I was floating in my cousin's pool in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, after visiting her daughter's new baby, and I talked about how scattered my life feels. I recall saying something like, "I wish I had an assignment or a project that ties most of these facets together...writing, illustrating, consulting and editing peoples' work for them, etc. Family is a given, but professionally I can often be all over the map, between plein air painting trips, gallery work, book dummies and writing.
This is the umpteenth lesson that you get what you asked for, but not always in the form you envision it. Thanks to a professional friendship with a dynamic educator, I am starting a short term, intensive project, working with a wonderful Native writer in Anchorage on a history textbook that will explain Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to upper elementary students and to make it relevant and fun. As an ex-6th grade teacher, I know it has to have humour. My job will be to edit, illustrate and plan the format of the book.
So, as I head for Anchorage tomorrow for the first meeting on the project, I must say thank you for a job that is daunting but puts many parts of myself together. Like many creative projects, the deadline is formidable. I think we can do it,
but you may not hear from me again for another three months.
And I can't wait to get back to Alaska.
So, my message is this, I guess. We all lead complicated lives that seem more complicated the more we try to list all the things we do, but once in a while a project comes along that ties things together. When that happens, hope for an understanding family, dust off those tools of organization (I have few), and grab that ring.