I really recommend this- you order a sketchbook, it arrives, you add when you feel like, mail by the deadline and share with the world! There is a beautiful camaraderie/community to it and all levels of abilities can join. It simply is a beautiful experience! And your art tours and then resides in NY- what could be better than that?!
My theme for the 2011 tour: And Then There Was None
What has this journal taught me? It has taught me to let go of perfect pages, to let the ugly out, to be who I am in the moment, to not compare myself to others but to enjoy what they bring and how sharing is much more profitable than competing… (p. 36)
New Year approaches fast now and my head swims with to-do lists and the knowledge that I have to find a way to market myself that reflects what I need to make. Never mind the concept of self-worth. I’ll put that aside for now. Waking up with no fear is an unfamiliar but desirable feeling. If I can learn how to carry that with me throughout the day in order not to get blocked or distracted, that would also be desirable. What has this journal taught me? It has taught me to let go of perfect pages, to let the ugly out, to be who I am in the moment, to not compare myself to others but to enjoy what they bring and how sharing is much more profitable than competing. It has taught me that it s OK to share these pages and accept the need to yell “look at me!” These pages have been the most public journals I have done and I wonder how the process will continue after this. Certainly the book did not turn into detailed stunning study of my favorite graphic novelists as I initially imagined. I did keep in mind the concept of “and then there was none” and the concept of grief. I did not need to address the theme of divorce/ loss of mom/ new chapters/ mourning/ fear of $ etc specifically in order to process. The pages are less obvious than that. The idea is to purge without censorship, to just do what the hand directs and accept the ugliness. Tho’ I knew I would share these pages, I did not feel the need to perform. In fact, I was surprised how little that came into play. The first page was started Oct 8/10. These last 3 pages can be a celebration of reaching the end Dec 30/2010. I will treat myself by simply ingesting Lynda Barry and regurgitating her onto these antique pages. Last day of the year tomorrow = cover + shipping.
My journal pages feel ugly and messy and dismantled. But as the disintegration and Kafkaesque fragmentation occurs, both in life and on paper, the truth is revealed and it would be dishonest to pretty them up.
My regular pilgrimage to Fort Langley to connect with mom and rituals we loved doing together. Coming out by myself is good for me. That it is OK to go out on your own without the need for other company. LONELINESS is not part of ALONE TIME and I feel cozy as the hermit usually tend to be… Just ordered a large in house cappuccino and a scone at the local café. I used to get nervous sitting by myself. I recall the panic attack I had, pregnant with Anna in 1985. I left my uneaten sandwich at the Sunshine Diner and fled. It’s funny cause I never seek out friendships. They happen if they happen but I do not go out of my way to connect, it seems. Unless the friendship is somehow connected to my work/art, I’m afraid I couldn’t be bothered to maintain it or seek new ones cause I am so busy and pulled in so many directions that friendship has to equal multitasking… Ramblings of a weirdo… IKEA next.
Page 14 Transcript
November 22, 2010
Sometimes you have to stay home and cry. Let me pick up two Stephen Levine books that have helped my through unbearable times. Where does “Who Cares?” fall open to? OMG- I just wrote “Who Cares?” when the title is “Who Dies?” [Wow]. It falls open to p. 147. “We are each in a process of awakening. Becoming fully born so that we may die each moment past our fear and isolation. The illusion of separateness dies to reveal the deathlessness of our essential nature.” “A Year to Live” falls open to p. 68. “And offering me her shoulder she whispered, when a thousand people look at the moon there are a thousand moons.”
Today I take the day to recupe- to dare to take care of myself as I take care of my home. I took apart Mormor’s (my mom’s mom) old bench to reveal the old cloth and stuffing. Daring to look into the interior to face the loss of that time.
This was a grieving exercise for me today, as I battle dark feelings and instead decide to take some precious hours to think about mom. I was raised with that little bench which sat for years at our summerhouse in Värmland. It has been with me for years now and my father-in-law, Ralph, fixed the leg years ago and stripped it to its natural pine. Over the years it has kept its original cloth underneath a myriad of covering. I pulled it apart and found this amazing original stuffing which unfortunately is not keep-able. It fell apart and sadly I threw it out, as I wonder what stories lie inside all those nooks and crannies.
The original cloth is a beautiful worn floral piece that reminds me so much of my grandmother, Stina (my “mormor”).
On the back of the board which held the stuffing and the cloth is a pastel drawing that I have always been fascinated with. But who is “Gunnel”? These are those heartbreaking moments when I realize I can’t ask Mom these questions anymore…
I was going to draw mom from this amazing photo taken in 1957, but I couldn’t do it.
Sitting at Gate 68 @SFO. Anna left me at the security lineup. We had an amazing time. I need to believe that these anxiety moments are worth it.
Trust, trust, trust.
Does this need to cry imply fear? Grief? Loneliness?
Sighing. Thinking about one year ago.
Recall our marvelous long weekend. And know all is well and safe.
Plane is just arriving. It’s little. But I have a window seat and my new book.
October 11, 2010
About to board.
Email YWDC re: workshop idea. Plan for October 25 show. Plan for October 27 SFU w. S… and H…. Let J… P. know about button maker situation. Mail box of monkeys to L…. Mail A… L…’s monkeys to S.A. Email plus blog about Sockshop on Haight, about SFMOMA, about new idea. Make Lorax prototype. Buy foamcore. Prep schedule. Prep animation to-do’s. Email I…/M… Do bills/reconiling. J…’s r… fee + queen size bed. Make product. Revamp ETSY. New washing machine.
Already missing Anna even tho we still have tomorrow and she is coming to Vancouver for Halloween. I need to look into anxiety tools. Redo pages with watercolor a la Lynda Barry. Woke up with a panic attack at 5:45.
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.
– William Wordsworth
Are you him?
Vintage photographs purchased during my trip with Anna to the amazing store: Mystery Mister 1506 Haight Street, San Francisco.
Here is the doll I REALLY wanted to buy but didn’t. REGRET!
I bought a bundle of old photos that I find exceptionally inspiring.
The photo in this Sketchbook Project entry had some writing in pencil in the back, indicating that the man is “Eldon Braun, son of Eldon Braun, Sr.”
When I searched “Eldon Braun, San Francisco” online, I came across the following obit:
Eldon [Braun] was born on May 28, 1943 and passed away on Friday, February 19, 2010. Eldon was last known to be living in San Francisco, California. (source)
There are discussions online about Eldon Braun arrested for false passport at San Francisco airport (source) and ‘Detecting Criminal Minds: At deaths of active Sociopaths (e.g. Dave Bird, Eldon Braun), other Sociopaths come forward to praise these’ (source) and Eldon was one of my favorite critics of scientology, someone I loved and admired. He was a good man and I will truely miss him. (source) FASCINATING!
It’s bizarre for me just to relax into it. Instead of racing the mind to guilt and self-critique, breathe into the moment, not letting the default setting on anxiety cloud the mind and my potential for success. Don’t gauge everything by the future fear of money issues. How is that helpful?
Dare to self: BE COCKY AND SELF-ASSURED.
On the ferry to Sausalito! Had latté at Farm Table –> Union Square –> walked over Nob Hill to Fisherman’s Wharf –> lunch at Ferry Building –> 1:25 PM Ferry –> long walk in Sausalito –> beautiful lunch/dinner at Poggio at Casamondria Hotel/Spa
On the ferry back! Theme of the day: walking, good coffee, good food, crowds
Friday November 12, 2010
Will I open my eyes to it or do I already have them open? Do I see better by looking into the darkness? If I remain silent, will it not be true? Is she here? I need to say yes.
My colleague, Sara, and I took 13 students to the Vancouver Art Gallery for an all-day field trip on November 3, 2010. It was an incredible time, all of us happily soaking up art (once we got the guided tour out of the way)!
I adored this exhibit. The organization, the memories, the beauty of everyday objects, the maternal, the grieving…
The installation comprises the frame of his mother’s house along with all of the everyday objects she meticulously collected over the course of her lifetime: a collection of over ten thousand worn and broken objects, each one with unlimited potential value. Together, the assembled materials—clothes, books, kitchen utensils, toiletries, school supplies, shopping bags, rice bowls, dolls—were used, recycled, and saved. Meticulously arranged in careful groupings throughout the exhibition space, the objects form a miniature cityscape that viewers can navigate around and through.
This exhibition strategically pairs the work of Emily Carr with key contemporary BC artists–Douglas Coupland, Evan Lee, Liz Magor and Marianne Nicolson-to draw out a dialogue between Carr’s legacy and the myriad ways in which artists respond to it.
This was the highlight of the day for me. Not just because Sara did such an amazing job of explaining the exhibit, but because of the way the students responded to the show and what the paintings made me feel.
Marshall’s paintings depict primarily African-American figures, using formally diverse art historical methods that speak to the visibility and invisibility of “blackness” in the history of western art. The exhibition presents approximately 20 paintings exemplary of Marshall’s practice. For Marshall, social responsibility means creating artworks that both celebrate and unravel the black experience in America.
Look up Hans Fallada “The Drinker” and “Everyman Dies Alone”
Anna is almost done. Time for Whole Foods and an opening tonight.
There is a lady sleeping in the lounge chair beside me. Obviously recovering from her cancer treatment. Recall the delicate beauty of mom as she took such care to dress beautifully and do makeup right up until after her last Thanksgiving. Then she let go and so did we. I still have her hair curlers/comb/purse/cell phone etc. What does it all mean?
We walked home then out to Sushi Rocks (after visiting Leftovers and buying a horn). Great dinner. Then Whole Foods (after running into Anna’s co-worker Ashley). Grocery shopping then just got back. Talked to Morf (who had gotten a funny phonecall from us by accident as we were hugging in the airport!) (now going to The Social Network).
It’s almost been 2 years since mom passed away. I have never really written about those last moments. For they were not “last.” But all of a sudden– Mom’s powerful presence in our life changed. I felt her breathe out. Her heart slowed and stopped. I was there with my head on her chest. And we surrounded her with love and support and her spirit infused us. It is actually impossible to grasp. How does life continue after that? And is it OK to actually feel free and perhaps free-er? Heart
I miss just talking to Mom. Just about the kids and laundry and food and life. I miss the chatter and the camaraderie and the “I get it” and the simple stuff. We could talk about kids.
I miss my own childhood. The safety + fun or being the kid.
I promised myself I would start this journal at the aiport on my way to visit Anna. It will be a place to process grief. A place to address loss and allow myself to sit with it and move forward. The key is to stay free.
My theme: “and then there was none.”
Met Anna at the airport!
Took BART to Westfield mall. Walked to Anna’s apartment. Changed. Ate at a cute little place [Farm Table]. Now Anna is at work and I spent $ on myself on clothes. Typical me stuff.
Feeling anxious as I already miss Anna even tho I’m here.
It’s over and I miss their childhood, my mom, my innocence. I do not miss my marriage. Is that bad?
A year ago she left the nest and Julian is growing and working. Wow. “And then there was none.” I must take time to grieve and celebrate my new role as mom.