I had a strange dream last night. In it, my husband and I were lost in an Asian country. We were on a bus and we were not sure what stop to get off. We saw the street we needed and we scurried to get off the bus, only to find out that it might be the wrong street. We walked through the narrow city and in one of the restaurants I saw a person I knew. She used to work for me and our working relationship ended badly. I felt betrayed by her. I felt that she copied my business and started her own, using my designs. We did not talk for many years and then I decided to contact her to forgive her. I forgave her long ago in my mind but I did not tell her, so I found her on facebook. She wrote back that she was happy to hear from me. We had a lovely back and forth. Now in my dream, I bumped into her. I was excited to see her with her boyfriend at that time (since then she married someone else). I ran into the restaurant to greet her. When she saw me she started crying. I was not sure why I triggered that emotion and the dream ended with me just staring blankly at her crying while her boyfriend was trying to console her.
Instant Karma is going to get you, said my prophet John Lennon. I look at his life as an example of that. He was abandoned by his mother as a child and raised by his Aunt. His mother was an artist and he loved her. Julia is the song about her. They reunited when he was 16 and soon after she was hit by a police car and died. Later, John Lennon has a son Julian. He abandoned him when he left his wife for Yoko Ono. They reunited when Sean Lennon was born and right after that reunion John Lennon was shot. It is not exactly what you think of as Karma because John Lennon did to Julian what was done to him but I feel that it is something he carried with him heavily and ended up passing it on.
Before I started this blog, my friend and I had an idea to write a script. The idea was tossed around years ago but never lived to fruition. This time my friend was serious, she meant business. We made a plan for our first writing meeting. Just the making of the plan put fire in me. I started writing and getting ideas. I came into our meeting inspired and maybe over prepared. I had so many of my own ideas while for her it was an initial attempt. During the meeting I kept presenting my ideas and she sat listening. It was quickly becoming an Olia Show. At some point, I said, I am going to do this with or without you. That is not a nice thing to say during the first collaborative meeting. I meant that in a way to inspire her own independence. I knew with us having babies we were not going to meet everyday to write and I felt the need to write and right now. I thought that it would be better if we did not hinder each other. For example, if one of us got pregnant again, I would not want the other one to wait for years to finish a mythical script.
Yesterday, Tim the plumber came to see our house. He was the owner of the house before us. He had a partner, they broke up and he sold her his part. She sold it to us. He was not only the owner but he did all the plumbing when he was 21. We asked him to come over and explain to us where the plumbing sits and how it works. I like Tim the plumber. He is a straight shooter. A straight shooter does not say, I don’t know how much it costs, I will have to open it and price it out. He has done it all before so he is forthcoming. He told us everything he knew. At the end we were left alone. As we were walking out he had a warning for me about permits. He said, “You gotta make sure you have all your permits, these people here (park slope) don’t think twice about calling 311. They are not like you and me, we believe in karma, they don’t believe in Karma.” This shocked me. I was flattered and felt instantly closer to Tim the plumber. How did he just jump to that conclusion that I believe in Karma? He must see that I am a “spiritual” person. But wait a minute, do I believe in Karma? I actually was one of those people who called 311 after begging the guy on our block to turn down the music blaring in his supped up SUV with subwoofers pumping, while I was trying to put Isaiah to sleep. How much do I follow the rules of Karma? I like talking about Karma. But sometime when I am impatient with my mom, I can sense the tentacles of Karma closing in all around me. I do nothing, I continue my reckless behavior. I should know better than to mess with Karma like that, especially if I am one of those people who believe in Karma.
With those thoughts, Tim and I went our own separate ways. Yura woke up sick today, Isaiah was demanding his drink, my nanny was a half an hour late and the guy cleaning the snow needed to get paid. Today is my Zumba day. I hoped that all the stress of the morning would melt away into my dancing. Before leaving the house I carved out a few minutes to glance at my email. One from my friend stood out amongst my daily junk so read it quickly. I have worked with this friend for 5 years. Not working together but sharing the same space. The space I started 5 years ago is GAS, Grand Artisan Space. GAS is a space for freelancers and artists to work together, share rent and creativity. It was my love project. I had no financial aspirations other than have a space that pays for itself while creating an atmosphere of support. My friend was the first person to join me in my GAS venture. She has helped me in so many ways along the way. I felt like as long as she is there, I am going to run GAS. I loved coming in to work and having my friend there. Even when we were busy and did not get to talk, I felt happy knowing I get to be at work with my friend. We had 5 years of peace. I was most inspired by my friend. I was inspired by how she spent her day. Even when she was not productive, she was organized. When she was productive, she was able to produce magic in her work. On top of it, we can talk about anything at work. It is nice to come to work and be able to talk about anything.
Before the holidays we had a conversation that she was growing out of our office. We decided that we would look for a new office. We threw out some ideas but they were rushed so we decided that we would wait until after the holidays. Today I got an email that her and another guy who works in the office are leaving in March because they found a new space. She wanted my blessing. I was jarred. Tears started falling from my eyes. I was going to stay home and cry but my husband pushed me to go to Zumba, he said I would feel better. In Zumba, I could not focus. I did the moves but zoned out, tears welled up in my eyes. I was hurt. So hurt on so many levels. What about me? I wanted to find a new space. I thought we were doing it together? Then I was hurt again. After 5 years, I get an email? Not even a phone call. Every time, I thought those things, I cried. When Zumba ended I checked my phone and there was a message there from her. I guess she knew what I was thinking. We talked and I could not help but cry. I cried like the friend in my dream. I am still crying. I do not know why. Maybe, I failed at GAS. Maybe I let it fall apart. I let the people I love leave. Maybe they grew out of it and GAS was a warm and sunny place for them to incubate. Maybe I was not organized enough. My focus was on running my business and not running GAS so it suffered from neglect. Maybe I was not there enough in the last two years, since Isaiah was born. Maybe this is the sign I have been waiting for.
Then I thought about Karma. I needed to write so I told my friend I would do the script with or without her. She needed a space and she did it with or without me. Otherwise I would not know how it feels to be left behind. Instant Karma came and got me.
I am proud of the GASies who have come and gone, GAS will go on with or without ME.
The original crew some of which are still my closest friends:
and Liz the sound engineer
through the years and still keep in touch with most of them:
there were “the architects”
John who worked for Peter Max
Cara the clothing designer
current GASIES! in my life:
http://bananadesignlab.com/ my husband 🙂
and other website-less wonders.