Saturday, February 28, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I dislike posting without a game plan. (Or even having written it ahead of time and just typing it here after I've edited and spell checked.) But here I am, stealing moments before my son gets up to write.
Friday, February 20, 2009
(I try not to cross-post too much, but, well ... )
Movies I watch can inspire me to write or paint or sculpt.
But some only create the longing for it, and not the release – like the nightmares where you can’t scream but know that if you try with all that is in you, you could make enough noise to cast your voice out among the billions who also trudge this land.
There’s an ache – when I feel unable to create my art -- a loneliness that wiggles inside my brain so that it hurts, and my throat so that I cannot communicate.
My fingers are frozen at the page, clamped desperately around the pen. My breath stops as I wait for the timid kernel of inspiration to share itself through me – but alas, it is not Inspiration or Idea or even Plot Device that appears … it is: Clamminess, Brick Wall, Pettiness, Fatigue, and Not Good Enough.
The metallic sour taste of lethargy and self- judgment sit with me when the longing to create art is strongest. I’ve sat with and asked these soul-sucking companions why they visit. I sometimes get a response and sometimes not.
I wonder how to get rid of them – like they are the slugs on my sugar snap peas that eat holes before I get a taste.
But perhaps I should simply share space with these evil shadows of myself and honor their place in my house. What if I extended love to them, accepted them and knew there was an ancient lesson they came to teach me, if only I would listen -- like the hundreds of thousands of families with special needs children?
Depression and Anxiety are my special needs children. I court them, suckle them and find their triggers to tantrums. I sit with Depression and rock him to sleep with haunting music lilting from the iTunes across the room; I coax Anxiety out to play -- break out the glue and treeless paper and collage until she is more grounded.
I discover their strengths and weaknesses and take time out for myself when they become too much for me to bear alone. I nurture myself with popcorn and movies under the feather blanket, hot tea with a friend, or an afternoon alone at a coffee shop with my laptop and latte. And I think. I take time to Feel.
When I do this -- when I give myself permission to emote -- only then am I open enough to welcome ideas and plans and as-of-yet formless characters into the sacred circle I have created for them. Only then am I able and willing to give birth to their stories.
But that’s not right either. I am always willing. That yearning and longing to write and to create are always there. But maybe the readiness is not.
Maybe I must coddle my children, Depression and Anxiety before I can create. But … I don’t believe that one must be depressed or suffer anxiety attacks in order to create art. Art lives in us, we breathe it as air and it binds to the molecules within us. We bleed our art. We are art.
Perhaps I don’t need to be depressed to create art, but that if I am struggling with it at some particular time, I must sit with it first before I attempt to express an emotion I do not yet understand. Only if I take time to nurture myself, to Think, to Feel, to ask Depression why he had another nightmare, to ask Anxiety why she cried today when the house was a mess – maybe then I can unfreeze my fingers and find my voice and let it roar with all the passion and longing and creativity I have.
And then, I can create. I can write, paint and sculpt. I can communicate and breathe and love myself again. All the parts of me. Even the shadowy parts.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
They first took out the spreaders that were between his back molars to make room for his appliance. This nifty device is called a "spreader." It is going to spread his upper jaw apart at the suture to make his pallette wider to make more room for his teeth ... and so his crossbite will correct.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It’s not so much the cooking I hate, it’s the THINKING OF WHAT TO MAKE. Also, the “What’s for dinner?”"I HATE that! Yuck! I’m NEVER eating that!” completely de-moralizes me and I defend myself with bitchy behavior and snappy comments — which every parent aspires to do — so that I just want to crawl under my feather blanket and eat popcorn for my dinner and let them fend for themselves.
But I knew if I did that, they (the 7 and 9 year old) would satisfy themselves with macaroni and cheese or top ramen for the rest of their lives. So I mentally drag myself from the blankets and make veggies and rice or quinoa, and put on a raincoat to their hurtful comments; the kids complain through dinner and my husband threatens to make fish heads for dinner next time.
Ahh. The family dinner.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
So I’m in my robe and hard-bottomed moccasins. It is late morning and I’m lounging with my mother-in-law losing Scrabble to her. She’s up from Roseburg visiting for a couple days. This is the only time we play word games -- when we are both together. The game closet spills out Scrabble, Boggle, Scattegories … any writing game.
Through the window I see a huge truck pull up in front of the house and a man with a clipboard and white beard down to his heart walk up to the door.
“I got some leaves here. You ordered some leaves to be delivered?” He points to his clipboard.
I am dumbstruck. Leaves? My roommate said something about cardboard and leaves a day or so ago. We’re going to kill our grass and plant food instead. Food Not Lawns.
I look at the clipboard and there’s Roomie’s name. Yep.
“Just dump it in the street, I guess.” I tell him. I mean the place that would be curb-side, if we had a curb.
“Oh no.” He shakes his head . “I can’t dump ‘em in the street! No ma’am.” He seems both appalled that I’d suggest such a thing and sorry that he can’t perform my request.
“Well the yard then. Just dump them on the grass.” I look up at him, wondering if there will be an impediment this time. “Can you do that?” I am worried now, wondering where else I could suggest he put them.
He stared at me for the briefest moment.
“I’d need ya to move your car.” He is solemn now, like I’m slow and he needs to spell it out to me.
Maybe in my pajamas, I do look slow.
“Ok, I’ll just tell her!” And I turn to run in the house, because -of course – it is my mother-in-law’s car, only he doesn’t know that.
In the house, I quickly explain to her and, as she’s moving especially slow to find her shoes, I offer to move her car for her. Remember, I’m still in my robe and slippers.
I’m driving up the street to turn around. I’ll just park in front of my house across the street. I pull into the neighbor’s driveway, brake, put it in reverse and … it goes forward. My face wrinkles in concentration. I know how to drive a stick shift.
I try again. Up all the way and left all the way. That’s what the diagram says. I apply the gas. Nope. Forward again. And now I am completely flummoxed.
Up all the way, left all the way. Gas. No. I shake my head. My eyebrows are closer together now, though this is not helping me get into reverse.
Up all the way, left all the way, gas, No. Up all the way, left all the way, gas, No.
I look towards my neighbor’s window. A woman is leaning over her kitchen sink, peering out the window, straight into my mother-in-law’s bright yellow hatch-back.
Up all the way, left all the way, gas, Shit!
I chuckle to myself, in a sort of self-preserving way. This really must look entirely inappropriate.
“What is this woman in her pajamas doing in my driveway, revving her car?”
There is nothing for it. I must run home and ask Anna how she puts her car in reverse.
I leave the hazard lights on, hoping this will send telepathic messages to the neighbor that I am not permanently parking my car there and will be back soon.
I trot across the street in my blue fuzzy robe and slippers, laughing, hoping not too many people are looking.
I burst in the door.
“How do you put your car in reverse?!”
“Oh,” Anna says. “There’s a ring on the stick shift. You just pull it up while you shift.” She demonstrates with, under other circumstances, and with other people in the room, a gesture that might possibly be considered suggestive.
I trot back.
Now my neighbor is hovering out her front door.
“Do you need any help?” she says, in quite the same way the man with the leaves was speaking to me.
I almost laugh when I have to say,
“No. Thank you. I just didn’t know how to put the car in reverse. I’ve got it now!” And I scuttle inside to hide my blue robe. Just in case she didn’t see it through the windshield, or when I ran home, or when I ran back to her front yard.
I maneuver through the five car traffic jam caused by the leaf man’s truck in front of my house, successfully putting Anna’s car into reverse two more times. Walking to my door, I pretend the leaf man and the high-schooler’s walking to school don’t see my blue robe and I try to remember if I’ve brushed my teeth yet that morning.
Though why freshly brushed teeth would make my robe less conspicuous to the pedestrians walking down the street, I don’t know.
I hand Anna her keys and tell her a condensed version of my antics, panting from the trotting I’ve done and the laughing at myself.
“Did you lock the car?”
My mouth stops in mid-word and flaps open.
I hold my hand back out for her keys and go to expose my robe to the leaf man one more time.