It's raining today. A hard, driving, steady rain. Supposedly, it's the tail-end of a typhoon that hit Japan earlier. At times, the rain is actually coming down sideways. It's running down the road in a steady river and the wind is whipping the trees. It feels like winter. And I am ever so glad to be inside. We're staying with friends south of San Francisco, and we made it here just a few hours before the storm broke. In this moment, I feel so very fortunate. Not only are we inside, we're warm and dry, with an entire day to read, do laundry, catch up online, and there's no pressure for us to be pedaling down the road today. It feels very luxurious.
Lately, I've been thinking about how amazing it really is to be able to go on this completely open-ended journey. To have the freedom each day to decide what we want to do and where we want to go. It's not un-ending bliss, every moment, but it's a sense of complete self-reliance and ownership of my life that I haven't ever felt before. And that feels very luxurious as well.
Being on my bike, riding down the road, for several hours each day, provides an opportunity unlike anything else to think. Just think. Brainstorm and work through ideas. Some days, I ponder jewelry designs. Other days, I think about how I hate the way houses look when the garage is right in front, or how terribly sad (and smelly) it is to see so many dead dear (and raccoons, foxes, skunks, etc.) on the side of the road.
Without a doubt, the hardest part of this journey has been finding the space and time and energy (both physical and creative) to create jewelry. And, to be perfectly honest, I have my moments when I wonder if I shouldn't just put it on hold for a little while, and focus exclusively on the cycling. Except that, eventually, I'm reminded of just how fascinated I am with studio jewelry and how much it continues to intrigue and inspire me and be something that I want in my life. So, I give up the notion of giving up on making jewelry, and I go back to trying to figure out how to keep creating while we travel. And this is, quite possibly, one of the most amazing lessons of this journey so far... learning how to make the time for the things that I want to do with my life.
So, now, I sit inside, dry, while it continues to rain outside, and I'm thinking about just what type of jewelry to work on over the next few days of non-riding time in the Bay Area. And I find my brain waffling over whether to work on more complex, one-of-a-kind, gallery-appropriate pieces or smaller, simpler, more affordable pieces. Of course, there's no right answer, and if I can figure out the workflow, I'll probably end up making both styles.
Tomorrow, I'll probably still be huddled inside, as this storm is supposed to continue for a bit more, and it will give me some time to make sense of the myriad ideas running around in my head... and, hopefully, finish up some of the pieces that are in pieces in my studio bag. Cheers to the Japanese typhoon!