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Inside, meet outside

July 4, 2014

Periodically, Spouse and I go through our stuff, looking for things to get rid of. This year, we’ve been digging deeper than usual. Today we unearthed a box that contains 2 sets of sheets we haven’t seen since we left Indiana more than 6 years ago.

Last week, I brought home from our storage unit an old tool box of mine containing all my implements for shaping clay. Unpacked everything today, realizing I probably haven’t used any of them since 2003. There are a lot more than I remembered I had! (In a good way)

I got rid of the plastic tool box, but will be keeping — and using — the tools . . . for something.

Have also been surprised to realize that . . . (with rare exceptions) I don’t buy art anymore.

I don’t think of buying art anymore, and I don’t miss buying it, or owning it.

I still love art. Of course I do — I’m an artist!

But that’s the thing: nowadays, I make art.

All those years I was buying art, I must’ve been doing it because I was blocked, and not creating my own.

Now that I’m creating my own, other people’s art (with rare exceptions) . . . pleases me less than it used to. I want to be surrounded by my own stuff.

Natural artifacts are always welcome in my studio: feathers, seeds, flowers, leaves, rocks, driftwood, etc., but I’m also working at limiting the time they spend with me. After an interval, I return them to natural areas where nonhumans can recycle the biomass. I’m also much more careful about what I pick up these days. I more often just take a photograph, not the thing itself.

~ ~ ~ This is related to that dream I had 2 weeks ago, isn’t it? My creative spaces, inner and outer, are filled with things other people made or designed or prefer to interact with. Not what I prefer.

It’s not just the placement of objects in my studio that creates problems. It’s which objects are in there at all.

Whenever I get to this point, I keep wanting to say, “I need a space planner!” But… I looked into local space planners a few months ago. They’re very interested in selling “organizational systems”, and storage units, and stuff like that. That’s a gravel-level problem, not the boulder I’ve been tiptoeing around.

My whole life is imprinted with other people’s preferences.

I’ve been (made into) a palimpsest.


Saying Fuck right now (like I normally would) is getting really old. It doesn’t make me feel any better. Nor does it help me figure out what to do.

I think I need to get rid of A LOT MORE stuff than I’d been planning to. All the art by other people that doesn’t thrill me when I look at it? Going away. The computer desk filled up with the desktop that I never use anymore, and the boxes from software I bought 10 years ago? Floppy disks? Going away. Anything that isn’t what I want me and my life to be . . . is GOING AWAY, as soon as I can arrange it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathleen Avins permalink
    July 4, 2014 16:14

    I get excited and inspired when I read about people downsizing, getting rid of things that they no longer use or want. I think you’ve brought some of the reasons into sharper focus for me. It isn’t so much downsizing as *distilling* — finding the essence, reaching the core.

    I seem to be the only one in my household who feels the desire to get rid of excess stuff — or at least, the only one who gets fired up about it. I do what I can, within my own spheres. It’s nice to have your company.

    • July 8, 2014 10:01

      Glad to have your company too!

      Of the stuff I currently own, I like figuring out just how much (or how little) of it is necessary for my satisfaction. Today, I’ve been going through skeins of yarn that I never used, because there were too many of them, and taking out short-ish pieces to use later. I’ll be donating all of the rest to the Indianapolis Art Center, where fiber arts students will be thrilled at the selection – win-win!

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