Journaling and Artists’ Ways

Looking forward to working more with my journal today. I used to do morning pages religiously, as well as other practices that I learned about while doing Julia Cameron’s workbook, The Artist’s Way, years ago. An artist friend I met through dance strongly encouraged me to work with it and when I finally got around to it, it was a joy to work with. It kept me grounded on a daily and weekly basis. I’ve often thought of revisiting it, possibly with a small group, but wondering if I even have the attention span for it anymore. Perhaps it’s a good time to find out.

Cork Love

The lyrics from Sinead Lohan’s song “No Mermaid” have been running through my head for a while. So I googled it and imagine my surprise and delight to find out she’s from Cork City. One more reason to be proud of my rebel Irish roots. My revolutionary American roots are a whole ‘nother story.

No Mermaid by Sinead Lohan
We went down to the edge of the water
You were afraid to go in
You said there might be sharks out there in the ocean
And I said i’m only going for a swim

I was swimming around in a circle
I wasn’t always in view
You said we might get into red flag danger
And I am alone when i’m not with you

But I am no mermaid
I am no mermaid
And I am no fisherman’s slave
I am no mermaid
I am no mermaid
I keep my head above the waves

We were swinging from the centre of the ceiling
You were afraid to give in
I said I know i’ll always live for this feeling
And you closed your eyes you said never again

We were dancing in the middle of the desert
You said we’ll burn under the hot sun
I said i’d rather be the colour of pleasure
Than watch like you from under the thumb

But I am no mermaid
I am no mermaid
And I am no fisherman’s slave
I am no mermaid
I am no mermaid
I keep my head above the waves

We went down to the edge of the water
You were afraid to go in
You said there might be sharks out there in the ocean
And I said i’m only going for a swim

I was living around in a circle
I wasn’t always in view
You said we might get into red flag danger
And I am alone when I’m not with you

But I am no mermaid
I am no mermaid
And I am no fisherman’s slave
I am no mermaid
I am no mermaid
I keep my head above the wave

*sigh* she writes and sings so beautifully. I hope I am not infringing on her copyright by posting her lyrics.

Guilt

There is no rhyme or reason to guilt. No point in figuring it out. It just is. Trying to make sense of it is tiresome and depletes energy best used for moving beyond it; not questioning it, but accepting it. Call it Catholic, Jewish, Irish Catholic, maternal; it’s all still guilt. And it’s a part of my psyche the way love is.

Guilt. It’s what’s for dinner. With a side of forgiveness.

Work

A while back I wrote that I’d thought my word of the year was HOME, yet I found it evolving into WORK. Because home is work.
And the home we will eventually move into is a TON of work. Besides renovation though, we also have the work that pays our bills, and then the work that feeds our souls and inhabits our dreams. My special work this year is finishing the survival aka field guide to this peninsula I pretty much grew up on in between our dad’s military transfers.

I’m a decent writer and my work has been admired by my private reading circle, BUT sometimes I’m not sure I really love writing. Not sure I have the drive for it. It is damn HARD WORK. And I thought if it’s doing something you love, it’s not supposed to feel like work. Time becomes suspended. You lose track of it, yourself, and surroundings and everything sort of merges. So, I have my writing project spread on the table here with me, some guides to guide me, and a blog post by a local yogi that has given me pause to consider my relationship to my work. I want to explore the character, the persona that is my work. What’s your relationship to your work? What is her persona?

My Sister’s Soap

My youngest sister Betsy used to make the best soap not so very long ago. Now she’s teaching yoga. She already has a good number of regular students so I imagine her yoga classes are as good as her soap was.

I miss that soap though and some of the other body luxuries she created, but luckily I still have a small stash of her soap that might last me another six months to a year if I’m lucky. Once you are spoiled with handmade soap, there’s no going back to Ivory.

Former Etsy Narrative for my Archives

[Here in my etsy shop, I share with you reclaimed paperbacks, many of them favorite books I’ve read myself, including pulp fiction, pop lit, bestsellers, and classics I haven’t.]

I have always loved books. It was my excuse to get a degree in English and the humanities (the one major that fed my reading addiction). Besides going to the library every Saturday with my sisters and dad as a child, I ended up working in libraries for years starting in high school and through college. Before he took off for Vietnam, after he’d moved us North in case he didn’t come back, my dad took us to the local library to meet the children’s librarian, Mrs. Nickerson. He did come back and we continued our weekly library jaunts to libraries wherever we were living at the time from Steubenville, Ohio, to Oceanside, California, back to Cape Cod and more. When I had my own children, the library was an outing at least once a week, usually more. We’d spend hours there in the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont. Libraries always felt like home to me. Even on vacations, we always went to the local library.
A library job is what brought me from Vermont back to the Cape, and while the job didn’t work out (people change) and I miss Vermont terribly, my love of books remains constant and saves me from total despair at times.

[While some of these books are well worn, they are not in tatters and still highly readable. Some are even written in so you can share another reader’s journey as you take your own. With a book, you can escape to all over the world. You can inhabit the life of someone else when you need to escape from your own. You’re never alone with a book. And along with a book, goes a good cup of tea. I am a tea connoisseur as well as a bibliophile and will include in each package some hand-stuffed and tied bags of some of my favorite teas. Enjoy!]

Hope

There’s that expression, “false hope,” but do you believe it? I don’t think there’s any such thing. Unless you know for sure that all is lost (life basically), then how can you believe there is anything but HOPE? Like Yogi said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Twirling Spaghetti

It used to be called spaghetti, rigatoni, macaroni, lasagna or whatever noodle it happened to be. I don’t remember calling it pasta. Tonight while I was preparing it, I had a food memory from childhood. It’s a twirling spaghetti technique I don’t see my parents do any more. But, they used to. With a fork, they would spear a clump of pas-ghetti and using a large tablespoon, twirl the spaghetti in the bowl of the spoon, using their fork as a sort of baton, before eating it. It was so grown-up to me and something I didn’t think I could ever master then. I tried it tonight and smiled at the memory.

Writing

I am writing today and have all my notes scattered on my table. It’s hard work, but I’m lucky to have a virtual mentor in Camille DeAngelis, and a real world mentor in Diane Hanna.

Camille has some great video tutorials on her site about the writing process and these have helped me tremendously. Her teaching style is conversational, calm, grounded and practical. Simple tools to help me map out my story and process. I keep returning to what is the story I am trying to tell? What is my focus? Paying attention to those two questions brings me back when I feel overwhelmed with too much information. I began writing a survival guide a few years ago. It’s also developing into a field guide and in the end I believe it will ultimately again be a survival guide. To surviving changes, good and bad and learning to find the best amongst the changes.