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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Cordova


The following was written over the month of October 2023. Because of the emotional nature of the process of letting go of, and moving out of my beloved dedicated art studio space, it is expressed as prose more so than essay. It was written in bits and pieces, and weaved together like a patchwork quilt as I moved through the month. Thank you for reading. M


Warmth slips from the days, growing shorter. Transition moves like seaweed tendrils through my life, as I sort through books, artwork, art supplies, and a random collection of acquired miscellany.

Flashes from my first day in this space. Hot pavement sunflower. Blank canvas. Objects move from the art space gradually, now, filtering through the little bungalow I call home. Layers of thought, and emotion. Letting go of a life I once knew. Grief, and relief. Loss, and release. Day transitions to evening.

Drive with windows open to a setting sun. Say goodbye to another day. The space waits to be emptied, fully. Something left behind.

Long stretch of road ahead with curves that cannot yet be seen. A closed door, opens another. Hair loose and flying wild in the drive wind. Freedom. Freedom. Freedom.

The algorithm hates me, goes on without me. Life is better without it, the algorithm. A lightness, where a heaviness once was. Losing the studio, is a lightness and a heaviness all at once. I no longer live to please the algorithm. I no longer pull towards the studio.

Awake to the sound of “click click” on the wood floor. My favorite Tiger Eye necklace, unstrung. Broken from around my neck. Bits of Tiger Eye fall from my skin as I stand from a restless slumber. I try not to see the symbolism in it, as I pick up each piece of Tiger Eye from the floor. Shards of strength, collected to be restrung. Work, work, work.

Come home to three crows picking at the backyard lawn. “Welcome home,” I whisper to the crows, speaking to myself.

Sacramento River Levee
Sacramento River Levee

Walk along the Sacramento River to clear my head, and get my body moving. A powder of clouds shifts across sky blue. Thoughts and memories do the same across my mind. I set an intention to still come here, ‘even when my studio belongs to someone else,’I think, ‘I’ll still come here to clear my head.’ A head that needs clearing.

Autumn strong in the air. The urge to paint drifted away for a bit, but I feel it returning. Ebb and flow. The Ocean’s expression of high tide, and low tide. Movement, transition. It’s not lost on me that this big life change is happening during the transition season of Fall. Autumnal times. Carloads of objects move smoothly between one space to the other.

Life drained from the studio. My paintings are the last to go. Moving pictures. I’m tired, body and mind. A foggy head again. Seven years. Seven years, seven years. Synchronicities everywhere. Things aligning, too many to mention. Signs of being on the right path once again. Notified that my Tiger Eye necklace is ready, restrung, put back together again.

The first big rain of the season clears the air. Breathe deep. One last cleaning of the studio. Two less keys. Name peeled from the front of the building, “Goodbye, Studio 203”

Back at home, the chilled air laden with the smell of rotting persimmons. A sunset that marbles pink and purple behind the 70 year old pine. A half-wink of moon in the dark part of the sky. The move is finally done. The transition still in motion, ‘I suppose it’s only appropriate for an artist to have paintings filling her clothes closet floor,’ I think as I soak in a hot bath. The entire square tonnage of the studio building feels lifted off me. Night. Sleep. Rest, the presence of my paintings felt all around me as I dream.

Days after the move is done I have to remember not to go to the studio. A phantom space, feels still there for me, but is no longer mine.

‘Goodbye, Studio 203, you were good to me. Seven years. Goodbye, and Goodnight.”

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