Wednesday, February 28, 2007
sooo sorry for the gap! i have been flat out on my back with the flu that turned into mild pneumonia. so much for my week off between jobs! i woke up saturday morning and headed straight for the studio, then BAM! it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. my fear was the return of Gilliam Barre Syndrome, due to the intense joint aches. but it was "just" the flu. my heartfelt and sincere apologies to any and all that i know who've been sick, and perhaps found me less compassionate than i should have been. i think i'm a pretty thoughtful person, but it's hard to imagine someone else's pain. until it hits you. i'm still pretty icky right now, so just a quickie to let you know i'm alive - even though i felt like death for the past week. oh! my day brightened up with the mail - Cloth Paper Scissors! page 9...all of page 9! it's very weird seeing your work in a magazine. kinda cool too. back to sleep now - sweet dreams for sure. L.
at 1:50 PM
Sunday, February 18, 2007
for you westies (west coasters) - THIS is what you're missing. snow, snow and plenty of it! we had to shovel a little tunnel path for diva dog in order for her to get out to potty. i wish she was still paper trained! the snowbanks are high enough for her to just step over the fence if she figures that out. of course, i worry. i started a project yesterday! then re-started it today. today's version is much better. i have too many ideas all fighting for prime positioning in my creative lobe, so i end up with a Frankenstein project - a little from this idea, a little from that one. so anyway, was i the only one who actually continued eating the salmonella -infested peanut butter? oy! who knew they really MEANT it when they recalled it? so, on to dinner now. stay warm and wear bright colors so the plows can see ya coming! L.
at 6:00 PM
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
i often wonder why depression doesn't come with an outward sign...broken legs and arms have a cast to show for them....surgeries have an impressive scar. but depression...nothing. there are outward signs, i suppose - the tiredness like you're trying to run a marathon through knee deep cement, ever hardening along the way. the i-don't-caredness of the hairstyle. the whole enthusiasm thing is just wrung out like a damp cloth after the kitchen is cleaned. and yet because there is no scar, no cast, no bending of a bone, depression is often waved away by those around. with a flick of the hand and a disdainful look, the depressed person is told they should have nothing to be sad about. or to cheer up. or simply categorized as high maintenance and mentally dismissed. depression isn't about being sad. it's about being the walking dead. the world becomes shades of grey. the best you can muster is to sleep the day away and hope for a better one the next turn of the sky. those around become frustrated that they can't cheer you up. or feel that you are depressed because you're with them. or. or. or. it's not that simple. yes, an event can jump start a bad slide like dynamite in the Alps. but sometimes, a quiet grey creeping cloud comes by and stays. there's a song by the Dixie Chicks about heartache that can relate to depression too...Hello, Mr. Heartache/I've been expecting you/Come in and wear your welcome out/Like you always do/you never say if you're here to stay/or only passing through/hello Mr. Heartache/I've been expecting you. see, no matter how far from that cloud you get, there's always a little piece of you looking behind, looking left and right, waiting. makes it hard to fully enjoy enjoyment. kind of like being cancer-free for 2 months, then 3, then 6. you hope, you wish, you wait. no, i'm not depressed right now, but i have a friend who's deep into the muck of it. she feels bad about calling me with nothing to say - just to reach out and hear a voice that doesn't judge her for being depressed - just is happy she is who she is, and knows there will be good times and great times to come. and then some more very bad ones. she isn't suicidal. just very depressed. for no reason she can figure. and my greatest gift to her is to just know she's in there under the fog and will reappear soon. we watch tv together over the phone. my depression comes and goes, intermingled with stress. i almost welcome the stress - it's good to feel SOMETHING during those times. those times when you have to send the dog to your mom's because even the effort of something loving you is too much to bear. this past summer was a trial...losing 2 dogs and my job was grief mixed with sadness mixed with stress while i was depressed anyway. now there's a losing lottery ticket if i ever held one! i've learned to listen to my body and my mind...to not push myself past what i can endure. to give myself credit for the life i've lived so far, knowing there are hard times and fabulous times still to come. to give myself permission to spend a day in bed if that's all i'm able to muster. i've had a few friends fall away throughout the years because they didn't understand. but for the most part, my good friends have stayed true and strong beside me....even when i didn't answer their phone calls or emails. most people don't even know...i work because i have to, and generally put on a good party face. a very close friend of mine said she could always tell that the more depressed i was, the funnier and happier i appeared to be. partly true, i think. these days, i tend to be less of a pleaser, and will get quieter and more reflective. if you see me in wegman's in my pj's, it's a good bet i'm not having a great day! anyway ramble ramble. i started thinking about this whole thing, because i know a girl who is very pretty - in an Audrey Hepburn way. she's a gifted artist, and a very talented graphic artist. she **gasp** has a flaw, though, that she feels defines her and overshadows anything else good about her. she sees this as A FLAW. anyone who knows about it (and fewer know about it than she thinks) could really care less. it's not even a flaw - i say that from her perspective. it's something about her that is different from me. or maybe you. there is no website that shows what a perfect person should be, and then we all compare thisis and thats. there are only people - and each, thankfully is different. two of me would be at least 1 too many. and if everyone were striving to become the same person, boooooring. so to accept ourselves as we are, is to be at peace with ourselves, and to then be able to reach a hand to the next one. it also then frees you to get on with your life's work, whatever that may be. so you drive a VW and not a Lexxus....just DRIVE for goodness sake. get on with it. i may always suffer from depression from time to time, but that doesn't mean i need to sit on the curb waiting for it. sometimes there is a reason in the cosmos for a person to have a particular "flaw." if i didn't have depression in my life, i'd be a far less compassionate person. of that i'm sure. so although it doesn't make the ride through it any easier, i at least can point to one positive aspect of it. just before i pull the covers over my head. once i came to realize that "i yam what i yam" it was such a revelation. such freedom to just go and be! it all comes back to Popeye. and the time i used to spend trying to attain some goal of perfection, or at least "other than this-ness" was better spent making art. or learning to cook. or just sinking into the covers and waiting out the storm - no guilt. no faking happiness. just being the best me i could be at the moment. i had intended to save this in my draft folder till tomorrow...not exactly a valentines day post. but i started thinking about love, and loving yourself, and loving each other and it just seemed okay to hit the post button. to my friends - i love you for your endurance! L.
at 6:14 PM
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
so i was bad today....i called in sick and laid in bed with diva dog all day. normally i would have felt guilty about that, but coming on the heels of giving my notice yesterday, it felt especially wicked. i really didn't feel great, and between all the hoo-ha lately, and the relief i was feeling, it spelled r-e-s-t. my body and mind craved it like chocolate, so i gave in. it was delicious - the rest. i slept until dinnertime and decided to write a bit. i have my mannequin set up in my studio staring blankly at me, taunting. well, staring as good as a headless mannequin can. more of a dress form really. i have too many ideas for her, that's the problem. i think that's where my create blocks come in - too many ideas vs none. i have notebooks filled with ideas that i could borrow from when i feel stunted creatively, but i think i get nervous that i'll mess it up. there's only 1 mannequin. it isn't like buying pockets full of beads or rusty nails....there's just 1 chance. but then again, maybe that will spur me on to greatness with her. oy vey, who knows. diva dog has cabin fever with all the cold cold weather we've had - it's too cold for her little paws to stay out more than a few minutes, but she wants to run and play. hurry spring! here's something to ponder as you wait: be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart...and try to love the questions themselves...do not noe seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them...and the point is to live everything...live the questions now...perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answers." that's by Rainer Marie Rilke. i guess sometimes i spend so much time trying to find the answers, the RIGHT answers, that the point of living the question becomes moot. why have an answer to something that no longer matters? won't the answers come by just living? or is that too passive-aggressive? do nothing and let it roll. maybe by spending too much time inward seeking, the "outward" changes enough that you have an obsolete question you're ruminating on. i guess this year i will try to live with gusto, make the best choices i can, and know that there are 2 roads - and the ending is the same. just a different ride. gusto...i remember gusto. hunh. time to get back in bed with a cold washcloth on my head. migraines. hate em. L
at 5:23 PM
Sunday, February 11, 2007
attention blogskateers! i just wolfed down The Best Book I've ever read in my natural life..."A Year By The Sea...Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman" by Joan Anderson. Fabulous Fabulous. spent the day in bed saturday and read most of it - finished it this morning. she says everything i have been feeling - without the whining that i am apt to do. it's a narrative nonfiction, and if you are approaching 50 from either end (or plan to some day) this is a must read. the book moved me so much - it prodded me to take control of the reins and drive my own happiness cart. yes, it may be unrealistic for me to just pop out to the Cape and live for a time, while i get my inner centeredness centered.....but, maybe not. maybe not the Cape. maybe my beloved Lake. or next door to my mother. or the adirondacks. or...who knows! there's always sedona & Burning Man! (google it . mmmm, not for me, thanks. not that there's anything wrong with it. i'm just sayin'). so between this life-altering book, and the fact that i FINALLY found a dressmakers mannequin (!!!!!!!) i am recharged with artistic visions! i have 3 in the pot now and could follow this theme for a bit. but i have a way of overextending and the creative juices stop long before the expensive materials run out, so i'll start with one, please, and be grateful for it. here's a hint: it's HUGE. that's all i have to say about that. so tomorrow is my 2nd interview at the insurance place. the scales have tipped in favor of that job for me. the only negative i can come up with is working untill 6pm, rather than 5pm at the other place IF they ever change my job duties. so, we'll see what becomes of me. i hope to have good news by the middle of next week. so get to Barnes & Noble or Borders, or wherever, and get this book....it is so totally wonderful - even if your life is perfect like my friend Gail's. i have life-envy ....wonderfully creative, lab-created husband, she can cook (!), lively, pretty, self-assured, her house is an amazing tribute to "welcome home." Martha Stewart refuses to come to this area because of Gail. it's semi-true. well, i'm not sure if it's true, but you haven't seen MS in the area, now have ya? so it could be true. anyway, stop reading this run-on sentence and go buy the book. maybe we could all go to a By The Sea workshop - even Gail. she could be the "after" picture. (i say all this in absolute love and thankful-that-i-know-you-ness). so strange - i met Gail in one of those meant-to-be ways ...i stepped out of a self-imposed torpor and actually went to a quilt-till-you-wilt type of thing...a friday night hen party at a quilt shop. didn't know anyone, which you know is dicey at best for me. but somehow Gail & i stuck like 2 hydrogen atoms in oxygen. we have the same wedding rings, we have wedding anniversaries that are 1 day apart, we even dated the same guy at one time (although i'm not checking dates too carefully in case it was at the same time). she has put up with my mood swings and cloistering. she is exhuberant, no matter how it's spelled. so anyway, i tell you all this so you know that i do admire her, and when i tease about her life being perfect, it is just that - teasing. there is a deep respect for her hard-earned place in her own heart and her sense of being, and the wonderful way she makes those around her feel. so - a Godiva chocolate to you, Gail, and to the rest of you....have you bought the book yet???? L.
at 4:20 PM
Friday, February 09, 2007
ahh, so after reading the title, you were settling in with a nice mocha latte expecting enlightenment - much like this blog's early days. before. well, first, let me introduce you to my friend Nadine...actually, she does a better job of it herself, so check her out at http://www.fiberinspired.com/ . if that doesn't get the muse humming! now, back to my enlightened title. remember the band? the song that goes "roller coaster/SAY WHAT/roller coaster/ooo hooo...etc/ ? well welcome to the midway, my friends! this has been an up and down couple of weeks, let me tell you. as if peri-menopause and PMS aren't enough, throw into the mixing bowl a running attempt at quitting smoking, a husband hell-bent on driving my blood pressure to the moon, and My Job. nuff said about the Job. then out of the blue, a girl i used to work with in Hell appears behind me in line at Wegmans. she tells me about her new job (new in the past year). same job, but different company. Brilliant! Wonderful! effusive adjectives fall from her lips in a confetti of hope for my derailed life. huge salary to start! unlimited opportunity! company doubling in size in the next year! i email my resume that night, and get a call 1st thing tuesday morning. interview on thursday, get called thurs night for 2nd interview on friday. the fri interview gets cancelled due to snow, and is rescheduled for mon. do i dare hope/dream that this will work out? the money isn't outrageous to start, but about $4/hour than i make now WITH hope for normal raises. there are plusses & minuses in each direction, depending on how badly i want to move at the moment i'm doing the tally. by 10am this morning, i'm totally fence sitting. THEN, the hand of God sends me into the Thrift shop across from my Job to buy a baby sized fleece jacket for diva dog (cut off the sleeves and she's warm and oh-so-Little Mermaid fashionable). as i head to the checkout...***GASP***! can it BE? yes! it is!! one - just ONE - of my stolen and discarded coffee mugs from the great coffee mug debacle! my mug on a dirty shelf with all these sad odds and ends and fondue sets and baby dolls with no heads and scrabble games with no z's. tired and sad shoppers wading through lime green platform shoes and breast-less Barbies and chipped china...i imagine them fondling my mugs. my Cafe Du Monde coffee mug! what!? only 25-cents???! it is once again mine. it now sits proudly in its righful place in my cupboard, still bearing it's price tag. the checkout clerk said some guy came in with a bunch of them. i told her i knew - they were mine. she promised to search for "more of them mugs with the writin on em." i trust her. she's the type of woman who's been wronged more than righted. i offered her a commission as well. it made me sad for the rest of my mugs, just when i thought i'd denied all that. anyway, that re-enflamed my resolve to revolt and reinvent and re-address myself. if men were mindreaders, they'd be afraid to come down from the treetop. the equation tipped further when i arrived home to find husband celebrating some holiday unknown to anyone but himself, having just driven up north to view the frozen wasteland of snow for himself (he could have just put up one of his three sheets to the wind rather than waste the gas) with my diva dog in the car. i refuse to comment further on this or my head will physically explode like a watermelon at a Gallagher show. so anyway, the office job looks very goos right now...i can't wait to get through all these Hallmark holidays (valentine's day). too much pressure. i mean, NOT buying a card/present after 5 years of marriage would make a huge statement. and the time is not right for that. but then, what do you buy?? and why?? so my friends, you can see the roller coaster ride that's been going on. by the way, unbeknownst to me, we have changed our internet provider. it's effective next monday. this will necessitate that i get a new email address, so i'll let you know as soon as i do. i've printed all of yours out, but if you email me over the weekend, or early next week and it bounces back, i'm not being rude. we will be keeping both for a week or so, but i don't know how that works. i suspect, not well. but who am i? oh shoot - back to that question! roller coaster...say what? L.
at 9:24 PM
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
whoever said "happiness is a warm puppy" was spot on...charlie brown maybe? ahhh. the cartoon characters of MY era had some substance! no pearls from power rangers, that's for sure. i got up early today, hoping to sketch out some ideas for a project that's been bubbling through my subconcious, but diva dog had other ideas. she needed hugs and pets and reassurance that she was, indeed, loved and adorable. she has a trick - she climbs you till you pick her up. then when you try to put her back on the floor, she twists around and lays on her back in your hands so she's being cradled. no floor for her. just a pink belly rub. it's been freezing frosty cold here, and she is disinclined to go out to potty. i may have to get her a litter box - she thinks she's a cat anyway. so during my shower/meditation time every morning, the month of April keeps coming up. not sure why yet, but there seems to be some great importance to that month (other than the tax man!). i even started planning my surprise 50th birthday party for April, but that doesn't seem to fit. (my birthday is actually in december, but i figured if i was planning my own surprise party, the only thing i could surprise myself with would be the date...i'll never suspect it in April)! so april, hmmm. the other strong thing that comes to me: a house of my own. i've had fantasy houses, but this one is more realistic. more studio than living space! there are houses on either side of my mother's house that seem to be vying for my attention. either would be good prospects, in that 1 small piece of fence could link our back yards and keep out the bad dogs. nikki would have all the room a dog could imagine this side of the rainbow bridge, and have gramma and grampa at her beck and call. heavenly. both houses are small-to-medium sized, which would be very manageable with 2 full time jobs (art & whatever). so i'll keep concentrating and see what gets flung my way! in the meantime, i'll be the cleanest person around! something about that shower! speaking of which.............L
at 8:14 AM
Sunday, February 04, 2007
my husband just returned from a business seminar in NC. as we ate dinner that night, he was telling me about the hands-on demos they had with centrifuges. in case you aren't a beaker-head, a centrifuge is a round piece of machinery with an inner core that whips test tubes around at g-forces that'll make your head spin - so to speak. kind of like that ride at that state fair that you stand in and as it spins, the floor drops out, but you're plastered against the wall so you don't fall through space. if all goes as planned. anyway, this got me thinking about how the purpose of centrifuge-ing a solution is to seperate it into it's various parts. at the demo, they used milk with chocolate syrup in it. before the whirl, it was chocolate milk. after a few spins, it had seperated into milk fat, some sort of frothy layer, and a clump of pure chocolate at the very end of the test tube. (of course hubby had to dip his finger in and eat it, grossing out the other participants who are used to bacteria and dna type things being in these test tubes). my point is this: the past year has had me whipped and whirled and dazed - much like the centrifugal process. what's now left is the various striations, or layers, of me. what's left to do is pipette off the layers that i no longer need, so just the purified layers will be left. it's time for me to be very picky about what to leave and what to scrape off. (having received my aarp card last week - bastards - i still have time!). this whole card-carrying AARP thing has me thinking about the whole time/who am i theme even more. when i visualize myself in the life i would be living, it is so attainable. i don't want much...a nice little house with a porch, and yard for diva dog to run in. a huge, bright room for art. 2 bedrooms would do. maybe a cellar, but not essential. and the paint - ooohhh! how i would decorate shamelessly! the walls would put any shotgun-wedding cake to shame! cozy, scruffly rugs on the floor. "sticky" couches - the kind you sit in and stick there...they enfold you. maybe a fireplace, but given my luck with them, maybe not. and fiestaware in the kitchen! in fact, the whole house would be a fiestaware tribute. the bathroom would be calm though - colors of my Lake Ontario - sandy tans, seafoam green (now called sage, i believe) and a hint here and there of dark green, blue and a small dash of orange. not sure how the orange fits in, but i want it. my spirit is longing for this house in a way that tells me it will be mine soon. i've never seen this house, and have no idea if it even exists, but i just "know" that it will be mine. Bruce Cockburn, Tunstall, Norah Jones, Rikki Lee, all cued up on the CD player. rusty metal piled up waiting to take shape. friends filling the house with laughter, love, creativity. i long for this time to happen. in the meantime, i'm planning a surprise 50th birthday party for myself. i LOVE having a birthday party! hubby hasn't taken my (blunt blatant) hints for 5 years, so i figured i'm not leaving this one up to chance. in fact, i'm so excitied, that i'm planning it for April, even though my birthday isn't untill December! (that way it'll be a real surprise!). and i'm hoping to treat myself to a week at Artfiber Fest this year. i've been waiting years, and don't think i need to wait any longer. i don't even care if i take a single class! just to be in the company of all those creative people. i am finally not feeling like an imposter. i am finally knowing that i am an artist. i may not do this technique or that one. i may not feel like teaching, or writing a book about my art. that does not make me less of an artist. duh! so, strap on your party tiaras, and watch the floor fall - we're takin things to a new place, my friends! L.
at 5:49 PM