Settling Change (part 1)

I stopped drinking 28 days ago. It doesn’t sound like much when I hear it out loud, but those first few days weren’t measured in baby steps, they were measured in miles… Big… long… fuck’n miles. Still, I don’t think I’ve started my recovery yet. It’s gotten amazingly easier already, but I’m seeing a few troubling issues popping up as this plays out…

 

There’s a concern among some attempting recovery, we know that our behavior is going to change now that we’ve stopping drinking, after all that’s one of the reasons that we stop, to make a change… Right? But will I?… and who will I be? Will the people that loved me or found me interesting still want me around?… or will we just drift apart?

It’s not just a concern, it’s a real thing. People often like the medicated version of a loved one over the real and unmedicated version.

Just from passing observation, as a society we medicate our children and spouses all the time to make them more agreeable. Many of us found this as a workable reason, along with many other, to habitually self medicate ourselves into being someone that others would find more tolerable. 

I’m remembering that the child inside of me, that grade schooler and young teen, was a child who felt very alone, (Important: Key word here is “felt”) asking questions that didn’t get answered, desperate for intentional and meaningful conversations (totally without the skills necessary for just that) and obviously needing appropriate attention from those charged with the task. The fact was that I wasn’t alone though; I was in the middle of a caring and wonderful community. The disconnect was that my personality was wired differently than most of the others around me and I did not understand its significance. Its a very real thing and it has very real effects if and when it’s not addressed. It affected why I wasn’t connecting in a way that felt positive for me and despite being in the midst of a community, I really was, in many ways, very much alone.

 

Well that’s changing…. Maybe recovery starts with looking directly at this and digging into personal development, going back to that uncomfortable place where I left off and using my adult skills to start growing again? I need to find the mentors that can help me develop the tools necessary to become more at ease with the uncomfortable and possibly finding more people like me…. not the artists with a drinking problem, but instead finding INFJs that are learning to find their balance as INFJs.

 
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Day Trip

Last week, I got a chance to spend 24 hours wandering San Fransisco with my studio partner; 24 hours of hiking, eating, exploring, drinking, loving our way all over the city. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the bond that we’ve created through living and working together. It was a nice reminder of what some of that bond is about. It can be about leaning into each other with trust. It can be about opening ourselves up to what each of us contributes to the games that we play… It can be about recognizing that as unique as we each are, it’s the relationship that that we create together that flavors our experience and the relationship that brings us so much joy. We create that relationship together.

It underlines the point, that as fun as it was, it just wouldn’t have been the same, fulfilling experience it was if it was done alone. All of the twists and unexpected turns that we each brought to the adventure would have been left unrealized if the other wasn’t there. Every momentary smell or taste that was left unshared would be all that much more fleeting.

I have a multitude or reasons that I cherish moments like this. I feel that I am a better me when I walk next to her. I am more open to the unexpected when I hold my partners hand, seeing her smile with me as we try something new. I am more open to change, more open to self growth, and possibly most important, I am happy to be myself when I am with my best friend.

Thank you for being my partner in life Jess.

Chasing Tail

Ran through another family collaborative project this week. Jess threw and cut a dozen Yunomi, leaving them next the wheel head to play with later. Andor and I reworked his SpringHare motif that he created for this winter’s collaboration, billets were cut, and blocked out onto Jess’s leatherhard forms.


The idea was to play with the image in the round, demonstrating how it can be used to tell ourselves a story… the circles (which are fireflies aka Love), the floral motif (spring/life), and the floating little death (symbolizing both the dream, and the race against death), all running round robin.


It will be finished off with a blueblack 50/50 stain and the new SAG matte glaze, fired to cone 6, and diamond sanded… That’s the plan.

Happy Pig

There’s an experience that, for 30 years, all the rest of the couples around me have gotten a chance to experience, but dispite being married for 25 years, I missed out on… The experience of being given a ring. 

It’s kind of a big thing, (It’s actually a huge thing) and having a partner that thinks that it might actually make her partner not only smile, but feel extra special by personally hand crafting a piece herself for Valentine’s Day… well that’s fuck’n over the top. 

You really are one of a kind Love. Thank you 🙂 I’m an extreamly happy pig.

Riding in the Sidecar

It the beginning of 2018 and I’m watching my partner stand-up and step into the local arts community to fill a roll. Jessica has taken the helm of the Elsie May Goodwin Gallery as its Gallery Director. Honestly, I’m proud that she feels that serving the community is a task worth doing, and I’m more than slightly impressed that she’s got the stamina, intelligence, and vision to actually engage with an established group and quickly begin to make the transformative changes needed to keep our community gallery up and running. 

This is a nice way to start the year.

Christmas Hare

Ended the year on working on the dinning room table in collaboration with the kids and Jess. 


Andor drew up the design. I cut the block. Jess printed it, and Nico inked in the background.

It feels pretty neat getting seeing a project like this roll all the way through to completion. Now on to the next one.

Habanero Slaw

This is a no bullshit, no mayo, no whining slaw.  
It’s easy to make and keeps well enough for a two or three days (but usually it doesn’t last past the first round of leftovers. It’s just gone. We use it for dressing burgers and for topping any tacos that are coming out of the kitchen. The habanero adds a pinch of heat, but it’s mostly used for flavor. All the house guests give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
1 habanero finely diced (use latex gloves if you have em, (seriously))

1 shallot onion finely diced

2 cloves of garlic finely diced 

1/2 a head of cabbage finely shredded

A dash of olive oil

Dash of salt


Put half the shredded cabbage in the bottom of a deep bowl. Add the dices materials and salt. Toss. Add oil, toss, and add the remaining cabbage before quickly tossing one more time. 

It’s ready.

Playing With the Boy

Andor drew it. I’m attempting to cut it.


The block is done. We’ll press it tomorrow and see how it reads in reverse. Unfortunately I’ve gotten used to seeing it facing this way, (I’ve been suspecting that there’s a phycological underpinning that preferences which direction the movement of a composition flows. What do you think?) in my imagination, seeing the rabbit facing the other direction makes me reevaluate my enthusiasm and look toward the next project.

Cut cut Slice slice

It’s been a long week of impatient daydreams while heeding leaves. It’s an all day job that lasts from October to December, (one of the few downsides to being a gardener on a university campus filled with trees). The daydreams this week has been preoccupied by playing with linoleum blocks. It’s been refreshing to just learn something brand new. 

Linoleum block set up with the image transferred using graphite paper to trace the design onto the block. The lines have been reinked with a sharpie and then the whole block has been given a coat of red India ink.

Do I have unrealistic expectations? Yep, but for now, those are pinned up on a board. This week, it’s just been about getting a design down, start making cuts, and seeing what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t.

The black lines are what stays and the red shows us our cuts. If everything is left the color of the linoleum, it’s difficult(ish) to see the cuts that need to happen.
I’m enjoying that last part in particular, it’s the glow of the new relationship feeling that you get when everything really is new, it lets even failure feel like you’re moving forward and doing something meaningful. 
A computer printer copy is being used to key up the next block. The outline will be used to print the bones.

Cut, cut… Slice, slice

When registered properly, this block can fill in the bone outline. A separate block needs to be done for each color in the print. Easy right?


I’m keeping in mind a simple lesson that Jess pointed out to me earlier this week that applies to learning something new. If you are going to do something, commit to it. Even if you feel silly doing it, (especially if you look silly doing it) your commitment shows. Sometimes, it’s your commitment that is applauded and appreciated, not the results… and most of the time, that’s all that we really need.

Finished test print. I have to admit, the heart was filled in with a sharpie.

Smart

Take Away

What’s missing in this picture? 

Our kiln. We dismantled it two months ago in prep for the landlord taking this tree out, now it’s finally happening! 


We’re not making any plans that actually involve firing yet though. The tree men informed us that they won’t be hauling off the wood. The landlord told them that he was going to haul it all off himself later… I don’t think we’ll have access to firing anytime soon.

What’s the take away? It might be time to make a switch in the media that we invest our daydreams in.