I woke up this morning with a sense of unbalance that I found hard to place. I’ve never really felt this way before, but then, I’ve never really been this old before. With all the changes in the world—in my world—(mostly…not good), the best way I can describe it is the ground shifting under my feet.
The easy place to start would be a general observation about the leadership of the country. The country that’s supposed to be in charge. You know, the “adults” in the room? I don’t really want to get into politics on this blog, so let’s just say it’s heading in a crass and vile direction that is profoundly disturbing and personally sickening. The feeling that it will only get worse is the part that makes it so very heartbreaking.
Something else that’s shifting in my world are the galleries that I’ve been able to find representation with. If my count is right, nine galleries were showing my work last year. By the end of the year two of those had downgraded (one to online sales and pop-up exhibits, and one moved into a smaller physical space with a bigger concentration on classes), three had closed down completely (one having been an institution in Pittsburgh in the same building since 1945), and in another instance the person who brought me on board and had been my contact for a couple of years chose to leave the business entirely.
Add to that the health of family members. Not going to get specific here, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you take care of yourself, health issues happen anyway.
And speaking of health, I’ve lost some people that the world had no right to take. Two were friends who passed away within a few weeks of each other, one at 47 and the other, 43. Not to mention that I’m still reeling from losing Tom Petty. And Prince. Really, world? People who brought beauty and happiness into the lives of others just vanish from the planet, and yet other crass and vile individuals are still here bringing ugliness and discord…(see paragraph two above).
As if the things out of my control weren’t enough, I also made a final decision yesterday about something that’s been churning over in my mind for the entirety of last year. I decided to terminate something I was trying desperately to hold onto in my professional life. It was the right thing to do and it was the fair thing to do, but it feels an awful lot like somebody died.
So, yeah. A little anxiety.
The days are getting so very, very short. Each day I decide what I’m going to create based on, “If I can only get one thing finished before I’m gone, what would I want to leave the world?” My fitness tracker tells me to walk every hour about two minutes after it told me the hour before.
We’ve been closing the curtains in the evening about ten minutes after we’ve opened them that morning.
Is this just age? It doesn’t feel like a crisis, at least, not yet. It just feels like a shifting of the ground I’m on. I’m not clinging to yesterday so much as holding on just enough to steady myself.