Friday, November 28, 2008
Ah, the holiday is history. It was laid back this year. My dearest friend and I were orphaned by other ex-spouse's with big houses and wives who cook, so we got together and divied up the traditional dinner. I did the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes (ever so much better than yams), and pumpkin pie. She did the mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie. And it was all sumptuous, especially the gravy, which was the stuff of dreams. Both of us got prodigious amounts of leftovers, too. Then we headed over to the Thanksgiving Alkathon, a marathon, 24 hours of meetings, every 2 hours, for all of us who struggle through this dreadful season. The host meeting was a step study that uses the 12 & 12, an auxilliary to our Big Book, that goes into the steps (and traditions) in depth. Because of the number of persons, after we read the first step from the book, people who wished to share were asked to come to the podium, and speak into a microphone. Now, I have done that, when I was asked to. But I was loathe to volunteer my wisdom, not knowing if it would be welcomed. So the usual cast of characters bounced up and stood in line to regale us with their sobriety. One woman, who is six days less sober than I, who has been in my face most of my recovery, and always puts herself in front of everyone, said she was standing up for her program. And I wondered if I should have gotten up there after all. When is it pride and when is it just being thankful for my recovery and wanting to share it with a roomful of people? Is it arrogance to waltz out in front of everyone, or is it arrogant to sit in the sweetness of my own wisdom? I do have some good stuff to share. None of it is mine. Well, most of it isn't, anyway. It came from sponsors, sponsees, hundreds of other recovering souls who are trudging the path of happy destiny alongside me, and a few dozen spiritual teachers and books. I am, after all, a seeker of truth and beauty. Haven't arrived at enlightenment yet, at least, not all the time. But I have had little glimpses, moments when it all seemed to be clear and possible. Well, that moment passed, and I sat there, one among many, and listened. We'll see what happens next time. At Christmas. Or New Year's. Because I will be parked there in that folding chair again and again. Perhaps choosing my moment is better than always opening my mouth. I seem to tune out that woman I mentioned automatically, knowing she will say pretty much the same thing every time. Lord, save me from my own platitudes!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Here is my dear and lovely daughter with her significant other on the occasion of her graduation from law school. I am happy and relieved to relate that yesterday, she learned that she had passed the California Bar Exam. Phew. It has been a long and hard process, from the LSATs to the application process to the first amazingly difficult year to the moot court competitions to graduation to a summer of bar review to four months of waiting for the results. And now, she can spend her decorating allowance, buy artwork for her new office, and settle into her role as a Doctor of Jurisprudence. And I can lay down my mantle of worry and just watch her blossom. She has grown into a woman of much power and grace. Now, it would be nice to take credit for that, but truly, she is what she was meant to be. A friend once complimented me on her, and I eschewed any credit, but, as my friend pointed out, I didn't go out of my way to screw her up, either. That I will accept. I worked especially hard not to do that. She shows me daily that anything is possible if you want it enough. She is healthier and more focused than I will ever be. Grateful beyond words today.
Friday, November 21, 2008
So, I have a cold. Don't you hate it when that happens? Misery on the hoof. I don't believe in suffering. I believe in medication, lots of it. So I am juiced the the eyeballs on daytime severe cold pills, some holistic stuff (zinc, vitamin C), and have Mucinex in reserve, just in case, even though I hate their commercials, and that will usually steer me away from a product, but this stuff really works. I must be feeling better, I made the bed. Yesterday, Boo, Pickle and I were entrenched there all day. Probably overkill for this little headcold, but hey, not anything else on my plate, and I felt like hell, and was really tired after a fitfull night. I did have to dress and make a drugstore run for more pills in the afternoon, and gee, I remembered my gratitude on my last sojourn there about not needing any of that stuff. Around 7 PM, I took a hot bath, and felt ever so much better, for about 20 minutes, afterward. Then it was back to moaning and groaning. Got up early to drive a friend to the local airport, a commitment I made a while back, and I was feeling a whole lot better, thank HP. Just back from breakfast at the airport restaurant. There were a lot of old men around, probably our locals who can afford airplanes, all looking hard bitten by life. Strange to see a neon sign advertising beer in an airport. Conjured up a lot of terrifying images, for sure. My friend is like me, hates to fly, but loves to travel. Anyway, whole big bunch of nothing happening here today, except we are all breathless awaiting the little kiddo's results from her Bar exam. What will be, will be. Let it be sweet, whatever it is.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here is a little thing I diddled up this morning. Can't decide if I like it, but have found that working on it does not necessarily make it better. I saw this program on Einstein last night, and he formulated his science and his first great theories while working in a patent office. He was not even a scientist when he developed the theory of special relativity. Most of his greatest thinking came out of daydreams! Okay, so great art should emerge from moments like this, when I am just putting paint on the paper, and going hmmmmmm. It was uber-fun to do, and I already have plans for a followup. I did try to be neater than usual, but that didn't seem to happen. What a surprise. Messiness is my trademark, after all. And flaws. there is always a flaw in there. It is all still really new, but the idea is coming, I can feel it unfurling even as we speak. Sweet.
Monday, November 17, 2008
While stewing here at my computer, accompanied by the cacophony of the concerto for double leaf-blower being executed just outside my office window, I came upon an article while perusing my daily New York Times headlines that they so graciously e-mail to me so that I am not totally cut off from the sturm and drang of the daily life others are so unfortunate as to enjoy. Scientists (those elite minds that propose a hypothesis and spend every waking moment trying to find the proof to support it) think they have found the underlying cause of emotional disorders in the genetic code. There is, they suppose, a battle that ensues between the mother and father genes. If the mother gene wins the war, the result is schizophrenia at the extreme end of the spectrum, whereas if the father dominates, autism results at the other end. Well, it makes sense, if you think about it. Females tend to be hysterical by nature (literally, wandering womb, you know, hysteria), whereas men are more emotionally dead. So the female gene causes hyperactivity of the emotions, and the male gene causes a flat emotional aspect. Do you think it could be that simple? Certainly, I have been acquainted with many men, including my father, who have the emotional life of a prawn. They live for logic, usually of their own construct, and happily inhabit that box all their lives. Women bamboozle them, with their need to be constantly questioning everything about their own existence, the existence of significant others, and not-so-significant others. Where is their logic? As I see it, men sit in the center of their own little insulated universe, and everything revolves around them in concentric orbits. The woman in their life bounces between orbits like those electrons in an atom do. Excite an atom, and the electrons leap about like crazy. Ditto, a man. Women, on the other hand, see themselves as just one part of an intricate web. Everything is connected to them, and if any of the souls they feel woven with is agitated, she is agitated as well, sort of like when one of my dog decides to get up and walk around in circles on the bed in the middle of the night - I am instantly awake, awaiting the next shock. We are such interesting creatures to begin with, and now we are finding that the whole race is divided sharply in mindset, as well. I think it is the moon's fault. Without it, the earth would wobble so drastically on its axis that there would be no stable climate zones that foster agriculture, and we would still be without a civilization, fashioning arrowheads and spears from wood and stone, and happily hunter-gathering in small nomadic tribes. Some days, that sounds pretty comforting, especially when I am reading a newspaper.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I just did a Fifth Step, reading aloud my Fourth Step resentment list, going into detail about all the stupid little things (and people) who annoy and vex me. High on the list of things, right behind stoplights and leaf blowers, was shrinkwrap and plastic packaging. Even Pickle arrived all shut up with those thick plastic strips that need wirecutters to sever. I wound up having to unscrew the two parts and take the crate apart to get her out. I often buy packages of things in those blasted clamshell plastic packages, and wind up cutting them open with the kitchen shears. I am lucky I have not yet cut off anything I need, like the end of a finger. I even bought a super-duper set of Fiskars especially for those packages. Well, an article in the New York Times says I am not alone in my misery. This year, toy sets are arriving at the stores in (gasp) cardboard boxes! How original!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I spent most of yesterday with my tongue between my teeth, slapping away at a canvas in a friend's studio, chatting and splashing and laughing at myself. Here is the resulting image, a sort of Cezanne-y rendering of a basket of gourds and a blue ribbon artfully draped all around. Funnily enough, I kind of like it. It has a sweet luminous quality, and actually looks like an homage to that great master, mostly because I finished it by outlining some of the gourds and the basket ever so lightly, which made them just pop. I will never be a realist, I realize. I will always just slap paint on and hope for the best, and paint over if it doesn't seem to be coming up at that moment. My friend and fellow art student is painting one image a day. I am truly amazed at her productions. She has become an accomplished artist, for sure. I am working on it, still, but, whatever, I sure am having fun here!
Monday, November 10, 2008
I am a drug store junkie. There are so many wonderful things there: makeup, of course, and hair care products that let me dream that someday, somehow, I will have a head full of thick, glorious locks. Sigh. And lotions, oh, all the glorious goos that promise wrinkle-free skin. It is that time of year when I would just settle on not itching 24/7. Sigh. So, I had a free half hour before my Sunday morning meditation meeting, and I needed some things, so off I went to Walgreen's, which is several miles closer than Walmart, and always promises to be a less expensive proposition as they don't sell clothes or DVDs. I took my time, plying all the aisles of drugstore stuff, and it occurred to me how fortunate I was to not need any of those items: ankle, knee and wrist braces, hearing aid cleaning kits, cold medicine, muscle rub. Well, it is gratitude month, after all. And it is good to be grateful that I don't have the flu, or a bad back, and that my wrist, which was all trussed up in a brace not very long ago, is mucho better. I left with my purchases (moist towlettes, a dandy manicure set, and a card that I could not resist for my dear friend's birthday next month), and heart full of thankfulness that the Cowwoman is all in one piece and still hanging together after 64 years on the Big Blue Ball. See, God lives at Walgreen's, too.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
My many moons on the Big Blue Ball have taught me that I am the pawn of the media, and they got me last night. I got all teared up about this proud young man we elected president. While I was in speech class, we watched Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech. Being an apolitical animal, I had never done that before. What an amazing man, so intelligent, so articulate. I think Obama is one and the same. Still, I know that change is difficult to bring into reality, even with a Congress that will help him along. Take our voters, here in tree-hugging California, who are probably going to endorse an amendment to our state constitution prohibiting gay marriage. I thought we were more grown up than that here. I thought we were tolerant and progressive. I thought bigotry was history. Gosh, guys. Another thing I learned in school, in sociology, was that DNA among humans is less dissimilar than among penguins, who all look alike. Now, let's all contemplate that little factoid for a few, and get, once and for all, that, beneath the skin, beneath the sexual preferences, we are the SAME, damn it. Okay, I feel better. Perhaps the very sane and sober people on our State Supreme Court will look on the voters with more rectitude, and send Prop. 8 packing. Hope, it is springing here in my little heart.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Little Pickle is now big Pickle, about 12 lbs., with a magnificent fluffy fawn coat and her ears, wow! She is interesting on sooooo many levels. For instance, she snores while awake, and sleeps with her eyes open. And it is now part of our evening bedtime routine to light a candle to counter her perpetual flatulence. Pickle farts swim in the air above the bed with fair regularity. Because she likes Boo-food better than her puppy chow, I changed her to that, but no change in the farting so far. Sometimes I think it would be best just to set her tail on fire. This week, we have a third canine among us, little Beany. He is traumatized by the loss of his master already, but Pickle doesn't help things much. I heard him outside, whining, and finally went to see what was the matter, if anything, as he is terribly morose. I found Pickle blocking the dog door, and refusing to let him back into the house. Now I just yell at Pickle, and she lets him in. Where does she get that spunk? What a character she has become.