2013

photo by RLHyde from Flickr Creative Commons

photo by RLHyde from Flickr Creative Commons

It’s a new year. I didn’t post very often in 2012 and I think I can do once a week this year. Mondays will be a good day to do so.

What inspired me to blog when I started had something to do with the Misty Look Theme photo. I loved the stone bridge over the water of the quiet stream with the autumn colors and willow trees nearby and the gentle path. It is similar to the landscape in my interior world. When I see the new earth in my mind’s eye, it isn’t pastel and bubblegum colors with cartoon unicorns, rainbows and butterflies. Instead it’s a more grounded, classic beauty.

When I logged in last week with the intention of taking up blogging today, I was informed that Misty Look had an updated theme. It was now Misty Lake and I did not like it at all. It was the photo that disappointed. If I were more tech-inclined and patient there might have been a way to use the previous bridge photo with the Misty Lake theme.

The old theme can still be used but in the future the code will be unsupported. I’m not sure what that means but it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to be surprised with so I looked for another theme, chose this one and then spent time on Flickr searching for a festive photo that I would be allowed to use.

It isn’t a big deal but I could have easily just given up. Not bothered. I’m not sure what I’ll learn or who I’ll meet because of my new re-commitment to blogging. This will likely be a more sane and calm year than last although it has it’s challenges as well. Right now the snow is steadily falling here and I’ve managed to complete the first of my blog posts of the year.

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Directions

The Co-op was really busy today, just like a weekend. I walked over to get some organic produce and got the heck out of there rather than looking for replacements for the items on my list I couldn’t find. I have refined my diet so well this past year that there is no need for me to make resolutions in that area.

The past year turned out to be better than I ever expected and I did achieve some of my goals but no way in the linear steps I’d planned. One of the best improvements was my abilities with the specialized diet I need because of a health situation. Another improvement is finally coming up with a budget I can work with, something that has eluded me for decades. The organization of my living space is another long-standing challenge that has become easier this year. I can’t quite say how I got here but it feels good.

However I did it, I’m intending for the same grace to happen this year regarding organizing the information I need to run my life. Yeah, I have a fancy, expensive day-planner but I don’t really use it. I waste a lot of time looking for passwords and other things because I simply don’t take the time to write things down in a manner that I can retrieve later. That sort of information isn’t really meant for the mind to file away when we have all this high and low tech help.

The other two things on my list for decades–once again–exercise and drawing. I will begin with the information organizing first. This past year, it worked better for me to go deep into improving one thing at a time. In fact, overall, uni-tasking is more conducive for my success than multi-tasking.

I know what directions I want to go in and for me it’s enough that I’m accountable to myself.

Writing What I Feel Like

It’s Thanksgiving. I haven’t been feeling well so I stayed home and slept most of the day. When I woke up I felt like making meat loaf and now I’m waiting for it to be ready to take out of the oven. It’s only the second time I’ve used this particular recipe and this time I didn’t leave out any of the ingredients so I’m thinking I’ll really like it.

Every once in awhile, something pops onto my radar regarding astrology. Today is one of those auspicious times. There’s a Sagittarius Solar Eclipse and New Moon. I’ve noticed New Moon’s are good for beginnings. In fact I began this blog during a New Moon almost a year ago and had fun with it until summer when I craved being out in the sunshine.

The internet reading I’ve done indicates this is a special Solar Eclipse. I’m not going to explain why–you can take my word for it. Or not.

Wherever the Solar Eclipse falls in a natal chart, is an area where it’s like a graduation now. Where more can be possible and restrictions fall away. Of course, these things aren’t handed out on a silver platter. I’m a believer in responsibility and self-authority.

Anyway, it happens to fall in my fifth house. Yes, I’ve had a natal chart professionally done. The fifth house is generally referred to as the one of creativity, fun, love, etc. Now that intrigued me. The information is often presented in a dry and serious manner. Doing a quick internet search, I found information about the fifth house that is more juicy and inspiring. The information is by Dana Gerhardt and she helps explain it by writing about the film Chocolat.

Very timely for me to read. There are many, many things I appreciate in this life. Right now I feel fortunate that this information is helping me to notice a fresh start. And I’m really looking forward to the meat loaf too.

Observation and Fatigue

My acrylic painting has just been stored and I’m not going to show it to anyone until I do much better. It’s scary starting with art again after plus thirty years. This week I’m trying to schedule an hour daily to focus on it, even if it means just showing up.

This morning I hid the painting after calling it finished, stored my paints, etc. in an easy-to-get-to place but off my computer desk and recognized that I might best learn to draw again in some sort of structured way. I got down my 1985 copy of Bert Dodson’s “Keys To Drawing”.

When I lived in Boulder County Colorado, I liked to go up to Nederland and spend the day. I liked the altitude and being by the big reservoir. Having spent the first 17 years of my life with the Mississippi River nearby, it felt unnatural to be so far from big water in Colorado.

Once when I was wandering back to town and near the shelter area I saw a small group of people drawing. It was a class and usually I’m very shy and reserved but not this time. After chatting with the art teacher a bit, she told me that she was self-taught and had learned from Dodson’s book. So I bought one and put it on my shelf where it sat and was moved to three different apartments in two states.

As scary as it is, I don’t learn when I don’t even try–hence the scheduled hour daily now. (Honestly I couldn’t think of another word besides hence).

I began looking through the book after clearing up the disappointing painting project and was drawn to a little section about observation and fatigue. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know I’m interested in rejuvenating from burn-out and fatigue.

Drawing is more about observing the object being drawn than the medium on which it’s drawn. Dodson says fatigue is inevitable and often comes on before we realize it. One sign is a sudden awareness of time. Another sign is awareness of distractions. He says at these times it’s best to stop. Wow. I have never seen this information before and it easily translates into a tool for the rest of my life.

Now many times, I have to slog my way through something just like we all do. It is useful to be conscious of the increase in tiredness though so I can make the good choices that are available to me. With drawing, as I walk the fine line of overcoming my fears and also taking care of my health this is a micro-detail that will serve me well.

This sudden lack of focus and anxiety about time also happens when I’m reading or on the computer. He didn’t mention hunger, but sometimes I feel suddenly very hungry. Dodson recommends when drawing, to select areas of interest in the subject and concentrate on them first to bunch up both energies and time. The rest of the drawing can then be treated with simplicity. Kind of like being wise in prioritizing my activities.

The Art Room

Yay me! I’m following through on bringing more artistic expression into my life. No matter how long it takes.
I’ve noticed that even though the morning is an awkward beginning for me, whatever I engage my mind in, I’m in that mode for awhile. When I write “morning pages” in longhand it activates that part of my brain and then it’s easier for me to read and comprehend what I’m reading.
That’s not so good for me physically though, if I want physical accomplishments that day. Which I certainly do.
So yesterday morning, after I was finished writing, I gently tore myself away from the sticky track of words and began coloring in my coloring book.
The coloring book calls for colored pencils. I got the book at an art fair held in a local park this summer. The one I chose was Wetland Critters. The artist is Sue Coccia. It’s difficult to stay within the very intricate lines. I can feel how good it is for me although I don’t have words to describe that.
When I was finished, I intended to do some needed maintenance activities in my apartment. Instead I wanted to mess with the painting I’m working on now–an old stone bridge and it’s reflection in the water. I took advantage of the ease energy of doing it while it was available to me. Frankly I’m overwhelmed by approaching artistic expression after more than 35 years.
The process felt good but the painting looks too splotchy and ill defined now. My hands tremor but I think I’ll get a tiny brush and use dark gray dots to define some of the areas. And I’m still wanting to paint people.
I’ve been diagnosed once with ADD. Also random, exasperated people have accused me of having ADD when I wasn’t being who and how they wanted me to be. Unless they’re paying me or supporting me, I don’t care anymore.
And I don’t label myself although in my research (I love to research for solutions–thank you, internet) I have found techniques that are useful to me.
One of the descriptions I’ve read–and it’s like how my brain works–is that if the brain were a house, and numbers were like an upstairs bedroom and words were like the kitchen and social interaction were like the hallway, most people could just walk from room to room. Some people with so-called ADD can access those rooms but it’s like they can’t just walk through the doorways. They have to get a ladder, crawl out a window and place the ladder against the outside of another room, climb up and crawl through the window.
That’s how it is to varying degrees and I’m learning to improve this (one of my many, many projects) and that’s why many goal setting techniques recommended for the masses do not work for me. When my schedule is somewhat flexible, I need to consider what I’ve got going for me–and which room I’m in.
When I have commitments and obligations to other people, I am very, very conscientious, considerate and dependable to the degree that I can manage. I work harder at it than most people, often to my detriment.
I am a survivor and I have a certain kind of intelligence that has gotten me this far, even with the lack of information and support about the best way for me to navigate in the world.
And when I get better at my own navigation, I’ll be someone who understands what it’s like for many other people who are struggling.
Things are not as they appear. And I have a huge, huge clue about how it’s not wise to judge other people.
And I guess that’s of way more value to me than people who are now appearing to be way more functional than me in the 3D world. Bless them, I’m glad many of them are operating so efficiently.
So when I find myself in the art room of my brain, I’m going to play. Even if it looks like I’m making a mess.

Word Of The Year

Instead of resolutions, I’ve been choosing a word-of-the-year for the last few years and I do believe it’s made a difference. I got the idea from Christine Kane’s blog several years ago and a quick search of this site has shown me that others like the idea also.
I’ve recently mentioned that I’m experimenting with changing my overly subjective, go-with-the-flow ways and worked out some structure and focus and goals for the coming year. After several years of numerous major losses and debilitating pain and chronic fatigue during which my main goal was to stay alive—well, some days it was–I’m finding that my life is indeed looking like I’ll have a future.
After being passive for so long it’s tempting to overreact and really push myself to CONTROL but that isn’t the life I want either. Thus I made a little plan and some habits I want to take up and I’ll pay attention to how it goes.
Back to word-of-the-year, I’ve changed my mind from the one I decided on a little while back–sustainable–and am mentioning it here for anyone keeping track (me) just for the sake of accuracy. The word had just come to me from the ethers or whatever and so I thought it was meant to be. When I looked up the meaning, I didn’t care so much for it. It seemed limiting and like I’d just “been there. done that”.
The word I really, really, really want for 2011 is receive. Yes, that’s been a major imbalance in the way I’ve lived. Giving, not so much receiving. Enough said about that.
When meeting new people and considering friendship I’m going to listen to my gut more. Do they take responsibility or do they blame? Do they practice appreciation or are they complainers? Are they about healing, solutions and uplifting or generally negative all the time? It’s really time for me to turn the corner on this.

Will There Be a Harvest?

A fresh, new Blog!  This isn’t my first one, although it’s the most serious-looking one I’ve started.

Usually begun with a sense of inspiration, purpose and ease–then other aspects of life  step up with assertive calls for my attention away from regular posting.

Experienced bloggers sometime recommend that a new blogger have a stash of posts lined up in the beginning. That was considered. I noticed hesitation in doing it that way too.

Completion and follow-through are important. Sometimes it’s simply the learning and the journey that is valuable and bittersweet. Every little thing we choose has an effect.

When months would go by with no comments in my previous blogs elsewhere,  it sometimes felt like I was engaging in yet another real world exercise in futility. I rarely posted comments too—it felt kind of creepy. That may have been those platforms though.

It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon. There’s a blanket of snow on the ground. The moon is new and I’ll begin a new blog.

This isn’t a challenge to the relative harmony of my life.