Time to stick a fork in 2018

29 12 2018

Weather: Cold but not normal cold. Upper 30s with a light dusting of snow.

It’s that time of year…the end, at least chronologically speaking, of 2018.

It’s been a bear of a year for many reasons, most of which I will mention but not dwell on. Mostly because I am bone-level weary and the year seems bound and determined to get a last boot in right at the end, as expected.

The last couple of years have been, to put it lightly, CHALLENGING. Health matters, politics, the weather, family trauma, finances… everything has been dialed up to 100,  with a baseball bat.

I was diagnosed with panic disorder this year, and have been in therapy to work on coping with it. I developed Gastritis this summer and ended up on a very restricted diet until it was under control. (Luckily caught it before it became an ulcer).

Bri and I both lost family members, and our aging relatives suffered a number of health setbacks this year, which was a constant source of concern.  

Now, at the end of the year, we have found ourselves facing some financial challenges that were unanticipated and we are scrambling to keep the boat afloat, so to speak. 

Still, even after all this shitstorm of shenanigans, I find myself facing the upcoming year with a weird sense of calm and – prepare yourself- Positive Outlook.  

I KNOW! 

Here’s the rub:  After 2 years of worrying about the worse case scenario, we’ve kind of had it happen in a number of ways.  We’ve managed to survive it all. And even though we’re ending the year in a rather precarious position, the prospects of it getting better are at a higher probability that we could have expected. Is it a certainty? Hell no. But having palatable options is a damn near sight better than having no options at all. 

On top of it, even with the health issues? We both got trainers and have been steady at getting to the gym, and we have improved our diets, so both of us have lost weight and are in better shape than we’ve been in for YEARS. I consider that a BIG positive. 

Mentally, I’m in a better head-space than I’ve been in a long while. It took a lot of work and I am fully aware that I am not cured, but the bouts of anxiety I have are becoming less and less frequent, and when I have one, it is not nearly as debilitating. Another BIG positive. 

The finances are what they are. Weirdly that’s never really been a source of anxiety. Money is a calculable issue that I can resolve with logic, math and spreadsheets. Boring but doable. It’s not an abstract concept to me so I feel it’s always fixable. It helps to have resources and alternate streams of income. (Selling items, making things to sell, online surveys, gifts from relatives etc). Also, I am an obsessive accountant and budget maker. I will squeeze pennies from places that others might miss and have no qualms sacrificing services to pay for necessary things. 

All in all , the only quandary that has me  a little nervous is the rust on my creativity.  This year has not been kind to my artistic outlets. Writing has all but ground to a halt, and although I’ve been much more busy the latter half of this year, the first half saw zero progress on any mosaics.  I have started to feel the tentative tendrils of motivation reaching out again, and have dug out my stitch-work and knitting to add it to the creative outlet stream. So now I have a few different things to focus on if I hit a wall. More is better in this area.  I’ve been slowly coming to the realization that my lack of patience is something that has inevitably hamstrung me for a while now. So patience and paring down my focus to what I’m working on at the moment is my new goal for the next year. 

In general, that’s what 2019 is going to be about- not creating new goals or setting new benchmarks, but keeping the momentum going, and herding all the cats into a more manageable line. Already in the process of getting healthy, so keep it going. Already in the process of making things, so keep it going. Already in the process of simplifying, and purging, and expanding my creative output….so just keep that shit going! 

Getting started is always the exciting part, but it’s also the most daunting. Keeping something moving once you’ve gotten it started is easier, especially if you can level the road and move carefully enough to sidestep the obstacles. 

I’m going to be focusing on slowing things down a little. Some of that has to do with physical limitations- My arthritis is making handwriting and working on mosaics difficult, but not impossible. I just need to be patient with my progress.  I’m also going to be focusing on quality and not quantity. With the insanely fast paced nature of our media/internet driven world, there is always a fear that you will miss out on an opportunity, or that you have to cater to the expected (insane!) time expectations of the convenience hungry consumers. I’m no longer going to worry about that. I will make things and they will be completed in the time it takes to complete them to my satisfaction. An item is only as valuable as the time and care put into it. Maybe I’ll only make 5 pieces of art in the time others could crank out 10. And I’m okay with that. 

Anyway. I realize this has turned into a bit of navel gazing, but that is what end of year blog posts tend to  do.

Here’s to 2019. I’m hoping to make it a very productive year, and to get my perspective back where it needs to be– on creating things and exploring this world we have, without the filter of a screen or others’ interpretations. 

Let’s all try to be more compassionate, and help others a little more. Let’s be kinder to ourselves. Let’s be the people Mr. Rogers wanted us to be. You can be angry for others and defend the more vulnerable, but leave space and time for peace and for gratitude for those who do the right things and contribute as well. 

Maybe it’s an idealistic way to live, but cynicism only gets you so far. 

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Shaking off the rust

6 09 2018

Weather- overcast and rainy. Upper 60s/low 70s. Early fall weather – HUZZAH!

So- first week off the beaten track of daily job and I’m a little wobbly on the path less traveled. 

Good news is I have been able to get some structures in place, and have started a habit of morning planning & making to do lists–which I have been accomplishing  with regularity. Checking things off the list bolsters my motivation a ton.

Yesterday, Husbeast & I got the basement studio finally cleaned up enough so I have space to work on my mosaics. It’s nowhere near perfect yet, but I have space to get things done, or at least started. The rest will come as needed. Felt good to sit at a table with some projects set out to be worked on today. Still need to get a glass cutting station set up (I can clip tile at the table), and we need to get the workbench cleaned off to set up the grinder and the soldering station for the Husbeast. (He’s itching to get back to his glasswork as well. Now if I can just do something about all the blasted spiders. Sigh. (Spider Bros and I have a compact to just studiously ignore each other but sometimes they get a little too curious and come visit. Double sigh.)

Also, I took some time and got all my Scrivener files backed up to the cloud, got an “edit” copy of my first book partially printed out to start line editing it (the first 100 pages at least- It’s 300 pages total- NEEDS EDITING!),  and spent time meticulously outlining the story arc for the three books I’m currently working on.  The story arc is more clearly defined now and I made sure to solidify some of the rules that govern my story-verse. It’s much more solid in my head and now I can shore up the story line in Book 1 and finish Books 2 & 3.
There are at least 4 other books that have been started or partially outlined, so I have a lot of things to work on going  forward. They will be spin-offs of the initial trilogy, with related story lines and some possible recurring characters. I’ve conjured up a big universe and there are a lot of stories to be told within it. 🙂

I’ve kept the television off, for the most part. I’ve tried to minimize my social media immersion (Still working on that).  The only distractions I’ve allowed myself have been music and the occasional podcasts. I’m making time to read as well. My to-be-read pile is ridiculous at this point. I think I have at least 20 unread books stacked next to my bed and on my desk. :Facepalm:

Most helpful thing yesterday was getting together a whiteboard with goals for the month that will allow me to visually track what I want to get done, what I’m working on and what I’ve accomplished. (Keeps me focused and not overwhelmed.)
Thanks to Sarra Cannon over at Heart Breathings on youtube for the idea!

On the non- creative endeavor side, I’m making sure I’m carving out time to exercise, meditate and keep up my 6 small meals a day eating plan. I’m determined to make sure my health doesn’t get sidelined because I’m scheduling myself so firmly with other things.

All in all, the structure seems to be solid, and the framework I’ve set up for myself on the daily seems to be flexible enough that I am not getting overwhelmed by the routine. I’m also making sure to get out of the house when I can. Isolation can start feeding depression and anxiety if I’m not careful.

In a month’s time, there will  be a better view of how things are going.  My updates will be a little more detailed going forward as projects start coming to fruition.

Reminder: Our Etsy shop (Einini Glassworks)  is up and running, and we still have a number of items available. The items list is about to get much longer so please come back periodically to see the new offerings.  You can follow our facebook page for updates as well. We can be found on Twitter here: Einini_Mosaics and Einini_Glass
My personal Twitter is here: Raven1967. There you’ll get more random things, but I’ll be updating writing & photography projects there. Be forwarned, I do post political stuff there, and cat pictures…so tread carefully. 😀

Going to keep moving forward.  A stroll will get you to the finish line as well as a sprint, and you can enjoy the scenery a bit more. 🙂

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Endings and beginnings

4 09 2018

Weather: Summer has been weird. September is no different. In the upper 80s today, and sticky. Hope we get a fall this year, and not a trip-over-autumn-and-squarely-in-Winter again. 

So. A lot has happened since my last blog post. A lot has happened in the past week. And that’s just talking about my personal life 

As you can probably tell from the title, change has been the rule rather than the exception.

The endings part has been bitter sweet.  We lost 2 major big names recently- Sen. John McCain and Aretha Franklin (RIP Queen!). And I lost two people close to me- My uncle Dan and my husband’s Aunt Kathleen. Both had been ill a while, but the end, when it comes is never welcome, though there is a small tinge of relief that they are no longer in pain. That relief comes wrapped in guilt, because you exhale and cry in the same breath.

Another ending, which is not so much a death, but an farewell nonetheless, is I left my job. I had given 3 weeks notice so there wouldn’t be too much of a gap in coverage. But it was time. Over the past year, after being diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder, I was suddenly hit a series of related health issues, ending my summer with a nice hearty case of Gastritis. (Thankfully caught before it turned into a full blown ulcer.) I’ve lost a bunch of weight due to being on an insanely restricted diet, so silver lining I suppose.

Stress is an unrelenting bitch of a thing to deal with.

After a very brief, ugly, UNSUCCESSFUL flirtation with anxiety meds, I, (and my doctor,) made an executive decision to stick with a therapy focused process. Therapy has been  amazingly helpful for me, mostly in that I’ve managed to unburden some long forgotten baggage. I have new coping methods and the anxiety, while never gone, is less frequent.

In addition, I really had to face the fact that I was going to have to quickly and definitively remove the main sources of stress from my life. My job, while surrounding me with good and supportive people, was not mentally or emotionally healthy for me. The job itself had morphed from something I enjoyed and could handle, to something much more complicated that required a level of commitment and energy I couldn’t honestly give it. This was not fair to me or to my coworkers, so I discussed with the husbeast and my managers, and it was pretty much unanimous what was the best course of action.

This particular ending was much more in my control, albeit still a difficult decision. There were financial and insurance related things to consider, so we crunched numbers and realized that it was workable, given some changes and some reasonable efforts to be made on my part.

So, back to the art, writing and photography mines for me. I’m taking this a lot more seriously than I did before. There’s more at stake this time. Weirdly, I’m not stressed out by it. I’m taking the tact of flipping a negative (lack of income) into a challenge (make more stuff, sell more stuff, HUSTLE!).

I work better with a challenge I can tackle than getting stuck brooding over the negatives of a situation. Yes it’s a concern, but it’s a workable concern. My actual goal is to generate income without having to hold down another job. The income won’t be as stable as a job would be, but we can accommodate and set the surplus aside for a rainy day. I have three main areas I can produce creative output- Mosaics, photography and writing. There are a number of subsets under those three areas, so opportunity abounds. I also know there are numerous outlets I can approach to sell these various creative outputs. But, as time and experience tells you, you can’t sell what you haven’t made.

The next three weeks are going to be work intensive. A lot of editing, a lot of planning, a lot of jumping in the car with my camera and taking some time to explore. Taking assessments of resources. Reaching out to vendors and doing the promo work.

I’m excited. And motivated. And for now that is all I need to get started.

Beginnings can be glorious, and sometimes made better by having a clean slate to start with in the first place. Changes are on the near horizon and I am eager to embrace them.

 





2018: Gird your loins & Into the Fray We Go!

1 01 2018

Weather: Start of the year greets us with arctic temps (teens + subzero windchills), blowing snow & cloudy skies. Normal winter in Michigan in other words. 🙂 

So, in following up on the post I made yesterday, time to look forward. A friend had posted on Ye Olde Facebook about picking a word to focus on for the new year. I had a hard time picking just one, so I fudged a bit and picked two: Minimalism and Compassion. I mentioned yesterday that I also added Evolution. 

Minimalism is something I’ve been working towards slowly for the past couple of years. I’ve seen the movie (Minimalism) and read some good articles about reducing your material belongings. It is appealing to me at my age to own less. The oft quoted line from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, – “The things you own end up owning you…”- really started resonating.  Husbeast and I have been trying to chisel down our belongings to a more manageable level. After moving into our house in 2015, we came to a rather swift realization that, even though we’d gone from a one-story house to a two-story house, we had actually reduced our square footage and lost a couple rooms. This meant we had additional decor and furniture with nowhere to put them. So we started parting with things. This year we’re gonna focus on accelerating the process.

This drive for minimalism is not just restricted to things, but also outdated routines and thought processes. I have a bad habit of complicating things, more than necessary, and that can ripple out and gum up the works exponentially. It has been a problem I’ve dealt with for far too long. So this morning, as I was putting together our morning coffee, I mulled over what was the source of this complication. Came to a rather easy conclusion that I spent a lot of time last year reacting out of worry or panic to things, and this lead to scrambling towards a sloppy, and usually half-assed, resolutions. So the change necessary here was to take a breath, be more patient and – instead of sending out scattershot, barely thought out solutions- start with patient determination, and take the time to actually resolve the problem. I am going to learn to accept that some things may not get addressed with my perceived (I.E. not real) urgency, but they will be taken care of completely, and hopefully, with the right amount of accuracy.  My anxiety attack last year could be easily sourced in this constant stress of taking care of ALL THE THINGS, RIGHT NOW.

The Compassion part of my focus is an ongoing process for me. I am not particularly judgmental. I try very hard to look at a person’s motivations rather than just respond to their immediate statement or actions. This does not mean any sort of  condoning or excuse is made for bad behavior or awful utterances.

I see far too many people who equate compassion with weakness or “letting people off the hook”. Neither of which is remotely true. You can condemn someone’s action yet still be compassionate. The lack of compassion I see most often is the “That person isn’t trying hard enough” to escape poverty, or unemployment, or disability. It’s enough to make me want to shake people. Compassion doesn’t excuse, but it does try to seek a better solution. It doesn’t blame, but it tries to understand the situation to help carve out a better path or make better choices. Sometimes compassion just requires you to listen, and not advise or suggest. Sometimes it requires you to observe and not get involved. Most times, it motivates you to do what you can to lessen the suffering of others. The latter part is what I intend to focus on. Whether by supplying support by my presence or my money or my knowledge, I will continue to do what I can to help where I can. Mind you, this does not mean I rush in unrequested. It means to be aware of situations and offer help where I can, if needed, or asked for.

On the last point of focus- Evolution- this is more an ongoing process for me that started a few years ago. This is the first year in a while where I have a clear idea of the person I want to become. (Not a mirror of someone else, or an emulation of them, but a better version of me.) I have a visual in my head, along with a skill set I need to acquire, and a set of personal goals that are much clearer than they have been in a while.

Resolutions are literally a re-framing of your fixes for your perceived problems. Some are new attempts to address long time issues. Some are new issues that require brand new solutions. They’ve come to be laundry lists of things people think they need to address and often, they end up erasing most of the list early in the year as their commitment fails or a new crop of priorities crop up to re-order their list.

That why I think the focus idea works better for me than the usual laundry list of vague categorical resolutions. I have an image of how I’d like myself and the world to be, and now I have some perspective changes and action steps I can put into place that will start a momentum towards both those goals: Reducing my physical burdens, providing some self-care, becoming more aware of those around me and their struggles, and scraping off the old image of myself for the new version that will aid in achieving my goals.

There are other details at work, but I’m not sharing them just yet. Some goals are not jelled in my mind enough to declare them.  We shall see how the year unfolds.

There are so many possibilities unfurling right now. And I don’t want to miss them because I’m bogged down in old assumptions, regrets and distractions. Too much new music, new stories and new art to experience and create. Here’s to 2018! Here’s to snatching back the reins in my life and MAKING things happen.

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End of Year Recap- 2017 “OMG WHY IS EVERYTHING ON FIRE?” Edition

31 12 2017

Weather: Winter has come, full-throated and persistent, and it’s been snowing on and off for a bloody week now. Sun’s out today, but there will be more  soon. Temps in the low teens, windchills in the “OMG WHY DO I LIVE WHERE MY FACE HURTS”degrees.

So, it’s that time of year again, to poke my head back into the blogosphere and see if I can manage to sum up the experiences of the past 12 months.

This year is gonna be a difficult one to sum up. I have only blogged a handful of times, and because I tanked NaNoWriMo this year- the brain on the 2017 News Cycle is a burnt-out, noncreative brain- there hasn’t been much to relate.

After my last blog post about my stupid 50 year old body starting to sabotage me, I had an entirely new health related setback. In late July I experienced an anxiety attack so severe, I honestly thought I was having cardiac issues and ended up with 2 weeks of medical tests and doctor visits and ultimately a run to the emergency room for EKGs and monitoring. I lost something like 8 lbs in as many days from not being able to eat. Here’s the rub- I’ve always had mild panic attacks now and then, but this was like a category 5 storm instead of the mild tempests I’d experienced before. The upside, if you can call it that, was that I got so many tests run, that I know that many of my organs are in good shape. The downside was getting the medical bills.

All in all the experience was a wake up call to start managing my stress better and start doing a lot more self-care.

The only other thing that happened of significance this year was we moved our studio home from the Box Factory. Although it was primarily a financial decision, there was a time management component too. We were spending less time at the studio, partially due to increased day job commitments, but also there was an admittedly big bit of laziness on our part. We have not abandoned our art making, but we have let petty inconveniences get in the way. And that just points to our wavering commitments to creative work.

Financially we are ending the year in a much better place. I’ll talk more about that in my New Year post. (And I have a lot more positive things to talk about there, naturally)

Why was this year so…un-notable? Well, mostly because the world, and our country in specific, made some fairly awful choices and some very ugly and stupid things crept out of the woodwork in the process. Things that we should have taken a stronger moral stance on a while ago were emboldened by thinly veiled encouragement from leadership. (I only use that term  loosely, since we don’t have leaders, we only seem to have opportunists and thin skinned narcissists at the helm these days. There are good people trying to keep the ship of state off the rocks, but there have been a lot of near misses and the vessel is damaged.)

My hope for our nation is that the people, good people who are in the majority, regardless of political leaning, will shake off the apathy that we’ve all been wearing for far too long and push back against this gang of sycophantic morons & get things back on track.  As a people, we have always shown that we will stand up for our communities and for those who are in need when crises arise, and will fight against those who would seek to denigrate, harm or otherwise diminish the basic decency that is the core of this country. I would love to see more people stand up with zero tolerance of bigotry, sexism, abuse and selfish greed,  to re-establish our support for our neighbors and for equality for all our citizens, to help those who are hungry and give a hand up for those who have stumbled. I’d love to see compassion and empathy return, and for blame and excuses to make a swift and fiery exit.  Instead of complaining about who’s fault this mess is, how about we just try and fix it? Get people in power who are willing to try? Stop worrying about who’s the perfect candidate and start supporting people who want to work for the greater good.  If you’re disillusioned by the national groups, maybe send your support to the local groups or directly to candidates you support.

I guess I’m weary of all the petty fighting and finger pointing. We can easily find out what people have voted for, and we can easily see what kind of legislation is getting passed. Make your decisions based on actions, not rumors or aspersions.

I guess the big question to answer at the end of this garbage fire of a year is what are you going to do about it? If you’re answer  is just to sit on the sidelines and bitch about the state of things, or write long think pieces on re-litigating past grievances? I’m probably just going to ignore you. Too many dead horses have taken a beating this year. Let’s figure out a solution or at least try to encourage people to fix things.  Easiest way to punish people who do wrong? Vote them out.  Oh and and stop wasting time and energy trying to convince people who have zero interest in wanting to see things as they are. Some people are so invested in their view of the world, they would rather go down with the ship rather than grab at a life preserver. You can’t save everyone.

On a bit more positive note, I have discovered new teachers this year. Some have re-lit my artistic fire, some have renewed my spiritual path, some have made me look at things with a new perspective and others have humbled me by showing me that I am making excuses instead of working. The list is too long to relate here, but suffice it to say, I have a lot of things that will be pared away next year and my focus is becoming much more acute. It’s less about making goals and more about creating space and carving time out to make room for things to happen.

Two words have come to the forefront for 2018: Minimalism and  Evolution. I will flesh that out in my next post. But you can probably tell there is an equal amount of cutting back and building out that will be happening.

Also, in the past few months especially, I’ve realized that this year has put me in the passenger seat and I’m going to be reclaiming the steering wheel with a certain amount of determination and force, if necessary. Letting myself get overwhelmed led to health issues and a certain amount of apathy.  I despise myself a bit for allowing that to happen. The husbeast and I have had several long talks at the dinner table about what things need to change for both of us. I’m lucky I have a life partner who is both honest and who listens, because sometimes you need to hear some harsh truths and speak some tough love to fix your path. We are both committed to each other’s contentment, but we also know that sometimes, we can take some things for granted and bad behavior can follow. The good news is that we always end these discussions on a positive note and 2018 is looking better for that.

So to wrap up this rambling bit of looking back, I just want to state that I am thankful for the people in my life, for their courage, their anger and their compassion. My circles of family and friends always seem to intersect and overlap, but their input is always insightful and their humor is always well timed.

So I think it’s time to pack 2017 in a box and shoot it into the sun, giving it the fiery demise it deserves.

Here’s hoping we can make a change in 2018, for the better. Let’s be better citizens, better neighbors, better HUMANS. I’m going to do my best on all three counts, and so should you.





The Aging Artist

29 05 2017

Weather.: Oh it’s been a rollercoaster. Cooler spring than expected, with more rain than anticipated. May is heading for the door and June looks to be mild. 

So. Glances at the date and winces.  

I’d make excuses or give reasons for my lack of blog activity, but the truth is I just haven’t had the energy or coherency to write lately. The political garbage fire kind of sucked me in and I have been spending way too much time refreshing my Twitter feed rather than looking out the window or thinking about creating. The righteous anger I felt at the start of this year has turned into a low burning seething fire in my belly. I’ve been productive in the studio, but my new work hours have somewhat curtailed the time I’ve spent there.

Wildly random update: The husbeast and I took a financial planning class which has actually helped us get back on track with our economic situation.  Which was good because my little beat up Punk Mobile of a car decided that it was time to self destruct– Rack and pinion broke along with the steering column and struts. In other words: $$$$ of repairs. There was a period of deciding whether it was worth it to put the money into the car, but ultimately we realized that we can’t be a one car  family. (We tried for a month and it was getting very unfeasible.)  So, made an adult decision to hold off on a new car until we could pay mostly cash for it, and got the Punk Mobile fixed.

Also, made another adult decision to get our health back in order and went to see a nutritionist who gave us much more clear and practical ways to eat better and get in healthy shape.

Add in some relatives passing away and having bad things happen…it’s been a rather busy and distracted period of time.

Now. The title is something I’ve been wanting to discuss, but been mulling over how to write it up.  I’m not old, not by any reasonable definition. 50 years old is solid middle aged. But sometimes “aging” is less to do with a number and more to do with the deterioration and decline of certain faculties and body functions.

I have, over the past few years, had an acceleration in vision deterioration, the onset of arthritis in several of my joints and of course, the weight problems I’m  working on as we  speak.

I wear increasingly strong bi-focals to see, and as of recent, I have to wear them all the time because I can’t see shit with them off.  They used to be just for reading. Now I can’t function without them.

The arthritis is hard, mostly because it’s setting into my hands, predominately in my thumb joints. The thumbs are starting to float towards my palm, making it almost impossible for me to flatten my hand out on a level surface. My grip is getting weaker, though I’m doing what I can with exercises and braces to counter it.

The weight issue is fixable, but with age comes more effort necessary to achieve your goals.

It’s obvious how it affects my day to day, but the frustrating part is how it’s affecting my art.

Being a mosaic artist, a lot is depending on my ability to cut tile, stone and glass. I use clippers, glass cutters and even saws to get pieces to the shape I need for whatever the piece requires. With my thumb joints deteriorating, using the clippers for extended periods of time is getting difficult. And trying to hold the tiles as I clip them is increasingly difficult as my thumb-to-index finger grip is getting weaker and has less dexterity. I’ve compensated where I can by using tiles that are smaller and need less customizing, but it’s definitely starting to limit the work I can do.

The way I’ve come to terms with this is accepting that I may have to alter my technique and re-define what kinds of art I want to make. I’m not one that takes these kind of limitations well, but practicality will always win out over my fragile little feelings.

Yes, I’ve spoken to my doctor about this, but the answers are usually to offer exercises to stave off the deterioration a bit longer, but no, there’s no reversing it.

The vision problem will just be relegated to better glasses, hopefully not ending in a point where I just have to accept that I can’t do smaller detailed work anymore.

There is some guilt flagellation going on, because I know that some of this bodily degradation rests solely on my sedentary shoulders. Had I done a better job of staying healthier, I might have not been dealing with these issues  for a few more years. But this is what it is. We adapt to our environment, our new relationships with our surroundings, because we have to.  I will have to adapt to my new reality, where my body may not be working the way it did, but I will find a way to work with the new limitations. Self-inflected wounds aside, I need to stop beating myself up over past lapses and make sure they don’t continue in the future.

I’m 50, not dead. And if watching others have blooming careers in their 60s, 70s and older has taught me anything, you can have the life you want, but you may have to accept that there are different parameters to work within.

So no whining. No lamenting. Just accepting the circumstances, doing what I can to adapt and still work on slowing the deterioration, and making the best of my new reality.

An aging artist is still an artist.  Limitations are merely things to work around.  I won’t be defined or limited by things as simple as sore joints and bad eyesight. I still have a destination, I just need to adjust the path.

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Anger is an energy…

31 01 2017

Weather: Dear gods, it’s been all over the bloody place,  maxing out at the 60s a couple weeks ago, and now we’re back to grey, dour skies and the occasional bit of snow. Makes for  a constant state of mushy brain.

Sorry for the lengthy absence. The current world situation , and particularly here in the States, has been a bit of a trash fire. 

The constant barrage of discomfiting news and the anger that comes with it can really put the dampers on your creativity, or just thought in general.

I finally started making myself go back to the studio, just so I could start venting some of that energy into art. I’m finishing up a pretty piece at the moment. Have a few darker, angrier pieces on deck.  It happens.

I find it hard to create in a happy little bubble when things are burning outside the walls. My emotions tend to bleed into whatever I’m working on, whether art or writing. I can sometimes look back at something I wrote a while ago and usually can pinpoint when there was a spike in emotion about things.

The title on this post should not be unfamiliar to my fellow PiL Fans. Johnny Lydon does turn a hell of a phrase.

And yes. I’ve been very angry lately. Angry at the lack of compassion and lack of simple comprehension that people are taking with each other and the consequences of their actions.

I’ve joked about punching Nazis. (I’m not really joking.) I’ve made valiant attempts to not reply scathingly to posts and comments by people who should know better. (And given myself chest pains and headaches as a result). I’ve agreed with those who are putting their money and action where their mouth is. (wishing I could do more myself). It’s a fucking frustrating place to be, stuck between just supporting things I feel to be right, and not being able to turn into Galadriel with the ring and just remove the source of my ire, for the betterment of mankind. Mostly because I feel that the ends, while ultimately satisfying, would not be justified by the means.

My path has turned back to my Trad Witch roots. Yes, you read that right. Sometimes, when you have visceral energy that builds to point of hurting yourself, you will find a productive means to re-direct it. Sometimes it helps just to aim it at something. Like screaming out at the open water, knowing it is not literally fixing things, but hoping, with a little tendril of black hearted wistfulness that it just might leave a mark on those that hurt you or others.

So instead of finding light and joy to bring to my work, I have Kali and the Morrigan and the Norn whispering in my ear, nudging things towards righteous anger and achieving balance through less gentle paths. Because balance will always be reached, eventually, and through painful means if it is resisted. The flow of things tends to the middle, not the ends.

Let’s be honest, things can only be pushed in one direction for so long, till even the most sycophantic followers are given pause and decide to dig their heels in. We have become, by large, a loud chorus for our own comforts and conveniences. But there are deeper, more primal things that we all share that will not be compromised. By anyone. And what is a mere inconvenience for one, is devastating to another. We have lost sight of that connection, of that imbalance. Selfishness and fear are awful bed-mates, and they will be the ruination of all things good. The internet, for all its foibles, has managed to connect us on a larger level. And that connection does not stop at borders or with cultural differences. We are, whether you like it or not, a global society. We do not exist in a vacuum and our actions, for good or bad, make ripples both small and large.

This is a very chaotic time. I’m trying my best to keep a firm grip on the idea that we will get through this, and better angels will prevail.

But I will admit that the deeper urge to lash out and shake people until their pettiness, cruelty and stupid myopic view of this beautiful world dissipates, is very strong. I don’t want to give into that urge, but history has proven that if you push people or belittle them with ignorance and spite for long enough, they will push back.
With more power than you are aware they have. Bullies are always surprised when their victim takes them out at the knees.

I’m betting on the angels, but the devil has his merits too right now. Pray for the kinder outcome. The other option will leave more scars.

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