"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Thursday, September 01, 2011

coca cola, facebook, hula hoops and clay

Last time I went to Rancho La Puerta (over ten years ago) I went without Coke for a week. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but I was pretty much addicted to my one or two Coca Colas (oooh, I loved Pepsi too!) a day. It was hard to go without this syrupy, sugary stuff for a week, but I didn't really have a choice. When I came home, I found that I didn't really even want to drink Coke anymore. Ever since, I've gone without. I do have the occasional Sprite or Fanta (especially while in Uganda, for some reason) but Coca Cola is a thing of the past for me.

This time, I went without Facebook for a week. Again, this may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but I was pretty much addicted. Facebook sucked a lot of time out of my day. I sang its praises for so long, and I do still kind of hanker for the non-stop, cut throat scrabble games I had going on with several friends, but I am finding ways to fill that time. And I am (so far) feeling really good about that. Mainly, I've been reading more, hula hooping and playing around with clay.

Hula hooping is very meditative (and good for getting rid of my "muffin tops" I've been told). Working with clay is meditative, too. It reminds me of my wet darkroom days, when I labored with my hands, got messy and got lost for hours in time that seemed suspended. For me, at least so far, it's more fun than learning that the cousin of my old college roommate's dance teacher had lox and bagels for breakfast and then went to yoga.

It would be generous to call my little creations "sculptures." I have enrolled in a class at the Kansas City Clay Guild, though, so maybe one of these days... For now, they are simple meditations, a way for me to use my hands and quell the noisy distractions of the day. At home I've been using Sculpie, which is a clay you can bake in the oven. I started my class today, though, and began using stoneware. The last picture is of the piece I worked on under the tutelage of clay artist and teacher Cathy Broski for four hours this morning. I swear, it seemed like four minutes had passed. I can't wait to go back and work on him some more.

September has always been the time for new things: new friends, new school clothes, new pencils, new books, new chances and a new age (my birthday is in September). This year is year is no different.

New things. I've always liked that concept.

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