I am longing for a carefree summer right now. When I was a child during the summer holidays we would get up, eat breakfast, get a sandwich from Mum and take off on our bikes, or on foot and just hang out all day. We climbed trees, paddled and fished. I really had the kind of idyllic childhood you read about in books. I always felt safe, and free. Of course my favorite memories involve books, laying in a cornfield, or up a tree, with a book, sometimes reading, sometimes just listening to the stories in the wind. We came home when we got hungry. Often we went right back out again and played into the dark.
What I am longing for is time to play. For undirected time. I am so busy right now. In addition to RealJob, I have taken on another design project for Chautauqua Institution which has an extremely tight deadline. Of course I did it for the money – but it is making me a little crazy. I know this because I am what my family politely describes as tetchy – translated this means I am biting off everyone’s heads. I NEED to be in my studio doing unpaid work for myself. It’s not that the project is not fun – it is. I am making these huge menu chalkboards, in a variety of styles. I love text, I love drawing. It is not torture. It is just that my head is overflowing with work I need to make, and here I am surrounded by chalkboards. And a deadline. But this is the reality of most of our lives. I’ll get over it. (Oh and did I mention – my daughter is getting married in just a few week’s time!)
Thankfully there have been moments of grace. Earlier this week I went to the studio of Diane Bond to work with her and a couple of other book artists, Carol & Wendy. Diane is a Roycroft Renaissance Master Artisan, her books are stunning, and her paste papers are so beautiful. Together we worked on one of my embroidery bindings. It was a much longed for moment of peace and joy in a crazy week. And of course Diane’s studio is filled with treasure and lots of tools and materials to drool over!
Today I am heading out to Syracuse for the NYFA Bootcamp. I am feeling nervous about this. As I look at the profiles of the other attendees I am awed by their work. And I haven’t finished my homework, or packed. I have to believe that I am going for a reason – I am trying to be in this moment. To listen, to stop pushing. I hope I will have something to say when I get home.