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Cross to Bear

Join me on Thursday, December 15 at 6:30 pm for The Local Authors Series at The Performance Space. 

I will be reading with five other authors.  Each author has a 15 minute segment — just enough to read a complete chapter!  This is the first time I will be reading from the completed manuscript in public.

I will be reading chapter 5.  In this chapter, I describe working on my sculpture, “Cross to Bear,” as I try to balance making art and being a wife, mother and teacher.  The chapter is intensely personal and emotionally charged.  It is heavily focused on the creative process and how that process impacted my life.  Here is an excerpt from the chapter:

I was constantly torn between loves.  If I gave my energy to my husband and children, then they became the dominant focus and I was lost.  If I gave my energy to my art and myself then my family was lost.  There was no balance.  My life was an either/or situation and I was trying not to choose, trying to bridge the gap with love.

I believed my father had lived two lives.  In one, he had a wife, children and a group of regular friends.  In the other, he had a mistress, a book, and a nightclub.  Twilight was his favorite time of day.  He had a cream-colored Oldsmobile with black velour seats that he loved to drive.  He would take me driving at twilight through the silent streets of Santa Fe – down Canyon Road and around the Plaza, up Cerrillos Road and left on St. Mike’s, past Hardee’s restaurant and the hospital, and down again on Old Santa Fe Trail.  We would drive in silence there was an unspoken code against speaking.  We listened to John Coltrane on the eight track player and watched through the car windows as people turned into shadows and lights came on.

I wanted to be in the houses where lights shone warm in the ghostly blue of the night.  I wanted to be where there was life and warmth – laughter coming from kids running down the hall, “Star Trek” on T.V. and the aroma of a cooking dinner wafting from the kitchen.  Bath water would be filling the tub, soft and steamy hot.  Instead, I sat in the car, my head not high enough to touch the headrest, my body against black velour, inhaling secondhand smoke from the Lucky Strike cigarette burning against my father’s fingers

Come listen and then tell me what I need to do to improve!