Thursday, January 29, 2015

Adventure Time


Last weekend we ventured into the BIG CITY, I was born there but my hippie parents wanted us to have a memories of  our childhood that contained less cement. 
Instead it was replaced with bullies and heat in the triple digits.
ahhhh adolescence

Imagine their fear and shock when I was selected for an art college in another BIG CITY, telling them that I wanted excitement and adventure. Funds dried up fast and I was never able to attend the college that I had wanted....but that is totally fine because I worked my arse off and ended up sending myself around the world and having adventures of my own choosing.

fantastic signage
So back to my reason for mentioning adventure...
We woke up early and decided to make a weekend of caffeine and art.
We were planned to go to 5 different coffee shops and a day trip.

We went to see a big exhibition on Samurai stuff....
not real horses, but really good models and scary dudes

pretty dragonflies and wheat
"feathers" made from lacquered paper!
it was wild and beautiful and impressive, 
the swords were in another building and it was interesting as well. 
The Barren was like a little kid and we spent a fair bit of time gazing at the details that were several hundreds of years old. This exhibit lead to another, of majestic landscapes and that was kind of boring...and then we entered a third exhibition...I am still haunted by it.
It was a retrospective of an artist and frankly there was no real information anywhere what anything was....so you were disoriented from the beginning. 

We saw a trio of environment makers (fog, snow and rain) accompanying a sculpture that had an active beehive on its face:

this was next to a broken ice rink that was decomposing....and then a rock in a tank of water.
and a wall rubbing with a turtle fossil:

then we saw people coming in and out of a pair of curtains and the guards opened them and we went into a TOTALLY pitch black room, with nothing but "soothing" music and a smoke maker and cube of lights....
it was interesting but the air was stale and I started to not be able to breath, and The Barren was grabbing hold of me sooooo tightly that I think that might have helped restrict my airflow.
we left this room only to enter another that was showing a film, and as I settled onto a bench I saw the saucers of The Barren's eyes and I realized something was amiss...it was the film, it was a monkey wearing a human shaped mask, crawling on the floor...it was terrifying!
another tank was in the middle of the room with lights that made the water inside foggy and then clear....we left this room and passed through another with a film of something being thrown repeatedly...than a final tank that had crabs with Constantin Brancusi’s Sleeping Muse masks attached to them, dragging their overbearing shells across the sandy bottom.
The Barren left the room and the building,..I was still dazed and disoriented...
Apparently we missed the Ibizan hound that wanders the exhibition and the artist who shows up in an illuminated mask in that pitch black room! 
Frankly I think I would have peed myself.

It was like being in a dream, and a david lynch film and something else all together!
Outside I felt like my brain had been electrified and I was on edge....we sat for a little while as we waited for the electricity to dissipate a little.
We visited some of my favorite artworks and I took some fan girl photos next to them.

Lunch was from a food truck and we both got indigestion.
hahaha

cool booth which is now an installed art piece

detail
The city was exciting and a reminder that we are not city dwellers....
We made it home by mid day and proceeded to fall into a deep nap until dinner.
A little more caffeine and we ventured into the night in our hometown.

This adventure was possible because of our ease of movement.
We encountered a lot of parents that looked mellow and handling it all.
Sleeping children and kids with maps looking for their treasure.
 Then there were the others, singing opera in the art exhibition areas....running up and down the city streets, crying and refusing to eat what was being offered.

It was easy to have that moment of "aaah" we can come and go as we please. We can eat when we want, and see what we choose. There was a guilty kind of freedom associated with the day.
Our friends had moved the day before, and we helped only a little bit...and then walked away as their daughters searched for their items in the piles of unorganized goods.
We could do that.
I heard of another infertile that has become pregnant, she is on strict bed-rest for most of her pregnancy. I wish her well and will be interacting with this newest person through family events....but when I heard the news (which is still quite hush hush, so don't tell anyone) 
my first thought was " ugh, I am too tired to think of going through all this again"
I know there will be comparisons to us again...and frankly I am just over it!
I have a big milestone birthday coming up and it is the age of no return in my mind.
I am not going to have kids, it is a matter of fact.
So I am going to live my life as happily as I can now, I am done with sadness and what ifs and maybe if I just try, and if I only....
I am whole, I have a family, I am not at fault.

Soooooo.......
This weekend we are doing another adventure! 
and it includes BOOKS!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

On my way back


Working on the theme of Unicorns....
I scoured the internets for inspiration.

I am distracted....
I am trying to carve a very complex piece and need to take breaks as my brain filled head is heavy and hours of bending over and clutching a sharp tool that I am making small precise cuts with takes a toll. 
SO... I am here to let you know that I am on the way back from the brink...it has been a rough wild weird week....so why end it there right?!
enjoy the peek inside my brain right now...








Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Yesterday and the years before

***warning I talk about death and children***


Yesterday was hard....it wasn't suppose to be and I hadn't planned for it to be.
I got up at 4:15am to get ready for my yoga class...and as I normally do I check the news for accidents, check to see who the teacher for class is
 and social media while I wake up calmly and pull my hair up.
that is when I saw it....I read the words and then only heard a ringing in my ears:

"Goodbye My Love, I will miss you terribly. 
You found the second love letter card from me this morning but never got to open it.
My Wife of 14.5 years (+5.5 years dating) has passed away from heart failure today at noon. She has had health challenges for quite sometime, so this maybe some welcome relief for her.
She was a wonderful woman with a beautiful soul. She made friends easy and captured me on our first meeting with her boy on her knee.

I'm still in shock while I write you all this notice and I'll be back to tell you more later."

The person this husband is referring to was a dear friend from high school.

I met her in high school, she was in our art gaggle, and a talented painter.  She was the token headbanger and wore leather mini dresses and was quick to laugh. She had gotten a full scholarship to the local UC college but was unable to accept it, as around the same time, she became pregnant from a guy who wanted nothing to do with the baby.  She graduated and decorated her mortar board with the words "it's a boy". My bestest and I attended the birth of her son just a few weeks after we graduated. We were there to take photographs at her request. She had to give birth on her hands and knees as she was in a car accident* before getting pregnant and had hurt her back. 
We heard her labor and all she said was "ow that hurts"
She became a single mom, and was asked to move out of the family home as her father could not bare the fact that his daughter was unwed and a mother by the age of 18. 
She went back to school and became a nurse. It was then that she developed a severe latex allergy...so severe that she would pass out, from being unable to breathe, she finally got a service dog and it was these dogs that saved her from death many many times over. 
She still thrived, and found true love in a man that took every moment of the day to make her life wonderful, comfortable and fun.
Her son grew up, joined the marines and is now a sheriff locally.
She fought for animals, had a small menagerie of her own and crafted . 
She joined medical trials to find a cure for this horrible disease that was in every corner of her life outside of the joy.
She had developed seizures that would wipe away short term memories, and recently she passed out at their woodside cabin and had to be airlifted to the ICU, where they found she had low potassium levels. 
They were changing her medications and I guess the strain to her heart was just too much this last time and she left . Freeing herself from her body.

I was unable to think after reading her husband's words, I climbed back into bed and The Barren asked if I had had a nightmare and I whispered "Kara died" and let the tears fall down my face as he wrapped his arm around me. I fell back to slept with a heaviness in my chest that made it a labor to breathe.
When I work up I thought I had dreamt the whole thing...but it was not the case.
I spent the day quiet and watched downton abbey and ate and napped....I texted my bestest and we both agreed that we were really messed up from the news and would call each other later in the day to cry it out together. I was sitting curled in a blanket when the Barren came home and handed me a bag of kettle popcorn, he sat beside me and said nothing but simply shared the bag and we watched something on the screen. He made dinner for us: vegan pancakes and kissed me 
When my bestest called it was the best thing in the world to hear her voice. 
She remembered the car accident*: Kara and her best friend were in her beloved mustang stopped at a signal headbanging to some song on the tapedeck and got rear ended and they both got whiplash. They proudly came to school the next day with neck braces and laughing about it. 
I remembered us making the 1st birthday cake for her son and choosing bright green filling as it would make the biggest mess when he ate it !
The talk and the memories helped us both. 
My bestest said that although she had her son so young and it made her life rough, it was most likely one of the biggest wonderful in her life. As she was able to watch him grow into the man he is today. Giving her a huge sense of pride. If she had waited she might not have been given that opportunity.
I agreed and it made sense to me.

Hug your friends dear ones, hug the ones you want to but hesitate to.
Hug the ones you always hug.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

wordless wednesday

in my ongoing effort to heal myself
this resonated with me

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Marking days

Sunset Christmas eve
My second job has cut back my already anorexic hours, 
this has left me feeling quite anxious.
you know the normal, how am I gonna pay the bills kind of stuff.
I didn't realize how stressed I was until I took a pic of myself holding one of our cats
 to send to The Barren at work... 
to distract him for a moment from his stressful day as well.
My eyes were sunken, and I had shades of grey under them.
The cat looks quite handsome....clearly our work to keep him stress free is working well.

I have sold work this last year, but it is FAR from being able to survive on and often makes me question myself and if it is worth my motives to maintain this life as an artist.
I have asked The Barren many times over and over again if I should get other work...
or stop pursuing this life's call/ fantasy?! 
Repeatedly, he has said no, that this is what I am suppose to do, not work other jobs or distract myself from my artwork. He sees it as a long arch and that I am in the climb...
I am left trusting him, as I often find myself on shaky feet.
When he finishes a day filled with tension and frustration, 
I want to fix it an sadly my options are thin.
It leaves me feeling horrible, like I have done this to him....
Guilt

I don't like where this post is going....

It is moments like this that I search my mind for other options to find income...I look at want ads and try and figure out if I could do this or that....all of them point out the fact that I would not be able to have time clear for art making.  
I literally can not imagine another way to live....
it is inspiring but terrifying as well.
I have added work to my online shop every day, and have begun the slow incline to find what my year will look like.
SO....
This the grab your bootstraps time.
This is the shake it off and walk it out moment
This is where I am suppose to thrive!

I am the only person who can change the coarse of my life.
It is powerful, intimidating and massive!
I am trying to be present, aware of the now
and not run from it.
I have made a tall order...and need to not let The Barren down...
or myself.


Sunrise Thursday morning

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fearless

Growling at the bears

My littlest niece is growling at the bears, 
fearless and unaware of anything except that she knows the sound that bears can make. 
I will be taking my ques from her as the year begins.


I had my blood taken again to see if the eating shifts and all have made an impact on my numbers.
Keeping me well away from medications and allowing me to be in control.
Sadly, no movement in the numbers.
only a handwritten note from my doctor:
" keep up the diet and exercise"

So I binged on three days that week....I ate food I would normally not.
I ate a piece of a butter ring on Christmas day.

I ate a some pizza after christmas:

 We made latkes and hosted a party for our nieces and nephews, 
so I has a few of those and had to have sour cream on them:

I was also introduced to Kahlua and cream/White russian

When the three days were up, I felt like lead...heavy and tired and oily.
I was only able to practice once the week of xmas and that made me feel bloated too.
As I walked to class yesterday, I wondered how my relationship with food had changed.
How it had changed with my own vision or reflection of my body...

In reflection, all the foods I binged on gave me only a moment of pleasure, and that mostly came from the feeling that I was "getting away" with something....like I was sneaking a treat in, but it never felt like a treat....it felt more like defeat.

I decided that I had crossed a bridge of sorts, the guilt from eating these foods had me frantically researching how to "detox", how to loose weight, 
how to do better, be better be perfect do perfect....
I caught myself spiraling and then I stopped.
Did I have a disorder with food? Did I see food as a reward, 
and a way to get back at myself or others? 
I got scared and living in the state I do, vanity and body image are distorted all around me...
it is a daily fight to make decisions that embrace who I am, and what I look like.
No plastic surgery, no tanning, no botox and no starving please.

Finally after seeing where all these destructive roads could lead I said out loud:
 I will eat the cleanest I can, I will keep up with my practice: because it makes me feel good. 
end of story. 
Selfish? Yes
Self preservation? Yes

I am no skinny Minnie, but I am stronger than I have ever been.
and
As much as I would like to make a voodoo doll of my doctor, I understand now, that her prompting brought me enough fear of death that I returned to a way of living that makes me feel better.
Food is not a comfort, not anymore.
I need to find comfort in my own strength, weaknesses, loves and fears.
I need to find what my littlest niece already knows about the world around her.

I will be stronger than I think I am,
 I will be happier than I think I can be
and my body will carry me for many more years.

I have shared this with no one, and now I share it here.
This is the start and the current of my body.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

And to all a good night

Thank you everyone for your lovely notes for The Barren....he was most touched.


Sometimes this is a TALL order,
but worth aiming for over and over again.


It has been a whirlwind of changes and stress and work, which is why I have been MIA from this beautiful wonderful place of love and personal growth.

I referred to it as my mourning dress,
as my relationship with ice cream has forever changed

To start with I made it through my gallery shows and this year for the big Warhol-ian event I wore this lovely number, along side new gallery shoes that didn't make my feet hurt at all...strait out of the box even! I sold work for the 5th year in a row...which in itself was a personal goal I gladly met.

I had a funny thing happen to me that has happened every time I met someone of noteworthy status...It gets interrupted or goes amok at that exact moment of introduction. 
Like the universe thinks, nope she doesn't really need to meet this person.

It has happened when I was introducing myself to this personal idol, that I had see give a talk. She actually walked away while I was shaking her hand and introducing myself to her...I finished my introduction by yelling my name across the crowded gallery to her....it was mortifying and I left in a pool of tears...vowing to never mention her name again. 
That was over 10 years ago...clearly I am making slow steps back to saying her name.

It happened again when I worked at a bookstore and I walked up to ask this person if he needed help or had any questions about inventory...except no actual words came out of my mouth instead it was a lovely line of gibberish that made him smirk and I walked away mortified.

Alas, it happened at this last event, except I laughed when I realized what was happening...
As a friend was introducing me to this person, and my hand was extended someone next me put two hands on my arm and physically pushed me out of the way....in such a way that when the friend and person turned back towards me (after motioning to my work on the gallery wall) I had literally disappeared into the sea of people in the gallery...swallowed up. 

I am trying to figure out what the universe is trying to tell me...or if I am just really bad at introductions and I purposefully stumble. 
I'll get back to you on that.

As for changes, The Barren and myself took the week of turkey to turn our whole house upside down!  The motivation started with me having a severe night terror that woke The Barren because I was screaming that someone was at the end of the bed...in his half awaken state he started thrashing and because I can not see without my glasses it made me even more frightened as I was waking and we were both screaming and hitting the air until we were both awake enough to realize nothing was there. None the less it made us think...we need to change shit around and get rid of this. So we burned sage, and hex remover (yep The Barren picked up a jar of the stuff when he was in 
Memphis) We had made a huge list of things we wanted to do in the house and felt that it was monumental to try and do half of the things...turns out we did almost all of them!
It started with repairing the garbage disposal, and then getting rid of a bunch of furniture, and then hacking some ikea stuff and making it into other things and then getting rid of clothes and extra things that we just never thought too much about.
I got rid of childhood things and came to realize that many of the things I was holding onto were for the invisible child we can't share it with...it was a hard real reality but I came to the understanding calmly and consoled myself by say "there is some other child that would love this, I am going to give it to them"
The end result is that our home feels totally different....like a new place.
It doesn't feel sad anymore.

I guess I didn't realize that it felt sad in our house...
in the absence I became aware of the presence.

Now as we slide into the holidays...we are working strait on through them. I have to work on xmas eve and the day after xmas as does The Barren. We have decorated the house and got a little 2ft tree that we placed little resin birds and straw ornaments I got in eastern Europe a decade ago.
We have our menorahs out as well as a Krampus and some Buddhas for good measure.
It feels festive and today a new couch arrived...another on our huge list of things to make us happier.

As the night comes to you, know that I am wishing you a wonderful holiday
I send hugs and love to each of you and wish you a serene, and divine celebration.
xoxox
The Barreness