Monday, February 11, 2008

finding my way

I've read that a powerful personal development tool is to give up/change habitual patterns. (I first encountered that idea when reading the work of an Italian psychologist and then found it again recently in "The Not So Big Life.") The goal is to keep oneself more alert, more alive in the present moment. Well, let me tell you I am in the midst of one heck of a big change--and I am sure counting on it to pay off! It is not the amount of work that has to be done--it is the trying to figure it all out that is killing me--or waking me up! I had imagined putting things into boxes (big job), moving them to the new home, and taking things out of boxes and putting them into their place. What I did not realize is that NOTHING has a place until I figure it out. Nothing here corresponds to what we had before. I remember when we moved into our new home in 1979 being amazed at all the storage space we had--especially in the kitchen. I thought I'd never need all that space. Well, of course, I filled it all up and then some. Now here in 2008 there is not nearly enough space and I am stymied trying to figure out where to put each thing. I'm dreaming of a huge garage sale in the near future--though I hate putting my belongings out for public review.

Kenny arrived with all his boxes last Tuesday. By Thursday he had unpacked and put into place everything he brought with him. I was impressed! And once he was settled in I've felt more inspired to get myself settled in also. Jim and I got some planning done over the weekend while he was home (recovered mostly from his bout with the flu) and that seems to have opened things a bit for me to move forward. The contractor is trying to finish up the 'details'--though his list of things still to do looks a lot more significant to me than 'details'. The longer he takes finishing up, the more we find for him to do extra!

I am so eager to set up the studio and get some clay on the wheel. I am not there yet--but getting closer every day! Our guild is having its annual juried exhibition this month--I probably won't even get to the opening. But soon...


Ron said...

Hi Gay, Sounds like you are hanging in there. Being present is something I struggle with and would like to practice more. I get shuffled away by all the voices in my head and the next thing I know I'm way off somewhere. The part about changing/giving up habitual patterns interests me too. I wonder about the difference between 'habitual' and 'intentional'. I think intentional patterns (done in a mindful state) can be very good in life. I am thinking of monastic ways of living. Routines, work, play, study, things that are done mindfully and with purpose that can help one live in a healthy, uncluttered way. (Uncluttered mind that is). Of course spontaneity, risk, and adventure can all be valuable.
I have noticed that Sarah and I have done pretty good not accumulating too much 'stuff', other than pottery. We do have lots of shoes though.
I hope we can keep it that way. Good luck getting things in order and finding places for the things you decide to keep. I hope you get to make some pots soon. Is Kenny living with you guys or does he just keep some stuff there? Hope Jim gets over the 'man flu'.

Sister Creek Potter said...

Thanks, Ron. Actually your comment is very supportive. Seems we are walking similar paths--or attempting to do so.

Kenny is my son who was born with cerebral palsey. He did not walk until he was 9 years old and, in spite of all the help offered and great investment of energy on his part, he has never been able to read--though he does great with symbols and logos! He lived at home until he was about 20 attending public school special ed classes--though he spent several of his first school years in Montessori classes. At 20 he moved into a group home--his equivalent of going off to college like his brothers. At around 30 years of age he moved into an apartment where he lived alone for the next 11 years. Kenny has serious motor limitations yet has an incredible drive to independence. About that time his aunts husband, a promenent San Antonio artist, recognized Kenny's artistic talents and became Kenny's mentor even providing him with a studio downtown. About 5 years ago Kenny's brother moved to SA with his new bride and they invited Kenny to come live with them. They build a one-room apartment for him connected to their home but with it own entrance. That was a wonderful experience for Kenny--livin with a family while they had their first child. So he got to know first hand some of the joys and challenges of raising and living with a family. Lots of things changes for Kenny in the summer--his mentor died and his brother and wife are expecting a second child in March. In addition, Kenny's physical condition is detoriating and he falls frequently and has not the strength to get up by himself. There have been several times recently that he fell and could not get help for several hours when someone happened to come apon him. Given all the above, Jim and I decided that when we moved we wanted to find a home that would accomodate Kenny. He has moved in--this house has a very large addition with a handicap access bathroom--and is very happy with his new accomodations. We will share the studio--he will paint and I will pot. We have/are still making several adjustments to adapt it to meet Kenny's physical needs. Both he and I are very eager to get the studio in working order! He has given up his downtown studio. (See his web site which is listed under "All My Sons" in the side bar.)

A very long answer to a simple question! Gay

chaetoons said...

Soon Gay. It'll all come together suddenly and a few months from now you'll look back and remember that it was hectic but not so bad!
A couple of years ago, when i sold my house, it took me weeks to pack and move and if the Grim Reaper had called my number at that exact moment - i would have been grateful for the rest !!!
However, now, it is but the dimmest memory . . . .

Sister Creek Potter said...

Chae, I believe you and can't wait to get there! It has been a real eye-opener! Thanks for the encouragement. Gay

doug fitch said...

I've got a garage so full of stuff I can't get in!
Look forward to you getting clay under your nails again. Doug

ps Thought of you today in the workshop - I made some bottles, or were they jugs? They certainly weren't pitchers

Sister Creek Potter said...

Doug, I am realizing that what I am having trouble dealing with is all the things I don't need but want to hang on to. Because they are things not in use there is not obvious place to put them. So if I could just 'give them up' then I'd be ahead of the game. BUT "some day I might need it"!!! I caught in the middle. Gay

doug fitch said...

Ah, but you'll only need it once you've got rid of it!