It’s more than just My Story, it’s embedded in the daily ritual passed on to me. For the first year, either the Expert was there, showing me his way to do things. Then he would come to “help”, when I really needed information, and he would send me on some frantic errand, upbraid me on some idiotic detail such as something I didn’t clean correctly, as if it were still his property, as if I were an idiot, an interloper. It finally broke free for me when I found a big mess of ink in the back sink–which I just left, without saying a word.
I am still shocked when I see the original photographs, remember the details of the rusted sink, the darkroom light switch I had to stand on a riser to reach, the panic of running out of supplies I didn’t know how to replace, the anxiety built in to every little task. Even now, just figuring out cool, new, different ways to do things, it’s based on something I learned from The Expert.
Constant upgrades and changes, putting down colorful wool rugs, painting a purple wall, writing on it in yellow chalk, entering my own password in my own Imac. My personal values of saving energy, making friends with people who come in or call, making a community, a community center, piece by piece. I often find myself lost in routine rather than ritual, although the actual business is not nearly as time-consuming as it was even a few weeks ago. The mental hamster wheel is gone, replaced by my own natural calm.
Just now I am beginning to go through my Prints, to sort frames and move the t-shirts into the background, really get my Gallery space realized for the holidays.