Wednesday, September 15, 2010

593 Gilbert Street, Christmas 2007

what is it that you really find, when you begin to excavate in your past, peeling back paint and promises and stories told over and over? what waits for you there, showing itself to be the truth?





Monday, September 13, 2010

On consideration of the artist's process

Thank you, Paul Edwards.

From a letter from Diane Arbus to Marvin Israel:


A parable: yesterday on the Fifth Ave bus Amy found a little padlock and a key on the end of a knotty chain. She played with it delightedly locking and unlocking it, and then decided it would be better without the chain so she undid the key from the chain, and very pleased, like she'd solved everything, she slid the hook of the padlock through the hole in the key and locked the padlock. Now the key cannot be lost but it cannot be used either.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

what I did with my summer vacation

September dawned wet and gray here; it felt like a giant middle finger from Mother Nature. I know, I know, everything that grows dies, without the decay and slumber of autumn and winter there would be no blossom and ripe of spring and summer. I know that we haven't seen the last of warmth or sun for a while yet. But while my honey wished me a Happy September, veritably vibrating with pleasure at the turning season and his imminent birthday, I grumbled about the temp dip that approaches and dreaded this afternoon's faculty meeting.
So in the spirit of the first assignment back to school,
What I did on my Summer Vacation:

  • I wrote. And wrote. More than I was prepared for, and in quite a satisfying way.
  • I taught writing workshops to a bright, dynamic group of Chicago teens for After School Matters at Gallery 37.
  • I taught a writing intensive for the Albany Park Theatre Project, one of my most beloved ensembles here in the city. I love what they do.
  • I stood on the top of a dormant volcano, more than ten thousand feet above sea level.
  • I married my best friend.
  • I had a kick-ass wedding.
  • I spent time with old friends I hadn't seen in years, and new friends I'd just met, although not nearly enough time with any of them.
  • I broke up with two women, one of whom was a close friend, the other whom I thought was a close friend, but just turned out to be a whiter, younger version of my mother.
  • I flew halfway around the world to spend a week in paradise with my husband. I giggled, I broke out in a rash (stupid sunblock), I kayaked, I luaued.
  • I ate meat for the first time in nearly three years.
  • I read books.
  • I saw movies.
  • I did Marychiasana II.
  • I met some family that were warm and kind and really sweet to me.
  • I rode in a hot air balloon over rolling hills and plains of northwestern Illinois and southwestern Wisconsin.
  • I began apprenticing at a yoga studio in Rogers Park.
  • I had breakfast with a writer friend I hadn't seen in several years, and rejoiced in the truth that sometimes relationships are easier than you think they are.
  • I almost beat my husband at Scrabble.
  • I gave this blog a face lift.
  • I grieved.
  • I laughed.
  • I connected.
  • I learned a ton about myself as a teacher, about my strengths and weaknesses, and ways I can grow in order to provide the best experience for my students and myself.
  • I had a five elements acupuncture treatment.
  • I rested. I rode bikes. I spent a fair amount of cozy-cozy time with my Favorite and I showed more discipline than I thought I had in my own life.
  • I learned that the thing to do is what is set in front of you, fully and wholly, without attachment to the outcome.

So if every summer is as full as this one, then who needs fall or winter? This season felt full, burgeoning. I'm not looking forward to the slowing down and scaling back and piling on and the sluggish, moody, dark that is the back half of the year. I know a few people for whom autumn and winter are the best season, the time when they grow into luscious fullness, and hey, it has to be good for somebody. But summer, I just know it, is super good for me; I gotta find somewhere I can stand to live where it lasts longer than it does here.