“This world of ours…must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Fear in America”—mixed media • layered digital image—2018
“Fear in America”—mixed media • layered digital image—2018
Do you want extreme uneasiness of mind OR to cherish a desire with anticipation? When I read these definitions out loud they prompted remarkably different feelings in me.
I was once was told that worrying is a prayer for something bad to happen.
If that’s true, than hope is a prayer for something good to happen, right?
“…the climate of contemporary America has become so chronically anxious that our society has gone into emotional regression that is toxic to well-defined leadership.”
“…chronic anxiety that characterizes the emotional processes of contemporary American civilization influences our thoughts and our leaders toward safety and certainty rather than boldness and adventure.”
This book is a remarkable read about leadership in contemporary America—Business‚ Government, Coaching, Teaching, Clergy & Parenting. The central idea is that any system requiring leadership with way too much anxiety becomes static, lacks innovation and is unable to seek out creative solutions. In my heart I desire boldness and adventure over safety and certainty. In my life I get racked with worry and anxiety, but I have a choice as to what I hold closer to my heart. We always have a choice.
I have hope in the innovation of the next generation. I have hope in science to spark cures for disease, find unique ways to educate our children, protect our climate and invent really cool new ways to do things. I have hope that we can listen to each other. I have hope that we don’t constantly fear those who are different than us. I have hope that our better angels will emerge.
July: I worked on my coursework for my positive psychology class. I created a handbag out of a friend’s damaged Audi seat. I was generously given a huge amount of fabric that was just beautiful to work with for the SEABA fashion show coming up. I read a lot about the psychology of geography—the study of how we behave in relation to our environment. I traveled to South Dakota to visit my family and was lucky enough to get to shoot some photographs at the Burke Stampede Rodeo. Oh, cowboys…
August: I sketched, sewed, painted and made handbags…a big blitz of work. Using the company SPOONFLOWER I got photographs printed onto fabric. My daughter, Lucy wore a skirt I made with an abandoned farmhouse photo I shot in South Dakota on it. I used rust prints Elizabeth Bunsen created with Nebraska license plates to create fabric as well. Burlington master goldsmith— Jane Frank designed jewelry worn in the show—the pieces were such a beautiful compliment to the clothes.
September was a blur: The fashion show was entirely consuming the first 10 days of the the month. I love to be in flow and entirely focused on one thing. Deadlines are my jam. However, this year I also needed to create my final project for my Positive Psychology course at the same time . I graduated and got to spend a week at Kripalu in Lenox, Mass with a remarkable bunch of people from all around the world. Later in the month my husband and I went to the Champlain Valley Classic Car show, taking photos and talking to classic car enthusiasts was just great after being so busy.
October: I turned 50 on the 12th. I was taken to Martha’s Vineyard by friends. My husband surprised me by getting my folks, my sister and my brother-in-law to Vermont for a long weekend to celebrate with me. That was remarkable AND he threw a party complete with my friends putting on a musical review, poetry, singing songs and making me feel so unbelievably grateful for my life. I took a few of my favorite images ever and layered more photos. Jeff and I dressed as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo for Halloween.
November: I traveled to Burke, South Dakota. I took photos of Herrick that made current and former Herrick residents very happy and remarkably nostalgic. I got to hang out with my great nephew, Liam (oh, and the rest of my clan). I created digital images of my own planet based on a conversation with my son. The planet New Vagus is based on the vagus nerve—the power center of our nervous system. I wrote. I cried when Leonard Cohen died.
December: I made leather pendants for gifts. I kept playing with the image of a South Dakota two-lane road, layering the photo and playing with the visuals of memory. I created a line of scarves with my images on them. I will post the link soon if you are interested in ordering one.
January 2017 is off to an interesting start. I’m cleaning out the basement—sorting through letters, photos, the kids clothes I’ve saved, toys, books and all of the things I can’t believe I now have to deal with. I’m learning a lot about myself and why things seemed so very important to me.
Every year I have such grand intentions of how I’m going to show my love to my family and friends and every year I fall a short of my intentions and beat myself up a bit. I’m no longer going to miss out on the little moments of the season because of things I DIDN’T GET DONE. That’s bullshit.
This year, I’m forgiving, no celebrating myself for all of the great ideas I’ve had and didn’t accomplish. It’s those little moments with our loved ones, people in line at the coffee shop, grocery store or our bartenders for that matter that make the holiday special anyway. I’m going to be jolly and generous like Santa out in the world, that just sounds fun, right?
So now it’s December 19th and I’m putting one package in the mail for a very special little girl who will more thrilled than anyone on my list to receive a package. I will tell the people in my life I love them and not think twice about what I didn’t get done. Tonight, a Christmas lights drive with my family and spaghetti at our favorite family joint.
When my children were little I answered to WHY all the time and considered it part of our daily/hourly experience. Why is the sky blue? Why do we brush our teeth? Why does that man smell weird? Why can’t I wear just a tutu? Why can’t I watch that scary movie? Why are you still sleeping?…
November 13th & 14th at Maglianero Cafe/Burlington, Vermont I’ll be selling a few one-of-a-kind handbags along with my LEVITY 7 design collective crew and their creations. My bags are inspired by Frida Kahlo and have a one-of-a-kind, independent spirit about them. I will be posting more as the date draws closer.
I think I will just go and be innovative and creative.
From the article…
“…people greatly preferred convention in the tidy room and novelty in the messy room. ”
Great New York Times article by KATHLEEN D. VOHS regarding the studies around messy and tidy work environments.