Occasionally I have almost surreal moments of very zen-like happiness. I guess I tend to notice them as almost like a lull between the craziness, the running here to fro, the costantly wanting and planning and organizing, the listmaking and the OCD worse case scenarioing. I was standing there during the open studio on Friday night, trying to get some work done while people were filtering in and out browsing, multi-tasking as I usually do, wrapping some of the newer collages in cello and packing up some chapbooks orders. It occured to me how nice this was. How much I enjoyed making and selling things, art and poems and books and papery goodness. all the other pretty and scrumptious things in the shop. How lucky I was to be able to do this, to have the studio, the press, to be able to publish and write poems (at least without that nasty ambition bird hanging over my head so much). To have the shop with all my very favorite things in it.
Mind you, I do all of this on a regular basis, but rarely am I really "present" in the moment, my mind is usually frantically ticking off that to do list, planning the next thing, mapping out the next move, the next obstacle. And I too inherited my mother's worrisomeness--the freaking out, the anxiety about being behind, being off schedule, getting orders out in time, sales being too slow and worrying I won't make the studio rent, sales being too good and worrying about getting them all out, I feel like for the past two years especially, it's been a crazy ride. And I wouldn't say I spend the rest of the time unhappy by any means, and in general, despite brief cranky moods, am pretty much usually a generally happy person, but moreso that my usual mood is more like an anxious contentment than any happy sort of bliss.
And of course, my zenlike moment was swiftly dissipating as I was working on a supply list of several new things I'm hatching for Christmas in the shop, as well as the new chapbooks whose covers I need to scan, a few tweaks to be made, copies to be mailed, the much tardy wicked alice issue that will be up in the next couple of days, the poems that need to be submitted, the manuscript that needs to be submitted, the dgp submissions that need to be read, hopefully all by the end of the the month Top it off with another big wholesale order (this time notecard sets) and a big batch of chapbooks for one of our poets, and you can see what a typical week is like. But it felt good to just take a breath and realize how much I really enjoy what I'm doing, depite it occasionally feeling like it's a little too much.
In other news, I spent last night at one of the Chicago Calling event at the Church of the Epiphany (mind you, the second time I've been in a church in the last week and haven't burst into flames.) It was a little too drafty and cold to stay as longer than about three hours (and I'm still in that weird season transitional wardrobe miscalculation phase) but while I was there was some cool sound and musical stuff, as well as some Korean poetry translations. Me and Julie Strand got to read some from the collaborative postcard project we are working on, and Julie made the coolest little postcard chap to give away. (I might get some of the extras from her and do a giveaway here on the blog, so stay tuned.)
On the plus side, I have now, after today, fulfilled my share of weekend days for the library, I've realized how much I desperately need those two days free of pretty much all the usual obligations to keep my sanity.