I visited my mom this week. On the way to Santa Barbara, I stopped in the totally surprisingly adorable town of Los Olivos, to have lunch with Margy of Fool For Fabric. What a gift. You know when the universe offers you a token of future possible?
Margy is older than I am. She’s been working in her studio for years, in various modes of creation. Now she sews some pretty astonishing clothes. While I’m unlikely to sew or ever want to – I struggle with small motor coordination – the meta-concept of a studio, now that’s something.
I had always scoffed at a Room Of One’s Own. I have earned a good living: managed people, functioned independently. What use a solitary space? Hooray for post-oppression! But not all oppression is overt or external. Suppression tamps down an awful lot, solo.
High WASPs find creativity dangerous. My culture often marginalizes its artists, preferring that if they must “art,” that they do so while male. The unspoken code lists artists as messy, and prone to outbursts. Not excellent, in the way we appreciated, and not quite comprehensible.
Once I got to Santa Barbara, I took mom out. She’d given me a shopping trip as a Christmas present.
Lunch first. We sat, considering food. Tile floor, white tablecloth, windows to the street. She chose a turkey club, I, petrale sole. She wanted wine with lunch, agreed. On my phone, I showed her a rug I was considering for what has been my son’s room, and will now be my office. Or studio, conceptually.
Kathy Leeds, an artist I have come to know here on the blog, had recommended the rug maker. Dash & Albert. Kathy was recently chosen to show at Art Basel. Even my culture of origin would recognize her superior relationship with color.
Mom liked the rug. She exclaimed, happily. She was always the visual one in the family, the one with a sense of design and style. I shied away, I had my reasons.
Another, perhaps the other, great gift of my life comes from my husband. I take early retirement as an opportunity to anneal my self. Hard doesn’t always mean brittle. I prefer a crystalline end to a dusty fade. Lava into obsidian, or, more tamely, an often salty solution into large, clear, cubes.