9/30/09

Roles

Life has been a bit crazy as of late. Not that it's not always (was that an improper use of a double-negative?), but I feel particularly overwhelmed. I'm still adjusting to the girls' schedules, even though it's been about a month since they went back. I'm loving being able to walk both of them to school, and we're actually on time (so far), but strangely having more time seems to be making it harder, not easier, for me to work. I don't know what it is, but I really would just like to lie on the sofa watching TV, eating candy, possibly with a drink in hand.

I think that having a kindergartner and a three year-old is affecting more than I'd like to admit--my babies aren't really babies anymore, even though of course they'll always be my babies, and there's a sense of loss down there somewhere, in a place I'm not ready to access. Admittedly I talk about loss perhaps too often on this blog, but this feels more acute, more specific.

Up until recently it's been a vague sense of their babyhoods slipping away, and now it's staring me in the face. June is still little, but she's not that little. And I'm approaching 35, and loved the early years of being a mom, and now my career seems to be taking off more which is amazing, but I think there's a bit of a pre-midlife crisis going on, a reevaluation of my role as a parent.

Looking over the above I'm suddenly worried that too much of my writing is in some ways "sad." I know I speak about my gratitude, but it seems to be coupled with some sort of rumination on time's passage. Am I getting repetitive? I suppose when I approach blogging it's because I feel that communal desire to share; when I'm content I don't need to write. It seems to be the creative way.

9/23/09

Photography Book Now awards ceremony tonight

Tonight is Blurb's Photography Book Now awards ceremony, and I'm happy to report that I received one of twenty-five Honorable Mentions in the Fine Art category. I'll be in attendance and am looking forward to seeing some of the other books in person. The party will be from 6.00pm – 10pm at Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street between Hudson and Greenwich; see all of the winners here.

9/14/09

Remembering


I'm slowly getting back into a routine--9/11 was a lost day for me in many respects. It was raining and somehow that made the anniversary seem farther away and more difficult to process. Crisp fall days now are double-edged for me: they remind me both of when I first lived in New York, and of falling in love with James--one of the happiest times of my life--and now they also remind me of my first day of work at the Whitney Museum, about how shortly after I arrived my boss told me she saw a plane hit the World Trade Center, about how at first we thought it was an accident, and then came to realize it wasn't.

Crisp fall days remind me of trying to reach James on the phone and hearing a woman's recorded voice saying all lines were busy; I dialed over and over, wondering if he was at work in Chelsea or still painting bookshelves in the apartment we were in the midst of renovating. I finally got through to my parents and in-laws and they were the ones who relayed to me that James was safe. I remember crying in the bathroom, in confusion, and eventually walking home with throngs of people, all heading to the bridge. I'll never forget seeing James on the other side, waiting for me, and how a woman in front of the Salvation Army had a table with glasses of water for people wandering home. Financial papers drifted down on our patio, and the trail of smoke overhead was a constant reminder of what had happened. For a while I saved those papers, and then I burned them, not knowing why I kept them or what to do with them when they felt less like a memento and more like a morbid reminder. Those are my memories of eight years ago, and I was so lucky to not have known anyone, but I still ache for the people who did, and for the near misses.

So on Friday--that rainy, chilly day in New Jersey--I basically went back to bed and felt empty and tired. I had a wonderful evening out the night before with photographer friends Mark Menjivar, Kurt Tong and Susan Worsham at the Simon Roberts opening at Klompching, complete with a great dinner after, and went from a huge high to a state of feeling emptied out because of the clash of happiness and numbness I experienced when I woke up on the 11th. Every year it feels duller and less real, and further away emotionally. Sometimes it's better to just sleep it off.

In the afternoon the girls and I curled up on the couch and watched TV, and I ignored the disarray of the house and felt grateful, as always, for having my family close.

9/8/09

Goodbye Summer

Summer is over. More so this season than previously, I feel like it was finished before it began. Just keeping up with the girls while they weren't in camp or school caused a severe time vortex. Now we're adjusting to a new schedule--Edie started kindergarten last week, which I think is only now beginning to hit me. She still seems so young, and in most ways she is. Five is little, but there she is walking into her classroom all by herself with her pink Hello Kitty backpack. All things considered she's doing well--some anxiety over drop-off, but at pickup she's told me that school is "awesome" and Mrs. Banks is "the best teacher ever." Oh, and she's in love, but she can't remember the boy's name. For her part June is at a new preschool five days a week and began today--she barely noticed when I said goodbye. She's used to it, having been in preschool last year, so no worries there. There's a sadness starting to surface, mixed with relief that I now have some time to myself again. My emotions are clashing so heavily that they seem to be somewhat wiping each other out.

The suddenness of having time again is part of my disorientation. Frankly, I don't know what to do with myself. Not that this is new, the procrastination/anxiety game I tend to play with myself, but I feel emptied out right now. My brain must be trying to process the somewhat empty-nest syndrome somewhere in my subconscious. I've also moved my office to the third floor which feels more official and private, and new as well. My to-do list for the day has nothing checked off--I still haven't sent my grandmother's birthday card, over a week late, or bought a pot for a new plant I purchased, or looked at my upcoming submission list. I really may crawl back into bed--my body and my mind are calling for some blankness. Sleep might help me organize, and process in a way I don't seem able to do here in front of the computer.

I'll get back into a routine eventually, but today simply feels odd.

9/2/09

Liz Kuball / 20 x 200


© Liz Kuball

My friend and talented artist Liz Kuball has two prints that just went up for sale on 20 x 200 here. I've got to have the orange tree--I'm heading off to order it now. Why don't you get one too?

Speaking of Jen Bekman, the opening of the Hey, Hot Shot! 2009 First Edition Group Exhibition will be Wednesday, September 9th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 6 Spring Street, NY, NY. Featuring work by Michelle Arcila, Daniel Cheek, Mike Sinclair, Parsley Steinweiss and Kurt Tong. Wish I could go but I have a kindergarten ice cream social to attend, it's a glamorous life I lead, I know. I will however be heading the next night to the Simon Roberts opening at Klompching, and possibly also Amy Stein at ClampArt that same night, more details TK.

9/1/09

Critical Mass finalists

The list of Photolucida's Critical Mass finalists has been released and I'm very happy to report that I made it! It feels particularly great because I didn't get in last year, and I think that was the hardest rejection to swallow to date (see my mention of it last year it here). Looking back at my 2008 submission I'm now really able to see the weaknesses in the images I chose to submit, and feel as if having that year, along with the feedback I've gotten from some incredible people, made 2009's entry much stronger. Many thanks to the prescreeners, and congratulations to the friends who made the list as well--it's wonderful to see so many familiar names and such talented people on the list, I'm humbled to be alongside them. Good luck on the next round!