So grateful for my clutch of five women artist friends. Until March they were still meeting together in person in our 29-year-old monthly supportive group way up north where I once lived. Now because of Covid, I get to reZoom connections with them, after 16 years of being away from that circle of familiar warmth, easy acceptance, deep affection I miss. Last night we talked and laughed over a glass of wine or lemonade. We went around the virtual room, as always exploring our own art process rather than ratcheting up our book marketing plan, our art grants, or what-have-you. Sure, we did touch on our product-making, but only to catch one another up on our lives as artists, writers, artist community leaders—all of us wearing all those hats. The real topic always turns out to be our separate artist selves. This time, we asked ourselves what our own response will be to this global groundswell, this bottom falling out of the careful structures of society, from microaggressions to war in the streets. We talked about how hard it is during the pandemic and the protest movement to keep emotionally open and present to such a moment. We feel ready to meet the changes, to make art —but what will it look like? And how to do all of this alone, but not exactly? Raising our empty glasses to one another at the end, sending love, signing off by pressing “Leave meeting,” we were alone again in our studios, surrounded by material. It’s all material. I spent the next minutes washing the wine glass, letting the dog outside at the edge of dusk, listening to people chatting on the sidewalk as if nothing else in the world were going on.
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Comments (2)

Janet Carey

June 27th, 2020

3:13 pm

It's a joyful celebration to have you back with us, Margaret. To see your art, hear your novel and be in your presence.

Jill Sahlstrom

June 29th, 2020

1:09 pm

I love your synopsis of our art meeting! You are an inspiration as you've kept your creative fire burning all these years with your new blog and recent paintings.
I am so happy you are back in our art group after 16 years and I can hear you share about the highs and lows of your creative journey.
Happy creating!

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