I can see over my cartons again, out of the window. I got my first positive book review last night, from my neighbor Melissa up the street (I could walk her copy up to her, very efficient). It filled me with joy.
It felt like this:Fortuneteller Bangle, CGB Vol. I, beadwork by JoAnn Baumann
I woke up this morning sore, but uninjured, and by God that’s all that matters. I pretend that I am a bit tattered because I have been hiking in the mountains, run a footrace, and then been visited by a lover. I marvel again over what this exquisite project has demanded. Admittedly I’m the kind of person who is always doing something, and generally doing a new thing, putting myself at the edge of my comfort zone to do it, so while I may have more opportunities than most people to experience difficulty as well as excitement, this past year has tested me. Also, for whatever reason (I think honestly it is the quality of the ideas behind the work) the audience kept doubling. This project should distill itself into a body spray or something, because my God it is alluring.
However, as with anything guarded by a Siren song, rocks are present, and there is danger to one’s tender prow in that honeyed sea.
I had another one of those OMG moments when the delivery arrived, and I opened the cartons, and the books were lovely, and the colour was correct, but I discovered that despite it being clearly marked on all order paperwork, the bindery didn’t shrink-wrap the individual books. I guess they were still flummoxed from their feet of snow and their stalled trucks, but honestly, it was a huge mistake.
Seeing their fuckup, after already feeling like I’d run the race, well, it felt like falling through space again.
Shrink-wrap is wonderful and terrible; it uses plastic, but it saves a lot of other wrap and packaging, and it saves the books from damage. Shrink-wrapped books can pop right into a padded envelope or suitcase and off they go. All of my packaging was ordered assuming that the books would be wrapped. And of course I ordered (and hand-signed) stick-in bookplates, because the books were going to be shrink-wrapped, so I couldn’t get inside to sign them. The bookplates seem a little silly now, because of this, and while I don’t mind looking silly from time to time, I admit that I have a bit of an overload of it on this project.
The bindery’s flummox is all about timing; everything sucks in winter, simple jobs become practically or logistically difficult. They are a good bindery. It’s like having a baby; if you are smart you plan to be pregnant and also to deliver in mild weather. Winter is all for you, every fluffy snowflake and refreshing breeze and puff of frozen breath; I bequeath it to you, I lay it aside. I renounce it. This complete and utter mental severance of winter and myself motivates me to move faster on Vol II, so I can deliver before the frozen fuckery strikes yet again. Handily, the layout is already open. From March, I am at the top of the Wheel, I feel I can do anything; whatever I envision, the hand is already on the knob.
I say to myself, of course I can make a baby in six months instead of ten, or twenty. Why, I’ve already started. And I have eight boxes of the most amazing beadwork imaginable in house to photograph. You won’t believe the things that are coming in. Lord!
So, anyway. The missing shrink-wrap was just one more surreal moment in a series of many. I deeply don’t like it that I have to hand-wrap all 1500 books going out. But there isn’t really anything to say about it. It happened, it’s stupid, but I am in fact hand-wrapping each book before it goes into the envelope. At the start of Saturday, I’m through about a third of the order, instead of being finished. And I have to laugh, and do the math: Three times as long as it should have taken? Ha! Ha! Ha! It’s completely in the spirit of the project. Even the beadwork takes three times as long as beadwork I knew before I discovered geometric forms.
But I say also to myself: A third of my delivery is complete! And the gifts have been uncountable; the discovery, the thrill, that top of the wheel kind of view of new ideas…. I just have to keep working, and by God I can do that. It’s who I am.
I remember being in labor with Liam for three days, instead of one. But Evan, who followed immediately, was in my arms in a few hours. I latch on to this, I listen to music and open a bottle of wine, discover that it’s only 9 in the morning, which is not when we drink wine on this planet, I put the cork back in. Time is a continuous thing. I sleep, soundly, and take a hot bath every so often, pouring in Epsom salts, French honey bubblebath, a mental Ferrycorn (thank you x 2 Kim van Antwerp).
Today should be quite productive. Dustin is going to help me wrap, which is fantastic, and the mailman is picking everything up, so nothing has to ride in my Miata, despite how cute it looks piled with parcels. I could pile it up for a photo op, but it would be a lie.
And of course, after today there is tomorrow, and then there is Monday. And then people I love come, and a photoshoot begins. And then I fly into the arms of my beloved, and then there is tomorrow, and another day after that, an endless series of days that I can experience until I run out, and then there will be the next thing, or nothing.
Right now, I hear the Baronet in the yard; it will be a cold day, the heater that I hoped was off for summer is in fact on again for today. But today will soon be a piece of my past, and so I’d best get to filling it with Hell Yes. I just had to tell someone, you know, how this all feels.
Onward! And upward!