Signs

Sometimes life can be a bit…odd, to say the least.
I have this art box, which pretty much looks like a plastic tool box for art supplies, that I’ve keep since the 90s. It’s stuffed with all sorts of things, pens, erasers, pencils, exacto blades, glue, watercolors, pretty much all the stuff I’ve experimented with over the years. So today I went rummaging around in it looking for some watercolor pencils I knew I had buried in this eclectic mess when I came upon this rock, which clearly looks like it has a pictogram of a rabbit on it. Obvious at some point in my life I either got this rock for some reason or someone gave it to me. I just can’t remember from where or from whom but I suspect it either came into my possession from one of the pow pows I’ve attended throughout the years or from that little Native American shop in South Bend I used to frequent some time ago. Either way I find it rather peculiar that I would find this little thing at a time when I’m just now getting over my issue of being creeped out by rabbits. To cause my eyebrow to raise a bit more, just last night I was researching black American folktales, when I got to reading about Br’er Rabbit and now here, I find a rabbit in my art box. Is this a sign? I have this saying that if something happens once or twice, it’s a coincidence. If it happens three or more times, you need to stop and pay attention.

I’ve now given the rock a permanent place in my Sacred Space. 😊

Solitude

…though at times I feel a bit guilty for wanting…no, needing, solitude. Without solitude I would be a nervous wreck for too much stimulation and social interaction fries my nerves and exhausts my energy. Solitude is a necessity for me. It’s how I recuperate, regenerate and create. Yet I always feel a tinge of guilt whenever I pass on a social gathering. It’s not that I don’t like socializing, I just don’t need it as often or to a great intensity as others may need. Fortunately being an artist gives me an excuse to spend time in solitude but I wonder, are people who are creative more prone to desire solitude or are those who have a natural disposition for solitude more likely to develop creative pursuits?

Friendship

A little good news came my way this morning. My dear hubby found his best friend from childhood on Facebook today. He’s been searching for him for some years now, wondering, fearing that something had happened to him. But fortunately, now he knows that at least his dear friend is alive and appears to be doing well. Even though he has been downplaying the effect that his best friend’s absence has had on his life, I know deep down, he has been troubled by it. To see the relief in his eyes warms me and I feel happy for him.
I think culturally we need to give more honor to our friendships. Our friendships can effect us so deeply. I’ve always joked around and said “Friendships are no different than marriage…minus the sex and bills.”
We love our friends. Some friendships last into old age. Some last for only a moment. Some friendships are a refuge of peace and some are filled with ruckus and silliness. Some end tragically. Some end dramatically. And yet some fade quietly only to leave those involved wondering what happened.
It’s sad that we don’t give as much honorary significance to our friendships as we do our romantic relationships. Friendships are their own unique love stories filled with laughter, fights and tears. There are memorable moments, close calls, hidden scars, buried hatchets, secrets and skeletons. There are parts of ourselves that we may share with no one other than that beloved best friend, yet for such closeness we can turn around and be so frivolous with our friendships. We toss them aside so easily through the act of avoidance. Unlike romantic relationships, where an end needs to be declared or an explanation is warranted, no such thing is required for friendships. People just stop talking or stop hanging out. And in the wake of such break ups there’s no support. To where or to whom do you turn when your heart is broken from a jilted friendship? What support groups are there for when the one person who has known you since the sandbox no longer cares to have you in their life? We may bare our bodies to many lovers in a lifetime but it is often our best friend to whom we bare our souls, yet we have no special ceremonies to mark these relationships, no process or protocol to signal their end or any support system to grieve their dissolution. We walk around conflicted as how to express the significance of our friends in our lives and quietly bare the anguish at the loss of those friendships.
If nothing more comes from my husband finding his old friend on Facebook, I at least know he can carry on in peace knowing that his friend is okay. It’s a chapter in his life he can give some closure to and to that I’m grateful.

Pen Graveyard

I have this red cup sitting on my drawing table that, well, for lack of a better term, serves as a “graveyard” for my pens that have lost their use. I have this difficulty in letting my creative instruments go, hoping that maybe they may serve some unique purpose at some later date. This is even so when it comes to my more disposal pens like the Microns, which luckily have been a bit useful in their nearly dried out state. I’ve discovered that as they reach their bitter end they release less ink which allows me to stipple in a much finer gray tone where needed, especially one my smaller drawings like the ACEOs. This is more difficult to achieve when the pens are fairly new. But unlike my felt tip Microns that can still give me some use as they breathe their last breath, once my technical pens take a dive that’s it. Needles break or get bent, parts leak or clog to the point of no return. For all the beauty in artistry they provide, technical pens are a bit pricey and high maintenance. My Rotring alone cost me $40. Replacing and/or fixing any issues can cost you at least half, if not as much, as what you paid for the pen itself. Hence my reason switching to something more economical. But I still hold on to them. I still love the feel of them in my hand and the certain air of professionalism they present. Maybe one day I’ll spring for a new one and put more dedication into its upkeep. If you love precise like myself, technical pens are quite lovely to draw with but keep in mind they do require a bit of care to maintain.

OMG UK! Feeling Bummed

Okay, I thought that I wouldn’t do another post until Sunday, after we’ve all had time to recover a bit from our turkey comas but I couldn’t wait and had to type up this post in hopes that maybe someone has some answers. So here’s my question, did the Brexit have an effect on shipping items from the US to the UK?

Today I had the wonderful surprise of shipping a three ounce item to the UK at three times the cost of what I’ve previously paid for shipping similar items using International First Class mail. I found myself fussing with the postal clerk because I just knew she charged me wrong. But that was indeed the price and the only explanation I could come up with is that maybe Brexit has something to do with it. If this is the case then this really puts me in a dilemma with selling my art to lovely fans in the United Kingdom, who make up one fourth of my followers and collectors. Now I either have to increase my shipping rates to compensate for the cost or not sell to the UK at all. I really don’t want to stop selling to people in the UK so I’ll be upping my shipping cost but this really sucks. It’s frustrating enough that postal costs keep going up and changing every year here in the US, now I also have to keep up on how political issues in other countries may effect me selling my art to international fans. Feeling rather bummed about this. 😒