Tag: restoration

a cat and a dog sleeping in each other's arms

poem: my skin craves

My skin craves
warm sunshine
while the rest of me submits
to the quiet,
insistent needs
of healing.

The world has contracted
to lovely soft rest,
filled with cuddling animals
and sensuous silence.

In this moment,
i need this womb.

It is a cocoon
in which i mend
and transform.

In an hour
the story may shift
to include
intense movement
and striving.

Only, right now,
body, mind and heart
dissolve
into words
and warmth.

31 october 2015

The work I should do

The to-do list continues to loom ominously.  I have to finish the inventory, do the book-keeping, finish updating the website and the new ebay store.  Each of these tasks will consume a lot of time, which is daunting, but I have been plugging away at it.  During the last 48 hours, I have done a huge amount of web-design and the accompanying proof-reading, layout adjustments and link checking.  Both last night and the night before, I stayed up well past 2 am (not a real stretch for me) obsessively coding.  If I am generous to myself, I am half-way done.

Alas, right now, I feel trapped by these duties that I do not want to do – what I long for is unstressed time to paint, sculpt and write.  If I am brutally honest, I might even prefer to curl up in bed with a couple of cats, a dog and a good book, just because this body is so cold and weary. My reluctance to push forward fiercely reveals the tremors in my heart; I can find it incredibly hard to sustain courage and determination.

The less I engage my creativity, the more it starts to effect my mood.  For the past few weeks, I’ve felt the shadows of grief and overwhelm lingering around my edges and have been doing everything I can to keep it at bay and also get these important chores done.  However, I can feel the sacrifice of it – my entire spirit yearns to work on the novel, to jot down the poems swimming in my head, to bring the painting currently haunting me to life, to finish the pots.  Discipline has been hard to maintain; there have been a few days that I just threw myself into prose or poetry or simply hid under the covers until living seemed possible again. Today was one of those mornings – it took me until after eleven to really start moving around. I felt numb and broken. Of course, once I staggered out of bed, I went right to the computer and started working on websites.

The artist in me suffers.  Even my own writing, particularly the book that I’ve been working on lately, goes so forward at a glacial pace, despite how much it invades my thoughts and dialogue from it burbles out of my mouth.  Too much of the time I spend in front of a computer has been sucked up by this internet renovation.

I am writing this on one of my “days off” which never actually seem to be fully free of these chores and obligations, even when I keep myself out of the studio.  For a few hours, even though I could not afford to, I went out into the world, window-shopping and wistfully thinking of what it would be like if I had someone to distract me from these two overpowering needs to work: one one side the things I must do and on the other things I long to make.  It strikes me as odd – I live with my solitude better than I expected to, but when I need a break or encouragement, I find myself acutely craving a relationship, someone to take me by the hand and distract me or reassure me. What a shame I have such a hard time reassuring myself or allowing for distractions.

These few words are my treat, before I go back into the code, trying to figure out why two pictures won’t display on the internet (shyness? shame?  obstinance?), how to organize my original paintings for sale, and how best to utilize the ebay store when I also have things for sale on ashafenn.com.

There is so much work I should do.  And right now, all I want is to relax, rest, write or, if the words don’t flow for me because my brain is too addled, read.

Time away

For the first time since i started this business four and a half years ago – and probably for a good year before that – i actually got out of my house for more than a couple of days, traveled long distances and took some time away from all my artistic pursuits. i got to see the clouds from above.  My heart sang with joy.  Vacations are difficult with this life i lead – i love my work, taking time away from what gives me bliss can almost hurt. Also, during these first years in business, all extra funds have gone back into the art.  Clay, canvas, paint, glaze, all cost money – not to mention the bigger ticket items like kilns and wheels and the equipment needed to repair them.  The harder i have been working, the more i have been selling my art, the more money i have needed to put back into the business.

And so it might have remained forever, until blessed human kindness took me away from my static, comfortable situation. A good friend and her family invited me into their home for the week of Thanksgiving.  This gift left me awed with gratitude. The trip helped me more than i realized – i found myself enjoying Miami and adoring my time in their home.

That said, at first, it felt terribly odd.  Instead of patterning my life around my work, i began to flow around the patterns of their lives.  i was able to swim, to rest, to recharge.  Truly, i had not known how much i needed those things.  My bones ached to be in the water.  My spirit needed the comfort of watching a loving family in action.  Neither of these needs were apparent to me until they were alleviated.

Tomorrow, i will have been home a week and it’s been difficult for me to start working in an orderly fashion again. My head is filled with dreams. Part of this comes from the great flood of inspiration and information that came to me during the week away.  Perhaps things will start straightening themselves out tomorrow and i will return to my groove.  Or, maybe, i will continue dreaming of what could come.  My expectations have widened to the point that everything seems possible.