a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

so i saw this beautiful cake on the world wide web last week and emailed a picture to PerfectStepDaughter, who agreed that we should make this cake this weekend. being ever cautious in the kitchen, i thought it might just be easier to buy cake mixes and leave the fun part to the frosting and decorating. today was the day, but alas - PSD had something she had to do, so we;d wait till another time. but darn it, i wanted to make the cake...i could see the looks of awe on everyone's face as this beautiful cake was presented. what could be simpler? plus, i had about $60 worth of ingredients - including a can of frosting that came with 5 interchangeable tips that i was just dying to use. so i baked and did laundry, like a good housewife. soon, as the layers cooled, a furrow crossed my brow...Hey, I thought to myself...these cakes look waaaay too tall, and the cake itself waaaay too big to fit in my fridge. (i should know by now, after the famous birthday cake rodeo)but aaaaanyway. the cake is cooling, and i'm getting suspicious. and what is that i hear? Air 1. the sheriff dept helicopter flying over my house. for real. around and around. lights all over my house. and i'm thinking Betty Crocker must have called the damn police on me, that's what's happened here. and the cake is Ugly ugly ugly. and i try to slice it in half through the middle and parts fall all over and the strawberry layer cracks in half and the whole mess is just a mess. but maybe i can cover it with frosting. i have 2 kinds...whipped cream with strawberries folded in by hand (to secure the layers together), and cream cheese which has been tinted my favorite color pink. and the cream cheese just makes the top crumble up and the helicopter is flying over and the lady at 911 said to stay in but the dog really really has to pee and finally my husband comes home from the rehabber and i tell him what's going on, and as i turn to ask him to hold the chocolate layer, he's bolting upstairs to grab his holster and gun mofo hillbilly that he is and i'm running through the house with a layer of chocolate cake balanced in my hand and the cat ran in front of me and i'm yelling at the husband to put down his weapon and stay inside like 911 said and stop being a dork and help me make this cake. and his adrenaline is all jacked up and the dog has to pee. the cake is still ugly. i know the husband has to get past me with my mad on and knives handy, if he wants to get outside, so i am sure he's in for a while. i manage to construct the layers and by now, with the helicopter circling and the dog whining and the husband muttering about night vision goggles, i am just done with this cake, which i cannot even eat, being all sugar and whatnot. so, below, you will see the wretchedness of my attempt. scroll back up to see the pretty one...now...the fruits of my labor: is it any wonder i haven't slit my own wrists? update: it is dark o'clock monday morning. it appears no lottery win has saved me this weekend. i am exhausted. i am a hater, this morning, and would list the things i hate, but am too tired. the #1 thing is that i hate that i have to be awake this early today after listening to the helicopter and Rambo till 11:30, 12 o'clock last night, and then hear my alarm at 5am. maybe today i can rest my head on that gel thing that you rest your wrists on when typing. i will make every effort to find my real life soon. it is most likely under the pile of laundry that didn't get done in all the excitement. Linda

this is totally ripped off

i stumbled on this post this morning, and completely ripped it off from another blog. not my usual practice, but the. words. pierced. me. To The Core. and i think you'd like them also...without further ado, from Izabella's Blue, who was actually quoting from Sean Mantack : Have you had enough of feeling stuck in a rut. Are you ready to break free from the self imposed chains that are binding you? Are you sick and tired of having your greatness held hostage? Well in that case what are you waiting for, an invitation to get unstuck? The only person that can get you unstuck is you. I can give you the key to getting unstuck, (action) but it is you who will have to turn the key in the lock (and take action) otherwise nothing will change. So what are you waiting for? If you spent as much time taking action as you do worrying about being stuck in a rut you wouldn't be stuck in a rut, you would be too busy living the life that you always dreamed about. "Fear and apprehension are not conducive to the mindset required to induce success." That antidote is action. You must stop feeling overwhelmed by all the choices that you have and decide on a course of action and then take steps towards a positive outcome. It is always better to walk 5 miles in the wrong direction than it is to sit on your ass hoping for help to come to you. God helps those that help themselves. If you want to break free from the self imposed chains that are keeping you stuck in your rut, then there is no time like the present for you to take action and get yourself unstuck. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Don't you think you have wasted enough time feeling fearful and apprehensive about the future? Don't you think that its time that you said “enough is enough?” Don't you think its time that you started living the life that you always dreamt of? Don't you think that life has more to offer you than the feeling of being stuck in a rut? Action is the key that will set you free from the self imposed shackles that have been holding you back and keeping your greatness held hostage. Put the key to good use, take action and get yourself unstuck. ~Sean Mantack ~ http://www.stuck-in-a-rut-coaching.com Dude - 'nuff said

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the sun is shining! oh yeah! colder than cold out, still, but it looks nice and that's a plus. it's the kind of day when you make plans to go xc skiing because you just want to be surrounded by sun and balsam smells and wildlife. then you open the door to let a little dog out, and say Uh Oh, What have i done? yeah, that kind of tricky day. and it's getting close to lunchtime, and you're in your sweats, with your hands covered in gel medium and cadmium red and nickel azo something, and you realize that you have a show in 1 month (the shortest month of course) and you don't have anything ready so now you're torn between spending a day in art immersion which will only lead to that pathetic frustration when you can't make art because you HAVE to, or living up to the decision you made to go xc skiing by god because you brought it up to your husband and you haven't done anything together but argue for 3-10 years. yeah. that kind of day. and plus you ran into your friend the wildlife rehabber who is desperate for help because her barn is stuffed literally to the rafters with hawks and eagles and all manner of emaciated 4-legged creatures of God that have been brought to her to heal...yes even squirrels. god bless their sharp-toothed little hearts. ah well. shower. ski. i'll feel better for both. and maybe a little wildlife kindness afterwards.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

a primer on depression

let me say a few (yeah right) words about depression...now, when i'm in the clear, and can think about it rationally, as opposed to when the heavy cement of it holds me down. depression is not sadness, although you can feel sad. but not always. it isn't something that you can motivate yourself out of, or happy-gratitude think your way out of. it isn't laziness. it isn't boredom. it isn't something that a few yoga poses and an hour of journaling will snap. and although those things are good practices to have, and i enthusiastically engage in them from time to time, depression comes at you despite your work against it. and to say it comes at you isn't really my experience - not a front-on shock-and-awe thing that you can dodge and weave your way around with Jackie Chan Karate Kid moves. (i love Jackie Chan!) my experience with depression is that i feel the molasses lethargy of it commandeer my brain...the effort to just get out of bed is more than can be physically mustered. it isn't the blues...more like the "clears" because it invades every corner of my life, and i can't see it. there is a pointlessness to everything...nothing brings pleasure - not talks with friends, not the kisses of a little furball, not even artmaking. in fact, the effort of getting art supplies out is sometimes on par with asking me to repaint the Brooklyn Bridge in a weekend. it is a life suck...you lose days, weeks, even months at a time. and it looks different on everyone - some people can outwardly function through their daily obligations of work & family, and you'd never guess that there is nothing but an empty shell in front of you. their mind has gone rogue, as Danny Evans says. there is a disconnect between physically living your life and feeling anything. so it isn't so much a sadness for me, as it is a complete wipe of the motherboard - a robotic response to life around me with no oompah-pah behind it. i hid my depression for years. terrified of it. i hid behind being the comedian - if i could make people laugh, and laugh with them, then i must be okay, right? oh, and rules. i had strict ways of doing things...mostly so i could actually do something - ok, the alarm goes off, and first you go pee, then you feed the dog, then get coffee, etc etc. Sort of a rigid one-foot-in-front-of-the-other ballet of desperation. then i realized the comedy lie, and became serious, and that didn't work - wasn't me...i am naturally given to finding the humor in humorless situations. the Dixie Chicks have a song Hello Mr. Heartache, which describes it in part: Hello Mr. Heartache I've been expecting you. Come in and wear your welcome out Like you always do. You never say if your here to stay or just passing through etc and for people who "suffer from depression" as the ads say, when things are good, you're always looking out the corner of your eye for that attack...gauging if it's a good time to see a sad movie, or will that trigger a freefall into the black hole. you often don't trust yourself with big decisions...wondering if it's being made with a twinge of the beginnings of a bad run. there's been a lot of research on depression, mostly sponsored by big pharma. and yes, there is a time and place for chemical intervention. it does not make you a weak person. i solidly refused for 20 years to partake in that avenue of relief, till finally i had to for many reasons, none the least was i had to in order to prove my unfitness for duty at my job and be able to take disability leave. you can't see depression - "they" needed to see i really meant it. and it worked well. there were side effects that need to be measured very thoughtfully against the good the drugs can do. i can't stress that enough. weight gain is one of the secrets they hold up their sleeve, so be prepared. but the point of all this rambling so early in the morning is this: if you have a friend or partner who has tussles with depression, don't be offended if you can't "cheer them up," if they don't take your advice, if they cancel appointments and dinner dates...know that they are fighting as hard as they can to run clear of this mental state, and it's like running through waist-deep freshly poured cement. but keep the connections open, listen to them ramble on the phone, or hold them when they cry. your question, "what's wrong?" is well intentioned, thoughtful, and even loving. but there is no answer. and often, giving advice will only serve to make the person feel that if they don't take the advice, then you will become fed up and leave them. and you may be the last tendril linking them to reality. i write this to tell someone very special to me that i do understand, and i am not growing impatient...i will always be by your side...there is nothing that you can do to change that...and there will always be my hand gripping yours to keep you from hitting the bottom...in these promises you can have absolute assurance. for everyone else reading, thank you for your patience here today - a personal email to my friend would not have been the same as pronouncing my positions on the www .

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

i can't speak. go here. ok. talk amongst yourselves. think of a topic.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

so it's 2am. the hunt must be going well. i haven't heard an update since 8pm when a phone call from a very loud place with hillbilly music and Texas Hold 'Em going on told me he'd be a little later than planned. which it already was by a few hours. feels like a defining moment to me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

a saturday 2-fer

update. it is 3:21 pm and i have accomplished: zip nada nuthin da nada nope well, except for getting stew into the slow cooker (makes it sound like i just poof do this all the time...Hold on - let me throw a stew together), followed by an extended nap. with diva all tucked around me. (she learned "drop it" today! i'm so proud). the heater thingie wouldn't stay on in the garage, so there was no hope of working out there soldering and grinding (sounds sexual), so as i malingered on the couch thinking i should switch things up and collage today and torch tomorrow, i napped. quite longer than i wanted, but apparently just as long as my body wanted. this CFS is frustrating. while i slept, though, i was quite productive. i realized my chosen word for the year (legacy) was depressing and awkward, and not really The Word. so, finally given the space and peace it needed, my brain released the Real Word: wholehearted. i love this word. i embrace this word. in a wholehearted way, even. this word and I have a history. i was given a special special gift earlier this year (or was it late last year??) that included having a question (just ONE) answered by an intuitive counselor. i asked a broad question that didn't include a specific area of my life (to get the biggest bang for my buck, i guess). i erased any hint of my identity from the response to the invitation...no last name to google, no signature including my blog address, etc. i was just "Linda." and gawd she nailed it. the artist thing, everything. and said that this is the time i should live wholeheartedly. she said that word, wholehearted. and it stayed with me, as did the essence of her reply. (although i have her entire reply in my desk drawer, lest i become half-hearted.) And the word and it's essence have, in turn, wafted at me on a continual, perfumed, loving, gentle basis, bee balming my spirit and pushing me to break through the habit of half-heartedness. because it is a choice. all in all, that was quite a nap, eh? and it's been a semi-amish day, with the only electronics being this computer, and the crock pot. oh and coffeemaker. but no tv blaring or lulling the mind, no radio, ipod, walkman, 8-track player...no sounds. very restful. and it's nice to be able to spend a day with my thoughts and intentions, where intuitions can come to the surface and grow a bit, and artwork has a chance to seed a bit. no, i think today has been spent exactly as it was intended to be spent...not a wasted day...nothing much outwardly productive - except for the stew which has 3 more hours before it can be declared a hit or a miss- but plenty of inward productivity. a return to gentle wholeheartedness. rather than the crazed, scheduled, minute-by-minute checklist of a day like it has been. sidebar story: one time i had food poisoning...For Real...the whole vomit / passing out / kill me now or call an ambulance kind. and while i sat with a needle of some dripping clear stuff in my arm at the ER, the health department person came with a clipboard, asking me if i could try really really hard to remember where i had eaten and what i had eaten. imagine her surprise when i could list it all for the past week, in detail, and would've gone back further, but there was no need. i am a creature of habit. and boundaries. and during that period of my life, i ate the same thing for breakfast, ate at the same restaurant for lunch, and dinner was pretty much soup or nothing. not big on dinner. so i have been approaching my life of late in much the same way: wake up by 5am, fill coffee mug, feed cat, feed dog, shower, make breakfast-to-go (peanut butter & banana sandwich), get dressed, walk dog, be to work by 7:30-ish. etc ad nauseum. not what the word "wholehearted" brings to mind. but it can be. the entire sequence can be done with a grudging heart or a grateful heart. and that's where the secret of wholeheartedness starts. it isn't about rock climbing and BASE diving and starring naked in a broadway musical (just checking to see if you're awake on that last one). it's about living your choices fully, i think. and also not letting those things in your life that are beyond your control try to control your reaction to the life you have. what if this is your moment to shine? what if it is this very moment? is my heart full enough to accept the gift that will be placed in it? have the corners been swept clean? is the best china on the table in my heart? will the gift that comes to me get cruddy and tarnished as it enters, or will it feel welcome and take root and grow beautifully? that's wholehearted for me. going about the mundane and everyday stuff in a grateful manner, giving it my all. done. my new word fits. and so it is.
let me start by setting the scene: it is so cold today that even looking out the window at the frozenness will cause the fluid in your cornea to freeze, and your eyes will crumble and fall from their sockets. we didn't get the snow that was expected (2 feet) but that's a broken promise i can live with. but it's still early. and on this day, a day so cold that not 1 living thing should be outside, my husband and his BFF are going hunting. small game. why animals are called "game" when they're being hunted is as repugnant to me as the fact that he may, for effect, bring his best work home. i will be changing the locks. anyway. a more suspicious wife would be concerned that there are no open seasons at this time, and that perhaps they are going to partake of the North country women who will do anything to stay warm this time of year, or *gasp* the southern tier women who will do anything to score some Aspen Dental. but i am not that suspicious wife. and if i was, my fears would be put to rest as husband, BFF and BFF's cousin sat around my dining room table this morning having a pre-hunt Man Meal with enough cholesterol to plug a drainage pipe...talking guns and ammo and who's going to take what. thus fortified by eggs, hash, bacon, testosterone and GoreTex, they loaded up the Escalade for the suburban version of drive-by shootings. i don't like hunting. won't eat the "spoils" of the hunt. this being said, i am fully aware that there are people who rely on hunting as their food source. i get it. i watch Air Alaska, and know that a moose can keep a village alive through an entire winter. but we are not in Alaska (despite the temperatures). we are in Baldwinsville, not Barrow. the sun rises and sets here on pretty much a 12-hour-ish cycle. there are no 7-month days or nights. and the only northern lights we see is the mall named after them. Northern Lights Mall. we have Wegmans - a grocery store to beat any other grocery store. evah. want tea? there are aisles of tea. just picking out rice can take an hour. fresh fish, fresh cheese, in-store bakery, deli, meal coaches and recipes...it is an endless, dizzying cornucopia of ways to buy and prepare food. and they will even cook it for you, for God's sake. so we are blessed with more grocery stores per mile than Alaska has in the entire state. we have no need to hunt for food here in Baldwinsville. but, some hillbilly's made the unfortunate choice to live here, rather than Alaska, and every so often, their primal urges overcome their compassion for frolicking woods-animals, gathering dinner, smelling flowers, eating bark, and generally just doing whatever it is that they were put here to do. i do not buy the "thinning of the herd because of depleted food sources" argument one little bit. so who decides? why not plant crops for them to eat, instead. and the game that's to be hunted? today's pick - squirrel. do i need to rant about this? is it not clearly obvious that 1) it would seem to take a lot of squirrels to make a meal, should one actually decide that this is their true and deepest reason for the day's activity. 2) the thought of a meal of squirrel makes me want to stop here and go vomit. 3)i love squirrels. 4) there are too many other reasons and i'll just get tired thinking of them. i have lit a candle and said a prayer to God asking him to warn the squirrels. and all this, despite my close encounter with the razor sharpness of their teeth, and their general spoiled child attitude about life. (you may remember my adventures with bottle-feeding the baby squirrels at the rehabbers, when one of those little tree rats nearly decapitated 2 of my best fingers. quickly and surgically. Bam. blood everywhere. scream of pain stuck so deep in my throat it came out as a squeak. cute squirrel became hungry, flying squirrel, as my instinctive reactions won out over animal safety and compassion just ever so briefly. i vowed never not ever again to get that close to anything with teeth that can fell a tree.) and i have hope that the squirrels are just that much smarter than the hunters, and the only fatalities will be those that laughed themselves to death at the thought/site of all this madness in their woods. these grown men, all camo'd, stinking of bacon grease and B.O....and incidentally - wearing green camo, which is not the color of the season anywhere in these parts. i don't think nature will be fooled for a NY minute. and why not cans? just go set up cans somewhere and shoot them? ahhh. because there has to be a purpose to getting up this early, eating a load of greasy food which will, no doubt, cause some desperate moments in the freezing woods, oh, in about another hour. why do men need these reasons to gather? poker, fishing, hunting, bowling? why not just hang out? have some coffee...talk about their feelings..."she's such a bitch...she actually took my Tom Petty poster down from the livingroom wall! yes that one - where he's looking right at the camera! how much more hurt can i be expected to endure??" nope. men gotta rustle up grub, fill their hands with ammo, and head on out to shoot something. (in fairness, i speak only of these men that were in my diningroom. and others like them. not ALL men. because i have known men that aren't at all like this. and not all of them were gay, as my husband would think). (or liberals - his second category of pidgeon-holing). but ANYway...today i am supposed to be making necklaces for the gallery. and yet here i ramble and procrastinate. why? it is darn cold in the garage where i need to do this work. somehow the thought of smoking solder and a creme brulee torch in the house - in my hands - is more than Allstate will insure. but you know, i'm thinking that the smell of the bacon grease will cover any smoky solder smell, so i'm thinking of grabbing the UL rated fire extinguisher and torching away. the worst that could happen is i'd get a new kitchen out of the settlement, should anything untoward occur. and i won't have to fire up the propane heater and sniff those fumes. hmmm. but the tought of a lazy, curled up day on the couch with a good book sounds just about right, too. i have a stack of them: The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown, and Rage Against The Meshuganah, by the Dad Gone Mad blogster Danny someone. which is hysterical. hysterical. i read his blog, www.dadgonemad.com from time to time, and it never fails to make me pee my pants. so the book will be a bathroom read. okay - i'm starting to feel guilty for not making jewelry. a sure sign that i'm about to get desperate for procrastinationable stories and linger here well past my stale date. so, pray for the squirrels. wear warm socks. and always keep a loaded fire extinguisher handy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a little housekeeping...the horse is making good recovery...thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and emails...sheesh - when i had the flu and was certain just positive that i would expire at any moment, yes, then, i didn't get as many people concerned. it continues to be an ongoing guessing game as to what the problem is, but the ulcer thing seems to be #1 on the list. yes, i said ulcer. what, i ask you, WHAT does a horse have to be so worried about that it would get an ulcer? does it have spreadsheets? nope. ummm, in-laws? nope. any other worries, stress, concerns? to be fair, maybe. never been a horse. but geez. hunh? so onto a new topic. 10 years ago, i was forced to watch American Idol as a mandatory part of my radio job. now THAT would give a person an ulcer. it was like eating brussel sprouts at a friend's house - you had to choke 'em down and then pretend to like them. but. sigh. it soon became something. yes. that i looked forward to. okay there - i said it. then i continued to watch it so i'd have something to share with PerfectStepDaughter. so anyway, the new season started last night. new judges. including Steve Tyler. Steve Tyler. yes. now, i would be just as happy if they just had him sit there for 2 hours - just looking into the camera. and i would be here at home. staring back. just like that. much like the Yule log at Christmas. and "why?" i ask myself? the sum of the parts....makes me scratch my head. but then i was never good at math. oy. so i have a show coming up in March...details to follow. right now, i have a piece in an exhibition coinciding with the production of RENT at Syracuse Stage. the show has been selling out, so if you want to make plans...move quick! Pat will be happy to note that within the next 2 days, we are expecting 6-8" of blowing snow and bitterly freezing temperatures. and i have TWO days to make art...jewelry saturday and collage sunday. stay warm & cozy y'all.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

ok here's what i love about winter: i am snowed in with 3 (THREE!) good books. i plan to wrap up in a cozy quilt on the couch, ignore my art deadlines, and read. which means i'll read about 3 lines, then fall asleep. the other thing i love about the fact that we got about a foot of snow last night, and expect another 8" or more today/tonight, is that Sue's husband is fascinated by this snow, and i am happy he is happy. i love that a gi-normous county snowplow had the same slippery issues i did while trying to drive to Barnes & Noble, as I watched in my rearview mirror thinking, "hunh...he's going to slide right into me sideways. so much for 8-wheel drive." other than that, keep it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

with the deepest respect, and true saddness...

a tireless voice for the arts community is quiet...not silent, as his legacy will continue in the support and inspiration and encouragement he gave each one of the artists who had the good fortune to meet him. Mark Wright was the heart and soul of the Cultural Resources Council for a number of upstate NY counties. following budget cuts, he was basically the only employee. how he managed, is beyond me. driving hundreds of miles a week to give workshops on how to apply for grants, sitting on juries and boards and even organizing some productions. the CRC newsletter called him "selfless." how true. here was a man with more to do in a day than most have to accomplish in a week. yet he gave out his personal cell number to the artists, and permission to call anytime, should they need any help that he could offer. there are artists that we would never have had the experience of seeing, had it not been for his guidance, both officially and unofficially. artistic work that may never have been born. i only met with him twice, but we had numerous phone conversations. and his support and guidance to me came at a time when i doubted that i'd ever be able to call myself "artist" and look you in the eye. three years ago, i got a NYFA grant to attend a sculpture class in NH that changed my life. he was not too busy to listen to me prattle on about the details afterward. i suspect he was as proud as a parent to watch a beginning artist grow to maturity in their chosen art form. it is my deepest hope that he knew how important he was to all of us. Mark was one of those people that was a touchstone in my life - I never thought that he wouldn't be there, and when i felt unsure of my artistic footing, i would remember that he thought enough about my potential and skill to tell me to go for it. i'm not a person who is connected to the local arts "scene" so heard of his passing just today. luckily in time to attend his tribute at the end of the month. his voice will continue through all of the artists that he encouraged to keep on and do more and do better. he will be sorely missed in our lives. if you are able, attend his tribute.... a celebratory afternoon of art and performance to honor the life, dedication and selfless service of Mark J. Wright to the artistic heritage of CNY. The event seeks to capture and salute the breath of individual artists, cultures, art forms and artistic organizations Mark Wright touched and supported throughout his career, and will raise funds for a scholarship in his name. The event will take place on Jan. 30 from 1-5 PM.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

it seems i am being nudged by, well, let's say The Universe (since i'm not certain where these nudges come from...it seems a bit optimistic & maybe self-centered to say "God"). in the past few days, i have been assaulted full on by these nudges at every turn. the message is: Learn yourself. now i have avoided workshops, classes, books, anything of the sort, that teaches you introspection and working things through and making peace with the past, present, future, yada yada. it just seems self-involved to spend that much time in an introspective stupor, examining how i feel about vanilla ice cream vs. butter pecan, or how my 2nd grade teacher made me feel such-and-such. i have made peace with the past, and the future - well, it's not here yet, so it's hard to know what triumphs or regrets are waiting. but maybe that's just how i view it, the introspection...maybe my riding partners, Blinders, Fear, and Blame Others have tainted the view. but that old friend Fear has kept a constant pace with me, along with his BFF, Blame Others. i promise i won't get into one of my long-winded extravaganzas of a post. but. i know the time is right to take a look at some baggage i didn't know i had. it has been so easy to blame other people, events, situations, whatever, on being stuck. it's like blaming the wheel for driving itself into the snow. (which we have in abundance today). i am not stuck because someone is holding me back...i am stuck because i have made choices to keep me where i am because, although it isn't nearly my potential...it's comfortable. and easier. and failure free...it's someone else's fault. at least i think that's how it rolls. and those two traveling companions have made it easy. or at least made it seem real. in the end, it may be that nothing outward about my life changes. but i will be peaceful in knowing that it is the right place at the right time, and not because of a fear of moving in any given direction. i can do the seemingly hard things...the challenges, the choices, all that. it's the ground that lies fallow that i have trouble mustering up the energy to plow. and, if you've met me here on this page for a while, you'll recognize that it's a recurring theme. and i suspect that until i get the land plowed, the seeds planted, and the ground watered, it will keep nudging at me. it's hard to take time out to respect yourself enough to learn about yourself, and grow to potential. there are endless things that glitter and catch your eye away from the goal. and many things that don't glitter so much, but need attention...jobs, cleaning up after cat vomits, shoveling snow...but at some point it has to all wait. for an hour or so. my sincere hope in all this nudging, is to reclaim my Self...the woman who felt peaceful in the middle of a storm, who brought that peace with her and sent it out around her like perfume. i honestly am not sure what the end of the journey will be - what the whole point of this nudging is. maybe just to take a nap. who knows? but i do feel a tug within me to do some soul work...to go deeper.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

there are no words to describe how i feel right now...my insides are tangled and i want to howl...just that from-the-gut howl...i hear my coyotes howling when i take diva walking at night...my friend says they are calling to one another...and that fierce full-body reaction is what i feel...that separation call...3 years ago, i yanked on my Big Girl boots, punched fear in the face, and drove 8 hours to meet my family here...and have returned, no matter what, every year since...and have made it my sacred promise to myself to return every year till i am not physically able...i cannot explain fully to you the transformation in my life...i had a pretty good thing going, life-wise...good friends...a job i cared just enough about...a furbaby with paws that smell like popcorn...i wasn't looking for anything other than a sculpture class by a teacher i'd been dying to meet for years...BUT - something coincidental happened...the Squam Effect ...the deepest friendships and connections - true heart connections - were made...i have no art degree, no creative job, average clothes, average lifestyle... yet i left knowing my Place in the world...certain of my Self...now, there was a big disconnect between who i appeared to be, and who i felt i was. i am here to tell you a secret now, and this comes from the grounding and centering and family/tribe/posse - whatever you want to call the most incredible people i've come to know...the secret: I am NOT a suburban housewife. I am an artist. please tell everyone.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

you know what? just don't read this blog till spring...that is if anyone is still reading it. i swear - could i whine any more than i do?? jesus help me. i mean really - i'm not that bad in person, but it seems that idle hands leave all these dark, oily winter-thoughts to roil and splat out here. i'm sorry. bottom line - my life is good in general. there are a few areas that could use housekeeping to come in and freshen up. i am not hungry, homeless, jobless, unloved, unwanted, physically abused or have any other REAL issue going on in my life that deserves your concern, so please, just ignore me till the short days and deep snow go away. i'll still be here, no doubt, blah blah blah-ing to myself. it's like those shows about how winning the lottery ruined someone's life. there are no words for that.


hey guys - i need some help on a project...i need 3's. the number three. 3. lots of 3's. so if you come across anything with the number 3 on it, could you cut it out and send it to me? it can be as small as a page number in a book (cut the whole number out) or as large at 3"x3" ...there can be other numbers with it, say for instance 143 or 235, but i need threes. lots of threes. thank you! **************** in other news, husband took the family to dinner last night...sort of an end of winter break / back to school in a few days / praise God we made it thing. fantastic family-owned Italian restaurant that makes me swoon just thinking of it. it was a good thought. and there has been a generally drama-free visit, so expectations were high. so it was such a disappointment when youngblood spent the first 30 minutes sniping at husband. Perfect Stepdaughter and I were waiting for husband to use his counselor-taught skills, but he was too busy trying to keep his hands under the table and away from youngblood's neck. so, as PSD lamented to her brother that she wished she had brought her own car so she could leave, i hissed. yes, i forgot my skills. i guess it reminded me of how ungrateful i was to my father growing up, and then he died before the teen angst could be resolved and repaired. i thought, whatever our marriage is or isn't, here is a guy that busts his butt traveling in all weather, wrecking his back hauling heavy sample equipment through windy parking lots, in order to provide college and clothes and christmas, oh - and the very meal we were eating. and his son sits there oblivious to those facts, and instead is belittling and picking at his father. the opportunity for swift kicks has long since past, but would have done much good. so PSD and i (well, i imagine PSD is thinking this too), are trying to telepathically will Big Daddy to say something. when self-help did not seem evident. i hissed. quietly. fully charged. and effectively. luckily, the cavatelli was excellent. ****************** today i prepare my artwork for the show. yes, i decided to send it (somehow). and i'll also finish up the lightbox and attempt some shots, then printing!! or maybe just sit in my PJ's and read all day. it could go either way. i start Stephanie Lee's Shifting Ground e-class this week, and it sounds interesting. i do need studio time. but today, i will drift on the milkweed seed of whim...eat when i'm hungry (not likely after last night's feast)...nap when i feel like it...make art messes and photo messes and drink fragrant tiger tea. and get some groove going on the IPod. winter just makes it hard to write an exciting post - sorry. soon, however, the days of x-country skiing will no doubt make headlines here, and you can all sign my body cast!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

ok so i've been trying to carve out time to connect here in a decent way. and as day after day passed with no time, i realized...i spend a lot of time on obligations, and waiting for the perfect moment for something. i don't start an art project because i'm afraid i'll get in that zone, and lose track of time, making me late for something. oh, like work. a few months ago i determined that i was too exhausted by the end of the day to put in any quality studio time, so rather than frustrate myself with wanting to be there, but having to be elsewhere (like behind the vacuum), i decided that i would only hit the studio on weekends. that became frustrating because all my errands would pile up for the weekend, and i'd find myself frustrated because i was doing some Becky Home-Ecy thing, when i really wanted to be in the studio, or in the studio with a thousand "errand bees" buzzing around me. so you can see how many times the word "frustrating" has appeared here. and in the midst of this, one lovely, warm, snuggly little furball with paws that smell like popcorn got shorted. i don't know how to be a good dog-mom, despite endless hours watching Cesar Millan. i spoil her and pretend she is a princess changed into a puppy, because her unlimited capacity for love was reaching a danger zone in a human body. because i recognize her as a special being in my life, i feel guilty about time spent away from her, or rather - with her watching me go about my day in ways that don't include her. like studio time or pushing The Green Sucking Thing around the house. truth be told, she's as likely to be content just gazing at me from her woobie in my studio, as she is having her belly rubbed. it's all about companionship for this little being. (who has a huge case of separation anxiety). so this long version of a post is not a rant, or a "poor me" scenario. walk with me. a year or so back, i began to think about the phrase "time is money" and realized how many similar expressions there are to each - "spend time wisely" "wasting time" "not enough time." now use the word Money in place of time. i began to think about how we each have the same 24 hours in a day, and how we spend/waste those hours is our choosing. think Monopoly - everyone starts with the same amount of money (but no one gets the shoe or dog in my house, as they are glued into an assemblage i did. shh.don't tell). i won't continue to belabor the point, and you can certainly connect the dots about value vs. time...does this activity warrant me spending x number of time-dollars? it made me re-think how i spend my time, since no one really knows when the bank will run dry. and i re-shifted priorities and purged some unwanted, and useless activities and relationships that had outlived what either person cared to give. that freed up time, both minutes on the clock, and internally. nothing like a clearing of space to make you breathe easier. my focus became clearer, and with a sharpened goal, the rest of the clutter of life fell into place. if you visit my house, it will be clean-ish...no crusty dishes stuck to the sink, but usually a fur nest in a corner. laundry piled up, but not on the couch...in the hamper where it belongs. that sort of casual housekeeping. and i am okay with that. if you need to visit me in a clean & orderly house, please call ahead a day. and the shift was also a letting go of needing things to be perfect. i am not that way by birth or inclination. growing up, we had someone make our house shine. it was not me, and it was not my mother. and when i moved out on my own, i would rather spend a day with friends then a vacuum. my family has slowly gotten used to this. and if they want it different, i will not be offended if they grab the vacuum themselves. the long road to my point is that in determining Time Value, i also enabled myself to determine The values that i have inside. and that lets me spend those precious moments engaged in purposeful living. and that is gratifying beyond belief. for christmas this year, a Friend Who Knows My Heart gifted me with an amazing book...it's actually called The Gift - poems by Hafiz. and here's a portion of one i want to share with you, and dedicate it to the ones who, like me, held myself hostage to a standard that was not mine: We have not come here to take prisoners but to surrender ever more deeply to freedom and joy... ...Run my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings... ...we have not come here to take prisoners or to confine our wondrous spirits, but to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom, and Light! ------------------------------ that just resonates with me. hopefully you enjoyed it, as well. may you have the time to do the important things, and the wisdom to recognize what they are.