(and Misc. Monday Musings)
Marge and I have been packing all weekend. Yep, that's how far along we are in this moving process. I rented a storage facility Friday AM close to our planned new home, and we've both been working diligently at the tasks at hand -- from bank meetings to realtor matters and the preliminaries of putting our own Marlboro home on the market -- while making the change concrete with the beginning of the moving process.
I have packaged up and am later this morning shipping six more boxes to the Bissette Collection at HUIE/Henderson State University, along with boxes going into storage betwixt Tuesday and our hoped-for moving day down the road.
Amid this packing, I've also begun to see to some packing up of long-malingering issues and matters. Marge and I are moving into a new phase of life, and embracing all the changes that offers.
There is an emotional and psychological cartography to such life moves that transcend mere geographic boundaries.
The geographic parameters are inticing to me in and of themselves: I lived the first (approximate) quarter-century of my life in northern Vermont, in and about Essex Jct. (till age 4), Duxbury, Waterbury and Colbyville (thru age 20), Johnson (for my first two years of college at Johnson State College, until I was 23 or so). The next quarter century was (after a little over three years in New Jersey, attending and then in the immediate orbit of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art, Inc. in Dover, NJ) spent here in southern Vermont, in Wilmington and Marlboro. Here, I forged my comics career; married my first wife, Marlene (then Nancy) O'Connor, and together we raised our two children, Maia and Daniel, from home-birth in a house in Wilmington's Chimney Hill development to childhood and adolescence in the backwoods of Marlboro (with our own pond!), thru their high school years in Brattleboro to their present young adult lives (both now in their 20s). Here, I also brought my comics industry years to a close, ended one marriage and entered happily into another (with Marge), and managed not to burn too many bridges in the process, come what may.
Now, Marge and I are moving to a part of my native state I have never really explored much, but which has become central to both of our lives via our professions and work paths. Windsor, VT, here we come! There's also a metaphoric aspect to this move: Windsor was the birthplace of Vermont, as the village's historic marker and "Welcome to" signs so proudly proclaim. For me, I am happily entering a new phase in my creative life, associated as it is now so closely with education and passing on all I know to the best of my ability. Another birthplace, at age 51. Not too shabby.
But it's the emotional and personal historical element of this pending life change that concerns me today (among many other things, mind you). Some of that is none of anyone's business -- the new phase of life I am enjoying with my own kids, Maia and Daniel; the new dynamic this move may create with my stepson Mike and his wife Mary -- but some of my life has been rendered (in part by myself) very public, and it's that which I wish to steer you to this morning.
Part of packing up, finding homes for, and disposing of one's past includes dealing with one's personal and professional history. Determined to at last put behind me, with some sense of completion, all that still lingers from the life in comics I chose to leave back in 1999, I am also seeing to tying up loose ends and taking out the old shit.
Once I see through this process, I'll be actively posting anew on Al Nickerson's Creator Rights forum and board, discussing the historic precedents to the current creator rights state of affairs; this is emerging, quite naturally, out of my ongoing research for and teaching of comics history at the Center for Cartoon Studies. I eagerly look forward to the day I can indeed post such discussions without the baggage of my own checkered comic career constantly interfering with any viable meditations on broader creator rights issues most relevant to the new generation of cartoonists -- about whom it's all about, now.
This is also about laying old ghosts to rest, my friends.
And with that, I bid you -- Happy Pumpkin Night, and have a great Halloween tomorrow!