I let myself sleep in this morning, guilt-free.
Work and school combined have left me feeling run-down. My coworker commented, "You have to remember, you're not a young college student anymore." I had to laugh at that.
Sometimes the "shoulds" of life make me feel so consumed. There's a lot of giving involved in a service-oriented job. I really do love my job, but sometimes I have to remember that there is a balance, and that I don't have to be everything to everybody... or else I will feel so consumed that there would be no energy left. And so I remind myself to find ways to "refill my cup". So that when Monday rolls around, I have more to give.
So, in an effort to refill my cup, I celebrated the end of the work-week, the end of the quarter, and the end of finals with art last night. Lots of it. A photo exhibit here, followed by a poetry reading, followed by live music, and then a cupcake from this place to top it all off.
For some reason I was expecting the live music to be jazz, but it wasn't. My mind must've made that up. But back to the arts.
I LOVE the arts in Cincinnati. I never understood why Cincinnati has been nicknamed "Nasty 'Nati". I think this city has a lot of things to offer, a lot of best-kept secrets. It's not all "in your face" the way New York City attractions or other big-city attractions are. You have to let Cincinnati's charm unfold, but you also have to make the effort to discover little pockets of interesting places, beyond Kings Island and waterparks (which I haven't been to and have no real desire to go). Case in point - who would have thought I would find an event with Tibetan monks making sand mandalas in a part of town many people still avoid?
And really, Cincinnati's best-kept secrets are not that hard to find. I came to Cincinnati 6 years ago, and over time Cincinnati grew on me. Being an outsider to this country, I have come to call Cincinnati my home (well, at least for now and until my work visa expires. But that's a whole other story and I won't talk about that here.).
At the exhibit last night I found it comforting to see some familiar faces, some were people I've met, some were people I haven't met but have seen out and about in the community, whether it's in other art galleries or art events, or even at the neighborhood coffee shop. One person even recognized me from a small art show that I did almost a year ago. I like that. I like how art brings people together. But more than that, seeing the same people gives me a sense that I am no longer such an outsider. It gives me a sense of being...home.
This weekend I'm going to another art exhibit here, then to a play at this theater. And then I'm contemplating going to another show tomorrow night. It almost makes me dizzy, but in a good way.
I love that even with the dire economy, the arts is thriving here. I think we all need it. Art is a breath of fresh air. We need reminders that there are a lot of good things to appreciate. We need reminders to live a beautiful life.
What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike
The laundry can wait.
photos taken in Over-The-Rhine, October 2008