“Self Worth: you can’t buy it, date it, drink it, or earn it from others. It’s an inside job.” ~ Anne Lamott
This post marks the completion of the seventh year of the outhouse. Seven inconceivable years. I haven’t missed a single day in those seven years racking up 2,556 posts as a result. So much for a one-year project, eh? I’ve gotten much more from this little idea than I ever expected. There have been a few bumps along the way but there’s been way more good than bad. 2018 has been a tiring year for a lot of reasons, but that, too, is not a bad thing. It has caused me to reflect in ways that I might not otherwise. For those who’ve been with me from the start you might recall that after year two, having amassed over 34,000 images during that period, I changed the rules to allow images from the archives to be used in daily posts (prior to this all images had to be created the day of the post). Now, I think it’s time to expand the outhouse horizon again. It’s time to scale back on the number of posts I make – from the usual daily post to once, twice, maybe three times a week depending on happenings. This will allow me to concentrate on the depth of posts rather than the breadth offered by daily posts. Further, it will allow me to concentrate on a few other artistic outlets I’ve been entertaining, perhaps finally remodel the house (or part of it anyway), and pay some attention to my aging body. I was still 46 when the outhouse began. I’ll be 54 in a week. During this time I’ve lost and gained more weight than anyone one ought to. I’ve got more grey hair, more wrinkles, and a lot more age spots. I’ve been through natural disasters, deaths -some tragic, births – all glorious, surgeries (goodbye gallbladder), a few weddings, a divorce (maybe more), many fun travels, great food, great parties, reconnecting with dear friends, staying connected with others, wonderful family gatherings, and art. Always art. There must always be art; the act of creating something from nothing, or creating something new from something old; reimagining the world and one’s place in it; seeing God, the Great Creator, the Universe in all things and channeling that into being. This is central to my existence. I celebrate the work made by others, too. Their visions and their places in this world are important to my own sense of being. In May, I received an unusual curio cabinet. I don’t collect curios, but I do collect folk art, usually of the small variety, along with small amulets, not always worn, of great personal significance. I began to assemble all of these into the cabinet and created something more outstanding than I ever imagined. In these few images you see work by Minnie Adkins, Michelle Shute, Sandy Davis, Rebecca Miller-Campbell, Julene Jones, Joe Molinaro, Ron Gevedon, Libby Barnes, Debi Horton, and Chris Terrell among others. You also see the spirits of Lance Hughes, Angie Bliss Fanning, Mindy Gaumer Cardenas, my parents, and my beloved dog Sadie. That’s just in these photos. There’s a bottom half of the cabinet not shown here. Every single day I look at this cabinet and it glows with love, compassion, integrity, and innovation. Above all I see inspiration and hope. My wish is that you, dear reader, find as much hope and inspiration in your daily lives throughout 2019 as I find in my art life cabinet every day. Here’s to us and an improved outhouse in 2019.