Thursday, November 01, 2007

Insurmountable Obstacles On the Road to Imminent Disaster

Coffee in the Chicago skyline mug (in honor of the in-laws who arrive later today to celebrate their granddaughter's birthday with us), the quiet ticking of the clocks for music. I just noticed--after months of writing in this same spot every morning--that I am sitting equidistant between two clocks and they tick a fraction of a second off from each other. Time in stereo. (Makes sense that it would be just a fraction wouldn't it as they each tick every second.) And that pretty much sums up October: Time in stereo.

I promised pictures today, but I also thought I'd be (more or less) moved by today. Not so. Pictures tomorrow and a full status report. I might even have an idea of the status for the report by tomorrow... But before I go any further, Thank you, thank you thank you!!!! to Dee Janssen for helping with the move yesterday and for committing to come back today for more. So the move, how'd it go? Well...

Moving into a new space of any kind is... difficult for me--the title of the post says it all. I see it empty and waiting and I see all of the wonderful possibility in it, and I want to realize that possibility. So I paint and I build and I prepare. And I run out of time. In years past, running out of time meant that whatever was done at the moment time ended was what would get done--I never saw the possibility of work on it/finish it later. (I would have been a lousy candidate to paint the Sistine Chapel--for so many reasons!) In smart times I scaled my ambitions to avoid the disappointment of not being able to finish before the time allotted for prep was over. In not-so-smart times I rushed to finish and did a poor job at the end. With the new studio I've done something else. I started all the painting and prep--every room but one has been touched with a brush and the paint has been purchased for the final one--and when the time for prep ended, I put it down to go on to the next step, the move. I calmly set aside brushes and rollers and picked up the dolly and the UHaul.

Even though the space looks even more haphazard than my spaces usually do on moving day (there were immovable objects placed in front of raw plaster in one room), it feels right. I will pick up brushes again again and paint this winter. In only the instance of the raw-plaster-room will I be painting around objects. Every other unfinished space can be painted easily after moving. And all of the weaving words so far in this post has led to that idea, to that kernel of wisdom that it took me till now to get: Things don't have to be completed in perfect blocks. You don't have to eat all of your peas before you eat your steak and all of your steak before you eat your potatoes. I don't have to finish all the painting before moving--just the painting on the critical path of the move (hallways and the bathroom, e.g., can be done equally easily at any time).

Let's extend this thought in the next couple of paragraphs, and we will get to the genesis of the New Move.

A big part of the stress of the new studio for me has been that I couldn't wrap my head around moving all of the studio contents--even 200 feet. For a move to be a success for me, I have to have mapped out exactly where everything is going. And let's be frank, I don't even know WHAT everything is, much less where it is now, much less where it will go! I have over 20 years of equipment, experiments, tools tried, tools purchased on a whim to try, molds, stands, other materials, and glass sheets, glass scrap, glass, glass, GLASS!! It would take a year to plan the campaign of the move for everything.

Then Dave, who got me through the book, who gets me through life, said "Why are you moving everything now? Why don't you just move what you need now, and move the rest over time?" "Well, Because!", I stammered. Because I eat all my peas before I eat my steak. Because I completely finish one thing before getting on to the next. Because it's never before been practical or even an option to do a partial move. But now it's not an option, it's a necessity. Yesterday with five people focused and dedicated (and a sixth when it came time to move Big Bertha) we moved maybe 1/3 of the studio. We moved three cases of glass with 12-13 to go. We might move one or two today, or we might not.

Today the whole crew maybe minus one will be back to do it all again. The crew is all over 40 years old and I know I'm feeling every year this morning. I can only imagine how the guys--who did all the major lifting and carrying--feel. They'll be here in 45 minutes, and I'm no closer to a picture in my mind of what's going to happen when, what's going to get moved, where it's going to get moved to, where the stuff that's not getting moved is going to be stored, than I was for all of October. And yet, the move will go on nonetheless. It will go on competently, smoothly and efficiently. How? I don't know. It's a mystery.


Bill Paley said...

I will send you Sherlock Holmes, then. He likes mysteries.

I have to assume that you're psyche doesn't feel settled if something remains unfinished. Don't let that get to you, as you reopen your studio.

Anonymous said...

Relax, enjoy!! Remember in every move you find the things that you forgot that you hid away to use at another time. Do as Dave said and move only what you use now. You are close enough that you can move anything else when you need it. One of the reasons I can't set up a full blown studio is Karen and I are packrats. You know "We had better hang onto that, we might need it later"(Who needs 3 old blenders).

Take it easy and enjoy the move and the new set up.