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Itís all coming together for me, right now. I'm charged with creativity, Iíve quit wasting time with TV, and morning trash newspaper and internet. I get dressed. I do some chores Iíve been postponing, I keep going till Iím done. Upon thinking,
Oh, I should do that
Ö I just go do it. Why put it off? Iím becoming a doer rather than a thinker. On Friday, I had a gigantic surge of relief when I made my appointment to tackle the joint account issue. KEY! Imagine the next step. Or, examine the current blockage. Bravo.
I did it! My financial adviser and two other friends have told me this two years: Go separate your joint accounts. And yet it felt like "pulling the trigger," like I was risking something by doing it. Now I'm seeing the value of change and perhaps, that if anything, it supercharged the relationship; which needed to happen. We'll see where it goes from here. I'm safe. I took my funds. Rules of MY road: hesitation is the warning whisper. Explore it! Sit and contemplate it religiously. Ask, what is the risk? Can supercharging be a solution? Change probably is best.
Dusk, summertime. 9:00pm and still light. It's so quiet, only a chirping bird makes a sound. Ronald the cat is sleeping beside me. Many blessings today. A man originally from here, now visiting, caught my sign, pondered, then had to drive back to see what it was about. Terry, an acquaintance, and so sweet, also dropped by. We think we might do something together in the fall--a workshop? Then, my neighbors gave me 70 lawn bricks! And, another neighbor brought me some lasagna. I enjoyed the great weather by cutting the grass and trimming bushes. All is well.
The bad news is that I'm getting a cataract. The good news is that the doc can implant a lens and I'll see perfectly! Hooray! What a gift that would be. Older, wrinkly, weaker, wiser? Still growing better I think. Of course things get clearer, sort of consolidated. There aren't as many factors to deal with--particularly if you're single, which I highly recommend. I think, everyday about the things I'll probably never do again. Like camping with a group of friends, road trips, travel abroad. But it's ok. I'm lucky I had so many great experiences. Counting my blessings.
I promote artistic engagement; yet rarely do I actually engage in creativity. I spend hours on the computer, learning about links, urls, embedding calendars. conclusion: I must love doing the computer work more. Related subject: wars as arrested adolescent male behavior. There must be a craving or ego demand for fighting; otherwise it wouldn't exist. News is that hundreds of men around the world want to become part of Isis. IT'S NOT A CAUSE they're willing to die for, no, they want to fight. War provides fun, excitement and adventure. Let's give them an island on which to kill themselves.
I had carefully unstitched myself from my former husband by pulling out threads, stocks, from the nest egg. I stockpiled them into my own little separate account and said nothing. That was 10 days ago. This morning I knew from the financial statement, he had discovered the pluck 4 days ago. He said nothing. But he removed my access to our joint account. This feeling is reminiscent of the worry I felt while underneath the desk that used to hold his computer. I was trying to disengage the router from the tangled mess, risking internet demise. Life is scary sometimes.
Did I already say that I have a judgey person coming to stay with me overnight, so that I can give her a ride from the airport and she can save a bundle of money? So my whole month of June I've developed a critical eye for my house. Each imperfect image registers on my to-do list, which is growing faster than I have time for. Yikes. I only have 12 days left. Why am I doing this? I don't like her very much. She's gruff and not so kind. Not worth the effort I'm putting out. Stop it!
It's 8:00am in the morning and I've become a super hero; saving a life. There I was sipping coffee in my family room, enjoying the breeze and the sun filled room. Once you've been a cat owner for a year, and have rescued several birds and chipmunks from one's living quarters, you develop a super awareness of distress cries from birds. Like today, I heard it . It's not just the bird in distress, it's the family of birds squawking. I shouted out the window, "Ronald!--NO!" And his looking up at me allowed the bird the get free. DaDa.
I showed my friend Stan the new huge circles now appearing under the name of my art studio. I got to tell him how nervous I was, and we agreed that art is always like that. He's a musician. Having the guts to sing your song, show your stuff, do your thing, put it out there. Yes, that is what self expression is about. Your mark on the earth. "I was here." To dare to show your uniqueness when it's human nature to conform and fit in. This is why we appreciate art. We sense it's necessity in our evolution.
Was this the Millionth Circle? Could this sign be the completion of the missing link? the creative spark that has been pent up, waiting, so that now the studio could flourish? Doubtful. I'm no longer buoyed by my self generated hope bubbles. They've all popped and disappeared. I just continue. I put circles on my gift cards, my business cards, and now my building is branded with imperfect circles. I thought these things as I showered off the sweat from the effort. Cleaned up and effervescent, I gleefully approached my artwork from the street. No one else, but I noticed.
It's that perfection isn't necessary and even, not as interesting as imperfection. That it's all our circles together that make the thing vibrate with energy. So my circles reflected that. I settled for three circles because I was just too hot to endure another forty minutes. And three looked great. I backed up carefully. Nodded with my own approval. I collected all my stuff and even an discarded pepsi can, into the bag. Gingerly, I crawled back into the hallway of my friend's apartment, then down the stairs and back into the studio I went. What a release. Finally finished.
Dusted off my resume. Two years since real employment. Can I convince anyone I'm worthwhile? Am I worthwhile? I feel beaten down, unworthy, old, useless, like I'm ready for the grave. I need to get myself an RV and take off. See a shoreline. Sit and watch the waves. There's no use in pretending i'm useful to anyone. I'm unraveling my relationships with friends by not responding, I've seen my own cat desert me, my one son has demonstrated his independence and coolness toward me. Geez. I didn't realize today was a pinnacle day. Decisions, control, reality check, always painful.
I don't want to go to work today. I'm ashamed, if truth be told. I didn't prepare for my little city's art day-even though I'm trying to be an art center of the community. Reason? I resent them. I've landed beyond hope, beyond doubt beyond despair and now I'm into resentment. Screw 'em. Wrong attitude, I know, but feelings are what they are. I want to hang back in my little house and wish I didn't have a presence on the main drag of town. I want a real job now. I'm selling out. Get me a contract! Yesterday!
The paint is chipping. Not the right circumstances for a small build-board sized image to be painted on. I should scrap this, do a good base coat, yada yada. No time like the present a voice said. Just do it. So I began. My hands were shaking as I gave the paint a final stir. I dipped the brush and applied the glossy black color to the bright white brick. Weird how I felt like this was my performance art piece. I was painting imperfect circles in a 6'x 6' square area. There is a message to this madness.
A Sign: This was at once, a stand up kind of moment and a slinking unsteady sort of action. I had just crawled onto a roof through a second story window with my paintbrush, rags, black paint and all other accouterments I could think of inside a Trader Joe grocery bag. I wore white. White because I didn't want to be seen from the street below. And the wall I had to stand in front of was white. It was the east side of my building, the morning sun blazing into my eyes. Maybe later would be better, I thought.
Yesterday I updated my resumť, wrote a cover letter for a job I only half want, learned how to fax without a fax machine, finished a preliminary draft of a will to show my financial planner, wrote a story to send into Hour Magazine striving for promotion of my store, took care of eye care, picked up a prescription, helped and learned how to make my neighbor's favorite vegetable lasagna, sanded the patchwork in the entry hallway, did my yoga, cleared my desk. Details that make up a day that I forget when accounting for how I spend my time.
I am here. Holding up a sanctuary for creativity. In my past, departing a Zen monastery, I'd leave with a sense of calm, knowing that there were people demonstrating peace and acceptance, not fighting reality. Similarly, I recall attending a nature walk, where the bearded old man hardly moved on the trail... and spoke about different grasses. I was disappointed, but oddly satisfied that someone knew and cared fervently about such things. It's my turn to have the courage to know what I know and not be discouraged or dissuaded from lack of support by other busy souls. I'm committed.
Sally was a co-worker many years ago. She was a smoker. This is her line that has always stayed with me, "I think everybody should smoke!" It worked for her. If I had an equivalent outrageous chant to share it would be: "I think everyone ought to get married and get divorced." The whole horrific, emotional roller coaster ride puts everything back into its proper perspective. You can't tie your life and your well being to someone else, especially when under the spell of love. Living while harnessed is an unnecessary burden. Appreciate your freedom, preserve your mental health.
I learned that you don't send a story to a magazine, you send a query. Its a "pretend I haven't already written it, but would you be interested in this story, if I did?" then you pitch it. Which I will try to do for Hour Magazine: Dear Madam, Creative ideas, never manifested are impotent. It's the courage to share the creation that is admirable, the act of sharing that wins our attention and praise. These conclusions, I have always known, but lived them out again on top of a roof, free hand painting a huge circle, black on white.
Story ideas: woman has pet black un-marked cat that she dotes on. We see cat antics as kitten, as adolescent hunter, purring comfort resource. Life goes on. Cat's behavior starts to change in second summer. Eats, says goodbye, shows only for dinner. Sometimes, breakfast is delayed and owner searches by bike, calling. Cat returns as late as 10:00am, then leaves. Owner starts feeling used, neglected. Where does the cat go? Owner at yearly vet vaccination purchases microchip implantation. Discovers cat is already microchipped! Coping with cat betrayal, spying ensues. Frequent walks--hoping for friendly meeting with 2nd owner...
Happy Father's Day, Dad. I miss you and love you, always. Today is a work at home day for me, in preparation for Jan's visit. I'll finish the painting of ceilings, dust high level neglected stuff, scrub all surfaces of the bathroom, organize the basement, bedroom, clean linens of green room, wash interior windows of room. Maybe I'll wash exterior windows if all else gets done. Sounds like a mountain of stuff, which is why I'm still sitting on the couch, typing away my 100 words. I can do this. Focus. Make it work. It's 9:45 am. Get going.
Art therapy today. I love recording my thoughts and feelings in my art. It feels so satisfying to have grounded my ideas into a collage or a vision on paper. It feels freeing, too. Like I can put it to rest. Like I've mined the week, scanned it for nuggets of meaning. Today I reviewed how I have a theme throughout my life about the cage and the bird and comfort and confinement. Then it expanded to what is comfortable in our culture? How our society is in flux with marital relationships and domesticated women---caged and now free. Eureka!
A dozen years ago today I succeeded in giving up smoking.Let's see, 16 cigarettes a day times seven minutes each, times 365 days, times 12 years equals 490,560 minutes or 8,176 hours or 340 days but actually since I only smoked 16 hours a day, I'm adjusting...to 511 days or 1.4 years of life. All the cigarettes I would have smoked in 12 years are the equivalent of a whole year and almost a half of chain smoking. Yuck. I'm so glad I don't smoke. My lungs have almost completely healed. Addiction is hell. Freedom!
I want to go on with my life without her. I want to be able to say the right thing without causing more hurt, without asking for explanations, without expressing any need. I like the wall. It feels sturdy, prominent, it feels final and insulating. A formidable buffer. A feature that allows me to continue without having to know what happens on the other side. It's a shutting down of caring; a retirement of engagement. I am in control of my life. I can maintain the wall. This way, It feels like I don't have to struggle with deciphering insincerity.
She is insincere. That is the issue. It's big and it's small. I don't have to demonize her. It means I don't trust her or her motives. I see her as an actress that is always playing a role that I'm not privy to--and I don't need to know. Her schemes on our family have subsided because there is no one left to play. I'm glad her message to me was so indicative of her insolence. That was a gift. She didn't disguise her casually dropped invitation as more than what it was. She didn't lure me. I'm grateful.
I clawed my way out of co-dependence. It's hard now to think back to my maligned position and remember the justifications or defenses that held me in that place. I couldn't be happy unless I brought him to understand, thus accept my explanations or actions. I had to be understood and accepted, or I couldn't move forward. It was too painful to not be in his graces. I couldn't act for my own good, like there was a net he had over me and my belief was that to slide out of the net would be my death. Weird.
The bond of a mother to her child could be construed as a codependent relationship. Both of them feel they can't exist without the other. And for the child, that might be true. A mother sacrifices her peace of mind unless she can make the child comfortable, happy. Then the trick is the gradual letting go so that the child can think on his own and the mother has to regain her sense of self. That takes such a long time to reestablish. Thus the overreach into the lives of the child. I still ache for more connection to J.
Why don't I like her? She's not a know it all, although she knows lots. I sense a steady stream of unspoken critique in her mind. But that's probably just me. She is the prototype of the big sister. The advanced one, and the little sister doesn't understand that the abilities are related to age differential. Little sister thinks she is lacking and can't shine compared to big sister. Can't a family intervene and correct? This "less than"feeling is incorporated into the psyche of little sister. She carries this phantom dent in her being and hopes no one finds out.
Sally came for brunch today. She had, as usual, many stories to tell, because her life keeps expanding, even as it's shutting down. Her quest is forgiveness, developing compassion. She keeps going, studying, writing papers, hosting parties, even while dying, she's living. She shared ... if I have to go, what do I really want? She wants her husband to stay through the process all the way out of this life. And she wants...I honestly forgot the second thing. I'll ask. The point is she is facing a shortened life now. She's doing it with good humor and great dignity.
I wish I could muster the same enthusiasm for numbers as I can for words or colors. Each end of the month, I'm happy to catch up with 100 words and have completion as a theme for that last day. Also each month I should be looking over my bank statements and studying how the numbers aligned with my budget, but I dread it. Maybe, if I had excess money and the review had a positive outcome, I would learn to like it. Fat chance that's going to happen! I'm just scraping by. I'm finding myself jealous of happy vacationers.
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