Archives for posts with tag: storms pass

Good flight, so far. Lots of storms. Lightening. Beautiful. I entertain myself shooting video clips of lightening in the distance as it illuminates the clouds. The sky is “already ” beginning to show signs of the coming dawn. My brain feels confused by that; the clock says 01:14. Soon we’ll land, and upon reconnecting, it’ll be 3 hours “into the future”.

I haven’t slept. Although I often doze on long flights, it’s rare that I actually sleep deeply or restfully. I didn’t expect to. I dozed a couple times. 20-30 minute catnaps, nothing more. I will nap in the hotel, after check-in.

… time passes…

It’s evening, now. Almost 18:00. Florida “has thick air” – dense, still, humid. There has been a hint of coming storms in the air here, all day. The storms over the midwest seem to have followed me here. lol I turn off the A/C in the room. Shut off the lights as night falls. I shoot a few videos. Reliably the most “dramatic” and eye-catching lightening immediately precedes turning on the video, or quickly follows turning it off. LOL Timing matters.

I sit quietly, entertained by “nature’s lightshow”. The heaviest of the drenching rain has moved on, but the lightening persists. There was a balcony light on for a while. It’s off now. Timers? My footage would have been much better without that fucking balcony light. I stop writing for a few minutes and just watch, listen, and breathe. My cell phone is on the charger; no video right now. LOL Timing matters.

City lights in the distance seem to sparkle. Cars move along roadways. It all seems so… “fancy”. I feel lucky to see it; there are very few thunderstorms where I live.

I was so wiped out from traveling that once I checked into the hotel, and got sorted out for where things are located (like the convention I’m actually here for), I crashed hard and napped for a couple hours. Got up. Showered. Went and checked-in to the conference itself. Had another nap. Roused myself and attended the evening conference “mixer” – just a meet-n-greet of various professionals attending, and the folks who are hosting the whole thing. It was pleasant enough, I supposed. Not so much my thing, personally, but I was tickled to run into a couple folks I know from elsewhere: a former colleague, folks I’ve met previously through vendor partnerships when I was employed other places. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Once it was clear the socializing was beginning to turn into “partying”, I made a gracious exit and returned to my room, delicious but unfinished Mai Tai still in my hand. Those are fucking strong. I have one last sip as I enter my room, and put the rest in the mini fridge. (I probably won’t finish it; that’s a lot of alcohol for me, and I rarely drink.) Tasty. Too much. Like travel and conferences. LOL

The thunder rolls on. An hour ago I was unbelievably sleepy again… now, less so. I’m captivated by the lightening, and spellbound by the thunder. I’m missing my Traveling Partner. We chatted awhile, a bit ago, before the thunderstorm started. Soon, sleep, but for now, I’m just sitting here with a glass of water, enjoying this thunderstorm. 😀 …This too shall pass. Storms do. Impermanence demonstrated. I sit with that metaphor, sipping my water.

Soon enough, it’ll be a new day, and time to begin again.

It’s a true thing, is it not, that storms pass? That change is? That impermanence is a durable characteristic of this human experience? Well, in my own experience it sure seems to be the case that all those things are true. This morning, I woke to an entirely different experience than yesterday morning – to be fair, it is an entirely different day.

My black mood yesterday morning didn’t even last to lunch time. My refusal to take it personally, catastrophize it, spend all day root-causing the emotions, or to give up on myself (and the day), paid off. The turning point was twofold; my traveling partner reminded me that having yielded to the need to take more robust steps to manage my pain (an Rx pain reliever) for a couple of days and then… not, most likely resulted in having to slog through ‘the down’. Withdrawal symptoms, however mild, however transitory, totally suck – and I reliably fail to remember right away that I am at risk, particularly complicated by my limited executive function in the area of emotional regulation. The other turning point was a matter of human connection and intellectual distraction in the form of a new neighbor interested in my art work. Inviting him in to take a look at my work, talk it over, (and discuss a possible commission as it turned out) put my issues of the morning to rest, and left me feeling excited to be alive…and something else that I couldn’t quite place, but felt very good.

As the morning developed that ‘something else’ developed too, and as I was chatting with my traveling partner, it developed further still… a certain pleasant tension in the background of my emotional experience, an eagerness… something lost felt found… I wanted very much to paint. I paced a bit more, and fussed over the idea. I found myself having this peculiar inner dialogue about ‘not painting from this place’, and feeling as if I had ‘always painted from the positive’… but… as I considered it this was recognizably not the case. I looked at other work. Other times in my life. I have quite a lot right here to look at… I clearly paint mood pieces from any number of deep dark vile places, and quite a lot of my work bears the stamp of emotions other than joy, contentment, happiness, love, desire, eagerness… It’s true. I have paintings with titles like “Portrait of the Artist’s Tears”, “Anxiety” and “Broken”… definitely not ‘painted from the positive’… so what is this line of bullshit, and where is it coming from?

"Anxiety"  10" x 14" - and she feels much bigger than that, generally.

“Anxiety” 10″ x 14″ – and she feels much bigger than that, generally.

I decided that was less important than being who I am, authentic, inspired, and grounded in all the things that are real about my experience – regardless of positive or negative. Painters paint. The studio is ready. What more do I need?

I let my traveling partner know I would likely be difficult to reach for the weekend; we coordinated plans for later. I updated my calendar with considerable excitement, “Artist @ Work”. I spent the remainder of the day in the studio.

As yet untitled, 16" x 16" acrylic on canvas w/glow.

As yet untitled, 16″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas w/glow, one of three new pieces painted yesterday.

I woke up this morning in a very different place as a human being, feeling content, feeling comfortable in my own skin, feeling confident that ‘things work out’ and that ‘things are okay’, and looking out on the gray morning sky with a certain something… a hard to describe piece of my experience of self clicked into place quite comfortably without force in this new space, in way it hadn’t quite done at #27, or the shared living arrangement prior to that. I had welcomed myself home.

I initially woke up early, around 2 am, thinking it was 5 am… and without my glasses, in the dim light, the clock certainly seemed to say it was 5 am… a good time to get up, although… Saturday. I could sleep in… I went back to bed, thinking I’d doze for another hour at best, and on checking the clock again and understanding the early hour at that point, crashed out content to just sleep and confident I would. It was a nice feeling, and I woke feeling rested and quite pleasantly human some hours later… properly at 5 am. 🙂 I took my coffee with me to a seat at the patio door, on my meditation cushion, and watched the dawn develop under gray skies, listening to birdsong, and watching the red-wing blackbirds come and go, their cheery bold ‘chirp!’ letting everyone know it is breakfast time. I sipped my coffee awhile. Meditated awhile longer. Moved on to yoga afterward. I’ll finish this up shortly with a rather futile swipe at spell checking it; I’ll catch what I missed later today, I’m sure. Then? A walk in the morning air before returning to have a bite of breakfast and consider yesterday’s new work, and what I might do in the studio today. This feels so good!

A soft rain begins to fall. I smile. My traveling partner pings me a good morning from his place. The day begins. It’s enough – it’s more than enough. Today is a good day to be here, to be content with what is, and to enjoy this moment. Yeah. Definitely enough. 🙂

Yesterday wasn’t so bad. It was cold, yes. My day started poorly, it’s true. I spent much of the day feeling irritable and fussy with bullshit that threatened to become drama, but managed to keep it contained until it passed, like any storm. One of the things that made yesterday achieve an unexpected ‘not so bad’ evaluation was that in spite of the bitterly cold weather, and the biting winds, and freezing rain, I was warm and dry – and comfortable. All the nagging my Mom, my Granny, and my traveling partner did finally paid off; I dressed appropriately for the weather. 🙂 Yep, a moment of inspiration found me while I was dressing, and I pulled on my hiking base layer before I put on jeans and a sweater, and later a raincoat and gloves. I was pretty comfortable getting to work, and I was dry when I arrived. I spent the day in the office in comfort, too, and the walk home wasn’t bad, either.

I made a good choice to take care of me, and found that doing so changed the quality of my day, entirely.

Disappointing as storms go, but cold enough to warn of winter days to come.

Disappointing as storms go, but cold enough to warn of winter days to come.

One important lesson on this very individual journey of discovery is how much it can matter to make small choices well – like choosing to wear appropriately warm clothing on a cold day; the quality of my overall experience rests on the outcome of many small choices.

I found myself musing about my other metaphorical ‘base layers’; meditation, yoga, good sleep, drinking enough water, appropriate nutrition, and regular exercise. When I follow through on these details with commitment to myself, and to my long-term health and well-being, I am so much more easily able to manage the other details, like clear communication of boundaries and good expectation setting, getting everyday chores done, being on-time with all manner of tasks at work and at home, and able to maintain a balanced state of general – and genuine – contentment. It isn’t that I couldn’t find my way to living well and skillfully if I didn’t meditate, or that I would never be fit and healthy without the yoga; perhaps I might even learn to maintain good mood management without good sleep and appropriate nutrition if only I studied and practiced the right other stuff… I’m just saying, nailing these basics day in and day out really makes all the rest that much easier. I’m not lecturing; this is my own experience of what is working for me.

An autumn rose, after the first freeze.

An autumn rose, after the first freeze.

The Big 5 are a very big deal for my relationships: Respect, Reciprocity, Consideration, Compassion, and Openness. My personal cornerstones for good living are valuable in my day to day experience, too: Mindfulness, Perspective and Sufficiency. This fragile vessel is still pretty obviously a physical mammalian primate being…The Big 5 and those cornerstone concepts don’t amount to much if this body breaks down beyond repair; many of the parts are not replaceable. Aging has some pretty uncomfortable and annoying moments, and it isn’t possible to halt the forward progress of time, yet, and taking care of the physical me with the same loving attention to detail that I take care of the not-so-physical me matters for day-to-day comfort as a human being. Yes, it’s a lot to manage all at once; we’re pretty special creatures to be able to do so with such ease – or to choose not to with such force of will. More choices, more verbs.

Today is a good day for a base layer. Today is a good day to dress for the weather. Today is a good day to take care of me with great skill and affection; I spend all my time with me, and it makes sense to treat me well along the journey (I’m much less fun when I’m treated poorly). Today is a good day to smile in the mirror. Today is a good day to explore the connection between basic physical comfort, and general enjoyment in life. Today is a good day to enjoy winter, enjoy me, and enjoy the world.