|Rest in Peace, 20 Year Old Shorts!|
Yep, I've had these shorts for 20 years. And even though they are ripped and patched, with holes in all of the wrong places, I can not bear to throw them out. So I pinned them to my studio wall and put this black frame around them to give them their just reward and recognition for their years of service.
As I look at them I see them as a metaphor for the way in which my summers have changed during the 2 years I have been retired. When I was teaching, summer was the main time I could work on my art. I did do gardening and home improvement projects during the summer but I really concentrated on making art. Especially in July. That was "Art Month"...the month after May and June when I got the garden going and before the month of August when I would start to think about preparing for the school year. So I was always patching time together to get everything done during the summer months.
But with retirement I am able to spend more time in the garden. I find that it is suddenly noon and all I have done is watered, weeded, and harvested. Then I need to do something with all of that produce, so I can and freeze fruits and veggies. I find it incredibly hard to get into the studio and when I do it is for a brief time that feels patched together with the time when I was in there a week ago.
Now the shorts represent the entire year, not just the summer months.
Patched yet still whole they remind me of how I used to work to get a lot accomplished in a short time with the holes representing the things that didn't get done and the patches my attempts to keep it all together.
I can spend twice as much time in the studio as I concentrate on artwork from September to May instead of mainly in July. The still solid part of the denim represents my art practice now instead of it being represented by just the patches and holes.
Corny, maybe, but true.