I am writing this studio blog on a Saturday morning since I am on holiday in Arkansas and the days have gotten away from me. I will backdate it for yesterday for consistency. I am sitting in the extraordinary Fayetteville Public library in the locally owned Arsaga's cafe located in the foyer.
I am listening to Brambles and their album Charcoal on my headphones. I have a soy chai latte by my side. I have just said goodbye to my brother Sean and his family after enjoying a lovely vegan breakfast scramble at a new place (new to me - there are so many places here in my old hometown that are new places to me). Stewart is upstairs in the library reading comics.
I am alone and everything is empty and quiet around me and there is a large Christmas tree made out of books surrounded by red poinsettias. I have sat at this table with my computer before when I lived here but I don't live here now. I am a visitor. I have dreamed of being a visitor from this seat when I lived here before. It is a grey overcast day, and the skeleton trees reach out into the mist and a lone pine stands tall and comes into view. A few people trickle into the library.
This is a studio art blog but I am not writing about art. This week, I am using my studio blog to find peace and a moment of reflection. This is not my standard place or view but I know it well. This library is my sanctuary and a place of pause and rest. I am exhausted and on the brink of tears but here in this library I feel space and hope. This has always been a safe space for me, with all the amenities one could need. I am grateful.
I am grateful to be able to sit here alone, safe and warm surrounded by books, music, film, art. This beautiful space filled with dreams and aspirations, a place that offers more of a level playing field than we often find in American society. Libraries are key to a civilized society.
I return to myself. I sink into the orange chair, my fingers find the soft flat keys of my computer as the spices of my Chai feel peppery in my throat.
Just as I relax for a moment, I realize this is usually when I post my annual year-end wrap-up. As, a kindness to myself, I vow to write that post another day, perhaps next week. A friend and collector stop by my cafe table, radiant with her beautiful new baby, we share a moment of smiles and chat. This is a lovely town, it is a different town than I grew up in now, but still full of good hearts and sharp minds.
I think about other ways I can write about art or culture or this town, but again as a courtesy to myself, I am just going to write about this experience of sitting here as it unfolds.
The music ebbs and flows, the atmospheric dark string and piano arrangements punctuate the scene as more people enter the cafe and the town continues to wake up and make their Saturday plans. I am just passing through, in stillness.
******* art moment *******
If you missed it on my Facebook art page you can see my Tuesday Studio Video Visit again here. I visited the Chancellor Hotel and the Fenix exhibition here in Fayetteville which will be on display until January 9th.
Happy new year wishes for all. Thank you all for reading my blog, sharing and supporting my work. Until next week and next year, keep fighting! The world needs you and your work!