Thursday, December 31, 2020

Marking time incessantly

For my first holiday away from family (because I chose against travel to NY and instead had my first traditional Jewish xmas complete with Chinese takeout), I made do with a tiny hanji tree. I used the gift wrap for the gwi jumeoni kit that Youngmin sent, which is exactly the right color hanji, adorned with bits of beads and sequins originally purchased to shore up my paper brick wall.
After listening to a panel critique my work, followed by a helpful conversation with an artist friend, I have been thinking a lot about my place in the world on all scales, as a human on the planet to a papermaker in the tiny but growing paper world. Maybe this is simply the time in my life when I'd naturally pause to consider what I have been doing and how I want to change in big and small ways. During this pandemic-long pause, I've discarded a lot of "work" and become a survival chipmunk, jumping from one thing to the next, using hand activity as a salve for immediate feelings of doom. Most projects involve using up scraps. This is one.

This is another. After over a month of eating at 2-hour intervals, I'm trying to wean myself off of emotional and disordered eating and instead sewing like a maniac. Mostly I see that being in a double limbo of panorama + Fulbright = not being able to focus on anything because people keep falling ill and dying and the research grant I had worked so hard for could dissolve. The latter is slowly winding its way to some kind of resolution, but still leaves me with no real dates to prepare for, which enhances chipmunk brain. Tidbits from that scattered mess:

Apply for isolation in the desert!

Consider more nuanced ways of approaching anti-racism as part of a "minority"—ways that make ending racism a reality rather than something we have to live with forever

Watch a 2016 video of my hanji teacher and a V&A conservator

Mostly, be as kind as you can to yourself. My method today was to order chocolate oatmeal cookies online for outdoor pickup. Stay safe as we welcome the new year!

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