what a long ass week.  i find myself feeling empty and sad and having to try really really hard to tell myself everything can change [for the better] thing is i just dont know how or when.  on the one hand i'm grateful that there is still work to do at the bone house, still work that i can do and that right now no one else really wants to do. [linda is the only other person still doing bathroom mosaic, everyone else has burnt out] the mosaic stuff in the bathroom is really draining physically and mentally.  it is tedious, boring, and  hotter than a fucking boil.  sprinkle in off gassing from all the tile adhesives and you walk away after only a few hours feeling dizzy and not quite right. 

the bathrooms i am working on are very small.  one is getting covered in cut mirror.  so it takes hours.  first you take sheets of mirror and cut out all the pieces.  you slice a line in the mirror and then use a tool to 'pinch' or break off the piece.  after you have a bucketful of that you go to the tile saw and hand grind all sides so it isn't sharp.  it's very tedious and messy.  you get glass and water and dust all over you.  then you pour the glass out onto a mesh thing and let that all dry up.  pick it all up and go to the bathroom and start slopping tile adhesive on the area you are gonna work.  its like putting together a puzzle that never ends.

to get a break from that i go upstairs where there is NO air circulation whatsoever, and work on the interior shower.  this one is all broken up tile pieces mosaiced together.  i find it harder.  for one just breaking the tile is a feat.  so far tod and i have done what i deem a poor job of it in comparison to linda.  who knew there was an art to hammering tile?  for some reason our pieces come out chipped and not as triangular or cool looking. and getting tiny 'filler' pieces is a bitch.  i can hammer a piece until my veins pop and it still wont break up.  good way to get rid of aggression but then only more comes back when you can't break the damn piece.

so. its been good that i can work as much or as little as i want.  i finally asked could i turn the ac on for a little bit if i come in at night and its not as expensive to use the ac.  up until now i dont think anyone has ever used it and i myself was feeling really sick from that oppressive heat and humidity.  got a thumbs up on that one.  its still hot but it takes the edge off after an hour or so.  i keep telling myself when this is over i might not have a way to make money so gotta do what i can now as most of the work on this place is done.  i've spent most of the week going in in the morning and working a few hours then coming back at 5pm to work til 8 or 9.  its all i can physically handle.  add to that our own ac went out this week and we were 2 days without it and i feel like a piece of jerky.

i think what bums me out is i'm not making it.  still haven't made my $400 rent.  forget about whatever else i need to pay each month in necessities.  i haven't touched a thing in my little studio nor have i sold a thing.  my life feels like a mess.  working your ass off just to pay some bills soon becomes mind numbing and soul sucking.  most of us have been there done that.  i've done it most of my life.  i guess when i was a massage therapist and made 40-50k a year i lucked the fuck out.  it was my one run at being semi well off.  i made more money when i was 16 years old working at mcdonalds than i am now.  32 years later and i am doing worse off in my mind.

and the house?  the idea of me and tod building a house seems wonderful.  i love the idea of having our 'rent' cut in half and knowing that the stress of needing to make as much each month will dissipate.  we are a long way off it seems from all of that.  we are spending time making crude drawings of the layout.  we will have to have more blueprinty type drawings made up to take to the bank before we can find out how much of a loan we can get. thank god this whole housing thing is for low income people.  thank god tod was able to save up some money from all that insane taxi driving in vermont and should qualify on his own.  i can't stand that i have nothing to add to it right now.  it drives me crazy.  i'm getting really tired of not having money.  its been a challenge that for the most part i'm good at but somedays i want to scream. 

wish i had more peppy paula news.  wish i could share something wonderful.  i've been laying low and feeling like i'm disappearing.  i check online and see all my other artists humming along, giving classes, taking classes, doing shows, selling...making new work.  all seemingly happy and enjoying vacations or whatever. always hard for me to not chastise myself for being stuck in poverty.  it feels like its getting worse and there is no way out.  but thats me and my stupid genetic disposition.  tod seems to think everything is fine.  just fine.  so i try to take his positivity and my negativity and find a happy medium.  so there you are.  my boring life.


Kim Hambric said...

I think you are just more willing to let your feelings out.

The little voice in my head let me have it the other day. In just the time it took me to go down the steps from my studio. At the top, I had some great ideas and felt like a wonderful artist. By the time I had reached the bottom, I was a pathetic loser.

This weekend, I am out of the studio and with my family, so the little voice just has the shut the hell up until Monday morning.

Cynthia said...

If there's one thing that's for sure, it's nothing stays the same. Applies whether you want it to or not. You have to keep on, hang on, and it won't be like this forever. We've got your back!

donauluft said...

The job you make at the present time sounds not so good. But I agree with Cynthia...it´s nothing stays the same..keep my fingers crossed for more art sales in future!

andrea said...

If it helps at all, some of us are "living this" with you and are pulling for you 100%.

Christopher Paquette said...

All I can offer is to say I can personally relate to every word... every single sentence.

You get up every day and go do what needs to be done, and for that you should give yourself credit.

Thank you for posting something that is from the deepest part of your gut.

deb said...

sometimes when I read your words I feel so unsuccessful, you don't compromise, my life is one big compromise, balancing family and teaching so I can make a space to make some pretty dumb art. I feel like a fraud. You are really going for it, I'm still sitting on the fence, still afraid. We are all pulling for you! I think I personally need you to succeed so I can believe that the dream is still alive out there, that compromise isn't the only way... wish so deeply that there was something constructive I could do, but all I have is words and love

paula said...

thank you all for caring and knowing how to respond in a way that doesn't annoy me. you all really add to my life in ways you cannot know.

Jeana Marie said...

I'm not sure what to say, but wanted to at least let you know that I was here and I read every word and am thinking about you.

{and sincerely hope that wasn't annoying...}


paula said...

not annoyed jeana marie. you are too gentle a soul to ever annoy me.