Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

I guess they missed the sign that said not to feed the ducks.

Michigan thinks it is already fall.
In what seems to  be typical of the beginning of each month here, we found ourselves in long sleeves and pants and were still too cold to be outdoors very long. We went on a little picnic at a nearby park. It reminded me of Clearbrook Park from way back when. It wasn't very cold, but the wind was chilly. We should probably start keeping sweatshirts in the car when we go out...just in case.

It was a very relaxing day. I got nothing accomplished studio wise. Oh ceramics. I did get to work in the studio for a bit over the weekend, but my timing for drying was very bad so most everything was too dry to continue working on. Maybe tomorrow will be different. There is something so relaxing about working with clay. I love feeling it move through my hands while I work to shape it into what I want. Although after four years I can see a big improvement in my work I still am such an amateur. And maybe it is just this phase in my life, but it is so hard to have a consistent studio practice. I can't replicate what I had in school. And it's okay. I don't really need to be full-time or even putting in 20 hours a week with clay yet. I would like to be, but it's not feasible. I am trying to be easy on myself and remind myself that the fact that I get to work with clay after school at all is a privilege and something to be very happy about. I am also trying to discipline myself enough to consistently get in there and work. I've been putting in a lot of 11 hour days at my job and am tired when I get off. And while I was comfortable being at the school studio till the wee hours of the morning I am not comfortable being at this one past 9 pm. It's a different situation. I am trying to make the best and most of it.

I have so many ideas though. Ceramic-related and otherwise. I am realizing that this move has been more stressful than I thought it was. Stress and anxiety really hinder me in making work. I feel very inhibited and can't concentrate. It takes a lot more effort to get started and stay attentive to what I am doing. I have some plans to try and jump start some projects. I hope to maybe record them here. I also realize that I am very new to this area and am maybe in survival mode. Before I can really settle into an art-making routine I have to get my basics needs covered. And right now that means getting my job situation straightened out (thankfully I have a job, but am encountering some scheduling issues), becoming acquainted with my surroundings, and trying to get involved with a church and make friends. I have visited a Bible study here a couple of times and it has made such a big difference in feeling more at home. It seems that I need to have some sense of belonging to feel well. And I think it's okay to focus on meeting that need before I try to make a full-time thing out of art. I am just trying to make sure I do something artistic in the meantime, because that also helps me to feel well and continue learning.

I had a good talk with a friend last week and she asked me what my goals are. It was a good question, and one I don't have an answer for. I have ideas of what I want, but not clear goals to work toward. I guess that is also something I am trying to figure out and am having some trouble with. Transitioning out of college is not easy. It's not that I want to be back in school. I am grateful for that time, but I am glad to move on. I miss my home still, but am much more comfortable here than I was even a few weeks ago. I knew I would have things to work through and figure out and am now in the middle of that. It's this process of waiting, trusting, seeking, and trying to discern what I should do next. And trying to find answers for others questions and my own questions and not get too frustrated with this stage, nor be complacent. I guess I'm learning a lot, but it's slow going.

Anyway, that's enough for one night.

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