Today, after getting the oil changed in our car, I will pack up all my fleece, yarn, fabric and what-not to get ready for the long trip south. In between feeling sick to my stomach, I try to feel excited at all the great things that are waggling their fingers at me in the future. I go over the list again and again and get kind of pumped, and then I look out the window or sniff the air. Every year, the same heartbreak.
In between this self-imposed roller coaster ride (hey - I want to get off!), I have decided that I will likely not open The House Museum again. It's time has come and gone. It's mission was, if not fully achieved, then at least it was sometimes achieved in moments of pure brilliance and sometimes missed by a mile. It has been a complex, life-enveloping project, more complicated than anything I have ever done before. It annoyed my children and sometimes pissed off my husband. It activated something in the community (did I mention that Gillams opened "its own" museum this summer?), again by annoying some, pissing off others and bringing a small number of interested/interesting people who were very excited about it into my life.
All this year, I have waited for that feeling of excitement to come back to me about the project. I had flashes of it, esp. when the groups of students came by, so the issues remain important to me, but mostly I have felt relief at not participating in the marathon of living as performance all summer, not having to be ready to host people at any moment. Also, the sense that the relationship between tourists and Newfoundland is much more established than it was when this started in 2001, has created a kind of blank space where the main idea used to be.
So I can finally close the parenthesis on this particular project: The House Museum (2001 - 2008). Feels kind of nice, actually.