Monday, December 15, 2008

Symbiotic Relationship

The bench and bramble outside my studio window

It started snowing night before last, and child that I am, I was jumping up and down and grinning like an idiot and running around whooping like some ungainly wild bird. I HAD to go out and dance around in the yard, head back, arms outstretched while the snow fell into my open mouth. Yesterday I crunched around the back to take photos while the sun was out...reference shots for painting. I do SO want to get a good grasp of painting the shadows and light of a snowy vista. I made a single ATC last night...and I actually managed to get some of the look of snow I've had in my head.

Nothing like practicing on a small size...there's something SO much less intimidating about working small, even though a lot of people would find work on that scale MORE daunting than on a regular ol' canvas. Not me. I aDORE painting LARGE. For example, I have one canvas hanging in the stairwell that's 4 x 6 feet. Big abstract piece I did entirely by using my hands to paint. No brushes, hands and body know what to do without interference from some appendage! I was smack in the middle of painting my bedroom at the Texas house, JUST after buying it, and my excitement spilled over onto the canvas. I always saw it as a champagne explosion, but my dad didn't. Dad pronounced it "brilliant" and declared it was my "best work ever." Who am I to argue with someone so clearly discerning and intelligent? Ha! He loved it so much I gave it to him on the spot, and it hung over his bed until he died.

I love working large...and small. It's the medium, the middle of the road, the mediocre that puts me off. The way my inner eye works is either on the grand cosmic scale or on the macro level of extreme detail. Or as Peter is likely to share when asked about me, "Oh she sees every detail, both tremendous and tiny, but is seldom aware of the Mack Truck barreling down on her." And of course the irony of all this as reflected by my spiritual path is NOT lost on me - "Seek the Middle Way." Ah me.

Between having a friend staying here the month of November, and then traveling to Salem, Oregon and back the following week my creative energies really unraveled. I adore the train ride and find it actually boosts my inner energies; I always end up writing poetry while looking at the world going by. But I'm finding it so hard to get back to work again. Rather, I seem to prefer playing computer games, losing myself for hours in a match-three or hidden object game. Mindless fiddling while Rome burns around me.

Curiously enough, it's not so much the 2D art that calls to me as it is my long put-aside sculpting. As my sensibilities have changed since returning to my beloved north woods and wind-tossed sea - and oh, they have, they have! - I cannot help but wonder what kind of sculpted creatures will issue forth now that I am no longer pushed by dreams of aggressive deer and stealthy cougars, by wakeful worries that chewed on my body and mind. With my parents gone long enough now that the edges of the damage they did me all the days of their lives have softened, I find the corresponding tension I carried forever in my shoulders has dropped. I was once the angriest person a number of people had ever known..they told me so. I'm so far from that person now that I doubt they'd even recognise me any longer. When I hit menopause, I made a intentional decision (remember, intent is everything) to choose smiles over scowls, trust over fear, love over hate. And you know? It's really hard to hold onto all the pain (anger is merely pain turned into something one can express with a modicum of perceived - not real - control) when you're in that centered place. See, there's that Middle Way again. Ha! But really, about the only torture that still has any hold over me (aside from fears of certain economic inadequacies and wondering if I'll ever have a partner-in-love again) is that of my own regrettable behaviour. Fear of repeating my ancient ways keeps me in hiding and causes me to lay awake, staring at the ceiling in the dark as the Greek Chorus in my head chants its blame and shame refrain. Yep, I'm stuck on the Train of Blame and Shame, an old refrain, again and again (re)borne of pain. But a life without shame means I have to explain that the pain simply offered no gain, and the sad main refrain, without feeling slain, can be finally, entirely be flushed down the drain. Hmmm...seems as though there's one of my oddly dark humoured poems in there somewhere.

Part of the good news in my attitude and latitude change (help, I can't stop rhyming!) is that I no longer consider death a ready option, a friend I can turn to if life can no longer be tolerated. And the most curious part is that I have been able to put aside those thoughts beCAUSE I now have an easy method to accomplish my own demise. No longer do I have to grapple with thoughts of how to accomplish the end without gore or pain. That, tender reader, has been deliciously and delicately solved for me. I shan't share HOW, for I don't wish some well-meaning idiot to interfere, but suffice it to say that I am set should the real need arise. But ever since I realised I could, without pain or an iffy outcome, I no longer think about it at all! Curious, no? After so many decades of justifying suicide in perfectly lucid, rational, logical terms I tell you it gives me pause to think that perhaps "suicidal ideation" truly WAS the ultimate truth of my thoughts. But either way, I have now put that thought utterly aside (unless the world blows up and I'm left to suffer the ravages of fate, or some wasting disease takes hold, in which case I am OUTTA here). Of course, having a thorough understanding (via experience, mostly) of the Cosmos' sense of humour, I'm aware that now that I've moved on from offing myself, some outer thing is more likely to strike me down. You don't believe the Cosmos HAS a sense of humor? Take another look at the reproductive act between humans. Is there ANYthing more ridiculous than two humans getting it on? Rabbits and hamsters look less silly than we do! At least they're quick about it. Humans (she said, rolling her eyes) need fore and afterplay, among other things. *sigh* We are a ridiculous species, all in all.

Seagull skull in the snow

So I started with childlike wonder at freshly fallen snow and have ended with a wizzened crone's view of sex. I'm certain there's a symbiotic relationship or two in there somewhere...

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