"We Three"

"We Three"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The trouble with knowing a lot...

The cowwoman got into trouble at school yesterday. And I noticed something - nearly every time I am in trouble, my mouth is open, and usually moving. Okay, ALL the time. I had a kind of meltdown about forgetting my homework, and had to mention it several times. Then I spoke up while teacher was lecturing the class, and disagreed with her. So she called me out in the hall, and we had a little chat. Nothing bad, just don't step on her again, and bring in the homework. Just to round things out, she told me I will have no trouble pulling an A in the class. Yes, that's important, because somewhere down the line I may want to go to a real university to study, and I will need to show them my transcripts. I made an amends to teacher, very contrite, I was. I appreciate her a lot, and don't want to undermine her in any way. Homework is now in big honking portfolio, ready to go tomorrow. And extra credit drawing is shaping up nicely, too. Good lesson. Keep mouth closed, legs crossed and show up with everything you promised you would bring. Oh, and check portfolio before taking off for that everything. Yeah.

The REAL reality...

It's a cruel, cruel world. People lie, they cheat, they steal, they even kill one another. I turn on the TV every morning, for company more than entertainment at that hour, and whatever channel I left it on always has death and mayhem on it, at 8 AM! So, not only do we do it, we love to watch others doing it, even if they are not really doing it. Thank HP I don't live in that world. My world exists between my ears. I select what I let in, and what I let out. No newspapers for the cow-waving woman. Too much bad news. I check our monthly Bohemian, freebee tabloid, for upcoming events, and do a quick flyby of the NY Times headlines to see which celebrity died that day. Sound bites on the radio alert me to possible snags in traffic. That's enough. My job everyday is to go out into that cruel world, and know that what goes on out there is NOT ABOUT ME. None of it. Even when it looks like it is about me, it isn't, because people do what they do, even when I am not part of the equation. And sometimes, I insert myself there, and voila! I am a victim! For a few moments, or hours, as the case may be, until I wake up and realize, oh, its still NOT ABOUT ME! So, go ahead, rain on my parade. It's always sunny in my little world, inside my comfortable little box of self.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Life is so interesting...

I have been thinking a lot lately. We gave ourselves a huge party on Saturday, four of us, to celebrate 20 years of sobriety. Now, to get sober at all is a miracle for any alcoholic, but to stay sober is something else. In my 20 years, I have seen people with double-digit sobriety drink again. Some of them came back to report it wasn't any better, but some of them died, too. Anyway, I was struck by the fact that, at out little party with about 200 people, I knew intimate details of their lives, but didn't know many of their last names, or their occupations, for that matter. Many of us had violent or abusive homes when growing up. Many did not. Isn't that interesting? Yet, we all wound up sitting on folding chairs in some church basement, drinking diesel fuel coffee and eating Oreos, laughing our butts off at each other's antics while in our cups. Odd way to spend a summer evening, or a winter one. Yet those of us who have successfully kept the genie in the bottle are the ones you will see there, week after week, sad, happy, and sometimes, just plain nuts. Showing up, that's the key. Bring the body, the mind will follow. One day at a time. So, circumstances be what they may, we are only victims if we decide to be. Learning that life is what happens between my ears, now that's grace.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Want a lift? Look up.

I guess this was a spiritual awakening for me, the day I was standing on campus a couple of years ago, waiting for the shuttle to take me to my car so I could go home, weighted down with the 40 lb. bookbag and feeling set upon by nastiness, like the new garage that was NEVER going to open, and a paper due in American History, blah, blah, blah. And I just looked up, into this bluer than blue autumn sky just filthy with puffy little white clouds, and it was so very beautiful. Of course, I often forget to look up, myself. I try to remember, really I do. Swimming helps, because I do at least a third of my laps on my back, looking up at the universe above me. And I made the moonrise table one of my bookmarks, because I like to go out in the backyard and watch it come up. When it is near the horizon on a warm evening, it is magnified like 150%, just this huge yellow eye peeking over the edge of the world at me. And this night, the one in the picture, I had missed the big event, but there it was, wreathed in delicate peachy pink, truly magical. The old song is right. The best things in life are free.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nothing doing in town today...

...except this amazing event down at historic Railroad Square, the 2nd Annual Handcar Regatta, featuring all these people-propelled Steampunked vehicles racing on the (now defunct) railroad tracks, with a couple million folks in outlandish costumes, some on stilts, mulling about, the Hubbub Club band prancing about, and fun exuding from every pore of the attendees. Steampunk appears to be about making new old again by doodadding it up in old-fashioned baubledom. I saw folks in billowing petticoats, a lot in bloomers, some dandy merry widow bustiers, lots of vests and top hats, and pith helmets, and flight helmets with goggles. The crew of one vehicle were dudded out as the Oompaloopas from the first Willie Wonka film, in short overalls and green wigs. There were these amazing welded sculptures all over the place, too, as well as our usual Charles Schultz statuettes. Bad news that I missed this completely last year. Good news that it is only the 2nd one, and I didn't inadvertantly miss the last 20 events. Definitely on my list of things to remember next year, and bring lots of water and more comfortable shoes, and a few friends to share it all with. Very joyous, indeed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday musings...

I think we don't appreciate one another enough. I was in the garage, cleaning out my car (which was not in the garage, but in the driveway in front of the garage), the garage door was open, and the phone rang. I dashed in to answer it, left the door into the garage open, and presto-chango, no dogs when I hung up. Little buggers just escaped. Neighbor Robert came out to yell at his dog, who was barking at mine, and ratted out Boo, who was busily checking out the perimeter of Robert's lawn. One down. Then, I began the search for Pickle. Another neighbor lady yelled "she went down the driveway!", and that's where I found her, with her usual I-didn't-do-nothing expression on her little pushed-in mug. God bless the neighbors. And God bless the landscape armies that invade the neighborhood four days out of seven and do noisy battle with the leaves and lawns. And God bless the teachers who praise and encourage my tiny efforts. And God bless my friends who love me, no matter what. And God bless my family, poor misguided souls that they are. I am filled with sweet gratitude today, as I head out on my final foray to get even more decorations for our party tomorrow. Especially God bless the decorations committee who are arriving at noon to help. And God bless Eckhart Tolle, who has taught me it is what it is. Well, reminded me, actually. Because, you know, it is.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A day en plein air...

Watercolor class went to Pepperwood Preserve yesterday. It wasn't as I'd imagined it at all. Bechtel House, where we met, sounded like it should be a wedding cake Victorian, perched on a high hill with a view all the way to the ocean. The view was there, but the house was something out of an Edward Hopper painting, all California ranch house spare, with big picture windows. We camped out on the big porch that aproned the house, seeking shade to combat the heat that rose off the adobe in flickering waves. And yes, I could see the marine layer blanketing the coast. Layer after layer of hills, spectacular in every direction. I executed three paintings there, not wanting to miss out on any little bit of inspiration. I like this one best, because I used non-local color and my imagination, and made a kind of abstract out of the landscape. This is not an easy medium by any stretch of the imagination. And I never know what I have till I look at it much later. Whatever, I had a lot of fun. Some of it was spent just finding the place. My friend led the way with her trusty GPS, which got stuck and took us about 3 miles out of the way, 6 after we doubled back. Ah, the vicissitudes of the artistic life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sometimes things really are black and white...

This is why I am taking this drawing class, to learn how to make graphite look like an apple, or a white mug. Apples are easier. They have this nifty organic shape that is really all angles and no one can say they are not perfect. Symmetrical objects like coffee mugs are really difficult. And this photo is a little warped because my mug is really straighter that this one looks. Okay, the teacher helped me. I suck at ellipses. But I'm working on it. I love exercises like this. I am back in beginner's mind, totally in the moment, when I work at drawing, or painting, hell, even butterflies. It is a true grace that I get to do this in the latter quarter of my life. I cannot think of anything I'd rather get up and do. Well, except pet Boo, and yes, even Pickle.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A boatload of butterflies.

Well, they are done. For the most part. A little trimming will be necessary for the big ones, to even out where they were glued together, and maybe a spot of paint, too. At the moment, they are all together on the kitchen table, looking rather festive, even if I say so myself. Each is its own little self, no two are alike, and isn't that the beauty of doing things by hand? It is sad that handcrafting things has become so rare. My grandfather used to whittle. Does anyone born after 1960 even know what whittling is? And my grandmother, and my own mother, hand crocheted bedspreads, for a king-sized bed. I have them in my new linen closet in the garage, airing for use this winter. Okay, my butterflies are not permanent, but they are special, nevertheless. I hope.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A table for the angels...

When I was new in sobriety, like five years into it (one stays new a long, long time, it is like growing up again), a sobriety sister gave me a gift of frankinsence. I burned some that night, and my whole house smelled like high mass. Gee, I thought only the church could smell like that. And it occurred to me that my home was my church, my sacred space. How sweet it was to know that. I didn't need any golden patens or embroidered albs to be with the Spirit of the Universe. God had my address! Now, my sponsor had shown me her altar, so I finally made one of my own. This isn't it, by the way. That one is in my bedroom and holds some of my totems, as well as angels, minerals, and assorted doodads that are precious to me. This table honors the angels, and I notice the angel bell is missing. Oh, I put it to the side, on top of the piano. Anyway, I used to religiously pull a card from the three boxes daily. Now, it is hit or miss, but today, wow, I pulled some doozies. From the angel box, LIGHT. Gary Zukav, one of my spiritual teachers, talks a lot about light. It is all we see, you know, light reflected from the objects. And from the Tarot, ACE OF CUPS, a fountain of happiness. And from the Medicine cards, BUTTERFLY. How appropriate, since I just drew, painted and cut out 107 of them, 30 enormous and 77 small, for our party this Saturday. Ah, it is all good today, for sure. Oh, and that is my goddess in the center, holding all goodness out to me. And this is me, accepting it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Die young, leave a beautiful corpse...

At the campus to the south, where I sojourn on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is a stall in the women's room that has "Sylvia Plath" written on the inside of the door, in a lovely red scroll. I have always been surprised at the fascination young people have for other young people who died young. My daughter had a poster of Jim Morrison on her bedroom wall, and also was very enamored of Ms. Plath. There is something romantic about this interest. It is all dark and mysterious, and I think they find suffering noble. Of course, us old folks know it is just misery, and, having experienced it up close and personal, may understand a troubled individual like Ms. Plath offing herself. Nothing noble about it, though. There were children, you know. Life is not easy. It hands us lots of awful stuff. And, if one is too fragile, it is easy to be broken by it. Doesn't make Jim Morrison, or James Dean, or Janis Joplin, or Marilyn Monroe, a hero/heroine. Frankly, it makes them weaker than those of us who muddle through the pain, and persevere. Kind of makes me sad I didn't pursue a doctorate in psychology, because this morbid fascination that the young people have with premature death would make a dandy thesis, don't you think? Certainly has me bamboozled.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The upside of the non-judgemental life...

While I love people to view me as erudite and discerning, the truth is I am not above pulp fiction and popular movies (as opposed to the flicks at the smart people's movie theater, ART films, I think they are called). Some are right up there in my all time favorites lists. Like Thomas Harris's Red Dragon, an all-time fantastic read, that came way before his mainstream Silence of the Lambs, and sparked a really fine cult film, Manhunter, with a callow William Petersen. The later big budget film with that deadpan Edward Norton was a bust, but this little gem is worth a gander. And Stephen King, well, I think it is terribly snotty to pass him by because he writes in such an offbeat genre, yet is so very gifted as a writer. His book, The Shining, was unforgettable, and led me into the morass of his fecund mind, until I burned out. Yet, The Stand will be in my top 10 always. And I just caught the end of True Lies when I sat down to my seafood lunch, a truly gratuitously violent, subtly funny (the scene with Arnold walking the Chihauhau in the rain always cracks me up), truly enchanting movie that makes me happy just to think about. I also loved the Die Hard films, and am a rapacious fan of Bruce Willis (The Whole Nine Yards springs to mind). I think a little movie violence goes a long way, and should always be tempered with comedy. Really, don't you think the idea of hurting another is stupid, anyway? And, oh, boy, horror movies. I took my son and three stepchildren by myself to see Alien when 8 1/2 months pregnant with my daughter, thinking A) it was wildly lauded in Time magazine with a 4 page spread and B) that is was a scifi film. I have never been so scared in my tiny life, and had to hold it together for the two 10 year olds sitting next to me. It has since become one of my top 10 movies, partly because Ripley, while also terrified, managed to manage with such grace to defeat the big bad monster. My all time favorite horror flick is Curse of the Demon, a British film starring Dana Andrews, black and white, psychologically taut, suspenseful, with a very cultured villan who summons up the demon then attempts to tell it what to do. Gee, I think I will order that up on NetFlix. I gave my copy to my brother, I think, and never got it back.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A little artifice goes a long way...

I caught the end of An Ideal Husband on the tube as I was making my peach pancakes the other morning, and marveled at Gertrude's oh-so-charming put down of that wicked Mrs. Cheevley. Gosh, imagine a society where even insults are charming. It's like Elizabeth Bennet, who attracted Mr. Darcy with her pithy wit, which was in actuality usually a put-down. Even Mr. Collins has his charm, albeit bumbling and self-serving. Not many of us are willing to put forth the effort any more, I'm afraid. Charm, according to Webster, is to be alluring and fascinating. It doesn't rely on youth or beauty, but rather on a certain innate quality that shines forth, an inner glow of intelligence and certain interest in others. That is what is most charming, you know, when others seem really interested in ME. And of course, they may not be at all. Charm is a costume one steps into, a contrivance, a mask. Well, I don't know about you, but I don't want anyone to know EVERYTHING I think, and usually don't say very much of it out loud. So, artifice is a regular practice of the cow-waving-woman, anyway. Might as well add some charm to the equation. Could reap a Mr. Darcy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Painting in public, oh my!

Our class went to the mall today, to view the exhibit by local watercolorists and do a study based on one of the paintings, the one that spoke to us. Me being me, I finished mine. Practically no one else did. In fact, I left a little early (well, I arrived early, too). This was a marvelous painting by Mara Farnsworth called "Golden Leaves. Hers is much better than mine. I simplified, and in the end, just plain made things up. And her background was spectacular, but I don't know how to do that yet. In fact, I don't know how I did this painting, I just did it. I am not unhappy with it, actually, it has a certain charm, for a quick study. Okay, to be honest, all my paintings are done pretty quickly, loosely, slap, slap, slap. That's the charm of them. I hope.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God said Ha!

Every Thursday night, I sojourn out to the wilds of West County for my goddess meeting, at Bev's house. That is old time AA, you know, meeting in a member's house. Bev is our AA Martha Stewart. Her house is always being decorated, and redecorated, and remodelled. There are all kinds of homey touches, but the best is this gigantic ceiling beam in the family room where we sit. Carved into it, and gilded gold, are the words "We Plan, God Laughs". And every Thursday night it is as if I never noticed it before, or knew those words, even though I have been going to this meeting for 12 years now. And lately, I know God has been snickering up Her sleeve about me and my little plans and ideas. Like heading out the door Wednesday morning with my Monet tote under my arm and Speedo under my cargo pants, only to be turned away at the door of the aquatic center. Pump repair, bah! Why can't they do that at night, when everyone else is sleeping? Like, they want to sleep, too? So I decided to go on Sunday, a day I am now taking off from anything stenuous. It rained. Not just a little drizzle, either, but a full-fledged downpour. Now, I love my swim, but that seemed a little, well, obsessive. I got there yesterday, on a kind of cool, windy, cloudy day, and shivered a lot afterward as I wended my way from pool to lockeroom. Just a foretaste of winter, which seems to want to come early here. I heard we are in for an El Nino year here, wet and wild. The watertable is happy, but I may have to bite the bullet and join a gym. One with a pool, indoors.

Monday, September 14, 2009

All about gesture...

We went out on campus today to try to paint the landscape we saw there. It was all about making marks with the brush and seeing what happens. I like to pick up a lot of different colors, because, let's face it, outside is mostly GREEN. Lots of shades of green, but green, green, green. So, I cheat. I use nonlocal color, like Gaugin and Van Gogh. Well, I'm not up to their snuff yet, but, hey, I think I'm closer than I was before I started today's exercise. Look at what interesting things happen when I stick some orange or purple in there. Look at how I got the trees and plants to emerge from shade to sunlight. I don't know about you, but I got pretty excited about the stuff that watercolors can do, sort of all by themselves. Much more effective than oils, by a long shot. No wonder so many artists love them. And they are so much more portable, so much easier to clean up, and more affordable. I will always love oils, of course. But as I get bolder, I think this medium could be a blast, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Paper bags and boxes. Why not?

Teachers have such interesting ideas. Like painting these rather mundane and not very scenic objects. Okay, it was a challenge, and I am not entirely satisfied with the three paintings I labored over, but this one comes closest to something I would show to everyone. Watercolors are a very contrary medium. They run and smear and make big honking watermarks. Well, they do for me, because I have no patience to wait for one area to dry before I start the next. And I actually don't like the stark look of one dried area abutting another, anyway. I like complexity, and that means some messiness, right? Well, have done this homework, now for the drawing stuff. Gee. School is such a laborious pursuit!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Coming home...

There have been few places that were really home to me, places I wanted to come back to after a day being a student or an employee. My home with my FOO (family of origin) had five different addresses, and I never wanted to be at any of them. I loved visiting my grandparent's chicken ranch, but that wasn't ever home, and they sold it by the time I was fourteen, so it went away. My first marriage had two addresses, and I was scared out of my tiny mind most of the time because my husband raged and hit me. In the City, when I was an oh-so-sophisticated twenty-year-old divorcee, nowhere I lived felt like home, just a place to perch before flying off to the next place. I flew from Noe Valley to Twin Peaks to Nob Hill to the Panhandle, and then to Hawaii with husband number two, and back to the City to the Sunset District. I tried coming home again, to the sister city of my hometown, to a tiny triplex with a washing machine in the closet. I was divorced, again, and trying to make a home for my four-year-old son while drinking and looking for husband number three. I had another abusive relationship before finding him, and we lived in this big house on a hill that looked really special. It wasn't. I actually owned three houses with my Republican-three-piece-suit guy, consecutively, of course, and none of them were places of comfort and joy. Divorced again, back in a dark little apartment, I was consumed with self-pity and marinated in alcohol, misery on the hoof. My bottom came in a little tract house I shared with my fellow drinker, sweet Leprechaun guy. Life there was fraught with self-righteous anger along with the ever-present self-pity, and it kind of blew up so that I was impelled into recovery. And my next address, just a few blocks from this little house, I hated for the first five years I lived there. Wrong neighborhood (I was pretty poor after the divorce), just not right. And suddenly, one day, I realized I was happy to be home. It was after one of those grueling hour and a half commutes which would normally be only an hour, of course, but still, that was a novel feeling. Then I moved to the house on the edge of the world, and, sweet as it was, there was an element of isolation in being so far away from everything, and in a relationship that, while it had its tender moments, was obviously not destined to be eternal. I would look out at our spectacular view of the ocean, the river, the island, and the hills, and know the impermanence of it all. I didn't like the little yellow house on the first drive-by, but the tour through it revealed it to be bigger than it appeared, and so very precious within. The first year here, I shared with a roommate, who was ill a lot, so I tiptoed and encapsulated myself in my room a lot, but I had everything a person could want in there, so it worked just fine. Big kitchen, with lots of lightness, acres of counterspace, a dishwasher and garbage disposal (didn't have those in Jenner, you know), ah, what joy! Then I got to have it all to myself, yardwork and all. And now, I feel at home. Finally. Because I know who I am. I found myself here, in the little yellow house. What a relief! I thought I was lost forever.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's all good, actually...

I learned this lesson way back in my first year of sobriety, when I was in pain all the time, it seemed, and impelled into spiritual seeking mode to find some relief (and not drink, either). We live in this world of duality, joy and sorrow, light and dark, up and down, big and little. Everything is measured by what is on the other side of its coin. And a simple flip can push me in either direction, the polar opposite of where I was just a moment ago. And the degree matters, too. The abysmal pain meant enormous heights of joy were waiting for me. Helped to remember that when I was there, wallowing around, that, in truth, I was carving out the vessel to contain the joy that was waiting for me. And I have been there. Part of my journey has been to accept that I am a deeply emotional human being. I was ashamed of that for most of my life. Now I know that I am more deeply alive than most of the human race, and I found my compatriots in AA. We are all tender, easily wounded people, seeking to salve those wounds with alcohol. It didn't work, usually for years before we quit doing it. And believe me, if it still worked, I'd still be doing it. What does work is knowing some simple truths. Like this one, which says to me that the pain is a worthwhile place to hang out, when it descends on me, again. And that it will end. Nearly twenty years of practicing means it leaves sooner than it ever did before. Progress. Not perfection.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What a way to spend an afternoon!

I guess not many grownups get to spend all afternoon drawing peaches. And I didn't either, truth be told. Just an hour on these sweet ones, then I drew a teapot, with reflections, except in the last 10 minutes, Josh and I, my 7B compatriot, drew on each other's drawings. Scary stuff. I actually love the peaches. They came up really nicely, and each has its own personality, don't you think? And I got to bring one home. For breakfast. How sweet is that!

Laps and I...

Of course, like anything, there is an etiquette to lap swimming. You don't get into the same lane with anyone before asking, even though there's no way they can say no. Same goes with passing someone while circling. It's a mother-may-I game all over again. And it is a big nono to get into the pool before the lifeguard says "go". Don't even think of getting in the water, even when the lifeguard is walking toward you, and it is time according to the clock. Big booboo. I always try to arrive early, hopefully before my usual lane buddy, Red, because we both covet the inner lane, the one that isn't against the wall of the pool, where fingers and toes can get bent and bruised if I am not careful. And I like to watch the guys, all lined up there, doing their stretching for God and everyone to see. Some of them look like beachballs on toothpicks in their tiny little Speedos, and they still preen like peacocks. The gals are more circumspect. And they come in everything from sample size to giant-economy packages. That is the glory of swimming; it lets everyone slip the surly bonds of gravity, and you can do it even if your BMI is above 30. When a third (or, lord forbid, fourth) swimmer joins us, we circle. It always makes me pretty nuts. I swim in the slow lane, but am really more of a medium kind of swimmer, so finding my niche in the circle is always a challenge. There are times I turn around mid-lap to keep from running over a fellow swimmer. At least I know how to circle now, up the right, down the left. No, wait. Is is up the left and down the right? Oh, hell, I just wait for someone to kick off, and follow. Haven't gone wrong, yet. And let me tell you, the gym didn't produce the results I have gotten as fast as swimming has. I am tighter and longer and slimmer. Today I hooked my bra on the innermost fastening, even though I haven't lost a pound in a couple of weeks. I think that is because I have gained muscle, and it is heavier than flab. Because I seem to have shrunk, again. Whatever, I feel great. And it doesn't get any better than that.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The cheap date strikes again!

I did my favorite cheap date last night, dinner and a movie. Actually, it was movie, then dinner, but same difference. We saw Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee's new flick about the staging of the (in)famous concert back in the waning days of the 60s. Fortunately I did not check the Tomatometer at Rottentomatoes.com before deciding on this particular movie, as it got a big green splat from them. I just wanted to see what this film was all about. And I think those Tomato guys missed the point. It wasn't so much about the concert as about Eliot, and his dismal family, and his coming of age, and his loss of innocence. The whole thing was worth it to watch Liev Schrieber play this incredibly laid back drag queen. He must have taken a page from John Lithgow's book, when he played Roberta in The World According to Garp, and garnered an Oscar nod for his sweet, vulnerable performance. Meryl Streep's daughter Mamie Gummer had a role, and there was this Jim Morrison lookalike that was positively adorable. Everyone was incredibly laid back. Well, everyone was stoned. And, amazingly, with half a million younguns, all of them hotbeds of hormones, there was no violence over the three days of the festival. Makes me think they should legalize pot. Hell, they should put it in the water! Afterwards, we walked next door to the East West Cafe, where I had this huge chicken salad with brown rice and hummus on the side, lots of veggies, just yummy. Another hommage to that era when we were all about love and peace. Far out.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

When in doubt, go shopping!

I seem to need a lot of stuff to maintain myself these days. And I was out of my super-duper red-getter-outer eye drops today. This is bad. I hate going around looking like I had a party the night before, especially when I don't do that any more, and the drops I did have were good to refresh my oh-so-dry eyes, but not make them all sparkly clear. So, with the fate of the planet in mind, I set off on foot for the neighborhood Rite-Aid. It's about a mile away, and it is one of those perfect days in our neighborhood, sunny without roasting you alive, breezy without blowing your hairdo into the next county. What a delightful walk it was. And while I was there, I got a tube of foot softening cream, because swimming as cracked my heels again, despite my diligent PedEgging. Honestly, I have a cream for everything: daytime moisturizer, nighttime moisturizer, cleansing cream for my face, cleansing cream for my body (can't use just one, you know), lotion for my body, estrogen and progesterone cream (don't ask), sun screen cream, hair removing cream for my face, hair removing cream for other regions (again, don't ask), undereye cream, over-the-eye cream, it goes on and on. And in most cases, I have more than one product for the same function, since I see new ads and think this will be the one that will propel me back into my thirties. Right. But hope springs eternal for this old broad. Somewhere there is a magic potion cream that will dissolve all my wrinkles. So I keep shopping. There are worse ways to spend a lovely Sunday.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Life is difficult. Duh.

Immortal words of Scott Peck, from his Road Less Travelled, one of my favorite spiritual tomes. Years of experience don't change that fact. And sometimes, it seems I have to revisit old themes, again, on that spiral course laid out before me. There is this flat spot in the wheel, you see, and when it comes around, I kind of kerplunk right into it again. Oh, hell, this again? Yeah. Again. I used to have a sign with these words on it on my oh so spiritual refrigerator. They saved my life once, knowing that I would not always be in the godawful pain I was feeling, that it would change, soon. Not necessarily be better, mind you, but different. So I put the pills back in the bottle and went to bed. And it shifted. Big lesson. Shift happens! And these words apply always, even when things are GOOD. That will change, too, so I savor those moments, pick over them like a miser counting his gold. Because it will be gone, again, soon, too. No use resenting it, change will happen anyway. Sometimes, none too soon.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Learn something everyday...

We saw Andy Goldsworthy's movie Rivers and Tides in drawing class yesterday. Don't know why, maybe because we were out drawing trees and plants the Tuesday before? I hadn't seen it, though it did come to our little river theatre (bless Sue, she always got really good films). What I admire most about Andy is his vision. He found the muse that works for him. In fact, without the work, he feels rootless. He is most focussed when executing one of his nature sculptures (out of leaves or ice or sticks or flowers or driftwood or rocks, etc.), even though they are transitory and will be swept away by wind or tide. (His most permanent are what he calls seeds, but actually look like teardrops, markers of some sort, that squat in pastures or at roadsides, just being themselves.) The scenes in the movie with his family, (wife and four little ones, all so amazingly healthy-looking) show Andy as kind of remote, as if his process percolates all the time beneath that smooth brow. He appears to be the world's most healthy man, not young with white hair, but his skin blooms with pinkness and his eyes are clear as the rivers he decorates. He speaks of art as his roots, of being rootless when not creating. I resonated with his idea of being layered, peeling them away to reveal the beauty within. Probably none of this is new to anyone but me. Just glad to be in on it now. God, I love college!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Best boy in the world!

Happy Birthday, Boo! Okay, kind of nutso, remembering my dog's birthdays (Pickle's is April 12, remember, Easter Sunday this year), but what else do I have to do, being retired as I am? Well, actually, I have homework in watercolor class, and my decorations to make for the party later this month. And the house needs a good sweeping out, and the yard is gasping for water, and Safeway beckons and... Oh, hell, I think I'll buy Boo a cake. And eat it myself. Hey, I always give him a little bite! And he's 11 years old today, a venerable age, for sure. Never mind the gray on his muzzle. He's spry and pain-free, and capable of hustling when he needs to. My guy, Boo.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Between the ears. Sigh.

All kinds of stuff floating around in there these days. Old hurts. New obligations. Deadlines. Procrastinated tasks. Enough junk to keep me awake, sweating. And no one would miss me if I were not there the next day. Biggest worry of all, that I am not important, hell, even integral in the Big Picture. Tiny identity crisis here in the little yellow house. Only one thing is certain; this will change really soon. A glimpse back into old journals assures me of that fact. Every terrible thing that visited me in the past is there, and in the past. Here's an unusual thought; ask for help! What an idea!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Look what landed on my kitchen counter!

I woke up in the middle of the night and went, oh my God, it's September, and I haven't even started on the decorations for our 20th AA birthday party on the 26th! So I got up at 6:30 AM (please, no applause), ordered the tablecloths and garlands (yellow and blue), made my pattern, and executed my prototype flutterby. It looks like it is going to work just fine. I expect they will all be different (they are in nature, too, so that works, right?), and I managed to rip this one a little tearing it off the Bristol pad (sigh), but hell, we'll put it up high where no one will notice. Feeling much better here. It is all doable, and will get done, one way or the other. More coming, at least 20 of these guys to flutter about our party, representing TRANSFORMATION, big changes that recovery brings when you keep plugging away at it, one day at a time.