What I Need

What I need… to keep going? To hang on? To have hope? To be enthused? To be happy? To have my eyes pop open in the morning without dread? Something like that…  written only in the order that one leads to another, Not in order of priority. My children are my priority, and I am very clear about that.

(I wrote this first in 2008, and edited it for 2011. So much the same, so much has changed. In some ways very personal, but in other ways, universal. So that’s why I’m sharing it here.)

Uninterrupted time & physical space to MAKE ART: which, for me, gives me time to: feel freedom, meditate, attempt something transcendent, process my feelings, feel new feelings, dream, follow a train of thought where ever it goes, explore colors, connect my hands- eyes and mind, do something I am good at, invent, record and explore, think about my relationships with people, listen to music, and much more.

Recognition for my artwork: either by sales, shows, reviews, quality conversations with other art lovers about my work, or ?  Maybe to justify the resources I devote to the act of creating that I SO need.  But it is really satisfying to see all the artwork together, arranged correctly, with good lighting, in a big beautiful space, to see and hear people’s reactions. To meet someone who really connects with the work and wants to take it home. That’s like watching your child get married.

Family: to have healthy relationships with my sons, Wallace and Roland, and enjoy their company. To stay present with them on a daily basis so I can be kind and affectionate and not reactive. Adventure time, down time, one-on-one time, snuggle time, amidst the routines, the training and the hustle.  To create family through pets and the daily care of animals. To be the best mother I can be, I need everything else on this list so that I am whole.

Safety: to have reasonable expectations and boundaries with family so that I feel safe in the world. This means an absolute boundary with my family of origin, which means a self-imposed orphan state, which challenges the resources that my children need, but fortunately they have their wonderful father’s lovely family for that experience, sad they live so far away. That means I create family from my community of friends, and let them know that I really need their support, more than just as friends sometimes. I need to know that in an emergency, there are people who I can call and just say “help!” who immediately understand and respond.

Travel: to experience the wonder of our world. My immediate world is so lovely I forget to leave it.  Travel gives me things to look forward to in the year, and touchstones to look back upon when remembering a place or an adventure.

Health: to maintain good health. To have food I enjoy procuring, cooking and eating, and feel good about the source and safety of it. To feel comfortable in my skin. To balance atlantic drugs online different kinds of exercise to stay engaged and invigorated.  This means buying food from reliable sources, trips to farmers markets, having time to prepare food I’m inspired to cook, dancing, gym workouts, biking, yoga, walking. To get enough sleep to be sane and not cranky, which means improving my insomnia.

Connection: to interact with people I care about. To spend enough time with them to feel that I know them. To help them with life’s ups and downs, and feel connected to a set of people in the world. To share my excitements with my terrors with friends, and to feel comfortable doing so. To have relationships that I trust, so that if things get bumpy, the relationships will endure and hopefully we will grow closer from working through things. To have a sense of who my true friends are, to adore difficult people while not allowing them to abuse my generosity and tolerance, and to really enjoy my easy friends.  To keep contact with friends far away, even though I’m sad they are not here. To notice new people I meet who might be future friends.

Adventure: to experience new and amazing things in the world, from unexpected conversations to beauty in nature. I need to PLAY, to feel surprise and wonder at the natural and social world.  To feel the surprise of another person’s energy and the unique connection shared by only the two of us, through words, ideas, dance or touch. To see great art in museums, to notice a beautiful insect. To try new food.

Books: to read good books and have good books to look forward to reading. It is amazing how excited I get about a good novel, challenging myself with non-fiction, and having a stack of books to anticipate. Reading and studio time are my best ways to get the next thing on my list:

Solitude.

Security: the security that I have is hard-earned. I built an empire with my ex-husband, and now I am rebuilding. I am so grateful for my awesome house, life experience, and persistence. But I need some base level income to build from, either adjunct teaching, or new business income, so that art sales are a bonus. Working hard on that right now.

Clean and organized environment. Easy. I’m good at that.

Intimacy: Touch, love, affection, playfulness, and full sensual body experience. There’s only one thing I know of where I am fully in all my senses at once, sex.  Partner dancing is the next best thing.

Gratefulness: I’m sure there are lots of things I could add that I have, but because I have them and they are in no threat of drying up, I’m not noticing them right now. Part of how I spend time being thankful is to write.

I have a little tiny post-it on my desk that reads: Enjoy family, Enjoy friends, Make art, See wonderful things, Read books, Health, Security, Touch