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My Art Therapy Journey

Posts tagged Feelings

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This is a project I’ve been working on almost all semester.  I think it’s been through the kiln 5 times for different processes.  It’s experienced some experiments and some hardship.  The lid  has been cracked (and fixed) once (fell off my project shelf)  and it’s had a bit too heavy an application of copper oxide for my liking.  The egg no longer looks like it goes with it’s “nest” and the thing is starting to look overdone.  I’m not happy with it now, so I’m thinking of just throwing as many things as possible at it to see if I can miraculously bring it back to life.  I don’t know what else to do with it at this point.  It’s one of those projects that starts out with a lot of promise, but in the end is a big disappointment.   I kind of want to throw it at a wall.  It’s a “learning” piece, but I didn’t want it to be a learning piece.   I wanted it to do what I wanted it to do, and it’s not doing what I want it to.  I’m frustrated with it and starting to be embarrassed by it.  But I will keep throwing things at it until I just can’t take it anymore and throw it, itself.

There are only a handful of weeks left for this semester until all of our “wet work” has to be completed and the kiln is going at full tilt to get everyone’s projects fired for grades.  I have other projects I’m working on currently, and at least one project I’m pretty happy with that is complete with another cool one in the wings.  Then there’s the wheel thrown stuff that is somehow miraculously working out.   But this is the one I’m showcasing because it’s the one that’s been the most emotional, so far.  The most “unsuccessful.”   The most troubling.

This is the one that feels so totally out of control, and the one that at some points I have tried to control the most.  Because I’m looking for an outcome.  Because I had a finished picture in mind somewhere along the way.  And I am not happy because this is not it.  I have quit feeling enjoyment while I am working on it.  Will I be able to reclaim my joy with it?  Can it be redeemed?  Can it  survive?  Can it become good again?

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I don’t know how darkness can be so invisible.

But sometimes it is precisely because of its invisibility that darkness becomes itself.

 

When I was a teenager I had a conversation with the darkness once.  I suppose I was a little headstrong, a little unruly.  The invisible darkness was the only real force I could rebel against.  I definitely wasn’t going to try to rebel against my mother or father.  In hindsight, that might have been the better path.  (Not that I hope my teenager ever sees that sentence!) But for me, it might have been quicker path into light.

 

Instead, I stepped, unknowingly, deeper into the pits of emptiness in my effort to be good enough for them…and for me.  Really, to be good at all, but mostly to be good-enough for anyone I though might love me if I performed well.  Perfectly.

 

My hand was asked in marriage at 16.   And I said yes to the man who was 15 years older than me.  And so did my parents.

I bought my own wedding dress with money I earned myself.  $300 at David’s Bridal.

I was a childcare worker.  I made $8 an hour (I later realized taxes weren’t taken out so when I reported my wages I was taxed more than I ever earned, but that’s another story,) which was a huge salary (hourly) increase from my $7.25 I made at the dry cleaners and I loved children.

Except for later I learned I didn’t really love myself…and neither did anyone else.  But not because they didn’t want to.  Because they just couldn’t.  I can’t entirely blame them.  So I can’t entirely blame myself for everything that happened either.

 

But about that conversation with darkness.  I remember it still.  I remember laying on my bed in my bedroom in the apartment I was living in with my mother.  It was after a fight.  I’m not sure if it was abuse.  I thought abuse only happened to children at the time, and I didn’t consider myself a child.  It was just a fight, and probably my fault.  I don’t remember the source of the fight that day.  I only remember the conversation I had after it while I laid in my room where I could never bring myself to sleep.  (I slept in the living room on the 2 cushion sofa every night with my neck propped curiously forward on the armrest.)   I remember my mom telling me I should sleep in my bed because I was breaking down the couch.  But I slept there for almost a year (the amount of time I lived there) anyway.  So maybe I did rebel some.

 

I keep getting away from the darkness.    Or do I?   (Sometimes the question has to be asked.)

The darkness and my conversation.  It was a little one-sided with me doing a lot of the talking, but the darkness doesn’t always talk in words.  The darkness isn’t always nearly as direct.  It likes to be more like a covering over everything so it becomes a mass so encompassing it can be hard to determine where it ends and begins, or to see it at all.

 

In this conversation, in my contempt, in my teenage righteousness and belief that I could surmount anything if given the time, I told the darkness, “You will never win.  You will never get me.  No matter what you do to me, I will never give you my soul.  You can beat me down, but you can’t have ME.  Never.  Never.  NEVER.  Over my dead body will you win.”

 

And so….I hadn’t learned yet….about the light…and about Life With Light.

I didn’t know what it was going to be about.

I didn’t know what was ahead of me.

I didn’t know all the…all the….things.

I didn’t know.

 

But as I look back on that “conversation” today, I sometimes feel like it was the first conversation where I was ever listened to and believed.  And I figured if  I believed the Light could see my heart that maybe the darkness could too, and it would be so clear that I was invincible.   I already could feel so little.

 

But I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.  I didn’t know.

 

And so this head-strong, heart-strong girl spent a lot of time learning a lot of different things about what can be seen and what can’t.

And about how remarkably presumptuous I was.

 

I worked to make the right decisions.  I always wanted to do the right things.

But what do you do when doing all the “right” things turns out to be wrong?

 

What do you do?

 

Sometimes you lose faith.  But that comes much later, after you realize maybe you made the wrong decisions about which (or whose) faith to follow.

 

Oh so many things.  So many, many, many many many horrendous things.

 

But the horror tonight should be about Halloween parties.  Because that is where horror belongs.

And I am starting to put all the horror and darkness that has existed, that has practically been my life up to this point, where it belongs.

 

Off of me.

 

So tonight there is no covering over who I really am.  This is me.

Sometimes it’s scary.  Especially for me when I look into that magic ball and see where I have been.

I look toward  and forward to the future, but I don’t look to know about it all ahead of time.  After all, time does not like to be raced.

I didn’t know before, and even with all that I didn’t know about and the perilous journey I was on (but didn’t know I was on, at the time) I still work on just being present where I am in this day, in this moment.  It is the only place I can be me.  Right here with myself is the only place I can be good enough.

 

I was thinking about this tonight after me and my husband’s first couples session (for the 2nd time)  (and this is my second marriage) with a new couple’s therapist.  I was, more specifically, thinking about this after we returned home from our session and after the “fight”  we had later.

 

I’m calling this phase of the journey, Operation Light.  I googled it and it doesn’t exist yet 😉  Of course, now it does.  So you can join this Operation of Light with me! 🙂

Life With Light: “Operation Light” ….I can see it in….lights, now. 😉

That proposes that it will work.

Operation Light is about infusing Light where ever darkness is even remotely suspected.  There’s no danger is suspecting darkness to be everywhere.  It is not possible to overdose on Light.

It will work….I’m talking to the Light about it right now.

 

I have had a little shift in my approach toward life.  I am learning to address the Light.  The darkness is not worth my time, and definitely not worth me.  And it’s not worth you either.  I just love people, and I can’t help it.  I was well-meaning when I tried to fight against the darkness rather than focus on fighting FOR the Light….I was young and perhaps a bit ostentatious.

 

But the Light has helped me see that…ever so gently, of course.  That’s the way of the Light.  Because the Light actually did know what was inside me and behind my efforts.

 

So when it seems dark and insurmountable, don’t give up.

Don’t ever, ever give up.  ” Operation Light” Lovers never give up unless they are giving it up to the Light. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Selflessness of Dreams

(the unedited and unproofread version…proceed with caution and coffee if you’re the slightest bit tired and still interested)

It’s not that nothing has been going on.  In fact, most people could probably attest that when they are most quiet is when quite a lot is actually “going in.”

…But how to define “going on?”

 

What is it I have been so busy with?

I could probably come up with a physical list only a few items deep:  Being a family woman, a mother, a student….but then there’s something missing.

Something actually just a bit bigger than all of those labels, actually.

I have to admit I have mostly been busy being me.  That’s right.  Just me.

I know I fill those roles and they matter a ton to me, though I couldn’t individually weigh them.

But really, I feel like the biggest, most expansive, consuming thing that’s been going on lately is just me…living.  Me living includes being married and those responsibilities, as well as being a mother and all those personal investments, but there’s been even more.

Life right now is filled with being created.  I create along the way, I step back, I let things happen to me.  I let this other force I feel in my life actually touch me.  What I feel touching me is somewhat undefined, but there is no question of its presence.  I’m being made into something/someone new…at least different.  At the same time I feel myself returning to who I always was…who I was before my time ever even began.

This sounds mystical.  A little off?

It sounds, even to me, like I could be having some kind of psychosis or delusions…..

But I’m pretty sure that if that is what I am experiencing then life exists squarely in the mix of it and that I am not alone in it either.  The fact that you, too, are here verifies that you are in this with me also, does it not?  Sorry, no exemptions.  You’re here or you’re not.  Are you here?  That can be a challenging question at time…I know for myself.

But then, life is not always so clear-cut.  Sometimes it is possible to be two places at once.  I know this, also as fact, for myself.

 

Everything has been in a wild sort of shift.  Motherhood, my student body, and wifedom.  My three most prominent schedulers right now.

But then, there’s that other player…Me.  And while “Me” is made up of those other things,  ”Me” is defined as one with spirit….

And so I have grappled with my spirituality.

Spirituality, which for me, is so closely tied to every cell within me.  And every cell, which is so closely tied to memory.  And memory to history…and history to, well….everything that has ever existed, seen or unseen.

 

Wow, I’m not proofreading and editing as I go so this could be a long, wandering ramble.

Probably the more people get to know me, the more strange I seem.  Or maybe I’m just flattering myself with that thought.  Suppressed egotism.  It’s got to be in there somewhere.

Besides, I’m just talking about all of this nonsense because I’m deathly afraid of sharing my real feelings.

 

Like the pains and the loneliness.  The everyday defeats and how even triumphs sometimes pang me.

This is part of “Me” and all the busyness, I know…but I’d rather come off as completely crazy than talk about these potentially understandable feelings.

 

Lately, I’ve been more present in my life, though it wouldn’t seem like it probably in this “letter.”

Some days I handle it better than others.

Today is kind of a rough one.

But I’m here, so this could, perhaps, be counted as a panged triumph, for an example of that pang I just spoke of.

 

Last night, which I suspect was actually very early this morning, I had a most odd of oddly dreams.  (But then, everything has been a bit odd seeming lately.)

It’s definitely one of those dreams to write to your therapist about (which I may well do, for good measure.)

I was in this house, and it was supposedly a house I knew somehow, but I’m not actually sure of the details.  But anyway, I was in this house of sorts and it was like at some point I was in this house with other people and we were all being led on a house tour.  And we got to this part of the tour and there was this passageway and it was so very, very, extremely narrow and all that could be seen was dark inside of it.  There was no way of telling what was in this passageway.  But to get through the tour and to eventually exit the house you had to go through this tunnel.   I saw someone else go up the tunnel.  They just walked up the steps and continued up through the covered passage (step were going up like a ladder) and disappeared.  No sounds or noise.  No commotion or cries for help.  They simply disappeared as if they had never been there.  And the guide for this tour was leading me to this spot and I neared it and felt my hands around the opening and I stopped there, not going further.  People were behind me talking amongst themselves, seemingly unconcerned about this passage.  (It had a very Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland /Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feel to the atmosphere…dark, strange, otherworldly) And the leader finally addressed me and said for me to go through this passage and I voiced my concern that the passageway was too small and tight for me and that I would get stuck (um….yeah, I am an artist, but NOT a fiction writer…I swear I am not making this up!)   He said it would be fine and to just go.

***This ends my account of my dream***

Except, I think I went into the passageway and I don’t really remember the rest.

Cliffhanger?

I’m not sure, but I’m a bit uneasy about sleep tonight, as if I am ever really easy about it!

 

I want comfort.  I want something or someone to come hold me and assure me that it really isok and that it really IS going to be alright, and I really am not too fat.  Because I’ve been dealing with extreme body feelings along with everything else too.

But right now it seems there is no comfort.  There’s just this narrow passageway I have to go into alone.  It seems like a place to experience every fear I have ever had.  Alone.

And maybe that is the biggest fear of all…Abandonment? Death?

For sure the feeling of Loneliness has been consciously tantamount.  So why would I need a dream about it??!

Maybe this is about something else entirely different, after-all.

I just wish I could figure it out so I could move on to a different dream….

Better dreams….

And on the subject of dreams….Being a dreamer can be lonely…and now maybe I understand that just a little bit better/deeper/differently.

 

One of the first papers I ever wrote in college for Composition I nearly 12 years ago (I was something like 21 years old) was titled “Dream’s Reality” covering Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams.  What can I say, Ambition is not just a fad for me.

 

All these years later and I’m still not a professional therapist.  I went the professional client route, I’m selfless.

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.

I need to not wait so long between posts.  I need continuity.  I sway in and out between darkness and light and I need to record the wave somewhere.

Today I’m feeling a bit defeated because I came home from school to hear my toddler’s babysitter tell me  “I just keep hearing the universe telling me to change and I  think one of those changes is that I’m going to bail on you and your daughter.”   She didn’t use the word “bail,” of course.  But that’s what it is.  I can’t blame her for being a 23-year-old clown, really.

I’m not being derogatory.  She is a clown and actually quite proud of it. She’s recently back from clown school. It was one of the things about her that caused me to want to hire her in the first place.  But it turns out I don’t think she actually likes being with kids all day.

I don’t feel defeated because the universe is apparently against me. (ha!) I’m feeling more defeated because during the course of our conversation she made sure to get into all of my tender spots about STILL not being graduated from college.  I felt like telling her she was awfully young to go for the part of playing Cruella Deville.   But I can’t blame her for being ignorant either.  If I acknowledge her perspective on my life as ignorance and not arrogant cruelty then I might have a little more patience for her to pack it up.

Well, maybe I’m still jaded after-all.

I thought I was going to be able to come here and announce that had passed.

Maybe not.

I’ve discovered feelings.

Rather, I’ve discovered rawness.

I feel stripped and searched.  Lately it feels like the world (the universe?) is pinching and grabbing at me, probing me.  Gross.

It seems like there’s not many places in the world for rawness.  Am I hurting anyone by being raw?

I think it bothers people a lot.

Ok, it bothers me.

I know who I want to be, but I’m not there yet.  And Lord help me the day I ever say I’ve arrived.  This life, for me, is not supposed to be about arriving.

Most certainly it’s about the journey.  That’s why I’m here.

School is in full-swing now.  The Line-Up: Ceramics, Art History-Renaissance to Modern,  Adobe Illustrator,  Photoshop.

I’m only in a little over my head.  I might have several weeks before I’m completely under.

I’m enjoying it, but probably only in the way rawness and joy really go together.

It’s a challenge.  It’s hard.  My brain and heart both feel like they are at capacity, but that might only mean they will soon grow bigger with space to be even more full?

Growing isn’t easy.   Anyone who has really ever grown or is growing would probably get that.

Breaking open is not all-the-way comfortable. But staying stalled, while it has its advantages, doesn’t really get you too far.

The thing about life being a journey  is that the end is never really reached, but it requires constant movement toward that place to be the journey it’s meant to be.

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign (Found at the local zoo)

This morning I looked in the mirror while blow-drying my hair.

I thought about some of the things I would have to say if I told my story and choked back tears and feeling.

Then I realized it is so close to being time.

***

I’ve hired a nanny to babysit my daughter one day a week, which will turn into two half-days a week when school starts the next week.  We talk a bit when she arrives.  Just chit-chat and catching up for communication’s sake.  She asked me about my oldest daughter starting 8th grade and how she’s liking it.  In reality, I didn’t see my daughter off this year on her first day back.  I only saw her two cumulative weeks out of the whole summer.  But we texted on her first day back about how her first day went…the weigh in on teachers and the year ahead.  The usual first-day-back stuff, as if she were living every day with me.

Of course, all the Facebook pictures popped up all day of excited and anticipatory kids…the younger ones. Or the reluctant, begrudgingly photographed, but inwardly still happy their parents cared to mark the day in history, older ones.

I “liked” several of them and tried to not notice my empty spot.

And I hoped everyone else was too caught up in their own day to see that I had nothing of my own to share.

Here I sit, sharing my picture now.

 

There are a lot of questions and probably assumptions that can probably be brought on by this picture.

Just recognize it’s not fully developed yet.

 

So I told my toddler’s nanny about everything I’d gleaned from texts with my teenage daughter about the start of 8th grade without telling her I haven’t actually seen her for over a month.  Mostly, the teachers she doesn’t like (the ones who remind her of strict relative, lol) and the required “elective” class she wishes she had waited to sign up for (Robotics, by the way…I’m still not sure about the new need for this in our school system, but maybe that’s because I’m out of the loop.) She’s only 1 of 3 girls out of a class of 27 and not too thrilled about all the boys…which I found relieving, but kept to myself! 🙂

 

Then our nanny, who is only 23, talked a bit about high school…we talked.  When the topic of high school comes up I always try to play along.  But I actually only completed 9th grade and 2 months of that school year was completed in a psych hospital, as it was.  So I’m learning through anecdotes from other people about high school in America as I go along in life.  In the next 4 to 5 years I’m sure I will learn more and if I’m most lucky I will get a good, rounded-out first-hand fill from my daughter.

All of this brings up memories, of course, of who I really am and where I have really been in my life.  My lifeline.  It gets sort of shitty in spots and so I gloss over those parts, which actually means sometimes I gloss over a lot and people sometimes feel like they know me, but something is missing they can’t quite put their finger on.  It’s that slick, maybe.

 

So today I just said it, without the gloss.  Plain.  No sheen.

“I only went to 9th grade, so I don’t really know about all that.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, I have a kind of interesting timeline with things.  I had a kind of crazy life.  Well, I wasn’t crazy, but my life was a bit crazy.”

 

I still left out the psych hospital part.

I was crazy…I guess.  Right?  I mean, look at where I’ve been.

 

But I’m getting close to the truth.

Closer.

 

Everything is so close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve recently had the recurring urge to shave my head, even though I know it’s probably not the greatest idea.  I was close enough to shaving my head when I when I got my Pixie Cut two summers ago.  I’m capitalizing Pixie Cut because it was that big of a deal.  I paid enough for a semesters worth of community college to repair the damage from that particular urge after several toupees and all the therapy it inspired.   Actually, my husband paid for it, but he had it coming because I had given him say on whether I should actually do it or not.  And he gave me the emphatic “Do it! It’s hot!” go ahead.  : \  .  That was just weeks into our marriage and we’ve learned a lot since then.  Slowly.  Very slowly…at about the rate hair grows.   And of course, two years later I still have my driver’s license picture to remind me of how much I shouldn’t act on all my urges or all of my husband’s ideas about “hotness.”

But at any rate, the urge has managed to return.  I don’t know what it’s about.  I’m thinking maybe I get this urge to chop off all my hair when life transitions are upon me.   That makes sense, right?

Well, that’s the thing about urges.  They don’t always make sense.

I’m sure there’s a psychological underpinning to it that does follow some line of logic…even if it’s ill-logic.

I don’t think it really matters.  I just feel things strongly and that’s enough to make me reach for the scissors.  Or, in this case, razors.

Wow, writing it like this makes me think this might be enough motivation for my husband to wear protection to bed.

 

Anyway, I went to the bookstore today.   (You can start breathing again, the focus on my urges is passing for now.)

I was looking for a Pottery Illustrated Magazine or Ceramics Monthly or something to do with clay.  They didn’t have any, unfortunately, but there were several other magazines that caught my eye.

Like this one:

The Secret Files of My Personality

 

I didn’t want anyone else to see me pick it up, but if you can tell by the computer in the background, I did actually buy this.  It’s funny that I was a little embarrassed for some reason to be flipping through this in the store (not sure why, maybe because of some stupid idea that I should stick  to picking up “chick flicks” or a fitness magazine on how to acquire tight glutes or something) but now I’m broadcasting it here for everyone to see.   It probably says something about my personality!  But I’m not sure what it’s saying about me yet because I haven’t taken any of the quizzes yet.  Maybe these quizzes will lead me to a cure and I won’t need therapy anymore.

I will always need to participate in some form of art for my sanity, though.

I actually went on a magazine spree today…but with good cause!

I’m (re)starting school again next week.  “Real-Deal” school.  Actually,  it is mini real-deal (junior college,) but hey, it’s still school.  I still will get a grade, and it could, eventually, ever so slowly, lead me to a career in which people come to me for help!

So now you know, you’re reading the “Before She Was Famous”  Blog.

All I want to do in life is live.  And living, what I want for my life, means the ability to reliably connect and share.  And feel.  (Thinking straight would also be a perk.)  And sometimes…just Be.   Me.  And I want to Be Whole.  In an ideal world, I’d be able to play some role in  passing life (with light) on.

I was going to major in Art Therapy, but apparently only people on the coasts can work toward becoming art therapists so simply.  There is only one school in the Midwest that even has a Master’s program specifically for art therapy, and, even though I am in the midwest I am not within driving distance to it.  So I’m holding tight that I can get a Bachelor of Fine Arts and someone crazy enough will admit me into a Masters counseling program after that.

I’m scared.  I’m scared about being accepted, which I’ve spoken about on my blog.

I have failed many times in my life…

Anyway, there’s so much story behind and ahead of this…and I have to admit I don’t yet know how to exactly face or share either side of that storyline besides being here where I am on a day-to-day basis.  It’s really not too bad of a way to live, really.  To live in Not Knowing.

As long as I’m focussed on the important things…and people.  That is where the real-deal learning really is.  And, I suppose, where I have the most to learn.

I might be able to take this step-by-step and save my hair-do.

I do sometimes get ahead of myself.

**

Are we there yet? …And, I think 1,000 Places to See Before You Die is so aptly placed. along with the calendar that advertises “Do It All”

While I was at the bookstore I also ran into big display of calendars.   My gaze was more down because I’m wearing a hat today so I didn’t immediately see the display sign on top of the rack.  I was kind of surprised they still had 2012 calendars to sell…until I looked up and saw they were for 2013.  I always get freaked out when I see calendar displays in “off” times because I think I’ve missed more in my life than I was prepared for.    But then I did a quick run-through and realized it wasn’t me.  It was the rest of the world with the problem!  It is the beginning of August 2012, and our culture is living nearly half a year in advance.  What gives?

What is the deal with not being present in this world?  I feel so rushed. And it happens everywhere.  It happens as people run over me in the grocery store, fight me in the check-out line, and tail me all the way home.  Can we please slow down?

I need to get this out and ask, am I the only one feeling this way?

Another interesting find at the bookstore today, but didn’t buy this time. Notice the word “Quickly” is also in this title! 🙂 I also thought the “How to Be Happy” book sitting next to it was interesting, but that is way more of a rant than I have energy for today.

I am in the process of looking for a “Slower People Unite” support group.  Let me know if you’re interested, quickly! 🙂

I am so stressed by being out-and-about sometimes my muscles are clenched to my bones and I can’t move at all!  We’re all going to die in one form or fashion and is all this rushing really necessary or worth it!?

We all will get where we’re going.

Which, come to think of it, just about perfectly completes my interesting finds at the bookstore today…a National Bestseller, which I also did not buy today, but I did flip through and it looked maybe it could be.  But I wasn’t going to take the $7 risk.

 

Things you need to know NOW!!!

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart ~ Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now  by Gordon Livingston M.D.

 

I hope there’s enough time for me to get this later…it will have to wait in the queue with the rest of them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My question today is this: When do you let a thing go?

I just want to know, is there ever a time to give up?  And is giving up -giving up?… or really just letting go? And if it is then the question is less when than “how?”

I didn’t come to this canvas wanting anything but to paint.  It turned into a flower.  But I didn’t think it was good enough so I kept painting.  I wanted more.  Suddenly I became attached.  I was so happy to see a flower on my canvas when I didn’t even try to get it there.  I was ecstatic because for so long I’ve talked about “people who paint flowers” and how I definitely was not one of those people.

There was a part of mE that has always  wanted to paint a flower.

But no flowers would ever come.

It made me sad.

Flowers weren’t for me.

But I like flowers.   Flowers are special.  They make me happy.

“Flowers come from happy people.” (That’s what I thought.)

But I was not a flower person.

Then this flower came to me.  And I wanted it so much, even if it looked like a 5-year-old drew it.  It was still my flower and I loved it.

But then…the paint-parent came out and said it wasn’t right enough, there wasn’t enough “pop,” it wasn’t bright…it wasn’t right. The background had no foreground and blah blah blah, BLAH!  It didn’t look like other people’s flowers at all.  It didn’t even necessarily look alive!  So hopeless.

So I tried to help it out.  I tried to be better.  I tried to make it work…but then….

It died.

But it hadn’t signed a DNR.

So I kept at it.

The following photos are  the journey my flower has gone through and it’s still not done.  In fact, as soon as I get done writing this post I am getting right back to work on it.  I wanted to come here first though and talk about what’s been happening and mark it as part of my journey.  I don’t know where it’s going to go….

Do I stop?  Do I give up?  Today I’m working out how to let go.

I think.  I mean, I guess.

There’s just so much I don’t know right now.

(I have chosen to not digitally enhance any of these…they just have to sit there and deal with it, boo.)

close-up

 

Where I think I should have stopped and maybe just added some black and translucent layer(s) of color. It was going to be titled…”The First Flower of Recovery”

 

close – up

 

Where it all started to go wrong…

 

and even more wrong, haha

 

“Doing Battle”

 

close-up

 

a part of the paint I liked….that didn’t last, lol

 

trying to get my orange to cooperate…We still aren’t talking

 

The “Fuck It” stage…sorry, but it’s true

 

The “I feel this is an exceptional depiction of BOREDOM” phase

 

Up now…the “Trying too hard” period

 

but at least I felt there were some successful elements…and it was good time to experiement

 

When I thought maybe the carnage was over…It wasn’t! 🙂

 

stuff I liked, but it wasn’t likable enough…and I was irritated I could only get 5″ of things to go my way

 

And this is when I came to you with my questioning….How to give up…I mean, let go…yeah, Let Go…that’s so much more therapeutic, lol

Ok, so I know earlier I said I still wasn’t done, but I lied.  I kept painting before finishing this post because all the pictures were taking too long to upload.

And this is where we (me and this damn flower!) stand now.  I don’t really love it.  I feel like it’s so wrong and not doing anything for me.  But I’m learning…just not at the pace I would like to and I think I still just want my first flower back because it was the truest and I should have just chilled out and sat with it a while before destroying it in my haste to make it something it never could be anyway…perfect.

I love you not, flower!!!!

Sometimes I really hate my issues.  Stupid damn fucking issues, AURURRURURURHHHGGGGG!!!!

There.

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I wish I could take credit for my post title…but I found this lovely poem by Wendell Berry tonight, put to music by a band named Crooked Still.  I’m always grateful when someone else can put words (and music along with them is a major bonus) to how I feel.  I’m beginning to feel  “The Peace of Wild Things” in my life.

Everyday, almost all day, I have thought about Life With Light.  This place here…this blog, and what I share within it…my life.   The journey here and the journey of my breath from inside out and in again.  Such a journey to really live, isn’t it?  And then to have your breath out there for others to potentially take into themselves.  Crazy.

**

The photo above is of  a little butterfly pin/brooch I found at an estate sale this weekend.  It’s amazing how things can take you right back in time to a place you thought was dead.  This pin immediately took me to my mother who I remembered had a pin just like this, only in blue (this one is oranges and warm colors.)

I stared at that pin. I picked it up and put it down.  It was sitting with the other jewelry of questionable value on where the cashier sat. Maybe mom wore it a lot or maybe she just wore it during a significant time that had me so closely focused in on it.  It’s imbedded within me.  I picked it up and put it down.  I thought it would fly away.

I walked around the house and picked up other things…and didn’t put them down. 3 grapefruit spoons (they are impossible to find and I love grapefruit!), some old linens (for purposes of the embroidery on them mostly…future projects forever on my mind,) a few decorated styrofoam birds (to place around my studio…inspiration,) and a couple of cases of old tape and reel film (nicely metaphoric for my mixed-media endeavors.)

I don’t know what made me pick up the butterfly and place it back on the cheap portable folding table.  Every other item I picked up and kept… in my head I was thinking about the butterfly I left and then, quickly, “mom.”

I wanted to not want it.  I wanted to walk away.

But I was afraid of making a final decision and leaving with regret.

**

Here’s a photo of the day after.

I’ve been busy in my absence.  I’ve been remarkably present…painting.

My words are so sparse.  They aren’t coming to me like feelings are.

But do you know what makes a painter happy?

Painting!

It’s the wildest thing I’ve known.