with an hour by hour game plan for accomplishing everything. Trying to figure out the puzzle of the day causes a fair amount of anxiety. If I get it right I go to bed feeling utterly satisfied. But “right” is a very delicate mix of work, socializing, exercise, adventure, love, productivity, alone time, and rest and it is hard to find. I resent the days I don’t get right.


May 8, 2011

Last night Sarah got home from a trip to Florida. I guess that was what was missing. Her company and presence brings this house to life and makes it feel like home. One of my many homes.
In the afternoon we met at the ceramics studio and drove out to Sauvie Island for a “catch-up” hike. There was so much to say- new plans, major shifts, news and gossip- it was all we could do not to interrupt each other mid-sentence. It felt good and powerful and reminded me, on so many levels, why I am here, with this wonderful woman, in this grey and green town.


May 7, 2011

I’m having a hard time transitioning back to this town, this community, this weather, this time here. Working to be present but my mind won’t stop thinking of Santa Cruz.

Back At It

May 6, 2011

New ceramic work for my show at the end of May.

Way Back

May 4, 2011

I just read a top ten list of the lowest paid college majors. Fashion Design came in at number 5, followed by Child and Family Studies (my sister’s field) at number 6 and Music (Luke’s focus) at number 7. Now you tell me! If I had known I would certainly have chosen finance or consulting instead. I just didn’t read the right list at the right time. Because it’s all about money right?
I didn’t choose Fashion, it chose me.

A Good Morning

May 3, 2011

If this is a taste of life in Santa Cruz, I’ll take it. Phone sounded at 7:30am with a text from Josh, “Morning”. We walked down the river levee and stopped at the bend to sit and throw sticks for the dogs. I am amazed at how this relationship has evolved. Lovers, partners, friends… but never enemies. No matter how painful it was at times, I still wanted to know him. And I do- I know him well. He and I have lived parallel to each other for almost fifteen years. I asked him the questions I am asking myself. And his answers, as always, comforted me.
I described to him the stress I experience trying to create the perfect day, everyday, and how I see that same odd obsession extended to my life. How do I make the right decisions to create the perfect life? What if I make the wrong choices? We are now sitting at a little table on the front porch. The coffee between us is a little burnt but strong. And of course, his answer was that he doesn’t think in these terms. He is not drawing back for a critical analysis of his path. In fact, he prefers to simply live, without asking himself if it could be better, without consoling himself by listing the benefits and appreciating all that he has… because there is no other, there is only this. There is no comparison, there is only this. There is no answer to whether this is the right life because it is the only life and you live it. That’s all. You just live it.
There were so many moments this morning where I felt overwhelming love for this man who is so different from me and so necessary. And because I am me, I can’t help but think that the choices that kept him in my life were the right ones to have made.

Around Town

May 3, 2011

I have to say, I’m pretty taken with Santa Cruz right now.
This trip was such a mystery. I wasn’t sure what it would bring. I was going home without any real purpose, no business, no holiday, just a regular old fashion visit. And the timing could not have been odder. I was reeling from Bello’s health issues and Josh’s news that he and Ann are having a baby. Huh, strange time to leave Portland and head home. But home I went. And look what I have found.
I feel good here. I feel at peace.
Something has changed in me. I am content to bounce around in the little white truck knowing that whatever comes next will be good and true.

Side By Side

May 1, 2011

This is ridiculous, right? End of April at 4pm and my Dad and I are sunning ourselves under the bluest skies.

%d bloggers like this: