A few weeks ago, I told a friend that I rarely feel like an artist. I was just a writer who does a doodle or two with her posts. I think all of us have a tendency to look at the work of others – creative or otherwise – and feel like we’re coming up short. Those perceived shortcomings often cause me to hem and haw about claiming the status of artist.
Lately, though, I’ve been doodling a lot more. It’s not about a status, and it’s not about getting better at doodling. It’s just about getting better inside my head. Words spoken out loud can get you into trouble, but doodles get you through it. They may seem just like scribbles on a cheap sketch pad, but there’s a lot more going on in those lines even if it’s not spelled out.
The one-traffic light town of Cambridge, NY seems like a metropolis compared to our neighboring village, but it wasn’t until a year ago, when a new cafe moved into the building next to Hubbard Hall, community theatre and arts center, that it became a different world – one I’d been missing since we moved to Vermont from Germany over a decade ago.
Our tiny mountain town is so small we merge with ‘historic’ Arlington for a lot of our services.
Every town in Vermont is ‘historic’, but I come to love Arlington because of what it is now. Our kids know most of the other kids here. Drivers still wave as they pass each. There’s a predictable rhythm of clotheslines and gardens, carnival fundraisers and heated debates over deer hunting and the mud-rutted roads. The cars may be modern and the glow of smartphones can be seen at town functions, but time seems slower here. It’s mundane, but as Thing1 was joined by Thing2, I’ve learned to appreciate the mundane.
Hubbard Hall, a cauldron of creativity housed in a nineteenth-century opera house first drew me to Cambridge. It pulled my husband into acting, my kids into theatre and music, and me back into art. Regular workshops for me and the kids have made the cafe my favorite new haunt and, as much as I still love the mundane, there’s something to be said for being able to live in two worlds.