Archives for category: Art

I definitely “feel 53” this morning. I’m okay with that; I am 53. πŸ™‚ The show last night was amazing. It was not really “a concert” or.. well… it was a fantastical stage production centering around music, themed on Alice in Wonderland, attended by beings willing to suspend expectations of the ordinary for a night and just… go with it. A needed, and worthy, break from the routine. There were dancers, jugglers, performance artists of several sorts, and painters practicing their craft live, to massive fabulous bass-y beats. It was quite wonderful. I got home very late, and I had planned and prepared for this to be the case… but, there were verbs involved, choices made, and of course today I begin again.

Down the Rabbit Hole 2017 at the Crystal Ballroom

My ears are ringing like crazy. I took ear plugs with me, and when I wasn’t on the dance floor, had a comfortable vantage point from the balcony of the historic theater venue – my ears are still ringing. Experience suggests my tinnitus will be a mild impairment for at least today, then fading into the background to exist as a mild persistent distraction once again. I’m tired. I can look at the number of hours that I slept and figure I’ve “gotten enough sleep”, but I feel groggy, and inclined to return to bed – but I won’t sleep now that I’m awake and consciousness is filled with morning sunshine. I hurt all over. As I think about that, my pain worsens. That’s a practical detail worthy of consideration; if I make my pain my focus, it becomes the most important thing in my awareness, and thereby becomes more prominent. I take a deep breath and let it go; it doesn’t stop me hurting altogether, but seems to reduce the magnitude somewhat.

Why all the bitching? I smile and sip my coffee, because I know something about me and this peculiar singular journey that is my experience; when I know where I am, I am more easily able to move on from that place. The challenge is to make the observation without making the observed detail a theme, or the focus of my experience, when it is something painful, uncomfortable, or perceivably “negative”. It’s worth remembering, too, that this also opens the door to more willfully lingering over, and savoring, the nurturing, delightful, pleasant, and uplifting experiences – deliberating shifting gears to make those a focus of my experience, or a theme, results in useful changes in implicit biases. The bitching, in this case, is structured and part of a process with a clear point. (Thanks cognitive science!)

A welcome seat with a decent view; the lamp included in the shot because it’s pretty cool, also. lol

I think over the high points of the evening… dancing with my Traveling Partner (we attended with another friend)… the music… the wow factor of the varied costumes of both the performers and the attendees… soaking in the lights, the scene, the wonder… finding a good seat with an unobstructed view that remained mine more or less all evening (even though I left it and returned several times)… losing track of my partner and his friend in the crowd and dancing dancing dancing through and among and around thinking I would eventually find them, and losing myself in the music instead (I found them when I returned to my seat! lol).

Sold out show.

My tinnitus fades into the background as I linger over the recollections of the evening. My back aches less. I forget that I’m rather amusingly sitting here with noise cancelling headphones on… but not playing any sounds. Going back to bed still sounds pretty nice… My eye wanders to the list of household chores I had planned to do today, from the vantage point of yesterday morning… I chuckle rather merrily and give silent side eye to the woman who wrote that list yesterday; I’m seriously doubting I will do even one thing on that list today. I’m okay with that. Today, rest and take care of me. Tomorrow, I’ll begin again. πŸ™‚

I woke from troubled dreams sometime around three, still in pain. With effort, I pulled myself fully free of sleep and made the hard choice to takeΒ something for my pain, and tried to go back to sleep. I’m in less pain now, but the sleep thing didn’t really work out, so I’m up with a nice cup of coffee much too early on a Sunday, but still feeling well-rested, and now I’m not in so much pain…so… there’s that. πŸ™‚ I don’t even recall with any clarity what my nightmares were about… debt… loneliness… “failure”. Dreams of discouragement and heartbreak. I remember the mood and the emotions, but the details are fading quickly. I think I’m okay with that. πŸ™‚

I’ve no idea what today holds. I’ve got the laundry sorted… I guess I’m doing laundry. Well, it needs to be done, and living alone it’s entirely on me to do it. Now and then I may yield to some moment of adolescent foolishness, forgetting that no one else will undertake the day-to-day tasks of maintaining my lifestyle, and put aside some bit of housekeeping or another. I end up regretting that as soon as I am faced with non-negotiable workload on timing not of my choosing. So yeah, laundry today. lol I think back to the holidays; I’d lost control of my recycling in the weeks after the Yule holiday, unexpectedly, having set aside good quality boxes, thinking I might move in January, then faced with snow and ice such that physically getting to and from the recycling bin wasn’t logistically possible (for me) while also carrying the recycling. The recycling piled up a bit, and because it was “an eyesore”, I moved the boxes into my studio, where there was more space… which became more boxes. My Traveling Partner and a friend noticed I had fallen behind, and on a visit they helpfully undertook breaking down the boxes and hauling them up the driveway to the recycling bin for me. I had it on my list to do for that upcoming weekend, and I definitely appreciated their help with that; the task had begun to overwhelm me, and the likelihood I might continue to put it off had increased because of that. (I try not to get to that point with any one housekeeping task for that reason.)

Yesterday's blue skies took no notice of my pain. I made a point of noticing the blue skies. :-)

Yesterday’s blue skies took no notice of my pain. I made a point of noticing the blue skies. πŸ™‚

I looked around yesterday, in the morning, and spent the day on housekeeping, aside from the delightful hours I spent with my Traveling Partner in the afternoon. It was a day well-spent, in spite of the amount of pain I was in. This morning I don’t hurt so much. There’s still some housekeeping to do, and I’m torn… I’d also like to paint, but I think this particular weekend is one to spend on self-care in the form of unpaid labor: laundry, vacuuming, tidying things up generally, preparing my tax documents. These are all also a good use of my time. These are things that do need to be done. Being an adult, it is fully on me to do these things. Being adult, I know that as investments go, investing my own effort into my desired quality of life matters a great deal.

"Irises" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas w/glow, February 2017

“Irises” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow, February 2017

For me, adequate studio time is a quality of life concern. πŸ™‚

"Hillside Meadow" 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas w/glow, February 2017

“Hillside Meadow” 8″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas w/glow, February 2017

I listen to the rain fall. There’s likely time, and light (later), for painting too; that is the advantage of having real studio space right here. I’ll have to see where these moments take me, today. Perhaps I’ll light a fire and read a book instead? I sit quietly, listening to the rain, and the wind chime rocking in the pre-dawn wind, distracted from my writing.

Rainy morning, before dawn - what does the day hold? Where will my journey take me?

Rainy morning, before dawn – what does the day hold? Where will my journey take me?

Today is a good day for being and becoming. Today is a good day to take the very best care of the person in the mirror. Today is a good day for meditation, for housekeeping, for sipping coffee and watching the rain fall. Today is a good day to change the world within these walls, and within this heart. Today that’s enough. ❀

This morning over my coffee I watched a video that resonates with me, another way of saying things about this amazing journey, another way to say “the way out is through”. Maybe you’ll enjoy it too? The Nerdwriter is a personal favorite, and this particular video on “Kintsugi” says much, quite simply.

So, this morning I go forward into the day thinking about the chaos and damage in another way; I am who I am because I’ve been through what I’ve been through, and made the choices I’ve made, and lived the moments I’ve lived… and I like a lot of who I am. There is a balance to be struck between grieving past trauma, and respecting the woman in the mirror; it’s been a hell of a journey, and we’ve come a long way together. Some of my “best” qualities as a thinking, feeling, reasoning, loving, being are a direct result of my brain injury…so… who am I? Am I my trauma? No. Am I some creation beyond or outside my experiences of trauma? Not that either.

I think I’ll stop throwing away broken porcelain. There is a better way. πŸ™‚

 

It doesn’t come up, here, very often; I am an artist. Inspiration struck me, hard, rather unexpectedly yesterday, to my great delight. Without thinking much about it, I pushed everything else to the side, headed into the studio, and spent the day painting. I’ll spend today painting too, and maybe tomorrow.

This is another side of who I am. Taking care of the woman in the mirror also means nurturing my creative side, and much of what drove me to move into this place was about my artistic needs, more than emotional needs from any other area of life. This weekend, this place pays for itself in freedom to paint; my studio was right here, ready for me when I needed it. πŸ™‚ It is hard to express the level of satisfaction and joy that has resulted from having my studio this weekend.

Over the course of the day, a number of small canvases took shape, and one was completed. I’ll finish (probably) the others today, start a couple others (to be finished tomorrow, probably), and spend the weekend painting, content and in my element. It’s very satisfying. If I didn’t paint, this quantity of inspiration might erupt as photography, poetry, sculpture (of tiny Fimo figures), short-stories, or oddly, tidying up. When inspiration takes hold of my consciousness, I yield to its demands.

I enjoyed a quiet evening with my Traveling Partner, returning from far away places. He has a fond appreciation for my artistic endeavors, and it is likely that aside from a few precious hours visiting and enjoying each other, I’ll have the entire weekend to paint – conveniently, a long weekend. πŸ™‚ I may not find more time to write… I smile and sip my coffee contentedly.

It is another day to paint, to play, to live.

imag8161

I love my friends. In these frightening trying times, watching a great nation descend into fascism is hard enough without people being gloomy 100% of all of the minutes of every day. My friends have adopted the weapons of wit, intellect, and a sense of the ridiculous, to cope with it all. It’s brilliant. I find myself laughing every day – and some days more often than my brow is furrowed with the weight of my concern. I’m no less concerned on the days I am laughing – but I sure do feel “safer”, empowered, and more able to cope with the fear of what may be to come.

Don’t forget to laugh. πŸ™‚ Scary sure, but if there is an element of the ridiculous or unbelievable, there’s probably also a great joke or moment of amusement easily within reach, too. πŸ˜‰ Monsters hate laughter. I plan to keep humorous, insightful programming at the top of my viewing list. There’s a reason shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Last Week Tonight do so well; we need to laugh at our fears. South Park provides a surprisingly astute take on the affairs of the world, too. Our monsters need to be taken to task in the most amusing ways possible.

Then, too, there’s music. Art. “The Arts” are the soul of the resistance – any resistance. No doubt American artists in all fields will be doing some of the most amazing work of their careers over the next 4 years. Enjoy it! Support it! Patreon is a great way for everyday people to also patronize the arts – don’t leave America’s soul to the terrifically wealthy, it also belongs to you.

There is more than what is going on in life, and the world, than our momentary individual fears, doubts, and struggles. We are each having our own experience. We are also all in this together. Again and again, I find that taking the very best care of the woman in the mirror requires that I also do my very best to be the person I most want to be out in the world. Small mirror, big picture. Staying whole and well and emotionally healthy is pretty important for me, myself. I hope not to lose sight of how important it also is for how well I am able to support my family, invest in my community, and support the overall “social wellness” of my country. (If there are “social ills”, there must therefore also be an idea of “social wellness”… right?) I’m just saying – take care of you, too. If the grand freak-out on Facebook, and the depressing heinous fascist bullshit coming from Washington D.C. is wearing you down, take time for you. Chill with a cup of tea. Put the news over there to the side for another time. Breathe. Invest in your own self-care and quality of life. Take care of you. “Put your own oxygen mask on first” is a good basic idea; when we care well for ourselves, we have are more likely to have the resources to also care for others. I’m just saying… pace yourself, it’s going to be a long 4 years. πŸ˜‰

This morning sipping coffee, listening to music, reading the hilariously humorous posts and comments by my very witty friends, and feeling for the moment rather… hopeful. It’s a nice morning. It’s enough. Today is a good day to laugh; our laughter can change the world.