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a spacious year. open to anything. and nothing. my mind will not care. i find beauty in the space of nothingness and value every minute. i'm going to slow down time by noting everything; internally and externally. i am upping my game as a sensor of life. the more i pay attention to, the more expansive my time, my experience. the more i note and remember, the richer my life. as an artist, this will enhance my expression of what has filtered through me and gets manifested onto a surface or plane or words or actions. snow's unifying, monochromatic white.
I'm wearing a tiny chain necklace that supports tiny diamond studded eyeglasses, given to me by friend. It bothers my neck just enough so that I remember to look at things with new eyes. A creative jarring.
My cat stares at me from across the living room. The minute I start to talk to him, he comes to sit in my lap. Also, at night, he sleeps on my bed, curled up near my feet, until 7:30 am when the furnace kicks up the heat. Then he visits my face and lays down on my pillow and purrs. Adorable.
Divorce is a first word destroyer
Trust and security obliterated by blast
the dream of the future is shattered
the whole heartedness of the present is walled off and defended
foundations built on the past cease to hold any weight
There is no foothold; it disintegrates into dust
The violent word, "Divorce!"
breaks through pretense, holds nothing back
releases a fury of depravation.
Start the hellish commotion, the separation strife
the shouting of blame, the pent up unfairness of life.
Love and little dreams
like sparkling rivulets of dew
leak out to find a new home.
Living alone with an affectionate, adventurous cat suits me more and more. I have the privilege of comfort and contentment. I have full freedom of choosing my own path; choosing everyday to focus on what matters to me. I can meditate in silence. I can go out according to my whims. I connect with friends within the luxury of time. I can write without disruption of my thoughts. I remember what I'm missing, though. In marriage, there was a shared ritual that shaped a life. A sense of "being" enhanced by witnessing and caring for one another; more than oneself.
I guess it's time that I apologize to you for our estrangement. I needed to figure out how you could be so mad at me. I needed to learn what I did wrong. It's true that I tried to orchestrate your life, using my influence however I could, so that Dad and our family wouldn't have to deal with your divorce. Never mind that you were in pain, that you told me repeatedly of scary incidents; it didn't matter. As long as my story prevailed. Sorry I quit talking to you. Sorry for discounting you.
Post husband, with whom I'm in constant phone contact, appeared angry with me last night. Or in a bad mood, anxious to end the call. This is unusual. Until now, he seemed to relish the opportunity to maintain the thread bare link between us: His mood was stable, open, casual. He seemed to grow a layer of maturity. Maybe moodiness and sullenness has been delayed by 2000 miles. Here I was just thinking that the answer to happiness was location, location, location. He in his spot, me in mine. I'm aware of my hypersensitivity to his mood. I've been TRAINED.
When you live alone, you realize how insignificant your life is. I can go days without talking to anyone. No one knows or cares what I'm doing. I guess I'm fortunate to see the relief in this. The fact that any day is up to me. Again there is no one judging it. I don't really believe in a God that is measuring my existence. But I measure it. There is an uneasy feeling, when you don't have a job, to question your productivity? Yes that's the word. I measure my existence by productivity. I have to stop that nonsense.
This is a new season of aloneness. Extreme aloneness. It's because everyone is bundled against the cold and the only signs of inhabitants on my street are the cars returning from a days work somewhere. This is what is known as cabin fever. And yet, because we have internet and facebook, there is always a sense of connection. Where I lived in CA, the homes were far away from the street and up on a ridge. I got used to the solitude. I took solace in the form of long, rugged walks with the dogs in the foothills. Great days.
They say that having a vision is important. I hold onto my vision of what I want my business to become. I'm optimistic, even. But, today I researched my competitors' websites and they look busy and successful. And here I am in this empty space waiting for something to happen, knowing if I don't do something different, I'll keep getting the same shabby results. Yet, nothing I do seems to be working. When someone comes to the door, I'm half excited and half ashamed to show its emptiness. I feel like customers are aliens from another planet. What to do?
I'll tell myself a story. Once upon a time, there was a mature woman, separated from her family, who wanted to have some company while she did her art work. She knew that making art helped her survive life's hardest times. Her paintings always held a message inside their colors and shapes. It helped her know that she had the answers she needed. She wanted to share this with others. So she made her space open for others...and waited. While she waited, she filled her time with creativity and positive energy. She realized, she was all that was needed.
Sweet! I'm finally back in the flow of art. It's been sitting on my back burner, not even beckoning, sort of going to sleep. When people asked me what kind of art I do, I had to scan my memory of the experiences--it's been so long. (other than homework assignments.) But today, although I didn't have my usual oil paints, I got out some acrylics and had a blast. ALL Day! This is why art is so good for the soul. It comes from a mysterious center of your being and just keeps pouring out. Then, interpret. Surprise! Really!
Early morning sky was a soft orange today. Lush warmth hovering over cold ice blue snow. We all met at the studio at 9:30 am to hold class. What fun to catch up since before the holidays, excitement to be together again. Laughter, friendship, passion for participating in art combined. What could be better? Lunch: a feast of stories; good news about career development, and hope. We all left remarking how we can feel spring in the air, the constant dripping of melting snow gives off a vibe of spring. There are so many things to be happy about.
I have been planning this next event in my life for over a month. A little bitty thing; a teensy favor to ask of my neighbors: Will you take care of my cat while I'm away. Now knocking right up to the official deadline, where really, there is no plan B if they say no. In the middle of the night, I awoke and thought, "geez, there's a chance you can't go to this conference because you've neglected to arrange care for your cat. Idiot!" I call in five minutes. Why is this hard? It's a lot to ask, actually.
I'm grateful and happy my neighbor is willing to help care for my cat while I'm away. All my anxiety and hesitation about leaving home to go on vacation sort of fizzled up from exhaustion and now is dust settled. I'm free to move about the country now. Funny, I haven't told T. It's my right, my business, also my pattern still clinging to me like shit on a shoe. There's that niggling, habitual sense that approval of plans comes from someone else. This little sense is the very thing most in need of change. Freedom is in the mind.
Preparations for trip--so many details! Laundry, decluttering, for the neighbor who will care for the cat, arranging meeting with neighbor to ask for the favor of caring for the cat, buying cat food, watering plants and placing in a protected area (away from cat.) Resetting the thermostat, updating the facebook page, putting closed sign out at studio, personal grooming, cleaning out refrigerator, taking out the trash in a bag, so neighbors don't have to mess with the can, shopping for clothes for the conference, notifying business neighbors about absence. Complete list? Maybe will reduce anxiety expenditure for next trip
Even the bird chirping outside is exotic! In Tucson for the first time. Why does the sun seem so much more intense than in Midwest? Is it the dry air? who knows. I'm falling back in love with cacti; all the different shapes and thorns, how they train your eyes to see subtleties of colors. It's like each cactus is reservoir of sustenance, a reminder of intrinsic wealth and fullness. (Hmmm, cactus as personal symbol. I like it.) I swam in the resort pool for 30 laps, for the first time in months. I slept for 12 hours. I'm healing!
Ahh, now I remember why people travel away from their homes, into a new locale. We plan, prepare study, pack, anticipate, worry, cope, forget to breathe...think, "isn't here fine enough? what am I chasing after?, what if...?" RESISTANCE! Here is what it's about: Newness. New plants, new weather, new bright sunshine, new trails to explore, new ideas, new friendships, new possibilities, a new seed imbedded into your personality, new potential, new resources, new rewards, new confidence, a path toward new getaways in the future, so new hope, new aliveness, new happiness and satisfaction. You can't get there at home.
Today's lecture from my conference put me to sleep. What's the word? Esoteric. Delving into the minutia of translating dreams into psychic context. I don't know, I don't want to know. It's too far removed from any counseling I would do. Maybe I'd like to know more about archetypes and universal themes, but to "project" a meaning on their dreams as if an expert with the unconscious? That's going too far, I think. Anyway, I'm here. It's best to keep an open mind, absorb as much as I can. I miss Ronin and will be happy to return home. Yeah!
Last day of the conference: Is it my imagination, or have the ladies of Jungian studies pulled out all the finery from the bottom of their suitcases for the last chance to impress each other with their most elaborate outfits? I'm trying to figure this out...is the costuming for the purpose of showing off? Showing off which...their fashion sense? their wealth and status? Or is this a show of respect for the education and/or subject matter? It seems an attempt to bolster a fragile ego. There were plastered smiles, an arena of self doubt enhanced by fashion.
Tucson is grand; the weather is ideal, the cactus unique and exotic. It makes me miss the California desert. I have a few pangs of regret; do I want to go back and live there? An unsettling thought. Better that door is closed so that I can concentrate on my "calling." My friend even said this, "Actually, you are still married." SHIT. She's right. There are still obligations, challenges to keep things balanced so to avoid conflict and its consequences. I'm still married, sort of dependent (or pretending to be?) This means living a lie. Not good. TELL THE TRUTH.
I am changing, though I don't want to give the change a label (because it would seem like dyke.) All my life, I've sought to increase my attractiveness in the usual ways women do...buy the new make-up, try a few procedures, keep up with fashion, maintain proper weight. Wear sun screen, exfoliate, spend time grooming nails, plucking and waxing. Now I'm shunning most of it, aside from last 3. It's like I've turned a corner and on this block, none of it matters. Now I love seeing the savings on time and money and feel free of excesses.
I'm part of the good enough tribe now. I arrived this January when I took the "ENOUGH" oath and renounced my past excesses. I need a simple uniform of black, grey and brown. I need to be clean and groomed to be presentable. I no longer fuss about the adequacy of my fashion statements because, I'm not making statements. I'm just me. I'm not worried about fitting in, or impressing anyone. I don't worry about acceptance period. Maybe we'll be friends, maybe not. I have enough friends. I have enough time. I have enough money to sustain my efforts. Blessings.
My first day back from my vacation trip. I've been so worried about my little cat. He was probably too young to experience abandonment. He's been couped up in the house all by himself, with only a daily visit and feeding. I think he has gained a lot of weight. He must have an emotional eating disorder now. Anyway, he survived. He spent the night cuddling and purring. He doesn't want to be out of sight of me. Precious cat. I spent the morning paying bills doing paperwork and email catch up. Banking online is still harder than a visit.
My niece writes that my sister is sick. Am I supposed to react, step in, care? It's not happening. If Sis wants my attention, she's got my phone number. What if she called? I'd wait for the apology, I suppose, and then react. No apology, no interaction. I do not have to do anything. There has been no change in my stance or my resolve to avoid further hurt. I know how to protect myself. She quit talking, communicating to me. If she wants to express herself, let her use some words and a telephone, or a letter. I'm centered.
Art is a process of putting ideas together with visions, like a container or a sorting bin. It helps organize and conceptualize thoughts into something more useful than random. By linking, and by through association, new ideas expound on the original idea, so the mix become complex and complete. Maybe this is the same process the brain uses in dreams and why so many inventions are discovered through them. Art helps random thoughts become real. This is why there is the sense that the divine guides our dreams; they seem to magnify issues which are hidden from our normal awareness.
My cat is bored. Is that my problem? He acts as if it is. He's complaining loudly, as if I'm supposed to do something. He wants his little mouse that is stuck, for the 98th time, in the slit of space under the oven. This time, it's irretrievably wedged behind the gas line. So kitty keeps pacing, walking past and ignoring his other toys, just to make the point that he's unhappy. Life's tough. Shall I tell you that this is his third small mouse? Where did he put the other two? He's not telling. He's just staring at me.
My Art Therapy is such a treat for me. Not in the way of pleasure, but in the way of revelation, hurt and heal. I keep breaking down at the point where I have to admit that I'm not stronger than everyone else. Hello? Identity Crisis! I hadn't realized that this characteristic, has been a pillar in my pride and understanding of myself. Of course, as a counselor, I'm confident that I can recognize defense mechanisms of others. I just thought I knew myself better than most. A lifetime of journaling and processing and still a gigantic blind spot. Wow.
I'm down. I had high hopes this morning that because of a snow day today and help promoting the studio as an option for kids via social media, the place would see action! I went in early, turned up the heat, planned projects for various age groups and waited. And waited. No one came. I turn my focus onto myself, and really feel like I'm not doing it right; I'm missing the mark, I'm not trying enough; worse, I think, maybe people in the Chamber don't like me, so that's why no one comes. That's ridiculous. But I feel bad.
Simple formula for success, or at least satisfaction that you tried your best: Everyday do SOMETHING different to promote business activity. Make a flyer, or a brochure or a new sign or a facebook entry or contact the radio or make a special event or contact someone in the community that could help or design the sign for spring, or find out about creating city murals, or floats for a parade, or donate time to a community cause or sign up for a committee, or start an art balm secret mission, or take creativity to senior centers. USE YOUR CREATIVITY!
Yesterday I met a man with such a large ego, I'm surprised he could get his inflated head through the door. We had gathered for a meeting that he initiated; a social group, for the purpose of ABC. But really I think it was for his need to gather an audience for adoration and admiration. He said it all. How much experience he's had, his exotic trips, his choice to work or not, his success in DEF, his past teaching of ABC. Honestly, what an egomaniac. He exemplifies why the quality of humility is important, and why we appreciate it.
Everyone wants to teach: No one wants to learn. Nobody wants to pay. I'm in the middle of the promise land where coveting and dreaming take place. I can feel the psychic energy of the people that present their big idea. They're sure that others will flock to the studio for the lesson they are about to bestow. I know their feeling because I've had so many dreams. And I listened to my friends' (unbidden) ideas. I've got the glaringly empty, space. And no matter how wonderful the vision is, it has to be sold to someone who will pay.
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