Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Oh well.

Hey people.   I heard a saying the other day, "I'd rather have a life of 'Oh well's' than 'What if's'."  I like that.  It sums up the risk-reward ratio of creative life.  They're not all going to be home runs.  (Unpublished novels anyone?)  But, even the fails keep you plugged in, and maybe moving toward something you don't even have the slightest idea about yet, sewing seeds.  My cumulative experiences seem to be leading me closer and closer to *new idea*, and that feels pretty exciting.

I know it's kind of frustrating to have me dropping all these breadcrumbs, but the incubation period has to be respected.  It's important.  :)

Meanwhile-- that problem piece?  Look how awesome it will be once it finishes flaking and gets down to some serious rust building.  Sometimes I think we're like this.  I know it's a cliche, but, the more we go through, the more layers we build-up, the more interesting we get.

Interesting isn't good or bad, or I guess more accurately, can be both.  Last night I went to a couple parties and was reminded how much I suck at parties now.  Not just now, if I'm really honest with myself.  I always looked forward to them, and still do, but when I get there feel very restless and edgy and out of place.  I used to drink a bunch to deal with this, now I'm just stuck with myself.  I'm better at socializing where there's some activity going on.  But it's important to stay plugged into friends so I was still glad to have parties to go to at all.

It's always kind of weird being introduced to people as some version of "that crazy mountain biking lady" and "artist", or "made this amazing woman out of a race car."  That's how introductions are, --openers or whatever, but while that stuff is true, it feels like some press-kit fake i.d. somehow.  I'm much more comfortable just hanging out, DOING something, and finding out about the person I'm with, or just being out of our heads-- playing.

Anyway-- show prep continues.  Here is the latest version of the bracelet-- a double wrap now.  This is two of them.

Here's one normal one, and one I added a bunch of personal charms to.  Yes kiddies, you can do that too.  :)

Yesterday I had another idea.  It's a bit related to *new idea* in that it's off the map of my usual art.  Check this out.  What do you think?

Last weekend some critter over at the trail got a turkey.  My trailwork pals told me about it and asked if I wanted to go grab feathers for art stuff.  i was like, "Nah," and thought- "They don't have much of an idea of what I do I guess."  Well, my brain had a week to stew about it, and then i thought, "Screw it.  Who cares if it's not my usual mode?"

When I was 18 I used to collect feathers I'd find laying around outside and make bunches of them to wear in my hair.  It made me feel semi-feral and I liked that a lot.  Lately I've seen some feather extensions around the web.  Could be time for my long-ago idea to blossom.

Before you gross-out, I washed all the feathers with anti-bacterial soap, and dried them before working with them.  And Dan-- what a sweetheart.  "Hey hon-- want to go over to the trail and look for a week old turkey carcass and help me scavenge feathers off what's left?"  "Sure."  That guy will do anything for me.  :)  All that was left was feathers, no gross remains or anything, and really, this was just nature.  A fox has to make a living too.  All the feathers are now clean and pristine.

I know this idea is a bit off the beam, so figured I better help sell it with a few pics of possible looks.  Right now I'm thinking these babies will be about $10.  What do you all think?  Cool or "Go back to the 80's weirdo"?

To be fair, no one else was wearing this back in the 80's besides me either.  I think it will appeal to people who like to be different and are a bit adventurous with their style.

Meanwhile, family stuff continues.  One thing is my grandma is in the hospital again, more heart stuff, basically another chapter in her extended death scene.  She doesn't get the internet so she'll not see this.  But that's essentially what we're dealing with.  she's 95 and has congestive heart failure.  Her days are numbered.
I had a convo recently about aging with a friend and we agreed, what is really at the heart of all our concerns over sagging, wrinkling skin and other side-effects, is the fact that inside we still feel like the same vital, vibrant people we were in our 30's, and there is a growing-- gulp-- fear (there I said it) that we'll be dismissed as we get older; overlooked as people who have nothing interesting to contribute and aren't cool because we are older.

When I talk to, or am with my grandma I think about that.  Our relationship isn't as baggage laden and a mother/child relationship; I've never needed her or relied on her for anything, or disappointed her.  She doesn't like her body wearing out anymore than any of us would, even if she is 95.  She is mad *the world* seems to expect her to just lay around and be okay with all this, waiting to die with a beatific look on her face.

For now I just give her the message in my way of being with her, "I see you-- YOU.  And I'll keep seeing you, until you're gone."


irishk said...

I had all kinds of things to say as I was reading this post and then I got to the last paragraph and all the rest of the post disappeared. That pretty much says it all, "I will keep seeing you until you are gone." That is the highest compliment anyone could ever give another human being. What a gift to give! I'm glad your art life is in a better place than last week, as we all knew it would be:-) I have always had a thing for feathers. I used to wear them dangling off my ear cuffs. Oh yah, I did. I think I still have it:-) Really nice post Sue!

b_elliott said...

Once again irishk has said what I was thinking only much better. "... That is the highest compliment anyone could ever give another human being. What a gift to give!"

Maery Rose said...

Like Kathleen, things you say in this post set off so many thoughts and feelings in me. Like "Oh well" is better than "what if". I'm trying to make that a part of my thought pattern so I can be braver. And I like switching from labeling my rust as damage to thinking of it as built up layers that make me more "interesting". And I agree that being seen by someone - fully, clearly, and under the skin - is the greatest gift of all.

And I want to comment on the switch in the bracelet design. I like it even more and especially if I can add some personal things to it.

pseudosu said...

Thanks so much guys, and for all your off-line wisdom too. I love that I have such smart cool friends!

Thanks for the bracelet feedback Maery.

So far crickets on the hair/feather things... Should I take that as a polite hint or did the grandma stuff just obscure that?

Maery Rose said...

I just don't think I could pull off feathers in my hair. I was going to say in your previous post about birds being everywhere is that I do wish there were more owl art out there - not the goofy, comic, cookie jar owls, but the mysterious, wise, mythical owls.

I also forgot to comment on what you said about being introduced to people with one trait that you are known for (for me it's that I own a horse). It feels like that's all that people think you can talk about or since they don't own a horse, they write you off as you have nothing in common whereas I really am interested in almost everything being the curious person that I am. That's how I should be introduced, "Meet Maery. She's curious." which could be taken a couple ways, both of which would be true.

Linda G. said...

You are giving you grandmother the best possible gift -- making her see that she still matters. Good on you. :)

P.S. Love the feathers in your hair.

Jill said...

The part you wrote about going to parties is exactly how I feel. I just went to a party that included a lot of college professors. The first questions I got was "where did you go to school and what degrees do you have?" Uggg...I felt like I was being judged. I hate that. I love what you said about your grandmother.