The Human Library/Nuit Blanche invited me to be a Human Library Book - I was almost excited, until I saw that they wanted me in my capacity as an artist. One of life's little bitter ironies. If only I were. I wonder where they found their 'librarian"?!
I finally finished a mediocre painting, next in my Engineeress series. Pictures to come. Maybe if I just stuck to subjects I knew how to do, I would not have to be confronted weekly by my total ineptness in most every other area of painting. At one point I got so tired of the ugly voice in my head, that I wrote what I was hearing down, and stuck it on the wall. The voice didn't have much more to say after that.
I find looking at the nonsensical list rather comforting, at least for now. It's hard to ignore the thoughts - they are SO loud. But, looking at them spelled out on a piece of paper, they look kind of silly. I mean, it's simply not true that I have no ability. I'm not uber-talented or accomplished, but who cares? And it's also crap to say that there's no point to me doing art. There doesn't need to be a point. Besides, I like doing it. So there, Mr. Nasty-nasty.
Yesterday I had an important talk with a friend, not something I have much time for. I'm careful who I talk intimately with and I am glad I opened up this time. I'm turning forty this year, and since I'm still, as ever, not satisfied with my life (over-think much?) it was nice to talk to someone else with the same nagging doubts. Great job, lovely family, nothing I wish I hadn't experienced. But, knowing I took many wrong turns.
I know exactly what I would do if I could do it all over again. I would ignore the boredom I felt that day, during my second last year of highschool, when I was sitting in front of my mother-and-child painting, brush in hand. I would not have applied to university to be a mathematician (sounds cool, great one-semester experience, ack I can't regret it...). I would have pursued hobbies aggressively, instead of changing my studies and later my work over and over, searching for who knows what. I see now that I could have had all of that interest and excitement in my spare time, and kept the joy and the toil of art for the day, fed it even.
Or, maybe I would have pursued art as a career, and turned 40 wishing I'd done something more interesting with my life. Art sounds cool, but it doesn't actually leave that much money and time for other pursuits.
I have ever just wandered along.
Berlin, where there are over 600 art exhibition spaces. One of the great art capitals. Where next week I will travel to look for a home for my family, including visiting (.hopefully. the agent is recalcitrant.) one apartment across from the Kaethe Kollwitz Museum. Kollwitz, who was an inspiration to me as a teenager with her incredible paintings of labourers.
There are many redeeming features to my work in the foreign service, and the next part of my life is only one of the many reasons I feel selfish and guilty every time I dream about having a different life.
We're leaving in August. If you come to town, drop me a line through firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to meet you.