Limbo, Insanity & Small, But Useful Things
Then there is the monstrous consumption of the oil companies, which is intrinsically tied to a few of these new cabinet members, as well as the president elect. As I keep up with the Native Americans at Standing Rock, I am made aware that it is not just their issue, as their brave hearts stand in a blizzard against the line of pipeline workers and the military police to protect the land and water for all of life, for us. It's all upside down, inside out... it is insanity.
I am reading and watching far too much news; articles and video commentaries, especially the funny ones, although each is filled with multiple, serious undertones. I look for hope in everything I read, but have found that much of it points in a terrifying direction. Sometimes it's hard to sleep at night.
Christmas shopping has actually been a welcome distraction. I never thought I would say that. I did most of it early this year, just trying to avoid those moments of desperate buying and long lines. This afternoon, I sorted through what I have purchased, only to discover that I may be a few gifts short. Oh, I know, there are no rules on how many or what kind to give. I am not bound to some idea that I must give some big, expensive thing for it to really matter. Nor am I in the position to do so. It is difficult on an artist's low to nothing income, especially when some family members seem to have everything they could possibly want or need. So I am the gift giver of small, but useful things… that's what I tell myself. It's either this, or something I have made, which I love to do, but there is only so much time, and I think some may not really want more of my creations.
I read a great article about gift giving. It comes very close to how I feel about this whole thing, but I do love to give. Shopping is not my favorite past time. Actually, I pretty much hate shopping. Giving, which I love, is not to be confused with shopping, just in case anyone I am giving to reads this. Honestly, I think we admire and buy gifts for people thinking they will like it or use it, when it is really us we are buying for. I often see things that I want or even need when choosing a gift. I think this is always part of the expense.
In a way, I feel like I am in a limbo. One dictionary says limbo is a state of neglect or oblivion. I have days where I feel like I am walking into walls. Sometimes the couch seems too familiar, the place where I sit is well-formed to my body, while the TV lures me into watching a zombie-marathon of channels that mostly suck.
I am trying to escape what I am feeling, but this seems pointless. As a child, my form of escape was drawing. As an adult artist, this is still the case, no matter what the medium. So why am I reluctant to go there? It's like I am subconsciously distracted, unable to fully engage in the creative process. But, just like I did as a child, the art I created to escape, ultimately lead me to a better, healing place. I need to trust this.
Whether it is the dogs, TV, or my studio, I know that I must allow myself some sort of break from the onslaught of bad news. I still manage to accomplish many of my short-term goals, doing some studio time, and recently submitting my latest series to a few art spaces. I go about my life with some regularity, but a part of me still feels suspended, like it is floating above my body waiting for things to settle down. But the other part of me knows this will not happen any time soon, if at all, and that's it, really. It is this knowing that something is coming, that what we have now is most precious, and we are about to find out why. It is a reminder, a calling, to be diligent yet playful, truthful yet compassionate, firm yet flexible, strong yet loving, to be grateful, alert and creatively engaged, and to never normalize what is not acceptable, at any cost.