Monday, May 27, 2013

Around Town, Athens #2

Katherine is amazing and got me hooked up to an art class in May session at UGA. I got to spend the day doing some studio visits and having lunch with the students. It was fantastically informal and I got to just chat away about whatever came up and a sprinkling about the project. Students had looked at the blog some so they were informed about what I had written. Which is a little nerve wracking but great because I didn't have to do the spiel I have been doing for months now.
After eating lunch at the Botanical gardens I got to walk with 2 students and the awesome professor, Jon. Here are some photos and thoughts from the walks. 
Tyler is a graduate student at UGA. I had been joking with the class about walking, but I was serious. Tyler jumped in on walking with me first. A classmate joked, "Oh, of course Tyler would walk first." Tyler and I had met randomly on my walk with Darin. I had a short conversation with him and his friend Cameron. They were really much that this Angeleno wasn't sure if they were being sincere or pulling my leg. It seems it was sincere. 
Tyler was at ease to get right to hand holding. After we started to walk I got really really nervous. Tyler is very attractive and smart. And though in my rational mind I said it was fine, my body freaked out. Like I was in high school again. Tyler's way to deal with this awkwardness was to make jokes. It was hard to make eye contact but it after my initial freak out it was easy to walk with Tyler. We seperated from the pack and got to fall into what a walk sort of would be like. I dont' remember everything we spoke of as I didn't take notes for these walks. We spoke about the project and my walk with Darin. How Darin's walk with me cracked something open. That we create the passion and love that we will live in. That is our job. Also, that we are all a mixture of a total mess and perfect at the same time.  
It was strange to walk with an entourage sort of following us and we met up with them at the map to decide to go next. We decided to go check out the chapel and I made the joke that we would get married. That that was the ulterior motive behind this walk. :) Tyler is a fun guy and I felt able to joke like we were already old friends. This walk with Tyler reminded me that it doesn't hurt to lighten up and enjoy the moment, just as it is. 
As you can tell, there was definitely a more light hearted tone on this walk. I wasn't sure what to do with the class there and this attractive guy to walk with. I could have just walked with Tyler the whole time and not walked with the rest of the class. I was having trouble concentrating on the energy between us. It would be great to walk with Tyler for a full walk and explore the nervousness I felt and get to talk to him in a more in depth manner, not having a class of 8 tailing us. And in fairness, I needed to walk with more than one person in this situation. 
So I told Tyler, I really don't want to let go of your hand (the truth) and got to holding another student's hand. 

So with some relief and reluctance I started another mini walk. It was interesting to do this back to back to back because when Carly and I started holding hands it was like I was warmed up already. Carly is a senior who graduated this summer and has this one last class. Carly reminds me of myself. An anxious, bright woman. She was so awesome. She opend up about fears about her future. We spoke about art and how we have to fight our anxieites to create. I really hope that our time inspired her to keep going. Women artists have a lot of extra hurdles to jump in sticking with art. And I am still jumping them. I hope to get a gallery and be ok with being an artist. That I will stop proving myself and start making. I hope the same for Carly. Needless to say, it was really healing and comforting to hold Carly's hand and she was so focused on the situation I could feel her compassion and love in my body. It was a great little walk. Once again I didn't want to let go of her hand but it felt more resolved than the walk with Tyler.

Lastly, I got to walk with Jon. He is teaching the three week intensive class and is a print making faculty. Jon was incredibly welcoming and open. It was a pleasure to get to hear about life as a professor. As I must say I want to be one.  

Jon is married and has two children. There were snickers of "we are going to send these photos to your wife," from the students. Which didn't effect the way in which Jon and I had a very companionable walk. We walked through a more shaded area that was really beautiful.
It quickly entered an intimate talk about growing up in the Midwest. Jon is from Kansas. I am from Minnesota. 
We had a great conversation about how touch was not part of our upbringing. for me this started with adolescence. Which really screws up a teenage girl. That suddenly it is weird to want to give your Dad a kiss. It was a really trying time for me. Jon spoke of how he had to make the concsious effort and buck tradtion hugging his family when he would come home to visit. This talk made me feel SO MUCH better about this part of my past. I had never realy had this deep of a conversation about it. 
We spoke about our careers and Jon's family. I voiced again a feeling that I was behind on everything. Jon told me not to worry and to do my own thing. 
Three mini amazing walks.  

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