Thursday, October 25, 2012

melancholia strikes

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Part I. THE DIAGNOSIS
I am having a hard time adjusting. I did it to myself.

At the farm, each day unfolds as a massive unstructured expanse in front of me. I watch from the window, it's probably 7:30 am. I have so much to do and nothing to do. I've created this time and space for myself to be better and now I sit in the middle of our unfinished house waiting for something to happen. But there are few external forces here. Telephones don't ring, and people don't stop by. There are no meetings where I'm nodding and saying yes. Yes, yes yes! Oh the bobble head I used to be! The days of hustling. Do I miss them? It doesn't matter because we can't go back.

The quiet in my mind becomes wildly uncomfortable. I call my astrologer. She tells me to confront the dragons in the basement.

Part II. AVOIDING CONFRONTING THE DRAGONS IN THE BASEMENT
In an effort to distract myself I ordered a small box of roses last week and had Fallon ship them to the farm. This would be the external force! A catalyst to propel me into a mode of productivity where I could face the mounting list of farm tasks that hover around me. Where I could escape Enya on repeat.

One time when I was really struggling with depression and anxiety I saw a homeopathist. She asked me a number of questions about what moments made me feel the happiest. It was a difficult question for me because at the time I was working in the art world and nothing was happy for me there. But now it is simple to answer - I am happiest when I am alone with flowers.

The activity of making flowers just for my own enjoyment is very critical to my work, I don't know if I've ever talked about it here. In my brain it feels like I am making a symphony. I am myself and I feel close to freedom. It feels like a ringing or striking a chord. A surge: it is sharp and clear and focused.

I felt a little better, and then I got to escape to the city.


Part III. THE OTHER SIDE
Another box of roses are due to arrive any minute, the last box of the year. I'm back in the city now, sitting up in my office, thinking about Worlds End....how tenuous it feels; my suspended reality. Last night I forgot how to hail a cab and experienced another wallop of anxiety on 3rd Avenue. Obviously what I am trying to tell you is that I'm stuck between two worlds. I am smiling when I am writing now. There must be an appropriate 80's anthem for this moment.

Anyway, the roses. The rains came to Petaluma Sunday or Monday and we are to receive what was snipped right before they blew in. I like to imagine these roses somewhere dark in their wax tissuey shrouds...stacked on the back of a fed ex truck, bouncing through the streets of Brooklyn. Sealed in their box, neither dead nor alive.

It's 11:53am now. Where is fedex anyway?


33 comments:

Dana said...

You should start a commune. Seriously. I'd move up there.

Meg said...

insanely beautiful as always...enjoy those roses whenever they get there, and i hope the melancholy subsides. something about fall and melancholy seem to suit each other though, especially through your lens.
the new world you've created is pretty damn enchanting!

abby said...

i second that commune idea! also your photographs are simply stunning, capturing the mood of the post so precisely everytime! i could see that first or tenth one in all it melancholic beauty poster size.

Mihaeko said...

I'm so surprised at the timing of this post. That struggle, I'm new to it myself spending time at a farm in VT for extended work getaways, living in Brooklyn. I suspect there's a deep level of stress related to living in the city that takes a long time to shake, even if it's good stress. The constant input. I know the countryside nourishes me, I feel I belong there but it can also bring on a feeling of eerie emptiness that is hard to reconcile and I too have been at a loss for how to respond when I find myself not doing anything...

Bon courage.

bigBANG studio said...

in the studio, painting, undisturbed.

in the desert, hiking, with the dogs.

on the island in maine, reading, with P.

is when i'm happiest. also, i am clearing my throat at this moment and piping up that there *is* a little bit of joy in the art world because i say so, because i insist on it, because i inhabit it and i am *into* joy, happiness. otherwise i might as well hurl myself out this window. (delusion is an important part of happiness, maybe?)

here's to courage and a sense of continuing wonder, and to world's end, and the city, and all of us women with a foot in both worlds.

xo.

Sarah Ryhanen said...

lily; i edited my words - you are right (winky emoticon)

Jessica said...

Your photographs kill me every time. Another serious talent you have there.

Any time I have too much of something or of everything I get idled with confusion and fear then I do nothing. Still working on a solution for that.

Also, I find that doing flowers for myself not only keeps me in check but reminds me why I fell in to it. Kind of like how people say that folks in long term relationships should try to date / court their partner. It keeps things interesting.

Shelley said...

Not a solution to the conundrum but an idea.www.oldsheepmeadowsnursery.com/

Floret said...

killer post! love the little window into your world.

bigBANG studio said...

;)

Liz said...

me too about the little window comment. always, always look forward to your posts and your snaps.

Katie said...

i'm happiest when i'm walking winslow in the park in the morning, he is sniffing and i am thinking about nothing.

miss you, miss nea xooxo

margaret said...

this is my favorite blog. EVER.

Margaret Kelley said...

The idea of composing a symphony wih flowers is very interesting. As someone who works with both classical music and flora on a daily, nay regular basis, I think you've hit the nail on the head. You're layering, building, adding color, dimension, texture, line, negative space. Resting, but continuing to produce.

Sarah, you're a 21st century floral composer!

Jen Hinson said...

The descriptive bit about the roses in their wax paper in the Fed Ex truck was just so lovely.

amygoround said...

What I've learned from melancholy/depression: One, when we choose to express and talk about it to people, we almost always play it down from, and lighter than, how intense it really is. Two, when we express and talk about it, we feel better. So maybe when we talk about it as less intense and lighter than it really is, we are anticipating how much lighter and less intense it will feel after we've talked about it. On a lighter note, I like Betty Davis Eyes as an 80's anthem in times like these.

Emily Sweden said...

I feel the same peace and focus when I am working with flowers, that I don't get anywhere else. Follow that :)

edi gardner said...

It reminds me of Anais Nin but prettier pictures.
I think you are experiencing ownership. And that changes everything :-)). Huge Hug

LPC said...

And I have always found your melancholy flowers to be your most beautiful. You're a profoundly talented person. Many people feel anxious now and then, few are so talented as you. Just in case that's helpful, since I like you very much here in the Interether.

IAMTHELAB said...

Just amazing. I could get lost in those images.

Carola said...

I now how u feel. We moved from the city to a more country-beachy place and some days are just like that. Time seems to stop in front of me.


kisses from the vegetable garden

Carola

count buckula said...

you should call jen

Country Flora@Hyderabad said...

All over world beautiful flowers!

Melbourne florist said...

I like this blog very much !! Melbourne florist

Allisunny S. said...

I know you'll find your farm feet and internal forces...transition is such a confusing stretch.
Xo
Allison

Volare said...

Hello Saipua ladies. Sorry this is not about the post, but I was just hoping your business fared well through the storm. Wishing you the best (if it is not already that way)!

Sally May Mills said...

I smiled and nodded in recognition at your dilemma. I followed my values of freedom and simplicity to create what many may see as an idyllic lifestyle. A house on a tropical beach, no schedules, no demands, no work, and no stress. There isn't need for a calendar, a shopping list or an inbox. We don't have a postal service, local newspaper or tv. We're barefoot and child free. Yet I allowed myself to be plagued by feelings of guilt, lack of purpose and uselessness for many years. Overwhelmed by the great ocean of time. I tried creating fake "schedules" to bring order into my day and have something "worthwhile" to show for my waking hours. I carried with me the expectations of the western society and family; of what I thought I should be doing, which in my mind was never enough. I was measuring my days by someone else's yardstick, rather than being true to my intention. My mind was sullied by our society's obsession with busyness and the false sense of importance it commands. I suffered from under-stimulation because I let myself believe that doing fun things all day was frivolous and indulgent. Eventually i learned to be more at peace with simply being, and try (not always successfully) to ignore what other's think about my life. I let go of goals and expectations, preferring instead to focus on the present, for it is only here that true happiness exists. It requires ongoing awareness of my thoughts, letting go of unhelpful ones, and believing that I have enough, I do enough, I am enough. It doesn't mean I don't still fall into spirals of uncertainty, but it is an a journey I am grateful for. Moving between this world and the pace of Aussie society is still a big struggle, and I'm due back there in a few weeks...
Your photos, flowers and words have been a source of beauty, inspiration and stimulation on my island home. Stay with the vision. Blameless, at ease and in peace.

Fàtima -BORNAY- said...


oh my god...your photos are always perfect, gorgeous.... <3


Fàtima

MCC said...

That second photograph. You're the Mozart of flowers.

Tine (matimuk) said...

I find really wonderful images here..

florist online said...

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