Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tracks of my life

Mom does a good job at not complaining about the 'tracks of my life' left around the house.  She will generally allow me to take my time to do the dishes without rolling into the kitchen to tackle the job herself.  She is relieved that the dirty clothes don't leak out of my bedroom, but rarely mentions it.  There are clumps of me here and there:  bags of things that follow me home from work; opened envelopes which I don't feel like dealing with right now.  It is a kindness on her part to not treat this woman as a teenager.  I am sure she has had to bite her tongue frequently.

I have spent so many years in this house which is settled around mom and dad, no room for the many years of my memories or creative inclinations without feeling like I am encroaching on their space.  Sublimating,  no space to 'do my own thing' outside of my room -- which has no room for creativity, I have allowed my creative side to decay.

At some point I realized I was going slowly insane.  Sadly, I don't think I am overstating my mental frame of mind too much.  So the solution was to pick up with something I have always wanted to do, because after all, I live here too.  Never mind the mess because, well, I live here too.

We compromised (unspoken) with me using the dining room.  Truly the last time it was used for anything was jigsaw puzzles, which we lost heart over after Dad died.  That was what I would put out to try and keep his mind active.  A bonus for it was Mom would do them too.  It got her away from the TV, away from the computer.  But it has been a couple of years since we attempted one of those.

I love to paint, to create.  So I dived in with a series of lessons at quite a financial deal.  I roped my sister into joining me.  We enjoyed the time together, even though our inclinations went in slightly different directions.  I found I have some talent with the water colors; it is untrained and I have so much to learn. Her talent leans toward drawing; she creates some beautiful scenes with her graphite.  However, life has interfered and we no longer have the time to share while we create.  Someday....

It is easier when there is more than just me painting, someone else to critique, encourage.  But I could still focus on my own if I would just make the time for it.  Or there hadn't been that stray comment (by me, I am sure) of what was I going to do with all of this.  There is no room on our walls for my creations, so they sit stacked in a corner.  I actually bought a table to organize the bits and pieces  so it doesn't take up the dining room table when I am not painting.  It sits in the corner of the dining room, waiting, calling me.

Since I have invested time and money into water colors, mom has understood about leaving the dining room to me.  However, the stray thought about what I was going to do with all of the paintings stopped me cold and I haven't picked a brush up for a couple of months. There is talent, then there is ability.  Practice feeds the ability, talent needs to be encouraged.  But there must be a lot of practice.....which leaves a lot of stray (oh my gosh, what am I going to do with this?) paintings stacked.  In the dining room.

Mom tries to be subtle.  Tonight she said that we could clean dad's side of the closet out and have an area to stack my paintings (a place to put away my mess?) and things.  Perhaps I read more into things than I should.  She was being kind.  I see it as a failure.  I really want to paint.

I started this blog to display my paintings, brainstorm on what I am trying to learn.  I don't want to put it away, even if it is another two months before I pick up another brush.  I really want to paint, to create.  So, I have decided that my room will be my gallery.  I have felt better since I decided this. No more stacking in the corner.  My mind is, once again dissecting images, wondering how to approach an idea with water colors blending together.  Never mind the offer of the closet.  I can't wait to begin again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

One year later

Today is the first anniversary of Dad's passing away.  We didn't speak of

it at home; I didn't want to put it in Mom's mind, then leave her alone

while I worked all day.  However, though I wasn't exactly sad, I did think

of it off and on throughout the day.  My heart was heavy, but my

thoughts were mostly content, feeling like he was approving, and proud of

how we are doing.

It took awhile, but Mom has mostly come out of her depression, the

missing of her 65 year companion.  Yeah, he died the day after their

anniversary.  There were times that I didn't want to leave mom; us girls

had to make Mom promise not to take the easy way out; we are not ready

to lose her, too.  However, she could pull herself out of the sorrow to

enjoy when family came over; I wish there could have been more of that. 

I am sadly lacking as a companion.  Grief makes me uncomfortable in

other people.  So the past year has seen me sitting on my computer when

I am not working; or teaching myself how to paint.  Quiet for the most

part while Mom watched tv or read her book or even sat at her own


We have had to convince Mom that since she is sticking around, she

needed a new wheel chair.  She could also use a hearing aid.  If you come

and see her, you will find she laughs in all of the appropriate places,

smiles and nods her head, but if she attempts to join the conversation she

is sometimes hilariously out of sinque.  Movies are watched with closed

captioning.  But I have noticed she is enjoying watching the birds, playing

with her great-grandchildren; she will even take a turn at doing the dishes.

Time plays tricks on us; is seems that it was no more than 3 months ago

that he died.  So much has happened to our family in that time:  weddings,

babies, engagements, separations and growth.  All of us grow.  We suck it

up and do the next thing; we stretch and like (mostly) the way we have


For example, Anna has created a world in which she can take a photo and

make someone very excited with what she can do with it.  She has even

begun to see an income in this creativity.  Darcie is another one who has

been able to take an idea and run with it; the recipients of her efforts

are enthusiastic.  The thought that both of these girls can generate an

income from something they love doing is wonderful.  Or, look at Becki

going back to school to learn how to do better at the thing she loves most

outside her family.  Watching her develop (pun, in case you didn't catch it)

has been awesome.

Grandpa would be proud.  He would have opened his arms to Nick's new

daughter, and Darcie's new son.  He always found joy in his family.  But

he wouldn't have pulled punches in telling each of us when he thought we

could do better.

So on that note, I am going to look at myself and see what it is that I can

do better.  I am going to acknowledge to myself when I am 'a good boy';

I am going to give myself permission to start living outside the box.  There

are things that I want to do and places I want to see.  The same effort I

encourage in others also needs to be directed to myself.  I need to stop

sitting back and watching the rest of my family live and begin to take

part, take action.  The choices I have made have turned into

commitments, but that doesn't mean I cannot make this commitment to

myself.  The only chains around me are the ones I have in love placed

there myself.  Dad never would have wanted me to not love my life, would

have encouraged me to be happy; find that something that gives me joy.

What would he have asked of you?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Two Dimensional Connections

My granddaughter tells me what I write is depressing.  She would protest and

disagree denying that 'depressing isn't what she meant' , however I see her point.

 When I write from 'around' myself it does come from my darker side.  So, keep

that in mind as you read my blog today.  It wasn't intended that way, in fact if I

spend some time on it the tongue in cheek part might come out.  (sigh) But I don't

wanna.  Sometimes things just need to come out with no fixing.  I love you all. 

We are all okay and will continue to be okay, but you may not think so after

reading the drivil spewing from that tiny portion of my brain that says 'poor me'.

I have shut down, gone into hiding, at least mentally, and partly emotionally.   I

work, I putter about the house, help my my mother, my children and

grandchildren when I can.  But sometimes there is so much love inside of me that

goes absolutely nowhere.  A seriously selfish love; the kinds that says 'you should

love me back'.  But we never love people in the way they want to be loved.

I am sure my daughter Marnie wanted my love to take care of her problems.  But

I could only support from the sidelines; this is her life.  People know I haven't

made the right choices over the years, certainly not an actively 'proper example'

of how to solve problems.  So she is doing the best she can.

Darcie and Mondo try very hard to make what they have work.  It is so difficult

to pull yourself out of a (valley), a (pit), a (funk).  But again, I can only be there

on the sidelines. 

I am not and have never been the center.  Or, perhaps I have been the center

and I screwed it all up, the issues other people experience are just the tendrils

extending from my core.  (oh my gosh, I have caused hurricaines, and I have

created tornados and all of those wonderful people are  ...!  if I had only......)

And regardless of the issues I experience (or create as the case may be), the

world has bigger problems than I do.  I am one of the million masses of people. 

We all know we are important.  But we live in a two dimensional society.  Everyone

knows the world revolves around me, or me, or me.  If we can absorb and

integrate all of the other 'me's' in our own sphere, view and accept a three

dimensional connection then the world we live in may excel.  What do I mean by

that?  and maybe it is only me that views our connection as two dimensional.  No,

a three dimensional connection would recognize the rights of other people.  The

best creed written is the oath a doctor needs to take, and should be our mantra: 

First, do no harm.

I don't see that happening.  If the world had ended in May, if the world does end

in October then I want to go out listening to the sounds of Coldplay.  They make

me cry, they make me feel; they touch the love inside me and give me a

connection.  They create a connection to a three dimensional universe, and if

there is any fairness in life, this should carry on.  For some people, a three

dimensional connection may be felt through the song of the Beatles, or Lady

Gaga, the Doors.  The point is we feel a connection through music, through

writing, through sharing our love.  I am part of something just through the act of

absorbsion.  Is that about right, Dawn?  The essence of being connected to the

universe.....there really is electricity in everything.