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Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Holiday Poem


What?! No tantrums, grumbling, thumping, and crying?
No eyes rolled, toys thrown, grandparents sighing?
What would we do, with gratitude brimming?
Shining, blinking, sparkling trimming.
Oh, no, we can't have such thankfulness glowing.
There are tempers flaring and showing!
Run, I say! Fun, you must!
Put aside your lusty lust!

The holy days have come up.
Fill your plate and top your cup!
Gather, make merry, give kisses and hugs,
Put away all of those apathetic shrugs.
Dream, play, laugh, build, warm, and have mirth!
We are celebrating the return of the sun and our birth.
For, we as a people, are joined by the Goddess as one --
Whether we be Christian, Pagan, Witch, daughter or son.

I put out my hand to bring your's toward the circle,
For we all walk the spiral-- whirling and dancing, eternal.
When we're injured we bleed ruby red pennies and dust.
There's so much about us alike, we can trust,
That each has the other's best interests at heart,
Whether green-eyed or brown, right at the start.
We don't need to bicker, barter, or fight,
It doesn't matter which one is right.

The holy of holies has come,
Can you not hear the beat of the drum?
It matters not which name we give to our One,
Nor titles or rituals, short, long, boring or fun.
What matters is respect, joy, kith, kinship, and kin.
You don't buy it, or make it, you find it within.
It lives in your heart, your spirit, and soul.
Its there for us, always, each -- one and ALL!

For, we are far more alike than we are a'part,
Let this season help us to make a new start!
Bring to it your best, your love, and your strength,
For we will all travel-- trudge long and at length.
But, at the end of our journeys we'll find,
Each other, one heart, one soul, and one mind.
Will you walk with me now, my sister and brother?
Come, let us chat, understand, and know one another.

I wish you many, many blessings, no matter your tradition, holiday, ritual, or religion! 
Michele

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Point of Focus

Maybe I'm alone in this particular situation, but I'll put it out there and see.....

Most of my life is fabulous: I have amazingly wonderful grandchildren who I can't imagine loving more than I do. I have a job that is a dream -- it challenges me, entertains me, and allows me to interact with others. I have a partner of 26 years who has been so unbelievably steady in his loyalty to us that it shocks me. My brain is clear and quick. There are close, intimate friends who support me. I could go on and on, but you get the point...

I have one area of my life that is a thorough mess...an adult child with an addiction. Addiction is a cruel disease, one that steals what little humanity we possess. Addiction dehumanizes us to the point of constant pursuit of our basest desires....MORE, at ANY cost. We steal, lie, cheat, manipulate, etc. There are no depths to which we will not sink. Cliche, I know. But, true, nevertheless.

And, that one pinpoint area of my life eats up more of my energy, sucks the blood from my marrow, drains my literal soul. No, I'm not exaggerating. Those people whose lives have contained addiction, I imagine, will know the truth about it.

Its incredible to me when people say things like:
"You have to accept that you have no control over [them]." -- I DO accept it. It doesn't relieve my worry. I long ago learned that the only person I can control is me, and I sometimes struggle with that.

"You know what [addiction is] like." -- Yes. I do. How in the world would my intimate, personal knowledge of addiction IN ANY WAY help relieve me of concern for my child? Do people think before they speak, at all?

"Give it up to your [higher power]." -- Again, I recognize that there is a plan for everyone. I also recognize that we have free will. Our free will often doesn't take us on the travels intended by the plan. I don't know who your deity is, but I don't believe that mine intends for people to unduly suffer, debase themselves, and hurt others in pursuit of addiction. The synthesis of pharmaceutical grade drugs, by the way, was manufactured by HUMANS. No, I don't think that a higher power granted us that clever ability. No, I don't think that my Goddess intentionally punishes for (or with) diseases.

We can have a difference of opinion. Its my blog, so (of course) the opinion, here, will be mine.

I believe that my Goddess provides me with opportunities. If I'm aware and conscious and paying attention, I recognize those opportunities for what they are....paths to my intended destination. But, I can always choose NOT to see/take them. Then, my road becomes winding and difficult, in my experience.

I'm not fool, liar, or idiot. My selfdom isn't so large that I believe I have a direct line to the Divine. I don't fancy myself 'ascended master' or other ego-based lunacy. I do not believe that my Goddess speaks directly to me, nor that She pushes me in any one direction. When I call to Her for assistance, it is the Universal Energy that I seek to focus my personal intent. And, in response, I'm provided choices. Some good, some not.

But, I can return to the path, any time I choose. However, the further I get from the path, the more complicated it is to find my way back.

I teach psychology. I can quote, all day long, about why our brains are more impacted by trauma and negativity than by positive experience due to the flood of neurotransmitters released. (This is also why we're far more likely to remember nightmares that pleasant dreams.)

I read neurological research. I know all about the addictive process in the brain, what it does, what we know, and how it impacts learning, thought, and behavior.

No amount of knowledge helps to alleviate, nor shrink, that growing pinpoint area of discomfort. If you have a solution, I'm listening.

WHY do I have such a very hard time trying to prevent the singular problem area (yes, I have other 'problems' but they are of little or no consequence to me) from stealing all my attention?

Of course, the REAL question is: WHY ME? WHY THIS? WHY ANYONE? 

Addiction is a foul disease that I would venture (if we had the ability to look at true statistics) is as costly and damaging to society, and causes as many deaths as cancer. Yet, it gets nearly no attention, because our society still considers it a weakness of character or will.

WAKE UP! Please...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving with Gratitude

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I have a request. If you don't do it, nothing bad will happen. They are just suggestions, things that have worked beautifully for me in my own life. If you don't, my feelings won't be hurt, no tragedy will occur, you won't be cursed.

First, WATCH THIS:

Then, TRY THIS:

1. Do what is suggested in the video -- write a paragraph or two (or more) about someone who has inspired you. Then, call them and read it to them, or mail it to them, or post it as your status and tag them in it. If that person is gone, read it to someone who knew them or write a tribute to them and post it on Twitter. Be creative.

2. Please make yourself a gratitude list today. Write it down, somewhere big and clear. Then, put it somewhere where you will look at it every single day, several times a day.....like on a post-it note on your laptop screen, refrigerator door, or in your wallet. (I usually put the post-it on my cell phone screen so I have to look at it and move it every time my cell beeps.) PLEASE take it with you if you go shopping this weekend. 

3. Smile at every person you meet for the week. Say hello.

4. Look for the opportunity to help people with no benefit to you. Yes, I said that. If at all possible, the helping should be anonymous. Don't tell anyone. No one should know that you've done something nice for someone else but you. Donate some clothing to a Planet Aid box. Buy the coffee of the person behind you in line. Take some blankets to an area you know the homeless congregate. Send a gift card with a gift receipt to someone you know is struggling.

Whenever I do this, I'm smiling all day.

This morning, I woke up to find that my unruly dogs had eaten the entire loaf of homemade bread that I spent 3 hours making, last night. Am I disappointed? Yes. But, before that happened, I woke up in the arms of the same man that I've been with for 26 years, warm in a bed with blankets in a house with enough heat. After that, I made coffee that is hot & fragrant. I sipped that coffee while watching this video. I read dozens of Facebook posts from friends & family who are counting their blessings & wishing well to others.

My life is rich. Blessed be you all.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Those Little Moments


This is the first Saturday in a long time that I've had the luxury of sitting for a bit with my coffee, catching up on Facebook, and reading the news. I work Monday through Friday, and for the recent month, long 13 and 14 hour days. I'm not complaining. I love my job, but it does make the weekends quite busy. Usually, my Saturday errands began before 7 am and end late afternoon. By then, I have home chores, and a standing Saturday night commitment to get ready for and attend. No more Saturday.

Sunday, I sometimes am committed to my spiritual group. Other times, I try to fit in time with my husband, or another person to whom I owe my presence. I know that sounds a little snippy, or egotistical, but isn't it the truth?

When it comes down to it, the only thing we can truly offer another person is our time, our presence.

And, truth be told, mine is feeling a bit minimal, lately. My schedule will ease up in a few more weeks after registration wanes and the semester ends, term papers are graded and final grades submitted. Until then, I've settled into the understanding that my life will be busy and I'll need to get enough sleep to accommodate the extra and take care of myself in a kind way.

Thank goodness I've come to that!

I used to keep pushing and running and white-knuckling my way through life, burning the candle at both ends with a misguided belief that I'm invincible, immortal, and unbreakable. Huh. WRONG.

Today, I have a a little more respect for my body and its limitations. Its a miraculous thing, but it needs to be loved.

What are you doing to care for yourself, today? I'm savoring my coffee and the small moment of quiet before everyone else stirs, the house gets chaotic, and I have things to do.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm one of those...

Self-knowledge avails me of nothing. Yep. I said it. The human services teacher and professional. Its true, at least in my life. Awareness, alone, does nothing unless it is paired with action. I'm sure some of my colleagues will be jumping up and down, demanding that I retract the statement, but I won't.

I am a person who has difficulty with excess. Sometimes, I explain to people that I am, in fact, a true addict. In other words, if I find any activity pleasurable, I will pursue it to the ends of the earth. I will abuse it. I will make myself sick with it. No, no amount of will power will save me. No amount of singular knowledge will improve my circumstance. I believe, and the newest research seems to confirm, that there is something different about the wiring of the pleasure centers of my brain -- they are overactive, overstimulated, and they create a craving that is undeniable. No, its not about willpower. Its about chemistry, and neurology, and genetics.

You see, I actually come from a very long line of people who are as compulsive and excessive as me. They have wrought havoc in their small parts of the world, pursuing addictions (yes, that is the word for the excessive pursuit of pleasure) to the tune of disjointed families and damaged children. They've destroyed promising careers and businesses, wrecked above average brains, been imprisoned, and died prematurely. Some of them did minimal damage in their compulsive obsessions, creating morbid obesity and concurrent health issues related to that state. Some drank alcohol or smoked pot only at home, devastating the family income and relationships, but doing little damage outside the house. Most took their insanity into their communities, causing a range of injury to self and others.

I'm no different than any of them. In my pursuit of substances, I punished my family for imagined violations of my carefully crafted, anal-retentive plan to make the outside believe that we were the epitome of normalcy. I was cruel to an extent that thoroughly shames me, but hasn't entirely left me. There were jobs and houses lost, careers and educational paths abandoned, cars totaled, and so many more things. My particular brand of pleasure: numbness. Emotions overwhelm me. They can be painful and unpleasant. I don't like unpleasant sensations. Being a hedonist to the extreme, I seek pleasure. My flavors of pleasure vary and include a wide variety of experiences that some may consider painful, but pain brings numbness, too. In fact, all things in excess eventually create numb. Numb is, in my brain, the ultimate pleasure -- the complete absence of sensation. And, I can make it happen via most roads.

You can, in fact, eat until you are numb. I've proven this. I've eaten in a pattern that can be described as nothing short of a frenzy until I was blissfully empty and absent, unaware of my surroundings, or operating in such a foggy state, that my behaviors were automatic and dead. This is the state of oblivion that I desire above all else. And, the roads to this state are so many -- lust, shopping, relationships, exercise, knowledge, exhaustion, reading, fantasy, spirituality, drugs & alcohol. Oh, yes. Positive things, in excess, are not positive anymore. Restricting your diet to the point of starvation is not healthy. Exercising to the point of physical injury is clearly misguided. Reading for days, devoid of sleep or food, is specious at best. Avoiding sleep for any cause for 72 or more hours is unquestionably unsound. Working incessantly, beyond the level of reward or incentive, is truly foolish. But, I am guilty of all of these.

And, it always, always begins with the craving. Something in my brain tells me that I am in a state that is unpleasant -- boredom, anxiety, discomfort, stress -- and that tiny inkling of craving begins. Its like an itch that is in the one place that you cannot reach, cannot describe, and no amount of pretzeling your body makes it accessible.

And, it gnaws at you, like a little mouse in the corner of your belly, or the soft part of your brain. It gnaws. And, it keeps gnawing. It never sleeps. It moves and scurries and stirs and bites, and you bleed. One little mouse begets more little mice. They spread from one end of your body to the next.

Eventually, the hole becomes so large that the pain is intolerable. You can no longer bear the blood loss. You're anemic with it. Your head begins to spin. You're dizzy and unable to focus. You can think of nothing but the pain, the craving. The sensation of panic begins to spread through your nervous system as if you were confronted by a hungry lion.

And, with the panic, comes the shame. You should be able to manage this. You should be stronger. You're throwing all of your hard work away. How dare you squander what you have? Why would you do this, again? And, all the while, the little mice chew and chew and chew and chew until the pressure becomes so unmanageable that you do the thing you know will make it go away.

You do it and do it and do it until bliss comes and goes and emptiness follows. And, there you sit, devoid of any human expression. And, you are happy, for about a moment.

Then, the shame comes, anew. And it spreads. And the little mouse wakes up, where its hidden in its little corner.

And, the whole thing begins again.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Valuing of Human Experience

I was sitting in a day-long training on Friday and a concept that had been floating around the periphery of my brain suddenly fell into clear relief. But, let me go back a bit:

The training was for lay persons on how to recognize and respond to suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, and (in a very limited way) addiction. I expected to be thoroughly bored, having been trained and educated countless times on these same basic concepts; and teaching most of them in my own classroom.

Instead, I was quite engaged. The two gentlemen who conducted the training were dynamic and interesting speakers.** But, more than that, as a connected concept often does, it triggered some existing ideas to gather and gel.

It has always been my belief that, as a culture, Americans have an odd way of looking at things --

  • if you cry, you're weak
  • it is your responsibility to pull yourself up 'by the bootstraps' and move forward
  • people with addiction, anxiety, or depression CHOOSE to be that way; if they just got up and DID something, they'd be fine, because its not really a disease
  • the strong survive while the weak do (and should) perish
  • people who are victims are somehow responsible for their victimization
I inwardly cringe every time I see those awful Facebook memes that tell you to just 'keep going' as if your experience means nothing. They say that you must become a 'survivor' instead of a 'victim,' 'powerful' instead of 'empowered.' Why? In our society, we blame the victim and glamorize the perpetrator. It is more important to be powerful than to be kind. Again, I ask why?

And, I realized, in a short moment that this has all come about because we grossly devalue our present, human experience. We're taught to live so thoroughly in the world of the future, planning for and moving toward imagined and yet unimagined goals, always ten (or two hundred) steps ahead; that we've become completely detached from our own experience. When we're victimized, injured, or otherwise hurt, we race to call ourselves 'survivors' by transcending this experience, distracting ourselves, and disregarding it. Why? 

EVERY experience forms us as people. We aren't formed only by those experiences by which we were successful, or those which are pleasurable. Research does, in fact, indicate that we are more highly impacted by those things that are challenging. Our society, as a course of its future-orientation, has created a world in which any and all life transitions are seen as merely inconsequential steps on the rung of the ladder which always climbs into the sky, beyond our sight, until the day of our death. 

Don't misunderstand. In no way do I suggest that we have no goals in life. Goals give us direction and allow us to determine our current behavior and path. Goals can be good. But, we aren't all goals. Our conscious cannot constantly live in the future and allow us to be healthy and well. When we devalue our current experience, several things happen:

  • we will repeat the same errors because we've failed to learn the lessons associated with them, therefore, plunging headlong into the abyss, time and time again. (If you disagree with me on this, I'll show you any person who cannot maintain a job, relationship, etc...If we look closely, there will be common patterns and themes in their lives that impact them, repeatedly, and unconsciously, always undermining their progress without their awareness.)
  • we will have a consistent sense of discontent, discomfort, and inferiority, because we've not taken the time to celebrate and grieve the transitional parts of life -- all transitions hold both positive and negative aspects which deserve equal attention
  • as a society, we will behave in ways that demonstrate a lack of compassion, because our belief is that we must move continually forward without rest; that those who do rest are weak, foolish, or without value and should be left behind, labeled as 'lazy' and undeserving
  • we will glamorize aspects of human behavior that we also punish (ie: violence, drug dealing, sexual deviance, etc.)
These things are so prevalent in our society and cultural norms that I'm saddened by them. I advocate for the following alternative:
  • celebrate and grieve all life transitions, no matter how small. Take note of the inherent difficulty in moving from one expectation to the next. Find a circle of people to do this with you. There are lovely, but relatively unknown, movements in society who are trying to recapture this. The Red Tent leaps to mind. 
  • try to be 'in the moment' whenever possible. Honor and recognize your own experience in this life. You are valuable. Feel what is. Allow yourself permission to process what is happening. 
  • Educate and explain to others what you are aiming to do, so that they may critically consider this approach. 

But, most of all, live in a way that allows you to feel whole, complete, and present. Isn't that the point of it all? I will not race for the future so that my present is nothing but a blur. I will live where I am, a resident of my own mind, body, emotion, and soul, in the moment in which I stand. 

Blessed Be. 





**Please check out their organization. It is a worthy and valuable cause. If you need a seminar done on any of their topics, I would recommend them. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sea Hag


Mythos and the elements have been extremely heavy on my mind, lately. And, I've only really wanted to paint aspects of the elements which exist in popular myth. The canvas, this time, gathers the Sea Hag...


Sea Hag stories range from the Old World to the New...New Haven, CT, in fact, has quite a local history of their own sea hag. For them, the hag is a spectre that draws unsuspecting sailors to their death, pretending to be a damsel in distress upon the rocks. When the ships draw in to save her, they perish upon the jetty. 

The Celtic deity, the Morrighan, was said to appear as a crone, washing clothes in the river. The clothes she was washing would be those of the soldier about to die in battle. 

The Welsh had the Muilerteach, or the water hag. She was, in this persona, the goddess of the sea, but -- more so -- a personification of the sea, itself. Scottish mariners were quite frightened of her and often made sacrifices of their catch as tribute. 

And, of course, we know the stories of the Greek Sirens -- creatures with beautiful voices, who appeared to be stunning women, but were actually man-eating beasts. 

And, how could we leave out the Mermaid -- half fish, half woman. The sea creature who is often portrayed in art as beautiful and pale skinned. Unlikely. We all know what happens to our fingers and toes when we stay in the bath too long! I suspect the mermaid would be far more like a translucent ethereal being than a woman, but who am I to guess?

What does all of this tell me about my pondering and swiping of the brush on the canvas -- another side to water has become awakened for me. The dangerous side. The deadly side. The ancient side. Water holds the last truly unexplored place on our planet in its depths. The utter truth is that we do not know what it hides in the places we cannot go. 

The femme fatale lives in the depths -- a woman untamed, purely instinctual, entirely elemental, incredibly self-sustaining, dangerous, capable -- a FORCE of nature. This is what the Sea Hag represents for me. This beautiful, fearsome creature that does as she wills, with no regard. She is a part of me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Own Misery

Its a sobering moment to realize:

As an adult (without exception), every single time I experienced misery in my life, it was the result of a very few situations:
1. My own making (IE: I would do things that inadvertently set up difficult situations for myself. Common cliches: Slashing Peter to benefit Paul. I don't have a choice.). For instance, I would sabotage opportunities. When I had a new job, I would select unreliable people to babysit, ensuring that I'd miss time from work. Before people start doing that thing, "Well I only have so many options" blah, blah -- that's just not true. I had unlimited options. I wanted to not pay the money for a licensed day care, so I paid other people (family members, really) to watch the kids. I made my own problems through my choices. 
2. The inability to get out of my own way (IE: Doing the same things that have never brought desired results, but continuing to do them anyway. Lots of colloquialisms apply here: Its the way I've ALWAYS done it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Can't see the forest for the trees.). I don't keep it a secret that I'm a person in recovery. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I drank too much at a work function, the night before an important event, or to manage anxiety over some perceived deficit. 
3. My own perceptions (IE: Blaming people, circumstances, or anything outside of myself for my experience. Applicable platitude: Its all YOUR fault. The whole world's against me. I've got no luck.). Every time that I've thrown my hands up in the air in my life and cried about not being able to catch a break, it was my own perceptions that created obstacles. I was having a bad day because the coffee maker was broken, the alarm clock didn't go off, or that jerk cut me off on the way to work. 

Fortunately, I know (today) that none of these things are valid. I make every choice in my life. If I make a bad one, I'm responsible for the results and consequences. If I recognize that my way isn't the only way, I can seek other's advice and counsel when I can't see my way out of a situation, or I cannot come up with a solution. If I practice personal accountability, I know that I'm responsible for my own perceptions, values, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. I can CHOOSE how I want to react in every circumstance. Sometimes, things break or don't work, and other people do things that affect me. I can always choose how and whether I internalize that event. Therefore, I can decide how I allow it to affect me. 

I am no victim. I am a powerful being who can direct my own life. Sometimes, things will happen TO me; but, how I respond is 100% my decision. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Integration

I spent years struggling to accept my own duality. Once I realized that all parts of me -- opposite and alike --are equally important and valid, I then had to accept that other people also had the capacity for extreme polarity. This was a bit more difficult. But, I muddled through it, just the same. Hadn't I lived that experience most of my life? My husband, who is one of the gentlest people I know, can also be one of the most fiery. His extremes have been part of my reality for more than a quarter of a century. Haven't I verbalized them dozens, or hundreds, of times? Of course, I have.

So, I fought my way to this place of understanding -- that all people have the capacity for great joy and great hatred, incredible kindness and incredible cruelty. We ALL have that within us. This is a truth that I can accept. 

Then, as wisdom does, 
                                                  it deepened...


                                                                                                                    ...and, it changed. 

In a moment of "A HA!" a little over a week ago, I began to understand this truth in a different way.....there is NO duality. I am WHOLE. Every aspect of me is but an ability, an inkling, an inspiration, a tiny spark of energy without the motivation of movement. What I bring into the world is a CHOICE, a force of will -- sometimes conscious, sometimes Divinely inspired, but always mine. 

I am wired as I am to learn what I must in this lifetime -- I believe that with absolute conviction. I do not believe this is my first time on this earth as a human, nor is it likely my last. (I certainly don't herald myself an ascended master, so to speak, nor fool myself into believing that I've learned all I must in this experience.)

Instead, I've finally reached a place where I recognize that I have become HOME to myself. No matter my physical state, geographic location, emotional sense, I am always HOME. For the very first time in my life, I feel as if I belong inside my skin. I FIT. Powerful words. Engaging perspective.

Blessed be.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Pause

I've been on pause, lately, when it comes to my painting. I have 3 blank canvas up on my easels and 1 incomplete painting on a table. And............................................NOTHING's happening.

That's it.

Nothing.

Nada.

Zilch.

None.

Zip.

The 1 in the works isn't moving and the empties are showing nothing.

I have one large canvas that I must finish before the 3rd week of this month for an upcoming wedding. Today, I looked at it. And, felt uninterested.

Why does this happen? This lapse in creative focus? I have had lots of times before when I was diverted by some other form of creativity....the kind where I'm gardening or sewing or teaching. But, right now, I'm not doing any of those things.

In fact, it took me a while of sitting on the floor, staring at the blank canvas before I figured it out.
........................ I'm MANIFESTING.

Yep.

All of my current creative forces are in the process of manifesting for me a job that meets my needs. My 1st interview was last week. I had such lovely positive energy from so many folks. My second interview is Monday. My juicy creative passion is very focused on manifesting a full-time job that I will enjoy for myself, with benefits to take care of the few nagging health issues that I've been having (no need for concern -- they're more annoying than anything else). And, some dental things that could use some preventative function are in my mind, also.

Sometimes, I envision what I want through my painting. This time, I am focused on my inner vision rather than anything external.

I don't have to paint every waking moment. I don't need to paint every day, or every week, or even every month. But, after a bit of focus on other things, the painter inside me beckons me back. My muse is gentle at first. But, swiftly, she becomes a screaming banshee, demanding my attention, a brush in my hand and paint under my nails. I abide her.

So, for now, I'll just breathe within my break. The muse will come again. And, she's likely to be as wickedly domineering as usual. I will enjoy the pause.

Blessed be.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mixed Media, Expansion, Play and Real Artistry

I do believe my beautiful blue lady has found a finished place. Its not uncommon that a painting sits on a stand or an easel for months while I contemplate whether its finished with me.

Often, they feel done, but upon later inspection, they're not.

Sometimes, they call for new details, new pieces, new directions.

Sometimes, I paint over them and start anew.

This lovely lady just wouldn't let me be. Each time she seemed to be done, she called for more and more.

She just wasn't content in her mixed paints (acrylic, metallic, clear glue).

Instead, like her namesake, she wanted something special. So, special she did get...

Tiny, pink jewels create warrior paint on her lovely face.

The mythic Mother Goddess of the Tuatha De Danann certainly deserves nothing less than shine and sparkle. Metallic paint in highlighted areas, tiny jewels, glitter and clear glue offer a glow that appears under indirect lighting.

Arguably, the most ancient of the Celtic Goddesses, Danu is sometimes interpreted as both god and goddess, or the universal or complete Divine source. A goddess associated with the element of water (perhaps in connection with the Danube), art, craftsmanship, and creativity, she is quite right for those elements of change and transformation that continue to pop up in my own life.

Although, perhaps 'change' is too strong a word. Expansion would be more apropos, I think. There have been many opportunities for me to expand my awareness, my practice, and my personal life. My Danu is a prime example. At some point, probably in a middle school art class, I developed the thought that mixed media was somehow substandard and that 'real' artists only used oils. Now, I dislike oils as a medium. I always have. Perhaps, this is why I lost my painting practice all together for more than 20 years.

Recently, I've been experimenting more and more with mixed media in a very humble way. I add shapes and objects (fabric, plastic, and other materials), gems and glitter-based products, metallic paint to my typical mix of sharpie pen drawings and acrylic paints. I've been removing canvas from its stretchers and dry mounting and framing (something I would've never done in the past).

In other words, I've returned to a place of expansion -- where I can play and not worry about destroying a piece. Gesso does cover all ills. Well, most. And, what it doesn't cover, leaves interesting texture, for certain. Somewhere along my path, I'd forgotten how to play. I'm remembering. I don't know if I'd consider myself an artist. I'm just someone who uses paint to express herself. So, define that however you wish. In the interim, I'm just going to call it playing with paint and other things. And, I'm going to do it as long as its fun.

I'll leave you with a little verse from The Book of Leinster (1150 AD) telling the story of the Tuatha De Danann and how they came to Ireland:
"Ireland with pride, with weapons, hosts spread over her ancient plain, westward to the sunset were they plunderers, her chieftains of destruction around Temair. 30 years after Genann goblin hosts took the fertile land; a blow to the vanquished People of Bags was the visit of the Tuatha De Danann.

It is God who suffered them, though He restrained them -- they landed with horror, with lofty deed, in their cloud of mighty combat of spectres, upon a mountain of Conmaicne of Connacht. 

Without distinction to discerning Ireland, without ships, a ruthless course the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars, whether they were of heaven or of earth. If it were diabolic demons the black-cloaked agitating expedition, it was sound with ranks, with hosts: if of men, it was the progeny of Bethach. 

Of men belonging to law the freeborn who has the strong seed: Bethach, a swift warrior-island son of Iarbonel son of Nemed. 

They cast no assembly or justice about the place of Fal to the sunset: there was fire and fighting at last in Mag Tuired.

The Tuatha De, it was the bed of a mighty one, around the People of Bags fought for the kingship: in their battle with abundance or pride, troops of hundreds of thousands died."



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Boundaries



Life is incredibly hard, sometimes. Because, there are people that you love who are in the grips of a million different tragedies that cannot love you back. Instead, their daemons tell them to lie, to steal, to fabricate beliefs that in no way represent the realities of any other person.

I've had the experience of fighting some of the same daemons. They are relentless. They are malicious. They are purposeful. Without fortitude and desire and the direction of something greater, they will win.

Its a cloudy, rainy day, today. Appropriate for pushing beloveds away. They've stopped looking like themselves. Instead, they've come to look like the daemons they fight. The daemons are winning.

And, I'm terribly broken.

My soul recognizes the struggle, but no longer recognizes the person.

So, with tears streaking and fingers tight, I say what I must.

I rationalize and justify in my mind, but really, I just must survive another day. I know where the journey the beloved is on will end. I cannot go there, again.

I cannot go there, again.

And, even here, I'm left terribly broken.

Again.

Is this MY legacy? The result of my own daemons? The remnants of my own fight? The whip comes out, once again, and I begin the lashes. But, the beating never frees me of the remorse. It never, ever numbs the feelings squirming like maggots in my flesh.

Instead, I'm only broken.

Still.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throw-back Thursdays

If you have a Facebook account, you are probably familiar with the idea of Throw-Back Thursdays (TBT). The idea is that you post old pics of yourself and others so that everyone can reminisce. So, a friend from high school posted a photo, this morning, of a pair of Jordache jeans. If you are my age, this will not require explanation. But, for those of you who are a bit younger or older, I'll suggest that you Google "Jordache Jeans 80s" and see what comes up. For the purposes of time, I'll tell you this: Jordache Jeans were the iconic symbol of popularity, wealth, status, and attractiveness when I was a kid in school; right along with white Nike sneakers with the red stripe, British Knights in all white or all black with neon laces; Hawaiian print Ocean Pacific shorts; short-sleeved Izod shirts with the alligator logo. I could go on, but you get the point. In fact, I bet that each of you has a similar list from your middle and high school years. And, even today, many years later, you remember who had all the gear, who didn't, and how you felt about it no matter what side of that fence you were on.

When I saw the picture, I had one distinct memory jump into my brain with utter clarity: It was dark outside. I was overwhelmingly excited, because I knew my mom was taking me to the Early Bird sale at the mall. I had saved up $20 (a lot of money for a middle-school kid in the early 1980s) from babysitting and my paper route. I was going to spend that money on Jordache jeans, which the sale add said there would be a limited number of items for my $20. My mom said she would pay the 5% sales tax. It must have been winter, because it was dark outside at 7 am, but I don't remember being cold. I remember climbing into our truck and going off to the mall. None of the cool kids were there that early. It wasn't cool to have to buy things on clearance sales, back then, and I was a little embarrassed to look around at who was there. There were mostly young adults and frumpy moms, some with their hair still in scarves and rollers. In a panic, I realized there was only one pair of Jordache in my size...black cords. I remember standing in that store, with tears in my eyes, knowing they weren't the 'right' pair of Jordache; but, also knowing that they were the closest I was likely to get. I bought them and wore them forever.

And, with that memory, rushed back all those feelings of despondency that marked most of my life -- being unworthy, unlikable, not good enough, too fat, unattractive. My dad was a construction worker. And, truth be told, he struggled with alcoholism, gambling, and more than one other vice. He didn't come home, sometimes. Our power was off, sometimes. My mom was depressed and angry. I realize, now, how powerless they must have both felt....my dad feeling powerless over addictions that he didn't know how to manage, feelings he had to medicate; and, my mom feeling powerless over her situation and my dad and, to some degree, us kids. Its awful how those messages we get about our worth stick with us for decades, despite a wide variety of approaches to manage them. In my own life, I tried to fit in. I didn't. I never felt like other people. I didn't act like them. I was never really a part of any group, because eventually I would do or say or think the wrong thing and would have to flee from the impending rejection. I quickly learned to numb those unpleasant feelings with a wide variety of methods, none of which were good for my body or my soul.

And, if I close my eyes, today, I can still hear all those little whispered lies that were told to me and the ones I told myself -- you're too fat/ugly/stupid/unattractive; no one likes you; no one will ever like you; you're a slut/whore/loser; you're trash/useless/poor; you'll never succeed/learn/do anything worthwhile. The monologue is endless and cruel.

I've been working on this piece for a long time. Every time I think I'm getting closer to completion, another layer comes up. Every time I believe I've recovered from the insanity of those lies, they return. And, measures of success never mattered. Those lies persisted despite frequent accolades and accomplishments. I have a long list of awards, recognition, degrees, and certifications behind me.

Over the past 4 years, some important things have happened. I got sober. That doesn't mean that I don't still struggle with other addictions (food is my giant one), I do. But, I'm clean and I know how to deal with those things. I began evaluating who and what I truly am -- not what I've pretended to be, not who I thought I should be, not the thing that was expected of me. I've made changes. I've embraced some things. I started painting, again, something I hadn't done since high school. I began seeking people like me, and building honest, meaningful relationships with them. I began structured training in my spiritual path. Probably, most importantly, I started being who I am, to the best of my knowledge. And, I work hard to be okay with that woman. My values and beliefs guide me, rather than external forces.

The whispers haven't gone away. They run a constant stream of malice in the back of my head. I can choose to jump in that stream and be washed away. Or, I can choose to walk in another direction. Today, my choice is obvious.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Speak YOUR Truth

I have some very close friends. One, in particular, is my confidante and the person who most often lets me know when I am behaving in a way that reflects my ego-centric desires, rather than a person of spirit. We disagree on few areas, but there is one that I have adamantly remained opposed on. She states that most people are frightened by (and unprepared to) have meaningful conversations during every day life. Instead, most people prefer to have chit chat, gossip, or meaningless drivel to pass the time.

I disagree. My belief is that people behave this way, because they've learned that no one is truly interested in what they have to say. From early childhood, we were hushed, told to mind our manners, not to speak unless spoken to, or diminished for our comments. As we got older, if we were brave enough (or defiant enough) to speak our opinions, we were ridiculed, demeaned, argued with, or dismissed. Finally, as adults, we were told that it is not about your feelings, but instead about the bottom line. How you felt about any particular issue was a matter for private voting booths or debate clubs. It was not for check out line conversation.

I disagree.

Finally, as technology replaced human contact, we stopped using the social niceties that those of us over 40 were schooled in as children. There is no need to say hello or goodbye or to ask about someone's family during a text message. Instead, we use abbreviated language to give only directional information. Phone conversations are a thing of the past with instant messaging. In-person meetings are nearly never done, because it is much more convenient to use Facetime, Skype, or another technological marvel.

I disagree.

When we are genuine, we provide permission for all of those around us to stand in their own space and be genuine as well. There is some risk involved. Being authentic, speaking your truths, requires the ability to be vulnerable -- to allow others to see who you really are at your center, rather than the persona that we are taught to display over and over. If I am genuine, I am not always well. Sometimes, I'm sad or angry or sick. I needn't pretend that I'm the picture of perfect health and perfect attitude. Many people will now argue with me that we attract what we put out. I agree. I also believe that we must allow ourselves to honor what we feel. I can be sad or angry or depressed and speak to someone about it, honor that it is what I feel at the moment. I know that, of course, like all emotional states, it is transient and will pass.

If I refuse to acknowledge the emotional state, however, how genuine am I being? Am I not playing the same old game to pretend to be something I'm not -- in this case, happy when I'm not? How is that genuine? I also needn't delve into every emotion like a treasure hunt, looking for all possible causes and related issues. Some reflection is necessary if any state of being resides within me for any length of time (Yes! That's right! I'm saying that its not expected that I will always be happy. What a ludicrous thought?!). If a period of depression follows the death of a loved one, I would not consider this abnormal nor worthy of assessment. Instead, it is to be honored. Grief is a process, which can be beautiful in its raw pain if we allow it.

Life is a cycle. Its only absolute is the constant flow of change. I'm going to speak my truth. If someone asks me how I am, I will answer honestly. This does not mean that I will divulge intimate details of my life at the gas pump on a regular basis. It does mean that I will be genuine with those in my life. How dare I not be? Because if I fail to be genuine, I'm sending the message that I am unworthy, as are my feelings and thoughts and values and beliefs. And, the second message is that YOU are unworthy, also, because I don't trust you to share myself with you; nor, should YOU be real when I've clearly not done so.

I'm going to speak my truth. I'm going to allow space for everyone else to do so, as well. I will listen if you decide to talk about politics in the waiting room. Its okay if we don't agree on all issues, but isn't it a gift to treat each other with respect and discuss our thoughts? Sometimes, I'm not clear on my own beliefs until I've explained them to someone else. Sometimes, I don't know my own truth until it exits my mouth in sound.

We are connected. We have forgotten. We can remember.

Blessed Be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Duality Contained Within

It took me years to accept the duality within myself. I just couldn't reconcile that I was both cruel and compassionate, violent and venerable, aggressive and avoidant, intelligent and idiotic, nurturing and negative. 
Then, once I did accept those things...not flagellate, not scream or repent my unworthiness...just accept that all of that is part of who and what I am; that I'm not condemned because of the parts of me that society deems 'bad.' Because, in the beginning, I saw those things that society teaches us are awful characteristics, and I tried to gouge them out of myself. The only thing I accomplished was to be left bleeding and sick
I am not created to please society. I am not created to please anyone. I am created for the Divine purpose fated to me. And, that purpose requires that I have the ability and willingness to protect myself, the strength to speak my truth against opposition, and the fortitude to protect those unable to stand with me. I do not fear to speak my opinion, even when its unpopular. I have learned to do so with tact, when needed. I can also stand, solidly on my truth without the need for external validation. This does not make me special. In fact, it makes me EXACTLY like everyone else. 

THEN, once I learned and accepted that these things existed within myself, I had to learn and accept that they existed inside EVERYONE else, too. People did not fit into a single category, the way I wanted to organize them: family member, friend, mentor, teacher, coworker, etc. They sometimes were more than one thing. It was only in the last year that I've learned to allow other people outside the categorically organized boxes in my mind. Some of the people in my life live in more than one file drawer...they are both my mentor, my friend, and my chosen family, for instance. As a result of the struggle I had, the discomfort, and the hurt feelings in 1 particular relationship -- a relationship far too important to me to release, one that I'd spent years building, and that entered my heart without my conscious consent -- I learned that it was ok for other people to have multiple purposes in my life and the lives of others. I took another step on the journey to being whole


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pain

What do you do when you're just not sure?
There are hard decisions to make and none of them seem right?
No matter which choice, there are consequences for each.
The consequences could be unbearable in every, single circumstance.

The panic rises and holds.
It grips.
It screams.
It binds.
It terrifies, because with panic, comes the fear.
It grips.
It screams.
It binds.
It terrifies.
It paralyzes; and, it preys upon every other emotion that surges upward.

Panic stays. Fear permeates.

Everything else bubbles and wanes....anger, resentment, fury, compassion, love, rejection, separation, impotency, deficiency, unworthiness.

Froth and fall.

Froth and fall.

Over and over and over and over.

Until only exhaustion remains.

Numbness wrought from exertion, from stillness in the face of misery.

And, powerlessness prevails. I cannot decide. I cannot control. I cannot prevent.

I can only bear witness.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Guides and Mentors...Illumination of "The Way"

I've had many people who led me in the right direction, along the path of my life. Some of them were quite cruel in their way, but shoved me hard to get back to the journey. That is the way of it, sometimes. Not everyone we meet is nice to us. Nor should they be.

Some of my best guides were also the angriest. 

That's not so, more recently. I got derailed from my journey for a while...complacent and stagnant in a job I hated, with people I didn't like, doing something I didn't believe in, working for those with no compassion. After the hard shoulders that I received from those people...the ones who made false accusations, the ones who whispered slander, the ones who refused to admit their parts. After those hard shoulders from miserable, angry, paranoid, controlling, and apathetic people, I found my way, again.

Because, MY way wasn't supposed to be spent going through steps with those people. MY way should have wound off in another direction many years before. But, as it is usually the case when I do NOT move in the direction that I was meant to, FEAR kept me in my place. Change frightened me. What I had was comfortable, even if it wasn't good. And, comfortable is better than nothing, right? WRONG.

So, off I went on my own path, following the beat of my proverbial drum. And, the drum led me back to a male mentor who'd been on the periphery for years, always cheering me on and encouraging me to do more. And, I listened, this time.

He was already a boss of sorts and helped me to transition into making my second job the primary one. I will always be grateful for his help and support. And, truth be told, there were really two men at the same place that helped that happen. When the first retired, the second promptly took over. Now, the second will be retiring and I often wonder what new person will enter my world.

At the same time that I made this journey, I met two new women. One became my guide in managing my addictions, leading me through a way of life that has allowed me to be happy, joyous, and free for nearly 4 years, now. For purposes of timelines, she helped me to recognize that I hated my previous job and supported my decision to leave it.

The second woman, I met at nearly the same time, just a few very short months later. Although I didn't know it at the time, she would become a spiritual leader in my life, someone who would lead me to explore my own beliefs, as well as to broaden the scope of my faith. And, finally, to widen my world so much that I was able to return to the understanding of my true passion and to begin taking steps toward making it happen.

It is her portrait that is in the works. Its not quite done yet. It will need another coat of poly and one more very important symbol. And, finally, it will need a frame. I don't usually frame my own work. Normally, I leave it to the person who ends up with it to do it in a style and manner that they wish, or not to do it at all. I admit, I am a fan of unframed works. But, this one, she demands a crown. So, a frame she will receive.

My artwork has changed. I don't know where it will go or what it will be. I don't have to.

I know that these people....these guides and mentors, teachers and punishers...they walk with me. Some of them only arrive on the crossroads, share a moment and go. Others are bound to me by spirit and soul in a recurrent and repetitive way that my own soul seems to recognize immediately.

I felt that with both of these women, and with the women that they both brought into my life. Today, I have a widening circle of sisters that I love dearly. Today, I can step into my power. Today, I can claim my own space.

Today, I can show others the way. I am often an accidental mentor, a momentary guidepost. Sometimes, I can gather others around me and walk with them for a longer while. I try to be conscious of my message. And, I trust the Divine to work through me when need be.

I try to always remember...ALWAYS...that "We're all just walking each other home" -- Ram Dass.

Blessed Be.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Future?


This morning, I was thinking about the big LIFE. Not the little 'what am I gonna do today' LIFE, but the big 'what the hell is the point of' my LIFE? And, I have to admit, I'm not sure. 

I painted this piece, then painted over it, so its gone, now, but I'm glad I took a picture of it before I did. At the time, I thought I was painting the moon's energy separating me from the fires of my past. Today, when I look at the photo, I realize that I was literally in flames. I had burned some bridges and was on fire, myself. 

Of course, I didn't know that, at the time. 

Today, I don't often experience the circumstance of 'going up in flames.' 

Honestly, I can't remember the last time I felt the burning desire to CREATE -- that internal push that says, "DO IT NOW!!"      
The feeling that gets you out of bed at 2 am, screaming, "I WON'T BE IGNORED!!

I got a bit disconcerted about that fact. Then, I realized. I don't feel that erratic, insane, diabolical, encompassing FIT to create, because I create ALL THE TIME. Yep. That's right. ALL THE TIME

I am in the process of working on 3 paintings, writing 1 short story, 1 essay for magazine submission, 1 full length book, and planting my gardens for the year. All of those things are going on in my life, in addition to working my job (teaching cannot possibly be denied as a creative pursuit even in the most inexperienced hands), mentoring people I truly enjoy (they know who they are), and participating in my family (watching my 3 grandchildren grow up at a pace that is amazingly quick from my perspective, loving my husband of more than a quarter century, and being a member of my family of choice). Add to each of those things that I am actively studying my spirituality as well as a myriad of things that garner my interest (from sci-fi to making shoes). I have passions --- more than a few. They fire my imagination and broaden my mind. 

I think I know what my path is, but I've no idea how to get there. I don't feel bad about that. My life is a study in synchronicity. When I'm supposed to move, opportunities present themselves. Until then, I just need to do as I should, living fully and purposefully in each moment. 

Blessed be.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Oath

I look around me & see so many sad & troubling factors in life. I'm particularly disgusted with the governing bodies in my own nation, but also those of others. But, all those things return to 1 factor only: greed. I'm violently sickened by the pursuit of things/power/wealth/material goods above all other factors, including the health of our citizens & environment. I sometimes get angry & want to shake people out of their willful ignorance. (I know that its unlikely to do much good & to likely catch me a criminal charge, because routine touch in our society has become as taboo as pedophilia.) So, instead, I'll just keep speaking my truth. If you get tired of hearing it, I'll understand being deleted/unfollowed/unfriended. I learned long ago that some people choose blissful ignorance. I've been one of them, in the past -- numb from a variety of things that allowed me to ignore/look past what was right in front of my face; that allowed me to not face myself & the ugliness within; safely navigating around increasing fears without ever walking through them. Today, I'm awake. Today, I look for OTHER people who are awake...MLW



I am political, or rather, I am anarchist. I believe that our government has become irredeemable. Why have we allowed a few hundred people to control all aspects of our world? We outlaw raw milk in MD. FL forces all citizens to connect to the power grid, without their desire or consent. The ACA affects only 17% of the population...they still can't afford insurance, but are now being fined for not having it. Examples abound. I could continue the list ad infinitum. 

I feel violated and offended. I MUST push forward with my own truth, my own light and love and breath. I will continue to look for and bring forth the Divine Feminine. I will reclaim my power and plug into the Divine force flowing through the universe. I will find others who think like me. I will join, discuss, debate, and provide information to the larger environment. I will embrace this as my path of the moment. 

This is my belief of women's work....I am bound to the earth. I will not abandon it. I will conserve power, throw off the media-fueled messages that create a sense of inadequacy and embrace beauty in all things. I will treat each person, the planet, and all creatures with compassion. 

This is MY TRUTH. This is my oath. I want this to be my legacy. Blessed Be.


What do YOU want to leave behind? 

Who do YOU want to be?

How are YOUR actions and attitudes reflected in the world? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Exploration

I've spent much of my life battling with inner demons. Nothing that any external source of struggle ever inflicted on me was (in any way) as powerful or deterministic as the ravages I visited upon myself.


After many years of self-defeating behavior and constant external focus, I became free of several addictions that I'd cultivated and indulged for 3 decades in 2010. Guess what happened? I developed new addictions. That's right. I went right ahead and moved on from substances and spending to food and dependency. As each new set of behaviors would enter my awareness (usually through the help, well-meaning or not, of others who were delighted to point these things out), I would respond the same way -- "my personality is addictive" and this is how I'm wired. That didn't help me, though. 



In reflecting upon that fact, recently, I've had to swallow some truths about myself. For me (and, I only speak for me, not to endorse the idea that its also someone else's experience), addiction was very much about avoidance of emotions that I felt unable to manage, consistent feelings of inadequacy, and diversion of responsibility. (NOTE: Much of this thought process is echoed in the book All is Well by L. Hay & M.L. Schultz, MD, PhD which is how this began to enter into my awareness in a consistent way.)

From a very young age, I felt 'different...damaged...unworthy.' I can look at some situations in my childhood and point to possible origins, but none of them fully explain it. Countless people had similar experiences to mine; yet, they did not use addiction as a coping mechanism. Awareness of all the research on brain interaction with addiction triggers, heredity, etc. also only provides a partial picture. 



And, as much as my very cognitive orientation despises it, I had to return to the emotional explanation. I was overwhelmed by emotion -- any emotion -- and I desperately sought numbness in any way I could. I never believed myself good enough, despite a myriad of successes that occurred over the course of my life nor by recognition and achievement that I regularly received from external sources. I was grossly responsible in most areas of my life -- to a fault, but had an intense and unreasonable need to completely shirk responsibility at some times, kind of the sociological concept of a 'moral holiday' where I could become thoroughly intoxicated or physically absent and do NOTHING that I was supposed to. Often, during those times, I would do nothing at all, or the complete opposite of what I should've been doing. Most often, the responsibility that I wished to eliminate was the care I owed to others who were close to me, to whom I was in a relationship with or had legal or moral responsibility for -- loyalty to my husband, emotional presence for my children, etc. 

And, in typical me-fashion, I'm sitting here wondering if anything I've written so far makes even the tiniest smidgen of sense. But, I'm going to press on, anyway. 


On the outside, I often look like one of 2 ends -- either all dazzle and spark, full of enthusiasm and energy; or, the opposite of that -- dull, neutral, hidden, and silent in a sulky way. My emotional intelligence is still developing, because I've only newly become accustomed to the presence of these pesky little feelings. I try to name them, to honor them (and myself) by experiencing them to the fullest capacity. And, I recognize that they are what they are -- transient. So, I can let them go when its time.



I do need to say that, even in the writing of this, I've gotten up from my laptop twice to search through the cabinets and fridge to find something to eat although I'm not hungry at all -- I have to work to recognize and manage the urge to 'stuff' emotions that come up, no matter the approach. This, alone, was the reason I decided to finish writing this entry, and to carry it through to the end. 

I don't know if I'll ever be fully recovered from my own internal deficiencies, or desire to compulsively eliminate discomfort in any form. I don't know if I'll ever cultivate the kind of authentic life that I yearn for, each day. I don't even know if I'll want to continue the pursuit in the future. So, instead, I'll focus on THIS moment. And, right now, I feel....
                    ..........worried.....................anxious.................overwhelmed....
...frightened...............exhilarated........fascinated....................hopeful...
..............serious...............aware.................afraid.................alive...........broken...
.......confident...............irrational.............uneasy....foolish...............loved.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Memories and Stitches


Today, I finished this cute hooded poncho for one of my granddaughters. I call her Pixie. She's 1 year old. The poncho is a birthday gift (yes, I was late getting it done).

I found the frogs on the pink polar fleece and couldn't resist getting a few yards to make the ponchos. I've got another cut and ready for stitching for my nearly 2 year old granddaughter, as well.

I don't know why, but my mind kept falling back to my Grandmother, who passed a few years ago at the age of 94. My Grandmother was a seamstress. She taught me to sew when I was a little girl. Its very much because of her that I know how to do the domestic things I do.

And, she was right about a lot of things. My mind kept going back to that, all day -- later, as I poured buttermilk into a cake, used butter in a soup. All day, my mind returned to her voice....spilling wisdom into my ears that I paid little attention to, at the time.

Here are some of the things she said:
1. If you're going to clean, you might as well do it right or you'll be doing it again, tomorrow.
2. Buttermilk is better for cooking and baking than regular milk.
3. Real butter, real FOOD matters.
4. If you grow it, you know where it came from AND you get it for free.
5. Never let a misbehaving spouse back in your bed right away. They'll think its all OK. Pretty soon, they'll be doing the same thing again.
6. Be careful with your body. When you get old, you'll feel every bump and bruise.
7. Be patient. Things will happen when they should.

It stuck in my head, Mom-mom, even if I didn't think it would. And, its true. I thought you should know.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Silly Things

There is nothing more wonderful than a rainy day (once the rain has begun to actually fall) with nothing pressing to do but pursuits of leisure and no where special to go.

Today, was one of those days.

I started very slow.

Didn't do much.

Puttered about a bit.

Made brunch......late.

Worked on some sketches for a friend's new cloak...my delighted exchange for training she's providing.

I worked on the book I'm writing. I should probably start shopping it now that 3 chapters are complete and 4 is in the works. Side thought: Anyone know any publishers or literary agents? 

I finished up this piece "Woman in Time" that was waiting for the pocket watches to fall onto the canvas. 

I've been thoroughly enjoying play with the shape and metallic paint..........................Fun.................................Flashy.........................................Sparkly!

I didn't do much else.

I ate leftovers.

My granddaughter was fussy...new molars, I think.

She's learning to drink from a cup.

I call her my little Pixie. She's one.

I texted and messaged to friends and beloveds.

My head hurt from the barometric pressure changes while I waited for the rain. Its begun to ease with the passage of the day. But, the ache was a reminder to treat myself gingerly. Its not a bad thing to have the occasional discomfort...to remember that I am delicate, too, sometimes.

I taught my Pixie's mother to make tuna noodle casserole. I can't eat it.

Everyone is quiet in my house, now. Its after 5 pm and I'm still wearing my pajamas from the night before.

I'm thinking of soaking in the hot hot bath with a good book and some tea. I've time to spare today.

Tomorrow, I will need to get some things done.

Today.

I'm not.