my . artist run website

Return to Broke-open Art Blog

Day 34




Got home from my catering last night around 11:30 and was way to exhausted to blog. 


Yesterday a funny thing happenend. My husband and I went to Starbucks for a breakfast date. I of course brought the chair. Had a lovely time. Got up, went out the door, and it hit me, I had left the chair next to our table! Omigosh! I had forgotten the chair! This had never happened before. I of course returned and picked it up and left. Without a word to anyone but my husband. 

We joked then that perhaps that will be what happens eventually to the chair, when I no longer need to carry my burden of Fear, I will just leave the chair behind somewhere. There is something very poetic in that conclusion to the FCP. So, I have to ask myself, is this what is happening? Did I forget it now because I am finished with it? 

Every day, I realize now, I do this assessment. Am I finished with the chair? Today, am I done? Then I run through a check of my internal baggage. Like a K9 sniffing for drugs, I hunt myself for concealed Fear. I did this yesterday and am again doing so right now. And, yes, there is still a significant amount of Fear holding me back in life. Determining decisions about relationships, hindering my forward movement with my art. These are the two main areas still holding Fear.

I've come a long way since starting the project in terms of my courage and clarity in general and I am very grateful for the new strength. Also, I feel proud of myself. This has been no easy task. While it seems some people can unquestioningly carry around an assault weapon everywhere they go in this country, someone carrying a chair still stands out. How odd. It makes me feel like the court jester in the kingdom. All these silly self-important pumped up gun carriers pushing their interpretation of the Bill of Rights strut like knights in their armor, sword at their side. Because they can. Then, by walks the fool carrying her chair. Carrying her humiliation. The Quasimoto carrying the hunch upon his back.

Wow, that makes me tear up. I can see the image so well, and, that IS how I look. Or, might look to people. And, really, that is what is happening. Carrying my Fear is visibly showing the world that I am weighed down by Fear. This is not something to flaunt or feel proud of. It is a humbling act. It is in  recognizing this that perhaps the real strength will come. For now, I will go through my days feeling the fool that I am. I will greet her in the morning as she takes up her chair. And I will look people in the face who look upon me. I noticed in the past few days, I tend to avert my eyes from people when I enter places or whalk anywhere with the chair. I focus on the internal goings on regarding what it is like to carry the Chair. I think I need to feel what happens when I stop averting my eyes and have the courage to meet the faces of people who would react to my humiliation. 

Deep breath.

p.m. post:

Tomorrow starts the 30/30 adventure. That is the 30 paintings in 30 days adventure I am doing with about 200 people in a FB group I belong to. Holycow. Daunting partly because we are also still working on painting a clients house by the 25th of September. That means 6 hours of painting a house followed by starting and completing a painting in the afternoon. I've got a total 2 hours of commuting in there. My house is already a mess. It'll be quite a month.

I stayed home, in my pjs all day today because the cold I was nearly over regained strength due quite likely to the late-night catering outside. Catering is hard hard work especially out of doors and at a large venue (LOTS of fast walking with heavy dishes) and the afternoon was very hot, slipping into a chilly evening. All rather taxing on a body under the best circumstances. So I didn't go out with the Fear-Chair at all. Got lots of rest before the big month starts tomorrow. I suppose I could have started the painting early but that to me feels like cheating. Besides, I needed a day off. 

One of my fearS is that I am lazy. So taking a day off is very hard. Taking a day off even from cleaning house is hardest. So, I needed to do this today. To be kind to me. Fear and fearS really are at root an unkindness to ones self I think. It is a not trusting of ones self. Although I've said before that Fear can be life-saving and I still believe it CAN be good at times, Fear or fearS that have been allowed to take root and stay, I think really are insidious forms of self abuse. 

For me the lack of self-trust points to worthiness issues. The case of laziness strikes at the core of this. My Fears tell me I am not worthy of rest or trust-worthy with my own need for rest. I Fear that one day of stopping on the treadmill of life and everything will fall down around my ears and I won't be able to pick it all up again. I won't start moving again. It's painful to examine this pattern. Easier to just keep running on the treadmill until I am worn down, falling down and have no choice but total collapse. Because someone with a physical health related hinderance has reason to not work. Whereas there is no room for idleness in a healthy person. This is the dark edge of the midwestern work ethic I was brought up with. 

So we work work work and wear out our bodies or die. My grandfather died in his sixties. He collapsed in the middle of a meeting at work. My father just retired at 79. He was a banker AND a farmer. We children grew up waking before dawn to go out and feed the livestock. I started to help when I started going to school. Kindergarten. Before I could lift hay bales, I was dragging them uphill in the cowyard for morning feedings. I'm not complaining, I feel proud of being able to work hard and of having had the experiences to teach me a solid work ethic. I do feel however the side-effect Fear that goes with such an ethic. That all my value comes from work, production. It is a seductive Fear because of the same value societally. There is a lot of support to feel production is equal to value in this country. "Hard work is what built this country," haven't we all heard one or another version of that statement as people argue about our present troubles.


So I took the day off. It's a Sunday. My house is a mess. I didn't even shower. I'm a mess. But the cold is subsiding once again. And, tomorrow is another day.... and I'll bring my Chair to work.