J O U R N A L / B L O G


Friday, March 22, 2013

A lot of things are getting away from me. Things that I could only catch with writing! They build up and up, like sandstone sculptures torn away by the wind. Writing punches them down as well, writing dives in and devolves the mystery until not enough of it is left to be impulsively attractive (until you have mined it, in effect). But just watching all the grains of chaff and gold alike stripped from the surface night by night is unbearable—I am compelled to approach and cover with my hands while I look and touch in whatever clumsy way I can.

The flickering light in the warehouse again, the feeling of a box cutter in my hand and the careful alignment of a box with my chest, the smooth angled cuts to separate plastic or tape binding the flaps of the boxes. Integration of these movements into channels in my brain, the channels cutting through the learning-altered landscapes of ‘forearm, right thumb, left hand and arm, back’ like rivers rained into every time it’s my turn to take out the cardboard. These channels will dry up and soften, filling in a bit but never completely now that the last of my three weeks notice is up with Chihuly Garden and Glass. I let my manager know earlier than two weeks that I would be leaving so we could find my replacements and get them trained. There were supposed to be two people in my position but it had just been me for a month and I didn’t want to cause undo chaos for an employer that had treated me so well.
The reason I put my notice in is because I had a new job offer. This is something I was not expecting—I was expecting to work at Chihuly Garden and Glass in the warehouse, stocking the book store until May 2014. But Kaffeologie, the company run by the husband of a friend I had met by going to cafĂ© Umbria in Pioneer Square over and over again in the time after I graduated from Evergreen, had taken off. I had done production work on re-usable coffee filters for them for several months as a way to pay for using a part of their office space in sodo as my painting studio. It was quite a huge thing to finally get my own space away from home after finishing my undergraduate studies. I had tried countless ways of setting up a painting space in my home to extremely varying degrees of success. I never came close to the amazing feeling I always got from my studio space at Evergreen: a place of community, creation, and freedom that encouraged countless late night hours of productivity. It was a place to belong to, and that made being alone there exciting rather than depressing: it meant I was working harder, later, and everyone would see what I had done when class started the next day. There is NO replacement for the expectations of other people, for the importance of being a part of a bigger creative community. I will always remember those three years of initial development as a painter and artist at Evergreen with fondness, and a healthy glaze of nostalgia. The goal is to never let nostalgia become bittersweet by finding new things in the world, making new circumstances, getting out and playing until the pieces join together again. Can you tell that I’ve had a hard time with that?
Running down the streets under dappled sun on a bright yellow day, eyes focused on the upper branches and sparse winter foliage of the trees reaching over the road from either side, seeing the mass move at a speed unique to running—watching the world around me in a way otherwise un-simulated, undocumented, a breach of expected protocol in sensual experience that makes my pumping blood and sweating body feel all the more alive for its encounter with the unknown of the present. The world seen in this way issues a bottomless call to keep moving and see more. Proximity to ‘nature’ is increased as the mode of experiencing it is less predetermined. Play is necessary to actually observe something new.

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