This week I will be posting a series of entries I'm calling, "Big," in which I will share some big things that are in the works for me. Here we go with Part 1...
I am a very organized person and when it comes to preparing to travel, this trait comes in handy. I include travel prep on my to-do list so getting ready to go somewhere is as stress-free as possible. My system usually works, but not this last time. I literally ran out of time before I flew to the West Coast in late August. I had to go to the airport at 8am and was still working in my studio at 7! I ran back to my apartment at 7:50, threw a few more things in my suitcase, and jumped into a friend's car. It took me the 20 minutes from my place to AVL to calm down and let go, and I did, but it was really hard. I felt unprepared and had to leave some things unfinished. I was a stressed-out mess. I never leave like that!
Then the day before I started teaching at The Ranch I realized I did not have my tools. I remembered packing them, or at least I thought I did. This was a terrible moment for me as it would be for anyone losing something like this. What made it worse, though, is that those tools have tremendous sentimental value for me: they were given to me by my father when I began metalsmithing 15 years ago. I tried to remain calm, thinking perhaps I had left them behind or, if they were indeed gone, I would have to let them go. It would be too hard to deal with. It was hard just thinking about it. You see, my father has Alzheimer's and everything he has given to me has become more precious, more prized, and more valuable since he was diagnosed in 2011. I put the thoughts out of my mind and chose to not worry until I got back to Asheville. The day I flew home I went to my studio and found them in their travel bag sitting next to my bench. In my haste and stress I had forgotten them. And, I was overjoyed and grateful.
This long explanation leads me to the reason for this first Big post: I am moving back to my childhood home, Richfield Springs, NY, in December to live with my parents. I just want to be with my father and I want to help my mother care for him. This was a conclusion I came to while I was working on my "Island" in Iceland. The move is a temporary one, but necessary. My work will be put on hold for the month of December as I transition into a new way of living. I will have a studio somewhere in R.S. and will work just as I always do starting in January, but at the end of the day I will go home to two very sweet people, my dear father and mother. Just as I chose to not dwell on the possible loss of my tools, I will not dwell on what it's going to be like to care for him. I'm sure it will be hard and I'm sure it will be wonderful, and I'm just going to do it. In many ways, it's that easy.
Thanks for reading.