Sorry so long, life has been totally nuts. A mixture of delicious and stressful, incredibly fun and at times very tedious. I’m finally progressing in my physical therapy. I’ve regained most of my range of motion, can balance (decently and improving) on my left foot, and I’ve made great strides in correcting my posture. I went jogging the other day for 10 minutes, leaped ungracefully but without pain from the bus and played on gymnastic rings with only muscle fatigue the next day. Small miracles people, they are amazing.
In a moment of frustration about not really having a studio, or a permanent residence, I booked a 1 way ticket to San Francisco. I don’t have a job, a place to live, or any idea how I’m getting my stuff across the country but that will come. I have friends to stay with for the short term, and besides, looking for a place to live remotely is really silly and frustrating. It’s unlikely I’ll have either a studio or a permanent residence for another 6 months but it feels good to move forward.
This weekend I threw a joint going away party for me and my friend Sean who is leaving at the same time. We both have too many things so we combined the party with a yard sale and threw in a tea party, wine and snacks, dancing and crafting too sweeten the deal and entertain our friends. It was so amazing. I feel lucky to know so many wonderful people here in Boston and though the past few months have been difficult I’m grateful to have had an additional 3 1/2 months in Boston to get to meet new people + become better friends with people I didn’t know well.
While going through my stuff I noticed phases. The sequin phase (still going), the 50′s skirt phase, the white lace phase, the denim vest phase, the bronze reindeer phase, the plastic baby phase etc etc…. I’m not necessarily obsessive, more like hyper focused when I’m preoccupied with an interest. It’s all I see so therefore becomes all I acquire until I lose interest and find something else to be charmed by. I don’t have that much stuff but after not seeing it for 4 months + faced with the reality of moving it across the country I decided I’d be better off with less.
Years ago a terrible ex got rid of nearly all of my possessions. At first it hurt painfully and I mourned the loss of my precious things, especially art made by me and others. After the initial shock wore off I realized how much weight was lifted off of me. No longer did I have anything tying me down! I was free from obligation to my stuff and I was free to acquire new more exciting stuff…all while realizing that stuff was temporary and I allowed it to flow more easily in and out of my life. When I lived in my studio I got very cutthroat about what stayed and what went. I didn’t have any hidden storage so everything was on display and everything needed to hold it’s own. Unworn and uncool clothing/stuff was purged frequently (back to the thrift store or to friends or sold) and was replaced with less but more awesome stuff. My theory that the time was eventually I would have an entire wardrobe full of the most glamorous things and eventually I would swan about it ball gowns and beads all day long. Nice theory and in practice I ended up with a decadent wardrobe and unique and interesting household objects that made me feel happy. Great right? Yes, indeed…though not very practical if you are living out of a suitcase! I realized that amazing and glamorous item are not impossible to procure and though I love a lot of my things it was time to let them go to an appreciative group.
So…that’s how we ended up with a pretty fab yard sale! I got rid of 1/2 my wardrobe (maybe even more…) 1/2 my costumes, books, housewares (goodbye bronze deers…), massive amounts of crafting supplies and raw materials. Only things that are super special and difficult to replace stayed. Lots of folks ended up with sequin gowns, faux fur, roller skates, crystal decanters and more. Damn, that felt good! I’m taking tonight off and then next week I’ll get everything condensed and get rid of everything else that didn’t sell.
So back to phases. After going through the Tess time capsule of storage boxes and seeing phases I started down that old rabbit hole of nostalgia which eventually ended up with a trip down memory lane of flickr. One thing that amuses me about flickr is being able to see what photos people favorite. I noticed someone had fav’d about 5 picture of me in a particular dress and as I was feeling nostalgic I went and found all the self portraits I took of myself in that dress! Hello pink Grecian goddess.
3 different cameras, some refining of ideas, change of hair styles and experimentation on a simple subject: me and this dress. For the record this dress stays. It seems I need a rematch with it while wearing blue hair.
Thanks for reading this rambling post! I’m excited to share old work, and that excites and inspires me to make new work. I can’t wait until I’m back to MAKING THINGS!!!! At times I’ve worried that my self portrait obsession/hobby/whatever is a bit narcissistic but looking through these old photos I’m so glad I do this (and wish I did it more!). It makes me remember where I was, how far I’ve come, and gives me hope that the future will be full of color, and light, and beauty…just as the past and present are when we stop and think about it.
<3 Miss Tess Aquarium