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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

Tag Archives: growth

[ from a. addair who is listening to Empire of the Sun (Walking on a Dream) ]

The following is an excerpt from an entry I wrote about 6 weeks ago but never got around to posting:

“That’s the big news.  We’re tickled pink or blue.  I’m feeling so excited, happy, awestruck, grateful, full of love and totally unprepared with panicky moments sliding into every 100 breaths.  It feels similar to the way we fumbled through our engagement: really joyful but slightly disturbed because I knew we we’re walking into a dramatic reworking of life in utter idiocy and delight.

the apple of my eye (twas a good thing to get married even if it didn't make sense)

There are a zillion things to be afraid about and excited for.  My mind jumps straight to my future engorged body, then to wondering how I will paint, then to a pair of sweet little baby boots this embryo has already acquired;  then I  wonder how close the baby will be born to Christmas and  fret over folic acid intake.  In short, I can’t focus on anything.”

We are now at 11 weeks and our little embryo has graduated to a fetus.  The part where I can’t focus on anything remains though now it isn’t so much giddy fun for me.  Between the bouts of nausea and fatigue I’m pretty well missing my old energy.

Turns out being pregnant has taken me deeper into my let-it-go training.  I think I was making good progress before, but when your body tells you to stop, you really have to listen; it’s such a basic reminder that life is much bigger than my agenda.   I’ve had to slow way way down and be much more flexible and gentle with myself than I had ever imagined I could be.

the sort of things I've been working on (since painting makes me nauseous)

I recently started reading The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida, in it he says that members of the creative class, “work at times when we are supposed to be off and play when we are supposed to be working.  This is because creativity cannot be switched on and off at predetermined times, and is itself an odd mixture of work and play.  Writing a book, producing a work of art or developing new software requires long periods of intense concentration, punctuated by the need to relax, incubate ideas and recharge.”  I love to read someone else’s articulate expression which has only been a misty idea-vapor in my own brain.  Seeing it there on a crisp, published page gives clarity and a sense of validation to the thought process I’ve been swimming in.  Florida’s statement gave me peace about departing from an imposed daily work structure.

baby banner for someone else's tiny human addition (detail)

I know that the life I’ve chosen doesn’t have tidy, defined compartments.  And I’m already beginning to understand that having a tiny human addition will make the lines between work, leisure, family and craft even blurrier.

tiny human addition

 

I don’t have a conclusion.  I’m still splashing around in murky waters but I can report growth:  both in girth and in spirit.  I don’t think its accurate to say that I’m swimming in this metaphorical ocean but I am learning to float on my back which is mostly about trust.

 

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[ from a. addair who is listening to Zee Avi (Zee Avi) ]

“The passage into mystery always refreshes.  If, when we work, we can look once a day upon the face of mystery, then our labor satisfies.  We are lightened when our gifts rise from pools we cannot fathom. Then we know they are not solitary egotism and they are inexhaustible.  Anything contained within a boundary must contain as well its own exhaustion.”

–Lewis Hyde

 

 

The piece is much less about declaring a vision for the chapel and much more a simple marking of breath.

The aim then is not for anyone to align with or even share my conception of the human experience, rather, it is an invitation to delight in the mystery of God and the loving openness our little family pours out to its members and the city.

 

It is an exhalation that hopes to give space.  It is a record of a labor for authenticity, permeability, vulnerability, and an acknowledgement of interdependence.  My hope is that it gives permission for others to struggle and delight in labors of their own.

 

In this way, these paintings are images from personal experience (I don’t feel qualified to offer more than this) that are for and about the collective.

“I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

 

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love”

 

–Walt Whitman

 

I am learning that the spirit swells even though, or maybe because, the body dissolves.  I am learning to acknowledge my participation and live in harmony with the cycles of nature.  I am learning that the boundaries dividing the biological, social, and spiritual are fluid.  I am learning to give and to love freely because the giving of these things assures their plenty.  I am learning to let go of ambition and the desire to control.  I am learning to participate in momentum.  I am learning to be a part of a community whose paradigm is one of gift exchange.  I am learning to acknowledge a flow that is out of my hands and cannot be managed in the scheduled, quantitative system of our culture.

 

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[ from addair who is listening to The White Stripes (Elephant) ]

One of my favorite things about being in Mexico is discovering other ways of doing things.  It makes me feel like being an idealist is really the most logical of ways to be, because to think that we know all possibilities in any given moment well enough to rule out all but a few options is ridiculous and quite ignorant.  Why shouldn’t we dream of opportunity and alternatives?

one of the more "stretching" (but fun) experiences. carnival celebration in Coita

Here in Tuxtla, I’m learning of a different way to build a sidewalk.  To sell water.  To greet a friend.  To advertise a business.  To bathe.  To build a house.  To celebrate.  To pray.  To eat.  To dress.  To move your body.  To make music.  To make art.  To get an education.  To decorate a home.  To say goodbye.  To exercise.  To plan a city.  To commute.  To drink tea.  To sleep.  To buy groceries.  To spend the day at the pool.  To keep up a road.  To construct a roof.  To run a dance class.

To wear a costume. To earn some extra money. To make a flower hat.

Seeing these things makes me feel hopeful because it reminds me that we aren’t as stuck in our problems as we think.  There are lots of options for living and for solving.  The biggest threat to our joy and peace is our unwillingness to become aware of possibility and potential.  It is hard work and often uncomfortable but we can (continually) re-condition our minds.

To throw a street party. To use flour. To hang out with your friends.

Lots of the world operates on an entirely different set of norms and perceptions from our own and we don’t have to limited to our particular set  of neuronal connections.  We can share and we can grow.  There is infinite potential in our minds (thus our experience in the world) if only we are willing to open them.

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