I went hiking on Saturday. And the weekend before. To anyone who knows me well, this is not an alarming piece of information unless you also know that I broke my foot nearly 100 days ago. Believe me, I've been keeping track. As an incredibly active person, the last few months have been some of the most humbling of my life. I went from being very independent, active, and self-sufficient to being entirely dependent on others, especially my sweet husband who became my chauffeur, my errand-runner, my personal chef (oh wait, no change there...), and the one responsible for all the other day to day tasks of living together. I could not ask for a kinder or more loving partner to walk through this identity crisis with me.
Exercising has for many years now been a huge part of my mental and physical health routine and having that ripped away was a much larger blow to my identity than I could have imagined. I spent the week following my first surgery in a class called Building Resilience in Mind, Body, and Spirit. At this early stage of my predicament and being unable to participate fully in so many parts of the movement-based class, I spent the first several days in tears and extreme frustration. The week ended up being an incredible learning and healing experience, a reminder of the generosity and kindness of others, and a better understanding of who I am at the very core. I'd like to think I am moving through this experience with grace and self-compassion, but I am very much as human as the next person. I spent much of the summer feeling sorry for myself and then instantly heaping on the guilt for feeling this way, when clearly I knew my predicament could be a million times worse. I was certain I would walk and even run again for heaven's sake. I had incredible people surrounding me, even when I felt the isolation of my situation. I hadn't lost anyone dear to me, other than the temporary loss of a part of myself I didn't realize I had so much pride in. My summer experience mixed with observations of the state of our country reminded me over and over of the importance of love. Love for others, love for our natural surroundings, love for ourselves. May we all seek connection, understanding, and compassion with those we encounter every day.
Since my last post, Jon and I moved out of my house of 7 years, which was surprisingly less traumatic than I expected. I experienced so much loss and joy in my first home and it will always be a huge part of my story, yet I was grateful to pass it on to friends who will continue to love it. Jon and I are beginning the process of building a home of our own in the country and I couldn't be more excited to live in a natural setting. Before our departure, I asked my friend Soula to capture the space for memory's sake.
Another goodbye this summer came in July when my parents sold their home of 45 years and the only childhood home my sisters and I ever knew. We were lucky to be able to spend the week of the auction in Ohio with them, preparing and saying our farewells. I'm eternally grateful for all I have learned from this land and my given and chosen family I've had the pleasure of sharing time with in this home. Photos by Jon Styer.
The auction took place the week of July 4th so I made a berry vegan cheesecake...colored food is the only way I get patriotic.
One of the best things this summer was one of my favorite people getting engaged and having more free time than I usually have (thanks to the ole foot) to take engagement photos and help with wedding planning in general. I'm getting to live vicariously through Jill and finally helping to plan a fall wedding!
Thanks to all that newfound free time, I also found myself back at my jewelry bench for the first time since moving. I am excited to now be selling some of my jewelry at Spitzer Art Center's new gallery shop and as always, am happy to take custom orders!
This August marked the fifth Art Lotto exhibit, a portrait show where artists create a portrait of another artist whose name they draw during a lottery several months before the event. While the organizers do an excellent job of communicating the goals and purposes of the show, they obviously do not have control over the communication between artists once the names are drawn. I have typically found this to be a very enjoyable experience where I have the unique opportunity of getting to know a new person or two while challenging myself to create a portrait in a new medium each year. This year, I struggled with communication with the artists I was partnered with. I never met the artist who portrayed me and after some back and forth with the artist I was to portray, I heard nothing until 2 days before the piece was due. By that point, I had already moved on and decided I was at a point to be able to use creative license in order to meet the deadline. It was clear to me the artist I chose was too busy to fully participate. I also knew she worked for a florist shop. With the phrase "busy as a bee" in mind, I created a bee mask from brass and photographed my cousin (who shares nothing more than dark hair with Katie) wearing it amongst the flowers at my childhood home.
And now with all that free time behind me, I am heading full steam ahead into another very busy time of year as I go back to school and we move forward with our house build. If you don't see me for awhile, I'm probably covered in sawdust on my land...please send chocolate.