Saturday, July 31, 2010

Noticing...



A long, difficult week has come to a close. There has been much to process, to ponder and to pray about. Children who are now men with children of their own, people from the past who we have not seen for years, both friends and family, new family members met. Information exchanged, sadness about how we only see each other at funerals. Suggestions on how to change that ...but I fear we will not, we will probably in most cases carry on with our lives.

I am very tired, weary even...but still much to do, much I want to do, and will do. Maybe that is what makes all the difference. Not to sit in sadness but rather to put it in a sack and bring it with us if need be, but to 'carry on'. Very important to keep moving through life, one foot in front of the other. Birthdays, Water Fires, studying, Grandson headed back Tuesday to base after his leave before deployment in August to Iraq



...as I said much to pray about, much to do these next few days and always writing in my journal...thoughts, some flower petals, and an obituary, all pieces of one's day are entered. Even my empty loom is glanced at, longed for...thinking it would be nice to sit and weave and start up a rhythm to life again. Maybe pull out my paints, wet my brush...find those parts of me that have been shelved for a variety of reasons. Not a good sign when one's paints and brushes must be 'pulled out'. They should have been out. But I am feeling like I want to do these things, so all is not lost.

I turned to Mary Oliver this morning and found this poem from out of her book, Thirst. I think it speaks well to where I am this morning.

Heavy

That time I thought I could not
go any closer to grief without dieing

I went closer, and I did not die.
Surely God had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was no where to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it-
books, bricks, grief-
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes,now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled-
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love to which there is no reply?

-Mary Oliver



So carry on today and have a wonderful day of noticing and admiring...I am looking forward to my day of noticing and smiling and sighing with gratitude that I am here to admire.
Thanks for reading

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Live and Find Joy...



I guess one only feels like they can only post on their blog when life is smooth and one appears with their best foot forward so to speak...but sometimes life just does not cooperate. Some people seemingly have an easier time than others but I realize that is only on the surface in most cases. So I post this morning in the midst of choppy waters, approaching storms, and maybe some calm after the storm...




There is always the clean, calm that appears after a storm. I just need to climb on, embracing what is, and see where I end up.


I am tired,mostly emotionally but physically as well. I finished the Spring semester well but exhausted, then turned around and registered for Summer sessions, both of them to take the two out of four art history classes I need to take. Not exactly drawing and painting or generally making art... No, quite the opposite...massive reading, quizzes, midterms, finals, papers, all times two. It is pretty intense because these are classes meant to run 16 weeks of a regular term and it is being squeezed into 6 weeks which leaves me no time for anything. Yet, I am enjoying what I am learning in spite of myself. It is answering some questions as well as confirming some thoughts I have had. I am still amazed that prehistoric people had the drive to make art...of course it was not art at the time but rather a recording of life and artifacts that were made as functional objects, yet I am awed by it. I wonder what they were thinking as they were drawing on the cave walls. Actually they put charcoal in their mouths along with water and saliva, chewed to mix and sprayed...can you imagine us in a class, spraying...sorry, I digress. Just amazing, the creative drive has always been a part of our DNA it appears. Some of the drawings of the animals are quite accurate. One can tell the power of observation was at play as well as memory.

Sometimes I get pretty discouraged, not a hard thing for me anyway. This is different though...I get differing responses from people and some of them sting. I have a degree so the question arises, why do this again? I explain and the blank look is still there. I really am not 'doing this again' because I am 'only' ( I jest ) have to do the art requirements, 51 credits plus some, but I am not at that place yet...I would like to work for a BFA which is a professional degree and used for going on...but I do not want to get ahead of myself. Suffice it to say I can't get there from here unless I do what I am doing. A BA in psychology won't do it for me. But then there are the friends and family who do hold me up and push me forward. Who understand I can't be in two places at once. Who don't care what my plan is but rather they just know it is very important to me. I can say to them what the hell am I doing? And I have those days where I ask that question. But then you have a friend that answers that question with a few words that can make all the difference.

"The studying really sounds grueling, but I would definitely stick with it. In the end, I'm certain it will open up new opportunities that you don't have now. Who cares what other people say or think. They are not you! Those off-handed comments can be defeating, I know, but we just need to ignore them"

...and ignore I try. Thank you my friend...

So onward to reading a few more hundred pages this week...on tap for this week are Jewish, Early Christian and Byzantine Art, Islamic Art, and Art of South and Southeast Asia before 1200. Three chapters a week on average...studying for tests weekly and the paper that needs to be written...This session is finished August 13. Need a break.

Then 2 weeks of some errands and orientation as I have been accepted into the college officially as a Second Degree Student...I need to get near the water and put my feet in, after all this is the Ocean State. You can not live here and not do that...it's a rule.

All of this seems all the more poignant to me today. Life is fragile and goes by with the blink of an eye...My brother in law was removed from life support this past week end. His sons wanted him surrounded by family as he slipped away so we stood there with him...I still have not processed this yet...He had back surgery, developed pneumonia and mercer and just never came back. Two of my children were with us as my husband said what he need to say to his older brother who was a father figure of sorts. They had been estranged... as families some times tend to do, fractured and split. Unfortunately we are both from such families...Hard.

This photo of my youngest daughter on here third birthday with her cousin, Steven, three weeks older than her twirling joyfully and just having fun on a day when we were all together. Steven lost his dad Sunday...





So all this to say Live and find Joy...live your life on your terms and work on those relationships...family and friends. Some of those friends are your family I know in my case they are.

Rest in Peace, Bobby...


Thanks for reading. Have a blessed day.