Tag: blogging

change

screaming_squarei am learning so much about myself during these past few months.

In a pinch, i can wake up early in the morning, consistently, although apparently never with joy.  i much prefer waking up in the very late morning after a night of work.

Despite having massive anxiety issues, i can put on a mask of confidence that, miraculously, people seem to accept as reality.  If i can keep the nightmares in check and manage to get some restful sleep every night, then i’ll keep getting better and maybe, someday, that mask will truly be real.

i am at peace with not knowing things… much more than i ever expected i could be.

After so long struggling, it looks like i might be able to get my house refinanced, avoiding foreclosure and a traumatic move.  However, even with that boon, it will be a long slog for me to dig myself out of the hole i am in financially.  Still, i have a slightly bigger shovel to use than i did four weeks ago.

Poetry and drawing will make their way through me, even if they have to ambush me during still moments. Stories, too, queue up and wait patiently for their time.

thesun_squareThe most profound lesson is that i am stronger than i expected, particularly when it comes to interacting with others.  Looking back, i don’t know when this shifted, but it is lovely to no longer care about those who hurt me like i once did.  Gone are the endless second guessings and guilt, well, unless it involves those i love – i care so much more then. Unfortunately, i remain quite wary of people after they have wronged me – but at least, now, i have the chance to work on it.

For these lessons, i am so grateful.  For the trial that i had to go through to get to this place, well, i suppose i’m grateful for that too. And, i know, this is just a beginning. In so many ways, i am still a hot mess. i will keep writing, keep drawing, keep working to maintain a balance between other responsibilities and the overwhelming drive to make art… and, maybe, i’ll be able to start blogging here again – for a month, all my effort has gone into my other blog.  Still, there is no rush.  All things will come in their own time.  In this moment, all is well.  For that, how can i be anything other than thankful?

 

A few small words

joyToday, I went to a meeting of artists. Carpooling with a friend, I was drenched in good conversation.  Arriving at the meeting, I was surrounded by people I know and admire.  Then the unexpected gift: another friend pulled me aside, said that she has been reading my blog, and made a point to tell me that I am part of this community and among friends.  Patting me on the shoulder she said that my days of being a lonely freak are done.

Several people have given me this message lately.

I wonder how many times I will need to hear that statement before it penetrates my spirit.  My mind gets it, and I sing with gratitude every time I hear it, but in the middle of the night my heart forgets.

A few small words and my entire day turned around – like the sun had vanquished storm clouds.  Thanks, Deb.  Likewise, thanks Liz, Leslie, Lori and Mel – and Shawna – and Veronica – and probably a lot more people that I am not remembering because I have such a hard time hearing this message.

 

what to blog…

Today is one of the days that i wish i had a more exciting life to blog about. i would love to write about the amazing adventures that i have had – travel and wonderful adventures.  Likewise, i would adore describing fantastic social experiences and the depths of love and friendship and companionship.

As it happens, i can tell you about those things, but it will all come from my fiction. Stand-ins for shards of my psyche with great plot-lines for lives. My actual day to day life has become very quiet over the past two weeks. Today, all i did was edit work i have written in the past few weeks – lounging on the couch in the studio with the dog snoring lustily beside me. Still, while i worked, i was enraptured. In a way that i find difficult to explain to people, those characters become real to me while i  am writing – i grow more invested in their stories and lives than is wise.

red potsThe most non-fictional excitement i have had in the past 48 hours was unloading the kiln yesterday and finding some lovely pieces waiting me. The finished pottery brings a smile to my face, in part because i never expected i would be able to make such loveliness.  Granted, i have been making pottery for thirteen years now.  But those first four years when i was just awful, have given me a keen appreciation of my improvement.  i can be made giddy by the beauty that comes out of the kiln.

Otherwise, i can recount to you stories about the softness of my cat’s fur, the way my dog approaches the food bowl, the abject terror the other cat had for the new water dish.  Other than what’s going on inside my head, there is very little to report. i wonder, sometimes, if this is perhaps the most blessed gift i have been given. My life can be very lonely; i go through long periods of relative solitude. However, i make it through with less pain than i might otherwise, because of the words that pour forth from me.  The characters i write about become family and friends.  It is only when i emerge from fiction that i have to deal with the loneliness of reality.

But it’s awfully hard to blog about without sounding a little crazy.

Day of movement

blue heron potteryToday was the opposite of the quiet day i wrote about earlier.  From the moment i got to the studio at about 9:30 am until i left at 10 pm, i was moving.  For two hours, with the help of another artist, the bulk of the downstairs got straightened up.

By noon, one of the owners of Blue Heron, a gallery that sells my work, came by to pick up more pieces.  Some of the ones she chose are to the right, bowls and chip and dips – some of the prettiest pieces that i’ve made.

The first book of poetry is finished.  i went over it again today checking for typos. After i put in the changes for that work, i began to edit a few chapters of a novel i’ve been writing.  For good measure, i wrote four new poems, that will some day be incorporated into another collection at some point.  All but one.  That one was just a whine.IMG_0753

About three, i started throwing.  By the time i left the studio, i had transformed 25 pounds of clay into pumpkins and pumpkin-themed dishes. However, i only had the strength to do about half at a time.  By five i took a break for dinner.

For a couple of hours afterward, i worked on one of my paintings, one that has been hovering about in my mind and the studio for probably six months.  During the last meditation group, the painting kept rising up in my mind. Each time i have begun it before, i managed to get partway through before something changed and the focus of the painting fell apart.  Today she became a river-woman, poem incorporated into her.  In a few days, i’ll go back to it and finish out the lines and forms.

Then, back to the throwing.  i had the second half of the pottery to finish. And now, at 11 pm, i’m blogging.

This is how i work best: bouncing from task to task until i start to get sore or distracted or just get sparked for something else.  These days leave me weary in a good way.  i want to get to sleep so i can wake up – instead of being concerned with my dreams, i am enthusiastic for morning.

(Truth in blogging: this was written last Sunday, but got bumped by other blogs until today)

poetry paused and restarted

no wordsPoetry is my life-blood.  It drips out of me every day, sometimes in more concentrated efforts than others, but still, it escapes.  For all the other forms of creativity that i embrace, writing – particularly poems, but prose too – is the one i could not live without.  Twice as much time is spent dancing with the written word as it is with images or clay.  As good as my imagination can be, it fails utterly when it tries to imagine a life that is not centered around words.

That said, i think it was also the form of creativity that i took the most for granted.  i feel vaguely ashamed to admit it, but for the longest time, i simply expected these poems to keep pushing themselves out through my fingertips.  My heart beats to their rhythm.  Most mornings, after i finally manage to drag myself out of bed, i create nonsense rhymes for my animals, just to rev up my brain.  As i do the chores of life, words play in my head, waiting for pen to meet paper.i am burning  Their cessation seemed like an impossibility; i was experiencing a glut of poetry.

Too often, i fill composition books full of poems that languish in draft form for weeks or months before i type them in and begin the editing process.  i have hundreds of poems from the 90s that remain handwritten – although i can say that their subject matter had become somewhat repetitive.

For the longest time, i was caught in acute dissonance: i had to write because it kept me sane and made me whole but i assumed that my writing was less vital than the pottery because the latter was an easier sell.  So i wrote obsessively and then neglected the end product.

feline poetryThat changed this spring.  i went through a bad spell physically, beginning with a fall around Christmas that injured my back terribly.  About the time i started hobbling around a bit better and the season started to turn, i began to have difficulty writing.  Honestly, cognitive difficulties of many flavors cropped up, all of which were frustrating but not overly disturbing, except for my trouble writing. After the first couple of weeks during which i found myself staring at blank pages numbly for the first time in my life, it started to fill me with a dread.  One novel stopped dead in its tracks; i lacked the mental nimbleness to carry characters and plot forward.  Even poetry slowed and became more difficult to write.  Most of it became this inarticulate wail of grief and fear.  What would i be without my writing?  When i could drag them out, the words came all turned around, like a breach birth. The poems i wrote then, re-read now, sound good.  But i viscerally remember the effort of bringing them into being.

WebThankfully, the spell passed after couple of months, but it changed things irrevocably.  i could not take poems for granted any more.  Ever single time one word came after another and it made some kind of sense – if it held any amount of grace – i found myself awash in gratitude.  i have a hundred poems that talk about how thankful i am for the stories that come through me, but suddenly the emotion burned with unbelievable intensity.

This spring’s difficulties lead to a summer where poetry stopped being taken for granted.  i have gathered three collections into being.  The first, “light to darkness and back again,” ought to be available on amazon.com by the time this blog goes out.

creativityi have made a conscious choice to throw myself into writing with even more determination and passion than i did before – for this is a gift beyond measure as long as i have it – and to be fearless in releasing my words into the world.  i refuse to let other obligations and cowardice continue to cobble me.

Poetry is my life-blood.  May it drip out of me as long as i am alive.