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Moving through molasses or trudging through the snow

January 14, 2010

I’m sitting in a dark train car in the Albany station, during the scheduled rest period on the train that runs from Montreal to New York Penn Station.  I’m adding a required entry to the ICP/MFA blog as part of my required course work. The process of writing and adding entries to both that blog and this one illuminate and add definition to the constant feeling of inability to keep up with my life and my work,  as well as more complicated forms of procrastination.  I’ve just spent 5 days in Saratoga Springs, NY with my pregnant friends Sheri and Andrew and their 2 dogs, Luca and Puppy.  I took some interesting shots (I think), however feel reluctant to write about the experience as I probably won’t get the film developed for a week and then will need another week for the scanning process.  It’ll take me at least another week to edit and clean up an image to post or make a test print.  My ability to make concrete choices right away about color and exact shot is something like frozen…maybe just a little faster.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration.  But it feels something like this and it is hard to admit in writing how painfully slow my creative process often is.  It is something I can admit to people in conversation but have resisted discussing in any other terms.  I think this is mostly because I am afraid that divulging certain problems or behavior will cause people, who are unlike I am, to think less of me and what I am trying to do creatively.  This is even more difficult to admit as there are still others who might look down on this.  It’s not long before I’m pretty sure that everyone hates me and my pictures, in spite of evidence that this probably isn’t true…at least not everyone.  But there I am, imagining myself frozen in the snow on the side of a train or am again visualizing my body encased in a giant vat of molasses, slowly trying to move. ( The funny thing is, the writing I most like is often personal essay where people expose the truth about themselves and their more embarrassing behavior.) Part of my plodding process and it’s length is in part due to a reluctance to commit and be well defined.  It has become clear to me in my speech and in how often times I will refer to things I am currently pursuing in the past tense, while in my actions, I put off finishing things I am doing now until they feel not as powerful or relevant.  By not being present and not keeping momentum I manage to perpetuate negative stories and frustration, remaining passive in my own life.  Of course part of this is logistical too.  There is only so much one can do once they’ve began to unthaw and are trying to cope with copious daily tasks required by responsible living.  My friends that are having a baby have a much different task ahead of them. I’m 35 and I am still not ready for something like a kid.  I guess that’s more normal today though….but what is normal?  Hopefully the train’s about to move…I’m looking forward to getting home to my man, my dog, two maniac kitten and large windows where I can stare out at the cold city with a strange sense of appreciation for  the little obstacles I manage to get through, even if it’s slow. Eventually it adds up and builds into something…I think…

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