Yeah, yeah, yeah. People always tell you how great it is for you to move outside your comfort zone. They tell you something like “it will really make you grow” to do things that make you oh-so-uncomfy. While I get it intellectually, I think it just plain sucks. I think I heard we humans are always neglecting our true gut feelings—instincts—if you will. Because we are idiotic. Anyhow, I’m done with my complaining for the day. Moving was a lot for me to take. Yeah, I get it, it’s fully something I should have done many years ago, but that’s an irrelevant argument. I’m me living now and dealing with my NOW-FEELINGS. And my now-feelings are, for the most part, manageable. Every now and then I do get a pang of homesickness. I miss lying in bed with my boyfriend and my dog. It’s such a simple joy to have a dog rest his little soft gullet on your ankle.
So, left to my own devices, I do one of two things: wander around aimlessly or set up in my room and watch Netflix. The Office is amazingly soothing…even though I’ve seen every episode at least twice. Maybe…maybe even thrice. But back to my wanderings. They were, of course, waylaid by the HURRICANE (wtf…an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week?) but I have managed to get out and see stuff. I stopped at the Magic Gardens—a public mosaic installation. That’s how they describe it on the website anyhow. It is one of those very rare trippy and magical places where you feel all tickled from the inside out. I am not even being facetious—it makes you feel good. There is an outdoor sort of labyrinth full of wacko doll heads, mirrors, tiles and mermaids. There is also gallery space—and an outsider art show. My favorite artist bio read as follows:
“Renee (pronounced Reenie) Leshner attended Fleisher Art Memorial as a young woman, but stopped when she began to have visions of an ‘evil eye’ following her and threatening her. She continued to be plagued by visions of other-worldly beings throughout her many years working as a bookkeeper in Philadelphia. Gradually, her interest in drawing became her refuge, as her artwork evolved into an important method of expression – even a kind of ‘defense mechanism’ – against her supernatural visions.”
Jeez. I mean, after I got over my knee-jerk reaction—holy cow I love how bizarre this is (of course)—I began to feel a little freaked out. Because sometimes these scary feelings just come over people and then they have to exorcise their demons. I get that. Art as defense.
I flew over from San Francisco sitting right next to the Bay Area sculptor who was responsible for fabricating a HUGE paintbrush (complete with paint glob) created by Claes Oldenburg. HUGE sculptures of common everyday objects can be kind of fun, but…I don’t know. Somehow it’s a bit overdone. Know what’s cool? Anything big. Hmmmm, that’s what she said?
Big changes afoot. I moved out of my comfy family home where I lived happily with my pop, brother, boyfriend, two dogs, and a perverted cat. It was surely not always a harmonious situation, but it did me fine–and I enjoyed a pretty mellow existence. But, now and then in some gals’ lives, there comes this feeling of discontent. Not with my choices, not with my relationships, but sort of with the path I was moving down. Skipping down. I could have continued on as a criminal law paralegal–and, in fact, this last job is one I loved–but that would not feel quite right. I began to feel like I owed it to myself to live a passionate life.
I’m attending an MFA program in book arts (paper making, printing, printmaking, binding, etc.). We are indeed kickin’ it old school. I think it’s slightly misunderstood–book arts. What’s more is my description might just describe book arts in the most traditional sense. I just might go crack crazy and make paper sculptures or installations. You just never know.
So…I’m in the City of Brotherly Love. That’s right, this die-hard San Franciscan has headed east. It’s the land of cheesesteaks, and Ben Franklin, and Rocky. I think that might just be what most (not-in-the-know) people associate with Philadelphia. I don’t know what to expect. So far, I’ve moved in to a very nice, big room in a very nice, large turn-of-the-century house in South Philly. My roommates/landlords are a very nice married couple who are my age. A ceramicist lives here as well. They were kind enough to pick me up from the airport (sans bags–a long story) and have done so much to make me feel comfy and welcome. I feel way too lucky!
The first thing that strikes me…it’s really freakin’ warm and humid. Like stewing in your juices kind of humidity. Then there are thunderstorms and I am at a loss as to what to wear. So, I wore flip flops to the store last night. Was a weird choice. But feet do dry.
It honestly feels like a smaller and less crazy-buzzy New York. Lotta brick. A guy actually said “fuhgettaboutit” to me at the sandwich shop. People are nice here. They might run you over dead in the street, but they are pretty nice. And the food might kill me. I’m already heavier than usual due to a few weeks of stress eating. Will need to walk it off. Next week is my last week to relax before the hard work begins! Oh vey…stay tuned as I document this trip.