It’s warm here tonight… the day was semi-sunny and positively balmy. “June gloom” seems to have come earlier these last few years, and so by the time June comes ’round, the gloom has mostly passed and it’s only slightly hazy ’til about midday. I’m glad I’m not back in the northeast this time of year, where the mosquitos could eat you alive over a period of a few weeks. That and the black flies, the higher up in the mountains or the further away from the city you went. Amazing how those little bugs could take such big chunks out of your tender parts, like around your ankles or the nape of your neck.
I’m sipping a lovely glass of Cab tonight, hailing from the 337 Wine Cellars winery from Lodi, which I purchased at World Market last Sunday… I couldn’t resist the promise of “hints of chocolate and berries” … it’s very good, too… glad I splurged, though when I open a bottle of wine it often turns before I am able to finish it, seeing that no one else in my household enjoys it much besides me.
My son graduated from elementary school today. I remember when I was done with sixth grade and heading into seventh. I’d spent the last six years in a Catholic school (back in Quebec in the ’70s, the school system was divided by religious affiliation, so there was the Catholic school board and the Protestant (non-denominational) school board). I was baptized Catholic, but my mother was Protestant, so when it came time to send me to the very big Catholic highschool, my parents balked and sent me to a much smaller, and slightly more local, Protestant school by virtue of my mom’s religious affiliation. Unfortunately, only about a handful of other parents of the kids in my graduating sixth grade class felt similarly, and we were a few very little fish released into a very big sea of already established relationships. I found that quite difficult (especially since most of the other refugees were boys). It took me several years to feel comfortable with the new group of people, and I never really quite fit in.
My teenage years were awkward times, and though many think back fondly to those days, I personally do not. I was not particularly outgoing, nor did I excel in sports… or academics. I was very middle of the road, really, and looked rather unremarkable, too. Not unattractive… nor particularly pretty… pretty average, would be a good way to put it. Art was where my heart was, even then, and I would spend as much time in the art room as I could. Besides art, and reading, boys were what occupied what was left of my imagination. I’d get a crush and it would go nowhere and I’d be crushed, and then the whole process would start over again with a different boy. My parents were so strict that they never allowed me to date. The first time I even went out with a boy was in 10th grade, with a boy who invited me to his graduation prom. Oh and how shocking it was to our parents… he was black, and I was white, and neither my dad (nor his grandmother) liked the idea of us going to the prom together, but we did, and we weren’t the worse for wear. He was a handsome devil, too, though nothing much came of us after the party was over (indeed, nothing much happened before; we were merely friends). I had news about him not all that long ago… he’s an accountant at a firm in New York City. It’s odd when I hear snippets about people I knew back then. It seems so long ago, and yet the memories are still floating along the top of my consciousness… my feelings of awkwardness and self-consciousness and yearning just as acute in my recollection as they were then.
I marvel at the passage of time, so fluid in a way, and yet I can’t imagine how different I’ll be, that life will be, in another twenty years… or another forty (should I live that long). I hope so, with all faculties and my health intact, give or take a few aches and pains. At the moment it seems all about toil… working my days away and not a whole lot of enjoyment at the end of it. Weekends hold promise, but I’m usually so exhausted that I feel like a steamed zucchini… wet, soggy, relatively tasteless, too.
More books have arrived from Amazon (my admitted addiction)… Sybil MacBeth’s Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God… Karla M. Kincannon’s Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection… Richard Gordon’s Quantum Touch: The Power to Heal… and Lark Books’ 500 Handmade Books: Inspiring Interpretations of a Timeless Form. All now neatly stacked in a pile on my desk, awaiting further perusal.
I’m about to head over to the table to work on the last two color postcards I’ve still got to make… last month’s (which should have been mailed out at the beginning of this one)… it’s been slow going with these… always the last few that straggle along and hold up the others that are already completed. I really need to make art for myself… for the sake of my own need and desire to create, as opposed to creating it for others, which is mostly what I do. Someday I hope to sell my work, but I’ll never get there from here if I keep giving it away, and what little time I have to invest is usually spent on creating projects that do not work toward my long term goals. But at least it gets me to the table and has me putting down marks of color onto paper, which if I didn’t have this incentive would probably not occur with any sort of regularity otherwise. Discipline has never been my strong suit, I’m afraid, though I keep trying and working on it. Perhaps in the next twenty years I’ll have it figured out.
Blessings and wishes for a lovely summer solstice, no matter where you are…