Archive for June, 2016

Six Days

June 28, 2016



I have a six day residency right here in Cranston, RI. I didn’t have to apply for this opportunity. There were no fees. I didn’t have to write a statement about why I need the time and how it would change my career.

I  had only to convince myself that I should not feel guilty even though there is no prestige attached to this residency.  Making the decision was the hardest part, but is done. My shifts have been filled.

I have been rejected this past year for grants and residencies from some of the best. The MacDowell Colony, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the R.I.S.D. Musuem, and the always reliable for rejection, RI State Council on the Arts. I have written statements for applications that have made me cry. It wasn’t enough.

I’ll have to walk my dog. I’ll do the wash and vacuum. I’ll water my flowers and grass. I won’t have anyone fixing me breakfast and dinner, nor will any baskets of lunch be left outside my studio door. I won’t have the built in community of like minded people. But I’ll  wake to day after glorious day of hours to be a full time artist.

It’s been a bruising year for me. But there is this:

Dear Jessica, congratulations. I look forward to seeing what you’ll do when you have six days to do what you love.  Have a wonderful time. 

My residency will begin July 3rd and end at the end of July 8th.

Six days. Congratulations Jess. You’re in.






June 4, 2016

good – Simple Definition of good

  • : of high quality

  • : of somewhat high but not excellent quality

  • : correct or proper

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

I have been thinking about what people mean when they say so and so is a GOOD person. It seems to me that a lot of people confuse being good with being polite, non confrontational, and fairly conventional. I think I am GOOD, but a while back I learned that a few people did not. They not only believed that I was not good, but that I had done something that was BAD. Ever since, I have set out to prove my goodness. I think I have been successful to a degree, but it has come at a cost.
I thought that in spite of the fact that I am known to rant, to confront, to engage, most people could easily see that I was good, and that I would sooner harm myself than another other living creature. I was very wrong. I had to face the fact that among my friends I was accepted, but out in the world, beyond my bubble, people found me to be formidable, and even a little scary.
If I use the Merriam Dictionary definition of GOOD, I don’t fit. I suppose I am of high quality, depending on what rubric you use. At least I am smart. At least I have a high i.q.. I think I am:
: of somewhat high but not excellent quality.
I am unsure of whether I am “proper”.
I have to accept the fact that people can’t see inside of me. So, I am more quiet now. I am  more afraid to be myself. I have made myself smaller. None of these traits has made me a better person. I hope they have made it easier to see the GOOD bits of me. 
In an ironic twist, making myself smaller has made it impossible for me to donate blood, which was one of my favorite do good activities. 
My  goal is to figure out a way to be the fighter, the catalyst, the non conformist, but also survive in my world. People who have those traits are my heroes. The late, great Muhammad Ali, John Lewis, Eleanor Roosevelt, union organizers, protesters, people who refused to name names. I’m not sure I can do both. I have not succeeded so far, for sure. 
I am also trying to understand why I need to prove myself to these people who barely know me. Why is their opinion so important to me?
I am good. I have no proof of this, but I hope my actions speak. 
My dog Alice is good. She is lucky. Even when she is naughty we give her hugs and kisses and tell her she is a good girl. And she is. Anyone can see it.