Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 194

When I was deep into creating the carnival works for Dark Caravan, I would tell people that I liked 'working on the edge of failure.' What I meant was that I liked pushing my abilities past my comfort level. I was traveling with the pieces quite a bit, and talking in various programming. So I said that a number of times. I sure didn't know what I was headed for.

I finished Dark Caravan years ago and it's comfortably housed at the museum. But the last three years have been more like a carnival act than any of the time building the carnival. Every day I'm a juggler and a clown. Most days I feel I'm walking a tightrope and on what seems like a fairly regular basis, I must pull a rabbit from my hat to get by. Some days I think I missed disaster "by this much."

It's not at all the edge I'd hoped for. I wanted to be hacking away at some colossal chunk of marble or wood. Or building a full sized carousel.
This is a different sort of edge entirely. It's living in these circumstances, at this age, swinging from day to day without a net.
I'm not done learning this lesson, if I hold to my belief that there's a human curriculum. If I were, I wouldn't wake up with a stone of anxiety in my gut. I take a step back, do a little digging. I'm not alone, I see.

Is this how I look to Poppet? My eyes wacky with panic, every little thing a big ! deal? Am I overwhelmed with my job at panic central? I wouldn't have to work quite as hard at finding peace. So I'm still stumbling, but not falling.

It starts with breathing--simple to do, takes discipline to do well. Breathing well leads to calm. Calm leads to better choices. And so on.

No, this is not at all the edge I planned on, but it's the one I've got. It's up to me to find ways to survive here. I start with a look at my own anxiety. Poppets don't have anxiety. They simply watch and mirror ours. They imitate us, so we can see ourselves. Some people find that scary. But not me.

Are you more anxious now than you were, say, three years ago? What are you doing about it?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 192

Karate. They breathe and stretch. I breathe and sketch. The sounds of the class trigger my desire to draw. After months of sketching as they train, my brain is becoming trained to the association. It wants to draw. Doesn't matter what. It seems better not to plan ahead for this bit. To draw (or write) what comes. To let it flow.

Mini Chill Poppet. Let it flow, let it flow.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 190

Here we are, with some friendly (and excellently handsome) Palm Springs Firemen.

Day 163

I tend not to blog when I don't feel I can do it 'well.' I've felt I owed it to you to do this and I've felt for some time that I wasn't offering anything useful. I seem to want to turn everything into art. Yes, it's part of the machine that is me. Just like everyone else, the parts that are best are sometimes the parts that are worst. Silly humans.

I'm stupid in this way. Because really, if I were treating you like the friends you are---and if you continue to show up here, you must be--I'd know that all you really want me to do is show up. Another part of this human, insecurity.

So I'm showing up to say that, well, I'm sorry. What I really want to do for you right now is show up. Because, really, if I owe you anything, it's that.

That said, with shame and possibly blushing, a quick catch up:

Orion and I went to his end of the year school party yesterday. It was really, really hot outside. the fire department showed up.

I photographed a couple of kitties in their little hammock this morning.

I don't know why Blogger is inserting these huge spaces between texts. It's annoying but I have no time to sort it out.

Spencer and I are getting the last of his stuff moved into his place. We feel really good about this. I thought we were done for , but it turns out we're both looking forward to working and playing together---and so very very not living together.

A lot is going on, and under it all, the struggle to survive in this economy. I begin to truly understand the concept of 'being schooled.' I have become a humble and appreciative student.

Please sir, may I have another?

Thanks for putting up with me. I love you for showing up. Not to get too mushy, I point to the banner at the top of this blog. "Idiot" and "stumbles." That makes me smile. In a way, I'm doing exactly what I said I would.

I'm off--back to the day at hand.

Monday, June 20, 2011


what the hell? I fell into a hole.
How many times must I fall into and climb out of holes before I learn to dance around them?
Right. As many times as it takes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 154

I started the day with a murder. I could call it something else. After all, it isn't a person I killed, but a black widow. But it wasn't the sort of situation where I was surprised and stepped on her. It was neat and methodical and even required preparation. I spotted her on a chair outside as I was having coffee. She was magnificent. I'll use her in art. But that's not why I killed her. I killed her because she was in the territory I've claimed for myself, Orion and Soosi (and now kittens, who wouldn't likely survive a bite.)

I've sworn fealty to the mammals. Therefore, the widow must die.

I watched her struggle. I used the smallest kill jar possible to make it faster. I covered her before introducing the acetone so she wouldn't panic. But she struggled a bit. As I said, she was magnificent. I didn't allow myself empathy. The decision was gained in advance, policy set long ago. Like locking the bathroom door, like not cheating. These things we do, we decide in advance and we always do them, without fail. It eliminates the hemming and the hawing. It eliminates mistakes. It leaves room for more important thoughts.

So the spider is dead and I am guilt-free.

It was 106 today. Something like that yesterday. Well, hello reality. This is the true desert, showing up a little late, sneering, sending the last of the snowbirds packing. Ah then. Here we are. How fickle, humans. We get used to things so quickly. I knew the cooler days were simply lingering, but I started to take them for granted too. The boss is back, the the wind is hot, the ground is baking and we've got our edges back.

Good. Because I have work to do and, kittens aside, I can't afford to get too soft.

Tomorrow is for Poppets. Saturday, for painting and writing. Sunday, for me.

Hope your weekend has good edges and soft breaks.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 151

Orion double-advanced and is now the wearer of the orange. It looks good on him. The orange, yes - what's not to love about orange and black? What I mean is the concentration, intensity and 'the zone' that play across his face as he finds his balance, as he 'feels' it. Among my favorite movies are Enter the Dragon, Iron Monkey and Kung-Fu Hustle. Samauri Jack is one of my heros. Right. I know. They are what they are. But you know what I mean. I thought I had at least an appreciation of the martial arts. Until this year, watching these kids train, I didn't really appreciate the beauty of the art on this level. There's something about seeing it from the beginning.
I've seen it before. The look of a human being, learning an art form.
It's a truly beautiful thing.

Today was Tuesday. I got a great deal of work done on a painting for a book project.

I'll be honest with you. I was up at 6:30. Took Orion to school at 7:45. Back by 8. I didn't start until 11. I spent the first part of the morning finishing up some 'have-to's' for PP.
But. I showed up and the work was done.

It's a start. Feels pretty good.
Today, I did what it took.


Congratulations, Champions!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 149

Add Image

Not so many pretty words today. Plain words. This weekend was for plain stuff and lots of it. Fine if the mood suits. It didn't. I want to write. Again, short term wins. Another attempt at escape velocity last week didn't quite pan out. That won't stop me from trying again. I'm not complaining. Far from it. As day jobs go, making poppets fits me like a glove. There are plenty of days when making poppets doesn't feel like work at all. Fine if the mood suits. Some days you feel like a nut. Sometimes you are.

I did a lot of organizing in the studio. As a result I renewed quite a number of poppet listings on Etsy for those that haven't been seen for awhile. If there's a poppet you missed in the past, tell us and Aubrey or I will see if we have it.

I listened to music and did some thinking. What I thought about is that if I want to finish either book project or larger work, I have to take my own advice and show up. If I can't set aside a week to go off and work, I have to set aside a day, or even half a day at least once a week, then I have to show up, without fail, to work on that specific thing. It's such an easy concept to know, but so hard to put into practice.

Spencer moved more of his things out. The house already seems larger. These changes, rearrangements, seem the perfect time to modify the work schedule. Tuesday.

Can I put Tuesday aside for other work? Tuesday will show up. Will I? I hope so. Either way, I'll let you know and maybe we'll figure something out together. I don't envy myself, being in charge of me.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 147

One hundred and forty seven is a good number. Now, I'm very nearly completely ignorant of numerology.

It's on the list. But I know, without a doubt, that 7 resonates with me. I don't know why and it doesn't matter, at least right now. It's tough for autodidacts--very hard not to pursue everything. One cannot pursue everything, at least, not while pursuing one's 'one thing.'

I have completely forgotten where I was going with this. Please forgive. Hey, at least I showed up.

I've been working in the studio for, um...16 hours. This isn't a thing I can do often but it's a thing that must happen sometimes.

Escape velocity--is where I make sure every poppet is on its way so that I can spend the weekend writing. Writing is the long term, which must wait patiently for the short term. Over and over and over. And, everything I do today frees a bit of swim time with the Orion.

Still, thank you so much. If you didn't collect poppets, I wouldn't be writing. Funny thing, I wouldn't be writing if it weren't for poppets.

I might be punch-drunk now. So I'll take my own advice and shut-the-hell-up.

Amongst all, I photo'd the Mini Bees, played with kitties.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Day 145

This was the sort of day in which you eat standing up and hardly remember what it was you ate. Was the sort of day where eventually, you believe that if you stop for a moment, you won't be able to keep moving.

It was the sort of day where in the middle of the last errand for milk, the energy suddenly flows out of you and you know you've done enough.

Except to tuck in, kiss goodnight and read just a bit to one who counts on you to keep going, because that's what Frodo would do.

At the end of it, now, it's the sort of end where you're glad to be off your feet, where you know you'll be up at six to start again, and where you're content to be chugging along, alive, the little engine that does things.

And too, there is a kindle of kittens.


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Day 142

It's Saturday evening. Listening to Cage the Elephant and the blender.

It's Saturday evening and Spence and I will have dinner; Mexican, with frozen Margaritas.

We've agreed that living together was a terrible idea.

He's found a place of his own and we've spent several hours sorting things out, amiably and with a great deal of humor.

I get to keep the fridge with the door dispensers. I'll regain the floor hidden under recording equipment and amplifiers.

There were some real rough spots last week, and before. After all was said and done, it was decided that we still had things to learn together, as artists, musicians and old souls.

Apply a bit of W. Edward Deming and we can agree that it's the system that's broken, not the people.

It's Saturday evening. I can live with that.

In my own place.

Kitties all fine. Pictures soon.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

Day 140

Earth Maiden poppets for Summer Solstice had to come in every color. It's all about the light.

These poppets are like Skittles. Taste the rainbow. Or maybe not. Though quite a number of collectors have confessed that they've licked a poppet at some point in time, poppets tell me they tolerate licking, but don't particularly like it. So, I'd keep the poppet tasting to a minimum. Otherwise you may have a poppet coup. If you have a lot of poppets, this could be a problem.

I'm just saying.

Today I sort of swam with Orion. At least I got wet. I'm not as fearless as I was. A year too long out of the water and weather that isn't warming the pool. It will come back if I work at it. And I will.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Day 139

Bilbo has revealed himself, crawling out of the nest and over the fuzzy mountains seeking adventure. It proved quite a task and after completing his journey, he lay down next to a star and dreamed.

Silly little kitty.

Orion has claimed Bilbo and Aubrey, Mystro.

So far, a very nice professor (poetry) waits for one of the girls. It's possible a kitten will claim me. But something tells me to wait. And see.

Though I haven't mentioned it in awhile, Orion and I still follow Frodo and his companions. Tonight, with heavy hearts, the weary troup marches on. Gandalf has fallen and hope seems a long way away, perhaps to be found in Lothlorien.