Hot & Cold & Warmth

One of the advantages of being a free agent is that you can, pretty much, declare a snow day when you need one, if it falls on a day when your schedule is flexible.  Though we didn’t get a lot of snow, winter has decidedly arrived. The thermometer reads one degree Fahrenheit out there, without the wind chill factor, and Paul and I are happily choosing to stay home today, thank you very much.

It’s been a very full week, roller-coaster-ish, with extremes in highs and lows.  Friday was lunch with friends, a hilarious attempt at a conference call, which quickly had to become an IM chat, and helping to set up and take down a meeting/ memorial/ party that was simultaneously fun and sad. It was held in a large space generously provided by an utterly fascinating place, the Chicago School of Violin-Making. (I was salivating over some of the tools, and completely intrigued by the processes, which were explained to us, an audience of bookbinders. There were so very many parallels.  And the wood room was heavenly.  Thank you, Becky!)

Then, it was home to finish prep for Saturday’s all-day class at Evanston Print & Paper, up early to pack said prep up, and then a very, very enjoyable class.  It’s been a long time since I taught bookmaking in a community context; there were some aspects I had forgotten, not the least of which is how pleasing it is. There was a misprint of the class’s running time (which I assumed was an hour added on for lunch, but wasn’t) and then the class ran slightly over the already-expanded time, due to another factor I’d forgotten about community courses. So, it was a VERY full day, but then Paul immediately took me out to dinner when I arrived home; I didn’t even get out of the car except to change to the passenger seat.

Sunday, up early, and rather ridiculous plans to make it to four parties and two events, going on all day and into the evening.  The rollercoaster began a descent that day, however, and left me without the energy to persevere; I had to miss three of the six.  I deliberately quit at a high point, the always warm, welcoming and lovely Ragdale holiday party (preceded with a stabilizing solitary walk on the prairie) and didn’t go on to the after-party (which decision also had a lot to do with very, very over-tired ears).

Monday, a lot of soul-searching, a flurry of e-mails, a personally difficult (but necessary) decision followed by the writing of an impassioned appeal, and extensive prep for a completely separate long meeting on Tuesday, at which I took a plunge, and garnered strength.  Home to much much more e-mail, generating feelings of frustration and sadness, though later alleviated somewhat by  the relief of having my appeal seriously considered.  Yesterday, more writing, more e-mail, then driving through the falling snow to a long late lunch with a friend. That helped immensely, even though it brought even more absurdity to light.  This morning, after fantastic dreams about a gathering of a huge, strong, dedicated community, I woke smiling to a light-filled day. Now, I’m looking forward to some quiet, to enjoying today’s crisp sunlight, and to focusing on finally choosing which things to apply for for myself in January, and planning for an upcoming stretch of uninterrupted studio time.

Ragdale’s Lillith, weathered, wounded, still standing tall.