Friday, October 24, 2008

so every moment I possibly can, I'm working on this piece of furniture.

though it's not really furniture at the moment, it's in pieces, and I haven't even decided which of the pieces will be part of this particular thing and which will be made into something else, or even if any of these table/cabinet/shelf things I'm in the process of making will stay together once they're made. they're old and new bits and pieces, some of which I've been working on for a couple of years now, some since texas. it's for a one-day installation in a very cool place, and I still can't quite believe my good fortune.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've decided that I'm quite undeserving of such a rich and full life, and need to stop complaining and be grateful.

because it's bad enough to be undeserving. ingratitude only compounds the problem.

this isn't to say I haven't done right in my life. but I have done wrong as well. life's not fair at all; that's what I tell the girls when something doesn't work out the way they want it to. sometimes you get less than you want and sometimes you're overwhelmed with the sort of abundance that numbers don't apply to. maybe there's a balance somewhere, but good things happen to bad people and vice versa all the time.

I hear about gratitude journals and so on, and at one point I was thinking of three things every day that I was grateful for and sending them off in an email. often it felt forced, like a false positivity, a grim sort of cheerfulness. but I think I just wasn't doing it the way that made sense to me.

does it all mean something? nothing? planned, random, a little of both? who knows? I don't. but I'm here, and there are beautiful reasons to say thank you, everywhere you look, and often in the places you forget completely.

Friday, October 17, 2008

just stopping in to say hello.

it's been a good but long day and it's not over yet, but that's fine. I was told I was a very calming person to work beside. I was quite pleased with the compliment and felt useful and capable, it was a nice mix of internal and external validation.

after school, the girls ran off with their friends to play outside in the meadow at the end of the street. and when I went out to call them home for supper they saw me, before I said a word, and called out mama! and came running, smiling.

now they're watching old cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid, and I'm explaining the references and addressing any sorts of questionable bits. if every generation was a filter removing impurities of thought, just think of the world, the way it could end up to be.

and impurities of thought sounds so uncompromising, doesn't it. oh well. I'm a curious mixture of flexibility and rigidity, a prude flirting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

sometimes I'm overwhelmed by feelings of insignificance.

but other times the slightest thing seems not at all hesitant, and the trembling of the bamboo is a perfect container for the song that small grey-brown bird sings.

I don't have much at all on my mind at the moment.

so I'll just post this. I don't know who drew it or where I found it, but seeing as how I'm only posting it in order to pass the message along I don't expect the artist who created it would mind so much.

I imagine there'll be a longer post later. we'll see what shed epiphanies bubble up today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

some peonies from this past may.

nothing to say, as usual, and I won't ramble on for paragraphs about nothing.

this time, anyway.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

it's a good day for painting.

as good a day as any, I imagine. my husband's sleeping, the girls have gone to school and we've got a three day weekend full of activities and trips ahead. the laundry's caught up, supper's planned, the garbage has been taken out and all that's left to do is make some coffee and go to the shed, write a bit, paint, take pictures. I might be moved to do some yard work, it happened yesterday and it could conceivably happen again.

for the moment, though, it's the thought of paint (lids left off, colours a bit mixed together, and the paint almost at a nice sort of pudding-like consistency, very nice for building up texture) that's pulling at me. so despite the fact that I could do so many more useful things, I've decided to go ahead and indulge myself while I'm able to.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

apparently I'm in the feast stage as far as writing goes.

interests and impulses come and go as they will, and for the most part I'm happy to follow them. this isn't to say that following tangents where they lead is necessarily a good thing as far as self-development goes; I suppose the imposition of some structure, some discipline, would prove useful. I'm in the lucky and not-so-lucky position to have my days free and little demands placed on me, while my husband goes to work to support the family and my little daughters go to school. so I keep the house (but barely, lately) and amuse myself with painting or writing, reading or singing. I'm "living the dream", I've been told. I'm a kept woman, a lady of leisure.

we're not well-off and sometimes we eat lean the days before payday but we have a nice little brown house and a lovely little hybrid that gets good gas mileage and we have simple tastes for the most part. I buy my clothes at the thrift store and own two inexpensive pairs of shoes. I have a small personal allowance that goes on treats for the girls and sometimes paint for me, but I don't buy much. I have books I love but not enough to fill more than a few shelves on the bookshelf I still don't have but will break down and buy someday.

don't worry about the money, says my husband. you don't have to go to work unless you want to. it pleases his masculine pride to support us. and it feels right to him, his father having done the same. it suits his conception of what it means to be a man, to be a father and husband. just make your art and be happy.

so sometimes I do, and I am.

and sometimes I don't, and I'm not.

and there's a lesson there, don't you think?

Monday, October 6, 2008

it's grey today but not unpleasantly so.

it's possible there may be sun at some point.

I have no idea why I'm sitting here writing this, choosing pictures at random to post. but no, that's not true, I do know why I'm writing this, however pointless and rambling it might be. because I can, because it helps me.

one of the things I love most about my camera is that I miss so much the first time I see something, or I see it in such fine detail or from a overwhelming blur of distance that the pictures inside the pictures are lost to me. and it's only later, upon reflection, that I can see clearly.

I delete more now than I save. but I still save too many, for what purpose I don't know. my eight year old tells me to print some pictures, asks me why I don't print any. I don't know why, and again as I'm saying I don't know, I do. because I don't think the cost of the printing (the money, the paper, the ink, the chemicals, the time, the electricity, the gas) is worth another piece of something that won't last. so that it can end up in a plastic storage box somewhere, more clutter to burden the world with.

you can see how I limit myself, with all this heaviness of thought. it's a guilt and an unworthiness I caught from somewhere, a disease that winds itself around my spirit as artlessly as the ivy in the alder tree. wrapping around it with the softest and greenest of fingers and then hardening into what looks like a support or a cage, depending on your perspective.

but even with everything I've done badly or half-heartedly or wrong I know that three beautiful things have grown in and beyond me. so I suppose the pointlessness I so often struggle with is nothing more lasting than any other sort of light, or shadow.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I seem to be caught in something. quicksand comes to mind.

except I keep thinking I'm making progress, pulling myself out of it and then it surprises me all over again and I'm sobbing, like there's an endless and inescapable well of whatever it is that I feel as if I'm wading through, swimming in, drowning in. but then the next day I get up and it's better, or it's not, and the day stretches ahead like something I won't ever be able to see the end of, and no, it's not that I want the end to come. I'm not at that point of despair.

yes it's the month of my mother's birthday, the month she should be turning 71. and she should be calling me, asking me how the girls are doing, celebrating with me because I have pieces of what I suppose is some kind of art tied to a wall in portland, and another piece to be hung next month, and there's no joy there, no feeling of any sort of pride or accomplishment. what does it matter, if I can't call her and tell her? and I know it's been six years. and I should be over this, I'm lacking in some kind of moral fortitude apparently.

whatever it is that's broken in me it always seems to come up around her, my mother, my mother. ecstasies of grieving, and then sandwiches to make, and tears to hold back until my head aches, and sharp unloving words to anyone who moves towards me to help.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

yesterday by the lake I piled up some stones.

I was walking by a rockpile and what else could I do? they didn't need to be rearranged, they were fine as they were. but for a few blissful minutes I lost not the world but myself, and the walk around the lake was full of significances, because I chose to see them as such.