Friday, December 30, 2011

Downsizing - Packing up the Glass Studio.

Written by Karen
Color and Light - Karen's Studio
I have avoided this task for weeks, but I finally began to pack up my studio this weekend.  This is a big deal. Adam created this beautiful space for me in the back corner of our garage some eight years ago.  It has functional walls that define my own space, a glass door to the side yard, and color, storage and a venue for all of my glass artistry. 

The greenery visible from the outside comes in through the glass door and I often go out and sit on the footstep while waiting for something to dry or to cool down from being in the glass kiln.  It gives me a chance to listen to the blue jays squawk their alarms to the neighborhood; watch the Monarchs dart about the flowers; stare off at the horizon a million miles away; and, feel the warmth of the sun unravel any residual tension knots.  I feel safe, hidden and complete in this space. 
It is a very Scandinavian place, with pictures and objects that are meaningful to me scattered on the bookshelves and throughout the space. Orange-ish/tangerine-like colors decorate the beadboard walls and pine bookshelves; a work table and pine cupboards fill the studio. It is warm, comforting, relatively spacious, and all mine.  It has always been my very own space.  I absolutely love it. I have spent countless hours getting lost in the mix of color, heat, texture, patterns and design while teaching myself how to work with warm and hot glass.  It is perfect for me.
This is my own place of play, individuality, reflection, enthusiasm, discovery, and complete happiness; a place that I would still choose to go and hang out for an afternoon, or a day, or a week.  It is a place where I can fully explore my passion for glass without boundaries, without constraints, and without limits.  It was a place created to delve into the endless possibilities of art, design, color and light to my heart’s content.  It was always as I left it - it had no other purpose. 
And just like you avoid the final goodbye until the very last minute, I have avoided packing the studio up into storage boxes.  This brings everything into perspective and it hits very close to home.  This is my soul that I am about to pack up. This is my bliss.  Playing with glass, texture, color and light - becoming and then being an emerging artist - is one of the ways that I choose to define myself.  
It’s funny how this exercise of downsizing works.  I didn’t have any trouble giving away my suits and clothes that I used just for work; packing away shoes and other clothes for another time; giving away, throwing away just extra stuff that has been accumulated over time.  Not a problem.  
But, this is different.  Maybe because this space is meaningful and definitive, and the other stuff is just that - stuff.  Maybe because this means that we are really going to leave our house and that time is getting closer and closer. Maybe because the combination of Adam’s gift of love, labor and design are so much a part of my passionate love of glass that they are now completely intermingled.  Maybe.  
And maybe once I start packing up the studio, it will be no big deal.  Maybe. This is, after all, a consequence of choosing change.  Things will be different.  Have to be different.  We are going to live a different life. We are downsizing.  It is a part of the ongoing process of stripping down our lives to a basic and nimble core.  It’s also called collateral damage in a way on the road to a new way of life.
I feel slightly adrift.  It feels like the end of an era.  It is the end of an era.    We’ve moved way past the dream stage - the mind candy stage - to working, planning, and establishing timelines and objectives to make our dream to explore our big world a reality.  Change can be tough. Change is hard work.  Tough decisions must be made each step of the way.  Deconstructing our lives is difficult.  I understand that it is part of the process to get us from here to there.  Although necessary, it doesn’t make it any easier.  Change can sometimes cut a wide swath across parts of your life that you didn't expect to have to change.  
I understand on a cerebral level that dreams are ultimately about taking action.  That dreams won’t materialize on their own; it takes hard work and significant action to turn a dream into a reality.  This past weekend, I also began to understand this nexus between dreams, action and reality on a very personal level. 

I’m still looking forward with optimism and excitement about the opportunities that we will find and the experiences we will have on our year long travel adventure.  However today, I am looking forward with mixed emotions and tears in my eyes.  
“At every moment we are at a crossroads and must choose the direction we will take.”
Matthieu Ricard


moneyIQGuy said...

Your cozy studio sounds like a Secret Place, and i think all of us have had one such place that we can still resonate with- even if far away in space, it is close to our hearts. Maybe because they are so infused with our souls. Wishing you luck during this difficult part of the process, not easy.

Observers of Life said...

Hi IQ -

Great to hear from you! :) Thanks for the supportive words! It's funny how we associate different places with various emotions. You're right...those places that have wriggled into our souls are the toughest ones to let go.....