Friday, November 4, 2011

About Transitions

Summer is definitely gone. No doubt about that. People seem surprised that I still say that in November; I do have some difficulty with transitions. I rather like to keep what Is familiar and good and am not really comfortable about what is ahead. I’ve seen some of the forecast for our winter weather. Looks like lots of storms. So? I have experienced thirty winters in Humboldt County. Storms? What else is new? I still love this place.

It’s change that unsettles me. Feels for a while like walking on quicksand (even though I’ve never done that). When my children were small I thought I would like to keep them that way. They were mine then and one day they would be their own people. My father looked around at my family back then, and said: “Enjoy this now. It’s the best.” He was right. But they grew up; they got smart, and I still like them. And this is still the best. I read history; I read biographies and life still surprises me. People have been watching their kids grow up (if they’re lucky) since our beginnings, but life is new in every life.

And now the change and transition that I am heading into is keeping me awake at night. A new home, a new studio. I’ve been where I am now for sixteen years; it is home. My studio has grown in its contents and the work has evolved and it is still the place I want to be. The place I submerge into where time stops, the world doesn’t turn and I am totally in charge. The radio is silent except when I want some music, not often. I love silence. I jump when the phone rings but don’t turn the ringer off because too much isolation is scary. I know I can recreate this space. Even better. And I can make a home again. I have done it before. The change from Brooklyn to Caracas, from single to married to unmarried, from Venezuela to Humboldt County, California. Always these were the right moves. Or maybe I have just been a good adapter. Still I wish I could fast forward to being settled into my new digs. 

The work is going well. Probably in part because there was the “now or never” feeling about resolving this series before is got disrupted. It is resolved now. What remains to be done is to mount these paintings on sturdy surfaces (on some kind of lightweight board or on canvas) as they are each composed of several parts. After that they will need to be studied carefully for color to be adjusted, design element added (or not). There are sixty in process so it will be a long lasting and gratifying project. One that I am loathe to put aside but will be happy to get back to later.

I think about those to whom change comes in the form of great loss: catastrophes of weather, war, epidemics, fire. I imagine the aftermath of a tornado and surviving to see everything that was your home and community blown away. Somehow people deal with it. Nothing short of amazing.

William Ralph Inge, writer and priest said: “When our first parents were driven out of Paradise, Adam is believed to have remarked to Eve: "My dear, we live in an age of transition."”
The image above measures 23” x 17” and is still unfinished, unmounted and untitled.

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