I feel like I've been absent. I suppose I have been distracted by all the happenings and buildings of things I hope to accomplish in the New Year ... but here I am now.
Something I have been contemplating for awhile, I finally ended so I can make more room for things that matter to me. I have deactivated my Facebook account! I am tired of living through social media, stating my whereabouts, and what I'm cooking or eating for dinner and who with, and regurgitating quotes about how to live a meaningful life, or heaven forbid, ascertaining political views.
"I want to live through my art and garden in the here and now, in real life and time. I want to be a participant in my own life not a narrator. I no longer view my life through a screened device."
So, there's that going on. At first I didn't "deactivate" because I worried I would lose touch with friends and family that are far away but I FaceTime my family pretty regularly and I can always text/email/call my friends with sincerity and purpose. I also worried that the absence of the five pages I "authored" for things I'm involved in including my own business would affect my "ratings," but honestly, I doubt that Facebook page ever resulted in a single sale of my art. In all honesty, social media, for me, has become a big "time suck" much like television is/used to be. I end up watching videos that honestly, I don't have any interest in watching. I love living without the cable umbilical cord and now I'm cutting another. Social media has literally altered how I view life — through a screened device. I find myself thinking, "I should post that on Facebook!," instead of enjoying the moment. My thinking tends to be limited to that little screen, bounded in a box and the tired saying "think outside of the box" seems very appropriate.
Is this social?
Social media is harmful so I've read time and time again nodding my head in agreement. I want to move, get, run full speed away from it. This is my year!
And to confirm this resolution of sorts was a good, no more like fantastic decision, I read about the three hour live rape coverage on Facebook by immigrants just one day after I cut the cord. I don't even have to tell you how that disgusts me, do I?
Of course, I didn't cut off ALL social media avenues because I am keeping my instagram account for now. (And I am writing this blog.) Instagram hasn't creeped into every nook and cranny of my life like some peeping-Tom-google-tracker. I tend to view it as more of an art form — a frame of mind vs. four confining walls. I hope to become better at it as an art form, too. I like how it makes me see things I wouldn't have noticed before. It makes me see things as I imagine a photographer would see. It makes me see paintings where I haven't before. It makes me hungry, too, because I won't lie, I love pictures of food!
I don't follow twitter at all so I'm not concerned about that account. Although lately, I will admit I am curious as to what our President tweets. (Please refrain from politics in your comments, please, please, please.)
In my new found positive outlook and freedom, I am also reeling from fortunate circumstance! I have been spending winters here in Cedar Key for five years now as I've mentioned before. This year, events lined up so that my husband and I were able to purchase our own real estate here and so we acted upon it. Putting a few roots down here has changed my view of the future and my focus.
I had a long list of paintings I wanted to accomplish down here this winter, but that has all gone out the window with painting walls and installing new floors, and you know what? I'm okay with that! I'm okay not being productive! I am going to take a little respite and reframe my visions as I flow on downriver in this life. I want to paint what inspires me and so far that has been Pablo the Pelican and a start on this Tropical Fruit Series: Pineapple.
It's like a switch has been thrown and I am now in "explorer mode." I no longer am tethered to one small plot on this earth. I can put down roots and expend energy anywhere. I can live anywhere, not just in my home town or a little box. So often my thinking has been, just wait. Wait until you are settled. Wait until you move here or there. Wait until ... no longer!
So, I joined the art center here and tried my hand at the pottery wheel. It was fun without expectations. In February, I have signed up for a watercolor workshop I'm very excited about. This is what I need(ed). This infusion of new perspectives. I tend to sit down at my painting table and say okay, let's not waste time, let's produce, produce, produce! Let's produce something with (a narrow) focus. That is no good for my artwork. Artwork has to be exploratory, expansive, experimental in order to grow. So, I am making room to grow. I am growing! This is the way of the new year.
This is all exciting, nearly overwhelming stuff but I am still connected to my garden at home in Clayton. I look so forward to this Spring to be in the Violet Fern garden without distraction. At the same time I will also be planning a new garden here that I won't make much progress on this year, but next. Perhaps there will be a Violet Fern Garden North and a Violet Fern Garden South. I already have begun sketching out some plans and have contacted the extension here in Levy county to consult with a Floridian master gardener. Being part of the master gardener program in Jefferson County NY myself, I know how valuable a resource this can be.
Please join me in my excitement of new ideas and places. I hope to be back at (directly connected to) the painting table soon. In the meantime, this is my life.
Because of recent hurricane Hermoine, there are plenty of tools to go around. The owners of the Low Key Hideaway were gracious enough to loan us some tools so we can install new, bamboo floors. Thanks a bunch Maureen and Frank!
This is my new workout routine — an obstacle course through the rooms in the middle of floor installation. I need it because our new main dish is takeout pizza and wine and beer enjoyed on these temporary tv tray tables.
I admit my new laundry room is pretty cool — I don't think I have to remodel anything here! Except maybe find something more rodent proof to store the bird seed in!
Just yesterday we were able to set up a bed to sleep on! By the way we will be renting our paradise home in the months when we are not here. Perhaps this is your chance to see Cedar Key for yourself? We're calling it Cedar Kottage (CK2 like Cedar Key squared!) and believe me, it will be outfitted well. The gardens will take a few years, though. I'll post details of where and how to rent soon.
Author Kathy Sturr
In this blog I may write about the garden, flowers, plants, and the garden ... mostly the garden, but also new art and inspiration.