Month: July 2013

Summer’s insanity

three bowls
three bowls

Summer just got a little crazier than normal.  Art in Maine is a seasonal business: we produce much of our work in the winter and then sell it in the spring, summer and fall.  That does not imply that art is not made during the three warmer seasons – at least not for me – i wind up adding the job of selling my work on top of what i am already doing creating it. Here is a freshly updated page telling you where my work will be, both open air markets and the galleries that sell my pottery and art.  Between deliveries, gallery sitting and manning my booth at events, i suddenly go from the equivalent of having two full time jobs to three.  It has taken me four years to get used to this rhythm intellectually; but when July comes and the work suddenly explodes, it still throws me off balance.

Yet, there is immense joy in this.  i love seeing customers react to my pottery and sculptures. For some reason, i never get tired of praise.

maine pots inside
maine pots inside
maine pots
maine pots

Also, this is a great opportunity for me to see what kind of things people want.  Some years it has been small items, others huge works.  I’ve been making pottery for Oli’s Trolley – all Maine themed pots – and i am finding they are selling in my studio even before they make it to Bar Harbor.  This is a good thing.

However, this year may prove to be different.  i unexpectedly added to summer’s insanity.  A few days ago, a new book started pouring out of me.  This one seems to be short, concise, and surprisingly useful.  However, these are the earliest stages.  It is outlined, about a quarter of the chapters written in a wild flood of ink.  Of course, this wonderful gift comes now, flowing effortlessly in every moment i can spare.  It is completely inconvenient that i’m adding to my workload at this exact moment.

But, these words cannot be denied or delayed.  It has happened before.  Years ago, writing what wound up being the first novel in a set, i wrote this poem to describe how that work flowed out of me.  While this book is very different in character, the following lines still explain the compulsion that has overwhelmed me:

 

fire angel
fire angel

fire woman
fire woman

yellow angel
yellow angel

—burning—

i am burning.
a year has passed
and i am still burning.
i wrote the realization down
after that day’s purifying fires
and then brought to page
so many more.
i told the story
with just enough lies
to reveal the truth.
i am burning
from the words i have penned,
and i am burning
with the compulsion
to write more,
to right more,
to finish this work,
to hold it in my hand,
to release it into the world
on paper or in ash,
but either way to complete
this act of fierce, merciful purging.
i am burning.
i am burning.
but, i doubt finishing
this particular rapture
of chapters and characters
will extinguish the heat
that cycles through me
filling me with this calling,
making me vibrate with its intensity,
for, with luck,
with Grace,
the writing will not end
until the writer does.

written in 2009

—-

 

So i am writing until the i am overtaken by sleep.  As soon as i awake, i steal time from other work by picking up the pen.  i am writing while i eat.  My notebook comes into the bathroom with me.  My cat stares at me grumpily while my scribbling delays her daily dose of affection.  Without a doubt, it is all worth it – i do not know what i would do without the poems, the stories, the paintings, the figures and the pots.