Glorious

Home now, I am savoring bokchoi, Tapada Dos Ganhoes red wine, two kinds of cheese, pitted kalamatas and fresh rosemary peasant loaf dipped in olive oil. Oh heaven.

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The ride back from ShelburneFalls felt dreamlike. To one side of the bridge the skies opened up with hints of pink across the blue sky over the water, looking as though from a Hudson Valley painting. To the left the skies broiled, dark with heavy clouds, spitting intermittent drops my direction. The Asian-tinged melody on the radio complimented the drive perfectly.

I was able to grab the mail and scurry into the house just as the drops began to fall. I am thrilled that once again my plants are nourished by natural means and the lush of spring will continue to come.

My massage from Towner has left me more grounded, feeling physically calmed and rested in a way I haven’t been in quite a while. Thank you thank you; I can’t wait to tell her. For her hands, her attention to my sore body, her time to talk and share our lives with one another. The stories we share with one another are so very important to me.  We seem to connect on truly personal levels, meaningful ones. Genuine. It means a lot and I relish the opportunity.

This… this means so much to me. The muchness is so very rich and vibrant filled with texture, and ease, and laughter and listening. It is a blessing!

Ten Minutes…

I’ve been challenged to sit, for ten minutes a day. Just sit, and be with myself in thought.  Maybe it sounds easy to you, but it wasn’t for me. There are a million other things to do, places to be, go go go, right? Yeah well, the last thing I wanted to be doing was sitting. Still. For ten whole minutes.

That sounds silly. And dumb. And crazy. I can’t find ten minutes to just sit. What the what?!  So I realized I am going a million miles an hour all the time. Just like everyone else in my family.  No time to just be.  I used to do that. It used to be my nature state. No rushing. No ‘hurry up’. Somewhere along the line I lost it.

So I finally did it. Ten whole minutes. It wasn’t bad. I didn’t say a mantra or anything. I didn’t get bored or anxious. Just sat, and thought, and paid attention to the thoughts. Sometimes I found myself writing chore lists in my mind. Then there would be am moment where I would realize it, say nope not doing that, then get back to just being.

Joy came up. How am I seeking it, what feels joyful, can I do more of it, what choices am I making. That was useful. It followed me through the weekend. Should I do this or that, it joyful, will it feel good?  Seemed a good tack to take.

So here it is Monday. I didn’t sit the whole ten minutes. I need to set a timer, be disciplined about it I think. I feel the overdrive motor going already.  Looking forward to yoga much later. Hoping to manage the work space in between.

Anyway, maybe something will come of this ten minute thing. At the very least maybe I will slow the fuck down. I just realized by the time I’m done writing it will be about ten minutes….I wonder if it counts…..

oh doll

That’s what she would have said. I’d tell her about the stress, being threatened with termination, all the stuff with my teeth, the kids not wanting me to sit with them anymore at school events. Everything. I’d start to cry and she’d say “oh doll” in a voice only moms have. She would make me feel loved, cared for, less alone. I feel so alone now. There is a difference without being able to reach out to her. I tell my dad things, but he shifts into being about him. She would just be there. Listening. I miss you mom.

What is passion really?

For as long as I can remember I have sought out one thing…..passion. I know its not a thing, but it begins to feel like as though it is in fact, tangible, then slip through your fingers.

I have had passionate moments. I’m not talking about that kind of passion (though it would be nice if that would stop evading me as well). I have been a passionate metalsmith, painter, and into porcelain pottery making for a while.  But that kind of interest wanes, makes me self conscious about more things in our overly laden things world. I’ve been passionate about doing something useful, with meaning.  I’ve shouted on the state house steps about equal rights, advocating for kids needing to be adopted and artists getting paid for their work instead of being expected to donate it to causes all the time.

For a variety of reasons including surgery, kids and changing jobs, I stopped art making. Not only did I no longer feel any passion about it, I lost all sense of being inspired. Fellow artist friends said ‘just make’ as though that would remedy my malaise. It’s hard for me to force myself to do it. The times I did it was okay, but it was hard to focus. My dad assigned me the task of making an urn for my mom’s ashes. At first I loved the idea, but having not worked at my wheel for a really long time and have a painful shoulder, it became frustrating and anxiety-causing fast. My studio now in a heap in the basement, clay hard and unyielding, I suggested he get an urn somewhere else.

I’ve continued to feel stymied in my daily life.  Is this it? Get up, go through the daily routine of living, go to bed. Really?

I’ve fallen in love with kayaking but when the weather is as bitter as its been here of late, that’s not an option. Getting close to the water does fill me with a kind of peace, joy and excitement and always has.

So I’ve been going to therapy about this. Talking, listening, contemplating. I’ve become more aware, again. It’s like in the Four Agreements where he says we are awake and fall asleep to knowing and go back and forth between these realities. I’m present much more, conscious of how I’m feeling, conscious of how I’m being.

I think it can be easy, at least for me, to be lulled by disenchantment. Lulled by the accepting of this is just how things are. It’s also easy to get lazy and then wonder how the hell I got where I am. Fortunately those times have gotten shorter and shorter and I lean into finding what feels right, better, joyful even.

And so, it finding a moment of spark, opportunity something amazing happened…..

 

Feel All I See

I stared at the bright, swirling light of the full moon and wondered if this is what love felt like.

This was one of the outcomes of a game night of word play with friends. The context of the story is that this is the thought of a young boy, middle school age, sitting upon the roof top above the internment camp where he lives. He stares at the sky with his schizophrenic eyes which see the sky as though a Van Gogh painting; alive with strokes of color, bright flavor-filled light that is his universe. His illness created a playland about him and coupled with synesthesia, he could taste and smell the cornucopia of life about him on the roof and below in the crowded camp.

Towards the end of the story right about when his family is freed from the internment camp he begins a regimen of lithium which all but cures him of his illness and opens a new door.  Now he walks about amazed at the true light of the sky, the actual vibrant colors and textures of the grass beneath his feet, the fabric of his clothes and the ability to feel a different kind of internal love keep from him by the intensity of schizophrenia that had ruled his mind and his body.

I’ve posted it on hitrecord so maybe someone will run with it and flesh out the rest, maybe illustrate it or make an animation of him staring at the night sky.

To feel I deserve

For a long time now I’ve made work whatever I had or found for clothing storage; IKEA shelves, used bookcases with canvas buckets or piles on shelves.  Recently I grew tired of that and began looking at antique stores, second shops and online for stuff someone didn’t want anymore. The more I looked, the less satisfied I became with what I found.

For as long as I could remember most of my furniture has either been bought at a tag sale, at IKEA, or was a piece of IKEA picked up at a tag sale.  My couch is from craigslist, likewise my dining table, bookcases from a factory sale, the breakfast bar found hidden behind the furnace in the basement.  I haven’t really been attached to things, spending my money on food, art, music.

Something has shifted though. Something about deserving. Deserving to have decent things. Wanting something made, cared for, cultivated to a beautiful finish.

A friend took me to a local shop that sold original handcrafted wood furniture. Next thing you know, three hours had passed. My hand ran along carefully made and varnished wood, silken, smooth. I flipped through books of different styles, stains, carved details, varied  heights and number of drawers. I found my way to really wanting, realizing I wouldn’t find anywhere else the vision I had in my head. Two-tone stain, delineating the difference between drawer and frame. Light vs dark, form and substance.

So I bit the bullet and put down a deposit like I hadn’t done for much in my life. Whew, it was intense. I waited, worried if I could afford it, denied I had made such a extravagant purchase. Then out of the blue the call came that it was and when I would I like it delivered.

Not quite what I imagined, it was still stunning. Every time I entire my bedroom I have to touch it. I have something  beautiful made just for me. Nothing else like it. Wow.

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Yours became mine

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Recently I sat on the massage table at the acupuncturist in my community awaiting my turn.  It’s not a private kind of thing, its a place with multiple lazyboys where the folks come in, get their ache-and-pain stories heard, needles put in, and relaxation ensues for about an hour.

Anyway, I’m perched on this table looking around searching for my inner patience (table not chair because for me today my low back is killing me so face down I will go and hope for the best). The typical woo-woo (that’s what my friend Barb calls the kind of crunchy granola new agey stuff we believe in but we know is still a bit out there) music is on. There are two other women in their lazyboys, one eyes closed, the other smiles at me from across the room. I don’t know them and for some reason my ego is so big as to be surprised that I don’t because ‘certainly I know everyone in this town’.

But as I wait, something stops me, takes me elsewhere and it has been in my mind ever since. My eyes fell to my lap, my hands resting. What I saw welled my eyes with tears and my ears with the sound of her voice. My hands. My hands have become my mother’s hands.

Wrinkled, soft skin, her ring on my pinky finger since she passed away in August. As a child I liked to touch her hands, feel the squishy Irish skin, fascinated how it moved and was warm when I touched it. It was so curious to me, not understanding the construction or why it didn’t hurt when I seemed to move her veins around.

And suddenly they became mine…soft, wrinkly, squishy veins and all. I was filled with missing her, her voice calling me Doll, laughing about things together, holding those hands in my mind like I had done right up until she died. Each day now they remind me of you, us, and the moments that were only ours.