home is where your heart is

Today was my first Friday without my collage class since the beginning of February. At first the main difference was our breakfast. We skipped the scrambled eggs.

So after my walk and writing in my journal, I decided to mark one thing off of my to do list – take an inventory of my incompletions from the April issue of Real Simple. I rarely fill out worksheets in magazines, but this seemed like a good task given my previous track record.

I had a pretty good idea what I need to do next – update my web sites. But for some reason, I can’t make myself dive into any code. But this worksheet also prompted me to consider things I want to stop, but haven’t stopped; things I want to learn, but haven’t learned; and, things I want to say, but haven’t said. There are a few more, but just click on the link. No need for me to complete the list here.

As I worked on the exercise, I noticed that I had something pretty much for all of my eight topics, except for the last one – things that I have felt, but haven’t expressed. Besides admitting that I feel a lot of fear, there is no need to go into all of the details here. Once I started writing what I was afraid of, it all just started pouring out, spilling over into the Crystal Light Live Active ad in the magazine’s right column. Although I ended with global environmental change crisis, I got up full of emotion and ready to create something.

Ultimately this piece is my reaction to our building’s rental cap. I know that condo associations throughout DC are struggling with this issue, mainly with the current housing slump. As a board member, we have weekly, sometimes daily emails about what to do. I receive related articles from the Washington Post. I ask outside parties their opinion. I think about it and ponder the issues. Above and beyond, I spend the most time during my work week on building-related issues. Quite frankly, this is a thankless job that people underestimate. As we face a building-wide vote on the biggest investment of my life, I am honestly unsure of how to balance the risks.

So I gathered all of my fears and started working on a nest. Then I painted a heart, based on imagery from a guided meditation. Somehow I fit it all into this tiny Chinese lantern intended to hang on Christmas tree lights. Based on recent news reports, I am certain that the lights are coated with lead. Sprinkled with colorful string and holding a hazelnut from a tree on Henry’s family farm in Spain, this little nest feels complete. Then I created a small platform on which to place my little lantern. Broken dowels seem fitting with the issues that surround us – literally and figuratively. Additional supports are woven from the edges of my heart painting. The nest rests gently on top.

Somewhere in the process, I felt some resolution, as I always do when seeking my art for the answers. Ultimately I realize that my home is held up by my heart strings, and with my heart, I have to vote.

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