In 2020, my sister encouraged me to get a blank journal from the Brooklyn Art Library during the pandemic. With a deadline for the following year, I figured I could make that work… and as I rallied a handful of classmates on a paid zoom account to keep us painting, and as we worked through our anxiety, we also worked on our art. I, however, journal in hand, procrastinated on this piece of my work. It was another level of letting go… another thing to create and say goodbye to. As the deadline approached, I agonized. Then, my son came home from his master’s program, playing with all kinds of glorious India inks – and suddenly I rediscovered sketching with the pen. I got out my watercolors and bought a sketchbook in which I could work and glue the pages into the journal. It gave me space to play, and not feel quite so committed… and yet, I committed every page.
The BMA extended its deadline (more time to procrastinate) but I was determined it needed to get out of my hands before the end of the year. Knowing my angst about letting go of these little intimate pages, my friend Katy scanned the lot for me so I could hold on to high-resolution images. I mailed off my project, 4 days before the New Year, through priority mail at the USPS. All this, while holiday traveling and curation opportunities jumped into my schedule. I didn’t think to check the tracking number for my precious cargo until I couldn’t find the darned tracking information to save my life.
I trusted. I waited.
By February there was no word on my journal. The site didn’t show a thing about it being digitized. I figured they simply had a lot to process, and my efforts to find my tracking number were lost. June came around, and I checked again, and nothing. Then somewhere in the early summer (I found that tracking number!) I checked again to find that they had lost nearly 5000 journals to fire (the agony)! And worse, my journal never got registered. Needless to say, USPS could care less about a tracking number history – I get notified every 2 months or so that they are still looking. But, BMA, hearing my story offered me a new journal and to upload my digital images if I could collect them up and send them.
Sitting here in November, nearly a year, with a case of shingles, I managed to find my digital files. And the journal was submitted and has gone live! My wonky little exercise in playing with media I haven’t used in years and rediscovering how lovely pen and ink can be, and what it is like to REALLY let go can be seen here: