Wednesday, September 30, 2009
so i've had a few more days to catch up with my heart, and my spirit, and think about squam909. and it does come down to my rock...Expand. expand your expectations...expand your receiving of those expectations...expand the lines you've drawn for what you will accept and what you will give out. in a thousand ways expand...yet not in an explosive big bang way...in a gentle pushing outward...in setting intentions rather than expectations, actually..."expectations" sounds like a line drawn in the sand...a scolding teacher "i expect this or else.." And setting an intention feels gentler, more in tune...and more outward bound than inward taking. as in, I intend to make people feel better, happier, etc...I intend to go with the flow...i intend to whatever - you fill in the blank. and intentions are more easily fulfilled, because they emanate from the Self and are dependant only on the Self for fulfillment...they don't sit back with arms crossed in a Show Me The Stuff pose...intentions rely only on the spirit to become reality...so this year, as i drove 8.5 hours alone with my IPod and snacks, i set my intentions, rather than wondered and worried if Elizabeth would impress us all again this year, or if so-and-so would do such-and-such. and of course, it's very difficult to disappoint an intention. it comes from you alone. one of my intentions was to be certain, to the best of my ability, that every single person i met would know there was at least one person they could eat a meal with, or have a fireside glass of wine with...or admit they were homesick with. not a pompous mindset. but born of love for each person's potential to be fabulous. and often, in the excitement, it's easy to forget that someone may be faltering a bit - even in the magic of the NH woods. so i will never know, i suppose, if i fulfilled my "intention" but i did go about it in the best way i could. and i hope if you felt a little woogy, that in some way i was able to see that and give you a smile or a hand when you needed it. if not, well, there's always next year! and in turning from "expectation" to "intention" - in turning from the outward to the inward, i was truly. able. to. expand. and you can write that on a rock. L ps: i got thinking about my rock, and jumped over to the Rock fairy's blog, and LO! there was a quote that exemplefies my thoughts & intentions...so I stole it from her, and she quoted it from Mother Theresa. so just on the heels of the Jewish Day of Atonement, I ask Kim's forgiveness for stealing, but it's just too fabulous of a quote not to re-quote. so i risk damnation and here it is: “What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” - Mother Teresa
Sunday, September 27, 2009
last night i did dishes till late...cleaning up after the block party. (YES i do SOME domestic things). tradion has somehow held that the tables are dragged to my house after the party, and i throw out, organize, and re-find the homes for the various bowls and dishes that used to contain pasta salad and strawberries filled with cream cheese & sugar. it gives me a chance to smile, remembering moments from the evening. today, the steppers arrived for brunch with their respective Important Persons, and left a pile of dishes and plates and pans and leftovers to be rinsed and washed. i am pleased to say husband took this on. and it gave me time to re-read a few pages of jen lee's book, Fortunes. and i never made it past the first entry. it echoed my sentiments today, and for the past few months. the piece is entitled "You Write To The Fence," and you have to buy the book to find out why it's so powerful. but i have been envisioning those Russian nesting dolls, and onions lately. how you peel away layer after layer, and it's all good (maybe a few tears) but wach one is it's own seperate, complete unit (or slice) but that there's still more to discover. and (in the case of the dolls)you think This Is It. but then you continue and continue, and even though the dolls are shrinking, in real life you are growing. i don't believe there is one true authentic self. i believe that as you travel through your life, you reach a point - and that's your true authentic self for that time. then you continue journeying, and that self doesn't seem right anymore, so you are on to the next layer. but they are all dependant on one another...the smaller dolls need the larger ones around it in order to be the thing they are - nesting dolls. so a part of you is always in a part of the others. and there is that core of Self that is You. and that travels the journey with you. and all this is leading somewhere...i'm not sure where, but i feel something new coming...i feel it in my art...in my spirit...in my choices - even in the past week. i will probably always swear too much, and be too loud at times, and too quiet other times. but i will also be taking care of myself more in future tangents. and expecting more from the ones i hold close...not always being the one to call or email, but sometimes expecting to be called first, or emailed first. even though it gives me as much pleasure to check in, as it does to be checked on. i believe this settling and unsettling is felt by those around me and was mostly the reason for a peaceful brunch with the steppers, for a change. expecting the best behavior from everyone, and gently correcting as one stepped onto The Usual path. and everyone, including the dog, rose to the occasion. and much cholesterol was consumed. and now there are soap bubbles twinkling iridecent in the light. time to enjoy an excellent nap. mazel tov. L.
at 1:46 PM
last night was our neighborhood block party...an annual event inspired 3 years ago by many many coolers of beer and food leftover from stepson's graduation party. there was no need for that much beer to be sitting unattended in our garage, so we dragged a grill to the grassy area of our cul-de-sac, knocked on doors, fired up the grill, and the Annual Block Party was born. it usually coincides with the Boy Scouts annual lobster sale, but neighbor's schedules this year (namely mine) delayed it by a week. it was cold and rain threatened, although i double-dared the skies to open up. they kept to themselves. this is how we build community here on Cumberstone Lane. This is how the children meet, and the new neighbors meet the old neighbors and get a sense of what we have built here - neighbors as family. and they know who they feel most comfortable calling for an in-a-pinch babysitter or a ride here or there. we are people who decide not to sell our houses and move away because of the neighbors. and the one or two who do, always try to make it back for this party. and the one or two who do move, leave a part of themselves here...the man who has been secretly plowing my driveway on snowy mornings when he sees my husband's car gone and knows i will have to struggle with the snowblower in addition to the usual morning stuff...and amazingly, we are almost all artists...painters, woodworkers, stained glass, assemblage...all this creativity in one small cul-de-sac. i have a neighbor who i'd meet in the street in our bathrobes with a freshly glued or painted piece - just for a quick check on progress or advice on how to proceed through a block. the mailman shakes his head. he's known us all for years and expects it. in the winter, as the snow piles up, we all retreat into our cocoons, but know our neighbors are there to lend a hand. this year we plan to have a few chili dinner nights (indoors!) so hopefully the strands will strengthen even more. there was a different vibe on our street this year, as two neighbors took a break from each other. it upset a lot of the balance, and sense of family. there were no hillbilly driveway parties, and not so many other events. but this end-of-season gave everyone a chance to realize & re-establish that it still is a block of family. at Squam this year, i saw that, as well. there were 2 families there - kids, husbands, etc. and at first i thought...kids?? little, loud, unpredictable kids?? who would do this?? and one night i went exhausted back to the cabin, the daddies were sitting in rocking chairs in front of the fire talking, and i realized how wonderful that they could be a part of community too. how incredible that these daddies came along to see what this experience was about...to join with their wives and kids and all these women. and i remember thinking that they were the ones that would have kiddie duty all day, in the woods, with no TV or other distractions. and i gave them an invisible hug and sent fairy dust to them for their selflessness and for wanting to be there. so, no real point to this post - just rambling about connections. now - to finish up the mannequin! L.
at 8:22 AM
Friday, September 25, 2009
isn't this just the coolest?? so just what is happening out there? what I sense: a quieting. a gentle quieting. along with list-checking...re-prioritizing...being kinder to ourselves...not so much the cocooning of a few years ago, but more of an emergence of ourSelves in a new mindset...the frantic bursts of creativity and being and living and doing, all seem to be tempered by a choice to go a bit easier on ourSelves and enjoy the ride. and as our train slows down, the scenery takes on more focus, more clarity, and we can pick out individual images to hold in our hearts as our own. and discover new and different things - about ourselves...about the landscape of our Selves. ahhh. beautiful fall...the last grand show before the land rests outside my window, shrouded in blue/white blankets. can't you just smell the woodsmoke? L.
at 8:00 AM
Thursday, September 24, 2009
so yesterday i finally sighed and realized i had to do my Becky Home Ec-y schtick...there was no more getting around it. the cupboard was down to it's last saltine, the dog was looking for something Anything to eat and right then the cat looked promising. so to motivate myself, i made a list (yes i am a listmaker) of my tasks to accomplish that day. THOSE lists are small, as i don't want to die under the pressure of accomplishment. (by the way - i am sick sick sick with a fever - an actual fever, and probably shouldn't be babbling here, but i'm sick and bored, so my apologies). and #1 on the list was a trip to Hobby Lobby to get more adhesive. the kind that will bond a small planet together but not smell toxic. (locktite makes a spanky line of these - some are substrate specific which is very important). and in the middle of HL, with it's wrist-slashingly depressive music, i got an inspiration. for a painting. a small one. but a painting. i do not paint. i cannot draw and i do not paint. and i'm fine with that. it has not been a medium i am comfortable with, and have not cared to find a comfort level with it. despite the cartload of Golden acrylics in my studio. a drop of paint can last me longer than a glass of wine. and that is saying something. but there it was. the painting in my mind. then another. just two tiny little paintings. and hunh! there was a display of tiny little stretched canvases...on sale! So i felt i could risk the $5 and try it. and last night at midnight i finished the first one. and it is lovely and dear and i hug it. and it will be sent to the person who inspired it so i can't show you here. but i'll take a picture and show you after they receive it. and then, i wanted to do another tiny one. and i scratched my head and said "wha?" i don't paint. but i guess this past week has taught me some things. and i have re-realized some things i learned in life and was so used to knowing them, that i forgot them. things that are difficult to articulate, but are something along the meandering line of just because you aren't perfect at something the first time, don't give up. just because this doesn't look like that doesn't make it not good - only different. (i warned you i had a fever!) and that got me thinking again about my purpose and my path and what i re-remembered in the woods. a different woods. in Quebec on the Gaspe penninsula. 1978. traveling with the band. and a woman of great depth and insight proclaimed to me quietly and gently one night, secrets about myself that i didn't know...but knew...in my heart and spirit but not yet my brain. and what she said to me vibrated and hummed and sang in my spirit until the brain noticed there was a commotion annd finally took notice. and since then i have tried in a thousand different ways to be true to what i know as my purpose. oftentimes, we underestimate people based on how they look, or seem to act. we don't takeinto account that perhaps they act the fool in order to make you feel comfortable in a situation you are terrified to be in...they will take one for the team, as it were...when you think you could not possibly make that much of a fool out of yourself, you relax - the designation has gone to someone better equipped to handle perceived rejection. and don't we all naturally gravitate to those who look like us? or that we perceive will make us feel better about ourselves? whether by inclusion, or just their way of creating an oasis for your spirit. and for me, it's been about balance. and i believe i have found the recipe for that...my own recipe for my own balance. and that recipe often calls for someone to assist. and i learned to accept help when needed, and it didn't make me feel weak. and i learned when not to accept help, because it was a ploy to gain my dependence. and when to give help, and when to just listen. and there is so much more than just this one aspect, but i'm needing a nap bad right now, so you're off the hook of my rambling. but in this sweet moment, in the middle of Hobby Lobby, i saw it all stretched out before me, and i wasn't scared, and i didn't feel unable or unsure. and right there in front of the model airplane aisle with the tiny stretched canvases on the end cap SALE, right there, all was right in the world. wishing each of you a hobbylobby day, and i hope you have waffles...L.
at 9:04 AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
so as i wandered through the week and smelled the woodsmoke and listened to the sounds of birds and squirrels and laughter and Things That Were Loud In The Woods At Night, i searched my heart for my Purpose...i have been feeling disconnected lately...disconnected from my art...my center...my "life vs Life"...and wanted to get back to basics...wanted to feel that Alive / Tingly / all is as it should be feeling...it hadn't left me - i had wandered from it. now to find the path again. that was my secret mission. yes, there was art to make, techniques to learn, friends to meet and re-meet...but i wanted to reaquaint myself with my Self. one morning as i Walked To Food with a group of others, i spied a rock. der, you say - we're in the woods of New Hampshire. but this rock was pretty and pink and had the words Find Courage on it. Michelle claimed it for herself, which was good because i have plenty of courage. i'm just saving it for something. next came pinecones placed in the shape of a heart. so now we are all paying closer attention to this treasure hunt. i lagged a bit behind, with the feeling that Something would be here for me. everyone else passed by My Rock. i spied it...blue with white writing. one simple word. EXPAND. expand?? that's it?? seriously? but my heart knew something my brain hadn't caught up with, and tears filled my eyes as i wondered why this one word was having such a profound effect on me. expand. expand. i couldn't speak as everyone gathered to see my rock. a tear slid down my cheek. expand. and i realized how compressed my world had become. in so many ways. how focused i had become on the routine of my life, and Life. how i had spent so very much energy trying to walk the path of the days i had chosen, and all i could see was the next step, the tunnel of brambles and branches. expand. there was a girl in my class who had come all the way from London to be in the same woods as i was in at that moment. expand. the thought terrified me that i would ever get on a plane and fly through all those time zones and airports just to arrive somewhere. when did that happen? why did that happen? and i began to see in a huge blast how my life had begun living me, rather than the opposite. how my new schedule at work had cut my life into 2 parts that rubbed against each other with uncomfortable friction. how 5 days was devoted only to working for someone else's dream...someone who would continue to take without regard. and then 2 days for ...Everything Else - mundane tasks, art, recentering. and this was no longer acceptable. and a solution to the problem became immediately apparent. and my spirit danced. and in case, just in case, i didn't get the message (as i am prone to do), later that day a woman with eyes so blue you'd swear she held the sky and ocean both within them, said to me one word ...Leap. and it made sense suddenly. expand. leap. and within those 2 very brief and gentle and personal moments, the brambles and branches and sticky things cleared and the sun was warm on my heart. expand. leap. and within those words were my purpose. i saw my place. i saw my Job. and the relief that i hadn't really strayed too far filled me. and the realization was that not too many scary changes needed to be made to get back to the proper compass setting. leap. expand. i met the Rock Fairy just a bit later in the dining hall, and again felt the lump in my throat. Thank you, rock fairy, for listening to your small, quiet voice that told you what to paint on that rock. after that, i was a driveling mess for the rest of the weekend...and it was all good, my friends.
at 10:28 AM
breathe in...breathe out....ahhh. do NOT look at the piles of tote bags and laundry and general stuff clogging the studio walkway. where to start? ok - random thoughts. this year's Squam was an entirely different experience from last year. in good great ways and small gentle ways and some, well, let's stick to those for now. i arrived and went to take my first picture..no card in the camera. luckily i had the teensy one that came with the camera. holds about oh 10 pictures...then overwrites. so i have 10 pictures. all from sunday. the beautiful shot of Jen through the crackle of the bonfire..nope. gone. Nebraska and I sitting on the dock one morning dangling our thoughts in the water...nope. gone. a sneaky shot of sue looking as wonderful as the person she truly is...nope. gone. swirly caught in a pensive flicker of raw intensity of emotion that can't be put into words...gone. jen lee's face radiating the stars..gone. but not so gone...these are all here. these snapshots have formed a collage and have hung themselves in my HeartGallery. now to jump about...if last year's Squam was a Red Bull overextravaganza circuscircus won the lottery experience, this year's (for me) is best described as a quiet cup of very good tea, sipped on a dock as the morning sun begins to warm and the sound of the water tagging the shoreline plays in the background. it was less...and it was more. less frenzy. more depth, i guess you could say. still emotional, but on a more personal level. thank you for all the hugs. thank you for being the one who hugged me first. thank you for accepting my hug and gripping so hard, in case i didn't get the message that...I Am. there was more clarity this year, perhaps because i knew what to expect - knew where the dining room was...knew to be the first one in the shower...knew the rythym of the woods...knew there was time to spend. also, maybe, because i've grown quite a lot this past year. and grown because of last year. and i knew there were expectations of myself that needn't be placed there...that were for other people. i learned that i would never be fill-in-the-blank and that was okay, because it wasn't actually a piece that belonged in my puzzle. and that was not only fine, but, i had re-learned that each of us has a place. each of us truly is here for our own special reason. and to imitate another because you admire them is not fulfilling your purpose. on a shallow example, i could, i suppose, transform myself into barbie again. (it is true...i have not always been chunky, older, and allow myself to go out without *gasp* makeup & good hair). but that time has passed for me in my spirit. and what i gained when i let that go, was so much more sweet and wonderful. that's not to say that it's wrong to look beautiful and wear makeup and buy out Anthro...it's just wrong if it isn't you...just you trying to be her. rant over). and in my acceptance of myself, i can accept other people. and that was a big one. this past year has been one of learning boundaries and re-learning to love who i am. and this year for a week in the woods, i saw that other people saw that, and it moved me. i set an intention last wednesday when i left home for this week. actually, a few intentions. that i would not get lost, that i would be peaceful. that i would be open to whatever was waiting for me. and that i would always be looking out for my Assignment for my spirit for the coming year. i took an amazing class with Nina Bagley and learned skills that i didn't know i could learn. and i made....nothing. and was very pleased. i learned techniques. and i learned that my competitive spirit was best left in the trunk of the car. i decided before class began that i was there to learn techniques to bring home and unwrap as the muses led me. mission accomplished beyond expectation. i learned that letting others "do" for me actually felt wonderful, and did not make me feel weak, as i had always feared it would. i learned how it felt to be on the receiving end of a gift, large or small. i've always been a giver of gifts...i love to make someone feel special...to remind them that they do have a place and that they are seen. and never not ever do i expect reciprocation. i received a number of gifts this past week...some material and some, words spoken from the heart. i treasure them all. and couldn't believe that someone had planned ahead to make/give ME something. i learned that if you have a "great idea for something to do at squam," do not tell elizabeth. she will say "that's fabulous! make it happen," then run from you. i learned that sitting quietly by the fire with a glass of wine and a bunch of folks is difficult for me. the quiet part. until the glass of wine kicks in. and that it's okay to walk to breakfast alone. or with a group of people you just met. i set my intention to get to know people i didn't get to know last year. the tags helped. i get to meet everyone. it is as much a blessing to me to do that, as it is a blessing to Elizabeth to receive her beautiful treasure box. and even when my prepared words for the presentation of the box zip cleanly and quickly out of my head the minute the microphone goes on, i know it was never about me anyway, and i'm good with that. i have embarrased myself far too many times publicly to let a wordless speech even hit my radar. i learned that some people cannot slow down and it isn't always good energy that drives them...that to keep moving forward at a fast pace is a good way to try to outrun fear. can i tell You, if you're reading this...you cannot outrun fear...it has cosmic nikes and will soon capture you. then you will be, not only tired, but fearful as you feared you would be anyway. so feel the fear. wrestle it down. kick it's undeserving ass. then grab it's ruby red nikes and go. (clarification - i am not talking about Elizabeth). new random thought. i am rambling aren't i? i learned i do not have to be everything to everybody, but it is essential absolutely essential to my purpose to be Something to Somebody at the moment they need it. and that is too huge to explore much more here right now. and it requires me to slow down and to be in touch. and to honor other people's space and what they are capable of reaching for. and what they are yearning to reach for. and what they need to hear and what they need someone to hear. and sometimes silence is the best way to love someone. and to show them they are loved, and they Are Not Invisible and they Matter more than the frenzy of unpacking and organizing and settling in. more than Anything. They Matter. and their fears are valid and not silly, even though you know that those fears will be forgotten in a matter of a few days in the woods. in new hampshire. doing something so terrifying to them that they turned around many times to go back to the safety of the familiar and maybe dissapoint themselves and become Less. courage is born from fear. from feeling the chill flop sweat of fear drip from you and doing it anyway. and courage can be found in a smile given at the right moment, or a pat on the back from a hand that went through before you, or a hug for no apparant reason. aren't hugs the best? from nebraska i learned so very much. not just self defense techniques (you picked the wrong person to fuck with)...jersey, you taught me to find the center point and move out from it, recalibrating the compass and stopping to hydrate along the way. santa monica, sometimes words are too much and just Knowing is plenty. brooklyn, yo, controlled exuberance is magical - your heart is larger than the state. East90, be You, please. my classmate T (who left her dress-over-jeans home) i am so glad to have met you with my heart...your gift to me will continue to open throughout the year. (didn't know you gave me one, huh?) okay...random topic. why, i ask, why do people say to themselves, "i have extra alcohol...what should i do with it? OH! Linda! let's give it to her!" i came home with a trunkload of alcoholic beverages. some very fine alcoholic beverages. i can make a bottle of wine last way pass the expiration date. i am the original cheap date. a single glass of wine will have me telling family secrets and stories that are best left under the rug. then, thankfully, i fall asleep. so other people can get a word in edgewise. and i wake up in the morning wishing for a do-over. my rental car is now officially 2 hours overdue. iam in my bathrobe. i do not care. and if they fuss, after what they put me through, i will slay them with fury. let someone else drive the minicar they tried to pass off on me. i'm sorry. that's selfish but there it is. now. i am off to eat a waffle. L.
at 8:33 AM
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
because i am who i am, i was cautiously optimistic that my uberplan for preparing for, and actually making it to, Squam would go smoothly. but my inner voice of reason grabbed her stomach as she laughed herself to tears. the plan: pack, repack. rewrite list & repack. realize i had packed everything i own and unpack & repack yet again. then...rent car. in order to carry all my navigational tools, i bought an adaptor thingie so i could plug all of this into one cigarette lighter thingie. speaking of cigarettes...mom came by this morning to take me to the rental car place and decided i had tried everything else - why not try God. so she prayed that i would quit smoking. as we headed toward the door, the phone rang and rental car man advised me to take my time - he didn't have a car for me. i will spare you the head exploding moments that followed, but he agreed that yes, it would be the healthier choice for him to FIND a car and drive it across town to me and deliver it at my job. the receptionist and i waited during my non-smoking lunch hour...staring at the door as she regaled me with tales of how this very same company had, on a consistant basis, screwed over our company - delivering a Prius when a van was ordered, not delivering at all, etc. i paced. soon, car man pulled in with a car...not my full sized sedan that i had ordered, but a Vibe. a toy-ish looking car, that despite it's petite cuteness had the design flaw of very deep, low seats...i could not see over the steering wheel. much verbal flagellation ensued, with the CEO chuckling from his 2nd floor aviary, as i flapped my arms and made threatening sounds. so...armed with car man's home phone number, i agreed to TRY to stuff this circus-clown-of-a-small car with all the repacked and overstuffed stuff that i had. AND i held out for a 20% discount. AND a tree-shaped air freshener. if i could't stuff this thing, then he would personally make certain that i had a real persons big car at 7am, when he would sacrifice his hangover cure and come in early. how he is planning to manifest such a vehicle overnight is his problem. i drove home in this tiny tin thinking Hell No. not a safe feeling car. called car man at home, pissed off his wife who is certain we are setting up an assignation. again his problem. so we have a date at 7am, and God help him if the promised Impala is not shiny and waiting at 7am with a tree-shaped air freshener. so i made it all day without a thought to smoking. all day. not one twinge. when i walked in the door and smelled (surprise) cat yark, i, at the self-same moment spied my leftover pack of smokes, and without thought to God, i am ashamed to say i toked a big lungfull. tomorrow is another day. i have a suspicion that i may have forgotten to pack underpants, but refuse to unpack, check and repack again. you know, i try to live a gentle life - a life centered and filled with good intention that becomes a fulfilled prophecy. but people, there are forces that work against this as i go about my day in such a la la la way....forces that are unseen but for the chaos and drama they bring upon my depleted resisitance. and it is in these moments when my sense of humor develops yet larger...in these moments when i shrug, much like Uncle Sam-the-garbage and know that i am the Universe's jester. at last my purpose has revealed itself. so, as i head off into the woods (God willing) say a prayer for me. an all-encompassing prayer that will cover any eventuality and any possible circumstance. let your mind wander and be free with the possibilities of what could possibly intervene in my path to peace. because i tell you, there is great possibility that you will have only nicked the tip of the iceberg. i will offer a full report when i get back. peace out my friend. L.
at 9:48 PM
Monday, September 14, 2009
i'm headed off into the woods of NH wednesday at dark o'clock...i have that First Day Of School feeling in my stomach, and am stupid crazy excited! i can't wait to see all my friends from last year and make some new ones...i may have worn some down, so we'll give them a break. if you've been in on the inevitable pool...i have packed, unpacked and repacked just 3 times. please let me know who won the money this time. shame on you for ill-gotten gain ... poking fun at OCD. (i'm laughing right beside ya sister). so hopefully, re-entry will be easier this year now that the "which place is reality" conflict has been resolved in my head....reality is There. AND i can bring it back! so problem solved. be good. be patient. pray i get there. i'm renting a car. okay. good night. see you monday. L.
at 9:51 PM
Sunday, September 13, 2009
have you ever met someone and instantly felt like you were meeting a soulfriend? they have a piece of you and you have a piece of them inside, and those pieces recognize each other...and there is a moment when you hear your inner Self say This Is Going To Be An Important Person In Your Life...have you ever had a sweet moment like that? and then the friendship begins to bear instant fruit...sweet, nectar-dripping ripples that begin to take on life around you...have you ever? i am blessed to know so many women like that...some have become part of my SoulPosse, some i've never seen again, but they remain in my HeartMemory and our pieces commune. i met a woman with one of my pieces yesterday, and the events that had to align in order for us to meet...well, even now i smile to think that the Event Planner must be the busiest job in the Universe...a job i would totally dig when i get there. my weekend plan was to go to the Schweinfurth on saturday with my angelfriend georgia, and go see bro's new place today. well, i ended up taking friday off to fill my soul and rest my mind, which had become trapped in a hamster wheel. by circumstance, georgia got free of her deadlines early, and we went to the exhibit friday. now, there's a junk/antique shop on the way that should not be missed. and g's always in for some quality junk shopping, but this time - we were visually overloaded, so we didn't stop. i woke up early (of course) saturday and determined, despite a near-migraine level sinus headache, that i was going back. about 5 minutes into the drive, a sign beckoned that the Golden Harvest festival was on, and it was Right There. (this festival has little to do with harvest, and since it usually rains at least 1 day - should be called the Brown festival due to all the mud). there's usually a cool collection of crafters and artists and clydesdale horse-pulled wagon rides, so i detoured, and as i did, i got that tingly feeling that a Grand Plan was taking shape. the festival was slim pickings - very few vendors, and mostly quilted purses and jewelry (not the kind you'd really wear). as my disappointment grew, i ran into my yoga instructor and our chat lifted me. i made my way toward the exit thinking maybe that was the reason for the detour. just before the exit, i saw a booth with the most incredible walking sticks. walking sticks? yep. ok - a little backstory: as my neighbor walked her westie & labradoodle last month, they were both attacked and the westie killed by a vicious off-leash dog last month. my neighbor has been terrified to walk her remaining dog ever since, and had remarked that she wanted a sheleighle of some sort for protection. the neighbors will walk with her when we can, but it's not the same. ok - now here i am in front of some of the most remarkable walking sticks. and felt this incredible This Is An Important Person feeling. go here to see what i mean. we talked for a while and she was touched by the reason for the stick, and insisted on adding ollie's name to the stick, with a little heart. we also added coco's so she wouldn't get jealous. i still feel that there are reasons that our paths will cross again, and often. i don't know why, and have learned not to play 20 questions with Life...just let it flow. well, okay - i'm still learning that part, because as you may know, i am the one who finds, opens, and re-wraps all her christmas presents. the anticipation is more than my mind can handle. and as a bonus, angelfriend georgia came up with the solution to the problem of the CrowWoman, which isn't CrowWoman at all, as it turns out. stay tuned for that one. so back to my original thought...isn't it just the most Incredible Experience when you meet someone that has a piece of you in them? and that piece of them that is in you reaches out and hugs the piece of you in them...and the bond is always remembered in the place inside that holds All Good Things, even if you never meet them again...even if they never were aware that they hold a piece of you in a small, sacred spot within them...even if they never know that you will forever hold them - that one moment of them - in a sacred memory of when All Things Were Planned just to bless you...just to remind you that you are special and cared for and not forgotten, and that the story is nowhere near the end. isn't that just the most? L. the chain...i actually call in Not Sick on friday, despite the Voice of the Martyr inside ...georgia finishes her deadline work early, early despite dire predictions against this happening...we skip the junk shop...i am determined to go back despite my sinus headache...i become distracted by the Golden Harvest festival and turn around, despite knowing it will be mostly crammed with country kitchen kitsch...the yoga intructor slows me down enough so that i can breathe and really see...the walking stick booth is there for the first time ever, i believe...my headache disappears...my word for the year (picked on 1/1/09) was "despite," by the way. isn't it all just so very good?
at 7:28 AM
Saturday, September 12, 2009
a note ....despite my best efforts i am still one of the masses huddling outside doors and racing for airport exits to smoke. a lot. i had hoped to re-quit by the time i left for NH wednesday, but it honestly is not looking good. if you see me in NH, please know that 1) i am aware that i smoke...2) i am probably the only one there who does and am feeling very badly and self-concious about it but am truly addicted...3) i know my clothes and hair and breath will smell, but want so badly to hug you that i may risk a comment about how bad my clothes and hair and breath smell and hug you anyway...4) will be feeling like a neon target is on my head because i am smoking...5)promise not to point out your failings if you promise not to point out mine (i say in gentleness)...6)hope that you will risk the stinky smell of my clothes and hair and breath to hug me because i really could use it. there. i feel better getting that out in the open. i had almost thought of staying home because of it, but am just selfish enough to say i couldn't miss seeing you because of a habit that's a little more obvious and gross than some (like nosepicking, for example). Linda oh - and PS...i'm also having short-term memory issues, so although we may have the same conversation many times, it will probably be all shiny & new to me each time! now there is an oppty for your fun! L.
at 9:46 AM
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
i work in hell. i am convinced that if you pulled the ceo's face hard enough, the latex would peel off in shreds and there would be: the Dark One Himself. i cannot possibly continue with this...more work, fewer people..no raises...lunchtime car cries- all the cars lined up in the secret cul-de-sac we all hide out in to smoke, and now - cry. i may use this as a business advantage and charge a toll to enter the street. maybe sell smokes out of my trunk, like a schoolyard crack daddy. these are the thoughts that bring me warm comfort for an hour each day. yes. i am so ready for a week in the woods. if you go, and see me curled in the fetal alcohol position in a corner - leave me. and don't move suddenly nearby. thank you.
at 8:39 PM
susan greene...email me! i tried to get your link but it was broken!! my old computer crashed and i can't find you...so sad....
at 8:37 PM
Monday, September 07, 2009
My mom used to sing this little song that goes like this:"i love myself, I think I'm grand...i go to the movies and I hold my hand...i put my arm around my waist, and when i'm fresh i slap my face." the tectonic plates continue shifting, and a tsunami of thoughts, dreams, feelings and backwash are hitting the beach...along with some wonderful treasures that were buried deep beneath the silt. it has been a year of crumbling, destruction, and rebuilding...or leaving the parts in a heap that belonged there in the first place. the process became derailed for a while, as i got distracted by some glittery things dangling from the tree, but about a week ago, i began re-reading Ordinary Sparkling Moments (for the billionth time) and although i've read it before, this time certain parts lept at me like neon. i hope Swirly doesn't sue me if i quote some of them here, throughout, but they are just too good, and too True not to. (and btw, you may follow along in your own copy. go now and buy it. go ahead - i'll wait). ok. so, last year, my "to do" list included getting Very Serious about my art (again)...getting out there and promoting my work...getting into galleries not in syracuse...and most daunting - making The Most Important Piece. not too shabby of a list, not difficult for a constant communicator like me to self-promote, kick in doors, generally wear down by annoyance...tenacious as a terrier, that's me. but it was the Most Important Piece that stopped the train on the tracks. it effectively cut off the flow of intuition and magic, as i strove to create a dark & moody serious piece of art that would bring people to their knees and change the world...just by glancing at it. now, that is asking a lot of art when the flow and magic has been staunched. i have stood in front of a piece and wept openly and forked over mortgage money because i was so incredibly moved (see my livingroom). there are pieces that i wasn't able to purchase in this lifetime, but remain in my very fiber ... that's how much of the artist's soul was in the piece. and that is what i set as my goal. and, peoples, it is entirely attainable. and it is well within the realm of my skills. BUT - the soul and the flow and the magic was blocked by....what? and that's where our story begins. and here is where i quote: ...I am beginning to find my way back to a part of myself i thought might be lost forever...it is as if this part of myself has been waiting quietly and patiently for me to notice her again, believe in her and return to her. Now that she knows i'm aware of her she is glowing brightly, yet still completely patient as i make my way towards her through the forest. i am finding myself once again. she is waiting with open arms." and i'm still in the trees a bit, but that sheer joy and stay-up-all-night exploding with sparks and wonderment...that, peoples, that is beginning to return as i take some deep LifeBreaths and remember that my Inspiration comes from a different Source than say gailwhonevercalls or lynnbelly or lisalisa or swirly or angelfriend or...fill in the blank. and by "Source" i mean, each of us makes art for different reasons and from a different starting point and in a different Way and for different outcomes. these are seemingly superficial statements, but go beneath for a moment. ask any artist why they make art, and at some point they will say "because i have to." Be they a commercial artist, a sparetime artist, whatever...they are artists all equal. because to not make art - to ignore the incredible urge and inspirational spark that hits, would be like the tide trying to resist the moon. at some point you Have To Make Art or you will become so uncomfortable, and so miserable that the rest of the shiny beautiful wonderful things that come your way will seem lifeless. i compare it to quitting smoking - now, that's all you think about when you're trying to quit...smoke smoke smoke. so i belabor here, but it's only because it's difficult to put my thought into meaningful enough words and if i use all the words i know, then maybe the right ones will line up. nu? so the past year i became Serious about my artWork. and would carve out every spare moment to stand at my worktable with the big daylight lighting above and all of nature looking back in the wall of windows. and created...nothing. nothing. an entire year. well, a few things, but they were nothing that came from the soul...just a little something. and the more i tried, the harder it got, as the frustration built and the practicing of "failure" became more learned. it got to the point where i would avert my eyes as i walked into my studio to get to my computer...i would not look to the left to see all the lucious rusty stuff waiting on shelves or the colors of Golden acrylics lined up silently. it was a dismal reminder of how un-artful i had become. so i started reading books about how to be a better artist...how to unlock and unleash your creativity...and one book said Make Art Everyday and another said Wait For The Moment of Ecstatic Inspiration and another said ...you get the picture. and none of them really felt right in my skin. so the other day, in a heap of wet tears and frustration and being absolutely beyond pissed off at the Universe for not catching me when i lept off that cliff to find my bliss, in this terrifying rage, i set out into the woods to take a walk and discuss with the Universe why i was so disappointed in it and how maybe i had placed my trust in the wrong thing and maybe would become jewish again, cause at least you know where you stand with the torah. and a funny thing happened as the squirrels pelted me with walnuts like the playful urbanbastardmonkeys that they are and i, already pissed off, added them to the list of things that will not be allowed in My World when i create it. a funny thing happened...i realized that i hadn't walked my woods in a very long time. i had taken diva on her prescribed morning poo, but i had not carved out time for myself to walk through the woods, alone, smelling the scent of newly budding branches and soft perfume of forest flowers and warm leaves and had not taken time to feel the scratchy bumpy bark from the monkey tree. quite simply: i. was. empty. i had not refueled my creative self in a year. i was so caught up in the business of art - the seriousness of the task at hand - that i had forgotten why i make art...why i personally make art. and my personal Source. and it made for a miserable summer for myself, and increasingly, those around me. my soft edges gone...my thoughtfulness seemed obligatory. i asked myself...what do i bring to the table? what have i come here to express? what do my hands want to touch? and as i return to center, once again, there are a thousand things i've left out...some too personal to put out in the window of the web...some still finding their way through the forest to the bright glowing light - that is mySelf...waiting for me. i thank you, dearest hearts, for making your way through this ramble...i hope i came close to expressing the unexpressable, or at least you got a glimmer of what i meant. if so, clue me in, because i'm not so sure. and i truly think that there is a Unique Expression inside each and every one of us and that if we're quiet, and respectful, and we don't try to chase it, then it will come purring up into our laps and we will let that out in ways that will astound us. now i'm off to ramble through some authenticity.
at 7:23 AM
Sunday, September 06, 2009
...when he comes rapelling down from a helicopter with 30 of his best buds all dressed in ninja black? this is my question to you. because if i focus on that one question, then the rest of the story may get lost in the shuffle of trying to get past the day and trying - with eyes squinty squinted as tighly as possible - trying to click my heels and load a pistol. someday, if you haven't already, you will meet my next ex-husband-to-be. he does not know of the existence of this blog, because i need a safe place to go. away. sort of my verbal vomit closet. so okay. ninjas. hillbilly husband likes to hunt. (i pretend he's gone on a business trip.) there is no stopping him. he lives for huntin' season. men in the woods. totin' guns. drinkin beer 'round the fire and farting. so they have a special he-man woman-hatin-club...about 4 or 5 of them rent the rights to hunt some property that is owned by a farmer in a location even less metro than where i live. 2 years ago, they said "HEY! let's drag that old trailer up onto said land and have a warm-ish place to sleep at night, as opposed to our vehicles. and then we can stay away from the wimmin longer! yes! let us do this!" and the village was happy and much dancing and celebration ensued. so they drag this shell of an old single-wide trailer and plop it onto the land. the farmer said Ok Sure. the men have clean-up days and close-er-up-for-the-season days. whatever. well, apparently, the farmer has farmhands that have planted, ummm, Crops of a non-authorized nature in those self-same woods. and one day, as the federal agent passed by in his sikorsky (not to be confused with sworovski) he looked down through his mirrored aviator raybans and said LO! Crops Of An Unauthorized Nature! and immediately sported a stiffy. soon, many many black Explorers decended upon the He-Man Woman-Hating clubhouse, and many camo clothed men evac-ed from the helo, probably talking in code ZULU ZULU something something else two niner. and toting guns that, well, would've given the hillbillies caliber-envy. had they been there. thank god. and had they known this was ensuing. thank god. and if they had had an inkling, each and every one of them would have beat feet to the scene, and stood there going, "cool!" like the little boys that they are. now, the trailer is very near a pasture containing many bulls. in fact, you have to hot-foot it through that pasture in order to get to the clubhouse. i can only imagine the scene as i grab another scotch and zanax. now, the farmer happened to be away at an ag convention...his only time ever throughout the year that he leaves the farm. but his wife was home. of course. bewildered and pissed off. mightily and righteously. because now shehas a field full of angry bulls, and another field filled with a bunch o' feds, all hopped up on adrenaline, a single-wide trailer with no doors and windows, and a tinge of teargas or napalm in the air. and she was looking forward to a pedicure night and a glass of good wine. although i have NEVER been to the clubhouse, and although i have never met the farmer's wife, i pray for her. because although i have to live with the hillbilly, she has to clean up after the mess. so farmer's wife, i raise a glass to you. and i vow to never complain about doing laundry again. L
a weighty topic for such a carefree weekend, but there it is. now i don't care if you believe the whole Big Bang thing, or a religious rendition, or a combination. or if like me, you tend to say "ya know, I don't really care...I'm here now and Who Is Going To Do The Laundry?" and it was the thoughts along those lines that got me re-pissed off about the conspiricy of educators to not even PRESENT the option that i feel may hit the nail on the head about how we came to be. i skip past the whole Initial Person thing and head straight for the caveman. i believe at that point, women said No Way to creation. NO to living in a drafty cave...No to outdoor plumbing..Hunting & gathering...grunting men in leopard skin. (although the 70's music scene did bring a bit of that back). so the caveMEN had to somehow create more cavemen. and here is where it gets a little harder to understand. even back in those days, men could not hit the laundry basket (the toilet had not been invented yet, so i'll give them a pass on that). so when their dino-hanes needed replacing, they threw them onto the forest floor and after a few months...LO! life sprang forth from the tighty whities. much like mildew on a long lost pair sitting under the hamper for Quite Some Time. so soon there were many cavemen, and they demanded cavewomen. we finally said ok...they had fire and the wheel by now, so things were looking good as a ground-floor investment. an IPO if you will. the gamble did not pay off. once we arrived on the scene, things got easier in the caveman's life and they went about their games in the woods and sitting around the fire belching. we became crafty and innovative, having the need to invent laundrymats and grocery stores, and soon communities were built so we could gather and compare stories. i'll explain more in another post, but you can see where there might be a grain of truth going here. and yes...it is laundry day here. a/k/a PhD day - piled higher and deeper. which explains two things..1) why i am spending time writing about laundry, which started it all, and 2) why i don't have time to finish this post, as the cat has just christened the dark load waiting to go downstairs to be washed. l.
at 11:04 AM
Saturday, September 05, 2009
never in my history (okay, well, once before)have i been here...this dry place...this place with so many ideas and no hands to work them...so many grains of sand in the desert, but without water, no sandcastle can be built. i am on the verge of doing something i have never done: giving up. different from not finishing, which is a temporary resting of an idea or project till the sparks fly again...till that one rusty piece appears and suddenly you know that's what was missing. no, this is different. this is more final. and there has been a huge and compelling and incredibly private reason for it. i only know that in these wee hours when i've wandered the floors and paced my street like a coyote, the only peacefulness has been when i allowed the entertainment of the thought that there is a LifeLesson that this project was meant to bring me, and nothing more. the easily accomplished and wonderful ideas i have, seem to short-circuit between brain and the fingers...the endless running in place...the hours spent trying to work the plan...or, as in the title of one of Georgia's books: coax nectar from longing. it has all caused me to pick apart every aspect of my creativity...my life's motivations...to poke into the dark corners with a stick as i look for a mouse nest or dust bunny...a clearing and a clarifying....a burning away of the chaf and ego and useless stuff that collects around the corners as we trundle through life. the signs and wonders lit my path like the high beams on prison walls - there would have been no mistaking them, had i chose to look. i spent an inordinate amount of time (even for me) examining these things this summer, while at the same moment standing back as an observer wondering what the hell i was doing spending so much time examining these things and not doing. summer is a good time for this...when the thoughts spin too closely, scaring up a tornado, there is always a walk through the woods to settle the storm. as to the ephemeral lessons that hung in the mist just out of sight ...my eyes finally adjusted to the fine light, and there they were. and it all suddenly fell into place. and the fears that kept me from looking too closely - once again proved to be false. i am grateful for these lessons...as difficult as they have been (and continue to be, as a few dusty corners are still holding out). and i can honestly say i now know how metal feels when it's sanded...sparks flying, grinding noises whining. these lessons have had their work cut out for them as they tried to cut through this fortressed heart. and as my 7th grade Self accepts that her time is gone, once and for all, i can step forward - hopefully to a place of rest for a while - and begin again with a new perspective...rather, an old one, with improvements.
at 4:49 AM