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Healing Art

Having two major life events in a span of six weeks can be taxing. My mother died and I had to crash her funeral the beginning of October. Short version: we didn’t like each other, she threatened my siblings with disinheritance if that talked to me, I had to subscribe to in order to find out she died.

Six weeks later, I made a spur of the moment decision to retire. I don’t regret that decision – I needed to get out of that job.

A few weeks after that, the anxiety set in. I started to see all that went wrong with my job and the enormity of it overwhelmed me. The anxiety was strong enough to cause anxiety pains. I still have the pains.

I’m applying for a grant. The only thing I want more than this grant is peace in the Middle East and we know I’m not going to get that. The grant requires that I submit a digital portfolio. I didn’t know that until this morning. The grant proposal is due by 5:00 PM MDT on May 1, 2016. It’s a drop dead deadline. Submitting at 5:01 PM MDT means I have to wait a year to apply again.

Suddenly, all my art looks like crap and I’m not sure I can make new pieces and get them dried, bisque fired, glazed and glaze fired in time. This requires major work to be done major fast. I’ve got a bisque firing scheduled for this Friday. I could push it back to Saturday or Sunday and then glaze like crazy all next week so I could glaze fire the following weekend. Fortunately, I’m Jewish so Easter isn’t a big celebration in my house. The need for world-class art to be done at warp speed is causing additional anxiety pains. I’m really getting tired of this pain in my abdomen.

I got out my sketch book, and behold! Three ideas came out of my pen. I know what kind of pieces I’m making – wall hangings. I know what the designs are – based on a scanning electronmicrograph of a single cell plant and a fern fossil. I know the shape and most of the texture. Haven’t figured out the glaze yet. The glaze is critical so I need to figure that out before I make the pieces – which need to be made today if I want to bisque fire them on Friday.

There’s less anxiety now that the ideas are formed, the rough sketches done, and I know that I’m not limited by size requirements.

Let the art experiments begin!



I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at: