Friday, December 31, 2010

An Extended Happy New Year!

Because of my "regular" job, I have today off...the last day of 2010. Because I have been going around spouting off about how Time--or the measurement of Time--is just an artificial construct, today is the first day of my 3-day (maybe more) Celebration of endings and beginnings.

My personal favorite holiday and signifier of the turning of the seasons was the Solstice, on December 21st, when the days finally start getting longer, if only by seconds, and the SUN we know and love comes back into my northern sky and begins to show its face...if the sky is not too cloudy.

Winter sun is a cause for celebration in my neighborhood.
I saw people on bikes, and even
some bare arms and legs in my
travels today, although the temperature was in the thirties (above zero), and heading for the twenties tonight...cold for here. I spent most of my life where white was the landscape color more frequently than green.

So, Endings and Beginnings: here the grass is green, heather starting to bloom pink and white, and I know another month will bring flowers on the trees, as well as a surge of millenium plants among my stones. We are always beginning and ending, but I salute this time of recognizing and celebrating the beginnings and endings.

Today I celebrated the change by washing my sheets, my hair,
my kitchen floor. I like marking a new start with cleanliness, BUT
I also realize that I will never be the obsessive-compulsive
cleaner I wish I could afford to hire. Instead, clean the most obvious surfaces and save time for being Outside, and reading, and All the other things that take up my time...more
Realistic about what's possible as the years turn.

My family's decision not to give presents is a huge relief of the self-induced Holiday pressure to show our love with material goods. Of course there are those of us who cheat a bit and do get too much of a kick out of giving to
stop: Thank you, David and Doug.

I am learning not to feel guilty about taking care of myself, but still at the last minute made my traditional Christmas Angels, the Solstice party, and a pecan pie for work yesterday.

Today, instead of cleaning Everything, I went to Ediz Hook and took pictures of town from the salt water Strait, picked up a few rocks to bring home, bought myself a couple of bath time treats, and books to follow up on this week's fascination with memoirs.

I just finished reading Mary Karr's LIT and had to buy it, as
well as THE LIAR'S CLUB. Because of my own ever-lasting
urge to write Everything, save each moment in words, now
for 41 years, I fantasize about writing stories from my life, as
the women who contributed to HOT FLASH: A CELEBRATION
did. I also have a book from the library with super-short stories
from South and Central America...LOTS of ideas...and instead of setting up too-high resolutions that I may or may not achieve,
I'll keep on following my heart, investigating what seems interesting, trying to be clear about what I really want as opposed to what others may seem to want from me, going for the Experience, rather than the Stuff. Remember to give people
credit for the good things they do. Spend time with sunny days and the people we love. Keep stretching to learn more widely, hone skills in making art. Stay Curious and Interested. Don't expect it all to be Perfect, or your self to be Kind.

Maybe the trick is to frame our stories about ourselves and lives in ways that make us successes, rather than failures in how we deal with life's bumps...same action, different frame of mind...makes all the difference.

Be kind to yourselves, make plans but give yourself as much time as you need. Follow your heart and see where it leads you.

The drawings above are more from the series I've been working on, inspired by Richard Tuttle's simple work. They're all 4" x 6", the drawings done with three colors of pencil, painted over with one of two shades of yellow glaze, just taking a simple idea and simple tools and playing it over and over again to see what comes out.

The HOT FLASH book took seven years, an idea, and talking with a lot of other I can't stop collecting
stories...don't know yet where that will lead...maybe to another book. At some time during this three-day celebration, I'll be back in the studio, working again on my portrait painting series...finishing the Big Doll...maybe stories to go with the portraits, outdoor sculpture when the weather gets warm enough to drive re-bar into the ground,

I'm thinking about retirement already, although I may have to work another 5 years before I can afford not to work. I'll have plenty to do. Still, I'm happy that I took time off in my youth to explore, travel, do craft shows, and meet all those wonderful people, dance, make love, audit philosophy classes...I think that what ever happens, we can find something positive there...although I am So Happy that I have a good place to live, a loving family, and a job that probably won't go away...a mind with which to search and stretch...PLEASE JOIN ME!



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