Home / Not Home


You know how after you’re gone for a week or a month or only a few days and you come home and, for just a moment (or a week), you can’t find even the things you normally use DAILY and that have been in the same place for years?

And isn’t that kinda cool — to know that a few days of new input can completely shift your view, your routine, your same old/same old — so quickly?

And then suppose we think about it a bit, and make the conscious decision not to go back, NOT to remember the routines that once filled our minds quite full to the brim so quickly. Suppose we consciously decide to embrace the shake-up and reinvent at least once a year. Could you do it?

And I don’t mean leaving your family, because family is the best kind of absolute, or giving up your passions, which are passions for a reason, but simply waving tootleoo to habits and assumptions and routines that we blindly embrace and keep on the nightstand simply because they’ve always been there — always within reach — always easy and familiar. Suppose instead we make a conscious decision to embrace the not-familiar, the slightly difficult, the monumentally hard.

There’s much to be said for the familiar and even the easy. It’s why we love coming home, re-entering the embrace that fits just right, the dailiness we’ve created. But suppose we take this moment — this fraction of a second of omg-where’s-the-toothpaste, to look at our lives.  To look at our series of moments which can be either tiny embraces or monumental rediscoveries, to hold on to this lost-ness and re-imagine it as an opportunity for reconsideration and reinvention. Suppose we clean house, routine-wise and image-wise and imagining-wise, deciding which to keep, which to commit to wholeheartedly, which to see anew, and which might be holding us back from our own evolution?

Pamela Goode, born 1954, evolved at a rapid pace until 1978, a moderate pace until 1995, stalled for the next 30 years, died.

Let’s not go that route.

A Word for the Journey

Star Provisions AtlantaBlasphemy, to be sure, but Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. Of course the food rocks — nothing twitters my tastebuds like turkey and cranberries, and I can’t wait to get a nibble of my sister’s 2012 dessert: Sugar Cream Pie (thank you Indiana Quakers!). Pretty leaves crunch and crackle, the crisp air is set to a tolerable chill, apples abound and the smell of mulled cider is blissful. Group cooking (if you’re lucky), family (if you’re lucky/unlucky), hugs, smiles both genuine and forced, too much TV and the lure of deep sofas and downy throws round out the day. And then there’s the thanks-giving, which is lovely and meaningful, though for me more of a personal exercise than a group-share. I never show my heart in group-share. Sometimes I don’t even show my heart to myself.

A friend asked me yesterday if I’m living the life I want to live. Now that’s some hefty food for thought.

2012 has been a year of surprises for me — some good, some not. Today I’m thankful to be alive, to be loved, to have options, to have the ability to change.

I don’t consider myself a risk-taker. Others do, but they’re wrong. I’ve been able to do some Big Things with my life because I’ve thought and researched and dreamed and imagined and researched and thought and tested until I’ve found ways to make Big Leaps comfortable for a Small Step girl. In other words, I’ve discovered, or created, the exact formula that allows me to grow in a certain instance. Did traveling overseas alone for the first time at 41 free me from fear? No. Did opening a gallery alone at 53 free me? No. There are still oodles of things I can’t or won’t do, but the difference is that now I understand that there’s a way to be comfortable with the new and to thrive — I just have to find it. It’s like having children; you learn as you go.

And so as I think of this year of dancing with cancer, my family, my art, the gallery, the future and my own unknowing, I’m wondering: am I living the life I want to live? Am I growing into me?

For the most part, yes, absolutely. But there are always passions on hold, dreams that slip up to me in the darkness and tug on my nightshirt: “Is it my turn yet?” I think I’m getting a little old to keep saying, “Shhhhhh, not quite yet.”

And so my word for the rest of this journey was gifted by the photograph above, snapped eighteen months ago in Atlanta at Star Provisions. It’s time to stop maintaining and get back to growing. It’s time to get uncomfortable with comfort and snuggle up to surprise. It’s time to get dreaming again and researching that special alchemy that handholds reluctance into reality. It’s time to crawl into my heart and ramble around, and then to crawl back out and trample the shell, burst at the seams, strain towards the light. Time to Grow. And Grow some more.