Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Fear of a Failing Memory

The other day I made up a grocery list.
At the very top of the list I wrote 'Paper Towels.'
I went to the grocery store WITHOUT a pen to scratch off the items I had listed as I put them in the cart.
By the time I'd reached the paper goods aisle, I'd completely forgotten what I needed and didn't look at the top of my list.
While walking down the paper aisle, a nagging feeling pulled at the back of my brain. Something was telling me I needed an item from this aisle... But what could it be?
Ultimately I picked up parchment paper, which I had used up about a month ago but very seldom need.

Parchment paper is NOT an adequate substitute for paper towels.

I fear my family will be putting me in 'The Home' in the not too distant future.

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Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Little Engine That..... ???

It's been a loonnngggg time since I've mentioned 'The Shop.'

'The Shop' being that little artists co-op which came together on a wing and a prayer last November. "You mean that place is still up and running?" you ask. Hell Yeah!... Well, in a manner of speaking.

"In a manner of speaking?" you say. Well, let's just say it's been a long, hard road. At times, one might consider 'The Shop' wildly successful. I mean, what other business comes together in just 2 weeks time, manages to stay afloat without the use of credit card capabilities or even a phone line. What other business manages to draw people in even though the roof leaks and there's an odor along the line of old shoes wafting through the air. (by the way, it's August now and sure, maybe it's due to the lack of rain, but I think the leaks and odor problem are under control.)

So yeah, leaky roof and Master Card/Visa issues aside, we're still managing to plod along and my husband will tell you that this experience has been huge a character builder for me.

It's probably no secret that artists are unique people with their own distinct ideas about 'What IS and ISN'T Art.' And when ideas and visions collide, things tend to get rather complicated. So yes, as Manager/Facilitator/Grand PooBah (whatever title you want to give it) of this endeavor, dealing with complications has been a monthly, weekly, daily, sometimes hourly event... And why do I continue to do it? Well, despite the fact I often feel like a fly caught in a web or maybe more aptly, the captain of the Titanic*... I DO have a reason, a goal if you will, to make this work.

*Just an aside here but were any of you aware they're coming out with a Titanic II? No joke, actually yes, it is a lot like a joke that apparently the producers of the film are the only ones oblivious to... See the preview here and try not to laugh.

This is where I could go into my 'I have a dream' speech but I'll just whittle it down to one sentence. I'd like to replace EVERY, okay at least HALF of the bail bonds offices with Artist Studios... Well now, seeing that staring back at me, in black and white... It even LOOKS stupid! But the truth is, our town needs something positive to build on and if the powers that be, all work together, I believe that positive 'thing' is ART.

Last night we had a First Friday event which included 2 visiting artists, live music and fresh fruit and vegetables donated by a local grower, for refreshments. We greeted 40 people or so, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves but alas, sales were low. You see, that's are one problem, despite the fact we have beautiful one of a kind pieces of art, jewelry, purses, skin care products and low priced gently used books, we're just not making the sales we need to stay viable (ECONOMY). This is such a tragedy since our goals are so lofty. In fact, here's our vision and mission statement:


The arts are a vital component of any community. They foster pride, spur growth and contribute to the happiness and well being of the people who live there. In order to promote the arts in _________, we will establish commercially viable venues for artists and artisans to create, showcase, and sell their work to others. In addition, these venues will allow artists from this and other communities to meet and get to know one another, and to share their knowledge and their talents with others in our community.

Mission Statement:
  • To establish a commercially viable venue in __________ for local artists and artisans to assemble.
  • To provide artists with the opportunity to create, to showcase, and to sell their work.
  • To foster a co-operative environment for the purpose of attracting business and sharing the artists talents with others.
  • To advance the arts district in __________, and give back to the community with special events and other promotions.

It's funny, I read through this again and the unity I felt last night came to mind. Customers were stopping in before or after they explored the art show opening at the nearby Arts Council, friends and acquaintances mingling, viewing and discussing the artwork and enjoying the delicious bounty of fresh organic fruits and vegetables by the local grower. Later in the evening my daughter and I took part in a collaborative art project at the studio of some fellow downtown artists. My daughter and myself were thrilled to find such a friendly and talented clutch of people with whom we could take part in creating art. It's all a part of what I've been hoping we'd achieve downtown but without the sales, our little shop isn't going to last... And I don't know, maybe it doesn't matter, maybe we got the ball rolling.

But, do me a favor if you will? Keep your fingers crossed that this little engine is going to see a successful Fall season.... And with the continued effort by all the artists involved... which entails copious amounts of Inspiration and Perspiration, we'll eventually make it wildly successful in ALL aspects!


Monday, August 02, 2010

Overcoming Narcissism

While out in California I had the opportunity to spend time with my dad's wife. "D" is a very nice lady who I had the opportunity to host at my home some 15 yrs. or so ago. However, 15 yrs. is a long time to have gone without one on one time with someone and sometimes it's just not that easy to fall into the simple give and take conversation with someone whom you're not very familiar. Heap on top of that, meeting your sister for the first time in 18 yrs. and having your family along for the ride and well, there's just a lot of personal stress involved.

So yesterday, I received a call from "D" asking if I was mad at her or if I'd heard something about her that made me change my opinion of her..........


Okay, so this is where it gets weird and because you, dear internet, have only the most minimal of grasps as to just how insane my extended family is, this post will probably only make sense to just me.

A few days following the somewhat awkward visit at the home of my little sister, "D' called my other sister 'Deb' (who she's NEVER met) in order to ask her if for some reason I was angry with her, "D". I was out shopping with my daughter at the time the phone call was received but my husband was there and realized the sort of questions my sister 'Deb' was fielding and asked to speak with "D", because he's just awesome like that. Following roughly an hour long conversation "D's" feelings were soothed and she seemed to understand that I held no animosity towards her.

A week and half later we settled in back home and I decided to send cards to the family to thank them for their hospitality. I sent one to my dad and "D", once again assuring "D" that all was right with our world and if anything I was distracted by the overwhelming emotion of it all.... Meeting my little sister, meeting my little sisters family, my family meeting her family, seeing my dad, viewing old family photos, memories good & bad... Needless to say, I was caught up in my own head and I guess, I wasn't very good at making conversation.... which I guess, can be misconstrued as "Alright, I'll sit with you but I'm not going to like it.".... I guess?

So yeah, yesterday "D" called me and once AGAIN asked if I was angry with her... Had I heard something about her?... Did I not like her anymore? An hour and a half later and I think I've FINALLY convinced her, after several apologies, that she did nothing wrong and I am to blame for the lack of communication. "D" told me she wanted to hug me as we sat there together, in my little sisters house, sort of staring out into space, at a loss for words or meaningful conversation. And now, all I can think about is how much I wish she had. I really needed a hug right then, even though I didn't know it at the time, I was just too disconnected with thoughts and memories.

It's so sad really, the chance to bond with a special person, a golden opportunity missed. All because of my narcissistic tendency to dwell in my head and not in the moment... And "D's" narcissism over whether or not she was liked.

I must take note and learn because it was such a waste of precious time and opportunity.

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