Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Last Night's Dream

I'm going to skip the context (because I cannot find one strand to pull on--they all want to tumble forward in a story), and just say that I had a dream where I was about to get into a car and I complained about having to live the life experience of someone else, "Now I have to go through it for her?" I said, frustrated, to God.

And God came back to me, angry, frustrated, annoyed and said, "No, you only have to go through it for yourself."

That gave me pause. In the dream and in real life it showed me how I just have to live my own life. I don't have to live everyone else's life, too. And by that I mean I don't have to take on their personalities, circumstances, and behaviors. I don't have to understand their past and imagine the various branches of their futures. None of us have to do this. We just have to live our own lives.

This seems to be a challenge for me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Gratitude Box

Thanks to Melody Beattie, and ArtSings1946 (for the book recommendation), I made a gratitude box this week. My box is a paper box that I painted with acrylics over the course of a couple of nights. (Making this coupled as my artist's date this week; two birds.)

Beattie says to write on slips of paper any problems and troubles, people that you're worried about, and people (friends and foes) you want God to bless. And it's the whole box that we're grateful for as well as each individual thing/person in the box. For without these items, who would we be? And because of these items, who will we be?

I am happy to have a single place to store such things! It's hard to worry about so many people and situations, and look--they all fit in a small box!

In a similar vein, all the dreams and goals I have--they fit on a handful of index cards!

And my childhood memories do not take up hundreds and hundreds of pages.

All of these things loom so largely and seem to have to run through them before I can finish my morning coffee and then reassess as I make any decision through my day.

My Freewill Astrology horoscope for this week says that I should consider how many combinations there are to a game of Tic-Tac-Toe and then consider that life is much bigger and there are many more combinations to life.

The things I know are small. I am small. It's interesting to see this!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Missing Something

Something tangible: I stepped over the yards and yards of torn out cassette tape scattered in the parking lot before I thought, "Someone had a real tape?!" I missed the time when tape littered nearly every gutter. I miss the hiss and the rewinding.

I also miss something intangible, but cannot put words to it yet. I only think, "Why am I thinking about old debates of institutions and crying to 'Silent All These Years' again?"

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Note on Resentment and Anger

I am facing a really large battle--perhaps the central battle in my life (does that sound overly dramatic? I don't care!). I am trying to face my anger head-on and do anything I can to let it go. This is connected to the post from a few days ago, and how Beamy's comment led me to think about how poor my boundaries can be.

Today's advice from Melody Beattie's The Language of Letting Go, states that we should pray for our enemies and wish them the best.

Just try--try!--doing that with Mitt [expletive] Romney and [curse word] Paul Ryan! It is nooooooooooooot easy. It is the opposite of easy. Try saying, "I hope Paul Ryan is successful and happy and is surrounded by every good thing." Personally, I feel a bubbling in my tummy and now I'm farting. True story.

I am going to try doing this big task, and I'm going to try small steps, too.

I have been sewing more lately and know how frustrated I can get when I can't figure something out (as is what's happening right now as I type this). In those moments, I know that I will make things so worse if I push it and keep going. I need to stop frequently and breathe. This gives me a new perspective and shows me how I could approach the problem differently. Not that the solution will be fast or easy, but I know that it will get done correctly.

Applying this to my larger life, it has just dawned on me that I cannot approach it out of anger. I might have to stop and take a very long break. Of all the things that affect me and create a response . . . Of all the things that I wish would happen and think I can contribute . . . The truth of it is I am a very angry person. And I have a lot of work to do on myself. And it may take a really really really long time. But I get the feeling that I am making something that is my own. And it is just not going to matter to anyone, but I am going to go down this road! This Paul Ryan well-wishing road. Ugh. I hate it already!

Postscript: I feel such a compulsion to share how I really want Obama to win the election. I guess I feel that if I'm not contributing to the discussion, then things won't go my way. No wonder I feel responsible for everything; I secretly feel ignored or unprotected, hidden, if I don't speak up and register my preferences. Connect that bit to childhood! And movin' on . . .

Critique of Louie

This is stressing me out, so I'm just blowing the steam here on my blog. Bill and I have a little disagreement over Louie C.K.'s show, Louie. We have watched this show together since the second season, I think. I watched the first season by myself during the winter storm that shut down the city a year and a half ago.

This season there have been two episodes that I have found really uncomfortable and find that the root of my discontent leads me to believe that the episodes could be handled better. Bill tends to be much more gentle on art and will praise anything that creates a strong reaction (good or bad). Bill's point leads him to think that art's purpose is to evoke emotion. I tend to think, when that evocation is negative, "Isn't there a better way we can do this?"

The two episodes that I find questionable are strong portraits of women who are dysfunctional, to say the least, and more likely mentally ill. These performances, by Melissa Leo (as an alcoholic, aggressive rapist) and Parker Posey (as bipolar), show snapshots of real-life people in all of their pain and uncomfortable actions. I think these snapshots are spot-on, and I do not like watching them, personally. What makes it worse, though, is the way the character Louie allows these women to have free range of the scenes, even though he is in the scenes with them. Part of what is uncomfortable is his passivity, and that part rings untrue to me. I am not as fascinated by aberrant personalities as I have been in the past--I am telling you I see these every day. What is more interesting to me is how someone who is not ill responds to those who are. This is why I think Louie C.K. could push the show a little bit when it comes to dysfunctional women. He could push it by showing these personalities as well as his response these personalities. I want my art to make feel an emotion and to take me some place new, too.

There's nothing worse than a critic, though! That's why I say I'm just blowing off steam. Trying to figure out why something's bothering me. And if I talk to Bill about it, I find I'm just trying to convince him of my position, when really I'm just trying out a new idea for myself. Interesting how the more argumentative I get, the more tentative my position is!

Note on Accomplishment

This is a bit o' brag here, but I was at spin class this morning (my second class, and I love it) and the instructor was talking about the Olympics. Someone in class was keeping on top of the soccer score. And in reference to the US women's soccer team, the instructor said, "You don't just roll out of bed and accomplish that."

I like that phrase; it shows how necessary practice is in order to achieve something big. One thing that is really striking me is how necessary it is to fail and to have the resilience to handle failure. It's a trait that I just don't think is talked about too often.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thinking about marriage

One thing that is kind of interesting to me is that I got married ten years ago and here I am today thinking, "Yes! Let's do this again!"

I have barely been able to make an adult decision--that's been around for about a year or so. Why did I think I could make adult decisions ten years ago?! In ten years from now I will only be in my forties . . . will I be on another marriage by then?

I hope not, but I am starting to think that it won't matter. I am just in love! And for some reasons I want to marry the person I'm in love with!

It's like I told Bill, I don't know why marriage matters to me. I wish it didn't, but does. Just like I wish I didn't like the color pink so much. (But I doooooooooooo!)

I can't control the future, and I see how that's what I was trying to do ten years ago. This morning while I was making breakfast I was having a conversation with myself and maybe God, who was taking on the voice of myself. Me/God asked me, what would I do if I knew that there were no wrong answers. I told myself that I would be really happy and relaxed. I would feel free to do anything I wanted and trust that it would all work out somehow. Then Me/God asked me how I would feel if I knew what was going to happen. I had to admit that this would stress me out because I would be waiting for it to happen and wonder if I was doing things right in the meantime. I realized that the present moment would be very tense and I would feel anxious if I knew what was going to happen next in life.

That doesn't necessarily mean I know more about how to proceed, but it helps me better understand how I like to interact with the unknown.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

To Not Decorate the Pit

In All New People, one of Anne Lamott's characters advises that it's best to get out of a depression, lest we start decorating it and making it comfy.

Pretty wise.

Some observations:
-Interesting how what I feel about the larger world can be traced back to how I feel about something going on in my own life.
-Thinking about the differences between feeling obligated and feeling responsible. Wondering how to just kind of roll with what feels right at the time versus sustaining something even if it don't feel great. What to let go and what to resist? Where to place efforts?!
-Seeing that the notion of wanting something other than what I have is a rejection (an anger) and a greed at the same time.