Taxes and the Practice of Zen Laundry

Stressed out. Way to stressed out for far too long. Only now I’m blaming taxes. The little blinking reminders and running totals of what you owe the government on my tax software is now directly related to my blood pressure and heart rate. Instead of 103/70 and 72 bpm, I am “excess withheld of $72.68” and Federal Total +$348. Once the state tax package completed its download, I shut off the computer.
For now it is time to find a zen moment while folding warm towels and sheets. Enjoying a glass of not-too-cold water as I sit outside in sunny Arizona’s not-too-anything January weather.
I realized back in art school that I cannot completely separate writing and photography. One feeds the other. I don’t photograph much without first writing about it, or at least contemplating the results on paper later. I also now know that when I sit down to write, it becomes very clear how much I miss making photographs–images–art.
There can be some satisfaction in the writing alone. And conversely I suppose in the creation of an image. However, more times than not, if I neglect one of the segments of the process then I sense it is lacking, flat. Perhaps I have cheated and it shows.
I think this interdependence is a relationship born out of necessity. You see, I have been a photographer without a camera for months, spent literally years without a darkroom and I am nearly always lacking the monetary stamina required to see a project through to completion. (Ah, money. You begin an exercise to release the tension of tax time by expressing thoughts regarding your creative life and within 150 words, money has crept its way back onto your page. Dirty little buggar anyway!)
My latest projects (within the last year) have been a joint effort of my writing and image making. I loved making an image from printed words on a page while getting my feet wet in a beginning collage-making class. I became quite proud of myself when I first saw the results of codes pounded into my prints.
All the while, I am compiling quite the list of hot spots to exhibit in Phoenix. And I have been rejected by some of the best: Tilt (twice, but I won’t hold it against the twins), Schemer Art Center, and this week the Burton Barr library. Now let’s stay positive and repeat the words of the wise (Ms. Robyn Hazen), “Won’t they all be sorry when they didn’t hook you when they had the chance.” I will try to not let loose my auto-generated sarcastic reply, “Right! Cuz my first show at MoMA will really knock them off their high horses!”
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