For most of my life, from kindergarten all the way through college, the year started in September and looked something like this: Back to School, School in Earnest, Flurry of Holidays, More School, then SUMMER.
Summer was the golden season. As a kid, summer was the time for swimming, for playing, for firefly catching and Laura Ingalls Wilder reading. As a teen, summer was the time for staying up late watching first Adult Swim, then a stream of myth-inspired dramas featuring ex-porn actors (a lá Xena or Beastmaster) all while immersed in a flurry of drawing and writing over.punctuated. poetry. As an art student, summer was the time to gather and execute all the non-school ideas, rediscovering the joy of making things to make things.
And so, over the course of 16 years, my brain and body have been trained to expect Great Things from summer.
This summer, as those who know either me or this blog know, has been- not bad exactly, but not Elysian months of restitude and makery either. For one, it’s been busy: Summer at Open Door meant three curated exhibitions (one curated by yours truly), summer arts festivals, including the major undertaking of helping one of our artists prepare for a major, three day fest, and shockingly no vacation. At home, the endless list of Things Which Need to be Done In The Garden RIGHT NOW and the steady increase in running mileage (in training for the usual October half-marathon) left me exhausted by 7pm. More often than not, summer evenings found me either taking in a movie with the Boyfriend or reading mindless fiction with the cats. Or sleeping on the couch with the cats and/or said fiction on my face.
For most of the summer, this lack of artistic output on my part has been gnawing at me, along with the fact that I wasn’t sure why it bothered me so much. My artmaking has always gone through hills and valleys of productivity and quiet, and aside from the daily residual guilt that comes with being of Catholic descent and just generally neurotic, I’ve never minded. And then today, it hit me- I’ve been bummed because in my mind, I’m still in the old rhythm. I’ve graduated, changed states, am in current possession of a mostly* grown-up job, and still I keep waiting for summer vacation to start.
So maybe instead of worrying about what’s not getting done, and staying up late to halfheartedly putz on a watercolor, I’m going to try to relax, do what I can and not worry about what I can’t. This winter, when running is replaced by minimal yoga, Open Door’s show schedule takes a break and the garden lies fallow, and I remember that there are no final exams, I’ll lock myself in my studio and keep warm by keeping busy and make all the shit that I dream up between now and then.
*because no job, no matter how adult, will ever bee fully grown-up so long as it includes a time known as ‘awesome time’