The topic for the Spin Cycle this week is Arts and Crafts. For the most part, I feel a lot like Jan. I dabble in a lot of things; don’t have time to finish what I start. In addition, I usually don’t even have time to start what I imagine.
I have always been one for dreams and fantasy. As I have gotten older, I try to keep myself more real and be happy with what I have and not wish for more. Maybe wish is too strong a word. But I have always been a sucker for a happy ending.
In my dream life I would be an artist full time. I would live on the North Shore and I would write, take photos, bead and make jewelry, garden, cook, bake, and generally partake of all things creative. In my dream life, one of these things would provide an income that would allow me to stay home, retire from teaching altogether.
What? It’s true. As much as I love my job when I get there, I would rather be a full time artist.
Every year until I got sick, I took my students to the reading festival at the University of Hawaii. Every year, I would make sure that the one author I did not miss was Lois Ann Yamanaka. If you have never read one of her books, you really should. She is my favorite local author. She used to be a teacher. And I personally think she could make a side living being a stand-up comedian.
One year she was doing her thing and one of the students asked why she doesn’t teach anymore. Among many hilarious antidotes she shared about the frustration of working for the Department of Education and the State of Hawaii, she said this to the kids… it’s been a few years, so this may not be her exact words – but the gist is there.
I had to stop teaching so I could write. Teaching is hard if you want to be a good teacher. You students need A LOT. Teaching sucked all my energy and I had nothing left. I couldn’t teach and write and I wanted to write. Ask your teachers (at this point she caught my eye as I was sitting in the front row). The kids suck the life right out of you – yeah?
I love to make jewelry. I used to bead and sometimes I would sell the jewelry, but mostly made special pieces as gifts for those I loved. I made myself the jewelry I always wanted. All of it was stolen when we were burglarized three years ago…. I would love to go back to beading and kick it up a couple of notches.
I love to take photos. Someday I would like to pursue photography as a hobby and get a better camera.
I love working with wood and hand painting furniture. When my children were little there was a furniture artist who had hand painted furniture in the upscale stores that cost a fortune. We could never have afforded it. So, instead, I went around to garage sales and picked up pieces, sanded them down, and hand painted them for both of our kids’ rooms. I’ve always wanted to take a wood working class and have a workshop where I could make my own furniture.
I love to garden and cook.
Funny thing is, I have not totally given up that I will get to my dream someday. Back when I worked at Roy’s Restaurant, he used to showcase a different artist every couple of months. One artist was a woman in her sixties. Lovely lady. I chatted with her one day and she told me about her life before she became a full time, working, making a living at it artist. She was from LA and had a career in some high maintenance sort of business. Then her kids grew up, went to college. I cannot remember if she was married but I have a hazy memory of a man sitting next to her at the bar. Anyways, I’ve blocked him from her story.
It turned out that the woman had started painting only a few years before. She was living the dream and had only gotten there after a full life of working for a living at a regular job.
Gives one hope. Yes?
For more spins on art, head on over to Sprite’s Keeper.