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Artist dates 8a, 8b, & 9

April 10, 2013


One hour at JoAnn Fabrics. I went, looking for yellow and pink fabrics. I didn’t find any. But I was drawn to several fabrics that sort of coordinated: seersucker in stripes of white, aqua, and teal; seersucker in plaid of white, yellow green, and turquoise; semi-sheer stripes of spring green.

I’d been meaning to get flannel for a particular project, so I bought 1 foot each of flannel in celadon green, and turquoise.

I got elastic cord in two widths for a skirt I’ve been thinking about making.

I have some ideas for experimenting with several dye colors, so I bought three hues of dye: golden yellow, orange, and pink. I also bought one white cotton remnant.


I was somewhat frustrated not being able to find what I went there for, but upon reflection, I’m wondering if I have a persona that I’m not aware of that was drawn to these cool spring colors. I get the sense of someone kind of young.

Maybe I need to create “mood boards”/color palettes/collages for each of my parts?



I went for a walk in the woods, in the rain. I took a lot of photos.



Our local library hosted a reptile show, by Critter Caravans.

An inner 5-year-old part I didn’t know I had made herself known to me, and I let her be me for the duration of the show. I got there early so I could get a good seat, and I was the first one in the room. I excitedly asked if we would get to touch the animals [we would!], complimented the handler on his purple hair, and then plopped myself in the front row, on the carpet, where the other kids, as they arrived, sat all around me.

(A couple of moms sat on the carpet as well, but they had toddlers in their laps. No other adults sat on the carpet; they were all on chairs in the back.)

I fidgeted constantly, just like any of the other kids. For me, it was excitement. I was beside myself — that’s the most internal energy I’ve felt in years.

If my adult self had been in charge, I probably could have made myself sit still, just tapping my toes or something. But honestly? That seemed self-hating. Like, my mother (or some other authority figure) isn’t present to make me “behave myself”, so I’m going to police myself. Um, no. I’m kinesthetic, I’m tactile, and I need to move.

And it felt so good.

I was never allowed to do that when I was little.

Of course, I still knew I was an adult, so when the animal handler asked questions of the crowd, I only answered when we could all answer. Or if he asked a question like, “who here likes spiders?”, I would raise my hand. But I didn’t raise my hand for questions directed to individuals.

I got to touch:

  • a baby tortoise;
  • a small lizard;
  • a small snake;
  • some kind of constrictor snake from Madagascar, that was about 5 feet long;
  • and a green iguana, about 3 feet long.

At the end of the show, everyone interested could come up to the front, and hold the animal of their choice. It was fun to see the constrictor draped over children like a necklace, or held in their arms, wrapped in a ball.

But for me, there was only one real choice. It had been love at first sight when Tom first let it out of its box — the green iguana. OMG, I blissed out. It was … amazing.

The whole show was, well (certainly for this inner five-year-old didn’t know I had), a peak experience.


I was actually really grateful that Spouse (or anyone else I knew) was not there.

Spouse would’ve been bored silly. Spouse doesn’t like reptiles or amphibians (or spiders, or bugs, or most animals).

Spouse is primarily visual, so if he had been there, no doubt he would have been taking photographs, like a lot of the mothers I saw. My mother was (is?) an inveterate picture-taker, actually. And if my mother had attended a show like that with me when I was a kid (which, she wouldn’t have, but if she did), she would have done what all these other mothers were doing. She would have made the whole experience of holding the animal all about her getting a good photograph of it. Not what I was experiencing. I actually saw mothers spend the entire five minutes their kid had with the animal making the kid move around so they could get a better shot. The kid never got to experience what was actually happening. So the mother is gonna have maybe a good picture of something the kid doesn’t even remember happening. Gee, great.

If Spouse had been there, even if he sat in the back of the room, I probably would have felt too inhibited to let my inner 5-year-old be me. His presence would’ve caused me to police myself, in a way my mother would’ve approved of. Spouse’s parents were actually much stricter than my mother was about public behavior. From the stories I’ve heard, I think Spouse’s younger brother might be kinesthetic — he was always trying to climb on things when he was a kid — and his father still tells stories about what 8-year-old Brother did, so he can disapprove. That was almost 40 years ago!

So, as repressive as my parents could be?, I’m eternally grateful that I didn’t grow up with Spouse’s parents as my own.

And this is especially interesting because it turns out that Spouse’s dad is tactile, like me.


Anyway, the reptile show was, hands-down, the best artist date I’ve had, and one of the best experiences of my life.

It will be very difficult to come up with an artist date for week 10 — this week — that can compare!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2014 11:05


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