I don’t want to go to the studio.

It’s not just “meh, don’t feel like it” — it’s more a sense of dread at the thought of unpacking my EMU studio stuff, reorganizing, starting fresh, sitting down at the wheel. I was so immersed for so long — day and night, toward the end — that I can’t even wrap my mind around it now.

It’s like when I brought my first baby home, after a long and somewhat traumatic hospital stay and a painful, exhausting labor. I couldn’t even look at any of the free stuff — ( like diaper bags and notebooks) – that the hospital sent home with us. Just looking at that hospital logo, and the institutional colors I had stared at during labor, made me feel queasy. When I went back to the hospital after that, for other procedures, it was with all the enthusiasm of the dog being dragged into the vet’s.

It’s like that. I was unpacking pots from EMU and the gas-reductiony smell of the school studio clung to the newspaper, bringing a wave of mixed emotions. I went out and stuffed the unpacked boxes into my own studio to deal with later.

I am still planning and working. I put in a bid on a big Skutt kiln at the potter’s guild that’s in need of rewiring, and am researching the possibility of building a caternary arch soda kiln at my folks’ place at the lake. I am sketching ideas, but they are miles from what I was making the last two years. I need to figure out, after all this time, what I want to make, just for me.

I can’t bring myself to finish putting my MFA pots up on the website. I don’t want to look at them, in real life or in photos. All I see is what’s wrong with them, esp. the thrown ones, and how I would remake them next time — but I have NO interest in remaking those pots.

I guess I need a little distance, recovery time, a chance to “breathe in” after a very productive push.

My momentum has not slowed, though. I get up in the morning and attack long neglected house projects, purge rooms of the too much stuff that collects everywhere, making weekly runs to recycle, donate and dump. Things marked “FREE” disappear off my front curb in a day. I go all day, and work on my bookkeeping and taxes when everybody goes to bed.

I think I need to start making a list of what I’m getting accomplished every day. I tend to go to bed with a mental list of what ISN’T done. Maybe I’ll blog it here. I can say that for now, things are shifting; making strawberry jam with Molly today, and picking and pitting cherries for a pie, all seemed as important to me today as the perfect shino jug did a month ago.

Sabbatical, I’m calling it. It sounds better than studiophobia.