Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Like A Fish Out of Water

My challenge to myself for the month of May, which is hectic and contains some stressy bits, is to remember to breathe. But I haven't been doing too well with that; I've been feeling sort of gaspy. Like a fish out of water. So I painted one.

Over the course of a few days, in bits and pieces, which is the way I usually manage to create anything. Isn't that true for everyone, though? We all have to carve our time out. This is on a 12"x12" canvas. I think this is only the second time I've painted on canvas (the first being that little tree). I hand them over to the kids without thinking twice--these are just craft store canvases, not at all expensive--but I don't usually think of them for myself. Well. I wanted a canvas for my fish.

Painting him was fun. In some places, I used my fingers. I got paint on my sweatshirt. I wasn't thinking about breathing, or not breathing, at all.

A few people have asked if I'm beginning to get excited about Squam, which is only a month away. No, not yet. I don't have the head space to think about it yet. I have to get through some Pretty Big Things this month (non-bloggable, which means, usually, kid-related, as it does in this case), and much of my to-do-before-Squam list doesn't actually pertain to Squam. When I get back, the kids will be heading into their last week of school, so I want to make sure everybody's bathing suits are sorted and replaced as necessary so we're ready to head to the beach with no delays. We have a family event the weekend after I return, which means kid outfits have to be tracked down before I leave; a week isn't enough time to order church-suitable clothes that fit my slim boys. And so on.

But I think this is a good thing. I think, for me anyway, it's good to view Squam as the next thing coming up, as part of my life and not something outside of it. It's part of a continuum of things I'm doing for myself, starting with a two-day printmaking/bookbinding workshop last year. I'm just as excited about the two-day mixed media class I'll be taking at RISD at the end of June. And the online workshop I want to take in July. When I get through the hectic bits of May, I can turn my focus towards getting ready for Squam, and when I return, I hope, I won't feel let down that it's over but renewed and looking forward to what comes next.

And now, I'll be getting back to breathing. And making dinner. Wishing you all peaceful weeks, and if that doesn't happen, I wish you a few carved-out times in which to do something that makes you feel less gaspy.


Donna Lee said...

I am a firm believer in carving out time for me. I try for a small bit every day at the end of the day but sometimes I'm just too mentally tired to do much.

My children are grown but my job sometimes makes me feel like I'm a professional mother with 112 people to take care of and it's tiring. The slow, steady act of putting one stitch on the needle after another or spinning slowly and consistently helps me let go and let be.

Victoria said...

I know the feeling! Sometimes in trying to focus on both the immediate and the longer-term, I start to lose focus entirely. That's usually a sign that I need to sit down with one of my boys and read or color or build. Breathe.

Michelle said...

I have been completely unfocused. And Gaspy. Too much thinking about the future, I guess, so I've been trying to focus on getting this month done. Then the summer. Then I can worry about next year.

Oh my word.
What a lovely way to spend July.
I might have to reconsider my plans for that month.

Bells said...

Breathing is good. I was just reading about meditation this morning (which I've tried in the past with mixed results) and about how meditation doesn't have to be big blocks of time. It can just be time in the shower, or in the morning when you first wake up or whatever suits your life.

Good work on the fish! It's cute. I like the idea of painting something that's symbolic of what you're feeling. It very definitely puts it out there.

sarah ahearn bellemare said...

so happy to hear you’ve signed up! yay! happy mother’s day to you! xo *s