Block 567: January 1, 2015


New Year. Same me. Different goals.

Date: January 1, 2015

Crane: 567

Days Spent on Project: 682

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Rob R.

At Paper Mill’s costume shop, just on the western edge of the garment district, there was a small team of full time costumers who would work on all the large productions that were brought in for that season. When we started Newsies, in the summer of 2011, Rob was the one draper they had on staff who would build a few costumes for each production.

For Newsies, I believe that meant he would build a few petticoats for the female ensemble, along with a few period skirts and blouses to help round out their outfits.

Rob is talented. In fact, I think, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the Costume Institute was presenting an exhibit about Charles James, I do believe Rob was hired to rebuild one of his signature dresses to be worn at the announcement. He’s got a fine hand, extremely detail oriented, and I think he ultimately wants to be known for beautiful work.

When I was working on White Christmas for Paper Mill, later that season, one of the evening dresses (a vintage piece from the 50s) needed some sort of sash to lengthen the torso for a tall actress. I suggested that it would be awesome to do something like the sash in the “Dovima with the Elephants” photograph. I thought it was going to be a straightforward, easy solution.

Rob dove into the work with a passion and made something beautiful.

I know Rob no longer works at PPM. I think he moved onto Tricorne, which was a good move for him with the work they do. I do believe he’s still there. And making pretty things.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Spotify shuffling through my “Starred” songs. Oddly, awesomely enough, it’s playing a song called “Changes” right now.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I feel like I’m dealing with a very brand new and unique problem right now. It’s something I’ve not had the luxury of dealing with in my 35 years on this planet.

Because I can depend on a check being direct deposited into my checking account, because I know how much money (after taxes) will be direct deposited into that checking account, I’m able to stop worrying about money. Yes, I’m not rich. Yes, it’s not a lot of money. Yes, I’m not living luxuriously here in Portland. But, for the first time in YEARS, if not ever, I’m able to pay my bills when I want to and not worry about when something will be withdrawn or a check cashed.

That’s pretty awesome.

And because I’ve now been relieved of that (huge) burden, I’m now thinking a lot about what’s going on in my life currently and I’m wondering if I’m happy or content or satisfied. For the first time in a long while, I’m thinking about what I want.

And that’s major.

I’m no longer just trying to survive. I’m trying to live a little.

And here’s a shocker, even though it’s been five and a half months in Portland, I’m starting to realize that I’m not 100% content here. Something big is missing here.

I spoke to a friend in Chicago last night. He thinks I should try Chicago out for a change- it’s a bigger theater community, there’s more going on in general, it’s a big city, it’s not as overwhelming as New York, I already have friends and work colleagues and college friends there- but he did say something that struck me. He said that Creative People are probably not satisfied anywhere, with anything. He and I agreed on one thing: that dissatisfaction isn’t a bad thing. It’s what makes people create. It makes people see other things, have ideas, dream, try, fail, work, feel alive. He wondered if my dissatisfaction with Portland was just that- the normal state for a “Creative Person.”

I don’t think it’s that. I really don’t think it’s that at all.

Yes, I’ll probably have moments of “WHY?!” anywhere I go. I most certainly will. But, there is something, something core, missing here and I think I know what it is. And it’s something major. New York had it– a little bit–because you had to buy into it to want to live in that city of 8 million people. Portland has it, it does and I see it and I recognize it, but IT is not where I need IT.

So, while I can pay the bills and start saving what I can, I’m starting to think about where I can find IT again. The IT isn’t something concrete or physical. It’s not a car or an apartment or a piece of technology or a painting or a piece of furniture.

It’s Community. Yes, it’s here in Portland. It is. But I’m questioning if it’s where I can actually get to it.

Interesting, isn’t that?

I’ve got a lot of work to do in 2015. A lot of steps to take and reparations to make. A lot of emails to send and phone calls to make. So much work remains to be done.


One thought on “Block 567: January 1, 2015

  1. The profundity of your Chicago friend’s observation is so astute! Not many people will come right out and say that. Usually comments are directed to one’s dissatisfaction with life and that sort of thing. When I didn’t have the money to move to another location, I would change my furniture around. It almost worked, but never really took away the want or the need to get away from where I was right then. Rock on!

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