Thursday, May 31, 2007

Step Right Up. Self-Empowerment Can Be Yours.

Last night I went to a Didgeridoo workshop. Your first response might be "A didgeri-what?" A didgeridoo is a ceremonial instrument from Australia that is made out of a eucalyptus trunk that's been hollowed out by white ants similar to termites. It's a one note instrument and looks just like a long hollow tube (tree trunk).

The instructor definitely knew what he was doing but, I'm sorry, his approach left me a little dazed. He could just as easily been a Vitamix salesman at the state fair. He had a little suitcase open on a stool next to him with his "props" -- incense or something that looked like a joint that he kept lighting, feathers dangling from the inside of the suitcase, a small bottle of "forgiveness" that he took out like he was inhaling it, and a white board that he would write on then explain, as he erased it, that our mind could become just like this empty white board. The didgeridoo was like the eraser and all we had to do was blow into the didgeridoo, and self-empowerment would be ours. He had pulled down a projection screen that he kept pointing to behind him and saying that's what we wanted our mind to be. That's the point of self-empowerment.

It wasn't that I disagreed with the concept. I'm all for a blank mind, increased oxygenation, relaxed breathing, the clarity that meditation can bring, and so forth. I just couldn't buy into his approach. There's just something wrong about selling self-empowerment and peace of mind like it's a big juicer.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An A-ha! Moment 40 years in the Making

This was just the funniest moment to me. I was listening to an interview (on NPR) with Dion, of Dion and the Belmonts, teen idol of the 60s, and he was talking about how he came to write such deep introspective hits like Runaround Sue and The Wanderer. Come to find out, The Wanderer is about a guy with tattoos of all these girls' names. Now, after all these years, these words finally make sense to me.

"Well there's Moe on my left and Mary on my right,
And Janie is the girl well that I'll be with tonight,
And when she ask me which one I love the best,
I tear open my shirt and I show Rosie on my chest,
'Cause I'm a wanderer, yeah I'm a wanderer
I roam around around around around hmmm"

It's so silly but I've thought about that interview a lot. The songs of the 50s and 60s were so mindless that I never gave much credence to them having thought going into them. And yet as simple as they were, they stirred real emotions in me as a teenager. They made me cry and they made me happy. They were so much fun to sing along with. It was easy to know all the words -- even if they didn't make sense.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Right now, this week, I don't feel passionate about much of anything. Tom has his golf and although I poo-poo it sometimes, and call him one-dimensional, at least it's something he lives for. I would call my life right now chaotic, busy with not much reward. I feel disconnected from my feelings. Like I can't catch my breath to even look around. I really need to pay more attention to this and get back on track. I'm not liking it the way it is.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where is My Comfort Zone?

An iridologist once told me that I needed to be creating bigger. My daughter tells me the same thing. She also said something about a comfort zone which has made me spend way too much time thinking about it. I read an article that said over time, we all gather a set of constricting habits that trap us in a zone of supposed comfort, well below what our potential would allow us to attain. Pretty soon, such habits slip below the level of our consciousness, but they still determine what we think that we can and cannot do—and what we cannot even bring ourselves to try. So, that makes me wonder what habits in my creative ventures have become unconscious for me?

There are plenty of things I haven't tried. Does that mean it's outside my comfort zone or that it doesn't interest me? See how complicated this can get.

I think I'll start by just noticing my habits and altering one or two and see what happens. I'll do something--anything—-differently and see what happens. I know by changing one thing, then something else will change, and voila. It's the proverbial domino effect. New thinking. New ideas. New creativity.

One thing I'll try: embracing failure and rejection. That's really out of my "zone."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Creation

This is a 4x3 book with an accordion spine; 4 separate folios. This is a Month of May project. The blue spangles that defy the edge of the pages are what make this so much fun visually. Ideally, it needs 5 folios and a stronger paper for the cover/spine. I just wanted to use this paper that I'd already painted.

What I Learned from my Mother

On Mother's Day I couldn't help but think about my own mother and the mother I eventually became. From my mother, I learned to believe that I could accomplish anything I wanted. I learned responsibility. I learned to stay busy. I learned that life is short. I don't know that I learned how to be a mother. I didn't learn how to make rules for someone else. I didn't learn how to guide. Still, I became a mother and my daughter has surpassed all expectations. Nature? Nurture? Maybe pure love.

What I hope my daughter learned from me is that love is unconditional. That fresh flowers can do more for the soul than the room. That sometimes you don't have to say anything. That you can make huge mistakes and still recover. That sometimes you learn more from a bad example than a good one.

I may not be the perfect mother, but glory be, what I do know is I have the perfect daughter:)

Friday, May 11, 2007

May Day

Finally, I've completed a May creation. Interesting process. I randomly selected a magazine (which happened to be Better Homes and Gardens, November 2005)and composed a mosaic of colors & patterns that I cut out of it. Then I took phrases from the same mag to write a paragraph that complemented the feel of the mosaic. No title to it yet, but a worthy project. I like the result. (If you click on the picture, you can read the text.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blind Runner

There's a guy who runs at the river who's blind. He runs with a partner. They loop their wrists together with a thin rope that leaves maybe 12 inches between them. The only way I know which one is blind is that the partner occasionally changes. Every time I pass him, I immediately close my eyes and try to run a few steps without seeing. I can't imagine what it would be like--the trust, the dedication, the persistence.

I close my eyes when I brush my teeth. Is that common or is that strange? I don't know.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ghetto Ducks

Yesterday I just happened to look down into the little city creek as I walked across a bridge and I saw a mother duck and two babies standing at the edge of the very disgusting water, looking like "should I take these kids through this mess?" Trash, broken limbs, storm residue. I immediately felt sorry for these little ghetto ducks. A man behind me stopped and said "There used to be 6 babies. I hope these make it." Fast forward an hour and Tom was telling me about the country club ducks. Pretty little lake, 7 or 8 baby ducks. And I wonder do ducks know there's a different neighborhood out there?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

Random acts of kindness that I experienced this week:
1. I got out of the car at the grocery store just as it started to rain. The young man who carries groceries out appeared out of nowhere with an umbrella.
2. At the gym, I'd been on the elliptical for 28 minutes when someone I had never seen walks up with a styrofoam cup of cold water for me.
3. Checking out at Sam's with only one item, the lady in front of me said "Why don't you go first."
4. My neighbor gave me some plants she bought and didn't use.
5. It was trash day and pouring down rain. After the trash pickup, someone brought my trashcans up under the tree so they wouldn't blow away and fill up with rain.

That kind of stuff is contagious. It always makes me more aware of doing things like that. Like today, I had picked up a cool poster (free) at the Farmer's Market and after I'd left the market, a young woman asked where I got it. I told her, then I gave it to her. Her face just lit up. It's the simple things. Gotta remember that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Things I Wish Didn't Exist

I started out to make a list of ten things I wish didn't exist. Can you believe I couldn't come up with ten? Not and be nice, anyway.

The first things that came to mind were:
    People who think Spandex is a right (obviously spurred by a recent trip to Target)
    Second martinis (no explanation needed)
    Bad coffee
    Suicide bombers

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Daily Challenge

Today's May 1 and the first thing I thought about was The Challenge. My challenge right now is losing my old buddies Confusion and Indecision. I can't seem to shake these guys. Always at the forefront of our on-going argument/discussion is work. Or better stated, my job. Indecision comes in and starts asking questions like what I'd do if I quit this job; what about insurance. What kind of job/work would I want? Confusion chimes in and talks about whether it's really the job or is it me. He starts wanting me to explain why this job makes me crazy. He never fails to point out that some days I appear to be quite content with my work. I wish they'd both leave me alone. I haven't seen my friend Deliriously Happy in a long time.