Saturday, September 16, 2017

Unusually Productive

I did a lot of art this week, more than I normally do.  I'm working in both collage journals now, my Midori inserts (number 8 completed last night) and the hand bound journal I showed you last week.

I've also been cutting collage elements out of books a bit like of a fiend.  Cutting has become my meditation, and I spend many nights on the couch happily adding cut images to my boxes of collage fodder.

I also joined one of the numerous painting challenges on Instagram, so I've been painting most days, too.  I no longer see challenges as something I need to adhere to strictly.  After all, it's for me, and no one else.  So I make them work for me. Meaning, if I need to take a break for a day or two and then get back to it, no problem.  I'm still doing the challenge and my intent is intact.

The paintings you see here are what I did this week for the challenge.  I have another piece in process, but needed to step away from it for a couple days.

Additionally, this week I pulled out another handmade journal, a "junk" journal made with different sized papers of a wide variety: magazine pages, early sketchbook collages of mine, handmade papers, etc.  And I started collaging in that, too, although I've not yet photographed the one spread I've done thus far.

This art journal looks like it'll be a hybrid of my current ephemera-based collages, and my earlier, more modern art-architectural collages from a few years ago.  In fact, the first image here, above, although done in a Midori insert, is a bit of a precursor to the hybrid style.

If I continue to be as productive as I was this past week, I might start posting twice a week again.

The weather has definitely changed.  I can't believe what a short summer we had here, and now it's autumn.  I needed an extra blanket last night, and this morning the heat came on by itself.  There's snow predicted for the Sierra Nevada this weekend, many inches of it.  Although that won't impact us here on the North Coast, it should definitely put a damper on forest fires still burning.

Have a good week.  Enjoy the autumn equinox.  xx

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Branching Out

I started collaging recently in a handmade journal I made a few years ago with covers from a vintage book.  The book is the second image; you might remember it from when I posted it originally.  The image to the left is the first actual collage in the new journal.

I'm still working in the Midori Travelers Notebook inserts, but wanted to move into a different sized journal as well.  What I'll likely do with the new journal is have text from one of the pages in the original book in each collage, as I've done in this first piece.

I haven't been doing as much watercolor as I was, but I keep thinking that any day now I'll start up again in a more regular fashion.  Like I did when I was doing a challenge...which I'm thinking I might do again just for my own purposes...but haven't committed myself to yet.

Last weekend was a scorcher here.  Today it's damp and cool.  I'm not complaining, though.  About the only likely natural disasters in my area are occasional the 9.+ quake that's supposed to hit any day now, like they've been saying for a number of years already.  Could happen; might not.

My prayers and best wishes for all the folks throughout the world who are or will be victims of increasingly bad hurricanes, monsoons, forest fires, droughts, and any other natural disasters the earth throws at us, in her revenge for hundreds of years of devastation at the hand of mankind.  And special prayers for all the animals who are the innocent victims of human hubris.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

True Friendship

"The mark of true friendship is how someone treats you, not how much you have in common."

It's taken me all my life to come to this understanding.  I spent my life up until recently taking a lot of shit from people, because I was brought up and lived most of my life thinking I had to accept peoples' bad behavior toward me.  That I didn't have any say in the matter.  That I couldn't just walk away.

Over the years I've become increasingly accepting of foibles, my idiosyncrasies, my blind spots.  And I've likewise become accepting of others' as well.  People are people, we do what we do, we are who we are, nobody's perfect, most don't have bad intentions or seek to do antagonistic things on purpose.

But what I will not accept anymore, is someone's unkindness toward me ~~ their lack of compassion and empathy, their lack of respect, their inability to put themselves aside when the time calls for it so they can be here for me, as I've always been there for them in their times of need.

I will no longer make excuses to myself for others' bad behavior toward me.  Historically I've given people the benefit of the doubt, often for years, instead of listening to my intuition that the relationship was going bad and it was time to change it or get out. 

And I'll no longer accept in my life people who refuse to take responsibility for their own issues, people who consistently point the finger at you when you attempt to talk to them about these things, people who refuse to acknowledge their negative impact on you, people who refuse to apologize for anything they do or say.  It's not my responsibility to try to fix these people, although I've spent most of my life thinking it was.  It IS my responsibility, however, to remove myself from situations that no longer satisfy my very-human needs for kindness, respect and empathy.

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about those who don't, and believe everything happens for a reason."

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ready for Fall

I'm so ready for fall.  We haven't had much summer on the North let's just move on, shall we? 

Currently, due to previous and new forest fires to the north of us, the sky is smoky/hazy enough that Humboldt looks like Los Angeles on a bad day.  It's really sad. 

The entire country, as in the USA, is on fire, in one way or another.  I have no hope that this sinking ship can be turned around, that all the wrongs that have happened here especially in the past eight months, can be righted.  It's gonna take generations to fix things.

BeeGee is doing VERY well, I'm glad to say.  He had an ultrasound ten days ago, and altho the vet found a couple of potentially problematic things in his organs, I don't think either of those are what caused him to get ill several weeks ago.  I think the biggest issue was acute arthritis pain.  I have him on a bunch of natural supplements now, including cannabis oil for pain and curcumin for inflammation, and he's back to his old self again.  He's slowly putting some weight back on, eating a lot, and doing everything his body should be doing.  I am so thankful...and so is he!  He's my miracle kitty!

Have a great weekend. xx

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Life Lessons

Several memes and quotes (anonymous, unless otherwise attributed) have shown up in my life recently, that speak volumes...

"The people in your life should be a source of reducing stress, not causing more of it."

"How people treat you is their karma.  How you react is yours."  Wayne Dyer

"As you are shifting, you will begin to realize that you are not the same person you used to be.  The things you used to tolerate have become intolerable.  Where you once remained quiet, you are now speaking your truth.  Where you once battled and argued, you are now choosing to remain silent.  You are beginning to understand the value of your voice, and there are some situations and people that no longer deserve your time, energy, and focus."

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

"No matter how badly someone treats you, never drop down to their level.  Remain calm, stay strong, and walk away."

"Sometimes you have to just walk away, despite how much time and energy you've invested in another person."

Have a good week.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Navigating Uncertainty

Mostly I'm reading right now, and spending time with BeeGee.

Doing a little art when the mood strikes, but not having any expectations of myself.

Embracing the uncertainty that surrounds us everywhere these days.  Learning how to navigate.

Be well.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The New Normal

The new normal for me is that I'm living, everyday, with an acute sense of the fragility of life, of impermanence.

That feeling, that sense, manifests as the anxious quiver of being that underlies all of our human attempts to drown it out or cover it over with addictions to anything and everything...and not just drugs, but all the things we do every day in our lives to avoid actually being in the present moment.

Over the last few years I've made it a practice to remove all those distractions from my life, as many as humanly possible in this day and age, so that I can/could be present to exactly what's happening in the here and now.

And experiencing the anxious quiver of being, or the fundamental ambiguity of being human, is my ground of being now.  I felt it now and then before BeeGee apparently-suddenly became an older cat, in moments of utter quietude.  Now that I am taking care of this beautiful elder being, I'm living every day in this place of groundlessness.

My practice now is to learn to embrace it, to become comfortable with it, to do my life just as before, but with this inate shaky feeling in my heart and gut.  And just be with it.

This sense of fragility, of vulnerability, of tenderness, of impermanence, of groundlessness...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Childhood's End

Mostly, this is an update on BeeGee.  The results of his xray yesterday are that he has major arthritis in his spine, especially his cervical spine and neck.  Poor bubie.  I can't imagine how much pain he's been in for so long.  Cats, as you cat lovers know, are extremely stoic, they bear their pain until they've got one foot virtually in the grave.  He'd also lost a lot of weight just recently because the pain made him stop eating anything more than a bite or two a day.

The vet gave him a steroid shot yesterday that should last for two weeks, and several cans of Urgent Care food that he's already eaten a lot of.  We're hopeful that the one shot will get him on his way to healing and recovery.  But if he needs additional pain management, of course he'll get that when the time comes. 

BeeGee is an elderly cat now.  To be honest, he is the first being in my life whom I'll be shepherding through old age and death.  So I expect there to be life lessons for me in the coming months and years. 

I'm gonna lay low for a few days, regroup, get my own creative routine back on track. 

Have a good week.