Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Whole New Year: Here's To Me

"And so this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun..."
To quote John Lennon, "what have you done?"  Have you made the most of this year?  Are you a better "you" than you were a year ago?  I was thinking about the state I was in a year ago and the state I find myself in now.  I can't believe that an entire year has flown by, but upon reflecting I can see the time and changes.  2013 saw some good stuff!  I started off in bad spirits, but this year has seen more personal growth in me than possibly any other.  Like the phoenix out of her ashes, I too have risen out of the pit I found myself in at the end of 2012.  Mind, Body, and Soul, I feel that I have come a long way in 2013.  I have gained insights and a new perspective through my experiences this year that I hope will help me to continue to progress as well in 2014. 

Last year I was too depressed to get a Christmas tree.  I simply didn't give a shit, about most things at the time, but especially for anything that seemed more of a pain than it was worth to me.  This year, even though I didn't decorate it and it was obtained in the easiest way possible, we actually had a tree.  I think that was a step in the right direction, even if the Christmas spirit was more so forced, it was there, nonetheless. And that was symbolic of my recovery, even if I feel I should perhaps be a little farther along on my journey after a year of therapy and medication, a lot of other things have happened this year that have shaped me.

1) I started therapy shortly after the first of the year in 2013. After how things went with Doc X I was so scared I would get a Bible thumping therapist who wouldn't 'get me'. One of the best things that happened was me being referred to my therapist, who I love. She, being an art therapist, understands my artistic mind, we have built up a good report, and this relationship has been key to the success of my progress in many areas of my life. With her I switched from Lexapro to Prozac for an SSRI to help with my seratonin levels and then started on Wellbutrin and discovered how wonderful dopamine can be.

2) I started taking piano lessons in March and it's amazing how I feel about it. It was sort of a symbolic make up for childhood thing that coincided with therapy. It was for my self worth, to feel that I am someone that deserves to and is worth piano lessons. I was entirely more nervous than you would think starting, especially considering a friend of mine is giving me the lessons. I think it's just because I want it so bad. This is something that I have wanted to do since I was an incredibly young child, so I had doubts about my ability to do it. I was scared I would flake out like I have with so many other things, the clarinet being one of them. I was determined though, and I am proud of my progress. I feel more natural at the piano than while playing any other instrument. I'm determined to stick with it. BEETHOVEN OR BUST!!!

3) Facebook actually made a wonderful connection this year and frankly I think it is the most wonderful thing to ever come from this social network's algorithms. It actually suggested my Musing Through account to my new friend Melissa, that's how we met. We both live locally so we met up and started jamming together in February and this has turned into a great friendship and partnership. She has saved my musical muscle from atrophy during my 'recovery time'. I quite possibly would have put down my guitar had it not been for her and I am forever grateful.

4) I reconnected with my friend Leslie after she got out of rehab and together, I think, we helped keep each other together. However different, we were both going through a metamorphosis of sorts and our friendship was a much needed salve that helped our wounds heal faster than they would have alone. It was a symbiotic union from the start.

5) While my sister was in from South Korea in July we went to see Old Crow Medicine Show at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. It was my third time seeing OCMS and it may have been the best!!

6) In July we went on our first REAL family vacation. I made my first Outer Banks trip and I now understand why SO many people proudly sport the OBX stickers. I had an intimate moment with a rising sun.

7) Leslie and I made a road trip to New York City to take my sister to the JFK Airport. While there, we went to the city for a visit and checked out the New York Public Library and bought some fedoras on the street!

8) Saw Bob Segar and the Silver Bullet Band!! BUCKET LIST EPIC!

9) I saw FLEETWOOD MAC!!! I can now die happy and have personal proof why everyone who underestimates Lindsey Buckingham can suck it!!

10) I attended my first Oak Mountain Hideaway House Concert and saw the son of icons, Ben Taylor. Got to meet him, have him sign some stuff, talk of life, and play a song on his guitar in what I like to refer to as The Ben Taylor Experience!! SURREAL!!

11) I have experienced a great deal of Spiritual Development and have, I think, come to better terms with my place in the world and my Life Purpose.

12) I have also experienced a great deal of emotional and psychological healing, due to therapy, drugs, art and writing. It's been a good year for expression.

13) While bored in early summer we came up with the "Scale of Promiscuity" that rates people according to their sexual activity. It is entirely too thorough and descriptive, with a scale for each sex and a name for each spot on the Scale. The trick is to unabashedly place yourself on the Scale, which is more of a spectrum, perhaps. Why?? Because boredom loves stupid.

14) I attended the 10th Annual and my first Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering with my friend Melissa. It was a super fun camping weekend of music workshops and performances. It was one of the coolest things I've attended!

15) I started writing like a mother fucker!!! After being blocked for months and wondering if I would still be compelled to create while on meds, I had a huge creative burst during the second half of the year. I began to experiment extensively with iambic pentameter and writing in form, including Odes and Sonnets. I've filled up my 3 subject Life Liver's Log in around 5 months. I'm collecting tablets to use for LLL's in the colors of the spectrum and I want to go through the chakras. I'm still on Red for the Root!

And so, what have I done? It seems like a lot, considering. I've made some good connections and progress. It was an eventful year and it was a pretty good one. I am incredibly blessed and I feel that now more than ever. I am in a much better place this time around. Hopefully this year I can continue moving forward toward where I want to be. Here's to moving forward. Happy New Year!

Ode to Romance

Kiss me, per chance to dream,
We follow primal callings.
He's held captive by her words;
She is scared, only of falling.

Charming, gentle fellows never
rush on to the end.
He'll journey slowly toward his heart,
Finding pieces in friends.

Fantasy and fancy are what
gets her through the day,
Actions speak much louder than any
words that she could say.

"It's the thought that counts" is something
that is often said by fools.
But when they fall in love,
they almost always forget the rules. 

If thoughts are just a choice
and what's willed, then, is the feeling,
All that we may be is this romance
with which we're dealing. 


Monday, December 30, 2013

"What your mirror thinks of you..."

Sometimes I see you smile when you look into my eyes.
Sometimes I see you shaken when they're drowning from your cries. 

Sometimes I see you stare at nothing---and nothing stares you back.
Sometimes I see the emptiness and shame from what you lack.

I can not give to you what you do not give to me,
And what you are is only what you look at me and see. 

When we're alone, I see you thinking, dazed and solemnly,
I command attention, but you hate to look at me.

We are the same, you and I; your only freedom is to break me.
To you I'm bound and tied; I'm your reflection, you'll never shake me.


Floating in the Stream of Consciousness

In the air behind us our spirits intermingle as we are near.  They high-five, and groom each other and passionately kiss, each penetrating the other, swirling in the shape of infinity.  On the earth beside us our shadows throw sticks and stones and so we tread on shards of glass, carrying the weight until our feet leave a trail of blood that we'll follow back to where we began.


#1 Sonnet

I peer into the vacuum of our soul,
Inside your eyes I find a noble truth.
Wholeness becomes our first and only goal;
A fairytale discovered in our youth.

As children we began to play at love;
We never learned which rules were meant to break.
 I was the olive branch, and you the dove.
We always knew how much there was at stake.

Together we could write the song we hear;
Alone we will be pulled into the dark.
Aside from you, I have nothing to fear,
But you have never failed to miss your mark.

I've waited long for you to set me free;
The only freedom I need is from me.  


Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sacrifice of Joan of Arc: Burning for Change

"We set the night on fire!!" 
Well, not so much the night, but last night.  And not so much the night, but a tree.  Last night, we set the tree on fire; we burned a dead piece of pine in an attempt to symbolically release things we no longer want or need.  (You know me and symbolism.)  I think that there is much symbolism in the purification aspect of fire.  I wrote and learned about this earlier in the year as I burnt remnants of a cluttered past.  I decided that at the traditional yearly "Turkey Party" that my husband and I host we should burn our Christmas tree in a metaphorical sacrifice and we each could adorn it with our own symbolic ornament to send off into the ether, transmuting its energy for a new designated use.  Letting go of the old to make way for the new.

Earlier this year my husband and I watched St. Joan, a 1957 British-American film about Joan of Arc listening to the voices in her head and following a calling she had inside of her. The movie was haunting.  I was moved by the idea of her heart not burning.  I was moved to tears during the burning scene and consumed with trying to envision what it was actually like for her to burn on that stake for what she believed in as her flesh was boiled off into the ether.  Death is the ultimate form of transmutation, changing the form of our life force, sending our energy out and into the cosmos.  I believe in the power of transmutation and the power of personal symbolism.  Once fire eats something, be it pine or be it flesh, it is gone.

This year, for me, has been one of healing.  A year of therapy, a year of medication, but one of letting go of old patterns and behaviors.  At the very least the year birthed the recognition of my need to change and it conceived a damn good attempt at getting myself moving forward.  The recognition that chronic depression, anxiety, and self doubt were holding me back from reaching my full potential in every single aspect of my life was a fire in itself that took off and slowly began to consume and transform the negative qualities of my psyche.  Learning to trust in and stop doubting my own voices, instincts, and feelings is becoming easier after receiving professional validation for such things.  To quote the Beatles, "I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time..."

So, last night at Turkey Party after games and festivities the remainder of guests and us watched our woes burn away with our Christmas tree.  I cut out orange and red slips of construction paper and got out a trusted black Sharpie and we each wrote on the slips of paper what we wanted to surrender to the power of fire's purification and/or release.  Some had symbolic photos, some chose qualities or habits to write down.  I took an orange and a red strip of paper and assigned one to my Self Doubt.  On the other, in honor of my year of healing and the recognitions I have made, I surrendered "victim mentality/poor me/and all other sad ass excuses that keep me from reaching my full potential".  I think that about sums it up.  All of the energy we put into harboring negative thoughts and behaviors eats away at the precious time of our lives like a cancer.  If we transmuted that energy and used it for a better purpose we could transform our lives phenomenally.
So we all gathered together in new tradition and watched as this year's Toast Master lit this years Christmas tree, decorated with our ornaments of transmutation, on fire.  It turns out negative energy burns like pine, fast and hot.  For a few momentous minutes, before us stood a pillar of fire as our woes and words burned off into the sparks that flew out toward the darkness of night sky.  The heat was intense, and I blinked away the tears.  It was magnificent.  The intensity was only momentary.  I thought about Joan of Arc dying this way, in pain as her flesh melted away.  Dying this way so we would remember that life is precious and no matter the consequences we should listen to our inner voice(s) and follow our calling.  Obstacles be damned; life is short.  All earthly things are transitory. Tradition is an important tribute to the constant in the chaos, almost as important as the symbolism we use.  The pillar of fire quickly turned into a tower of sparks and soon, from all of our worries, all that was left were the skeletal remains of our sacrificial tree.  I could still make out her silhouette by the hot glowing embers on the charred wooden lumbar of her spine.  We all stood in silence for a few glorious seconds lost in our own hopes, thoughts, and dreams until she finally fell over.  We had released the energies of 2013.  Would the symbolic burning of these things really be a catalyst for the changes that we crave?  This new year shall see.  Bring on 2014!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ode to Christmas

Early morning risers with eyes full of joy,
Wake from their restless slumber with a yawn.
Anticipating that long awaited toy;
They want their presents at the crack of dawn.

Again the family gathers, for it's that time of year,
From far away they return to their homes.
We feast and laugh, exchanging Christmas cheer,
Reminding each other we're not alone. 

Giving or getting, there's no time like the present.
Inside our hearts we find the greatest gift.
Tradition reminds us when memories lay dormant,
And bind us tightly, as through time we drift.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cunnilingus Sonnet

Between my legs he finds himself at home,
I run my fingers through his golden locks.
For, in these thoughts I know I'm not alone.
He knocks me out of my white cotton socks.

His velvet tongue against my open door;
No need to knock so I just show him in.
His mouth is hot and I'm aching for more. 
The space between our lips is paper thin.

A roller coaster ride, I'm at the top;
Rhythmic Kashmir waves urge me ahead.
It's harvest time and I'm the only crop.
I reap what he has sewn inside my bed. 

As energies increase, I hold my breath,
For this is what they call "the little death".


Monday, December 16, 2013

Heroic Couplets in Iambic Pentameter

I feel you in the night when I'm alone.
To me, your heart will always be my home.

Into the skies of your mind I will soar.
The fire of your thoughts I will restore. 

The graves of our twin souls remain upturned;
There's no forgetting the truth that we learned.

There is no drying tears that we must cry;
There is no "hello" without a "goodbye".

I'll choke on your name until I can't breathe.
And after I'm dead I'll still never leave.

There is a place inside me where you live,
And you will take from me all I will give.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ode to the Lost

Silenced before your mother could meet you;
Forever lost in her chest.
Taken before this cruel world could greet you;
Gruesomely snatched from her breast.

Eternally innocent, suspended in time;
An ending from the beginning. 
Your words are lost in reality's rhyme;
Your light is constantly dimming. 

Your spirit whispers into deaf ears;
You linger in mem'ries and thoughts.
The thread of your life still weaves through the years;
Continually hidden, perpetually sought. 


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tannenbaum Sonnet

Evergreen, how long will she be standing?
I sit here staring, basking in her light.
Within her limbs survives understanding.
Somehow she brings the day into the night.

She holds a song written before her birth;
Inside her voice is housed a solemn tune.
You'd never break her value or self worth.
She'll take your breath away under the moon.

Adorned with silver 'cicles and a star,
Her earrings sparkle as bright as her crown.
Her ornaments highlight her hidden charms;
The gifts below her skirt can break you down.

Mother Nature gives a lovely show.
Her needles stick you when you hold her, though.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Laundromat Sonnet

Today I went to town to wash my clothes;
Covered in piss, those sheets still needed cleaned.
Industrial strength washers in a row,
The silver shining drums inside them gleamed.

With quarters in a bag, clothes sorted out,
My underwear and bra fall to the floor.
For me it's all for All, no Tide or Shout, 
I launder my stains as I watch the door.

The rain outside reminds me of your heart;
The steady beat upon the pavement speaks.
The dryers drone on like they've come apart.
I haven't washed my soiled sheets in weeks.

Blood stains fade after a wash and rinse.
You cut me and I haven't seen you since. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

First Kiss in Present Tense

In a Christmas kitchen he beckons me into the dark, and pulls me to him with a sense of entitlement, a sense of juvenile urgency, a seriousness you possess only before your heart has felt the lashings of the world, when exploration is still the only destination, as if it was his sole duty to seduce me.

With red and white confections still crushed between his teeth, he seeks out my lips and parts them smoothly with his cool peppermint tongue.

He feels like menthol velvet as we meet like high tide to the sand.  Slowly I melt into his mouth, matching the movements of these lapping waves of youth, tasting the ecstatic new found sweetness of his candy cane kisses.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

(From the perspective of my T.V.)

I am flat against the wall, and at the mercy of your hand.
I show you what you want to see, changing for you on demand. 

Flashing scenes before my eyes, you pick the one that suits you.
Although, I never am surprised you stick to those you're used to.

You turn me on and off with ease; you push all of my buttons.
Your fingertips will always tease; for your touch I am a glutton.

Your constant stare leaves me uneasy, I can not turn away.
I watch you watching me watching you, you have nothing to say. 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ode to the Ride

To and fro, an in betweener,
The road is ever long.
Perfect, though, for the dreamer,
Writing down her song.

Far and winding, through the mist,
The bumpy path unfolds.
Turning sharply through every twist,
I gaze at suns of gold.

For, most seek the destination
More often than the journey,
But lose appreciation
For the ride while in a hurry.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ode to Showers

Oh, liquid heat flowing over flesh,
Cleanse my soiled form.
Trickle down my bare breasts,
As steamed visions are born.

Warm my thoughts, uplift my Soul,
Burn kisses down my arms.
Reveal the Self beneath the Ache;
Exploring concealed charms.

Fingers down my back caress,
The length of my icy spine.
The pain inside my bones, compressed,
With scalding love, subsides.

- October 7, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ode to Friendship

Kith and kin, I've got you covered,
Always by your side.
Never one without the other,
Like God, I will abide.

Stretch the limit of our love,
Your tugs will never break it.
My hand, for you, remains ungloved,
To grab, or hold, or shake it.

Memories older than the dirt,
Are housed inside our heads.
Good or bad, sometimes they hurt,
And fill our hearts with dread.

Take comfort in my loving vibes,
And charge yourself on me.
Whenever ready, you decide;
Generator to battery.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ode to My Steward

She mans the wheel of my heart,
And drives me to my destinations.
Playing a very vital part,
And sharing in stellar conversations.

Her mind expands in volume,
Wrapping around her abstract thought.
When winds of change start to blow,
She learns all that she has forgot.

Through the forest trail she takes me,
Filling up my starving soul.
Kinship fueled by purpose,
United, we shall reach our goal.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ode to [My] Sense of Humor

What saved me in life?
It was you, it was you.
Just by doing,
What you do, what you do.
Pointing out ludicrous found comedy,
Teaching my eyes just what to see. 

Cracking a joke,
For a laugh, for a laugh.
Teasing was always,
Your craft, was your craft.
Punchlines and smiles, sublime divinations,
Joshing and giggles, more motivation.

Humor was what
Got me through, got me through.
Laughing was all
I could do, I could do.
It's better than viewing a pure tragedy.
It's better than sex....allegedly. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ode to Prozac

Got my blues from a bottle, but even when they're white,
They can grant me recuperative sleep through the night.
Keeps me from chewing off my kid's face,
Keeps me from throwing shit all over the place.

Stabilizing my mind, from spikes to flat lines.
Relieving my symptoms...most of the time.
In bed I can sleep without tossing and turning.
My brain doesn't boil and my nerves have stopped burning.

When properly taken it mellows me out.
If I forget it or lose it, anxiety seeps out. 
You fight off attacks made on my heart,
My dear Prozac, I fret the day we must part.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Chain That Binds

After feeling empowered by my building of a crude table using the cordless and some pieces of scrap wood earlier this summer (it's amazing what Red Bull and dopamine can do together!), I hung some things up inside and when doing so put a chain on the front door.  A chain...quite the symbol. This got me thinking about which side of the door was being blocked. Are you locked in or out?   Chains are used for a lot of things.  These door chains are used against intruders, but I surmise mostly to slow them down?   You can use them that way, but my chains are mostly used to contain what is inside, not to keep out what is outside.  Bound, locked, shut, blocked, closed, restrained, protected....chained. Restriction.
Celie is at the age now that she will unlock the dead bolt and go outside.  It's not a huge deal because there's not a four lane out there or anything, as we live in the woods, but being that she had also taken to relieving herself in the yard and on the front steps at the time as well as running into the woods, I decided to lock her in so she couldn't randomly sneak out without my knowledge. RESTRICTED! I was quite proud of putting this chain up myself, even if it was only to contain childish attempts at escape, it also represented a sense of protection, Self protection.  I suppose I have it better than Celie, the inner child, so to speak. She is at the mercy of the chain. It's better when you can be the master of the chain, but I suppose this is an art? Houdini was famous for chaining himself up, only to practice his escapes.  Chains can only hold those that don't understand how to break the locks, or simply choose not to.  Is that a metaphor?

Restrictions are sometimes for safety, as is the case with my daughter, or for mastery, as with Houdini. Mastering the Self is mastering the chain; picking the lock of your own prison. However, one of the biggest reasons for chains is fear. Fear of intruders, fear of being overtaken, fear of injury, violence, or death...even the fear of our own freedom. Chains make us feel secure and safe, separated from would-be intruders and threats. If we don't learn when it is safe to unchain the door, though, we can keep out the friends with the foes, block out the good with the bad. We need to master the chain that binds, so to speak. Like the door chain, these tethers are usually unlocked more often than they are broken. Some chains are damn near unbreakable, and the only way out is through the lock itself.

Chains are used to contain, restrain, restrict, block, and hold.  They are also used to lift, to raise, to pull through, and to hold together.  They can lock in as well as lock out, sometimes simultaneously. It protects as well as restricts; it goes both ways.  The protection is a restriction, but also the restriction is the protection. THAT is a metaphor.

Are we chaining out threats to our well being, or are the chains themselves a threat to our well being? It goes both ways.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Kunes' Farm Apples and The Rainbow Connection

Today we followed a rainbow.  It ended up taking us to Kunes' Farm in Keewaydin.  It was beautiful.  It's amazing how you could really see the colors in order, because sometimes you can only make out a few.  This one had the whole Roy G. Biv going on.  This picture doesn't capture it's full essence.  Usually the "iv" isn't there or is very faint and hard to make out.  A lot of the time it is just "Roy".  (I believe the spectrum actually continues on endlessly, as I understand?)  Regardless, anytime I see a rainbow it reminds me of those nuances in life and how it really is magical if you look at it at the right time, from the right angle and in the right light.

While we were at Kunes' Farm we bought two pecks of delicious apples.  I remember my dad bringing me there when I was a kid and getting apples and especially apple cider.  They were bigger then and made their own cider at the time.  They actually make their own Hard Cider now, which is rather tasty, although they ironically outsource their apple cider now.  It's a great little place tucked away in the Pennsylvania hills.  The Keewaydin Cemetery down the road, I think, has one of the most extraordinary views across the West Branch river valley; for a dead person that's pretty splendid.  Tomb with a view!!

Rainbows, it turns out, are pretty intricate.  Refraction and bending light and arcs and reflections and what not...beautiful mystery.  Divine mystery.  But, it's not really a mystery, is it?  Stop explaining it, Scientist, and just LOOK at it.  SEE it for what it is, the true color of our dreams.  I'll be damned...you mean it's there ALL the time, but we can't see it?  We see it in a different light.  Two things, rain and sunlight, naturally occurring, taken for granted on a daily basis but when they combine there is real magic revealed.  Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?  In this case it is of the lesser and greater.  What?  Define greater...or even lesser?  Semantics.  Is a rainbow greater than the sun?  Is the sun greater than the rain?  Which is more powerful, the spectrum or the rainbow?  The rainbow IS the spectrum.  The rainbow is revealing.  The rainbow is everywhere; there is a rainbow in all of us.  Rainbows are all around us!  (Remember the mist from the garden hose in the sunlight, as a kid, revealing the spectrum...or, hell, yesterday!?)  It's like a romantic glimpse behind Life's curtain of colors.  A rainbow says, "Something magnificent is happening here...even if we aren't exactly sure what it is.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ode to the Rose

Silken petals, like lusting lovers' lips,
Parting in slow motion beneath my fingertips.
Each layer, a story in the book of pulchritude.
Her fragrance illuminating the darkest attitude.

Her garden, a library, housing many a volume;
Her body, a bottle of organic perfume.
Each thorn in her side, a sharpened defense;
Guarding the beauty, preserving her essence.

Tasting my touch with each velvet tongue;
Exchanging the gift of appreciation.
Lusciously lost in flowers so fair,
Hypnotic infusions permeating the air.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ode to Spirits

Crystalline view of your insides;
My fingers trace your curves.
Show me where my courage resides,
And give to ego what it deserves.

Craving my lips over your mouth,
Both bodies open wide.
An evil spectre, a poisoned Self.
I fight you off...most of the time.

My face pressed up against the glass;
Distorted cartoon features.
Outside, looking into traps.
Nectar for soul sick creatures.

Exit my body; I drain the well,
Purposefully pouring out potion. 
I hold on through a spasming hell;
Paying the price for my devotion.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Stop Signs: Turning Right at Intersections

Last December I came to an intersection in more than one sense of the word: physically, literally, metaphorically, spiritually. Emotionally. I'm speaking also of this actual intersection. So, I come to this intersection and I STOP.  I do, of course, because there is a stop sign, but also because you need to look both ways before turning. You need to think about which way you want to go. In this moment, I wanted to go RIGHT in every sense of THAT word. Home was right. My family was right. What was left? Just a long and winding road through a familiar dark wood...a road that I have traversed all of my life.

So there I sat at the intersection of HOME and DARKNESS. I have come to this intersection a myriad of times in my life; I stop every time. I take a pause. On this day I took more of a reflective pit stop. Luckily, you can go hours at times without seeing another car on these roads; I had the time to sit there. So I sat there until I knew exactly which way I was going to go.

I was thinking about an appointment with my doctor that I had the next day...an appointment that my husband had made for me.  I was deciding whether to go or to entirely flake out on it in fear.  It wasn't a check up...it was a nightmare...or a dream...? I was, at the time, floating head down in a breakdown soup that was possibly 25 years or so in the making. But is that really true? What the fuck is truth anymore? This. THIS is truth.

I'll write about Doctor X and this amazingly awkward adventure more another time because I have been asked too many times about my religious views by him and I want to 'splain that situation.  (This nightmare was actually the last appointment I have had with him, I have since switched to his (female) physician's assistant...for many reasons.) So, I already didn't feel comfortable with him, I already knew what the appointment was for and I already knew what he wanted to put me on and what he wanted me to do.  I sobbed at that intersection, thinking of Doc X and my husband talking about the past months of my descending mental state and chest pains and all that rot, behind my back, as it were.  I, knowing how my husband tends to exaggerate but also knowing how bad I REALLY was at the time, was worried they thought I would hurt my child or something?  I did make a slight cry for help, asking my husband to ask Doc X about Deplan, which is a prescription folic acid (B vitamin) he had told me about before.  He instead, while at one of his check ups, had got me an appointment for that same week and discussed putting me on Lexapro.  Truth is, I can't "fix" myself alone.  I've needed help for a long, long time.  A window of opportunity was there:  therapy and meds.  If I went to that appointment, that would be my future. The decision was mine.

And there I was at that intersection, wanting to make it right but having emotional problems with the solution.  Therapy wasn't the hard thing to accept, or decision to make.  I've always "craved" it in a sense.  But, did I really need the use of an antidepressant?  I sat at that intersection for a good twenty to thirty minutes crying my fucking eyes out.  I had never been to therapy or taken "crazy pills"  or any of that, and even though some people are incredibly cavalier about popping their Flintstone meds, ironically, I was raised to not think the answer came in a pill. I thought about my dad and how disappointed he would be, or just the fact that he would disapprove. I didn't want to take them.  I knew that pills wouldn't "fix me".  I knew that they could only potentially treat the symptoms...but not the causes, suspending any real healing in a faux elation.  At least, that's what I thought at the time. 

I had been working on myself for years and years and have made continual progress but I had reached a point where I couldn't anymore.  My symptoms were worse than my causes.  I was seeing the changes in my daughter's behavior before my very own eyes and THE TRUTH was that I was the cause of her negative behavior.  I was THE CAUSE coming 'round full circle.  I was neck deep in the programmed legacy.  I was falling apart.  I was in the Dark Night of the Soul.  My mind had never been so fucked up.  So, I made my choice. 

Years from now, I may not be proud of myself for opting for mind pellets, but why should pride keep you from anything that is that important to you?  I had been robbed of my full potential long enough and I didn't want to be a victim anymore.  I went to the appointment.  I accepted a prescription for Lexapro.  I agreed to therapy.  For my husband and for my innocent  daughter, stranded in the storms of this legacy, I decided to go right.  For my Self and for myself alone, I chose to go home.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Double Dog Dare

Been a long time since I seen your face,
But I can still remember the time and place; 
I gazed into a broken mirror
when I looked into your eyes.

I saw the sun falling away,
Whenever our moon came out to play.
We stared into the dark
and shyly felt each other out.

But the reflecting pools of our eyes,
Mimicked mutual internal cries,
And we were frozen stiff
by the cold, hard truth. 

You can run, you can hide,
Turn away time after time,
Block your mind from the world;
Internally reside.
Turn around and look. 
Nobody’s chasing you!

Face your fears; open your eyes.
Live your truth; tell no more lies,
I double dog dare you.  

[not that] Marley Meme

And I’m sorry I liked that Marley meme,
And it showed up on your Facebook feed,
But do you really know,
The coward wasn’t you?

Maybe courage is just a pipe dream,
When you’re dealing with low self-esteems,
So who cares which one of us
let that cat out of the bag?
So, we hurt each other in the end,
Stretched the limitations of friends,
But for what it’s worth,
I just can’t forget you. 

You can dodge, you can weave,
Keep all those tricks up your sleeve,
Crawl into bed, cover up,
And pretend it’s a dream.
Get your head out of the sand,
No one’s watching you! 

Face your fears; open your eyes.
Live your truth; tell no more lies,
I double dog dare you. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ode to Innocence

Georgia O'Keefe, Black Iris, 1906
Before he picked the flowers
from her secret garden,
was she softer on the outside,
or predestined to harden?
Beautiful and innocent in her personal hell.
Blooming in seasons through her broken shell. 

Before he plucked the petals,
from her ambrosia bouquet,
was she sure to soar,
or always meant to decay?
Degraded and innocent, a false world in her head.
Better than praying that she was already dead. 

Before he fed off of
the damage inside,
did her soul shine with pride
or did shame always reside?
Mending torn innocence, she stitches her seems,
Envisioning beauty and reclaiming her dreams. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ode To Body

Abundant substance, I behold;
matter over mind.
Obscuring truths sevenfold,
blind led by the blind.

Abusive fingers curl around,
the handle of a gun.
Liquid bullets to my lips;
death by consumption.
Barbara Kruger, "Untitled (your body is a battleground)"

Faithful subject, loyal friend;
true through darkest times.
Rights of passage, means to ends,
scenic view of crimes.

Restrictive habits starve my soul,
unconditionally unkind.
Sustenance---myself, I stole.
No fruit, only the rind.

I pledge my love, I make a vow:
nothing that I think,
Will from hereon ever weigh you down,
Or cause your heart to sink.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ode to Masks

This masquerade, a ball to most,
With drink in hand, proposing toasts.

Dark eyes obscured by masks grow moist,
Batting against the winds of choice.

Compelled by spirit, called by chance,
They step in time and do the dance.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kitchen Cabinets and the Yellow Sun

So, as if making invitations all weekend and then celebrating their completion until 7AM on Sunday wasn't taxing enough I decided to paint the front doors of my kitchen cabinets on Tuesday.  I was glad it was actually decent weather so I decided to take advantage of the day and finish up a project I had been wanting to get to for awhile. 

My motley cupboard doors were in need of a spruce, and my kitchen needed brightened up.  Half of my cabinets were stained wood, unvarnished, and the other half were covered in a faux wood grain formica that I wasn't exactly sure would accept paint well.  I went with a sunshine yellow and used Valspar spray paint that is primer and paint in one and is made for wood, metal, and plastic, etc.  I scrubbed all the doors, then unscrewed them at the hinges.  All different sizes of screws, because of course none of the cabinets actually match.  This proved to be more fun when we put them back on!

The paint only took about two coats, and I had just enough to finish all of the cabinets sans the one under the sink (which I am planning on painting orange).  They dried rather fast and it seems to have dried on the formica, although it is a little more prone to scratching.  We'll see how this goes over time.  Luckily they are the upper cabinets and are not used by little hands.  I would have roughed them up first with some sand paper, but couldn't find any and I was being too impulsive to wait.

So, there!  13 cabinet doors painted, and it's like I have a brand new kitchen!  Yeah...nowhere even close, but it only took a few hours and was a cheap way to change the mood of the room.  Now if it was only that easy to change out the sink.  That's a much bigger project, but coming soon enough.  In the meantime...I finally have cabinets that are coordinated in some way.  If it doesn't match, make it match!!  I actually have always said that matching is overrated, but when your kitchen is naturally dark, some artificial sunshine can go a long way!

Monday, September 16, 2013

You're Invited OR Creating Corresponding Cards

One of the main parts of planning a wedding, which is basically just a glorified personal prom, is the invitations!  There are so many options nowadays.  This was one of the most exciting aspects of my wedding for me because I chose to design and make my own.  I even had a wedding "logo" that was on them along with the t-shirts I designed and printed for the wedding party to wear.  I was technically married in a t-shirt, but we also walked out of a chicken coop so it worked.  (I took some artistic licenses, I guess you could say, with our wedding theme.)  It was very personalized as were our invitations.  I used 100% recycled card stock and envelopes.  I got to experiment with different colors of vellum and natural jute twine.  I designed them all myself, included a quote from Tuesday's With Maury, and hand addressed every one. 

The card making was a memorable time; it was one stage of wedding preparation that I really enjoyed.  It took a lot of work, but was a lot of fun and very rewarding.  They looked awesome, if I do say so myself!  Other people liked them as well and I later had someone ask me to make their son's graduation announcements, which was a neat project to do as well.  My cousin is getting married this November and asked me to make her invitations for her.  I was very honored to be asked and excited because I learned while making mine that my love for stationery transcends my notebook collection.  I like to design and make my own cards! 

My cousin is having a fall wedding theme with leaves and such, fitting for the month it will take place.  Her colors are chocolate brown, red and a rust color.  I was so excited to work with these colors.  It's going to be gorgeous, that's my pallet!  I'm such an Autumn.  We met and decided over wine how they would look and ordered the supplies from www.paperandmore.com, which is where I also bought all of the paper and envelopes for my previous cards.  I talked her into using a wax seal on the outside of the inner envelope which we ordered also.  I was so excited to live vicariously through my cousin's personalized stamp!  I have always loved and wanted to use wax seals.  I was SO psyched! 

This weekend my cousin came up to help finalize and assemble the invitations.  It was a memorable occasion to say the least.  Friday night she arrived around nine.  I was still laying out the graphics and wording.  My mom kept Celie so I could safely get out my rotary cutter and mat.  I used to use this to cut fabric when I was in my Missie Susie seamstress stage.  I also used it to cut the paper for my wedding invitations and a ton of other stuff.  It's dangerous as hell and intimidating as shit, but is a vital tool for crafting and sewing.  I reacquainted myself with my tools and got to work.  We stayed up all night talking and catching up while I was printing all of the pages and cutting paper.  We stayed up until 4am and then I decided the rest could be done the next morning.  Saturday evening we were planning on having some other family over to my parents' house to help with the assembling.  Everything was decided, I just needed to finish printing.  Surely I could get that done easily tomorrow, right?

Saturday, of course we ran into problems as soon as I started printing.  First the printer jammed, then I ran out of ink, which I didn't have on hand.  Long story long, I got everything printed out and ready for the assembly party by around 9PM.  We took the supplies down to the crew, and after hours of taping, tying, stuffing, addressing and stamping we finally finished up around 3AM.  85+ invitations, DONE!  We then commenced with the celebratory drinking.  It was one hell of a night and morning!

The invitations turned out so damn nice.  I was actually REALLY proud of myself for this one.  I got to experiment with wax seals, and they turned out pretty good for my first time.  I am totally a stationery nerd, because even though it was nearing 2AM, I was sad when I finished sealing all of the inner envelopes. I LOVE PLAYING WITH MELTED WAX!  Yes...stationery is swell!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Munches From the Mission Jar

I have two of these awesome little crock jars that clasp shut, old school.  They are nice pieces alone, but one of them ended up with an even cooler purpose because it has become so much more than a mere vessel.  It's maximum volume is limitless.  It symbolically holds unlimited potential.  This jar has been dubbed "The Mission Jar" and it can be fun and sometimes challenging.  I love it; constructive and creative play!

I found this site last year that had the idea of the jar, so I didn't make it up or anything, just pounced on it.  There was a page of squares to print out, some with missions on them, others you filled in yourself.  After adding your own personalized missions, you then cut out the squares and place these into some sort of container.  Everyday (or whenever) you pick out a square slip and do what is required of you.  It can be fun!  And it gives you a project to work on that you aren't in complete control of deciding.  Makes you think!  Good for the brain...the spirit....the boredom!! 

"Write a Song About Your Day" proved to be an adventure! "Give Someone a Compliment" wasn't too challenging, but important work nonetheless.  I reckon the transcended vessel could be called the Cup O' Challenge? I'm still working on my "Create an Image with Dots" challenge, which is my latest assignment.  The image here is of my last challenge to "Bake Something, for a Friend or Neighbor".  I made these lovely and festive cup cakes for my friend Leslie, even though Celie and I ended up eating most of them!  Oops! 

So, straight from the Mission Jar, there's something sweet and savory that didn't exist before.  This is a great way to do something creative once in awhile.  You can make all of your slips pertain to something in particular, being a writing prompt or a certain topic, what have you.  Whatever works for you.  The simple act of having random goals and challenges accomplished is good for the spirit and keeps us in a playful and thoughtful state of mind.  Keeping the creative mind active with projects as you age is probably just as important as stimulating the analytical mind with crossword or sudoku puzzles.  "If you don't use it, you lose it!" I guess they say, so flex that creative muscle and keep your mind open!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Asking For Help: A Retrospective Ramble

[Started February 3, 2012]

Last week I was still dealing with crazy head.  Don’t get excited, nothing has changed, but I have a plan of action now at the very least.  I’ve said I want a Renaissance.  I’ve been saying it and feeling it.  But it’s hard to work on my Self and be a semi-single SAH mother and a wife and a writer and an artist and a musician and a business owner.  For some reason I guess I always felt like I should be able to do it all.  Not 100%, but at least do it all myself.  My husband is always away, so I take on the role I have to in order to exist here.  But I want my other roles; I have many.  It’s hard to keep things going and still manage to do everything.  Motherhood trumps everything else, including my sanity.
Drifting Sun has been back burnered for quite awhile now.  My shed was inundated with all of the stuff that was in my office prior to us needing a room for the baby.  I only printed one or two jobs the entire time I was pregnant.  I actually had my sister and husband do the physical printing, and I just did the screening, prepping and registration.  It can get a little smoky while printing, and in July while being 8 months pregnant the last thing I wanted to do was be standing and printing in my tiny hot box of a shop.  So they printed for me as I oversaw the process while sitting outside in a chair, and it worked out nicely.  I did print a couple pieces when they ran into problems, though, and helped them get straightened out.  And I printed a jacket job I had, because it was one jacket (ONE CHANCE SWIPE!) and my husband felt a little too intimidated to do it himself, which is understandable. 

I just printed a job for my cousin (December 2011), a memorial shirt for my Aunt Leslie who died of cancer in 2008.  It was an honor to print these shirts and it got me back into the swing of things with printing after the pregnancy hiatus.  This still doesn’t change the fact that my printing and chemicals and dark(bath)room stuff doesn’t exactly mix with watching a toddler.  And even when I am working on graphics or other things, it takes a great deal of my attention.  I’m always split.  I’m not a working mother and I’m not a stay at home mother...I’m something else.  I’ve tried to work out a situation where I could have her consistently watched once a week but haven’t been able to make it work yet.  At a loss, I’ve taken a friend on as my “assistant” instead.  I need help.  I think it’s obvious, and if I am pleading “please, I’m dying here!” and am not answered with a helpful hand, then by the fuck I’ll MAKE a helping hand.  Leslie is my friend and it seems appropriate she shares my aunt’s name.  Truthfully, other than my aunt, she is the only Leslie I have ever known.  She will visit me a lot and simply allow me to get simple things done like the dishes or getting a shower, just by being another individual that is around.  Leslie has agreed to help me out with my business also.  It seems appropriate that the first time I met her I was in the shed printing a job.  She actually helped me out watching my kid AND printing the first day I met her.  Maybe it was her eagerness, or something inside of her I recognized that seemed familiar, but this girl is a lifesaver.  Sometimes you just recognize people on a soul level and the connection is immediate and effortless.
Sometimes asking for help can be difficult.  I have grown to have a problem with this because the response was usually unsatisfying.  I shirked from asking for help...but in truth, I need help.  Isn’t it obvious?  It can be hard to submit to the fact that you are lost, look at the male stereotype of how hard it is to ask for directions.  Last year I struggled with this dilemma when deciding whether to take antidepressants or not and whether to begin to see a therapist or not.  Decisions decisions.  Life decisions.  This year has been chock full of the help I received because of that decision, the decision to heal.  The decision to leave the victim mentality behind.  It’s mostly a battle with EGO.  Ego doesn’t need help...so it thinks.  Truth is...EGO needs help more than anyone or anything.  EGO is the prime reason for all suffering and most of the communication problems among us.  It’s quite the bitch. 

So last year was fucking nuts but it was a first step into what really feels like a whole new life, it seems fitting that December 2012 was the end of the Mayan calendar and the supposed end of the world as we know it.  Nothing seemed to happen, aside from symbolically.  Was that really such a bad thing?  I needed the change.  I needed my world to end so that my new life could begin.  It was a matter of SURRENDER.  I simply had to surrender to the help that I have always desperately needed...physically, emotionally, mentally...and spiritually. 

[Finished September 10, 2013]

(Facebook Meme Graphic/artist unknown)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor of Love: 138th Cooper Picnic

Today we did what we have done for Labor Day...well, all of my life?  I wonder if it really has been 32 years in a row?  Surely not, but most years of my life.  I don't know how old I was when we first went.  Surely I missed a year or so in there somewhere? Who knows?  Most of the years of my life I have gone to the Cooper Picnic on Labor Day.  This was Celie's 3rd year.  She made her Cooper Grove debut about 7 days after she was born; it was our first outing as a family. This year was the 138th annual Cooper Picnic.  My family's involvement in these festivities has spanned decades and it is a tradition that is close to my heart and will hopefully continue.

When I was younger Labor Day sometimes started the day before the picnic.  My dad is an electrician, and often fixed things or helped out as they were preparing for the event.  I remember going with him when he fixed the soft serve ice cream machine.  I thought it was so neat, I got to see how it was made.  My family also helped out and we were expected to for many years once we were older.  My grandmother worked in the kitchen when we were younger and we would run into the old dining hall kitchen to see her.  "I love you!" she'd tell us every time.  We would visit a minute or two, watching as she did the dishes.  It was also in this hall where my parents had the dinner part of their wedding reception.

The Cooper Picnic has games and small rides, like the unforgettable hay rides, but I can even remember when they used to have a ferris wheel and there were ticket booths.  They have the traditional bbq chicken dinner but also have a stand with burgers and such.  Funnel cakes, blue berry milk shakes, birch beer!  A few of my favorite things. The games and flea market are even better.  I can't even say how many gold fish we've won and free goods we have acquired.  My pap spun the chuck-o'-luck wheel for well over twenty five years!  I can still hear his voice declaring, "An ace, a deuce, and a trey!"  My grandmother worked at the Chinese auction when we were older, this was actually the last place that I saw her alive.  We stood in the spot where I last spoke to her on this Labor Day as we talked to a friend and watched his dad's band perform.  I forgot to mention the live music they have every year.  It's a good time.  Plus, you never know who you are going to run into at the Cooper Picnic, family, friend, or foe!

The grove is haunted by the spectres of my youth but I am sure more than that clings to this place.  I used to attend catechism classes every Wednesday in the main building that has long been torn down and replaced by a new one.  We used to ride the merry-go-round until we were sick!  They used to have the yearly 'Sleigh Full of Gifts' dinner here where we saw Santa.  I remember coming to Karate events here that my dad was in when I was a kid.  What else happened here, beyond my life?  To think, what was this grove like 138 years ago when the residents of Cooper Settlement started this community tradition?  What did these grounds look like?  The grove itself must have been so different; these trees, while impressive, were clearly not here 138 years ago.

As my daughter ran wildly evading my husband's attempts to control her, I saw myself running around the Cooper Grove as a kid, barefoot and wild, lost in tradition.  Living in the holiday.  Times have changed, the grove has clearly changed, the food has changed, the games have changed....the people have changed.  Many things about this event have changed over the years...but the tradition continues. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Do You Trust Your Brakes?

I was cleaning old text messages off of my phone this evening and I came to a thread between my sister and I when she was home from Korea in July.  I read through it before deleting it and was reminded of a silly scenario that we made into a metaphor one night when we popped into a friend's barn for an impromptu visit on the way to Weis market.  I almost forgot about it, accept she mentioned it in one of her last messages to me before she boarded her plane to return to Korea.  She asked me, "Do you trust your brakes?"

We were standing around bullshitting about this and that and then as the guys began to talk politics our right brain geared minds grew bored and started playing with thoughts and objects laying about. Luckily there were some matchbox cars sitting on something nearby.  My sister immediately started to drive them around and make noises.  It is this childlike side of her presence that I miss the most, the one that makes me laugh and jokes me out of sadness.  I miss that side of her that gets that side of me going until we are suddenly playing with matchbox cars like children while adults discuss the government around us.  Oblivious.  We've honed our skill well; my sister and I can block out the world with our childhood coping mechanisms anytime.  This isn't always the most polite of things to do and I am sure we can seem rude, but we sometimes have little control over where the moment takes us. 

This moment took us to high speeds in a pretend car, jumping over ramps and heading straight for a wall.  One of us did the fake squeaky brake noise as the car stopped suddenly.  I remember posing the question, "Yes, but do you trust your brakes?"  Heading at a wall at high speeds how can you be sure that your brakes are indeed going to work when the moment comes?  How do you know that they will stop you?  You need to have a certain amount of faith in your brakes, to trust them in a huge sense.  But should you have to trust them so much when so many variables are influenced by you?  Speed, for one, is always a factor and it can be controlled.

If you head straight into anything  balls to the wall, you risk coming to a sudden lethal stop if you don't control your speed or use your brakes.  Most of the time though, people take for granted that their brakes are there.  They take off out of the gate pedal to the floor, burnin' tire, hootin' and a hollerin', speeding into the world...and trust that this system will later be in place to stop them before they get into any danger.  On a dime, even.  This isn't always the case, though, is it?  Should we be so bold as to let the future of our lives up to a precaution we don't have COMPLETE control over? Some people underestimate their speed and forget that they are in control of the brakes.  They are essentially only a steering passenger, but their judgement is needed, they are still commanding the vehicle.  The timing is their decision...their choice.  Whenever and however your vehicle comes to a stop is [in most cases and figuratively] up to you.  You are the matchbox car.  You control the brakes. 

So, do you trust your brakes?  Do you trust that you will stop when the time comes, when it matters most?  When you want to?  When you need to?  Or will you hit that wall?  There's a chance that you could even survive hitting a wall, there's a smaller chance you could crash right on through it.  Your brakes may be immaculate and you may have steel strong willpower.  So then, if you trust your brakes, do you trust yourself to use them?  Now, that...is a metaphor.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Purification of the Physical

Fire is an interesting object, thing, concept, illusion, tool. What the hell is it anyway?  Energy.  It's also somewhat of a mystery.  It can be a deadly force, a source of warmth, light, destruction...fusion.  Some traditions state great gods are created in pure fire.  Souls are said to be birthed there in the beginning of their existence.  It very well could be a beginning...but it also most assuredly can be the end.  Things burn away, but where is away?  Where do things go when they burn?  Back into the ether...changing form...converted back to pure energy. 

The phoenix is born again from its own ashes.  It is transformed and strengthened by the flames that consumed it.  Rebirth.  Renewal.  Fire IS transformation...in real time...before your eyes.  Watch something slowly licked away by fire's devouring tongues.  It's magical.  There are so many possible emotions.  If it's your house or something else you are attached to, it can be heart wrenching.  Misery.  Turmoil.  Distress.  Fire can also help you to realize your true feelings.  It purifies.  It releases.

When faced with nonexistence, we panic.  When watching things burn, especially things we have created, enjoyed or loved...we are really faced with emotional symbolism.  It can be a great way to 'let things go' because after it's gone, there's no going back.  It's gone...dissipated into the ethos, burned away down to its basic meaning.  Sometimes...it's nothing.  Sometimes...it's everything.  

Symbolism is very meaningful to me as it is, but on the road to recovery it can be a very powerful tool.  Fire releases us from the physical; it purifies.  It represents death, healing, love, birth, destruction, creation.  Being pure energy, what can it not symbolize?  I have been working on purging myself of unwanted and unneeded objects, concepts, habits, and feelings.  It can be frightening, but is also immensely empowering.

We made a giant fire from items I wanted rid of;  I went from room to room, gathering and selecting.  This can be hard if you have hoarder tendencies and trouble with attachment.  I have much to let go.  I only have so much space in my home and brain...it's time to burn the dead in favor of life.  Creation and destruction, in front of my eyes.  Used energy transformed into new energy.  It's time to let the old give way to the new.  New thinking...new ideas...new attachments....new energy....will be created by the symbolic destruction of old trappings.  Burn, baby, burn.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Michael's Morals

Earlier this year I packed away my canvas and oil paints as a necessity but also as a symbol of the sacrifices of motherhood.  There is no way I could oil paint with my Indigo child present;  I can barely shower and shit as it is.  Too much mess and involvement in that hobby to do around a monkey.  It was sad, but I didn't paint all that often anyway, so I could wait a few years to do it again.  Right?  There was still that creative itch.  I'm realizing there really is a hands on artist in me that loves and wants to draw, paint, mix, blend, shade, sketch...wants to create images with her hands.  I just put her away somewhere and stopped letting her hone the skill.  I thought I could vent this into my other activities, but that's apples and oranges.  I can't scratch my drawing/painting itch with music.  Writing doesn't and can't replace my desire to make colorful art with my fingers.  Texture.  I need to feel something being created, blend with my fingertips again.  I needed some watercolor pencils, pastels or charcoal and such.  I took it upon myself to decide it was time to repay myself the karma I made this past December.  Sometimes, you have to take the bull by the horns with the Universe.  I jest, but let me explain.

Last December at Christmas season I was presented with a moral dilemma.  It was hard.  Not so much to decide what to do, that I knew, but it was so hard to give up the prize.  The booty.  The loot.  The goods.  It was like it was meant for me?!?! It was like the Universe was fucking with me...or was it presenting me with a gift?? Which one was it?? Ah!!  Anyway...

We were late Christmas shopping and my husband was waiting in the car as I ran into Petco, I believe.  When I got back into the car I saw a Michael's bag and was intrigued (along with Staples, the book store, and Lowe's, that is one place I can get lost in for hours.)  My husband explained a woman had came out of Michael's and tossed the bag in the back hatch of her vehicle, but it didn't shut and the bag ended up falling out onto the ground.  He tried to flag her down but she just drove off.  Was it a gift?  WHAT WAS IN THE BAG??  Oh, it was magnificent, like it was meant for me.  It was a brand spanking new set of 24 Staedtler watercolor pencils and a big old watercolor tablet to go with it.  I have been wanting a set for so long!!  I used to have a set but it was only a set of 12....and was cheap.  It was nowhere near as magnificent as this Staedtler set!  The receipt was in the bag, the person paid with a credit card, and I didn't have to look at the total to tell you it was a find (but the actual total was over 80 dollars, yo!)

I sat there with that precious gift on my lap wondering what to do with it for a little bit.  Would the lady ever come back?  If she doesn't, can they find her somehow from the receipt?  If she didn't come back for them and they don't do that, I may as well have not done it?! WHAT!?!  Dilemma.  "What are you gonna do?" my husband asked.  It was down to me and my morals.  I handled the beautiful art set, a decent one like I'd never had and have always wanted, and I knew what I had to do.  I knew my real value of what was in that bag, and if the owner or gift receiver was like me, they would be pretty damn bummed about its loss. 

I stepped up to the counter at Michael's.  "Can I help you?"  "Um, yeah...I have a moral dilemma" I told the lady.  I explained what had happened and asked if there was any way they could locate the woman from the receipt.  She said they weren't allowed to do that, and that most times people will come back.  Most times.  Geez, lady.  So, I left the goods at the counter hoping to hell that bag wasn't meant for me...and that this mystery woman would realize her items missing and think to check with the store. 

So, I feel I earned some good karma.  I did what I thought to be the right thing despite my selfish wants.  It was time to reward myself.  I have been itching to use watercolor pencils again, having loved them before, because I figured it would be a little easier to use around the kiddo.  I was right.  Tonight, while Celie sat beside me on the couch as we watched Yellow Submarine, I played around with my new toys getting myself reacquainted with the feel.  It has been quite awhile but it was still just as sensational.  I colored a simple picture to paint in, and Celie even helped me a little with the pencils and the brush.  Goal!!  I scratched the drawing itch and painting itch simultaneously!  That's like killing two itches with one scratch!  I successfully created art tonight with my toddler sitting beside me!  Take that, motherhood!