My mind tends to wander quite a bit when I have my morning tea. If it wanders far enough, it also makes me lose track of time and I end up being late for work. This morning was one of those long and wide mind-wanderings.
Back when I lived with roommates and had no living beings depending on me for survival, we used to have art nights. I just realized I didn’t write much about these affairs in my past blogs, but damn, these were some fucking awesome nights.
We came up with the idea when my roommates and I took a road trip up north and visited the Dada museum in Ein Hod. There was a section of it dedicated solely to what they called “Garbage Art”. Basically, art made with recycled things and discarded objects left in the trash. Random shit that anybody can make. Like a discarded toilet bowl with a boot stuck on the rim.
So we were like, “Hey, we can make that too!”
And so, every once in a while, we invited over some friends, laid out all our art supplies and made whatever we felt like. If it was drawing, painting, writing, poetry, playing guitar, jewelry making, zine making, fimo molding, knitting, crocheting, absolutely anything goes.
Sometimes, we also tried to set art nights with a theme. We had an art night on Purim once, where we painted masks and noisemakers, some people showed up with costumes, we served Hamantashen and a bunch of sweets. It was so rad! We also had an art night on Lag Baomer and made Smores on our stove top. An art night on Tu Bishvat (the tree-hugging holiday) with a special lecture by one of my friends about all-natural body products. Of course, an art night involving a small zine workshop led by me for anybody who was interested in zine production.
I loved how most of the art nights that we had were attended only by women. Sure, we had some men coming every now and then. I even invited my husband (who was still my boyfriend back then) once, who refused at first because he felt he had no artistic talent.
“You play guitar,” I replied. “That’s an art. Come and play guitar for us!” So he did.
But most of the time, we were all women. There is something special in being in the company of a bunch of women, making art, talking about art, living breathing art, even if just for a few hours. There is no tension, no competition, no animosity, no need to justify or prove oneself for one reason or another. As we saw it, we were all equal, and we were all friends.
These were the thoughts that were going through my mind as herbal tea was rushing through my system in the morning. I started longing for these art nights which do not happen anymore because the roommate clan has disbanded. We each went our separate ways, mostly to the married life and subsequent motherhood. Of course, I regret nothing. I love being a wife and mother. But I certainly wish that “artist” was still included in the list of things that define me.
Peace, love and maybe I could have an art night with my kid and her friends when she grows up.