Wonder what it would be like to utter these words and mean them?  I’m fretting about dosh this afternoon, and the potential lack thereof, and this is one of those head spaces I truly dislike.  It serves no purpose and is just a mental gymnastics exercise in distress.  I hear the a.c. running constantly (thank you Mid-Mo weather), and it’s making me cringe rather than enjoy the coolness.  I should be thankful we have air conditioning and yet here I sit, fretting.

Most people I know probably do the money dance.  The one where you step in and step out of worry about money.  I just want to be thankful for that which I have, yet I also have to be honest and say I would like to have enough money that I am never in fret mode again.  Duh.  Who wouldn’t desire such a thing…

It’s all about Perspective.  Always…

I’ve decided I’d like to be a Princess in Easy World.  The place where all things are easy and everything works out.  Abundance is made manifest and joy is the default status update.  Yep.  Easy World.  Princess Alibaba.  I’ve got the crown.

I’m ready…

I had a list of things to get done, art-wise, this extended weekend, and am pleased to say and know that I’m almost done!  I put faces on and beaded 4 jean jackets, pinned and readied 3 more face quilts, and matted 9 face prints…all for the upcoming Art Festival in Fulton.

I still have to quilt and bind one face quilt *today* to stay on schedule, and though that sounds nutty, I can probably get quite a bit of it done.  If my fingers hold out…

Deadlines are good.  Helpful.   Daunting, at times…but mostly helpful.

Here are some of my ‘fait accompli’ images:

It’s all good…

May 30, 2010

My husband, Lee, says “it’s all good” quite often.  One of his finest qualities is that his default mood is hopeful and happy.  I’ve learned much from this stance of his and can honestly say that more often than not these days, “it’s all good”.

This Sunday morning was made all that much better by having some time with Lee before the day started, and a beloved cat’s weight leaning up against the curve of my body before I decided to get out of bed.  I’m not sure if there is anything like the “lean” from a warm body that you love.  Bodie hasn’t spent much time with us of late as it’s warmer, yet he thought he could offer up a few moments under the ceiling fan this morning, much to my delight.  I adore that cat…

Mom told me that I was a “leaner” when I was small.  She spoke of a time when I was about 6 or so when she was doing the dishes at the sink.  I came up and just leaned against her…not saying anything.  I guess I just needed to feel her there. I don’t remember this moment, yet I love the image of this scene in my mind.  It is comforting.

I have lots of people to lean on in this world…and I hope they feel like they can lean on me, too.  One of the best changes I’ve had in my life these past months is that I honestly and truly feel like I can lean on myself.  I can rely on my inner strength and kindness, and I can be my own best friend.

Maybe that is why I can so clearly sense the joy that is available to me in my world.

It is all good.

I pulled something in the middle of my back at approximately 7:01 a.m. this Saturday morning that is claiming portions of my shoulders and neck .  I promptly got up (well, it took a while to actually be able to get up from bed)  and swallowed ibuprofen and a Soma (relaxant), which sadly are not doing much for the problem.  There is so much that I want and need to get done today and this weekend, too.  I want to finish three jean jackets, one face quilt, and I also need to get three more face quilts pinned and ready to go for the month of June.  Must stay on schedule!…especially since I’m doing the art festival in a few weeks.  Sigh.

This spot is in the middle of my back, right between the shoulder blades.  Probably where wings would attach if I had them.  Funny thing is, I knew this person back in KC many moons ago who would probably say that I was developing my spiritual wings and this was the pain associated with that transition and evolvement.  She was pretty out there…even for me.

I’m guessing it’s probably a pulled muscle with a pinched nerve.  Lovely.  I have to admit, though, that I think it would be much cooler to have this less-than-desired pain this morning, if  it were for a much nobler notion such as developing  spiritual wings.

I think I’d like some artistic wings, please.  The kind that are remarkably glorious.  Beautiful.  Expansive and Enlightening.

For quite some time, I’ve had this delightful image of me working some day down the road, in my very own art studio, equipped with sky lights and a large work table, with lots of light and room.   I am older, my hair graying, and I wear it in a long braid down my back.  I’m working on a hunk of stone, or a big piece of wood, and I’m wearing old, worn-in jeans, boots and a shirt.  My arms are strong, my back is straight, and as I work, I have a smile of quiet pleasure on my face.  I am satisfied.  Complete.  At one with my work.

I love this image.  I’m starting on the braid right now.

“Ignore Everybody”

May 28, 2010

I just finished (in one day!), Hugh MacLeod’s book, Ignore Everybody. It is the author’s personal journey and remarkings on the ‘keys to creativity’.  I really enjoyed his sound, sane, yet quirky perspective on being an artist, and just being a good human being.  He also draws some funky images on the back of business cards, which are quite intriguing.  You can check out his blog at http://www.gapingvoid.com.

A quote from the book:

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.  Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books of algebra, history, etc.  Being suddenly hit years later with the “creative bug” is just a wee voice telling you, “I’d like my crayons back, please.””

Nice…

I’ve decided (as it might be apparent) to write about more than art.  I’ll still do that, as I’m still doing the art.  I’m thinking that since the main person reading this stuff is me, I might as well write to me.

So, I’m going to post something I wrote almost 10 years ago.  It’s about weight and obsessing and pain.  Sadly, I still relate to these words of mine from ago.  I wish I didn’t.

Wait

(The set is relatively bare.  A vanity with mirror and a chair.  Simple, as in a young girl’s room.  There is also a twin sized bed.  Again simple, no pillows.  On the dresser is a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. )

(The lights are sparse, illuminating only the furniture.  Background is dark….the stage is large, so the area of focus is small.  There is an audience.  There is one actress.  She is dressed in black, black turtleneck and black pants.  She sits on the edge of the bed, and looks out at the audience as she speaks)


“I am relating these thoughts, this monologue, this diatribe, because as I was on the treadmill just now, trying to convince myself that the reason I was on the damn treadmill was because I wanted my body to be healthy, wanted the good feeling exercise gave me, I realized that the main motivator for getting on that treadmill this evening was because I saw myself in the mirror as I changed into the exercise clothes after work and I knew that it really had started again, this fluctuation in the weight, this bulk ……there was no denying it, it was there in the mirror, and however small this increase really was didn’t matter…….all that mattered is that now I MUST do something or else!  and I realized as I was walking on the treadmill that I AM motivated by guilt……not pleasure, no longer able to tell whether I really WANT to walk, or whether I am merely running from the mirror….”

“This is not a new thing….this is a very old thing…..”

(The actress lies back on the bed, staring at the ceiling as she speaks….)

“In the mornings before I get out of bed, I check myself…I have lots of ways of doing this checking, but mainly I bend the fingers and see how tight they feel in my multitude of silver rings, check the feel of my belly…is it flat, level with the hips?? Sunken perhaps??…….. which would be good, but doesn’t happen often, or does it pooch a bit, meaning I need to run my mind quickly over what I ate for dinner last night…..did I eat too much salt?? Could it be water retention??  Wishful thinking that it is water.  Water is movable in a day or two, or might pass with the passing of tampons………..The kind of weight that I know the best is the kind that makes you try and try to find something to wear in the mornings, and if it is pants, and you used to fit in them, your mind, MY mind, this mind….is relentless in telling me when and how I used to fit into them ( usually how recently too) and they didn’t cling and feel tight at the waist and IT …this mind talk will keep on and on until I want to just scream and beat something, or myself, but I can’t because I HAVE to go to work, and it is getting later, so find something to wear DAMNIT ….”

(The actress moves to sit at the dresser…looks at the mirror….looks down at the pack of cigarettes and picks it up)

“I used to smoke….for 17 years I smoked, and then I quit.  Quitting wasn’t so hard, it was the chink in an already meticulously calculated metabolism that was hard, for the body, this body that I have struggled so hard to be friends with was gaining weight, and everyone said it would happen, and I said, “oh no….not me, I won’t let it” but it did…despite what I ate or didn’t eat, and it made me so incredibly mad!!  So I went ahead and let it go for a while…..How could I be friends with a body that would betray me, and I was trying so hard to do something GOOD for myself and be HEALTHY, and all I could see was that it was a trade off, and was I willing to let go of the cigarettes which obviously helped me stay thinner?? and GOD!, why did this have to be so damn hard all the time??  Why me???, I asked, and then I would think….”I am so selfish and shallow to be concerned about this when there are far worse problems that I could have”, and then I would feel more guilt, but shit!!  This was MY issue and I was SICK of it, and no matter whether it was lame or not, it was making me crazy and all I ever wanted was to be normal….”

(The actress crosses her legs in the chair and looks down at them…)

“I could tell you almost exactly what it has felt like to cross my legs at different weights throughout my life.  It’s sick, I know…but it’s true.  I know it by feel and I know how it looks at different sizes.  I think it is the worse thing, you know?  Crossing your legs when you are overweight.  You have to expend energy to keep them crossed……they don’t just do it naturally. They want to spring back into a state of being uncrossed.  It doesn’t feel comfortable or natural.  I remember looking at my brother with his legs crossed.  Why didn’t I have legs that wouldn’t change size?  It looked so easy for him to sit that way“

“Just like the legs, I can look at any picture of myself and know immediately what it was like to be that person in that picture at that time.  My mind will say, “oh yeah, that was when I was doing lots of speed and was kind of thin…don’t I look sort of good?, I ask myself.  At least I am thin, I say…Wonder if it would be so bad to just do a bit of that again and get the weight off??…I wouldn’t do it for very long, just long enough to lost a bit of the weight…and then I think, “no, better not go down that path again…might not be able to stop.”
”And I look and  see other pictures that almost make me weep, for I so empathize and pity the person that is me in those pictures…I remember one in particular…it was a Superbowl party in the late 70’s, early 80’s, and some of Dad’s students were there, and Jen was so skinny, and Alan (yeah, that was his name), was cute and tall and thin, and his girlfriend danced with Jen, and I remember he flirted with Jen, and I was fat and trying to hide it in these overalls, and in the picture I see this long blond hair of mine, and it is dyed and I look so obvious!, so incredibly OBVIOUS, and overweight, and did I really think the overalls hid this??, and it makes me so sad for myself, and I almost don’t want to relate to that person for it is painful, and why in the world do I remember all of this shit so clearly???  Does my sister remember that day??  If she does, does she know what it felt like to be in her body that day??”

“This guy I dated once told me that I wore all these large sweatshirts and sweaters to try and hide my weight from him and that he KNEW I had the extra weight ….and I was mortified!!  Mortified that he would say it out loud to me,…say that he KNEW, and I wanted to just crawl into a hole and never come out, and I was so terribly embarrassed.  It was awful…I remember that day as well.  Just as clearly.  Don’t need a picture of that one.”

(The actress gets up from the chair and walks in front of the bed.  Sits down, sighs, and speaks.)

“I’m 38 years old and this has been my story for 24 years.  24 years of mind numbing, self deprecating obsessive thoughts about this body in which I reside.  24 years of beating myself up for not being thin, not being willing at all times to do what is required to maintain thinness.  24 years of letting the scale and its number determine my mood for the day.  24 years of fluctuating weights……..24 years of money spent on diet pills, drugs, diet food, diet books, different sized clothing, and gimmicks.  24 years of worrying about whether a man (or a guy when I was just 14) would think I was attractive.  This could continue…..this story …..or I could find a different way to be.  Find a kinder more accepting me to be.  I could find peace in this body, and then I could have 24 years + of another story.”

“I’m 38 years old and I might as well be 14. “

© 2001  Alison Williams

Beauty

May 27, 2010

This is a picture of my wedding bouquet.  I wish I could hold it and smell it one more time…


Forgiveness

May 27, 2010

I  seek forgiveness.  Forgiveness for being human, saying stupid things, saying mean things, judging, disturbing, wanting, having, lacking, drinking, isolating, doubting, berating, hating, fearing, ranting, trying.

A Course in Miracles defines forgiveness as, “the healing of the perception of separation”.

Separation.

I seek forgiveness from someone in particular.

I seek forgiveness from my art, my craft.

I also seek forgiveness from myself.


I was listening to the Moody Blues while driving to work today.  It seemed an appropriate background for the noise already in my head.  I’ve always been particularly fond of the song, “Question”.  Maybe it’s cheesy, yet these lyrics appeal to me:

“Between the silence of the mountains, and the crashing of the sea…There lies a land I once lived in and she’s waiting there for me.

But in the grey of the morning, my mind becomes confused…Between the dead and the sleeping and the road that I must choose.”

Maybe in part because I am an artist, I have a tendency to use visual analogies for references on what I’m thinking/sensing.  I’ve often used the one about feeling like I’m in a snow globe, and everytime I get to the point of thinking things are clearing and I can see my way out, some fool comes along and shakes the damn thing again.  Maybe it’s me, though.  Maybe I knock it off the table all the time, or bump it with my elbow, or move too quickly and all that frickin’ snow starts blowing around again.

Suffice it to say, I still find myself in this body sideways.  Discombobulated.  Out of sorts.  Disjointed.  Confused.  Scattered.  Baffled.  Bewildered.

What happens when this happens?  Where does all that gumption go??  Make art??  Ha.  Sounds like a retarded notion.  Sounds silly…


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