staying and fleeing

last week i had a cleaning job to do.  i go in...take my wary look around and notice fog cans in the center of every spot of the floors.  mmmm  that doesnt look good. its a small apartment but feels crowded by all the fogger cans.  i creep out, careful to mind i dont take anything alive with me on my body.

call the office.  fleas.  supposedly all dead from the 5 fog cans all set off 24 hours ago.  i'm gonna play it safe and give this a few more days.  in fact, i waited 3 days.  in the meanwhile back to my life. finding some amounts of miffed humor that all my cleaning jobs have 'bombed' lately (meaning canceled or me not able to do due to no hot water or FLEAS).  art sales arent what they were but my whole art mojo has been askew anyways.  what have i been doing?

well...i completely reorganized and cleaned the loft. it's my own little space now that tod is gone and i was determined to make it somewhat livable and cozy if one can be cozy amidst hundreds of pounds of wood, metal and cardboard boxes.  i've had computer problems all self inflicted from moving the thing from one end of the room to another.  i've had my panic come to me in new and horrid ways.  i've been reading my mind/body connection book and listening to my panic mp3 download.  i'm dealing.  i have a sense that it's paula time unlike any other time in my life.

it occurred to me how much i really want to make art.  i've been so afraid and so negative...i still dont know what i am doing or how i will manage.  i still want to just stay here if i can as i realize i could not possibly live/work in a smaller area without having to give up too much in the way of art/supplies/tools.  my personal possessions are few and mostly meaningless things that are functional and replaceable.  the art...the objects...very important.  how important?  that's what i realized...important enough for me to fight for IT if i can't fight for myself.  i dont even know what that means, but i do know that when i work on art everything is okay.  heart.  heart.  heart always tells me what i want and need.  head always lies.  maybe i am crazy...maybe i am in denial.  today i just feel like i have to keep trying.  keep working on art and taking what little odd cleaning jobs i can get.

i hauled out that new dry cut metal saw yesterday.  the one i finally bought in January but never felt i could afford the $120 blade for it, so it sat, unused.  i bought that blade in feburary or early march when i had some big sales.  i've henceforth been too afraid to use it because i was convinced i would break the carbide teeth and hate myself for wasting so much money.  yesterday i realized i needed to face my fears.  no tod around anymore to help me or watch me to make sure i'm not destroying it or me.  no one to help me figure out the best way to cut the pipes without breaking the blade.  just do it.  i did it.  my god why did i wait so long?  it was not so messy as the chop saw.  it didn't have that toxic stink.  no fine grit getting in my nostrils.  only some flying metal which hurt when it stung my legs but overall it was 90% easier and cleaner.

i worked on flowers too.  i'm still struggling believing i should be doing this when i should be(?) doing anything i can to find a cheaper smaller place and a job.l  then my stranger danger positive voice said look, all you need to do is sell some wall art and you are set for another month.  its a big world (to quote tod).  BIG WORLD.  one of these days someone will see my wall art that i need to get rid of and buy it.  and i woke up to a sale of 3 flowers and a vase....and i feel like i will keep pushing and going.  keep taking on that anxiety that is now seeping into my mind while i sleep and waking me up often and making my life miserable.  i will keep facing it feeling it and dealing with it and stop letting it win.

i even happily drove off to go clean that apartment today.
but i was ever so cautious and first swept the floor to get the toxic whatever and dead whatever out of my way so i dont inhale corpses.  imagine my horror when i looked down after i had done that and my legs were covered in black biting bodies.

i fled again.  came home and almost stripped on the porch and left all my cleaning supplies and shoes etc out there, jumped into a hot shower...and ready to do my OWN work for the rest of the day.  i've had enough of the working world for one day, time to do my own thing.  there is a fine line between needing to do nothing and needing to push, slog...crawl...just do that ONE thing that is in front of you.  i have been exhausted and i know its stress related/lack of good sleep.  sometimes making that push can make all the difference in the world.  i still feel like i'm being pushed extra hard by gravity mind you, but it made a huge difference to work on art, and of course it always helps to sell some too!


Teo said...

Such a pleasure to read this post, Paula. You are dealing with it and this positive attitude makes everything possible. Keep those sales coming!

Cynthia said...

I think it's HUGE that you got the saw out and used it and didn't have any help from anyone. And there are probably lots more things that you think you can't do, but you can.

I also think your heart is right -- you belong in that space and should fight to stay there! It's perfect for your needs.

Anonymous said...

Paula time, about time! So glad to hear you working and trying to find a silver lining.

collage whirl said...

I bet some good work is going to come out of this process. Can't wait to see!

Karen Martin Sampson said...

Dearest Paula, thank goodness you have come to realize that your art life is worth fighting for! Keep the place you're in however you can and look for venues where you can sell the work. Have you considered displaying in local cafe's or restaurants? I did a show last year in a restaurant and sold two pieces - life drawings and they don't often sell! What about approaching an interior design store to take your stuff on commission? I LOVE your things...so personal, so unusual, and so beautiful. And managing to use your new saw is indeed HUGE as Cynthia commented! (I recall ten years ago I bought an expensive digital camera and couldn't work up the courage to use it for several months - now I can't believe I ever lived without it). You are on your way. You can do this!

paula said...

karen...if you've missed it..i have been there done that since 2006 in vermont. we dont have places here believe it or not...our downtown is non-existent. good call on designer..i'm just not ready to drive to houston (thats when i panic on that damn highway that is always claustrophobically under construction. i tried the designer route in vermont and it left a bad taste in my mouth. i prefer online...it makes the most sense for what i make now.
haaaa i get it about the camera...i still dont use my settings, no clue!