When it rains it pours .
And sometimes when it pours it floods.
And sometimes that flood happens before your very eyes while you are working in your studio!
Yes, that is what happened to us here at the ole studio place last Thursday. We were just in here, art-ing away, when some water began moving towards us after it had made its way through the seams where the wall meets the floor.
This deluge happened after several days of rain that week had caused me to wear my rain boots as my sole fashion choice. Not only that, but earlier in the week I had accidentally gotten myself locked out of a building that I very much needed to be inside of as the rain poured down on my head, soaking my clothes and me. Yes, last week shaped up to be quite a test of my humor. I was able to laugh through it all. Though at the point when I realized we had already cleaned out 300 gallons of water using nothing but a couple of small shop vacs and some mops, my face started to go a little slack. It was not so funny when the water was showing little sign of stopping. It kept its steady, creep-like pace up and took us till Saturday to completely get it back to dry, working order. As I grew up in a land of hurricanes, I well knew that it could have been much worse.
I am thankful to know I have such good friends who would run over in the rain with an extra shop vac and a willingness to help me out. Seriously, had I been alone dealing with it all, my mood would have been not so hopeful. To those who waged the watery battle with me, I am deeply indebted to you, but hopefully a few pitchers of locally crafted microbrews will suffice as repayment.
I tried to keep my spirits up with a shrug of the shoulders, nothing you can do about it... Also, a bit of dancing around with the mop like Gene Kelly because, hey, musicals make me happy.
Please be assured: No art was harmed in the learning of these life lessons.
So we made it through the Great Studio Flood of 2013, with a story to tell and friendships feeling strong. I was doing ok, really. I was a little behind on my work load and a bit fatigued, but truthfully ok.
Till Saturday night when my car got towed.
That is when the flood came out of my face.
It had been a long week and a long day. I had worked all day long on a large group project with a fast approaching deadline in the midst of the studio clean up. When I walked to my car the first thought I had was, 'Oh, my car was stolen'. This did not shake me (funnily enough) as much as when I realized it had actually been towed! Ok, Downtown Asheville, even though I have been parking in the same place for 7 years, I can see now that those teeny tiny signs did, in fact, mean business.
Alas, a few tears shed and the sound of some dropped dollers.
Even though I had the beautiful privilege of being in Verve Magazine this month, I am not perfect and life is not always pretty. Perhaps this is one of those, "It was the best of times it was the worst of times" type of moments. At least for me anyways. Even people in magazines are not exempt from floods and crying, apparently it doesn't protect you from anything at all!
I share this stuff with you, because these type of life events, be they minor in the long run, are the types of things that can really throw us off in our creative pursuits and processes. For me, this is the challenge. When the rain floods your studio, how do you get it together again and head back the next day and make work? How do you keep going when you had a bad day or an unfortunate event? Is making art that different from doing your grocery shopping? Or your laundry? I mean, stuff happens, right? How do we keep showing up and living this beautiful thing called life with passion and purpose?
Grab a mop. Grap a shop vac. Do what you gotta do. Sometimes it is simply not pretty or glamorous or even fun. Sometimes it is annoying and it stinks. Truthfully, more times than it is glamorous it is annoying. I'm not sure what the real ratio for that is, but it might be 1000:1. If I could get a fact check on that, I would. But it will dry up and dry out. The waters will recede from your studio and your face. Also, for a small fee (wink, wink) you can get your car's newly fitted boot removed and have it released from it's momentary stay in prison!
So, today I taught some art. Tomorrow I may make a drawing or two and teach some more art. I will continue to work on the book. Life will go on, so let it rain.
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