Freedom & Connection

I haven’t feel like an ‘artist’ this week. I haven’t felt like anything. We’ve been moving all week and everything has been in transit. Packed away. Dis-arranged. I’ve been wearing the same outfit for a week. I am in a state of transition. It’s been interesting to really exist in that place. Today we are setting up our new house. Maybe we’ll be in there tonight. The thing I’m looking forward to the most is having a room of my own. It will be my ‘studio.’ Maybe I’ll draw on the walls. Maybe I’ll put things up with thumbtacks. I’ll have a little bed in there and lay on it while I write. It will be mine. I’ve never had that. In my childhood home I wasn’t able to put anything on the walls. Ever since college, I’ve shared space with other people. I will have my own space now.

The thing I’ve learned this week is that I have too much stuff. I don’t like stuff. I try to live minimally. Even so, there’s so much stuff. It accumulates. Truck loads of things. Car loads of brooms and christmas lights and baskets. Why? Part of me wanted to send off the moving truck and ask them never to return. Part of me wants to live in a van. Part of me wants a clean white room to live in with nothing but a bed in it. And books. The excess of stuff frightens me. I think of the impact my existence has on the earth. I wonder why I have so many objects. When did this happen? How did people live 100 years ago? 500? Surely they survived with far less. The sheer volume is sickening. Why. Why don’t we have a sharing economy where there are things that get passed around? Why don’t we make do with less? I try. I don’t have anything plastic in my house hardly. I rarely buy things. But the garage. Why is there so much in the garage? I never want to see any of it again. At the same time, once we started putting our things into the new house, it suddenly felt familiar. The place was transformed. What’s the point of it all? I am not my things. Who am I?

When I’m not working on music (either the creative or the clerical side of it) I don’t really know who I am. I like reading on a blanket outside. I like eating apples from a tree. I like walking. I like listening to music and seeing new things. I like watching people. I love people. I really do. I am fascinated by people. I fall in love with people. I fall so easily. A hundred times a day. My heart breaks open over and over again. When I’m away from people I feel lonely. When I’m in a big crowd for too long I feel exhausted. I like to be with a small group. I could live that way. In a commune. In a shared house. As long as there wasn’t too much stuff in it. And as long as I had my own room.

I’m thinking about people today. Who we are. What we’re doing. How we affect each other. People need each other. I believe that. We need to talk and touch and sit and laugh. The move we’re making is from the middle of the woods into town. It’s a 15 minute difference. But it’s a big shift. Now, I’ll see more people. I’ve always lived apart. I grew up in the woods on a mountain. I self-isolated in college. I lived in Connecticut after college, in a little place next to the highway beside a dairy farm. Then we came to New York state and lived in the woods. Now we’re moving into town. There are houses around our house. What will that be like?

Someday I want to move to California. To New York City. To be surrounded by people and culture and activity. To be immersed. To never feel lonely. To never forget who I am. To never feel like I’m not an artist. Does the place you live in affect that? Or is it more a state of mind? I wish I knew. I created almost all of my Roan Yellowthorn art at the house in the middle of the woods. Even if I didn’t always feel like ‘an artist,’ I made a lot of art there. Was it because or in spite of the place? I wish I knew. What’s the opposite of loneliness? Is it connection? Whatever it is, I want that. I want to feel connected. But I also want to feel free.