Wednesday, August 30, 2017

payne's grey is my spirit animal (or something)

i love payne's grey tusch and the main thing i like to sketch is naturey stuff. i watered down the ink and painted with a feather i found on the beach. bliss.

Monday, August 28, 2017

relaxed and recharged

we have finally had a few summery days and i had the most wonderful weekend with ten other creative women in a lovely place in a charming town - eating good food, laughing a lot, painting and talking and drawing and walking on the beach together. i am recharged and relaxed and ready for a visit from an old friend. well, not quite ready - i've got to vacuum and get the linens changed on the bed tomorrow morning - but there's time for that. and after such a lovely weekend, time seems to stretch into exactly the amount i need. there was even time this afternoon for a little nap. (i took the day off, you see.) these sort of moments are something we allow ourselves too seldom, so i'm luxuriating in mine and hoping to hold on to a bit of it for the next time it all seems to be too much.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

magnifying the woes of the world

i scroll my facebook feed and it depresses me. it's filled with scorn and outrage for the spray-tanned freak that holds the reins in the land of my birth. i too feel scorn and outrage for him and his most recent behavior (e.g. the past 7 months). but i also find it exhausting. and so i post pictures of kittens and i spend time with them and their joyous little souls. and i clean and tidy and donate and throw away and organize in our "box room." and between rain showers, i go out to the garden and i try to convince bella to be my friend. and i sit with molly and talk to billy and i pick kale and carrots and beans and cucumbers. and i feel better for a few minutes. but the monster is still there. and facebook still continually throws him in my face. and so i wake in the morning with an aching jaw and i try to forget. but i can't help but think that's not the right thing to do. there must be something we can do. that we should be doing. other than sharing the words of people more eloquent than we are or more outraged, to people to whom it won't make an iota of difference. and meanwhile climate changes means we haven't had any summer. and that weasel pulled out of the paris accords, which, while weak, were at least an agreement that most everyone agreed upon. and i wonder if bringing a child into the world was the right thing to do in light of the world we are leaving her. and i think those fucking assholes who voted for him should be ashamed of themselves. and i fear many of them are members of my family. and i think back to myself, screaming at my mother from a street in paris, as she told me how horrible obama and hillary were and how they were trying to take away her right to be a christian. and i remember thinking about how horrible it was that it might be the last conversation i'd ever have with her, since i certainly wasn't speaking to her again after that utter bullshit. and i told her so. and for a few minutes, it scared her back into her old self and we actually ended up having a proper conversation. tho' my throat was raw the next day from the screaming. and now this is my memory of paris. and i feel despair again. for all of the things that are lost and irreparable...the damage the cheeto is doing. and the loss of the mother i remember. and i realize facebook is but the magnifier of the woes of the world.

Friday, August 18, 2017

uploading 63%....

63%...the plumber backed his oddly large truck into the roof and broke some bits off. of the roof, that is, his truck appears to be fine. i am annoyed looking through my instagram feed at people whose work consists of taking the same picture over and over and sharing it every day (says the girl who constantly posts cats)...72%...i'm watching the percentage of my upload crawl ever-so-slowly upward. it's cloudy and grey. again. i'm not really having as bad a day as it's just boring watching files upload. and i'm tired of the grey. and i'm really tired of that out-of-focus, bokehlicious, pretentious reflection shot of princess leia. get over it already and move on to another motif...84%...91%...(the ellipses represent much more time than you might imagine)...the millennial podcast announced their last episode seemed as self-absorbed and self-conscious as the rest of it had been...a few recent episodes had seemed like they'd run out of ideas and navels at which to gaze anyway, so it was time...another podcast i'm finding annoying after initially liking it is not by accident. it also has descended into some kind of self-pity party. yes, we get it, being a parent and having a job is tiring and hard and not for the faint of heart...96%...when will this bloody upload ever complete? it's only 18 photos! 98%...i think i'm ready for the weekend to begin...the child is having a few beers in a park with her new classmates after school, so i don't have to pick her up...99%...also, i'm cranky (it is hangry, perhaps?) i'm probably not being fair to the two podcasts mentioned above...i'm just in a mood...i'm sure they're lovely people with perfectly lovely navels upon which to did it go back down? i think i need me some kitten time...happy weekend if there's anyone out there...99%...100%.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

to grieve or not to grieve, that is the question

so many thoughts swirling in my head of late, especially as i listen to podcasts, which i do constantly. i don't always know if the podcasts provoke the thoughts or reflect them. a growing suspicion that i suck at grieving has been crossing my mind of late. and then a couple of podcasts i listened to on the way home today covered the topic of grief - this week's death, sex & money and malcolm gladwell's revisionist history touched upon it as well.  i don't know if they helped me work through my own struggles or not.

it comes down to that i don't think i've properly grieved for my father. i shed tears on the plane on the way there, as he lay dying in a hospital, nearly three years ago, but i don't think i've really, truly cried about his death. and i am not sure that i know how. there are times when i miss him acutely. most often when i'm in the garden, which is also where i talk to him. he's come to my sister on two occasions, reassuring her, but i've not even heard a whisper from him. i'm not envious exactly, more puzzled. is it because i lack the ability to open that portal to him? am i less open to it? or am i at another stage of my grief than she is? have i even started it properly? can i even recognize it? these are the thoughts that have me convinced that i suck at grief.

but it's also mom's decline. alzheimer's is so cruel and strange. she's still here, but it feels like we already need to grieve her. i don't even know this strange fabulist she has become...telling lies, or perhaps fractured fairy tales, to explain the world around her in a way that makes sense to her, as her brain fills with holes and erases the old ways of making sense. i worry that my good memories of her are being similarly erased, but i'm not sure that what i feel at this stage is grief. i find it hard to even summon pity, which sounds horrible, i know and then i feel guilty for that. but it remains that it's how i feel at the moment. 

and then i can't help but wonder if i ever properly grieved for sophia. when it happened, i was so sick and we had sabin to focus on, so did i properly grieve her passing and the passing of the specialness of being a mother of twins? i don't know. it seems like maybe it got pushed under somehow and never really dealt with, though i have always been able to speak of it, so it's not like that. but is glibly being able to mention it the same as dealing with it? i suspect not.

but how are you supposed to know how to grieve? i think our culture today places so much pressure on us to get back into the saddle immediately that we maybe don't give ourselves time. maybe grief takes years. maybe it doesn't look a certain way. maybe i don't wailingly grieve my father because i think he lived a long, amazing, worthy life and died the way he would have wished, so i can have nothing but respect for him and and be grateful for the time we had and how he shaped who i am. maybe i don't wail because it was his time and i feel that in my heart and while i am sad for me and for us and for mom that he's not here, i'm not sad for him per se. or maybe i just suck at grief.

with mom, it's more complicated, due to the disease and that she's still here, strangely more physically fit than ever, even as her personality changes so radically that she seems like someone i don't know. maybe grief doesn't come because the time isn't right. maybe i will learn to grieve when it's needed, or find my own way to do so. maybe our grief is singular, individual, so unique that i don't even recognize it because it's so much a part of me.

oddly, i think i've grieved harder for lost jobs than for lost loved ones. what does that say about me or about the times in which we live? what we do is so important to identity that we feel it as a loss of self when we leave a job, whether it's by choice or not. and so a period of mourning follows.

and then i wonder if grief is really about missing who we once were? do we lose that? or do we contain it within us, so there's no sense grieving it...

as you can see, i have more questions than answers. and rather a lack of grief. or at least the ability to grieve in a definable way...

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daily affirmations from lenny.
"fucking up is how you go pro." - words to live by, i tell you.

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i want to be e. jean when i grow up.