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Saturday, May 27, 2006


Ok, I've been home one month today. Depression is setting in. Help!! I've tried playing Oprah and counting my blessings and the tried and true slogan we've used the past few years "Well, it could have been worse..." (oh, we've used that one a LOT....) but nothing seems to be keeping it at bay. Of course its complicated. Its not just me. Its my life. Our life. Yeah, It could be worse.

When I am not part of this life, well things are different. I work late and get up early and I am abstinant with no expectation of physical love... sort of an art nun. No, its not a balanced life but at least I am productive and have something to show for my time other than a messy house and garden that looks more and more like the wild kingdom. (without the exotic animals... although I've been putting our cat on a leash outside and she seems to like it.) I walk everywhere, cook a lot, read more and am more focused. There is no television. There isn't a lot of media. No one expects me to show up so I have the freedom to either show up or not.
I think part of the reason I love being away is that I can escape everyone's expectations but my own, which are more than enough.

I wish I had been able to go to Korea last week with a group of fellow artists I am exhibiting with. The timing wasn't right. So, here I am. It is a holiday weekend. We have some plans, nothing terribly exciting. Our tenth wedding anniversary is coming up. I keep trying to get Mr. DD to commit to a plan or tell me his preferences. At one point, a year or two ago I hoped we would be able to spend out tenth in Scotland. I would love to revisit the island where we were married...

Last summer I thought it would be fun to have a Far, Far Away Party (like in Shrek 2) since I assumed correctly we probably wouldn't make it out of town. At this point, I doubt we'll even sure we'll be off work. Its going to be that kind of summer - one where we have to make up for time spent elsewhere doing other things. Sigh. I know, it could be worse.

We'll get through it but I really want to figure out a way where the life we live HERE can be as good as the life I live elsewhere. Is is possible? I don't know.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Tagged but not forgotten

Ten things about me that you could live without knowing
1. I describe myself as a recovering academic.
2. My husband and I love walking more than driving.
3. If given the opportunity I'd be an expatriot.
4. I am the oldest child with a brother and a sister. We each live on opposite coasts.
5. My parents are still alive, divorced but exist in a surreal co-dependent relationship
that is difficult to watch, yet I am grateful they get along.
6. I share my home with two cats who rule the domain when I am not here. The 11 year old
Siamese is queen and the one year old is her joker.
7. My first "art" installation was based on the lunar calendar, created with baloney slices stuck on our sheetrock kitchen wall sometime before I started kindergarten.
8. I have terrible language skills. I studies German for four years in college and barely passed it. I've spent more time in Paris than I have most anywhere else and my French skills are tragic. I describe them as "pathetique" to Parisians who inquire.
9. I had two long term loves before I met my writer husband. They were talented but weak, needy but faithless. I am so lucky to be with man I married ten years ago on Summer Solstice 1996.
10. I come from an agrairian family but am a lazy gardener. Its my hidden shame. My garden is lush but only because I am stubborn and use trial and error to find the hardiest, most resiliant plants that can survive my neglect and periodic absences.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Around the World and Back Again

I've been inspired to write a great deal over the past two and half months... but time was of the essence and there were few moments to sit and write much more than short emails in response to the people in my life. My photographic record and correspondence of my time away from home and blog exists so I hope to post a record of this time away during the next few weeks while the memory is still accessible... before the cloud of business and committments overwhelmes me.

It was hard, very hard coming home... even though I missed Mr. DD and my cats, family, friends, etc. Kathryn came to visit in March and told another friend here at home that I was so different in Paris... so relaxed. My monkeys were on hanging on my back there just as they are here - but for some reason they aren't the same burden there that they seem to be here. I felt more comfortable in my own skin... perhaps because what artists do is of significant value there and here, well, art's importance is rather dubious in our culture at large.

Still, it is good to be home. It was a productive, beautiful time which I'll be recording over the next few weeks so please scroll back and respond to anything that seems relevant. I am going to try and set up a blog roll so if you see that link and sign up for it then any updates would be emailed to you. I don't mind working backwards. Its my nature. I am very dyslexic and ambidextrous and can write as well backwards as forwards with either or both hands. Working backwards and parallel parking are just my nature. Its too bad these skills aren't something one can pad their resume with.

The day after I returned Mr. DD and I left for an annual reunion with friends and family at a bluegrass festival in NC. We drove south from there to visit with my grandmother and wound up in New Orleans in time for the last weekend of the Jazz Fest. It was my first time visiting friends and family since Katrina. The spirit of the people and their hope for recovery was very inspiring. The artists I know are working harder than they've ever worked and making progress - and others, friends and neighbors of my friends are losing all hope and committing suicide. They say there is a lot of post traumatic stress evident. Erratic driving, horrible traffic with tragic accidents, couples shooting each other and themselves. It takes a strong soul with a long term vision to see past the mess down there. People can still count their blessings... which confounds me... and inspires me.

Before leaving Paris I was worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew with the southern excursion tacked onto my return home. After four months away could it be the best thing to do? It was! Mr. DD and I had many wonderful hours talking in the car and we were both so happy to reconnect with our friends who have endured so much since Aug 31, 2005.

I've posted some images of our road trip... since I think these images communicate more than I possibly could.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

my favorite rhythm section....

The Archbishop of Lowdown,
the spokesperson for the Storyville Stompers
remarked during the set at the Lagniappe Stage
the second Saturday of Jazzfest:

"It could be argued that the difference
between N'awlins and the rest of the Universe is the rhythm section."

Never said better.