The sun is spilling throughout my kitchen. I’m drinking coffee from my favorite wheat-patterned teacup and a woodpecker is tap-tap-tapping outside the window, the noise competing with the sounds of morning traffic. I’m watching steam evaporate from the tar roof outside my kitchen window as the sun comes out from behind the clouds, appearing after an evening of spring rain.
Spring arrived once my thesis was complete. The winter months were spent thinking about writing, not being able to write, writing incoherently, writing while baking bread (banana, coconut, almond, chocolate chunk! pumpkin ginger chocolate chunk!) writing while distracted, writing while drinking, talking about writing and occasionally, writing with ease and fluidity. I found the process to be extremely challenging in the midst of teaching and other demands on my time and energy. But then it was complete, 3 weeks ahead of schedule. How’d that happen?
Endings and beginnings. Change.
At this juncture, it’s hard to not reflect back upon the last two years. During this period of time, swift, unexpected and significant changes have been prevalent. Within days of beginning the program, the first of a series of changes rolled through. I questioned my abilities to stay enrolled and focused. Fortunately, my advisor Jan Avgikos asked me a simple question when I discussed my concerns. “Mary, does it feel right to you to take pictures right now?” The answer was unquestionably “yes”. In fact, I wasn’t sure what else to do. I looked through the camera and I tried to organize the chaos of my rapidly-shifting external and internal landscape. Through that process, my work shifted and changed with me.
My artistic practice often begins with questions that may not even be at the stage of articulation. I look for something and seek the answer visually. The explanation and a greater understanding usually come later, after the more intuitive process of doing. Research helps to connect my intuitive and intellectual processes and pushes my practice outside of myself.
As I finish the my coffee this morning, I’m late to work and now behind on packing for my last mentor meeting in New York. Ah, well. This morning, I am grateful for a stolen moment to reflect, repoint and reimagine.