This Week: An Ending

“It’s more of a negotiation now,” said Chuck to Timo, just now. It’s project time, and we are all in the makerspace. Chuck and Timo are working on their bows, clamped to the tables in front of the window. On this side of the room, Siena is painting a flower and Saylor, next to her, is painting a waterfall. Lili is repairing her checkerboard sweatshirt with green thread. I’m here, writing. There is New-Orleans-style jazz playing quietly. The afternoon sun is shining, there’s a wind rustling the leaves of the sapling across the street. A fan is on, whirring quietly. The air is light and warm. The negotiation was over the circular saw, which is incredibly loud. The sound rips the room; roars and then suddenly ceases. Now Lili is pretending to be hard of hearing. We all laugh at her joke. I feel content and present.

Earlier this afternoon Saylor came to me and asked if I could help her interpret her dream and I said yes. We talked about the language of dreams; how in dreams our unconscious uses symbols to show us what we’re avoiding seeing about our selves. Part of her dream was about death, and so we talked about how death can be symbolic, how it can represent change. There are parts of our self which need to die in order for us to grow in our full potential; they are holding us back. We talked about feeling ambivalent. We read A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming One with the Universe and considered taking our demons out to tea and cake.

The new moon is tomorrow; our last day in the space is tomorrow. So much has happened this year. My relationship with time has shifted. I am learning to hold all my selves – past, present, and future – in love. I am learning to take up the right amount of space. I am learning what it means to live as an artist, as a spiritual human. I am learning the names of my demons. I have been wounded; I am learning to heal. My being has shifted but my words haven’t, yet (have they?).

I just got sidetracked by a conversation. Saylor asked me about painting and I shared with her a framework from my painting teacher: painting is a physical meditation. There is no other way to do it than to paint. You are present, holding the brush, moving the paint and mixing it, making strokes and observing their forms, having the patience to be in your painting, your hand, your arm, your body, your mind; all of it is a meditation. Lili and I talked through it. I made a gesture of offering, my hands open between us, placing the framework on the table. I am aware of how much is lost in this retelling. The space that our relationship opens is ephemeral; the space we make in conversation is discovery. I could transcribe my experience. It could be true. But would it be real?

It’s time to go now – I’ve promised Siena we could read Frog and Toad Are Friends at 2:30 in the hammock. I love you, I am grateful that you read me. This has been an incomplete report.

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Writing about the self in the third person makes Mel uncomfortable.

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