Artbecue

We hosted an “artbecue” grilling + art play night with heidi and justin as game participants. There was papier-mâché happening, y’all. Damn straight and darn tootin’ with meats off the barby and beers as you oughta.

Awesome.

This here’s some Morning After snapshots. Ah, the glow.

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Zen of bookbinding– a lesson in process

over the past several weeks I’ve been busy in fits and starts brushing up on bookbinding skills learned and last exercised ages since in iowa.

despite chronic letdown of self expectation (better! faster! more!), I have in practice succeeded in forging some quiet happy progress.

when the horde of anxieties rear their beastly heads, it helps to recall the explicitly articulated initial goal: focus not on product but rather the physical practice itself and manual-reacquaintance with skilled activities within the scope of my own home studio– a step ultimately toward satisfactorily finishing the remaining 15 or so between edition bindings.

persistently I coach my awkward steps against tantrums with geologic pacing and instead calmly emphasize the value of incremental progress, as well as all its interstitial creative project interruptions.

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use-less

all day long, while the snow came down and blew along with water from lake michigan across city roadways and chris wrangled for more sleepless hours on end the phone trees and data coordination of response teamwork, I sat, good for nothing, planted to the couch, watching episodes of joss whedon’s “dollhouse” on netflix, good for perfectly nothing.

it happens sometimes like that. often in response to an overlarge event I can see no way to wrangle for my own part– usually my own event or undertaking: writing a substantive project, the eternally vexing quandary of “job” searching, outreach toward building or rebuilding social networks, broaching broad chasms of communication.

I don’t know for certain whether this instance of retreat into semi-consciousness occurred in any sort of direct response to chris’s whirlwind– but it’s true enough that I felt my own lack of concrete ability to help, apart from simply being there, listening and reflecting back on particular pieces of narrative dilemma from time to time– it was a large and necessary presence, and I sat with it.

cohabitation can be like that. we’re thrown much together in a small space, with the result that waves and currents of personal energy swirl around and against one another, showering with gusts of differing weather. from time to time I retreat under the surface of muffling waters.

lately I think much on the topic of what constitutes “use”– the various ways we select to define and judge and embody it. lately I’ve been begging for determinants, signposts, guidelines, directives– when I know well enough that real work requires its own inherent, idiosyncratic, often inexplicable drives.

I’ve done all sorts of “work” that suited anyone’s purpose but my own. together we’ve decided it’s time to attend to the lessons of fracture and facilitate a more integrative and personal approach. in which, inevitably, I’m my own worst wrassling foe, lured off in pursuit of a thousand tangential distractions I can imagine important to the process.

it’s tricky, too, wanting to eschew standard definitions and limitations of genre and medium– to play among them and be motivated by blend and grey area. typical to this type of work is a little-bit-of-this-little-bit-of-that impulse which all too easily lends itself to following narrowing deertrails into wilderness and the unanticipated formation of oxbow lakes.

but some days, some mornings in particular, I’m graced with a brilliant stunning quiet and the resonance of a single tone hit right, a luminous image or a phrase vibrant enough to pull me through, on to the the next piece in the patchwork weave.

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the right way to start off a week

after plenty of sleep (i.e. napful, easygoing, soul-spacious weekend), cellphone alarm starts playing jenny lewis at 6 a.m. hit hush, scritch puppy and fall back asleep. wake for good when it goes off again at 6:30.

rise, throw on sweats and sneaks, and drag puppy and feller from bed, grumbly and rumpled for walk in still-dark morning through autumn neighborhoods.

stop for coffee and lox-cream-cheese-bagels and chit chat with the guys at beans n bagels.

cross the river on the wilson bridge with sunrise.

100 situps on the yoga mat.

art play table for an hour or so and actually make a piece start-to-finish.

off to work with a fine happy head.

 

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