explorer, worker, lover, creator
What does it mean to be in a period of transformation?
You can be in the middle of a period of transformation. But it's much harder to know what that transformation was until you've gone through it.
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I think that's inherent in transformation - being creative and curious. And so I'm trying to put myself as much as possible in spaces that allow my curiosity to pave the way for my creativity to learn.
What kind of transformation are you in right now?
I'm feeling like I'm in one period of transformation because I had spent the past seven or so years living in upstate New York and have just recently come back into the city which has truly enabled me to embrace internal qualities of myself that I have not been fully comfortable expressing externally because of the place where I was living upstate.
I can tell you what prompted the transformation. The root goes back to my father's death. He died when I was 21 and he left me land and I became, you could call me the owner of the land, but I prefer steward or something that puts me less in a position of power above it.
What helps you navigate this time of transformation?
The land gives me purpose, gives my life purpose because the land is like a motherfucker. It's like a child that gives me something to care for unconditionally. And that makes every decision afterward very easy because I know why I'm making decisions. I know who and what I'm making decisions for. And it gravitates around this piece of land because the land is part of my family.
And so I can answer these questions pretty resolutely because the land's got my back. The land is there for me in the way I'm there for the land.
Yeah. I mean, when I inherited the land, I also gave a name to this feeling that I have within me which is North. And this orientation North has always been a guiding presence in my life.
Do you feel like you are doing this alone or with others?
I really feel this is the least alone I’ve felt in my life. I am beginning to feel connected to others who are walking a similar path. But I think for me, what would make me not feel alone in it... I'm not a woman, but I'm having these feelings of a family like wanting a family. I'm having these feelings of the future of like, what is it, what's the shape of a family that I see? Like I don't know what a modern family looks like. I don't want to project what I want like in terms of nouns, but the verbs include things like making dinner together regularly, sharing daily things, regularly sharing painful and uncomfortable things and working through them regularly. Basically a lot more sharing of daily experience in a way that would make me feel literally less alone.
The thing is I love being alone and I've developed a life alone. And so figuring out how to make room for not feeling alone is also a balance in the period of transformation, which is like how do I balance these qualities of myself that I think I believe I can only have as an alone person. How do I open up to sharing that with someone and trusting? And that's what this transformation is about right now.
I love drawing, I love biking and I love all these things I get to do and I don't have to check in with a partner, but now, but now my values are shifting on aging and growing and I'm beginning to understand what a partnership would mean, what a we would mean. But that's a slow period of transformation.
What does transformation look like to you?
So imagine a blank piece of paper and that blank piece of paper within 20 minutes it's only words. Just everything you look at words, words, words, words, words, lots of words, every direction. I can't quite read it. It's just like a texture, thick gray pencil words. Just lots of thoughts. Claustrophobic. A lot going on. But that's it. And over time, that blank piece of paper, let's come back to that blank piece of paper. There begins to be a little bit more space in between the words and maybe everything isn't a word. Maybe it's a line or a shape, um, well maybe it's a doodle or drawing.
Maybe it's something that doesn't take itself so seriously, or maybe it's someone else's words or someone else's hand maybe. Oh shit was their pen that just got, Oh man, I didn't want pen, but okay. And then maybe there's a little bit of color and I think maybe flexibility, uh, about what happens on the page and breath breath. Um, and then also I think, you know, the period in which there was a lot of words like processing and vomiting and like really just needing to write stuff down and much more about developing the muscle of my fingers, moving my fingers like drinking water, wanting to write more. Sometimes it's like it's this drive to be putting down on paper and creating something, some record, some artifact, and at a certain point, you know, after you've had like a big gulp of water and you feel satisfied, you can begin to sit.
You don't need to be drinking as much. Um, and you can just cherish that, sip a little bit more and that sip is more meaningful or you can pay attention to the different qualities. Oh, you know, the temperature of the water tastes this way or you know, there's a little bit of hydration and maybe I want some ice because it's a little warmer and you know, maybe not so much ice. And so you start to have a line that, that actually could, you could only have that line if you drank all that water. I could only have that line if I wrote down all those words. And so now I write one word or now I write a sentence or I draw a picture and for me at least it carries the same weight as all that other shit that was happening earlier. But it's like I had to refine and process and distill.
Drawing as the Transformation:
And so what I'm saying is now I feel much more focused and clear about the message I want to convey in the meaning I want to share it. And so if anyone is looking at my drawings over that period of time from the Fall to the Spring, you would probably see that process of transformation. I would also say it's not like drawing has been the record of the transformation happening. The drawing is the fucking transformation. I so believe that drawing is a fundamental part of transforming, of creating because drawing is this act in which you're bridging the internal world with the external world and your ability to be nonjudgmental and putting down onto paper whatever it is that you're feeling. Your line is your essence and nothing in this world that we have created, designed, engineered, or built exists without having been drawn first because drawing is how we share. It's how we tell stories. And that doesn't mean that drawing has to be done with a fucking pencil and paper. There are many ways to draw. The idea of drawing is that you are drawing out that within, which is within anywhere, putting it onto some surface. That surface can be a cave wall in which you have a painting of whatever it could be ritual, but that drawing can also be a performative activity or action that you are doing in which the lines you are making are gestural and are spatial. And all of this has effect and reverberation.
I want to just make clear that the drawing is the transformation. And I would say that I've been drawing more and more as I've been transforming. And you're reminding me I need to do some drawing right now.
Have you had feelings like you are sort of blocked in this period of change? How have you reacted or what have you done?
The depression that I've experienced in my life has been more violent and hurtful. Um, because I didn't choose to be depressed and you normally don't choose to be depressed. And it's like this cloud comes into town and you're like, where the hell did this cloud come from? And you're like, all these things in my life are so wonderful. The nouns are all in place. The actions are all like, I have everything I want, but why do I feel depressed? And maybe that's a feeling of being stuck because the only thing that I can do when I'm in that place of depression, ah, that hurts. It's like I just, I really have to breathe.
And so if you're stuck you become, I think, very inflexible. I think you have to acknowledge that you're only stuck because you're not being flexible. You're not listening. You know, own that. Fucking own being stuck. It's on you. There's no reason you're the one that's making yourself stuck. You're stuck because you want to be stuck and being stuck doesn't have to be a bad thing. I think I was talking about it like it was [a bad thing], but I had to hear that and and be like, oh wait, being stuck can be cool.