One night just after Christmas, my friend John Roberts stopped by the shop to see me. John lives in Illinois and we don't get to see each other very often, but when we do its as if no time has passed. Its that kind of friendship.
There was some chilled-mulled wine (waste not, want not) in the fridge so we shared a cup of cheer and proceeded to fill one another in on the skinny. He was very complimentary on the accomplishments of The Bees, and asked what I saw ahead for us. I looked at him through the eyes of bewilderment and exhaustion and told him frankly that I didn't think I could keep up much longer. The pressure of pursuing so many artistic ventures (none of which were producing any kind of viable means in which to live upon) was finally wearing me down...and out. I was clearly doing too many things, and doing none of them too well.
John's a very successful business man, and I trust both his instincts and sincerity. In a nutshell he told me "Michael time is always money. Even if your not making any right now, you need to invest your time in your most viable options. You're going to have to give something up." It sounded like simple and perfect logic to me, but seriously. Give up what?!
I decided the first thing that needed rethinking was this blog and how much energy it took to keep up with. I had been on a mission to "pollinate the good stuff" for 2 years, but was now strongly considering doing away with it all together. It was kind of a Sophie's Choice moment. I had been planning for several months to launch a sequel blog that was all about interior design, called Interior Motives. I'd been pre-planning video features and drafting articles for it for a couple of months. I wanted it to be oh-so slick when I unveiled it. Now I just needed to bury it. Its not always easy to be an artist and think like a business man.
Next on the agenda. I decided that I would approach this blog like a magazine and publish once monthly. Perhaps even bi-monthly. Regardless of how I decided to move forward, I needed a break.
When I decided to take that 6 week break back in January, I honestly never thought I'd be away for 8 months. In the time that has passed, its not as if I stopped pollinating. Stacey and I filmed and edited 8 new cooking segments for STACEY'S HOT DISH, and I filmed a whole new season of THIS IS WHAT I KNOW SO FAR with Cassandra. I also conceived and installed two of the coolest interior design projects of my career with my design buddy Marilynn Dal Porto, and created a series of commissioned paintings for another design installation. And got paid, thank you. For the first time in awhile..thanks for the advice John. You can manage my portfolio. As soon as I have one.
I recently received a couple of lovely comments on postings that had been lingering on the front page since January. I'm always blown away when someone finds this random space on the Internet and is then moved enough about what they've seen or read here to send me a kind message or compliment. These two were particularly interesting because they both spoke directly to my absence, and were encouraging me to continue the project that I had started so passionately 2 and half years ago. Those messages were a major shot in the arm, for sure. It was clearly time to begin again. Besides. I missed you.
I'm still very passionate about the stories and ideas that I present here, and I'm excited to once again be behind my old keyboard. I hope that this new batch of both personal and pollinated pieces is as enjoyable for you to digest as is was for me to cook up for you. That's how you know I love you, ya know. I start cooking.