Knowing the beginning of a thing doesn’t guarantee that your prediction of the end is accurate.
It’s been months since I’ve written. Not for lack of words or things to babble about, necessarily. Not that life has been super exciting, either, but there have certainly been events that I couldashoulda commented at length on, perhaps. Grief, depression, and procrastination are an amazing trifecta for not getting things done. Then I get so behind I’m never sure where to start when I want to write again. Perhaps I’ll just continue on my course of starting in the middle and working outward from there…
I’ll start with the Art Stuff, since that was the intention of this blog in the beginning. Gallery Life is going ok. I’ve been managing to work my shifts and attend events despite an overwhelming desire to avoid any unnecessary activity. My space is still not up to standards, although I do have about 20 greeting cards there, finally. My grand plans of having newer framed work and matted prints available by December…didn’t happen. I have, however, finally managed to cut a few acceptable mattes, so I’m a little closer to accomplishing that. I need to order new matte cutter blades, but I’ve gotten the measuring down much better than I previously had. And I mostly remember to flip the matte the right way for the bevel to show on the correct side!
In other art news…I’m working on a collage of photos from the Ingrid Michaelson concert that PK and I went to. It was an *amazing* show, Ingrid was hilarious and her opening act, Jenna Nicholls was superb. Apparently we went to the same high school and graduated the same year?? Crazy.
I’m also working on a commissioned project of a schnauzer. It’s going fairly well. I was/am a little stymied by the curly hair on her haunches and legs, but I think I’ve found an adequate solution, I hope. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed playing with clay. I’ve about depleted my supply, and so I picked up some starter packs from WallyWorld, but they don’t have any of the fun colors. Maybe next pay I’ll set aside some $ and go to Michael’s and replenish my stock.
Photography-wise, I haven’t been doing much. I took some snapshots of family on Christmas Eve and Christmas. But I haven’t taken my camera outside in ages. Although, I have been helping a new friend photograph some of her artwork, so that has been good at least. She does felting and it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s been a nice excuse to just have a camera in my hands, that’s for sure.
In other news…Grief, man. Most days, I’m almost certain my heart is never going to recover. Other days, I go whole chunks of time without any tears, without my heart stopping or getting stuck in my throat and I almost think “oh…it’s getting easier!” And then WHOMP, I find myself in a pile on the floor again. I have a very difficult time remember that healing is not linear. That a few good hours doesn’t mean no more terror filled times in the middle of dinner. Doesn’t mean tears won’t well up in the midst of laughter. And the worst, is that it doesn’t mean all of the bittersweet will magically just be sweet again without the bitter.
I adore these cats, I assure you. Charlie is the most snuggly cat I’ve met, and he makes it known when he wants attention. He has a habit of laying on me with his paw on my face or on my heart, over my tattoo. And Pi is also pretty affectionate. She sleeps on my pillow next to my head almost every night, and doesn’t take crap from any of the other animals. But ultimately, I can’t help but wish they weren’t here- for the simple reason of WHY they’re here. Does that make sense? (Does anything make sense anymore…no….) I can’t help but wish, when Pi is snuffling in my hair, or Charlie is headbutting me…that it was M with me, demanding attention. It’s still so surreal some moments.
Thankfully, when I see or hear from the kids (they are adults, really, but do our kiddos ever stop being kids in our hearts?!) it is almost exclusively sweet. My heart, of course, aches for them still. But being in their presence fills me with an unmatched joy. I was so grateful when E invited me to Christmas dinner, although super hesitant to go, because Christmas’ past were so fresh in my mind…but I went, and I’m so super glad that I did. Being with them was good for my soul.
I didn’t expect my relationship with M to end the way it did, either time. Which makes me super hesitant to engage in or foster other relationships in my life. I know, that is a majorly messed up way of thinking…to not start something because you’re not sure how it will turn out. It is the definition of fear or something, I’m sure. But, it is where my head is. And yet…I need relationships in my life. Genuine, deep, bare-my-soul connections. I’ve tried getting by without them, and I flail and falter and fall down flat on my face. Well, to be honest, I do all of those things anyway. But without having someone I can spill my heart to, I rarely make the effort to get back up. Which many find fault with. “Live for yourself!” “Love yourself before you can love anyone else!!” I call bullshit. I’ve loved others with far more depth than I’ve ever been able to love myself, and those feelings were real and genuine. And so what if I’m choosing to stay afloat for my dog or my job or my friend or even my damn therapist? Doesn’t it just matter that I’m choosing to try and stay afloat? It’s not that I’m not trying to love and live for myself- I am, I have been trying. But, isn’t it ok to get by on the alternative until such time as I’m able to find whatever it is within myself that provides self-propelling properties? Can’t that be enough?
Anyhow. My point (of that paragraph…ha) was that, even though I am scared shitless of showing my heart, letting my guard down, letting anyone inside my walls…I’ve gone and done it. And I know, those reading this may think “what is she talking about? She seems to be an open book on these pages…” And to an extent, I am. But it’s different when you’re in the same room with someone. When you’re having these conversations with a specific person who you know you’re going to be face to face with. I’ve often used online blogs and journals as a way to simultaneously connect and detach. I yearn to be known, but I also strive to keep people comfortable. And, let’s face it, much of what I say lately doesn’t bring anyone comfort. So to put these words here, where you can click X at any time is a world apart from sitting on the couch with someone, tears flowing. Much more awkward for them to make an escape should they want to…But I’ve found myself on that couch way too many times over the last few months, without the energy to fight the tears or keep the walls up or soften the harsh edges of my thoughts and feelings. And to her credit, she hasn’t shunned me or shushed me or suggested I stifle my sorrow to a more tolerable tone. She parries every shove, sits in the silences, and holds me tight when I’m sure I’m going to quite physically tear apart. The irony (?) is that she possesses so many of the qualities that kept me so drawn to M, and had it not been for M’s passing…death…whatever…I’m sure we’d still be quite good friends. But the level of instability/neediness I’ve been hovering at sort of catapulted us (me, at least) from “aww, you’re nice and awesome and a good person to have in my life!” to “just seeing a random message from you can help me step back from the ledge you didn’t even know I was on…” It’s…scary to be Known. But so comforting. And, somehow, I find that I’m letting select others see the uglier sides of me, too. Super weird.
Anyhow. So. there’s that. I took a week off of work and traveled to Chicago and Michigan in an attempt to heal my heart. I will save that for a separate entry. And! I acquired health insurance just in time to be diagnosed with stress-induced hives and a stomach ulcer! The fun never ends…
Oh, speaking of *actual* fun! I’m attempting to learn how to play the ukulele! It is SO much easier than the guitar and I’m apparently making pretty decent progress. My friend lent me one of her ukes, which I finally got around to hanging recently. It makes me smile when I see it, and I even practice a tad more, now that it’s always in plain sight.
Anyhow. It is a new year. For the first time in forever I have a job with holidays off, so even though I was on-call, I was able to soberly ring it in in a comfortable, low-key manner. And thus far, the first 5 days have been mostly tolerable. We’ll see where it goes from here…
P.S.- Be on the lookout for some new poetry in the next few weeks. It has been written, it just needs to be posted! Still deciding if I will do that via blog, or just post it with the rest of the poetry and write a blog to say it’s been posted. Suggestions?!