• Laurel posted an update 3 years, 8 months ago

    Molting and Fledgling
    I feel like I am a phoenix fledgling this spring. I kept so quiet over the winter insulating myself from the grief I was experiencing. I am a pretty private person when it comes to loss, disappointment, anger. These are not things I share easily. If we were to fill out the Blueprint of We documents it would tell you exactly that. I take time and space to soak in loss before I am ready to share. I experienced a great deal of loss last fall and winter and it took all I had in me to just be. We lost our Muddy Muse Studio/Schoolhouse in late October- after the hurricane brushed the coast and dumped all that rain on us. We also lost my Grandfather this winter. I had to give myself permission to just be in the moment and to be ok with that breathing room I needed. The loss of my Grandfather was expected and I was prepared emotionally many times over for that loss in a way. The loss of the studio affected me much harder and deeper in the sense that I felt I had lost my sense of creative identity within the community. I lost my career on multiple fronts. I no longer had this amazing, quirky, art gallery/schoolhouse combo like no one had ever seen…a dream space that I was able to share my creative heart with the community at large out of… that I had worked at building up for almost 10 years of dreaming and saving. I no longer had all the tools or equipment I needed to make pottery to sell. I lost all of the beautiful toys and educational materials that were in my mind going to make the school I dreamed of amazing and special. Everything in our space was ruined by deadly black mold. In the end we had to walk away from the building and everything in it so that we didn’t contaminate another environment. I didn’t have the fight in me to keep a complicated and expensive legal battle waging for what was in the end just “STUFF”. I was grateful we all walked away with our health. I was willing to walk away from stuff and not spend my energy fighting and holding ill will in my heart and just move forward. I honestly was truly the most grateful for in a sense being released from the beautiful cage that I had created for myself. I was glad to have the excuse to slow my life down and just be with my girls. I was wearing so many hats. I had been working so hard for so long building towards this vision of starting a school but between running a gallery,running school startup meetings, facilitating a trial run of Muddy Schoolhouse ALC studio hours, teaching pottery classes in the studio, making enough art to fill the gallery, teaching classes for Dreams, teaching classes at a Montessori school, being a good mother, etc. I was starting to really see how ridiculous my life was . I was starting to see myself like Bartholomew in that Dr. Seuss book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. It was relieving to be flinging my hats off . I shed as many as i could and it felt good to let go of some obligations for a change. Some of them like dropping my efforts with moving forward with trying to start up the Muddy Schoolhouse ALC left me with a lot of guilt. I was so overwhelmed with the legal battle and not wanting to let that ugliness enter my life that I just didn’t have the time or energy to keep that up. In the beginning I spent many hours in my yard with the pruning shears. There was something so cathartic and somewhat symbolic about chopping away the excess, overgrown parts that were holding back the plant and how I was kicking off hats. Sometimes plants and lives have to be pruned so that they can truly grow and blossom. I spent many hours in the garden growing vegetables and growing stronger. I took a step back willingly and watched as the community marched forward willingly into building an alternative school. .I know I have been rather silent about developments with the Muddy Schoolhouse ALC vision in part because of the guilt I was feeling for being too tired to handle it all and in my mind failing. It took me a while to be ok with the fact that the school was forging ahead and sprouting without me. That it was ok that I was taking this precious time to recenter myself and connect with my family. I am glad that I put myself out there with this crazy idea of starting an alternative school. I am glad I was able to get the dialogue kindled and it has been a beautiful thing to watch as a passionate group of families have nurtured and taken hold of that vision of a different kind school of a different kind of educational experience. That vision was just the seed for the amazing school that is developing here in Wilmington. It is not an ALC but I hope this group will be open to learning more about ALC and ALFing. This fall Wilmington Cooperative School will be opening with about 20 students and a waiting list. For right now I am on the founding board this year as the parent teacher liason and classroom parent coordinator. Intimidating role. I would love some feedback from any of you about how to handle the parents and some of their fears, worries, anger triggers that are likely to arise as we grow this school. This is not my sweet spot. I much prefer conversations and interactions with the kids. Check out the website: http://www.wilmingtoncooperativeschool.com/
    Like a bird molting it’s old worn out feathers and growing new ones. I have to learn to fly with new wings.