Info

My Art Therapy Journey

Posts from the Because I Felt Like It Category

If I could cry 5 million pounds of tears I would, but there would be 2.5 million still left inside me.

And if I could fill 3 planets with laughter I could burst 6 more (Pluto lives) with what my soul would still contain.

Advertisements

Here comes a confession: I’m not tidy.  It’s funny, I know, but my subconscious works overtime to the extent that I actually can believe that I might be for moments at a time.  But I’ve reached a point, now, where I finally cannot, not for even one single moment, really believe that I am all wrapped up tight in a neat little package.  I know I’m probably the last to find this out, but I’ll be honest with me…I usually am the last to find things out.

I need a Xanax or I need sleep or I need both right now.  Yesterday I slept away an entire drug induced day, which in reality, is probably not much different from many other days I’ve had spent awake.  Things are starting to line up.  Getting cleaned up, it’s tempting to say.

 

I’ve never been one for drugs.  I’ve never been the dependent type.  I’m the one who loves to take shit and turn it into something else, like I’m a human compost or something.  Just give it to me, I’m totally unphased by shit and can turn it into something else.  Art or a poem or something.  Or a shapely body from all the metabolic processes it brings on within me.  I can take on anything! 

So here’s my next confession:  I’m also a liar.  I can’t deal with shit.  I can’t take it on or process it.  I bury it and it goes nowhere.  It does nothing useful and I put on make-up, in various forms, to face the world.  I’m shit-faced, I could maybe say.  I’ve been living my life as an addict.

I’m addicted to the part of not being human, not feelings my feelings or knowing who I really am.

I might have even married my perfect counterpart.

But then….

Shit really started happening and I saw shit.  And I said, “Oh shit!”  And shit hit the fan.

 

Our household has a nicely splattered decor of shit all over in it now.

 

But that’s not the best of it.

The best of it is yet to be revealed.

I’m up to  * here*  in shit.

*

*

*

*

 

It’s not always necessarily a person’s exact fault when life has gone to shit.  It can start at such an early age, the age before choices are really clearly made.  It’s the age of instinct and survival.  The age of not knowing any other way.  Like the age when you shit in your pants and that’s just the way it goes.

 

Then all the sudden you get a knock on the door and holy shit you’re, like, going on 33 years old.

 

“Fuck, you mean the shit is still there?!  ”

 

I’m sorry for the expletives.  I’m blaming it on the drugs (that are helping me breathe) today, but it might be something else tomorrow.  We will all cope in the best (and first) way we know how until there is another way, I suppose.  So judge me if you must.  I might not like it, but it probably won’t make that much of a difference if you do.

 

I have judged myself plenty enough, you can trust me on that one.

 

I’m behind on all of my ceramics assignments.  And what do I say to that, “Shit!”  Yes, it compounds.  It grows.  It does not go away.

So, I’m working on breathing through all this shit.  There are not readily available lessons for this.  I may be swimming in it, but the local “Y” does not seem to back the demand for this type of training.

I am off to the pool of coping which I am surfacing in.

 

Cope cope cope.  Sometimes all that’s left is coping an hoping and keeping the faith that one day, whether subconsciously or not, things will be much better.

 

 

 

 

 

+ high-res version

Well, it happened.  Today I dropped my first class of the season.  And what do you think it was?  None other than Photoshop.  My first and last class for Photoshop was last Thursday morning.  Sad.  Very sad.  But more than sad, I’m happy because it means that I’m not going down a short and fast path of ruin.  I stepped on it, felt the ground shake and quickly, but not too quickly, but fast enough to not get a permanent “W” (for Withdraw…(or how I fear it’s looked at by administration in big colleges, “Took the W because the F was coming?”).  So…still breathing, I got out of there.  I only went to the first class and the instructor is the same teacher who taught my Adobe Illustrator class and I actually signed up for his classes on purpose because I’d heard such good things about him.

It turns out he is very good, but good is so vague and relative.  I don’t have a high aptitude toward graphic design and am only really taking Illustrator and Photoshop because they are prerequisites for a couple of other design classes I am required to take for my art degree.  This teacher is first-rate if you’re into Graphic Design and that’s your major…but for the girl (woman, uhem) who likes to get her hands-up-to-her-armpits-dirty in clay, taking his class was about enough to make my head spin off my neck.  It’s purely miracle and kind-heartedness on my teachers part that I was blessed out of Adobe Illustrator alive and with an “A” for effort.

So anyway, his class wasn’t the “Photoshop for Artists” I was looking for. Today I saved myself by  clicking on a sweet, sweet drop button that, praise the Lord, still read “0% with no W on transcript.” when pressed.  My husband asked if we’ll get a refund.  I said “No, I only get to not self-destruct.  Want me to reinstate my class?”  Smiley face.  (He asked me through a text message.)

I’m still living.

In fact, I’m so alive after I officially dropped Photoshop I stepped outside and realized an abundance of wildly growing flowers in a little corral next to our garage (which unfortunately has no animals in it because we actually live in the suburbs and only can pretend we are farmers.)

But still, when we bought this house I wouldn’t let the guys tear it down.  I love my corral, and talking about it reminds me I need to get my bull’s head tied up out there again for lasso practice!  It had to be taken down when the enclosure was painted.   I’m digressing.   (At least I’m not regressing.  Digressing doesn’t seem so bad next to that possibility!)

All of this is to say…I was inspired to take some photos! 🙂

I’m pretty sure my neighbors were curious what I was doing bouncing around the corral for no clearly apparent reason today, but you know what they say about keeping  good neighbors.  Well, some say the best neighbors are fences, but we don’t really have fencing, so the next best thing is to feign insanity within their line-of-sight.    (No doubt, you’re convinced, right!? )

So here are my photos of the day.  Enjoy…I did!

 

Me today

 

hanging out together

Budding Heart

Out on a…vine

Protection (love, connection, hope, support, friendship, relationship, life)

This is your family tree…Oh, so THIS is who I am!

The trail I’m on is dodgy right now.  I can’t keep up with myself, I’m thirsty and with every step the path tries to disappear beneath my feet.  Paranoia creeps in.  I can’t trust anything or anyone, especially me.  I question myself repeatedly and I never answer back.  There is a call with no return.  I want to hide.  I’m not sure who I am talking to.  The main part of life is a strange veneer lifting off from the surface of a screen…no front or back.

Are parts like this where it’s just important to go through the motions?  There are parts where there doesn’t need to be any real meaning beyond staying alive, I suppose.  Even when life floats like a ghost?

 

The last time I had a massage I was told I needed “a lot of work.”

I am repelling touch.

 

A couple of days ago I had a freak-out session and had to double-up on my daily dance in front of the television.  My toddler knows what it means when I say in a sing-songy voice “Mommy’s gotta ex-ser-size!”  I was so tired, but I had to go until I couldn’t feel anymore.  She crawls on me, bounces in motion with me, and tries to eat my exercise mat.

 

While I’m occupied with that there’s a thick Art History book sitting in the corner on the desk.  I do a few more squat-thrusts to try to calm my anxiety.  About what…I don’t know.

 

My teenager calls and comes over to the house bearing gifts for me from her recent trip to the Gulf Coast with her dad.  My God, how I love her.  How it frightens me to know she was once a toddler too.  And I, her mom.  She’s too beautiful to have come from me.  “And too normal,” I think to myself.  Normal in that extraordinary teenager way.  Growing up.

 

I want to talk to somebody, but there’s no one around.

I don’t know why there’s nobody around other than I’ve always been too scared to have anybody around.

I’m scared to go grocery shopping.

Too many people.

 

There’s been a lot of fighting lately.  Maybe I’ll get a divorce.   Maybe I’ll go nowhere.

 

I take vacations.  I fantasize compulsively and obsessively through websites advertising retreats,  engaging me in the promise of wisdom and adventure, release and grounding.  I over-analyze dates and costs and reality.  It takes me away for a while.

Away for a while.

 

Away for a while.

 

Away.

+ high-res version

I’ve been pretty busy, but not too busy to think about Life With Light.  In fact, I guess I’ve partly been busy because so much of my attention has turned to this “life with light.”    Sometimes the days just seem to slip away…and the day becomes more like an inhabited friendly oasis rather than the harsh desert island I’ve been accustomed to in the past.

My Friendly Oasis on Wednesday

This week me and one of my best friends began a woodworking/building project together!  You can see there are 2 sanding blocks there.  We “turned our doing dials up a notch” ala Home Depot, lol.  My friend gave me that line 🙂  She always makes me laugh.  She’s the kind of friend I can laugh with and cry with in the same day…or even within the same minute.  I count myself pretty lucky, fortunate, blessed… (take your mix n’ match of the assortment,) to have her in my life.  We’ve known each other since we were kids…have been in each other’s weddings…that kind of friends.   We’ve been through a lot together, even during times we were apart, often living sort of seemingly parallel lives.

So I have this to share…a great big burst of light in my my life if you ask me!

This week we bonded over the cut-off saw in my garage…

We got as far as sanding and painting these boards which I was pretty proud of!  I’m hoping to work on the completion sometime this weekend.  The weather outside looks good, so as long as the weather indoors stays as calm then I will hopefully have a storage cart on wheels by the time Monday rolls around…complete with victory pics to share!  (Crossing fingers, toes, and a few hairs.)

**

If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll probably remember me talking about my euphoric discovery of Instagram  and my reformation of the repugnance I once had for digital photography.  You won’t believe what I’ve uncovered now!   I am forever humbled.  My former repugnance is regrettable.

Another thing that has had me busy this week is this!

The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity

And!

iPhone Obsessed: Photo Editing Experiments with Apps

And I was even more humbled when I learned there are even people who consider themselves to be  iPhoneography Purists!?  iPhone purists!  I never knew!

I am SO SLOW.

My husband laughed at me because he tried to get me into digital when we were dating, but I would have nothing of it.  I’m too embarrassed to even admit to the things I said about “lowly digital.” LOL.  And now I’m begging him to go to Photoshop World with me!  I have had to swallow some pretty big words and eat a lot of humble pie.

I haven’t actually even had the chance to experiment with any new apps.  I was thinking Instagram was the schizz, but I guess there’s more out there to explore. haha.

It’s a bit hard to not have all the time in the world to traverse all these extraordinary ventures.   These discoveries have  kept my mind going at a good speed, which is necessary because I apparently I have a lot of catching up to do.  But when it comes to all this newfangled stuff  I have to approach my discoveries more as a section-hike and not a thru-hike for now…(hiker lingo)  Oh…and just to think of all the photos that could be unearthed on this hike!

I cannot wait to dig into digital and see how I can pal around with it in the area of art therapy!

Patience will be a personal challenge on this one.

**

And an update on the rest of life…well, what is the rest of life anyway?

What if the rest of life was just like all the above…happy to be alive?

What if…something to think about.

And maybe something to feel.

 

Over the weekend my Baby became a Toddler.  She’s still not quite “toddling,” but we’ve made the one-year mark.  It’s exciting and humbling.  It makes me nostalgic for my older daughter who will turn 14 this fall.  Though, it is hard to not be washed in fear.  I look at other families, especially younger ones just starting out with their baby or young children and sometimes my heart wants to stop.  I don’t really know why.  I don’t know if it takes me to the hindsight wisdom I have now about a time when I was so young (a teenager)  and unknowing–when I had no idea what was to come for me as a mother– or if I am feeling vulnerable for them…because they look so innocent.  Parents.  Hearts just right out there in front.

I don’t think I look innocent.

But I’m not really sure what I look like anymore.

I have no idea what life will throw my way. I am  doing my best to be the parent my toddler (with her own unique personality and set of traits, much different from her sister’s)  needs me to be.  I don’t think I look-or feel-innocent, but I so often am scared of not knowing enough.

I am constantly searching myself out, asking, “Have I learned what I need to know from my mistakes?”

It’s scarier to be pretty sure I probably don’t even know all the mistakes I have made yet.

Time is a teller.

Is there any parent out there who can’t look back and see even just one mistake they might have made in raising a child?  If there is, I’m sure that person will come find me here to tell me, lol.  Never fails, huh.  (Falls under the class of “Don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to.”)

Anyway, we survived the first birthday party.  A party my older daughter never received.  (I was a Jehovah’s Witness then.)

I feel like I am always living in alternate universes.  Especially as a married woman and parent now in this new place.  Memories free-flow around and through me.  I live in an ocean of memories and most of them are not very pleasant.  I work hard to make new ones.  Sometimes I think I actually work too hard at that and stress myself out even more.  And then is the memory I worked so hard to make good any good?

But as I was saying, we’ve made it this far.

This year we celebrated with friends…a pretty rockin’ way to get the ball rollin’.  Right?

But my older daughter was with her dad.  So even this birthday is tinged with sadness.  It’s a long story only a mini-series could tell.

I’m going to trust that if I keep living life with light will take care of this for all of us.

I’ve been savoring  my latest set of Instagrams.  It seems like so much has happened in just a couple of days, even though when I look around not much has changed.

Except for my mantle.  Yes, my mantle is looking different these days!

My mantle now holds a vase with Roses of Different Color!

And, I think you can be assured it’s not because I am wearing rose-colored glasses, either.

Just take a look at these beauts!

Yesterday my husband ran an errand to the store and came back with these!!!

No arguing, no disharmony, not even a “discussion” precluded these babies!  No ladies (and gents) my husband bought me flowers because….because HE DID.  And he gets full credit.

Now, I didn’t used to think I was the type of girl to get all giddy over flowers, but turns out…I kinda am.  Especially when they’re tie dye, and especially when I know it means my husband is listening and paying attention.  And something grabbed his attention at the store when I wasn’t with him and he thought of me!

So I’m a little sweet on these flowers, and sweet on him.

Self-Portrait with Roses  : )

So not too much commentary today, although it feels like there’s a ton to share.  It will have to wait because I am stopping to smell my tie-die roses!  And I invite you to sit-a-spell and smell them with me!

I wish that swallowing a multi would fix it all.  It swims down my insides and  bursts into my stomach with a jolt.  A shock…defibrillation. Everyday, the all clear comes…again, again, again.  Dissolving and resolving to resuscitate my cells.  No cell left unturned.  No man for himself.  Scratching out of form into my blood.  Giving into itself.  Singling out no one.  Saving the many lives within me.

 

Am I the only one who ever imagines a vitamin this way?

I am here because the pain is too much.  I participated in the recent routine of watching an episode of Breaking Bad with my husband and opening my mind to sleep, but my body isn’t cooperating.  The pain has been intense today…it has been growing all week.  Growing, growing so fast that I would like to graduate it on out of my body.  But then where would it go?  Into someone else’s body?  Maybe this pain is my way of helping, contributing in a way, to the world.

Maybe I should be able to help it that my body cannibalizes itself.  It scares me.  It stops me in my tracks.  There’s nowhere to go.  But here.  Here to cope.  Here to express.

Therapy of my making.

It does help me.  It helps to get it out.  And I’m ok with it as long as I stay responsible for it.  Responsible for how all this works itself out.

I’ve known a lot of hurting people in my life.  Scary people.  People who took their pain out on me.  And there is a part of me that does understand that now.  Maybe it’s a part of me that my multi-vitamin has reached and has  provided insight.  But mostly, the rest of me still suffers from other’s pain as it attempts healing.

I learned infliction so well though, I think.  So easy to administer…like with a spoon.

I try to make myself better, to stop the pain, and yank the spoon out of my hand.

But the hurting is still there.  It just moves, moving closer and closer to be fed.

It badgers me.

I will starve it.  Starve the pain until finally, even if slowly, it goes away.

Nourishment itself inflicts me.

 

My body tries to speak to me.  I try to listen.

It is hard to listen.

I crave art because it is the safest way to hear.   And the clearest.

I’m working on getting working in art.  It’s taking time, precious time.  Soon though.  It will be soon, and in the meantime, I build.  I create a space for it to live…to just be.

Thinking about this brings me some relief, even as the internal chewing of my flesh continues.

Some days are much better than this.   Some days I don’t hurt like this.  Some days there is relief.

And I will keep swallowing the pill.

Photos from a recent trip to the park…all of my park pictures so far are from the same section of path.

These remind me of bones….

I would rather my journey be all smiles.  Smiles are prettier.  Most people are attracted to a smiling face.  I know this is true, but the deeper-me wonders if there’s a chance some people could also possibly be drawn to truth…the whole truth.   And the truth is that I definitely am not always all-smiles.

Who is?

Sometimes it seems like people blogging about their supposed journey are all-smiles.  And maybe some of them actually are?  But I’m guessing sometimes they really aren’t smiling…even when you see them smiling in a pic-of-the-day on their blog.

Or maybe I’m just cranky today.

 

Well, anyway, this isn’t about anyone else’s journey and I’m not trying to criticize how anyone else copes with life.  I’m having a hard time surrendering my smile today because that’s what I want to be there…but what if it’s just not?   I’m just saying that I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t wear the smile all the time, the fake ones in-particular.  (And do the people who only ever shine a smiling face realize how depressed that makes the real people out there feel…because they aren’t always “smiling” like them?  Yes, a smile is always appreciated when genuine and I have no intention of being a Debbie-Downer (my name’s not Debbie, and I have no idea where that term came from so if your name is Debbie it’s nothing directed toward you, super-promise…but gah!  365 Days of Smiles? Well…maybe!  Maybe next year’s blog!!  (Seriously) Anyway, I’m getting off track and cheering myself up on accident, lol.)  Some days are really hard and I feel them as hard.  Ironically, I often feel better when I just acknowledge when maybe a day didn’t go as I had planned or hoped for it to go, which is always good.   I  do generally want to smile.

It’s a hard thing to contend with.  Desires and reality.  Hopes and disappointments.  Growing and acknowledging ample room to grow into maturity.

And maturity, wow…I always wanted to be mature when I was a little girl.  I just always wanted to be done with feeling so small…as in stupid…as in what I thought being emotional was.  I wanted to know things!  I wanted to know them and be them…’them’ meaning…wise.  Foresight.

Here I am…32, often feeling (and being) like such a little girl still, and learning by hindsight.  Maybe I’m old now and maybe I’m not old.  Age is so relative because whoever knows when the end of  life is?  Well, at least I think  it’s unknown when not at their own hand, and even in that scenario there can never be certainties…which on some days is the only thing that has kept me around this strange uncertain, yet certain, sphere of living.

I wasn’t really planning on writing any of this, so I have no idea what my unconscious might have blurted out here that I’m not ready to answer to…or that any of it follows a coherent line.   I was just going to post a couple of  self-portrait Instagram’s I took today of how I was feeling.

I wasn’t really in a “talking mood” when I started out.

I’m still not sure if I really am…?

 

Feelings From Today: The Truth

But I do feel better now! (Smile) 

For real.