Monday, February 25, 2013

It was big.

Big piles of huge tiny thoughts..
I've been home from my month-long residency at Jentel for just over a week, and in that time I've just let it sink in. It has simmered. But now that I've started back to work at Penland, I feel the need to start concluding my experience.....at least on my blog. I have Kickstarter rewards to finish and ship (books, y'all!) and of course I will be thinking about my month in Wyoming for a long, long time.

Friends and acquaintances have all asked me, "how was your residency?" and it is impossible to sum-up. I've listened to what I say in reply, all the while still processing, still really putting names to things.

It was big, you know?

My responses always sound diluted in my own ears: "It was amazing...we all got along so well...I worked a lot....it was cold, but not too cold...There were a couple of perfect snow-storms, I love Wyoming....." et cetera.

But the 'thicker' story of my time in Wyoming is very personal: "I feel like a different person now, I thought very clearly in Wyoming, the experience was good for my self-esteem, I need to get better at self-promotion, I need to set more tangible goals, I want to change so many things when I go home, I need to work toward having a studio separate from my home," and so forth.

There's no way to quickly relate how or why I listened to a handful of albums (and even specific songs) a million times in my studio. (I guess I'm still working out the 'why' on that one!)

I wish I could share the way my elbow hurt from working so much...just to prove this was not a vacation.
Whyoming.
I hope I always talk with my hands like this.
So yes, lots of big, personal soul-searching stuff. That's mine. But the richest part of the experience, and the most difficult to tie words to, is the shared part: that five other beautiful people were concurrently having their own experiences...epiphanies, break-throughs, meltdowns, rough-days, great-days, deja-vus, weird dreams, pheasant-encounters, naps, walks, cups of tea, cups of coffee, glasses of wine, apples, clementines, cookies, and and and.)

Tacos. 
Paparazzi!
Resident tracks. We left our mark.
None of us had a car, and most of the time we were the only six people in the universe. (there were many cows and birds and an invisible porcupine in our universe, however...) Sometimes the six of us were in a snowglobe. This was not my first experience where I felt quickly and strongly bonded with others. (Gosh...adventures range from a 12-year old Michelle having a transformative weekend at CA Job's Daughters Leadership Camp, to countless adventures as a workshop participant at Penland, Haystack, and Frogmans.) But what was different about this residency experience is that the six of us spent most of our time (I think? maybe?) alone in our studios. But there was something significant in knowing that we were all in it together, even doing very different things.

 I can't express how strange and troubling it was when suddenly I was boarding a plane in Denver, and none of my fellow residents were there.

...it still feels weird.


Concluding where I left off in my last post: My suitcase containing my sewing machine did indeed arrive the next morning, and AAA cheerfully restarted my battery, (fortunately it didn't need to be replaced...) and I made it home to this guy, who was very glad to see me. 

oh, stop.
The night I returned to little ol' Spruce Pine was trivia night at the Pizza Shop, so I got to see some friends and eat a good amount of pizza. After a couple of days with no appetite, the pizza was very satisfying. (Sidenote: We came in second at trivia that night, but we are currently in first place in a four-week tournament. This winter our team name is "Nancy Drew in the Tomb of the Cybermen.")

Since returning home, I've had a few very down days, and have fallen into an unfortunate sleeping pattern. (Although never the earliest, I did get up early-ish almost every morning at Jentel. And I only took ONE nap while I was there, and it was the best nap ever...even in a papasan chair!) And I'm ready for spring. Winter is less charming now that I'm home in my generally chilly house, with no Blaze King wood stove.
I have added "wood stove" to my completely reasonable
list of things I want in Michelle's House of Dreams.
 There are all these things I need to do, and want to change. But I have kept up my good habit of writing everyday, and I appreciate that I can't change everything all at once. Right?

Big rearrangement of my little dining-room studio. Ongoing "getting rid of stuff." I only moved into this house in October, so I'm barely unpacked. Future-adventure/opportunity hunting. Looking ahead to planting my garden. Maybe re-opening my long silent Etsy store. Hopefully putting together a post-Jentel Show-and-Tell.

I guess that's all for tonight...thanks for reading! I have a few more things to say about Wyoming, but I'll save it for another post. 

I'd love to have a show further exploring this sort of scale. But where?

1 comment:

carlasonheim said...

Wow, love your work! Found you through Pinterest and am so inspired. Thank you.

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