Today I traveled to a small town about 75 miles outside of my small town to set up for an art show that's opening next week. I had really wanted someone to come with me, since it's a longish drive (small town speed limits = slow) and I'm not very familiar with the place but stars were busy and nothing aligned. Turns out it was really great being alone. It shouldn't surprise me, I've been craving alone time lately. Not because I don't like other people (I do, sort of.) but I'm getting really comfortable with myself. I can be my own best friend, which is nice, and really convenient for long car rides. Once, when Brandon and were just becoming a "we" I convinced him to go on a day trip with me to visit Smithson's Spiral Jetty. We sat in silence in the car for such a long time and I learned that it's not always a bad thing, to say nothing. Understanding takes place during silence.
I feel like I got to know myself a little better today.
This work isn't mine (it's by Jane Sheldon) but I love it.
2.26.14 staying up late the night before, working on our church talks. I'm always so calm before and nervous during. Brandon is the opposite.
2.21.14 My dry winter hands running over the dry red rocks of southern Utah during a quick trip for an art educator convention (the red rocks were the highlight).
2.24.14 Me lifting at the gym !!!! (actually, maybe we should be grateful there are no photos, I'm sure I was making all kinds of faces).
2.28.14 Driving Spanish Fork Canyon in the rain with Brandon, location scouting for an engagement shoot.
3.3.14 Gathering around Grandma with family in her last moments.
My camera rarely comes out in those moments I really want to remember. Sometimes I don't think of it. Other times, it stays put because I don't think it can capture that moment the way my mind/heart needs to. This last month was so full: personal accomplishments, new jobs/responsibilities, an email that answered a prayer I've had in my heart since January 2013, my first real loss, and sunshine.
brit and I met in a pre-rec class for studio art. we didn't start off as friends, certainly not enemies, but not friends. and then, so much of the same happened to us over the past few years (getting accepted into the studio program, traveling for art, receiving our BFA's, making art) that without even realizing it, we became very close. sometimes close for me isn't that close anymore. making friends is harder as an adult. I think it's because everyone has their own path moving every which way and the chances to align paths, or even cross them, seems like a miracle. what else could you call it? I was lucky to not only cross paths with brittany, but parallel them, in a sense, for a good few years and I can't think of my experience with art without thinking of her. our paths are miles apart now but somehow they still feel aligned. we text/email every now and then and have become safe sounding boards for developing ideas. we have an art collaboration in the works, to encourage one another to keep creating, and it feels like we always will have this simple relationship that doesn't ask very much at all but somehow gives so easily.
we didn't spend much time together outside of the studio, but I requested to spend a day with her before her move to Washington last year. I had two goals: finding lilacs and photographing her. the two came together and produced these hauntingly beautiful photographs.
**I haven't fully converted to film photography (as I'm shy with my use of it, and am afraid of making mistakes on someone else's clock) but when shooting for myself, film is my obvious choice and I welcome my amateur mistakes. I'm hoping to start a little journaling series here, "to know someone", to collect a physical memory and document old ones, of people I've met. of people who've changed me.
#cantstopwontstop taking photos of the sky. a dozen more on my instagram. a thousand more on my phone.
I would have called it a new years resolution but the truth is it started slowly, throughout 2013, and really, even before that, though I hadn't formed it all together into something I could pin-point. There are many things I want to be for myself (past self and future self), for others (those I've met and those I will meet), for the world (for the mark I leave/don't leave), and for God. It really all comes down to being genuine. I think the world is good at offering extremes, contrasting sides of one thing. And lately (being the last few years) as I've watched social media grow and do many great things, I've also seen it become something I'm often embarrassed to take part in. I don't think it boils down to others being wrong, doing it wrong, presenting it wrong, but rather my take on it all. I've seen it bring out a nasty, judgmental side of me; comparison being my vice. I've been frustrated that genuine good content isn't what always gets noticed but that the tricks of smoke and mirrors appeal to a larger group. And furthermore, that this information often is read as truth or "the whole" when in fact is it curated, just like everything else.
A friend noted the change in my blog over the years. It's been intentional. I determined that my blog served a very simple purpose: to journal my thoughts. It's not a scrapbook of my life (you likely won't see my photos from NY or Disneyland on here). It's not a business. It's not about fashion. I'm no authority on any subject, or lifestyle, or belief. It won't teach you how to do anything. And I won't make any promises (or did I do just that?). But, of course, I have tried all of this in the past and as I've looked back my thought has been "that's not me. that's not claire."
I curate. I'm an artist, and I know the power of good curation. But I have the intention of curating this piece of my life to be genuine. One of my favorite teachers said "If you go out intending to make great and important art, you often fail. But if you make art true to yourself, it will likely succeed" (well he probably said it better than that, but that's how I remember it). I'm just trying to be true to myself, so I can be proud of it in the moment and in the future. Something else: I write to better understand what I think. I've discovered so much of myself through this blog. Writing, amongst other things (meditation, sleeping in, saying transition prayers, eating coffee ice-cream) make me feel good. They make me feel Claire.
I'm grateful for the relationships blogging has afforded me. And I'm grateful for you who read this blog and even more grateful for how much you teach me. I hope to never be the source of negative comparison. I certainly do not have my life together. And I'm not even striving for that kind of perfection (what a horrible burden that would be!). Though I think much of my life was about that image at a time. I've felt the burden lifted when my focus changed from perfection to genuity (not a real word, btw).
I'm not sure how to finish this post. It's not as clean or concise (curated) as I'd like. But it's my current thoughts and the thoughts of many posts started and never shared. Maybe I'll talk more in the future how this "genuine" theme has played a role in other aspects of my life: friendships, the foods I eat, clothing purchases, and even weirder stuff. Or maybe I won't. I haven't decided yet.