Friday, August 29, 2014

Artist residences

So, this is a bit of a strange experience.  I've just arrived in Montreal, where I'm attending the American Circus Educators Conference.  I'm staying at the Cirque artist residences, where Greg lived for several months, 5 years ago.  It's my first time here.

These residences were built to house artists during show-creation time, and that is still their priority.  We happen to be here at a good time, when no show is in active creation, and Cirque opened the residences up to conference attendees.  It's dormitory-style, but there is a kitchenette and a small bathroom.

I wonder which acrobats, jugglers, musicians, etc lived in this room before me….

Saturday, August 23, 2014

PSCA at night

A few times this past month, I've been able to stay late at the circus school, being the last one to mop up and lock up.  I treasure these moments alone here.  The place is so still.  I can hear the hum of the lift on its charger, or sometimes the barely-audible buzz of the lights.  I reflect on all of the excitement and joy that took place during the day, and feel proud of the work that I'm doing.

It reminds me exactly of the feeling I get when I check on my kids sleeping at night.  (as PSCA does often feel like my most-complicated child).  The dark, peaceful beauty; all problems and worries forgotten.

I have to force myself to leave work every evening.  I know that the rest of my life and sanity will fall apart if I don't go home, and switch gears.  But I love being here.  I love working with students and teachers and administrators, making decisions and resolving conflicts constantly, with the overwhelming sense that what I'm doing here matters.

Tonight's party at the school was a wedding reception for two of my staff members.  They met at PSCA.  They continue to work and train here, finding challenge and fulfillment.  They give deeply of themselves, and they have become part of this large and loving community.  Being able to host the event was incredibly gratifying.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A month at home

We've been home now for one full month.  It has been an exhausting month, but in so many good ways.  Everything we do here, though it may eventually seem ordinary, right now feels special!  Like hanging pictures, sweeping the back porch, having lunch with an old friend.  I've never appreciated the little things so much.

The kids are doing much better too.  I think they're starting to see that, while they may not have extremely-close friends right now, they have an awful lot of kids they can hang out with.  There are kids on our street, and old friends in Mt. Airy, and all of the kids at the circus school.  They have their cousins, and the other friends-of-the-family like Zachary & Naomi, Maya and Sammy, Jerry, Lyla.  They made friends at Penn Charter Camp, and they've made friends at Circus Camp.  None of us know if these friendships will come to anything - a lot will change in September, when we see who they have school and activities with - but hopefully they are seeing that the pool of potential friends is just way bigger.

In the meantime I am cherishing my day-to-day.  I feel like I'm becoming a meaningful part of life at the circus school again, by gradually re-taking over responsibilities.  (and sharing daily moments of love, pride, frustration and stress with all of my staff!)  For my desks at home and work I got an exercise ball and an ergonomic chair.  I dusted off an old business suit for a work event a few days ago.

Not everything has been easy for me to adjust to.
    I can't find time or space to exercise.  With strenuous effort I've been able to get out for a few short runs a week, but it doesn't feel like nearly enough to maintain my mental & physical health - and I've traded it for much longer hours of desk work.
    Not driving here sucks.  Though my basic needs are taken care of - I can get to work, and I think the kids will be OK getting to school, for now - I hate not being able to take myself out to lunch, or for a trip to the co-op, or to be able to help transport other people and gear.  I can't stand not being able to do the grocery shopping by myself.  Every time I hit one of these moments, though, I have to try and take a deep breath, and think about the trade-offs.  I visualize my car accidents, and picture my kids in the backseat, and I feel the adrenaline / stress that always takes me over when I drive in a hurry - and I let the car keys sit untouched.  Nothing is so important that I need to put me and the kids in danger.  I do hope I can adjust, over time, to these inconveniences.
    And finally, I miss the free time I had on tour.  No surprise here.  There are no hours in the day left for reading, for blogging, for daydreaming and planning.  (yoga is totally out of the question).  Once school starts, there will be hardly any time left for talking or hanging out with my kids.  When the joy of being home has worn off, I don't know how I'll cope with this.

The kids performed in their first PSCA Circus Camp show today, all 3 together for the first time.  It was  marvelous.  And so the song of the day is "Everything is Awesome", which was the opening act of their show.

Friday, August 8, 2014


This is what Baz, Ayla, and Isa do now.  A lot.