A Cabin of One's Own
Have you noticed us getting up earlier and going to sleep sooner on our cams? That's (partly) because starting September 3rd I'm going to get up early to head over to the cabin we're (good news!) officially renting to do off-cam no-internet work sans distractions. Normally I quickly grow disgusted with a morning-person routine, but now it seems totally different knowing there's a purpose to it. It rained heavily on Thursday. If I hadn't gotten up at seven in the morning, excited about the possibilities of such early rising once the cabin time begins, I'd have never known there was any blue sky to be had that day. I'd have missed seeing this moon:
There's a place - a real live place - where women artists can apply for residencies. Actually, there are lots of places like that, where those kinds of people can get free lodging in inspiring locations to focus on their work, but the one I'm thinking of is SUPER DREAMY . . . fucking storybook-land perfection in terms of its tiny private artfully-crafted houses (each resident has one all to herself) and woodland setting.
Most shockingly dreamy of all is the way the women are catered to; the small handful of residents (women, all of them!) have a chef who prepares crazily wonderful dinners for them every night. There are pictures proving how thoroughly stocked the kitchen is with racks of zillions of containers of spices and rows of carefully labeled provisions and specialized pots and pans used to make what appears to be an ABUNDANCE of food every night just for these six or seven women. Meats and comforts and fresh green things and berries and sauces and fanciness and desserts and lots of colors and textures on big plates and side dishes.
On top of all that, the chef ALSO prepares individual baskets for each resident full of her favorite foods to help sustain her throughout the day while she works in her perfect little house. And there's a garden full of plants someone else tends that each resident gets to pluck and cut flowers and leafy things from. FOR INSPIRATION AND SHIT!
I know that being there wouldn't be actual utopia, but it does provide a model to ooh and aah over. I think it's awesome that a very teeny-tiny percentage (wish it were more) of talented women in the world get to experience opportunities like that, to be told that their own self-directed art is so valuable as to warrant a few days . . . maybe even a whole month(!) . . . of concentrating on nothing BUT the work she most wants to do and that she will be sheltered and reliably fed to delicious excess if she likes so she can take care of her work while someone else takes care of her basic needs with sensual generosity.
What an exquisite fantasy! But it seems so decadent, like I know that I personally could never warrant such treatment. It's a nice daydream but it actually makes me nervous to think about having such a giant privilege bestowed upon me. I'm nervous enough about the idea of renting this cabin, feeling like I need to prove that I "deserve" it. That I'm worth blowing more money on when I already have so much.
And then I remember that my grandma made my grandpa dinner every night to his specifications. Dished it up and brought it out to him. It wasn't fancy, but she SERVED him. And every day she fixed him a box lunch even on the days when he was only working in his garage out back, a one minute shuffle away from the back door. I know times have changed, but when I was growing up I never fucking once saw a man prepare and serve a grown woman food. NEVER ONCE outside of restaurants (which I rarely saw) and pancake breakfasts at the Masonic Lodge where it was a wonderful novelty to see the men with aprons on, coming out to the long tables to pour coffee and bring us our hotcakes.
It wasn't just my family that was like that. Most people my age and older grew up seeing men (and children) waited on at home and women NOT. I suppose gender-blind egalitarianism is the ideal I should desire (and I do in some ways) but part of me needs to experience the balance of intimate privilege tipped dramatically towards women to undo what I learned by watching. I wasn't brought up to BE that kind of woman who waits on men -- not at all; I wasn't taught with words to do it -- but that's what all the women in my family DID to one extent or another and the men DID NOT. You have to be crazy to think that kind of learning is something you can just erase with your intellect when you grow up or even along the way with words of "you-go-girl" encouragement.
Even though I never grew up wanting to be a woman who takes care of a man, once I outgrew the entitlement of childhood I came to FEEL that having someone take care of me wasn't something I deserved or could expect the way a man in my grandparents' and parents' generations could and that the only way to live my life just-so, to my specifications, was to live alone. I didn't think this on a conscious level, but I think the past ten years (and then some) of webwhoring have involved more conscious efforts to recognize and reconcile this conflict; I want to work -- to do MY work and do it MY WAY -- and have someone else take care of the housekeeping and cooking. For my work to be the most important thing I do and everything else to be relegated to the distraction pile which I should be able to demand someone else pick up and put away. To believe that my work is so important that I should be angry and frustrated when I do not have the tools or environment to do it properly. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MEN OLDER THAN I AM GREW UP EXPECTING AND DOING. And so what if their work wasn't important or they would bankrupt the family with their business schemes? You didn't fucking criticize the work, jobs or dreams of men. You just didn't unless you wanted to be the evil villainous bitch in the story.
I shouldn't feel guilty about wanting to have as many places to do my work alone as my grandpa did: a garage, a basement, a toolshed, a closet where he kept his Black Velvet and other private treasures, and a windowless office he hardly went into that nobody else was allowed into that was always at least 15 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. My grandma didn't have any place in her house that was her own like that, just like my mom didn't have a special place in our tiny house for herself like my stepdad had a whole room for his model train. And if Grandma fucked up some shit in the kitchen Grandpa would go ballistic on her ass. So I guess maybe I SHOULD feel guilty about wanting all that man-privilege since being an abusive asshole came with the territory. I don't know. But on Friday morning I'm going to work alone in the cabin AND I CAN HARDLY WAIT!! Also? I've drafted a new personal ad for a slavey-houseboy type. Not putting it up for awhile though as that's a whole time-consuming process in itself. I also keep wanting to blog more about how going to college totally distorted my idea of money and assessing the worth of an investment in myself, perhaps making me approach financial risk-taking in a more "manly" way than I would have otherwise.
Originally posted here on my adult-oriented blog.