Fear, Blessings & Change

There are days when I fear.

I think about the fact that I’m soon going to be 47, and that I’m in the upper-middle portion of my life. I’ve had a hysterectomy, so, no more children, which is both a sadness and a blessing. There will be no more warm little bundles combining my DNA with someone else’s. But, then, there will also never be anymore sleepless nights of feedings, diapers & the stresses of teenage years. I’ve come to accept this, & I am not only Ok with it, I’m happy that part of my life has passed me by.

But, there are also negatives that have come with the maturation process.

I have osteoarthritis, mainly in my hands and wrists, & over the last few months, it has come to be a large focus for me.

My hands play such a vital role in my life, and I fear what this change will bring to me.

My job consists of working with computers and files. I type…all day long. The arthritis has restricted me in many ways, making my job a lot more difficult. I have trouble handling heavy files, as they put a lot of pressure on my inflamed finger joints, and the medicines I take for it don’t completely mitigate that pain. Typing all day puts stresses on my hands that I never thought would be this complex and painful, but I have learned a lot about my limits & my capabilities, including my tolerances for pain. 

And then… There’s my art.



Things like these take a LOT of hand-work. I twist wires with the help of jewelry pliers & locking wrenches, but the bulk of the work is done by MY hands. On days when the barometer fucks with my arthritis, it can go from uncomfortable, shifting to painful & excruciating.

How can I continue to do what I love, when it can cause so much pain? 

How can I express my visions, my imagination, my passion, when I can’t manipulate the medium I work through without crippling my tools – my hands?

This is my fear…

That the arthritis will steal my gift.

That it will destroy something I love…my art. 

And I will be left without it’s comfort.

Where is the blessing in this change?

…….I continue to search…..

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DP- Burn

Here’s my contribution to the Daily Prompt…for the first time.

I am impatient, I know this.  For some things in my life, I fume and yearn, I struggle and strain. And I burn.

I strive towards my desired goal, straining at any harness, any obstacle in my way. I curse, loudly and often, when impeded.

Some call this ambition, some greed. Some merely call it impatience or impetuousness.

I call it passion.

It drives me as an artist, pushing me to seek higher forms in my creativity. It goads me into taking chances with the medium I use. And, sometimes it works.

Sometimes it fails.

It seduces me in my life, luring me into taking chances with relationships, knowing full well the cost I’ll end up paying. I cannot shake the siren’s song…the possibility of heart’s warmth, of that overwhelming emotion…the hope for love, I seek the heat, the spark, the flash.

Sometimes this passion for experience, this yearning towards the light ahead…

Lures me into the flames.

And I burn.

There is pain, pain I’ve felt many times before, pain I will feel again. Even though life has sought to teach me caution, I cannot ignore the flames.

And I burn.

And as the ashes settle into new forms, dusty & forgotten by those around-

I rise again.

Because I’m a fucking phoenix.

I live to burn.

Branching Out

Here are some pictures of the newest trees I’ve made.

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This one (above) I was going to put in my Etsy shop,  but ended up selling it to my boss.

This next one, I made for myself… but I might end up selling it as well, as my boss has now ordered 3 more!

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It’s a little bigger than the first one, & has more little details, like a ghost, hat & broom.

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So, now I’m busy creating more.  I might even start making sets of miniatures for my Etsy shop, since the sculpting is so much fun, and I can make multiple items at once. We’ll see once I get this new order filled.  (And I’d better get back to it, since I only have a week to make all 3!)

Now, for the particulars for those who are interested…

1.  The “log” is something I found at Hobby Lobby,  & it’s called “cactus wood”. I stuffed it with craft moss after affixing the trees to it.

2.  The sculpted items (pumpkins, cats, hat) are made from colored Sculpey, a polymer clay that oven bakes in about 10-15 minutes. I love this stuff, and have used it for years!

3.  The ghost is a different type of clay called “Creative Paperclay”. This was my first time working with it, and it’s a very different clay than I’m used to. I’m still not sure how much I like it, but it is very light-weight, and air dries over a day or 2.

4.  The broom I also picked up at Hobby Lobby, in the miniatures department. You can also sometimes find these in the scrapbooking area.

5.  The only things I painted on any of this is the stems on the pumkins, the cats’ eyes, and the face “holes” on the 2nd tree. On the first tree, I tried black Sculpey in the face holes, but didn’t really like the way it turned out.

6.  The trees themselves are aluminum, 20 gauge craft/jewelry wire.  Again, Hobby Lobby. (I spend waaay too much time and money in there, I might need an intervention)

7.  Everything but the trees are glued down with an epoxy called “Goop”. Stinks to high heaven for a while, but I haven’t found anything yet that works as well.

I’m going to keep experimenting, try to figure out how to do trees for each holiday, or at least, each season.

Christmas trees are going to be…interesting….

In The Eye of the Beholder

My YoungerDaughter is a talented artist.  I’ve said this before.  She can do things with pencil, paint and brush… that frankly, blow me away.

Her vision of the world is unique, and refreshingly honest and open and, for the most part, lighthearted.

A couple of days ago, YoungerDaughter and the rest of her class, had a senior art show at the high school she attends.  Here are the results of her hard work and passion.

The pictures I was able to take do show all the lights glaring from above and behind, due to the fact that most of the artwork was behind protective glass or plastic, however, you can still see them.  Blame me for any glitches in the view!

This one is a high-contrast painting she did using a photograph of a rubber ducky she took some time earlier.  I wish she hadn’t sold it to a friend soon after she finished it, or I would have hung it in my house until she found her own place.  I find this one stunning.

This painting is an abstract heart, but it has millions of tiny “gesso” beads mixed in with the paint, which give it a rough, bumpy texture.  I’ve often wondered if it had a “hidden meaning” written in braille that YoungerDaughter won’t tell me!

This one is a very large, textured painting, using the paint itself as the texturing medium.  YD chose certain flowers representing the emotions of affection and unrequited love.  (Her first really big crush – that crushed her in return)

This exhibit is one that is titled “You Look Better In The Dark”. I think she was speaking to the bottles with the title, because it’s kind of a “plain-Jane” exhibit in the light, but when you turn off the overheads, it’s dramatic and lovely.

And now, for my 2 personal favorites. These next pictures are pencil portraits that YD did of my other two children, based off of photos taken of them at different ages. These were my Christmas presents from YD, and they will hang in honor along with the one that she did of herself and gave to me a couple of years ago.

EldestDaughter – Age 2.

And

OnlySon – approximately age 7. And one of the LAST times he smiled for a picture.

YoungerDaughter.  Talented, passionate, and quirky.  Truly an original in the eye of ANY beholder.

 

Friday Filosophy 12/31/10

End of the year.

End of a decade.

I hate goodbyes.  I don’t like the way they make me feel, cut loose like a rowboat without oars, drifting off into the fog.  And some goodbyes are harder than others.

But I’ll be glad to say goodbye to 2010. 

I’ve already talked about the lessons I’ve learned in this past year.  Some of them I already knew in my head, but they really came home to roost in my heart this year.  Some of the others… well, they were hard-learned.  But then you don’t really learn the important stuff when you’re happy and skipping down the street, do you? 

You learn the hard, important stuff most often, on your knees, in the dirt, crying and wiping snot from your face.  The lessons have a tendency to stick a little longer when you have that kind of memory backing it up.

But now, as I step into 2011, and enter into what, for me, is a very introspective portion of the year, I seek to define my goals and hopes for the upcoming 12 months.  And I also count the blessings that I received this year.  There were blessings.

Blessings:  (Not in any order of importance, but in order of memory)

1.  I not only participated in, but won NaNoWriMo.  I actually can do it.  I earned the blessing of self-confidence in my own writing.

2. My best friend from high school followed my Facebook page here, and contacted me again after many years.  I re-gained the gift and blessing of a very dear friend.

3.  I started my blog in December of 2009, but really, the meat of the beast didn’t fall into place until this year.  This blog has been a HUGE blessing in my life this year, in more ways than I can enumerate.

4.  Through the blogging world, I’ve met and gotten to know some very amazing people, many of whom have wormed their way into my heart, and are now lodged there as members of my chosen family.  There is no greater blessing than adding loved ones to your life.  I am extremely well blessed with this chosen family, as they are all made of awesome.

5.  I was offered a chance to get published, through one of my other blogs.  It’s for my poetry, which I never really thought seriously about getting published.  This is the surprise blessing of the year, I think.  Out of the blue, for something I’d never thought about, and the thrill still gives me the butterflies.

And now, the goals I want to work on, accomplish, or start this year:

Goals:

1.  FINISH the novel’s first draft.  I am determined on this, and I won’t stop.  I need to reorient my evenings to make room for this. 

2.  Get the Wicca 101 class set up, and then run it.  I need to write the curriculum and prepare whatever class-scheduling I need to.  Plus, I need to finalize the plans for where the class will happen during the cold months.  Nice weather calls for lessons in the park.

3.  Work on getting back into shape.  Right now the shape is round.  Weebles wobble…

4.  Get some of the home projects finished this year.  New windows, privacy fence, new trees in the backyard, some plaster work and some work in the bathroom.  Lots of projects.  But you gotta start somewhere, hunh?

5.  Get my mental health back on a more positive track.  Depression sucks.  Anxiety bites.  And I want to get my joy back again on a more permanent basis.

So, blessings and goals in place, I’ll stride forward into 2011, head up, eyes on the road ahead.  I’ll kiss 2010 goodbye, the good – the bad – the indifferent.  And this time, the goodbye doesn’t leave me feeling so lost.  Just because the oars might not be in the boat, doesn’t mean I’m stranded.

I know how to swim.