19 December 2005

Long time no see...

I did a ceramic beadmaking demo yesterday at The Bead Cage a local beadshop that I've been working with since they opened 2 years ago. It was the first time that I'd gotten my hands dirty since the opening of Helena's studio last month. I realized then how absent I've been in the last few months. I also realized that I wanted things to change. Which probably explains the new and improbable shade of red you see in this picture of my hair.

For those who've noticed that I haven't been around much lately. I haven't had much to say. I'm sure that no one really wants to hear that my creative life has been on hold while I've suffered through depression and self-doubt inspired (largely) by the complete breakdown of what may have been the most significant friendship of my adult life. For most of the last 10 years, every idea and technique that I've explored in clay has been (in some way) a byproduct of that friendship.

When artists work closely together for extended periods of time, their work naturally begins to become an extension of their creative dialogue. This was the case in this friendship. One of us would try an experiment and the other would run with it, developing extensions and inspiring further exploration. Forms that I developed that never quite worked for me were perfected in her hands and vice versa.

I could spend months pointing fingers and trying to cast blame. If I were being completely honest, I would have to admit that I've spent some part of the last 3 months doing just that, although never really aloud. I have to say, it hasn't been constructive and I don't feel any better. I'm sure that there are those who know us both who crave understanding almost as much as I do. In the interest of fairness, to both her and myself, I have tried to simply answer questions with vague (yet truthful) comments about different directions in life and drifting apart.

That said, I still can't shake the feeling that somehow everything that I do in the studio owes a debt to someone to whom I can no longer accept being indebted. And, so, my ongoing crisis of self-worth continues and takes on yet more baggage.

It feels as though my fountain of creativity has been poisoned. I'm sure that others have been here, and will explore this landscape in the future. Unfortunately, none of the previous visitors have seen fit to leave a map showing how to find the antidote. If you know where to find the cure to what ails me and would like to try your hand at cartography, drop me a note. I'd love to hear from you.


Maryellen said...

I've been deserted by family and friends this past year. it's tough. But you don't need to hear my problems. What I do now to expolore my feelings is wrtie in my journel. I get up at 6 fix my favorite tea and write for an hour maybe more. Yoga is good too if I can talk the girls into leaving me alone. Also going out and doing non artist stuff. Reading the Aritist's way may be great also. Your blue period for lack of a better term will pass hang on. I really really recoment the journel writing it is really helpful.

Andi said...

I've gotten out of the habit of writing in a paper journal since I started blogging. Thanks for the suggestion, it might be time to pick one up again. My doctor also recommends excercise although doing Tai Chi with the baby isn't as easy as it was before. I took bellydance and was in a middle-eastern dance troupe before I got pregnant. I miss it and would love to get back to it.

Thank you so very much for stopping by and for being so supportive. If you'd like to commiserate about fickle friends and family, drop me a note.

crookedrain_74 said...

Hey Andi,

I can relate to feeling betrayed by fickle friends and family. Seems like the holidays bring out the worst in people (at least in my experience.) Ugh. I hope you feel better soon!


Cinnamon said...

While I have no right offering advice to someone I've never met, and who's site I've just read for the first time, I have to say that the basic structure of this is very familiar. I went through it a few years ago and while at the time it felt like my world was crumbling, as I thought more about it later I realized how unhealthy our relationship had been and I'd never admitted it. You may have a different experience.

I had been very into photography and when this split happened I couldn't find visual imagery very interesting at all. It literally felt as if the creative part of my braind died. This person despised the "domestic arts" so it felt rebellious and mean-spirited (in a productive way) to work on a quilt, teach myself how to tat, and sew a few purses for donations. As I explored these mediums more and more, I realized that I'd always felt the desire to express myself in these ways, but I'd never felt comfortable because of one person's criticism. I haven't done much photography since then, which I do miss on occasion, but I feel mostly fulfilled doing what I do now. It took a long time, but I feel like I came out ahead in this deal. I continue to wish her the best but don't miss the relationship anymore.