“In the midst of fear, kindness is needed, even just a little, so that the panic, restlessness, and angst don’t completely take over. We can simply ask ourselves if even in the midst of contraction and tension spaciousness is available as well.”

The Magnanimous Heart
Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation, by Narayan Helen Liebensen

I’ve been though so many states of mind since yesterday, it feels like days instead of hours since I last typed here.

Rather than explain, I will barrel forward.

An old photo of D (top), as I think of all the parents home with children. Next, a little shell/insect combo, revealing how much I am missing paper play.

This collage, made in 1980 while I was living in SF, used copies made on one of the first color Xerox machines. How I loved that ‘color shift’ dial! Now my niece is sheltering in place just across the bay from where I once lived.

I lived in that duplex during my senior year in college in Northampton, Mass. Look how themes stay with us!

Meanwhile, plans have formed to use my sister’s cardboard collection after revisiting this book below.

An early decision will be how to attach the house/pages to each other. Artists in the book use various means: ribbons, wire, hemp, rick rack.

500. That’s how many words I deleted this morning. But today it doesn’t satisfy, because my hunch is that the trimmed chapters need to go in their entirety. More decisions.

Where are you finding spaciousness?

14 thoughts on “Spaciousness

  1. Margaret Rose

    awesome reminders and suggestions, Dee. I have been suggesting to my remote students to use whatever is lying around their house they is #1 clean and #2 could be “upcycled” into art or a prototype. Don’t have tape or glue? Let’s learn how to make tabs and folds? but mainly try to keep my mouth shut and give them SPACE to think and research on their own. I guess that’s my way of urging kids to find spaciousness and themselves though they may feel trapped at home, particularly teens. I have created zones for myself. A sewing zone. A paper and gluing zone. A digital zone. Of course the cooking zone around “what’s left to eat here&now” so I can put off shopping? btw, do you know I have one of your early xeroxes from that series? I treasure it of course AND can’t even believe it has stayed with me during all of my moves over many decades. I love seeing the roots of your work in that image.1980, gawd!

    1. deemallon

      Giving students space, IMHO, is the difference between a brilliant art teacher and an ordinary one. So glad your students have you to look to at this time!!

      Somewhere I have a green version of that house collage. And a yellow one. I’m not surprised I have you one — I made so many copies!!! But I am surprised you still have it. I, too, have saved some of your work from that era. My favorite? A bronze bird.

  2. ravenandsparrow

    I am wondering if all this enforced separation might usher many of us into a more spacious, more interior space? Much of the jangle of the world is being silenced and in that stillness one’s own self is more audible. I am trying to encourage this in myself, at least.

    Your old photo copies are so nostalgic! I am excited to see how your house collage book will unfold.

  3. Joanne

    Time is not as important right now it even seems irrelevant. I sit some moments looking at the wall where the fabric collages are pinned to the wall facing me. Contemplation. Time for it. The days seem endless. We go to bed when we feel exhausted by it all—the worry about health the economy —not supporting small businesses by staying home, our investments……

    1. deemallon

      The worry is debilitating. My tactic, in part, is studious denial. Not about the situation, but about retirement funds. Just not looking right now.

  4. Deborah Lacativa

    Space on the highway. Me at the wheel. Traffic is negligible. With schools and (finally) the malls closed, I made the run to Jake’s in less than twenty minutes. No one was home, I just wanted Charlie to have this great book that I found in the stacks. Left in a bag on the door. No note.

    1. deemallon

      C was crowing about his commute in LA today. A while different experience. You are the book fairy!! How nice.

  5. Acey

    Literally being outside somewhere on the property digging and fixing. Both of us seem to need a lot of very physical moving meditation to feel spacious on the inside. This morning I had a bad five minute window of losing my shit over the fact that I never have any time alone in the house. Hence I’m never just myself devoid of expectation. Didn’t realize how much that fed me made all else possible until it’s vanished.

    Think I need extra yoga time especially first thing in the morning. *That* would yield spaciousness, I’d hope …

    1. deemallon

      I’ve seen how hard you and Jim are working in the garden. It must be satisfying on lots of levels. I had the same sense of compression when K had a lengthy conference call today. Having to be quiet, etc.


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