I found myself back at the Knoxville Museum of Art the other day, once again spending time with the Jered Sprecher exhibit. I adore this set of 8 paintings and the space they create, a multi-layered space where one can reflect on the passage of time, memory, technology, and how our lives seem to blend together seamlessly but are in truth made up of many random elements seemingly all kind of mashed together but actually layered and filtered by our experiences and our connections.
Or perhaps I am just more inclined to notice the liminal spaces of life right at the moment seing as my own life seems to be buffeted about by forces outside myself, even if those forces were set in motion by my own actions. The truth is I did not anticipate how chaotic life would be with my house on the market, although I probably should have known better. An oversight. But then, I wonder how many new ventures we would undertake if we actually clearly anticipated the toll and turmoil involved in reaching our goal.
My experience with the Hyde Park house was completely different -- even though we were living in the house, even though we were packing to move -- but the situation was different as well; the area had not yet recovered from the housing crash of 2008, and we had few showings. I deliberately set the price of this house competitively, wanting to sell quickly, but was still surprised at the amount of interest. I'm not complaining mind you, but I am still, at times barely maintaining my equilibrium.
And yet, despite the disruption, despite the fact that very little is routine at the moment, despite the fact that my life is, in fact completely interrupted while at the same time going full tilt with several new projects in the works, I am finding that this time of exhaustion and chaos is also a time of great creativity. My mind is experiencing an explosion of creative expression, with ideas for garment sewing, for embroidery and fiber creations that border more on art than the kind of practical things I have been dabbling with in the recent past, and I have been writing and sketching and trying to capture fragments of imagination. I didn't realize how much my space, the space that was our space, the space that was always meant for a specific thing, was not my space. I didn't realize any of this until I was not only ready, but actually willing, to let go. The freedom of chains unbound is exhilarating, even if the chains were invisible, so invisible that I had perhaps grown complacent and forgotten they were there.
Nothing is going to happen quickly. And yet everything is changing incredibly rapidly. Roughly five weeks until I must be out of one house; roughly eight weeks until I am into another. Multiple and overlapping timelines. Have you ever noticed how change seems to barge in like a March wind, stripping away our self-satisfied sense of comfort, piling disruption atop discomfort, and yet bringing with it new joys, new blossoms? Do we fool ourselves that we want security and comfort, when that is really death? When you look at human history, our shared nature is change; our shared nature is the struggle between the desire for security and the need for change. Do we push on or do we hunker down? When we finally chose to push through the barriers, be they our own internal biases or worldly constructs, we are following the path nature itself has set for us; creating something new.
paintings by Jered Sprecher. All photos by me.