Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Retirement? Not yet…..

I’m a member of  a committee that is looking at applications for a tenure-track position in photography. It takes me back to graduating with my MFA so many years ago and getting a chance to try for that golden ring. 

The competition was slim then - not so many hundreds of graduate degrees - and I was blessed and lucky. I wouldn’t have had a chance in today’s market.

Six years as an assistant professor in a Big University taught me many things but Tenure wasn’t one of them. Unfortunately that merry-go-round threw me off; I wasn’t clear how to hold onto my horse or if I even wanted to.

Now I see that my colleagues from that time have all retired. Not sure if forced or bought out or both but eight at one time and a lovely group show is no coincidence.

A part of me is wistful; if only … but Adjunct is fine as long as I continue to be given classes to teach. I feel I have another ten years  (at least) of teaching in me; it's such a big part of my artistic practice. 
70+ seems a better time to take the money and run. 

But where to run to? I’m there.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

60 is the new 40 (or, how’s that aging going?)

50 was just ten years ago; half a century of living that went by so fast.

Big changes in the last decade, as time sped up and the past became larger. Some things solid, as in chunks of time, but ephemeral, as in memory.

At 60 I am thrice the age of my college students. Decades measured in classes taught, images made, books constructed, writings written, public and private.

Sixteen years of a husband, a marriage, love.
No children, no pets. No regrets.

Thirty-five years of a teaching career. 
Recognition as an artist, beginning in my fifties. 
Better late than never, better late to savor now.

60 a big turning point. Some solidification of the ego structure, some wisdom. Enough retrospect to look back and over. Enough understanding from both sides of the lens, the desk, the mirror. 

Wrinkles now and enough grey hair to complain about, but who’s complaining? Most of it is still brown, and long enough to put into a bun, as if.