Thursday, July 31, 2008
so. day 1 of Chantix. actually 2 hours in. my hands are kind of itchy, and my eyes feel buggy. otherwise, good. i made it a whole 3 days at work and boy did i build character! 2 more months. this peaceful, centered feeling has returned to let me know i'm headed in the right direction. ususally when i get close to that fork in the road, all chaos rains down, and that's pretty much how my week was...changing my mind about workshops to take...changing back...and all manner of "the usual." i re-read blog entries from day 1...and i thought "who wrote THAT?!" what a blessed year, eh? this year has been one of growth, as well, but different. the "honeymoon" period waned, and this year has been the time to grab the hoe and start digging up weeds...the harder work by far. and i must say i haven't always handled it like the blessing i'm sure it will be when i look back amonth...a year from now. now go here: www.womensgathering.com . we must go. read up on the 13 Grandmothers. it has a feeling of Something Important.
at 8:54 PM
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
To Cheryl, a fire warrior …and in these days of nameless faces there's no one truth but only places my life is all I have to give… dare to Live until the very last dare to Live forget about the past dare to Live giving something of yourself to others even when it seems there's nothing left to give…. good bye, my friend....i'll see you on the other side
at 9:34 AM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
hopefully you'll be able to read this....the "Font" feature seems to be missing from the toolbar. some big news! first, go here: http://www.ellertson.com this is the artist i'll be taking the workshop from! amazing. can you just...? come with me! bonfires. music. kayaking. food. cabins in the woods. oh - and art! this will be the most amazing bunch o' days, i can tell already. so many gifts have lined up and been gently placed in my lap in order to allow this. first of all, even FINDING OUT about it. then getting the grant. then...oh on & on. it just has the feel of something Amazing, Lifechanging, and Important. even to the point where (are y'all sitting down?) i am about to take another leap at quitting smoking for this. yep. tomorrow at 11am i'm going to the doc for that new prescription, chantix (SP?). 3 of my neighbors used it. and i've heard some pretty impressive things. why not? it occurred to me sunday while walking through the arts & crafts festival. my life is controlled by this habit...planning out my time to be sure i can smoke when i need to. planning where i go and who with. having to bolt out the door after a meal or a movie to smoke. it wasn't the money. or any social pressure. just the inconvenience of missing out on whatever was going on. so cross your fingers for me. i have a real positive feeling about this. who knows? so i'll keep this short since i have a feeling it will be in teeny tiny font. sleep well y'all! L.
at 8:39 PM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
i have a standing date with my angelfriend to attend the annual Arts and Crafts festival every year. i've learned to bring plenty of water, as she has to stop every few feet to chat with people she knows. one year it bugged me. this year i knew going in what to expect, so i just flowed with it, and guess what? i re-realized what an incredible, boundless, unselfish, caring, sharing, networking person she is. she shares her knowledge, contacts, opportunities with abandon. she is the person who dragged me kicking and screaming into the realm of believing in myself as an Artist (with a capital "A") and furthermore promoted the heck out of my work. and having all that in the forefront of my brain while we walked/stopped/walked/stopped the festival, let me see her amazingness in action. this is not a town of art abundance. and yet it is. artists here are very territorial. if they find out about a show or new gallery or source for cheap art supplies or new technique, they guard it like a state's secret. so although art aquaintences are made, it's difficult to make any real, true connected friendships. except for my angelfriend. as she wove her magic throughout the day, at least one artists exchange program began it's birth (between Puerto Rican artists and syracuse artists), 2 major exhibitions took form from the dust, and everyone she touched was uplifted by her. i am humbled. me - the socially incontinant one, was speachless. and throughout the years, poked and prodded along by her, i have come to feel worthy and equal as an artist to those i've admired. still in progress, but still worthy. twin soul mermaids. and the thing that i love is that i can ramble along, working out a thought, and it's okay. the thought feels safe with her and so begins to show itself. i'm working on the thought about how i've presented myself to my husband throughout the changes in my life recently. why he doesn't take me seriously as an artist. is it because i've downplayed it, knowing that art is not a value of his? knowing his disdain for "starving artists that live off govenment money?" such an angry man. have i presented an apologetic, unworthy feeling when i want to go to a workshop or retreat? have i hidden my excitement over a gallery show, or being published or being juried into a statewide show, or or or...? i think all these things. it doesn't give him the right to dismiss it all. but i guess i realized today that if i want him to change, then i needed to change. that he was reflecting me. and somewhere hidden inside, that voice got tired of waiting for the brain to hear it, and had already started the process. i keep going on about the squam workshop. but you know, it's already magical because for the first time, i'm not going out apologetically....i'm sharing with him my excitement, my hopes, my fears about it. and that allows him to respond to that, rather than to my feeling like i'm sneaking out the window at night to do no good. so that's a step. others steps have started, as well. and it's good. so whether or not this is salvagable remains to be seen. but i'm willing to bet that we can at least acheive mutual admiration. the day was brilliant, the company excellent, the peace of it all - priceless. and i came home to the steppers in residence, my little diva with her kitties, and a restfulness in my spirit. not bad for a day downtown, eh? L.
at 9:16 PM
i found this on Jen Gray's blog and it just fit so perfect...she's a photographer, and this was written under a picture of a pile i mean PILE of straw hats: its okay that you want to a zillion different things. i am the same way. and that doesnt make us flighty. that makes us curious and so totally not boring. and besides, there are enough people walking down the same road, wearing the same hat, and following the rules perfectly. i say we try it all on and take what fits and toss what doesn't. i think the way you are is absolutely brilliant. have at it girly, have at it. this is YOUR life, not theirs. it just seems to fit my Recent Life perfectly. after a brief pause, i think by "recent" I mean since i was born. Diva does this thing when she's playing - she has 2 favorite all time no-one-touch-these toys ... white bear bear and PinkBunny. when you toss one of them, she'll carry the other in her mouth while she goes running for the other. it makes for a difficult fetch session for me, since she can only carry 1 at a time. i'm the retreiver. no pun intended. but back to my point. i've always been the hold-this-while-i-check-out-that girl. and for the longest time i thought it was a safety net thing, but in retrospect, it was more like a transition thing...i wanted it all - or at least wanted to try / see /smell / experience yada yada it all, and if the opportunity to do that came around while i was already holding 1 thing, then why should i have to give THAT up in order to include another?? make any sense? for a time in my life, i was pretty much able to live at the whim of my fancy...reaching into a bucket of money and grabbing a handful of Entrance Tickets. that time is clearly over, so i do have to pick and choose where i use those coupons, but that doesn't make me any less curious...any less straining-at-the-flesh to go / see / smell / taste / try yada yada. i guess that's why i have so many different art mediums flying out of my fingers at any given moment. i'll sit with an idea, but can't decide whether to work in clay or fiber or rusty metal or or or. such problems, eh? so y'all...please please check out Squam Art Workshops......this just has the feeling of Something Important. i can't describe it. it has such a sweet sweet spirit about it....more like the ultimate girls getaway with art thrown in. and the tone is purposely set to be inclusive...to learn. which hello means that you may not KNOW ahead of time what you came there to learn. there's a group of these art retreats that the same people go to over & over, and you just feel like you'll be odd man out if you go. and it's kind of cool that people have become close enough to others that they'd have a reunion of sorts every year. and i have no problem with that. but there's nothing new there, and it's starting to feel like a ching-ching factory....plug in artists, cash the checks, here come the participants (or "parsnips" as my brother calls them). the creator of Squam (elizabeth) seems to have worked tirelessly outdoing herself on a daily basis to make this New and Shiny and Different. it's like she's taken every single idea or "want/don't want" list from every parsnip ever to attend an art retreat and Made It Happen. everything thoughtfully considered from the parsnips point of view. oy i've rambled go figure. but go look. i have room in my car still....L
at 6:10 AM
Friday, July 25, 2008
life is too short to procrastinate...go here now & sign up www.squamartworkshops.com It gets more fabulous by the SECOND. art workshops on a 115-acre "campsite" (where they filmed On Golden Pond) , 2 book launches, a national recording artist to sing around the bonfire, an incredible roving photographer, food, incredible lodging, are you wistful yet? just roam the site - classes, teachers, blog, etc...look at the astounding lodgings, sign up! come with me! you must. L.
at 9:25 AM
oh y'all. this kitty thing....it's wearing thin. like right now? i'm trying to type and this gi-normous fluffy thing keeps walking across my keyboard and typing stuff like: dfhuKKKEDICJHiheiao. i'm not sure what it means, but i'm terrified to go on ebay and have the cat accidentally step on SEND and suddenly i own a lamborghini or maybe worse - another cat. this one is UNSTOPPABLE. the other one is a recluse. i hoping it's still in the house somewhere. and guess which one is the object of Diva's undying affection? you guessed it. she is in emotional upheaval over a cat she can't even FIND. meanwhile the OTHER cat flops down in front of her begging for attention. and the jury is in : yes, i am allergic. buy kleenex stock fast - you'll be rich by tomorrow. husband came home from his St Louis trip last night. he met a real-live artist on the plane. she's a sculptor from Michigan. and he must of mentioned that his wife is an artist (i pumped him for details) and when she asked what medium, he replied that i make quilts and i scrapbook. i'm ending that discussion right now before i begin to turn the flame on. not that there's anything wrong with either of those activities...god knows i have boatloads of fabric. but if you know me, you know where my thoughts are dancing to now, so let's turn around fast. oh - a sign from God to walk away ...diva is up and needs to go out/find kitty/eat/go out. L.
at 7:20 AM
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
3am. Diva: mom - you awake? i think i hear thunder. mom? (paws at mom's eyes and head). and i miss my kitties. do you think they're okay? 3:15. a.m. Diva:mom? i think i have to go peepee. down the stairs. door opens. Diva: uh oh - it's raining. can i use the kitty potty? oh - they left me a snack. up the stairs. 3:57 a.m. Diva: (sigh) I miss my kitties. 4:02 a-freaking-m. Diva: kitties, can you hear me? are you scared? i miss you. i love you. wait - oh, mom says to shut UP. gotta go back under the bed. i miss yoooooooouuuuu! 4:51 a.m. Diva:mom? i had a bad dream. (paws at mom's head). mom? i dreamed the kitties were gone. can we go check? just so i can go back to sleep. 5:45a.m. Diva:i MISS MY KITTIES! I MISS MY KITTIES! OOOOOOOOH! KITTIES! Stepgirl: (from downstairs in her pj's) WHY IS SHE BARKING???? Diva: Jenny! I love you! Bring me kitties! no pride.
at 6:22 AM
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
first a little housekeeping: Diva is out of her natural mind with joy....she has TWO TWO kitties visiting for a few days. she stands by the blocked off hallway they escape down and whines so pathetically...she runs up the stairs to my studio to entreat me to please please make the kitties show themselves and play with her...then runs back down to see if it happened. such faith. i'm hoping this will keep her busy so i can get some stuff done in the studio. it's also an allergy test....if i don't sneeze and become miserable, then she gets a real live kitty of her own to hug and kiss and wear out. *** so lately i've been thinking (again) and marveling (again) about the people in my life that i hold dearest. and why. what is the common thread? why do they hang out with ME (?) all these wonderful, talented, incredible women that i know? and what makes them more "specialer" then acquaintances. part of it - envy. good envy. in a sense envy, but not total. and definitely not jealousy, which is from a hateful place. i envy this ones ability to do such-and-such, and that one's whatever. but the envy is actually the part of Me that i see in them....except maybe they've developed that talent or that quality or that whatever, and i've just let it be wistful in me. so it's Good Envy - it makes me want to be a better me. so part of it is recognizing Self in Others. the other part is that They compliment Me. and I compliment Them. so we each recognize ourSelves in each other....the part of them that reaches out to me, is the part i need. and vise versa. two people who are too much alike often come to loggerheads....competing rather than complimenting. i would never hang out with someone exactly like me. not that i don't like myself. but why go see a movie that's just a video playback of your own day? this whole thing is a lot harder to put on paper than i thought. my favorite people are those who challenge me to be the best me....even unintentionally. and i must do the same for them. it's not all one-sided and all about me. there is something of a chemistry that concocts itself when you meet someone, male or female, that is destined to be an Important Person in your life. and how very sweet and very grateful is that feeling. your spirit dances. your load lighter. your smiles broader. and it just knocks me out that i have been blessed with so many people, especially women, in my life that have been so incredible to dance along with. role models, teachers, friends, confidants, hangin' out pals....i am so grateful. i always say i am not the easiest person to be around from time to time....sometimes uber-enthusiastic, sometimes despairing, sometimes feeling like i'll never accomplish what i need to, sometimes certain that i am about to set the world on it's ear. oy. but what i am is honest, loyal to a fault, considerate, and also right there to give a hand up. i value my friends. value. there's a part in the Bible that talks about friends being more precious than gold. i concur. i wouldn't trade any one of you for money, or gold, or a winning lottery ticket. i would never lie to you or sell you out. i'd never steal your ideas. i will encourage you, even in your wildest sounding idea. for if it's your dream, than live it babe! i'll be right there with you if you need that. as soon as i get a sitter for Diva. speaking of Diva......i'm rambling and she's melting down. i'll try to collect a few thoughts and get back to you in a more coherent way. here's a question: what would you say to a dear friend that you felt was unsaid? L.
at 8:38 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
my Diva...gotta love her...stepgirl came over tonight (you never know when they'll appear these days) and brought her kitty with her. i was upstairs at the time and heard Diva losing her little puppy mind downstairs, so i ran down to see what misery could have befallen her...it was banshee howling combined with this squeal, with a little pan flute added in for texture. not american idol material. it was Kitty! Friend! 4 legs like me! speaks my lingo! KittyKittyKittyKittyhowlKitty! kitty was a little freaked out. we got both settled for a while (nanosecond human time, hours in dog time), but Diva was shivering with the joy that only a dog can feel. i admit i was a little jealous...she normally launches at me when i come home from work (or even a few minutes in the garage), but Nothing Like This. pure adoration. BFF. we tried to explain to her that kitties don't greet in the same way dogs do, but she was undeterred. once the aquaintence was met, she followed that poor kitty around like a museum guard at a Joseph Cornell exhibit. the cat has tried to smoosh itself under everything, but Diva is right there. stepper was holding kitty, and Diva stretched her "sit nikki" neck as far as she could and gave her a gentle kiss on the nose. it's all good now. and she will sleep tonight! **so an incredible set of circumstances has wended their way into my life (as if my day-to-day isn't more than enough drama thank you)...this sudden re-opening (on a tentative level) of family connections. i think i mentioned before about talking to my uncle. and the pictures that were traveling virtually to me and between family members. well, today, i received a copy of a book written by a Jewish woman in Rochester called "our Future Begins With Our Past." Phyllis Kasdin is the author. pictures from her installation of memorabilia from "the old days" of Rochester when the founding fathers of the Jewish community there first arrived. pictures of the Orphans Home where my father was. i wanted to reach into the picture and open the huge front door ...go inside...meet my father when he was so very young. walk through the pages of the book...feel what it was like. i feel very connected. very grounded. less untethered. my history began the day i was born. my first memories as a child. it never reached back any further. things never spoken of in our house. even my mother knew very little. and now, as one of the few witnesses turns 90, it may be even harder to rescue that history. the things that kept my twig of the family apart from the trunk...hurts, miscommunications, misunderstandings now 30 years old...they seem a vast sea to swim. but i'm willing to take it one stroke at a time if that's what's needed. i grew up differently without their community...their familial tether. but wih the emails and pictures and now, this book, it feels like there IS someone out there who's shared some history with me. how absolutely sweet. as Diva must feel with another 4-legged fuzzy in the house. speaking of an incredible bond....grab a kleenex and watch this with your sound up.... http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=8cf08faca5dd9ea45513 L.
at 9:10 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
i know i'm supposed to be on blog-break, but because you've asked / called / emailed....no, i am not sick, but thank you for being concerned. my marital conflicts are currently in remission, however short term...a brief truce while we step back from weapon words and have a moment to check out the scenery. a G2 conference, if you will. each finding a safe, quiet corner to go to. my nerves are raw, my eyes cried out, my stomach still braiding itself into macrame knots, and to complete the picture, a nasty skin rash has appeared on my hands and they are peeling like sunburned lobsters. (i guess you really should wear gloves when using flux remover). this all will come to resolution. the mystery is in which way the cookie will crumble. meanwhile, strangely, i've found solace in my art. yes - i did say that i AM making art. in all this mayhem. after a dry spell muse-wise, the chaos blew and my hands got nervous and needed something to do, somewhere to duck-and-cover, so they made busy. i will never understand my Self. ever. why these parts can't just get along. i am also completely under the spell of Georgia Popoff's poem, "Tears in Ball Jars." i will ask her permission to share it. find & buy her book...for real. ok....NOW....unless something of a catastrophic nature happens (other than the usual drama), i will be taking a break for just a bit for sure this time. i do not want to waste your time whining and complaining. L.
at 8:28 PM
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
where to start? ok - the middle. soon after my father passed away in 1977, my mother, brother & i became somewhat estranged from dad's family. the issues were many, and seem understandable, yet silly now. a few years ago, my friend gail-who-never-calls found her family history on a small island outside of Clayton NY. This made me realize even more that i had no idea where my beginning was...family secrets kept locked tight prevented me from knowing much beyond the point where my parents met. even those circumstances were hazy. i had no sense of history...no sense of who i "took after." (although speculations were not always flattering. or printable). a few weeks ago, i emailed the one cousin that i have kept in touch with. sent her a scan of a family photo i thought she may want, since her mom was in it. she emailed it to the rest of the cousins, 2nd cousins, and probably even 3rd cousins. names in the forwarded replies that i didn't recognize. so sad. that prompted an email from my 90-year old uncle to me, saying he had some family pictures i may want - call him. funny - i can't remember from moment to moment why i walked in a particular room, but i remember my aunt & uncle phone number from when i was in kindergarten. hunh. so i called last night. and we talked for over an hour. once he realized how little i really knew, he began to spill the stories. he invited me to ask anything and "if i have an answer, i'll tell you. if i don't i'll tell you anyway." he was clear that he wouldn't GIVE me the pictures, but would find a way to copy them. treasures. i plan to visit him in the next few weeks to take him up on his offer. it has certainly been a complex and complicated week. i sit today at my worktable with beads and baubles and solder, and wonder what the lessons are. chaos always creates lessons, i've found. wheteher the lesson is to avoid chaos, or to step back, breathe, and not rush into (or out of) anything. so i'll take today to breathe and relax, and heal my heart and rest my body. and maybe learn a thing or two. and wonder who i'm taking after now. L.
at 7:58 AM
Monday, July 07, 2008
this menopause stuff is not for sissies, let me tell you. i spent half the day yesterday weeping and griping at my husband, then the rest of the day feeling absolutely like a rotten shrew for weeping and griping at my husband. now, neither of us is without our weak points, but on the issues of the day - my reactions and responses were off the grid. so today, our anniversary, i left for work and he left for a week out of town on business. of course, i felt all upset about that, but also relieved that we would have time to take neutral corners for a while. can you imagine how i felt when the hugest bouquet of flowers arrived at my cube? with a note asking me to marry him? with sunflowers (my favorite), stargazer lilies (his favorite), 7 roses (our 7th anniv.) and other stuff? hopefully the baby's breath was just filler, and not indicative of any phone messages from my gyn that i may have missed! oy. and the weight gain in the worst places - well, as if ANY place is ok. and the never knowing when/if your period will just pop on by for a quick hello. and the fatigue. i could go on and on. to think this was what i spent all those years looking forward to after the shine wore off the whole GETTING your period thing. remember when girls you knew started getting their period? it was like some sort of special club. you'd wait and almost hope for your turn to clutch your stomach and beg off gym class. after a few months of that, it was no fun. no fun. and after a few years of that, you just looked forward to the day when it would just END. well, it comes with a few strings attached. and getting past that initial year or so is no easy thing for some. myself included. i go back to the gyn in a few weeks and will demand some sort of how-to book or manual or something. a group. a website. whatever. but give me good info and give me advice on how to make it through with the least amount of damage done to friends and family and self. most days it isn't even a thought. but on those days when the hot flashes are set on "hell" and i'm in my own private summer, and everyone seems to be standing on my last reserve nerve....that's when i need a menopausal 12-step to show me how. so if you've had to call my number at work in the past week, i do apologize - i really have gone all out to try to be nice. and normal. but it has not been easy. and i may have accidentally disconnected you. it was for your own protection. call again. feel lucky. so now i'm going to hug my Diva because i've been on the phone all night and feel weepy and guity for not playing with her and Pink Bunny (her new stuffed BFF). L.
at 8:36 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2008
from my friend, debbie: "IRON WOMAN" I knew I came from a different place, a story cut apart with scissors. I would find a piece of rust in the morning or a shape in a field through a fog. I would hear a broken language as if spoken by a woman with a bird's nest on her head, long pieces of iron welded for her buckskin. She wears a mosquito mask, a crooked twig for a nose. Her teeth sewn together with close white threads. I hear her small voice from the bird's nest on her head. It once lived in a pile of fallen limbs & brush hauled to the field to burn after an ice storm. Her voice rises in the trail of smoke & mixes with mine in air. It takes a while to speak with these two voices as it takes a while to walk on two feet each one going the other way.
at 10:33 PM