Merry Christmas!!! I dearly hope that it was a joyful and peaceful time for you, especially peace of heart and mind. It seems that so many people are worn by anxiety these days – if that resonates with you, let this Christmas be a season of peace and gratitude!
I know I say this every time, but it’s been such a whirlwind! In the two weeks between Mom’s visit and today, I’ve prepared for/shown work in an artist’s market, taught an art class, started a new job, switched my hours around at the coffee shop, rehearsed for playing cello at Christmas Eve masses, and then of course Christmas preparations and celebrations.
Needless to say, on the 26th of December I spent a lot of time being very quiet and still.
But what a fantastic couple of weeks! So many new adventures and experiences and blessings. The artist’s market at Amalga Distillery was amazing. There were probably twelve or so vendors selling their wares, and lots and lots of local shoppers! People came and milled about, chatted, shopped, and enjoyed each other’s company (while sipping yummy gin cocktails). I sold a good amount of work, met some wonderful people, connected with my community, and supported other local artists. Most of all, I had many people stop and look through my work and talk with me about it. It was encouraging to have engagement from the community, even if they didn’t end up buying anything.
The Saturday after the market I woke early and headed over to ColorWheel Arts to teach my first art class! The subject was sketching and drawing with sumi ink – we had five out of six spots filled and it was a nice mix of adults of different artistic backgrounds. I know that I was the “teacher” but it really just felt like a big drawing party. We talked, shared ideas, experimented, and made a LOT of art. I can’t wait to teach another one!
Christmas away from home was surprisingly not as difficult as I thought it would be. It’s not that I didn’t miss my family and my friends – I really did. But being away from normal traditions changed the way I experienced the Advent season and Christmas because I couldn’t fall into the routine of the traditions I’ve been used to for so many years. It was a Christmas of playing cello at several different Masses on Christmas Eve, winter walks in the night time and in the morning, experiencing the traditions of my family and creating new ones with them, inviting a friend (who has no family in town) to join our Christmas dinner, and experiencing moments where mere acquaintances suddenly become family.
And today, I experienced what has become one of my favorite parts of Juneau in the wintertime: ice skating on a real lake, in the bright winter sunshine, surrounded by the evergreen mountains patched with snow. Skating on a real lake is so, so different. It just expands in front of you, and there’s so much space, and the water is deep, inky black beneath you. It was beautiful. I also learned that I will not be entering an ice hockey league anytime soon – we had a couple of sticks and a puck, so we were messing around a bit. Basically, every time I would swing the stick to send the puck sailing across the glassy ice, the force of my swing would throw my balance and I’d end up on my bum on the ice. It was both fun and funny, but I clearly lack the knack for ice hockey.
We played hard in the refreshing winter air, and then (because playing outside in the winter makes one especially hungry) we scarfed a delicious lunch. With a cup of coffee and an hour of quiet work under my belt, I’m going to head downtown to my studio and get back into the art groove! This evening I’m looking forward to a cozy night’s rest in my little house on the hill, while the temperatures grow cold and the stars come out.
Sending love and sunshine from #49,