Tomorrow, my favorite person and I drive to San Francisco. Sunday, I walk the line to celebrate completion of my MFA degree in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts from California Institute of Integral Studies. Then we travel through California, Oregon and Washington to let go of the mutually intensive projects that overtook our last year, two years, then some...
We reset. To return with renewed outlook on the art, work and lives we both love.
What does that mean? It's time for gratitude. For:
Working with wild, radical, sensitive artists these last two years
Teaching playwriting in three different programs this spring
Teaching adults in several workshops that make me glow
Unbelievable support from family, friends, colleagues, collaborators and loves
A longtime companionship that's evolved several states to reach this perfect YES
The writing and art that saved my life and continues enriching me forward to here now
Regularly creating with artists I admire deep deep fully
Teachers who push and pull and reach and allow and release
Jobs that offer understanding flexibility as well as challenge and reward
This moment to catch my breath and get back in my feet and skin
A return with recharged inspiration, curiosity, imagination, energy
These moments looking back at how my life is exactly what I need right now
I didn't used to see living long as a good thing. Things got heavy and dismantled for me.
I figured it could only get worse the older I got.
I see differently now.
Starting in 2010 most bigly, I started to find the joy in being that my dad always said he wanted for me. From there it's gotten more true every year, despite major losses (including my dad), until now I'd like to be a Leonard Cohen or Carla Bley kind of artist, turning out new work at 80, and not goodbye albums, either.
Maybe I won't make albums, but now I'd rather be a longterm artist/writer/playwright/ whatever than a dying young rockstar, so I think the analogy fits. Like Mr. Cohen, "I never liked it fast. You want to get there soon. I want to get there last." For that reason, these next two weeks off are integral to my practice and life and work, and not a turn away from it.
Still, I have to remind myself that it's okay to take a minute away. When I hear other artists say things like, "I can't take time off, I'm an artist," I know I'm not alone.
All this to say, it may be two or three weeks before I post here again. If that's the case, know I'm refueling for creativity's sake. There will be music. There will be ocean. There will be forests and camping and stargazing. There will be family, friends, strangers becoming friends. There will be roads, where I always feel most at home. I'm grateful for all that. And for you, for your reading, and for whatever it is you're making right now.
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: