There’s something about nearing the end of making a quilt that is sort of a letdown. You’ve spent all these hours, you’ve beat yourself up about not meeting this or that deadline that you arbitrarily set in your head, it’s been your life for months, and then…then it’s gone. It’s done. You’re done. It abandons you. It’s no longer the focus of your life. And if you don’t have another one, Right There, ready to take over the part of your mind that needs that level of distraction, of creativity, of something that gives you satisfaction in a world that is incredibly frustrating at the moment, then it can be depressing. And I think sometimes the brain needs to lie fallow a bit in between projects, not that I’ve let it do that in the last year, because for me, where I am, fallow means significant depression, falling into a nasty hole that I have to then drag myself back out of, and that happens even WHEN I’m creating. It’s worse when I’m not.
I have a project to start right now, though. It’s drawn in my head. It’s not on paper. I just emailed my photographer, so this current thing has to be done by Wednesday (I’m almost done with the binding, and then I will deal with the bleed). And I have quilt class on Thursday and I need something to take by then, so that means I have to draw the new one and copy it and tape it by Thursday after school. HA! Yeah. I know. But if you set crazy-ass deadlines like that, worst-case scenario you fail and you say, well, it was crazy anyway. But I’m behind where I wanted to be right now. I wanted the gender quilt done by Saturday. Now it’s Monday. That is obviously a giant fail (not). I’m doing OK. I’m a little worried about time, but I’ll figure it out.
After spending an entire weekend essentially working (second one in a row), I’m a little tense and cranky. I realize that. I don’t have a lot of outlets for that any more. I do stupid things to make myself feel better, like change the sheets on the bed to flannel (it’s getting cold), or throw out something someone gave me that I never liked but was useful, but hell, I really don’t like it and I don’t need it really, it’s just useful, and being raised to be somewhat of a hoarder is a difficult thing to break. But it’s gone now! Now if I could just get the rest of the crap under control. I read. I go to the gym. It’s not enough. It will have to do at the moment, though.
I went over 30,000 words on the novel (understand that I actually have over 56,000 words…but I started with a bunch written in the first place). I added an isolation tank last night. Who knew? I had to go Google them and how they worked, but the idea came to me from watching Fringe episodes. My brain is doing this, “What would you do if you needed to get this reaction?” thing, and it searches all the old databases in my head, and then I Google something like “What’s the name of that water tank that the doctor in Fringe used to use?” which is like the worst Google search ever in the world, but popped up exactly what I needed (previously known as sensory deprivation tanks). And then I was searching “epsom salts and plants,” which was another revelation. I love that the world we live in is so knowable on some levels, so searchable, even though it makes other parts of my life a pain in the ass (how easy it is for my students to contact me at all hours…the dating spreadsheets you now need to keep just to figure out if you want to date someone…the fact that you still have to pick up registered mail from the post office during their stupid hours because there’s no way to do that online).
Anyway. I’m managing things. There’s some magical thing that’s supposed to happen now where I have everything under reasonable control (ha!) and happiness just appears, like a leprechaun and his gold or a genie in a lamp. I think it’s some switch I’m supposed to pull inside my head, but I’m still looking for it. Still trying to get all the crap out from before…an analogy between my brain and my house. I don’t have the time or energy to get everything put back or dealt with from the remodeling over the summer; I can’t get my office clean all over, just 2-foot square at a time; the garage is a scary time warp that seems to breed bizarre half-broken items that I might need in the zombie apocalypse, and even if I don’t, I don’t have time to go through and figure it out right now. I’m not sure if the brain or the house comes first. Which can I get cleaned up for real? I do have time planned over break to deal with the house. If I knew how to do the brain part, I would…but I don’t. I don’t think I was built to just be content with my life. I think I was designed to ever be looking to change, adjust, make better, clean up, improve. I don’t know that I could do the art the way I do without that. Is the creative part of my brain, the part that’s always reflecting and searching and making and observing, is it why I can’t just sit back and say, OK, this is OK? This will do. Because it won’t. It’s not.
Philosophy on a Monday morning…always an issue.