Wednesday, February 29, 2012

exit ritual - oh, and massive amounts of growth, too.

these are my final moments in the space. i feel so full. any pain and sadness felt in the last 48hrs has melted away. i have restored the space and it is time to pass the torch. i am leaving the space in better condition then i found it, which feels really, really good. so often in my past i haven't accounted for or tended to the ending of something. i have procrastinated. i have resisted doing the work. i have burned myself out scrambling towards a goal (a performance, an application deadline...) rendering myself totally incapable of properly cleaning, restoring, moving, archiving, thanking, or taking care of the exit/ending/transition phase of a process. so often. more often than not. okay, really, probably, in every instance of 'after' to some degree throughout my life up until this point.

this time i planned well. i accounted for the ending, the exit, the transition. i built in a day off after my final performances. i built in a take down, pack up, move out day. i built in a space restoration day. and i built in a day to just be in the restored, neutral space to reflect, sing, dance, give thanks, celebrate over a home cooked meal with the people who have supported me throughout this process, and say goodbye.

not only did i plan well, but i actually followed this plan!! (which in this sense, is HUGE for me). i didn't procrastinate, drowning myself in internet tv and oven pizzas, until 4pm today then stay up all night stressed and crying, cutting corners, leaving without even being present for the goodbye...this is monumental for me. MONUMENTAL GROWTH.

and not only did i take care of my exit, it wasn't some huge struggle to take care of my exit! i just did it. without resistance.

and not only did i do it - without resistance - but i took care of myself and didn't burn out along the way.

and not only did i do it - without resistance - and while taking good care of myself along the way, i found a way to make an offering of thanks to those who had provided such massive support throughout this process.


i have been wanting to be this kind of person - the kind who does the work, who doesn't cut corners or make excuses, who takes care of their responsibilities, who acknowledges and gives back to those who have provided support. i have been working to be this person. for YEARS. and as of tonight i feel i can truly say: i am this person.

i think this is called maturing...facing, embracing, and stepping up to another aspect of my adulthood...who knew that giving kid paris / tucson paris the permission to come out of hiding would allow for new levels of interaction with my adult self...

i am so grateful...there are no words...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

little ghosts

as the space is emptied, cleaned, and prepped to be painted, the infinitude of unrealized possibilities are starting to seep in and take hold - little ghosts of potential, haunting me. "i didn't take advantage of that enough! i wish i had... i wish i hadn't... i wish i could walk into the space for a 2-month process now. now, i'm ready. now, i would use my time and the space so differently."

i know better. i know i took full advantage of this opportunity every step of the way. i explored many nooks and crannies - within the space and myself. i turned things on their head. i experimented. i shared. i clarified. i ritualized. i actualized. i grew. wow, did i grow. i know that everything happened as it needed to. i feel proud of the process i underwent and am continuing to experience. i feel proud of what i created. i feel proud of how much i shared. and i know that all was necessary for my growth and evolution. i am where i am - in every moment. (where else is there to be? and why is it often so challenging to be okay with that?) it's actually really amazing that after 2 months time and clearing much of myself out of the space, i feel so inspired and flooded with interests for exploration.

all of these things are true.

haunt away, little ghosts.
you are seeds for the future.

this happens, too

no one talks about the process of dismantling. well, people do, i'm sure, but there is certainly much more focus put on beginnings, on creation, or on the 'product' yielded. the impermanence of time-based, site specific work is such an interesting twist in the process of creation...

there's always a sense of loss, letting go, acceptance, closure, and moving on at the end of a phase in any creative process. always. it's an inevitable and crucial part of the process. and yet for some reason, this difficult - and potentially debilitating - phase is the least talked about, shared, processed or accounted for. so often, this is the phase that destroys artists.

there is this general aversion to showing the process behind something - on either end of creation. don't go out of the house without your makeup on, without your hair done! you'd better shave those legs everyday. certainly don't let anyone see that you don't know what you're doing! don't let anyone see you in the process of figuring something out - that part of the process where you really don't know, and you just may (and most likely do) look or sound silly or inarticulate, that part of the process where you are discovering, clarifying, or refining... and when it's over, it's over. pack up. move on. there's nothing more to see or talk about or depict or share here.

it's such an interesting model we've that places value on product over process and doesn't allow much room for that crucial time after something. it makes sense, i suppose - you see it everywhere in our culture. we are future and goal oriented. we strive for bigger, better, faster, stronger, more, more, more...results! find a person, get married, get a house, have children... go to elementary school, middle school, high school, college, get a job, produce, yield profitable results... but what's in the space between all of those landmarks? those 'destinations?' why is there this emphasis on hiding what is real and raw and constructing a neat and 'perfect' package for others to consume? why do we hide our humanness - one of the only things that is truly shared within our existence? by not actually processing pain, or endings, we do ourselves a great disservice and actually keep ourselves in our pain. in our past. defined and limited by our wounds...

this is my 2nd to last night of a 2-month performance/installation residency. last night, i dismantled my installation. i gathered up all of my tape players/recorders, pens, books, artifacts... i took down 250 photos of my childhood that were hung with string and tiny clothespins on a single wall. i removed my sheets and blankets, revealing the tan upholstery of the futon once again. i took down the lights i had hung. i removed each push pin, watched each string fall to the floor. i placed the ruby slippers handmade by my mother back into their boxes...

this was a bittersweet process. i felt life leave the room with each item removed. i left the room with each item removed. i felt a sense of loneliness - the deep kind. the kind that has nothing to do with how much love or support you actually have in your life. i ached for my family. somehow, having them on that wall meant i was having an intimate relationship with them. there, they knew how much i loved and appreciated them. the warmth and the transformational residue that had built throughout my 8 weeks in the space was instantly gone - a light turned out. part of me so wanted a distraction - internet tv or a companion in the space - so i could just go through these motions i was required to go through without feeling the sadness that accompanied them. a bigger/deeper part of me knew staying present was the answer.

take your time. be with the feelings that arise. no shortcuts.

today has felt very different. in just 12 hours, i let go of that sort of object oriented relationship with the space and feel a detachment starting. i feel more ready to leave. i packed up most of my things and loaded them into my car. the few remaining items will be used in tomorrow's exit ritual.

it will feel very strange to not get up and 'go to the office' everyday. i think that is one of the things i have valued most - that kind of daily purpose and direction.

everything feels exactly right. i am dismantling. and with dismantling, comes those feelings of loss, letting go, acceptance, closure, and ultimately, moving on. it's okay to feel those feelings and move through those states. healthy, even! honor, reflect on, hold space for, and share this part of the process as you would any other. oh, and take care of yourself in the process...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

an attempt to do. jump start?

i'm at a strange point in my residency...really, i have been for the last 2 weeks, which feels strange in and of itself because 2 weeks ago, i was at the halfway point - feeling like i had utilized this space / opportunity and my time in it to the fullest - and now, only 2 weeks remain. traveling to new york for the first week of this month was difficult. i am so thankful for that opportunity and the experience that ensued - if that whole doing something over thing really did exist, i would still choose to go - but it certainly put an interesting wrench into this residency...

as to be expected (as in all of life...), there have been many unforseen so called wrenches interrupting and informing this residency. whole versions of reality have been flipped on their head. bubbles, popped. invaded. dismantled.

i don't even feel inspired to write this blog post. i'm lacking presence. and i'm kind of all about presence...

tonight i somewhat forced myself to go actual grocery shopping for the 1st time in very nearly 2 months. i managed to put the groceries away, but i did not eat dinner, nor did i clean the kitchen (which also hasn't been tended to in very nearly 2 months)...

grief, emotional exhaustion, and creative exhaustion are very real and very big and not like other types of exhaustion - they take a lot longer then i few good nights of sleep to heal.

my bedside fern has died. it seemed to happen overnight. it was my most precious friend. i thought i was taking good care...

i have a lot of incredibly deep support in my life and i feel so very fortunate for this. so appreciative. so thankful.

i think i am building a giant web throughout the entire space. a ritualistic metaphor for the synthesis of selves (kid paris, tucson paris, seattle paris, travel paris, performer paris, musician paris, violinist paris, dancer paris, composer paris, singer paris, improviser paris....), the space between point a and point b, the interconnectivity of all, the pathways in our brains, the choices we make, our wounds and the bridges we build between them...

i think i am going to have an open studio hour every day for the remainder of my residency - an invitation to watch the daily transformation of the space and the building of the web.

i think it is now time for reading. and relaxing. and sleep.

perhaps tomorrow will include the cleaning of the kitchen and GASP, the actual preparing of food...