Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hanging In

Thena Westfall, today's painting
Since I live alone, I probably think WAY too much, especially on the weekends when the distraction of other people's problems at work is gone.

As I go though life, I see more and more that ART is where I want to spend my time and energy, and I am Very Grateful to have a Passion! 

I've talked with a number of patients, usually men, who can't imagine what they'd do without the structure of a job to go to. I've talked with even more people who say they can't imagine how they ever found time to go to work when they're So busy in retirement. Thank you to all the Volunteers who get things done around here!

Patience is a big challenge for me, these
days especially, when my energy runs
Pizza's ready--food as reward
out after only eight or nine hours, and
I know I have to go back to work tomorrow. I used to be able to do 12 or more hours
a day, and now I'm excited about doing
so many art projects, and what I Want to do, not just what I think will sell, I am frustrated not to be able to work day and night. Of course back in the day of craft 
fairs and travel, I kept going on Ibuprofen, and now my kidneys won't let me take 
any more.

I have to hang in there and not get too frustrated about no longer being able to work late into the least my focus is narrowing on what i want to do. The
portraits keep appearing, my online 
classes start again May 1st. The beautiful
oak drafting/light table is waiting for graphic novels, two sculptures started, seeing family
regularly. I try to limit my weed pulling and rock arranging to 30 minutes at a time, get 
exercise every day, work on changing US health care delivery, pace myself, be grateful for the things I Can do and not stress about the rest...Hanging In There!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning to Accept--And Enhance!

Port Townsend, Fort Worden Beach, 3/3/13
This year's birthday seemed more traumatic (depressing) than usual. Perhaps I spent too many years working in nursing homes and seeing sad old people. As David C reminded me tonight after his restorative weekend with the Buddhists: "you know, time is only an artificial construct. Time is in our minds, as is the Universe in which we live."  Nice to have a phone buddy with whom to reality check from time to time.

Ruth Marcus, finished 3/0/13

Actually, I'm lucky to have a few great resource people-- dinner at Alderwood Bistro with Suzanne, one of my art buddies. She's 6 months ahead of me in this challenging game of aging creatively and with joy, rather than despair. She's planning to work at Costco until she's 70, as I should with my "regular" job. We both have our Art Passion to sustain us, no others for whom to be responsible at home, and at least 3 days a week for our own selves. We ARE Lucky!

How ever do people without a passion get through their days???

David and Doug studying at the Art Park

Not only was I lucky enough to have David, Doug, Brian, and Alley the dog, then Tom and Barbara to share my birthday day last Friday, but I Also took myself to Port Townsend on my traditional birthday self-indulgent trip  Sunday...we can never be Too Good to our own Selves!

I saw an Amazing dance movie and in-person lecture at the Rose by Crystal Pite, their amazing popcorn with lots of real butter--alone worth the 50-mile drive.  Bought a book at William James--I seldom can resist at least one: David Hockney's work for the theater, and the theatrical nature of painting in general. 

First picnic of the year, my boys and their dog, Fita's

Good talk with Kathy D at the bead store
in Port Townsend, and bought myself the
last of some cool batik they had in dark blues. It will frame the bright squares on the back side of the quilt, my first Full-sized Quilt...AND I'm making it for my SELF! not to sell, not for a friend's baby, but for ME!

Bright laundry, maybe a subject for a painting

For most of my 66 years, I've used sewing as a way to make money, escape/stay occupied when I didn't know anyone (Suzanne and I both come from families who moved frequently). I learned in OT school that sewing and other piercing activities are good for getting rid of aggression...and maybe depression as well. 

I love the idea that I am finally doing a long-term sewing project for My Self! A quilt to keep me warm, to dream under, to mark significant milestones in my life.

The beginning of my quilt top as a Mexican tablecloth

As some of you may recall, we had a Mexican theme for Thanksgiving 2012. The tablecloth between Brian and Amal has become the core of the top of my new quilt: colorful flowers and fruit, hot chili peppers, just the thing to brighten gray NW days and nights.

Birthday pies + Pizza!
The reverse side will be large squares, celebrating different times and places, even purchases of wonderful fabrics, 
at the quilt store in Woodstock, NY, International Quilt Market, and most recently in Ashland with Hugh and Connie.
The fabric from this year's birthday trip
to Port Townsend will tie all the back squares together, along with slivers of bright yellows, to match the red/yellow/blue throughout my home.

Thanks to Kim, Barbara, Barb, Anita, David C, Suzanne, All my brothers and Brian, and the rest of the people to whom I can moan and cry about aging, and who help me get over myself and count my 

Countless Blessings!