Sunday 3/31/24

Sunday 3/31/24

March 31, 2024

On Sundays I reflect.

I didn’t drink alcohol this week. I don’t think I drank alcohol last week either.

I haven’t been present enough to write my blog the last two weeks. Sometimes it’s harder for me than other times when it just flows.

I’m listening to a lot of Keaton Henley lately. I’ve been playing my guitar a bit too. I also found a banger called Float Away by Kedam that I’ve had on repeat much of this week.

My friend Whiskey Craig visited Vail this week with his family. Ten years ago I moved to NYC without a plan when my life fell apart. I showed up for a wedding and decided to stay instead of taking my flight home. I had no money and my friends let me live on their couches for most of a year.

I was introduced to Craig and Jean through Craig’s cousin who I grew up next door to. This was before they had children and they invited me over before taking me to dinner. By the end of that meal they offered me a place to stay with them in Times Square. That was a hard year for me.

I remember sometimes being alone in that 33rd floor apartment and fantasizing about jumping off the balcony where I would smoke. I was 24 and for most of that year I was on the verge of tears. The hair on my face was developing bald patches that must have been stress induced.

Craig and Jean took care of me in a way that my 24 year old friends weren’t capable of. I certainly wasn’t capable of taking care of myself.

Craig gave me whiskey tastings most nights in attempt to develop my pallet. He took me out for meals at some of the most expensive and exclusive restaurants in NYC. He pushed me to try things I had never had before and helped expand my taste from being a very picky eater. I was struggling to the worst degree I have struggled in my life, and these strangers showed me compassion while I completely intruded on their life. I basically had nowhere else to go besides my parents house where there was not a lathe for me to work on anywhere nearby.

This week I had dinner with Craig and Jean and the kids every night around Vail. They came by the studio and I showed the kids how I make a cup on the lathe. Craig added another half dozen cups to his incredibly special collection, which he has built over the years always supporting and believing in my vision. He’s been at all my East Coast shows, and he visits the studio almost annually. He’s already invited Grace and Eric and I to his place in May before and after our show at Stoked, and he’s planning to join us in Connecticut for the show.

I had a busy week between driving and working on the studio expansion, but on Craig’s last day I made it to Vail to ride a few laps with him and the kids. There are very few people in the world that I would sacrifice a powder day for. I took it slow and shared my love for the mountain with Craig’s kids on groomers. There was nothing that was going to take me away from being present for that opportunity with the family.

Ten years ago when my time in NYC came to an end I had lined up a job at a glass studio in Fort Collins. Craig proposed we go to Aspen to snowboard for a week or two before I started the new job. He paid for my entire trip and helped move me and all my belongings across the country. We rode Snowmass every day that trip. At a time that felt like my lowest low, Craig was there for me and helped me to see how good life can be.

Ten years later and it’s hard to believe where our lives are today. I’m so grateful to have maintained that friendship to this day. I’m so happy I can be there for his kids like Craig and Jean are there for me. We played games at the arcade. We went out for ice cream. I feel so privileged to play that role in the kid’s lives.

During this week we have been undergoing a major expansion project at Bat Country Studios. We emptied my entire office two cups at a time and built a new temporary gallery next door. My office is now a pottery studio and we have two ceramics artists moving in to join the team. We are also beginning construction of a dark room for a photographer who will be joining our crew and developing her film in our space.

On May 1 the neighbors we share the space with will be moving out completely and we will begin construction of the first real Drinking Vessels gallery retail space. Finally, we will have a space up to the caliber of the work we are showcasing.

I remember in 2017 I lived at the studio illegally while we built what you see today. I slept on the couch and didn’t have a shower. My friend and assistant Jake slept on a hammock above me like a bunk bed. I didn’t have a car so I was pretty much just stuck there.

So many people have made Bat Country Studios and Drinking Vessels what it is today. I am filled with gratitude that we are still here and able to offer space to artists and creatives. I am so excited about the next phase for our space.

It’s been a very busy month between the expansion and my driving gig to pay for the expansion. I turned 34. The ski season is wrapping up and I’m making sure to make time for snowboarding while I can.

I was seeing a woman this past year that I was very excited about. It became clear to both of us that we want different things right now, so that relationship is no longer part of my life. The transition has been sad and challenging, and I’ve been able to focus on myself and my projects. I haven’t connected with another person at that level for a long time and I wish things went differently. I’ve never dated a person that was so inspiring. We agreed that time and space would be good for both of us for right now.

I’m still failing at quitting smoking, but I have made little steps of progress. I’m working with my therapist to address my negative behavioral patterns in my life, and I recognize that I will not change entirely overnight. I’m a creature of habit, just trying to choose good ones. I’m trying to have compassion for myself while also holding myself accountable. It’s a balance.

I learned about equanimity this week, which is internal balance even in difficult situations. One of the questions posed in the Dharma Talk I attended was if we can treat people with the same kindness whether we love or dislike them. I am addressing when my behavior is reactionary and when my behavior is mindful. I’m trying to slow down and be a better listener.

Now my stomach is rumbling and I’m not scheduled to drive so after I eat I should probably get on my snowboard. Life is beautiful and challenging and I’m grateful to be here now.

As always thanks for tuning in,

BB

 



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