I am cleaning my room. So that I may enjoy my room. And so that if my roommate happens to leave beautiful handmade Christmas gifts on my pillow while I am out of town, the gifts will feel safe and like they may belong in such a room and there will be space for them besides on my pillow.
I secretly enjoy cleaning my room once I give in to the daunting task. The pile atop my nightstand is the "really important must deal with soon or find a special spot for or don't bend!" pile. As you can see it keeps growing and it is becoming scarier and scarier to place items upon nightstand. This is the time of night where I lose momentum and get tired and want to quit but there are organized piles all over my bed.
I want shelves hanging from the ceiling and the most careful card and important paper saver and endless file cabinets.
Many will call this hints of pack rat syndrome but there are grey potential projects covering the floor! And I know I just happen to be blessed with really nice memories and most of these objects help me to not forget.
Greetings, I hope you friends are well as the holiday is sneaking. I am on an airplane sitting next to nice non-talkers and close to a frustrated baby. This break to celebrate Christmas will be appreciated, but this bored feeling is so new, as just an hour ago I was running back and forth to the gate, forgetting my phone at security and giving a (genuine) sad face to the attendants telling me I would be bumped (they eventually let me board). I wouldn't have made it without loving Lindsey and kaysha helping me pack, make take/leave decisions and reminding me why I love nampa. And I am very thankful to co-worker Marilyn who I maybe talk to once every other month who took me to get gas when I ran out a mile away from work this morning.
As it feels as though I was dropped into confined boredness aboard the plane, (vastly different from my last few weeks)- I will show you some highlights from the last few months.
I was of course sad to move out of the home of these dears,
And this dude,
And this fella
And even this lady,
And Justin who declines most photos.
But look at my new place!
I'm so lucky to have the roommates I do.
( Liesel- Kit)
Noah helped! He's skilled at cutting in. The day we finished, and that does not include touch-up, we had friends over to enjoy some music.
With Child (below), Two Girls and Spondee (the band in which I play keyboard) filled the small space for the night! And only one neighbor complained.
It is funny that we try to make sense of this life. I have learned that this understanding might not ever be possible.
(This summer I decided I will continue to live in Idaho. For... a while. I don't know how long. I was given the great gift of attempting to teach art at Liberty Charter School, my alma mater. We will go on a nice autumn break in three days following conferences, having completed 8.5 weeks. I feel challenged but overwhelmingly blessed to be learning in the environment I am, with the support I have.)
Most importantly, my life changed August 2 when my dear friend, Kris Jensen passed in a car accident. There is no way to explain loss as I am learning, but what I can explain are the reasons why I easily, without trying, love this beautiful friend.
Kris loves unconditionally. From conversations with her and from watching her daily service of - running over at the last minute, loaning her precious vaccuum, stopping to split a meal, cleaning others' messes, listening to a long story, defending a student, or always putting herself last - I know she learned how to be this selfless by following our God. I also know that He gave Kris the natural ability and desire to live for others, it was just in her small, long bones.
Kris serves in this way with a contagious laugh, with beautiful eyes that laughed just as much, and the famous "crow" that would sneak out every know and then out of shock.
Kris enjoys every small joy. She and her family often say "It's good to be Kris" Boy is it. A cold Pepsi with the perfect ammount of ice, chocolate covered cinnamon bears, pollo rey and chapalas, and a routine Sunday dinner does Kris' soul good, but especially because she enjoys these treats with people she loves around the table. A dirty house excites Kris, all the more fun to clean well!
A couple years ago, Kris asked me to join her at 4:45am to drive to Boise to sit outside of the Record Exchange to buy Modest Mouse tickets that went on sale at 10am. Why wouldn't we?! Only seven people were able to buy tickets at this location and we were first in line. Kris is smart and more than willing to work for things she wants.
When I was in early high school Kris invited me to be her friend and a part of her family. What a gift! This gift will continue to influence who I am and the way I attempt to live. From Kris and her husband and five kids and extended family I learned the possibilities of how a family can choose to love daily. Kris doesn't sugar coat anything. Family and living isn't easy, but it's simple. Kris loves her family with all of her and her life was lived for them. I decided those first months of spending time with Kris and her family that I wanted to have a large family. Sure more to deal with, but more character, more love. Her love is so clear.
Kris was dancing with me on my first night of really dancing. She invited me to a house show at her son Jeremy's house, where he and also his brother Elijah and sister Rachael would be playing. Honestly dancing held a different definiton after that night. It is free. and funny. and free. and so much fun. Every show after this, at some point Kris would ask me, or sometimes just have to look over with her smile, or sometimes pull me out of my seat, to go dance. Even if there wasn't a floor. We were loving and feeling the music and wanted to express that and join the band in the fun. This dancing and experiencing joy with Kris while dancing will forever influence my happiness in a moment. Because of her I try to be present and just do what I am itching to do or say what I need to say.
This summer I would get a couple calls a week, sometimes at 9 or 10 saying, "Elijah is playing at the VAC, let's go!" or "Spondee (Noah's band) is playing at Flying M, you have to come!" or "I know I ask too much, but Jer is playing tomorrow night, will you come?" Kris supports her children and anyone she loves and wants to share that with everyone.
Oh I love her.
I am so blessed to see her most loved family almost every day, she would absolutely love the way her family has come together even more. She is missing out on her favorite kind of parties.
I have learned over and over just how far Kris' love and influence reached. So very far. What I know is that I didn't deserve her love, belief in me, trust, companionship, laughs, the splitting of enchiladas - but I received it. The honest gift of Kris I felt over and over and feel today. I can feel it. Which makes me not want to accept that my memories stop here. But I am also sure that a few weeks ago now, Kris would say, "Kylee, quit your boobin'. You have to enjoy all of this for me now!" She would not stand for me stopping. So that's what we are all trying to do.
I can't believe that I get to carry parts of Kris with me and am able to choose daily to deal with situations like she would.
My boss likes to say, "It will take at least a year to figure out all that Kris really did" She went completely beyond her job description and enabled our school to run. So on community service day with the high school last week I started walking with dread and complaining in my head that I was in charge of scrubbing the bottom of the dumpsters with a few pleased students. Before I could finish my really good, justified complaining to myself, I thought of the smile and honest excitement with which Kris would clean those dumpsters. Thank you Kris.
I don't get any of this. But I thank God for my friend and her love and her life.
Was the reception of my installation show "Home blank Home".I wanted to create a piece my senior year of undergrad to invite viewers to think about what home is or should be. Two contrasting doors stood at the entrance of the gallery, inviting viewers inside the idea of a home. Half of the walls were unfinished, raw pieces of plywood, the other half were clean and polished. Both held common household objects drawn in 2D on the walls. The only physical pieces inside the installed walls were a chandelier composed of friends' definitions of home, a designed and constructed table and borrowed chairs around that table, all in the center of the room.
Here are some images of the project's progression.
the beginning. My generous, generous friends the Renschlers helped tremendously. I set up shop in their shop for a couple months. Brad, a skilled framer, contributed his skills in the building of the walls that were to be installed in the gallery. I chose to work on seperate walls to allow for time and trial and error. The turn around in the galleries is quite fast, I would have only been given 2 days to paint the gallery, so instead I am thankful I had months to work on the walls before transporting them into the gallery.
only at the minor, intial stage of confusion and exhaustion. Here you see my friend the jumpsuit that accompanied me for around 2 months. It was helpful in the cooler months. And honestly, this jumpsuit became meaningful to me, once putting it on in the morning, I was instantly ready to work. And then I didn't want to take it off until the show was completely finished.
Kind souls Dave, Brad, dad, papa, Reed, Peter and Chris met at 7am Saturday morning to transport the walls from the Renschler shop to the Friesen gallery at NNU. (there were donuts)
There are awkward stairs in the Brandt center that made the walls very scary/difficult to carry, but the determined men did excellent. (I felt bad, but I really couldn't help, besides maybe the opening of doors, so I chose to document)
This shows proportions pretty well.
This is the entrance to the gallery before the temporary doors were installed. You can see that upon entering, you could only see plywood against the glass walls with the exception of two square windows providing a sneak of a peak inside. (and I must clarify, the wood wasn't leaning against the glass once fully installed)
situating walls in gallery
This is the only shot I have of the living room (plywood walls to the right).
Look at that generous work!
The walls were transported and mostly in place by 9am. I think these three went back to bed. The next couple of days I had a lot of work to do that I couldn't perform before installation. I learned a lot about stress management. I hope. I don't think the jumpsuit was taken off until the day before the reception.
Hero framer Brad, doing what he does best!
There are things I would change about the show looking back, but I wouldn't trade what I learned through the process. This show was a needed step in me understanding different aspects of being an artist. And we had a nice party in the end too. Thank you friends who came, it was wonderful having you be a part of the installation! Here are some photos, courtesy of my friend, Reed Reeder.
(sorry it took a year to post these Bethany!)
Here is the dirty retired jumpsuit. This photo was taken for an advertisement I was designing but I wanted to show you why we will never see or wear this treasured garmet again.