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.


Julie said...

Ok Mom you are killing me here...crying at work.

K Spoering said...

Carol, I really can feel with you. We, too, lost a family member, part of an estranged branch, this past week. I somehow think that makes grieving harder, as we can't share it closely with ones we want to love.

About school, think of how you would feel 20 years from now if you didn't persevere. Avoid regrets... a good 'life rule' I think.

Take care - Kathy S

Cheryl said...

"Live and find joy" words to live by, life is so fleeting! I love you, you write beautiful.

Cheryl lavornia said...

Carol...I think I can relate. God called me to seminary for an MDiv but I had no clear objective or future goal insight. On the other side, I can see how His hand changed me in the process. Yes, there were moments when I pulled the covers over my head in tears after spending 5 hours a day studying Hebrew; being overwhelmed at driving into Boston a couple of nights a week; feeling loss at missing out on other things... and yet, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Why? Because I proved something to me. You said that even though you are swamped with reading, you are still somehow enjoying it. That's how you know. That's how you know that following what God has prompted you to do, even though you may feel like %>~~¥=^~|@$!

Wasn't it Jeremiah who had to go to the potter and then break the pot... Art is the thing that separates us from all other animals... We were given the ability to create... So even though you are not "doing" art in one form or another, you won't be like Jeremiah and feel like it's been a waste.

Be a peace with your decision to return because God is doing something in you... Even though it may not seem "spiritual", it is His gift to you....to fully develop you!

You go girl! Yeah! Rah rah!

Ps. I signed up for a summer session with a local potter and I have been so enjoying it. It's soulcare!

Cheryl lavornia

Anonymous said...

Carol, your words have been a beautiful and meaningful read. My deepest sympathy to you and your family with regards to your brother in law. Stay the course as rough as the seas get with your studies. Your zest for life inspires and touches others as you go along.

Yes!-- get your toes in the ocean soon...best wishes--Judith Gengler

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." ~Emily Dickinson

Carol said...

Sorry, Julie...just tell your superior your washing your eye balls.

Kathy, thank you for sharing and for your encouragement. I am touched.

Cheryl , yes you know how fleeting life can indeed be. And thank you...

Cheryl L. Thank you for sharing, it brought tears that had been on the edge all day and I hope to see your pots!

Judith, thank you so much for your caring and encouragement...I want to print this out because the gift you all have given me today with your comments and caring have moved me deeply. I felt loved and cared for rather unexpectedly. I am truly blessed with amazing people in my life both near and far, thank you.