taxi segue

Until art poureth out of me it's all about the taxi. I thought I would work on art Saturday after my two hour session with the lady on the mountain, but Martin Luther King has inadvertently reeked havoc on the tourist town I live in. Football games, drinking, music, more drinking....it was a busy time for the cabbie's and I volunteered myself into the mix.

I still get shaky and feel like I'm going to implode/explode simultaneously the first ride or so, but the little local rides up and down the mountain road are becoming less harrowing. There was a time I could not go past a certain point on that mountain road. Night or day, it felt like I would reach a point of no return. Now I feel less trepidation but still pray I don't have to delve off the main road onto the dozens of dark tributaries of dirt roads. It still depends greatly on the type of person(s) I pick up....stuff the vehicle with stoic quiet people who exude aires of superiority and I am predisposed to tics of nervousness. Don't think for a minute that I'm unaware of how this is all therapy for ME. I accept it. It is integration at a base level for someone who has had limited/unhealthy amounts of normal conversation without the aide of alcohol or hiding behind the dark quietness of a massage session. I'm not good at small talk but I'm also not stupid and I know behind every comment on the weather intimations coagulate into wordless meaning towards connection.

Saturday night I had my first experience with overtly inebriated people, I drove some extremely rowdy guys off the beaten path and decided that was enough for one night. Oddly enough I was okay with them screaming FUCK over and over and yelling at the back of my head. We even managed to have a conversation about life (I'm sure only I will remember it though) I could have driven to the bar and waited for more rides, as the bar neared closing they poured out of there like a cloud of insects. I chose instead to park at a recreation path and wait to see if I got any calls that were less aggressive. It was surreal to sit there in the dark after midnight in a taxi....snow falling and wind kicking up. Feeling the energy of all who were out there and yet feeling completely alone and peaceful.

I started to like it. There I said it. Yes once again I get the lesson for the zillionth time. That which I avoid like the plague, that which I fear, that which I do not want....it becomes the giant that closes in on me until I find the worm hole of acceptance to glide out of my prison. I wonder when I will ever learn to stay more in the moment. Right now it is okay. Right now I don't have to do anything. Right now I can do this. It's when I look ahead and let my mind ruminate. Let my thoughts create toxic balloons of their own that then I cannot see. Do I really want to keep driving, being on call for entire days and making $50 or $60? No. But for right now what else is there. This came to me and it is what I have. If I look ahead sure I feel anxious and even sorrow that I'm not swimming in oceans of creative time. But oh well. I find it fitting that this weekend the gallery sold the piece 'escape', the very night I decided to go out there and work with an attitude of gratitude and peace. That I stopped hating myself and feeling inadequate and inferior.


Kim Hambric said...

Paula, Glad you're "back". Somehow, the description of sitting in the car at night, waiting, makes me think of your larger situation right now. I see you there in the quiet darkness, headlights on, gathering the strength to keep going. Congratulations on selling that piece.

self taught artist said...

thanks kim

Daphne said...

Hi Paula. I think of you often. I check to see if you've posted but decided to stop a few days ago and yet here you are.

I have had bad times (long ago) when I've gone for a drive in my car, alone in the dark. There is something about feeling like one of the few people awake and thinking in the middle of the night that lightened the load.

By the way: we just took down some L shaped hardware that would have held up window blinds at some point. I thought they were black but now that I've seen them close up they actually have a lot of copper in them. They're too pretty to throw-out (actually, they're very plain but you understand me) and I thought of you. I tried to think of something that I could use them for other than wind-chimes- which is what I end up doing to cast off hardware, but if you want them I will send them to you.

self taught artist said...

thank you daphne..email on its way :)

gigi said...

hi paula,

welcome back - i am happy to see you writing here again. do you think that when your mind slows down and stays in the moment, daily life is so much easier to deal with? i do. there is so much to process in twenty four tiny hours that there's little time left for beating yourself up. and the more hours you spend in the moment the easier it will be to build up a habit of feeling calm and not getting stuck in negative feelings or ideas.

you are one of the brave ones Paula. you put your heart and passions out there and let them swirl around, and you don't leave them out for a limited period of time or quickly reel them back in if things get uncomfortable. most people won't or can't do that. i know this is a rough time but i hope you will soon see that periods of drying creativity are temporary, that you can find joy in the simple things, and that you will soon have that hope that you yearn for again. allowing people to comment right here and receiving the support is a good start. and that 18 by 18 show is a nice prize to keep your eye on.

self taught artist said...

yes gigi the moment is where its at when i can push the being responsible for the future out of my head (as a realtor shows the house I caretake for today and I think dont worry about what I will do if I have to move)
i'll just be creative in my cab driving until i have time to make art in the future :)
glad to still have readers left after my hiatus. thanks for your support!

San said...

Hey, Sweetie. Not only is the sale a stroke of much-deserved good luck, but the name of the sold piece seems quite portentous.

Your description of your taxi adventure is simply tremendous--you really are taking it as a drive down the back roads of your soul. That takes courage, my friend.

A friend of mine suffered a divorce last year. The emotional turmoil was of course horrible for her, BUT career-wise, she found herself working as one of those people who pick up dead bodies in morgues and nursing homes. What she told me: It's not as scary as I thought; it's like they're made of plastic.

self taught artist said...

i'm thinking dead people are less demanding :)