The school year has officially begun although I won't actually have students until after Labor Day; at my school, 5th through 12th grade students camp the first week of school, getting to know one another, reviewing/updating the school constitution, and learning school goals and expectations. I spent this week doing bulletin boards, setting up the library, planning lessons, ordering supplies.
Even without students around, I can feel the chaos brewing. It's like looking at an approaching tornado - all swirly with crazy energy and unpredictability - and saying "That looks like fun! Let's jump in!" In fact, I often feel swept up and away by teaching but this year, I am going to practice having more mental and emotional separation between work and the rest of my life. I need to be able to come home and detach so I can relax and focus on other things.
Now that my show work is drawing to a close (just 4 weeks until it goes up on the wall!) I am returning to the myriad of other projects that have been lingering on the sidelines. This journal page is just a reminder to myself to play around. It is good to spend time on things that don't bear the weight of deadlines or expectations. In the past, after one of my show prep summertimes, I've felt drained of inspiration after so much intense focus on a single project; this year is quite a bit different as I still feel full of ideas for new pieces and shows. That's sort of cool but I need to dial back the energy I'm putting towards my work so I have energy to guide students towards their own art-making. Playing around in my journals will help me maintain a vital, gentle connection to myself. It also provides a great place to unwind after a hectic day swirling around in the tornado that is 85 middle and high school art students.