It’s been a week in Boston and I am feeling a little rudderless again. I tell myself it’s a natural side effect of moving cross-country. I tell myself it’s the time change. I tell myself it’s because the apartment is dark and the desks aren’t by the windows. I don’t know which of these is true, if any, but I have definitely lost some of the momentum of my last couple of weeks in San Jose. I know I should be writing, but nothing feels compelling, except the morning pages I continue to do daily (now closer to noon since I’m still on California time). I know I should be painting, but my skill feels so limited, as if I could only make sad baby attempts at everything I want to capture. I tell myself none of this matters and I should just go at it, regardless. But I don’t.
- gone to the farmers’ market twice
- met some of our neighbors
- had two dinners and one lunch with old friends and new
- tried candlepin bowling (shocker: I’m not horrible at it!)
- cooked a lot of chickpeas, freezing three cans’ worth and making hummus from the rest
- made up a big batch of granola
- read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris by Patricia Engel, and Let Your Life Speak by Parker J Palmer, all of which I highly highly recommend
- skimmed three books of writing exercises
- downloaded a watercolor exercise e-book
- reached a high score of 499 on Erik’s new iPhone/iPad app, Times Nine (if you try it, you’ll understand that a score of 499 is not something one achieves in a single sitting)
- played way too many worlds in Katamari Amore
- had my nails painted à la Clyfford Still
Looking back, this does seem a reasonable set of accomplishments for a week, especially given the move. It’s just that I had such a good rhythm to my work, right before we left, and it makes me cranky to have to find it again here. Silly of me, to imagine that the transition would be seamless.
Anyway, I really should know by now that growing pains always mean better things are coming. At some point I will find my productive stride here and make something way cooler than anything I’ve made before. The past week hasn’t looked very creative, but there is a dormant feel to it all, a sense of things moving under the surface.
I leave you with a couple of thoughts:
The other day I looked over my blog archives and saw that the last time I was posting on anything even approaching a regular schedule was in April of this year, when I averaged two posts a week. These days my average is less than one per week. I am not sure what that indicates but it surely signifies something.
While I was talking with Victoria Shen, who gave me my modernist manicure, I realized something about my writing/art relationship that I’ve never thought about before. I’m capable of writing eloquent description, but I often don’t; when I read my piece in The Places We’ve Been I felt my narrative was so much more internal than everyone else’s, conveying so much less of the scenery I saw before me. I think these days I don’t bring my visual eye to my prose because I have art for that. And then I recognized that this might also be why I’m always fretting that my art isn’t expressive enough, doesn’t have as much emotion or abstraction as I want in it — it’s because I keep those qualities for my writing. Dunno if that’s fully true, but something is truth in there, and it gives me to think.