Sunday, November 16, 2003

Today is Sunday. Perused two newspapers while comfortably in bed - the Houston Chronicle and parts of The New York Times - and then spent precious time buying several catalog items on line. One purchase is definitely not necessary. Maybe it will not fit or will ook like the picture so I can return it and feel that I've not made another frivolous purchase.

Now my day truly begins with weekend catch up that includes running at least two loads of laundry, taking a left-over chocolate cake break with a mug of yerba mate tea (my quiet cup of confidence) and giving three cats some extra weekend attention. Also made a call to my parents - I consider it sheer luck and good fortune that I can dail ten numbers and talk to my 86 year old mom and dad. Any time I want to. They are alive and well both at the other end of the line and at home in Seattle.

Mom says she has two more purse stories for She told me one and could not remember the second. It will come back to her. Mom and Dad are headed off to church - the Sunday ritual she dreads, but she dreads displeasing the Lord even more. Habit of a lifetime. Her reward for getting out of the house and driving to the church service is knowing that she and my father have done their duty for another week. Dad will stop at a taco stand on the way home and she will order a bean burrito. Her weekly indulgence, she says.

So, now I will print out purse images to make at least 20 greeting cards to give to a group at Parkway Place next Saturday. Irina and I will make new acquaintances and gather purse stories with recorder and digital camera at this senior living retirement community. I've not done much with my in over a month. Five weekends in a row were taken up with what I call 'life in general', meaning 'not my job'. On the last Saturday in September was a wonderful wedding in Galveston, followed by a week in Seattle with my family (add two weekends here), a two day trip to Chappell Hill, TX, with my American Leadership Forum classmates followed by another very special wedding weekend that brought two daughters to town. We three produced over 900 photographs for the bride and groom. And while the bride and groom were away on their honeymoon, the bride's mom and I were the first to see the photos of this beautiful time.

All of these good things and my job leave no time at all for anything more in my life than attempts at consecutive and reasonably good nights of sleep.

After a week at work, Friday nights can be rocky - or more specifically - sleepless. Last Friday evening, I went to a birthday party for a short time, ate two slices of pizza (a mistake, it turns out - did the sausage have sodium nitrate in it?), and fell into bed soooo tired. Up at 1:30 a.m. with the beginnings of a headache so took a headache pill that is laced with caffeine. I really have to make an effort to fall asleep again quickly before the caffeine kicks in. Instead, I chose to look at notebooks of negatives and so was up until daylight, very happily immersed with thousands of images. Part of thinking ahead to what I need to create for my part of the group FotoFest exhibition "Women On The Verge Of Something Else." Realized that all of my work hits this subject. However, I do want to shoot one beautiful new image of a woman with arms thrust skyward in celebration. She is no longer hidden. She is here, alive and well and strong.

Strong this woman will be in this future photo, but that sleepless Friday night left me so weary that I spent all of Saturday in bed and missed another afternoon birthday party for a very dear friend.

I have not yet been able to balance a goodly number of hours of sleep with a 48+ hours/week job and the 8 - 20+ hours that I like to spend on my website and related art projects. I've learned to make conscious decisions about seeing 1 or maybe 2 friends during a week or scheduling one personal social event every 1 - 2 weeks. If I see more friends or more movies or go to more personal social events, my second career as artist loses traction and momentum.

Back to 'Women On The Verge Of Something Else'. I've decided to make a piece for this exhibition from that old square green board with its hooks and keys that I got from the storeroom at Baker Hughes several years ago. Working title is 'When One Door Closes, Remember to OPEN Another'. This piece will also have a subtitle that references a comment George Krause made to me 5 years ago. Subtitle may be any of the following:

1. Test strips may be the real thing.
2. Pick and choose the very best. The best may be blurry, indifferently exposed and just about perfect.
3. Test strips - life's bookmarks.

After this morning's early rain, the sun is shining in full golden fall glory. My garden's orange cosmos and mutabulis roses sparkle in the light. Surely this is the day for a long walk - after the cards are glued and made ready for next weekend's story gathering time.

And then there was the project called 'putting all the sorted piles on the bedroom floor into file folders and then into a box'. Did I really promise myself I would not have to step over these carefully edited piles for another week? I don't remember.

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