Thursday, August 11, 2005

future imperfect



For the last several years, Sloth has been mulling over the idea of making a small slothlet with HFP. Truth be told, the idea holds equal amounts of attraction and repulsion. These forces are sometimes bearable, sometimes at crisis levels. Currently there is a crisis, with some exploration of relocating to a larger log in a different area. The current digs are wonderful, but small, and lifestyle changes would undoubtedly have to be undertaken to accomodate a demanding little critter. The prospect is simultaneously exciting and troubling. What if the wrong decision is made? There would be no going back either way. If nothing is done, we will run out of time, and the decision will be made for us. We are looking for other models of artist-type critters who manage to pull it off, and they are few and far between, and most of them are either rich or famous or both.

This problem is torturous. Surely relic production would drop off, and there would be a general hampering and great loss of freedom. But continuing with the status quo isn't so very appealing, either, and there is fear of future loneliness and emptiness. Sorry for the downer post, but it has been insisting on being expressed.

The deep desire is for someone else to decide, but in the end, we have to work it out for ourselves. Feels good to rant a bit, though.

50 Comments:

At 3:42 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

sloth, that was hardly a rant! have you ever read my blog??

You and I are completely on the same page with the critter confusion. As the years go by I can say that the most important parts of my life are always friends and family rather than career or money or dreams that I hope take shape. you know, day to day. This makes me think that critters will be wonderful even if hard. however, two days ago I had an attack in the studio when I decided that I could not have them - that I am insane if I were to allow this to occur. So I don't know. New York is a bitch of a place.

Where are you thinking of relocating to?

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

and the whole aging/35 thing. ugh ugh ugh. sometimes I wish I wouldve had kids at 22.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Ha! Child. Try 38.

 
At 3:47 PM, Blogger sloth said...

It feels like insanity. Diametrically opposed positions simultaneously exist. Sometimes it seems like the most wonderful and natural thing to do, and sometimes it seems like it would be a disaster. It would probably be both, actually.

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger sloth said...

We're looking at Brooklyn, maybe Prospect Heights or Clinton Hill. Perhaps to buy a multi-family with some kind of work space.

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger sloth said...

HFP is ambivalent, too, but not as torn asunder. If one of us was enthusiastic about it, things would be easier.

 
At 4:03 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

good. you're not thinking of going to suburban NJ or CT! Come to Brooklyn I say!! Can't you see me pushing a child around Bushwick? Don't laugh too hard. It may happen. At least there are nice playgrounds and a whole load of kids! I am mostly freaked out by the whole working/not-working/child care dilemma. I feel like I have enough on the plate with studio time, job & freelance, yoga, and social calendar you know? I don't want to bitter/resentful and I am afraid I may become that way.

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

Who am I?

 
At 4:12 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Let me know if you and Arthur want to go in on a house in Fort Greene or something.

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Is your studio at home, by the way?

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

studio is right by where you used to live - flushing & wyckoff in a warehouse. it's cheap cheap cheap and a 10 minute walk from home. I do have a basement I could use as a studio sort of right now but it seems depressing so I rent something. more professional than weird basement where I can hardly stand up without hitting head.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

many of my friends are having kids now too. adds to conflict. i consider alternative careers constantly in my mind. something high paying. only for the sake of kid.

 
At 4:24 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Are your artist-friends having kids? Are they still artists?

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Most of our friends are kid-free and plan to stay that way. Our few friends who have them are either not artists or they have quit making art, or they have moved far away and we never hear from them anymore.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

one artist friend/acquaintance - still artist.

other friends having kids are not artists. one is fashion designer w/own business - due with first this month, very exciting. other is midwife - just had 2nd child. she is rocking the mom thing.

my "deal" is that I cannot be a mom, and artist, and work a job job. it's too much. one thing must be thrown out probably. but at the same time I think i can make it work somehow. I don't know.

 
At 4:32 PM, Blogger sloth said...

FB, that is exactly my feeling. Maybe if there was a studio at home, or a job at home or something? Otherwise, one of us would surely have to suspend art practice for a while, at a time when the careers are on baby-legs themselves.

 
At 4:33 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

i admire those that can just decide to be kid-free forever. i can't make that decision for myself. I may have to let mother nature do it for me instead. ha.

 
At 4:34 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Same here! Exactly.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

for myself I am completely untrusting of art career. I hope this feeling lessens in future. I do not know what to do.

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger sloth said...

You are admirably frank, FB. You regularly express things that are in my mind but are too scary to look at.

 
At 4:40 PM, Blogger sloth said...

We are definitely at a "shit or get off the pot" point right now, and are actively trying to work it out. Just a decision, ANY decision, would be a relief.

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

i still like art though, and artists generally. I constantly wish i were born different in the head so that I would have made more sensible choices.

I don't want to have a kid and run away back to Iowa. But sometimes I can understand how that kind of thing happens. Some of our good friend fled to Omaha after like 4 months of having a kid in carrol gardens & they were not artists with professional jobs.

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

not that artists arent' professional - you know what I mean - "salaried" jobs. oh, and about the frankness....it is the Iowa upbringing and my penchant for self-flaggelation. (not sure how to spell that)

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

we made the "decision" right after xmas, but mother nature is a trickster. which is fine. scary huh?

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Oh my god, that is my worst nightmare. We also know someone who is thinking about moving back to her hometown in Texas for the same reason.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger sloth said...

meaning, moving away from NY is the nightmare... behind in the posts.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger sloth said...

can you tell what you decided?

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

yes to baby, no hormonal impediments anymore. but it no worky. we are not all serious about it yet though so whatever. it's a totally bizarre way to decide. inaction.

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Right - Iowa. You and friend Kirsten are both supercool and nice and funny. Speaks highly of Iowa.

 
At 4:50 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Wow, really? That is brave.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger sloth said...

We're too chickenshit as yet, but it could easily be too late already.

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

or completely fucked up. i'm so confused anyway I figure i might as well add this to the pile. lessen my self-absorption maybe? or hasten psychosis.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger sloth said...

We are having our heads shrunk to figure this all out. Not sure if it will work.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Funny - if it's too late already, that doesn't seem so bad in a way. Not sure why. Because no more tortured indecision, I guess.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger sloth said...

still, it would be a little sad.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger fairy butler said...

good for you with the head shrink plan! i always think that the answers will come if you take it easy and listen closely. I bet it is not too late sloth.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger sloth said...

sigh - thanks FB. you have helped scratch a terrible itch to discuss this.

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger mountain man said...

Slothy, I can think of some artist couples who seem to make it work, not without difficulty but still. I don't want to name names on the blog but if you want it to, it can, I think. I agree about the empty feelings, though. I feel them often, especially as there are new babies around. Confusing and sad and hard to move forward when there is indecision on this topic. I am glad to see you guys talk about it as it is something I am thinking of/tormented by extremely regularly. I just don't know what I want...it's complicated, with arguments on both sides. It just seems like a profound thing that I may not want to miss. But then I don't want to lose myself totally and lose momentum on the (you nailed it Sloth) baby-legs career.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger mountain man said...

My latest thought is - the arguments against it seem selfish in a way, but then, introducing yet another kid into the world and making that the most important thing, starting the cycle over of yet another new person with problems/issues/unfulfillable needs, well that hardly seems noble and selfless. Being a good parent requires selflessness...I don't know what I am getting at here. I just am not sure that painting painting and more painting and jobwork and taking trips and drinking cocktails is enough for the rest of my life. I love to paint. I do. I am devoted to it. But I hate the empties. Just wanted to rant myself. Thanks Slothy.

 
At 7:56 PM, Blogger sloth said...

My own take on it, MM, is this: Forget about selfishness. No matter what we choose, we are acting out of feelings that are self-centered in some way. Which is fine. It's much more a question about whether one is suited to it, whether there would be more joy than misery in the long run, and whether the things one gives up are worth the things one gains in either case. Our worry is more a worry about what path is the better path, and how do you know ahead of time? I guess you can't, and that's what is so freaky. Two radically different futures are possible; which one is the right choice? Ack.

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger sloth said...

I totally know what you mean, though, by "I just am not sure that painting painting and more painting and jobwork and taking trips and drinking cocktails is enough for the rest of my life." I fear there would be a missing-ness. But maybe those things would be enough to sustain, along with friends who are in the same boat, and some fun travel (which would be easier sans critters). Dunno. With or without, though, cocktails will definitely be consumed.

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger sloth said...

FB, the inaction plan is sane and good. It is nice. No crazy pressure or specialists or whatever.

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger wala said...

the production of additional sub-units and other continuations of oneself is a cool and galactic opportunity to change the world... a real live breathing canvas that can laugh and cry and eventualy choose its own form and color.

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger sloth said...

Monster Spank! You are a truly remarkable being. It's funny, but I was wondering what you would make of all of this dropping-of-pretense and expression-of-the-hand-wringing-banal-realities. You are far away, but your voice is clear and immediate and truth-telling and kind. You are good, Monster Spank.

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger sloth said...

MM: I should have said "self-interested," rather than "self-centered." Apologies.

 
At 11:52 PM, Anonymous krixfort said...

this was a good thread. Thanks for the discussion. I think about this topic quite a bit. I am unsure on this also. I often fend off questions from family that start with "When". My grandma suggested I find a friend to help out with this process. She watches too much daytime television I think.

There are so many things that I'd still like to do and I fear that all of those dreams would fade away. I suppose they would be replaced by new ones.

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger sloth said...

Ah, Krix, your grandma loves you and wants you to be happy. Lucky you to still have a grandma! What she proposes would be very hard, but many do it anyhow.

 
At 9:29 AM, Blogger mountain man said...

Argh Slothers, my blog was attacked again this morning. Oh well. I deleted the posts and said so. I don't want any crap to linger in my mind. Angry anonymous was back at it with the "you ladies" and "only privileged white girls" and "over-indulged, under-worked artsy housewives." Oh and let's not forget outmoded Buffy meets Sylvia Plath. Hmmm. I know this is what I get for having a blog. I believe it is ok to be mean. But anonymously is annoying. At least come up with a name.

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger sloth said...

Rrrrrrh, what a cowardly bugger. It's easy to mock others when you are a sniveling, craven rodent afraid to show your face. Anonymous should reveal more of himself/herself so we can mock in return. Or just fuck off and get a life.

 
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