Ariel Studies

I have been drawn to the clouds lately, I suppose when I  began looking up more often at the amount of Chem trails; their long straight lines across the sky’s expanse. Then I became fixated on the dynamics of these straight line clouds juxtaposed with the “organically” shaped clouds.

Now I’m just fixated on clouds.

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Studio Plans

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I have been mentally planning the placement of a studio space and where to build it.

In the front yard or the back. If I build in the back I will need to move as much soil out of the existing vegetable garden as possible to the front lower yard. In the front, the light and the area is brighter, more open and flat which would be ideal for the garden, but the ground is on the hard side and tends to be rockier and I will have a lot of work to do to prepare another growing area. This area is also ideal building ground and good light for studio work.

The back area on the other hand is becoming more shaded each year due to the surrounding trees, not optimal for growing but still very good, but do I feel the light would be insufficient for the studio? Also would I feel more comfortable with a small building in the back of the house or plunked in the front yard, albeit off to the lower side.

Then there is the consideration of using the basement, a finished off, mostly unused space that has a futon couch, (when the kids come for a visit) heated, clean and possess straight walls, an asset the main upper house doesn’t (yay A-Frames! ), along with a tiled floor so no big worry about mess; whatever I throw at it can be wiped up- not that I’d throw stuff, but you know what I mean. Mess is integral to creation.

The big issue with this space is it is on the dark side, especially in winter months; it is partially below ground after all, but it has beautiful recessed lighting in the ceiling and extra lighting in the way of floor lamps will boost the brightness.  At first look the basement space feels non conducive to creativity, not “Studio” but rather “Grotto”.

Just in writing this out has it become obvious that  judicious practicality has to prevail here.

Since I haven’t done a serious lick of painting or even a drawing in god knows how many years (at least 28, since my last big graphites while living in Victoria) perhaps before investing too much in exterior building costs (on the island no less with it’s inherent added costly logistics, etc.) I am better off to see how I do with what I now have at my disposal.

The indicator to build a separate studio space needs to be when I fill up the basement with work and it begins to overrun into the upper house. Then I can feel ready and confident to warrant my own work space. To build before then could make me feel pressured to “produce” in some stupid arcane way, to “validate” the money and effort in it’s building.

Am I overthinking? Perhaps but I think that this is the approach I need to take. Let it open up organically, and hey I’m a Taurus, I’m supposed to be Practical!

My Turn

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It is a paradigm shift in the life of the grown children of a living elderly parent, at some point tables are turned and the child becomes the nurturer and the parent the child.

And I don’t mean this in a condescending way; it’s a role that has slowly, gently segued into play. A role that is quietly acknowledged by both.

So far the  dementia my mother has is not yet too threatening as to her being left on her own for periods of time; she has mostly good days but, as my siblings and I are now noting, these are beginning to slip under an opaque layer of confusion, tipping the balance. Still, she can laugh at her short memory and never worries about tomorrow. She is graced with a bright optimism that is ageless.

My sister and I we are a team. She is an exemplary sister, a good daughter, and I’m thankful she is here, it’s a lot to handle alone, physically and emotionally. Because of the nurse that comes one hour each morning to assist with the morning things, giving  medications, helping with bathing and dressing, fixing a breakfast and ensuring she is all right, we can feel secure in knowing someone is there, because we can’t be.  We are there the rest of the time doing everything we can do to help her remain in her own home happy and comfortable.

My sister and her husband, being 15 minutes away have begun to go to her house in the evening after work to assist her with getting ready for bed, calling first and asking if she wants her to come up and sometimes mom will reply that she’s fine, she’ll be all right. Other times she say’s ‘ Well, it would be good if you did’. I go up every other day – I’m kind of the activity committee, we go down to the boardwalk along the beach for walks, sometimes for lunch; well actually a lot of the time, and general out and about. Some times I’ll stay the night.

Our brother comes when he can, but he has some health issues and needs to take care of himself first. Her good friend Peter comes every other evening to join her for dinner, and there are the folks from her church that stop by every so often and a couple of neighbors that do so as well. And the fact that she lives on a gated, quiet single street is one less concern when she ventures outside with her walker.

It’s a challenging time, but our hearts are full and in the right place I believe. It’s where we want to be, it’s the least we can do, it’s the most we can do.