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My Art Therapy Journey

Posts tagged help

 

 

There are times that I wish I could let myself fall apart more.  Somehow,  those are never the times when I actually am falling apart. I will stop myself from falling apart even if it means a permanent ending to everything.  The times I fall apart are like the short breaks between bricks.  The places where the grout lays.

Clearly, there is more brick than grout, but without the grout the bricks most likely  would topple over and never stand or do the job they are typically created to do….and I’m not getting into physics and the possibility of that.  I know there must be exceptions to needing grout out there somewhere.  But I’m talking about what I know.

I don’t actually know that much about construction and building materials either, but that also doesn’t really matter right now.

My point is that I need to fall apart, but I also need to stay together.  I have to be both the brick and the mortar.  (Oh yeah, I think mortar is what it’s called?  Grout is for stuff like ceramic tiles, right???  I don’t know.  But this is also not the point.)

 

I’m trying to understand myself.

 

I just know that sometime I lose it.  I fall apart and I fall apart Big.  But not often enough.  But falling apart just once is too much!

I feel so stuck.

 

Maybe I just need to take down the wall.  Maybe I don’t need more (or less) falling apart.

Maybe I just need no more walls.

 

Fear is the glue.  (Glue now, not grout or mortar.)

 

Fear is static and unmoving.  Fear causes crumbling.  Fear leads to crashing.

 

I know I’m speaking in weird metaphors that probably don’t even go together.  It”s hard to face where I am in this–because I don’t really know where I am.  And this is part of the whole issue.

 

Am I strong?  Am I weak?  Am I needy?  Am I too much?  Am I not enough?

 

I need help.  I can’t do this alone.  I can’t be the wall and decide about what to do with the wall at the same time.  There are too many directions at once.  Repair it?  Take it down?  Keep some, change some?

I don’t know what to do with me right now.

I’m vulnerable.

I’m used to being it all.  The brick, the mortar, the builder and the one who climbs on, around or over the wall when it’s all done.

The problem is…it’s never done.

It’s a lot of upkeep now and it complicates life rather than making it necessarily better.

But the prospect of subbing (sub-contracting) this out is end-of-the-world frightening.

It means trusting, at least a little bit, and not being entirely in control of where things go, at least for a little bit.  I can still sort of have a say about things, but, in a way…I have to step back.

I write this like I have a choice about doing this.

It’s really already happening without me.

The memories are breaking through my wall(s).  People morph in and out of the reality of who they really are.  It’s hard to keep track of past and present.

I’m rattled all the time.  I tremor.  My fine motor skills are already gone and I worry about it progressing to more major movements like even walking or standing.

So I write this like I have a choice about letting-go.

The death-grip I’ve had on my life isn’t working anymore.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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….

This is a picture of the ceiling in our “breakfast nook.”

Yesterday a piece of the ceiling was removed

The other day when I noticed our ceiling coming apart, I realized we had a leak.

What you see is the floor to our second story and pipes that transport water from upstairs.

Nobody could figure out where the leak was coming from.

The plumber came and took a guess.  He dismantled our toilet…

…but his guess was wrong.  We then had a bad leak in addition to no toilet.

He wouldn’t reinstall our toilet without charging us $750 dollars to fix it because it hadn’t originally been installed “to code,” even though that’s not where the leak was from.

I told the plumber to leave.  Without re-installing the toilet, thank you.

My husband had the friend that helped remodel our house come over to find the source of the problem.

They fixed it while I was at book club.  All better.

This morning my husband took a shower.  And I took a bath.

…When I fell into the slip-and-slide on the breakfast nook floor.

It’s still leaking.  We think we know it’s from the shower.  But the leak is a mystery.

***

THIS IS A PICTURE OF ME.

I have a leak.

 

It happens sometimes after I put my daughter down for a nap.

 

The water comes from someplace deep inside my soul…and leaves a path that is hard to trace.

 

I’m not sure if I will ever find the true source of tears.

 

 

And if I do…if it will be repairable.

 

The questions and concerns grow as I sit…exposed.

 

 

 

 

 

A whole month since my last post!?  No wonder I feel a little shy.

Life With Light has definitely been active with posts within me, though.  Ever since my last post when I was exasperated with myself that I couldn’t seem to juggle 10 different full-time jobs, pastimes, and volunteer positions at once and be my daughter’s primary caretaker 150% of the time I have been busy working out a way to make my life feel a little more…well, workable!

It finally dawned on me that all the working women artists in the blog-o-sphere are more than likely not creating sellable art  and running a business and cleaning the house and cooking dinner and looking pretty (a.k.a. getting a shower in) and taking care of their child(ren), and staying alive without some help, at least some of the time!

I vow, from here-on-out, to never ever leave the fact that motherhood and artistry co-existing together on an even semi-regular basis does not come without some designated help from somewhere else outside of me.  I believe it should be acknowledged, and in an easily accessible place like the “About Me” or “Bio” section so that every desperate new mother/creative who may find me here creating in the future will not beat themselves up for days, months, or years for not somehow sprouting wings and 15 extra pairs of hands and feet to accomplish it all at once all by themselves.

So…since my last post I set about finding some help.

Starting next month, toward the end of June, I will have one dedicated day a week to be in my  home studio and perform other developmental creative doings while someone is here to watch and help me care for my little one.  I expect these pages will begin to be filled more with my art therapy journey on a more regular basis then.

Until then, I have decided this blog needs a form of CPR.    I’ve taken CPR and passed many-several times, so hopefully this will be a success.  I am a practiced student of CPR, but I just came up with this idea as I was taking my daughter for a walk at our local park and sneaking in some Instagram photos with my iPhone.

I thought, “I know!” (Good start, right!) …  “I know!  I’m certain I can at least commit to taking one photo a day that speaks to something connected to my art therapy   that I can post on Life With Light.”  A daily resuscitation for when I haven’t had the time, space or energy left over from motherhood-ing to create or when whatever I’m working on creatively is not ready to be shared yet.

There is no “Life with Light ” if the Light goes all the way out.

I actually have been very busy, even creatively at times, even with the logistical challenges.    I have made a small sculpture, and I am taking sewing classes (awesomeness times infinity!) which has resulted in the completion of half a stuffed cat so far.  As it goes, I am currently a little (WAY) slow in the completion of these projects!

But Omg!  I didn’t even post about my completed bookshelf yet!  I actually finished it and it has been happily doing it’s job for weeks!  So I’ll be posting about that soon as well.   But that will have to wait for at least tomorrow.

I am going to play catch up (and do a little CPR)  by sharing some images I took while I was on my walk with my daughter today as I was thinking about blog-sharing cpr…accompanied even by a little blues, if you like. Enjoy!

 

I was sitting, thinking the other day which doesn’t happen very often…sitting.  Of course, I’m sitting here typing now, but it’s a luxury called naptime that also seems to be very short-lived.  I was thinking, wondering how in the world there are so many blogs written by so many women with children…mother artists, mother writers, mother seamstresses, mother crafters and cookers and bakers and sellers of creative wares.

What the heck!?

That’s what I was thinking.  How on earth do they do this and all that too!???

And then I was thinking about my blog and thinking…ok, so I collaborated in making a baby.  Is that not creation enough for a good long while?

Of course, no.  Babies are a whole other topic.  But still…

I feel sick if I’m not  thinking about making, prepping something or flat out creating (my favorite.)

 

I was so sick of sitting there.

So to make myself feel better I got up (even though I’d just had  (minor)surgery less than 48 hours earlier) and started to build me and my husband a bookshelf/dvd/xbox shelf for our bedroom.  The cords have been all over the floor and even though it’s great that it’s been an aid in teaching our 10 month old the meaning of “No cords.” it’s getting a little worn out now!

 

It’s time something be done.

 

Magic Wand...my style

 

And did you know…Home Depot is open on Easter Sunday!

God knows me so well.

And my husband was home to hold the baby while I got down and dirty.

Hopefully, if all the rest follows in my favor I will have a completed project in the next day or two!

But I still am on a mission to figure out how those other mothers get so much accomplished…because my baby just woke up!  How do they do it!???  There will be no time for editing today! (And definitely not photoshop.)

Painting 2 x 4's ...Anything is possible with some 2 x 4's and a little paint...and someone to hold the baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is my first sort of art doll.  She started out as a Santos Cage Doll, and I guess she still is, if I had to “classify” her.  I’m not really sure about what the proper terms are for different types of dolls.  I just know I really enjoyed working on/with her.  I have Jennifer Rizzo to thank for the inspiration and tutorial on getting started with doll making and meeting this chicha.  I really admire all the amazing women artists I am finding and meeting (without actually meeting?) on the web!  Thank you for being a part of my journey and being a part in opening up my world!

I feel like I have a companionship with this “doll” who is now more like a friend-like part of me.  I look forward to more art doll friendships in my future.

This girl/woman/doll is saying “Yes” because that’s what she wanted to say! : )  Really, she chose what she wanted to say, not me!  Of course, in the space of working with her I thought I came up with some really great things she could say like, “Begin” or “Can” or “Muse” or “On The Path”, but instead she chose to dialogue with me and answer those propositions with “YES”.  And also, I’m pretty sure she’s saying “Yes” to something higher order I am, perhaps, not in on so much yet.   So thank you!  Thank you for being my Yes Woman!  I shall need you forever by my side.

***

Aesthetic elements are secondary to my purposes when it comes to the creations that appear in my self-directed art therapy undertakings, but I still want to challenge my aesthetic growth.  I’m debating on finding a hair solution for this doll. I am considering leaving her with only the “painted on” hair, but a part of me wants to experiment with maybe some twine hair/wig.  Or maybe a hat or headpiece she might want to wear.  But honestly, earlier today I found this little plastic ballerina figurine and  for some reason the ballerina was really screaming out to me that she wanted to find her dancing home/stage on Yes Girl’s head!

So, Yes Girl is still a work in progress  (much like me!) and I’m not completely satisfied or feeling completion yet with the bottom part of this doll either.  Also, there has been a steep learning curve on this doll, so there are several aspects I want to contemplate and play around with on future art doll projects.  I have a lot of logistics to figure out with doll making and assemblage and such…loving the problem solving aspect a ton!

All said, I know that Yes Girl will help get me through the emotional and practical process of things to come and the long haul of healing!

Of course!  How can she not help.   She’s my answer to everything, right?!  ; )

PS.  I thought I was going to be able to use my new-to-me Dremel today on the YES sign, but resorted to some self-powered tin snips…maybe tomorrow!