A few weeks ago I posted a bit of a rant about realizing I’ve been feeling uncomfortable with myself. On the heels of that, I decided to embark on a year-long daily self portrait project. I chose today to begin because it’s my birthday and that seems like the ideal time to begin a period of self-reflection. It’s also a good, unforgettable marker. I don’t have any rules for myself other than to post one a day. They may all be my face; they may not. For today, I decided to start by looking at my face in a place where I spend a lot of neutral time: waiting for a train. When I take pictures of myself, they’re always attempting to convey something. This time, I’ve tried to just look at my own face as other commuters probably see it. 42, waiting for the train after a pretty good day at work.
I’m curious to see where this leads me, and looking forward to seeing them pile up. I’m going to post these on Instagram, and they’ll be tagged #365kateris. The finished project will be collated on this website at the end of the year.
(This is the 25th day of the Blaugust daily blogging initiative.)
Several weeks back, I stuck a pin in my daily sentence project and left it sitting here. The pressure I’d built up in my head to make something of this, in combination with a couple of life circumstances, was crushing. I have a daily reminder in my calendar to do this, and seeing it at the top of my inbox every morning became intolerable. The freedom to delete that email without a second thought was very calming. Since then, I’ve been better about tweeting, about emailing and writing letters, about calling friends. I’ve also been doing a quiet make-a-necklace-a-day project that I didn’t really even notice I was doing until a couple of days ago. It’s filled the void of doing something daily, and has become a natural part of my day.
The break has also served to show me how much pressure I exert on myself to be public with the things I produce. That can be helpful to the process, and it’s great for expanding my circle of conversation about the life of making things. Definitely one of my favorite subjects. It’s certainly good for business. But it turns out I need a private pocket of making. I will probably eventually sell or talk about or publicize most of what I work on in silence, but I was surprised to discover how much I expect myself to be immediate with that process. Make and talk about, make and show, make and list for sale. There is a dialog that goes on just between me and my materials that has been getting crowded out, of late. I’ve lost a sense of ownership. Whether those materials are beads or metal or words or thread, I have been bypassing that private conversation of alchemy and construction that makes the work good and worthy of larger conversation.
Today it felt like time to make a start at this project again, so here I am, with words. But mindfully, and without a calendar.
Morning was a pouring rain, freezing a fringe of icicles onto power lines and bare branches. Afternoon was billowing clouds and clear air. Evening was balmy and gilt-edged, the softest blue dark.
I had the happiest day today. The absolutely worst thing that happened to me all day was that I got repeatedly haired in the face by a very short and happy woman dancing in front of me at a concert. That, my friends, is a blessed existence.
My time out in the world today was mostly spent doing adulting errands and going to appointments. At four of the five places I went, just as I was leaving a girl (a stranger to me) in a red calico skirt and cowboy boots was coming in. We had nearly matching mornings, except for the fourth stop of five. She was at the first, at the second, at the third, *vanished into an alternate adulting universe for an equivalent length of time*, at the fifth. It’s driving me bananas wondering where she went while I was returning library books.