Transit is an active verb…
I always underestimate the time and effort that change requires. I always think transition will happen by itself.
Take now, for example. Recently I closed down Grasslands Gallery, a home of my heart for the last five years. I began teaching my last online course ever for University of Maryland University College, where have I laboriously worked my way up to Adjunct Assistant Professor (the only time in my life this will happen), where for 10 years I’ve helped new non-traditional graduate students learn some of the research skills they’re about to need, and where for most of those 10 years I’ve also been Assistant Course Manager. I moved back into my home studio to figure out what happens next in the life of an artist who opened a major solo exhibition in April after two and a half years’ production and who hadn’t painted a stroke since June.
Just walk away from the gallery, breeze through this last whack of students, remember how to create. Easy.
It’s been just over two weeks. In the mornings in the studio, I’m setting the timer for 20 minute slots. 20 minutes is almost possible. Three 20 minute slots makes one hour. Six makes a not-bad shift. If I keep this up, in two or three weeks I might know what flow feels like. In the later afternoons, it’s the gallery. I pack, contact artists, think about where all that display furniture might go. Taking it down in a month is way less fun than building it over five years, but it’s getting there. In scattered bits of the day, there are the last of my students and the end of my course. First thing, lunchtime, after supper. Two more weeks and they’re done forever.
I chose all this change. I want it. And physically, emotionally, mentally, fatigue is my constant companion. Turns out that during transitions, one must transit. It’s an active verb. Who knew?
There are many packed boxes on the gallery floor. I imagine wishing the students, and my academic career, well and good-bye. There’s a small painting beginning on my easel.
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