Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I Live Here Now, Part 8
I finished the work a few days ago with some really good, quiet moments and, also, some serious second thoughts. I did get to spend a day just sitting with the work on Thursday and then I shipped everything to my photographer on Friday. Well, almost everything. I got stuck on one piece right at the last minute. I ended up reworking it and then finished it on Saturday…and what I felt when it was all over is not what you might expect. I was not elated or excited. I didn't jump for joy or scream with delight. Instead, I was very quiet and not due to a sense of relief or satisfaction. I felt detached and distant and I had no idea how I felt about the work or what I had accomplished. To be honest, this is normal for me, and I imagine for many artists as well. There is so much effort that goes into the work, it makes sense that in the end one is exhausted and completely depleted. The one good thing is that I now know these feelings are probably going to happen and I accept them. I don't avoid them or try to make them go away, instead I sort-of resign myself to them and I just let them be. It's not as peaceful as it sounds, it's actually quite challenging and uncomfortable. It is what it is…and so is the work.
When I was done on Saturday I drove to a place I haven't seen since the night I graduated from high school in 1992. There is a Russian monastery just outside of the village and I still find it completely magical now. I've never been inside and this last visit is the closest I've ever been: I parked my car and walked up to it just for a few minutes. It's a remarkable building and the atmosphere there is serene and quiet. Finding my way there was interesting, too, because I did it from memory and even thought I felt unsure, I got myself there without making any wrong turns. There were a few points that literally felt right: a long curve here and passing a certain building there. When the road opened up and those gold domes became visible, I gasped. It was such a good way to end my day and end my time with the work.
Thanks for reading.