Friday, December 1, 2017

Focus Not Upon the Spider

Blah, blah blah, yadda yadda yadda. Let blah equal self-recrimination and despair over infrequent posting and yadda equal defensive justification via anecdotes of normal levels of chaos. That was easier than I thought!

Breathe in, breathe out. During a punishing* Vinyasa class this morning, I perspired, fumbled a bit, and recovered. A tiny spider picked its way across the wooden, sunlit floor between yoga mats. I forgot it almost instantly, but moments later a nearby woman shrieked and collapsed mid-contortion. Hopefully she didn't pull anything, because collapsing at those moments is especially dicey. Which would be why I have only tried home yoga twice in the presence of toddler daughter, who felt compelled to climb me during downward dog; launch herself onto my back any time I looked somewhat table like; and slither herself beneath me moments before I had planned to lower myself to the mat. Back at class, the shriek brought matters to a halt. I was happy for the disruption, as our fabulous and challenging teacher had just proposed something which made me guffaw. In case you're a super yogi, I laugh at yoga when the thing proposed is barely comprehensible, much less attemptable**, by myself anyway. The proposal involved fire breathing while doing a plank, but also hopping straight up from one's hands and feet, in the plank stance, SPROING! Huff-huff-huff-huff! SPROING! I huffed, but failed to sproing; and quickly collapsed. A whimper/whine came from the front right corner of the class, over the idea that maybe the teacher had offed an insect.

"Relaxxxxx," soothed the teacher, exiting the room, with her hands cupped together. She returned: "Now it's survival of the fittest. Though the spider will probably die from the cold." Why did that cause me to laugh? I guess I'm working on compassion, wish to be more openhearted; but there's still a part of me which derides what I perceive to be "soft-hearted." Is this derision/dismissal an indication of how far I have to go? Or is it just an acknowledgement that there will always be boundaries between what one finds acceptable and not ? Look out! This is what happens, when I have a few hours away from my child, and I can swim about my head.***

Rick and girlchild are home now -- little feet thud above me. Short-lived protest crying sinks through the floorboards. I'm hiding in the basement, which I hope to do more frequently, as it gets colder. It only seems appropriate. I'm sitting at the tool bench, next to the furnace, with printmaking cards in various stages, all about me. My back is kinked up in weird ways; I slouch and straighten like a loopy cartoon character at odds with his barstool. The muscle twitches are due to a.) hanging the picture book exhibit at the library yesterday, b.) raking, mostly for toddler amusement and c.) aforementioned yoga class. 

from @aadlgram
But back to A! All 46 pieces in "No Cake is Safe" are now on display in the multipurpose room of the Ann Arbor downtown library. Woohoo! It was my first time hanging any show and boy-howdy was I grateful for the experienced help from Val Mann****. It has been interesting to see how the exhibit feels in its different venues. At the University of Michigan hospital, it felt expansive, in its open atrium, glass ceilinged space. At the Dexter Library it meandered along halls. Here, it's almost cozy. Self-contained. It feels quite nice to be in the space. I look forward to returning there for some quiet time. So far, manuscript submission and agent searching for picture book publication has been full of waiting and uncertainty. But here is this thing I have made, and I can sit and be with it. Lovely! And, as always, it's great to be part of a larger exhibiting program -- to have the privilege of seeing what other artists are exploring. So many things to be happy about.

ALSO at the downtown library, I'm super excited to be selling prints and cards at next Saturday's Tiny Expo. SO, come visit me, if you like what you see, go one floor down and swing by the Cakeasaurus exhibit. Two birds, one stone. Ayyyand see all of the other great vendors and make something cool in the Secret Lab, whaaaat. So really, three birds. 

BUT no... it winds up being FOUR birds, one stone. As Tiny Expo is part of the fabulous Winter Art Tour. So, get or print your passport, get it stamped at 4 venues Dec. 8-10 and maybe win something fabulous! Shop local, support creativity, have fun.

Hope to see you next Saturday! Here's a smattering of what will be at my table:

Happy December, All.

* nay, cleansing and fulfilling.
**what is impossible today may be fully realizable tomorrow! 
***I'm not a very good swimmer. But I love being in the water. 
****who probably could have hung it all, blindfolded, with one hand tied behind her back.

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