Saturday, March 21, 2009

Noam's 9th Birthday

It was a wild and wonderful day. Noam turned nine, and we celebrated with about 9 other kids, almost all boys from his class. My favourite part was watching them all wrestle and pillow-fight together. All of them together! What fun.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week Seven: Guides

I'm going to Santa Fe on Thursday to wander around in the Georgia O'Keeffe museum for a couple of days. I love the sensuality and colour of her work. She is one of the ones I keep in mind as a source of inspiration, and as a model. There is a whole gang of people like her in my mind. I carry these people, my friends, family, and people I've only known through books and art as essential parts of my life. Here are some you may know - Natalie Goldberg, Sue Bender, Georgia O'Keeffe, John O'Donohue, Brenda Ueland, Andrea Scher, Emily Carr, Arnold Mindell, Joan Halifax, Patty Wipfler. One interesting thing I learned through making this list is how important writers are to me, amongst those who I feel support me. It made me think again about Gail McMeekin's claim that we may ignore that which is closest to us in terms of art-making. Books and writing are so close to me, and always have been, that I don't even think about them. Making this list made me pause, though, and look again at writing. I have had some of the most powerful creative experiences I've ever had with writing. Yet I keep thinking I'll find creative nirvana elsewhere. I do want to explore many creative outlets, but I've claimed writing as my own more powerfully through this.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

i trust me

i trust myself. oh, me. that juicy, little red barron of beautiful happiness. of love. let her love me, i pray. i do. i desire this self. she seems so divine. i am so in love with myself. can you say that? if you let yourself see yourself, see yourself from the inside. can you stop yourself from falling deeply head over heels? it's been her i've wanted all along. she is the mother i've wanted. i've wanted that mother. and here she is inside me. oh, i adore her. i don't get it. i wasn't expecting this. and it's just me loving life. if i love myself. i am adoring life. here she is. why do i love her so? because she is. children know this. they love just because you are.
i trust me. start from there.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Week Six

I loved this week's interview with Andrea Scher. Honestly, I think I may be a little bit in love with her. Hers was the first blog I started reading and being inspired by. Her blog, Superherodesigns Journal, is the standard by which I measure myself (poorly), and this is what stops me from blogging so much! I just realized! I know I can have a much better blog, more colourful, more thoughtful, etc. just by risking putting myself to it, but it will be different. Very different. And this is okay. This comparison gremlin is a common one, and many (Andrea, Christine Mason Miller, etc.) have mentioned it. I loved Christine's advice to just keep to your thing, pay attention to your own process (really, what else can you do?). I can get into this kind of space, and I actually really like myself, but it is hard to look out and see shinier things and people outside and be okay with where I'm at right now. I can be inspired, and reach for more, but just as in life, where there will always be smarter, prettier, more winsome folks than ourselves, there will always be better blogs. Is there an enough place? Is there also a self-acceptance we can nurture, to be with ourselves all of the time, whether shiny or dull, apt or clumsy? I feel this sometimes, and it is perhaps the sweetest thing I have tasted. Even sweeter perhaps than possessing particular skills and talents. It is a subtler and deeper joy than the splash or strength of being pretty, talented, competent, or wise. They are all valuable, but I am going to try to keep self-acceptance at the heart of me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Week Five: Self-focus

Week Five of Gail McMeekin's 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women.
Honestly, the only real reason I'm here today is through re-reading the Portfolio Project's manifesto - fast and dirty. dirty and fast. That's the opposite of what I seem to be doing. I don't write. Yes, my kids were sick this past week (and will be the week to come), but you can always write something, no? This is a niggly little problem that is actually gigantic and I don't think will be going away too soon. But hopefully I'll keep getting a gentle kick in the pants that will keep me stumbling towards doing some kind of creating.
It's not a problem with self-focus per se, but of self-love. Can I stand to be stupid, write mediocre things, be ugly sometimes? Even really ugly? It seems not really yet. So I keep waiting for the heavens to descend, and my loveliest writing to be ready to flow from my fingertips. I'm going to try giving that up, and keep exercising the fast and dirty approach to making art. Fast. Dirty. and Me. Where does that leave more considered approaches? Better writing through effort and more time? Not sure. Right now I may just have to keep starting the engine to keep the darn thing moving, and worry about where it's going later.
Not that I haven't been doing any creating - I've been busy knitting! Oh, I'm loving it. I keep trying to think of ways I can get some in. While the kids are watching a movie? While reading a blog? I'm making my first hat, racing against the winter to try to get it on my son's head to replace the one I don't like that he's wearing, before the cold goes away. Wish me luck. I'm so happy - he wore the scarf I made him to school today - and it looked pretty good!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week Three - Following your fascinations

Week Three of 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women got me thinking about intuition and bravery in my life. I've been fighting my intuition lately. I know we all do sometimes. It goes something like this: I have an image of what I want my life to look like right now, what I want to spend my time and money on, and it seems to be about being/becoming a great somatic therapist, travelling, spending more time painting, knitting, writing, singing, dancing, and making real connections with others. But a scared part of me wants to mess with that. Wants to insert a degree somewhere in there. Wants to make me a "better" person, that is, someone with more social status. Many people I know have graduate degrees and I DON'T! Also, school historically has been a place of greater safety and visibility for me, and I don't want to feel that I don't have that as an option. Why can't I want to have more degrees?, the scared part wrings its hands. And it keeps thinking of degrees I might want to do to entice me. But a part of me knows what it wants. And doesn't give a fig for social status, or safety (can't buy that anyhow). I keep following the path of what smells, looks, and feels right to try. And it will keep on developing, and changing. But I have to keep following it. Perhaps the greater strides I take on the path that is calling me, whatever is calling me, the softer the scared clutching will become.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week Two - Honouring your inspirations

Week 2 in our online book club. The exercise for this chapter that I decided to follow was "Personal Attractions". It asks a bunch of questions, and I answer them! Here they are (I've included some, but not all (a few got a little lengthy).

What inspires me?
lots and lots of things, here are a few... silliness, movement, colour, whimsy, hugs, openness, beauty

What kinds of people do I most like to talk with?
outdoorsy, down-to-earth, intelligent people; people who make me laugh, and I them; compassionate, open-minded people

What do I fantasize about?
having other people to knit with
asking the question "How are things? What is the nature of the world?" and keeping on exploring

just to be happy and have people around who I love (see below for a poem by Walt Whitman on this). have some fun. spread a little love. be better educated. know how to articulate my love and vision(s). make things a little easier for some people. write, paint, sing, dance, explore ideas and relationships.

here's the poem:

I have perceived
that to be with those I like
is enough,
To stop in the company
with the rest at evening
is enough,
to be surrounded by
beautiful, curious, breathing,
laughing flesh
is enough,
To pass among them,
or touch any one,
or rest my arm ever so lightly
round his or her neck for a moment
What is this, then?
I do not ask any more delight.
I swim in it, as in a sea.

-Walt Whitman