Seven weeks behind me with one left to go before a mad dash to Texas to open a show five days after this one closes (no pressure). And it has been…glorious.
When I got off the road twelve years ago, it was with no intention to stay gone so long. I was burnt out on a lot of things and people, and I definitely needed a break. That break ended up, thanks to forces beyond my control, being far lengthier than I could have imagined or wanted. And it’s been a special kind of hell.
To be fair, I would never have started making my art if I hadn’t been so desperate for something to do that wrenched my brain into a better shade of crazy than its habitual shade, which matches nothing and would be mocked by everyone at HGTV. And #BestBooEver and I might not have had a chance to develop our association into what it is today, which is the absolute best relationship I have ever had and the one that has officially ruined me for any other. The bar is now too high, boys, girls and those unaffiliated. Yer outta luck. So, it’s not like my last decade has been an unmitigated shitshow. But. It has seriously challenged my determination to not step in front of a moving train. I couldn’t have made it without those of you whose encouragement and validation kept me creating, even though I had no idea wtf I was doing. And also, impostor. The syndrome. It is real. I still don’t feel like an artist. I feel like an arranger. I don’t do anything but arrange things, after all. The objects already exist. I just put them together. That’s not art, it’s kind of just…organizing. So says my brain, which is full of fail in this area. I tell myself it’s better than being an egotistical jerk.
Humans like to be rooted. And so do I. A home base is very important to achieving tasty chi. But I also need to be a stranger. To be in new places and hear stories from people I’ll never see again. I need to roam. Just to look. Feeding my eyeballs and brain on things I’ve never seen. Seasons in places I don’t live. Cities I only touch down in like a migrating bird. Just enough time to rest my wings before moving on. This is food for me. Sustenance I can’t quantify or explain. And I’ve been starving for over a decade. So now that the settled me and the nomad me are back in balance, we can tango in the moonlight of a strange town square in some dusty place Google can’t find. Drink cactus juice hooch and play poker with all the weirdos the winds blow to these kinds of peculiar oases. I am one of those weirdos. After being stranded like a succulent in the Midwest, utterly the wrong climate for me to thrive in year round, I have been drinking in this sun and this air and this existence with a thirst I’m not sure I can properly convey. I am again with my tribe. My skin is brown and my boots are dusty, and all is right with my world.
And this homecoming could have gone the “You can’t go home again” way, rather than the “Home sweet home” way that it has. Both those sayings are rooted in realities of life. I had modest expectations that have been far exceeded by the fabulousness of the last two months of my life. Everything won’t continue to be giddiness and poetry. The magical realism of the life I’m living right at this moment will turn at some point. I have a malfunctioning brain. This is inevitable. But right now, in this moment, which Buddhist philosophy tells me is the only reality there is (and a wibbly wobbly, timey wimey one at that) I am in passionate love with the universe I occupy. I am grateful. I am home.