by YONA C. RIEL

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Decade upon us...

    New Years for me is a capsule of time that I can use year after year to compare 'myself now' with 'myself before'.  In my case as of this writing a head injury in 2007 reset my clock so that I only have 3 years worth of comparison; 2007, 2008 and 2009.  Still it is an effective measure for me of whether or not I am moving in the right direction.
     Being an artist most of my real goals are not about money or acknowledgment; they are about whether what I have been creating is fulfilling the part of me that lives in the imaginary world of my creations.  I have heard 'that part' referred to as the muse, one's soul and the creative spirit.  I call it 'the land of the gauds'.
    Today I was working on a rusty and weathered piece of metal.  Though it has been hanging on my fence for nearly 5 years I have never much liked it and my eyes have slid right past it every time I went in and out of that gate.  But suddenly today I saw it in sections and I realized it would make interesting additions to the art I have been working on the past few days.
     I was trying to split open a jump ring to separate the sections and it required precision use of both hands.  My left hand has not been fully functional for the past few years and serves as both a symbol and a signal as to how I am doing.   In comparison to New Years 2009 I have a good deal more functionality in my hand.  And New Years of 2008 I could not even dress myself without the help of a friend.   So though I was initially frustrated by my hand's inability to do what I needed it to do I kept trying different ways to open up the jump ring and separate the different parts.

     Still there will always be a part of me that remembers I once wore a superwoman cape and could accomplish anything (or so I thought).  Certainly before my head injury getting the parts of the rusty metal thing separated would have been a 'no-brainer'.  The memories of my old self and my new self can make the comparison process a messy, non-linear, ball of confusion.  And sometimes, when I limit my comparisons to what my left hand can and cannot do it is very easy to see how much healing I have done.  After all I am using both hands to type this very message to you.  It has taken two years for the pinky finger in my left hand to learn how to hit the 'a' key instead of the 'shift' key.  And I still get it right only half the time. 
    In terms of my progression as an artist I made two pieces this year that were very personal in nature and that I am proud of.  The first one you can read about and see here:  http://yonacriel.blogspot.com/2009/12/re-post-resurrection-of-yo.html .  The second one was a piece I started in Oaxaca and completed when I got home.  To read about and see this one go here:  http://yonacriel.blogspot.com/2009/12/la-madre-de-todas-mis-santos-patronas.html
     Despite having completed a mere two pieces this year, that's two more than I completed last year and thus in my better moments I say to myself, 'you did good, I am proud of you'.
     I won't show you just yet what I am working on now.  Let's just say it involves a lot of heart.  Once we get closer to Valentine's day I will post some pictures of the pieces I am making for a show I am doing Valentine's weekend.  Thanks for reading.  And happy New Decade!