Arms Around, drawing

Arms Around, drawing
All I Really Need To Know I Learned From Noah's Ark...
  1. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

  2. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.

  3. Don't listen to critics -- do what has to be done.

  4. Build on high ground.

  5. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

  6. Two heads are better than one.

  7. Speed isn't always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails. :o)

  8. If you can't fight or flee -- float!

  9. Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.

  10. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.

  11. Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside.

  12. Don't miss the boat.

  13. No matter how bleak it looks, if God is with you, there's always a rainbow on the other side.
-from an Email circulating among friends








Dr. Julia Ferganchick-Neufang wrote:

Aimee: I write in response to your journal for Rhet Theory; this will seem a strange response, but bear with me . . .

Yesterday was horrible, scary, and just plan stupid! I missed a meeting in the morning, something I loath to do because of my fear of incompetence. When one stands on shaky ego, mistakes can be shattering, I suppose. By the time I returned home from a day of meetings, paying bills, ordering food, and serving lunch, I was exhausted, I was tired, spent, angry, sad, lonely--all the emotions boil together, as a wise woman once said, like a broth in our soul. My broth was rancid. And like all evil, I was unable to contain it; it spilled out into the lives of those I love the most and burned them. This is true hell, hurting those you love. I cried, and I begged forgiveness. Do I feel worse that it was given so easily? I'm sorry does so little to undo the tears. So I turned off my mind and slept with great weight.

This morning, I thought of my list, more to do, more taken away. Cook, clean, shop, deliver to practice, read and grade . . . grade. . . grade. I suppose I'll start here now, with the grading, I decided it was easier than shopping; it HAD to be done. I opened a black folder and pulled a piece of art that extended far beyond the piece of paper and colored crayons and I began to wonder: grade? humm. how ironic for me to begin with this piece that is beyond quantification? And so I read, and as I read I began to think and feel and the pressures of the oven, the sink, the car slipped through the cracks in my floor, unhindered by the dust and dog hair resting there.

Light Storm, drawing
Light Storm, drawing

I read about art and love and fear; fears and love that extended beyond these concerns that seem to eat up so much of us, of me. I felt the wind of the tornado in my life yesterday, and today I feel the frightening stillness of its aftermath, and I know that soon I must begin to sweep up, clean up, the remains. Yet, I hold a cup of warm coffee in my hands and I read how this simple pleasure has meant the reality of safety and comfort; the hand closes around me and reminds of security. I feel less strangled by demands, though to say this slipped totally away would be untrue. I feel more comforted by a connection to other minds, other lives, and the love that surrounds humanity.

Thank you, Aimee, for giving me this experience. I'm sorry that I cannot "grade" :) I can only enjoy the beauty of this moment that your work has inspired in this crazy life of mine.


Julia, Thank you.

Your response brought a rush of tears, emotions that had been bubbling for a while. There was much gratitude behind the release, gratitude for a trusted reader, for an intense learning experience that I know I'll be a stronger, wiser person for, and gratitude for the validation I've craved - to know that somehow through all this I am not totally crazy. You said it perfectly "I feel more comforted by a connection to other minds, other lives, and the love that surrounds humanity."

Each day I think, okay, today life will get back to normal (as though my life ever was normal!). And there may be 20 minutes here and there where the day is like a regular day - with maybe some semblance of predictability. There's a gnawing in my soul to escape for a while. And there's a protective instinct that keeps me hovering over my space to make sure the workmen are taking good care of what needs to be done with my house. We've been sharing our space with a friend and her animals. It's gotten a bit invasive, in fact, inspiring me to journal about boundary issues (and whew what core issues about my Mom!!!)

It's all good meaty experience that's making me really work to keep serene and sane. And your class has helped me keep focused on the task at hand. Material for my thesis keeps growing, too, but is still pretty scattered at this point.

I am honored that you have shared so deeply with me. I didn't imagine that you had the same frailties as me, figuring in your flaming feminism and super high activity life direction, you were some kind of dynamo goddess! And you're a human being like me.

Thank you, Julia


Transform, drawing

Transform, drawing


Dad, Got your funnies - so you're up and at em, at least at the computer. Glad to know you're finally back on line. So how many days till tee off?

My house is torn up - repairs from the tornado are taking a long time. They've discovered the roof was lifted off the house and set back down. They've added major bracing to the roof joists. And the center wall was twisted 1 1/2 inches to the north at the top. They've jacked and lifted the foundation and floor several inches in several places. (In the micro blast the house fell off the supports Val had put under the south side to level it when we remodeled in 1986.) They've repaired cracks in the outer foundation. Today they're going to go into the south wall and probably rebuild part of it next to the dining windows and reset the windows. My new chimney cap is beautiful - and actually meets fire code now! Just in time for the cold weather!

Starting to interview and take my portfolio around. So far, 3 places have shown interest.

Hope your energy resumes full throttle, and you're back swinging soon!



Why so fragile?

I have energy. I'm scattered and antsy.

My house is completely torn up. We can function in the kitchen okay. The living room is trashed - furniture being moved around everyday. They're working on trim today - and of course the curtains and pictures are all down. They want to finish the main room, kitchen and hallway, sheet rock and paint it before going into Jenna's and my room.

Margaret's stuff is still all over my bedroom, and her cats have charge of my bedroom and bathroom still. Jenna asked if we could get a kitten this weekend and I told her I'd have to wait a while before having to deal with kitty litter again, and my furniture being trashed. We could put the litter in the back room and declaw the cat, I know. But I'm a little tired of having two unhappy cats in my face and smelling up my space. One of them is badly passive aggressive. I'm just burned out.

Itchy Frieze, drawing
Itchy Frieze, drawing

Sorry I can't commit to anything right now. Wish my life would pull together a bit more.

Love ya,



I just told the builders your frog joke. They got a good giggle.

The house is a wreck. Jenna's Dad and I tried so very hard to never live in a space that we were remodeling. And of course here are Jenna and I deep in the middle of disruption and sheet rock dust. They're working on every wall, every window, all the trim. In the main living/dining/kitchen area right now. The floor has been leveled, walls rebuilt, sheet rock replaced. The kitchen is still usable. Stuff is piled all over bedrooms and my studio.

The saving grace is the 2 "Big Chill" soundtrack CDs playing on our new stereo. Thank you insurance company for the small, yet vital perk.

I'm trying to work. I end up back in my studio, unable to leave the house very long. Lots to do, and am keeping busy, just need to hover over my space.




I seem to be transforming myself as my house is being rejuvenated and restored. I'm deep on into this transformation process and can't seem to focus on much else except my work on the web and Jenna. I even called my special guy, and told him I couldn't see him for a few days yet.

I'm making some decisions about my thesis. And I think I can make it easy for me, plus use what I've got. You have said "QUICK and DIRTY" is how to just get in there and get it done. I believe you may be right. So from here I'm saying: as of March 7th (my first child, Sara's, 32nd birthday) I quit making anymore words and pictures for my thesis. Then from the March 7th through the end of Spring Break I spend every waking moment working on pulling all the pieces and parts together into a cohesive whole. A Zen sort of period. Then I want to defend in mid-April sometime, if possible.

How does that sound?



It sounds perfect and doable. You give yourself time to have a bit more chaos, preparation, experimentation, etc. and then a definite deadline with a good plan for writing it and finishing it up. Perfect! Good luck, you can do it. Keep me posted on your progress.

So happy you have found a workable plan. Go, girl, go!





Barry's Fire, monoprint

Barry's Fire, monoprint



Shinobu wrote:

how are you doing?
are YOU okay???
I haven't seen you for a long time.
where are you every day????
how is your thesis going?
mine is dead

My house is torn up from repair men
Will be for a while
I struggle to keep sane

My thesis is hanging by spider webs

I'm lighting a fire under yours.
Time to blow on it and feed it
Wanna do small drawings about it?

(I'm trying on baby steps)




digging with many hands ruckus, oh my! muckity between the toes


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This work is © Copyright 1999-2011 by Aimee Colmery of MudSoup Studio, Santa Fe, NM, USA
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