Here Mojo, Mojo . . .here Mojo, Mojo. It’s like looking for your lost kitty. She was just here, so sweet and warm, purring quietly in your lap while dreaming of exciting adventures . . then she’s gone. Dang!
Two years passed after I lost my Mom in 2012. Friends who had been through the same loss before had told me that it takes time, which it did. What I hadn’t expected was the loss of motivation and creative drive. I still woke up every morning ready to go, but I only had the energy to do what was plotted out in front of me. My other business, The Tai Chi Natural Health Club, had regularly schedule hours. 3 days a week in my acupuncture office, and 3 days a week at Oceanview Park teaching Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I plodded along with work, home life, and a minimum of socializing. I just wasn’t feeling that spark.
In 2011, before my Mom died, I started dreaming up a series of sculptures that would kick off a new growth spurt. The idea was to have 8 anatomical figurative sculptures shown as a group, each about 3 feet tall. Some would be suspended from the ceiling, some free standing, all on pedestals arranged in a large circle. Each would be expressing strong movement or emotion. Well . . . with very little mojo working, I was able to eek out 1 in 2011, and 1 in 2012. I felt satisfied with both pieces, and was able to exhibit them both at the Museum of Art and History here in Santa Cruz.
Zen Bones 2011
28”h x 18”w x 22” d
Painted Steel Wire
My Heart Explodes 2012
28” h x14” w x 32 d”
Painted Steel Wire, Pewter Heart
In the following 2 years, I produced very little. I didn’t have the heart. The 2012 piece, My Heart Explodes, wasn’t far off. The loss of my elders, and all that went with it was draining. I took the time to rest and nourish myself. I wasn’t sure if I had the ability to pull it together and finish the series.
2014 was the year I would turn 60! Cripes! I would officially be a senior citizen! It wouldn’t happen until the 2nd to last day of 2014, so I had the whole year to contemplate the upcoming milestone. By that time, I’ve had enough friends my age get sick and die, or have unpredictable accidents and just disappear from the land of the living. Whew! Even thinking about my parents, who lived into their 80’s made me realize I might only have around 20 more years here on earth. What do I really want to do with my life????
I wondered about the upside of this stage of life. There’s a lot that has been gained! Six decades of gaining insight, wisdom, skills, maturity, intuition. All life experiences, whether they came easy or came hard, have have contributed to the fine-tuning and expertise at being ones self. I may not have that youthful fire, but I believe I’ve got the goods.
So, what to do for the rest of my life? Take all those fabulous attributes that are stashed inside, dust them off, polish them up and put them to work.
I decided to do the things I loved most. There are a handful of interests that have cycled through my life over and over again. Below is my list. They aren’t in any order. I love them all, and they have their natural cycles throughout the year.
- Food (buying, cooking, baking, studying about, feeding people and enjoying!)
- Movement (practicing Tai Chi, going to the gym, walking daily, dancing)
- Making art
- Healthy living (becoming an acupuncturist, studying nutrition, living a balanced lifestyle)
- Family and friends
- Studying and teaching about any of the theses subjects.
Well, my friends, the year of contemplation, and the resulting realization, helped me get my mojo back. To date, I have finished 5 of the eight pieces, (although I sold one) and have actively started showing my work again. The ideas are flowing, the wire is twisting, and I’m feeling good. This upcoming weekend I will be participating in Santa Cruz Open Studios. Sponsored by the Santa Cruz Arts Council, Open Studios is a self-guided tour of 300 local artists during the first 3 weeks in October.
Here is the most recent piece I have completed. It from my series of dogs. It is called This Isn’t Cerberus, My Dog Just Barks A Lot. Cerberus is the Greek mythological three-headed dog that guards the gates of the underworld. My sculpture is after my own dog, Honey, a Redbone Coonhound, who barks a lot. My friend, John Webster, took the photos.
This Isn’t Cerberus, My Dog Just Barks A Lot
18” x 18” x 22”
Steel and Copper Wire
For more information about Open Studios , visit the UPCOMING section on this site.