Do it. And eat garlic.

Gradually I emerge from the grip of a nasty virus that found its way into my lungs. Not how I had hoped to start the year or spend the precious days off until I begin teaching again, but as always being sick has its lessons.

Such as...respect the virus. The virus is temporarily in charge, and when I try to override it by pretending it's not really there it lets me know about it in a way that is very humbling. Like massive coughing attacks and losing my voice, watery eyes and feeling generally like crawling into a ball. We've all been there.

Yesterday I decided to get serious and treat getting well as a job instead of a nuisance. That meant rounds of steaming with a towel over my head (and crushed herbs from the apartment garden that I had stuck in the freezer as an experiment, I don't know what they are but they smell good), hydrotherapy (dipping my feet alternately into hot and cold water to stimulate the immune system sure I'll try it), ginger root tea with squeezed lemon and raw honey (antimicrobial and antiviral, as are coconut oil and coconut water, I consume those too), glass after glass of water, and my new secret weapon: RAW GARLIC.

That stuff is powerful - I alternate bites with an apple and while it smells and kinda stings, it thins out mucous and I swear I can feel it launching a counterrattack on the enemy which shrivels and retreats, aaaaaaaahhh! Take that, nasty parasitic secret ruler of the planet.

Ahead of me: The first round of teaching drawing and painting at Julia's Studio, my teaching practice. Avid and talented students await and I'm looking forward to getting back into the thick of it with them. As I've written before, I get a lot out of the delving into the depths of process and technique that to me are integral to teaching and it feeds my studio practice in surprising ways. That said, it's always a challenge for me to balance studio time with teaching time, but I'm working on it.

In the studio, my major focus is on Heighten, my installation project at the University Heights Center in Seattle opening in February. My student crew and I had an excellent second day of can see and read more about it in the new page I've created specially for the project, which includes text and a lot of pictures I'll be updating as the piece develops.

Other projects in the works range from smaller to ambitious, including more collaborations and some that veer from the purely visual realm. Actually it's all ambitious. Because what's it all about if not to trust your most out-there ideas and work like a crazy person to realize what's in your head? Nobody's going to make you do it, notice if you don't do it, or do it for you. So you might as well go for it, or just hand over the keys to the virus.

Heighten Journal