Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Friday, October 31, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Six, Day Five

I don't know what to say about this week.  I didn't address much this issue of God and money.  It still feels weird to me.  I might try to do the questions tonight.  I'm having a hard time thinking God would like to give me money without my having come up with a good plan for securing said money.  Maybe I'm just not getting it.  I did get some extra hours for work these past two weeks; does that count?  

The market is up--right now.  Maybe on Monday everything will have gone down again.  Tuesday can't come fast enough.  I just hope everyone stays alive.  I just watched "The Big Chill," and I think it's having an effect on my writing.  So is the bottle of St. Michele white.  

Not to mention the fact that when I awoke this morning (for good, as I didn't sleep worth beans last night) my hands felt weird, and the tips of my fingers were tender, a little sore.  My ring doesn't slip off.  I must be really dehydrated, and this worries me.  I'm spooked by DS's diabetes.  So this makes me think that I might have something going on, too.  Gotta just drink more water, and get some good sleep.  

I need a break.  To get away for awhile.  My artist date, only longer than part of a day.  A few nights in a cabin by the ocean, the days getting shorter, a little wind picking up.  Not enough to blow out the lights, so that I can continue to use my laptop.  Just to write late into the night, the rain hitting the roof and windows to one side, and wake up to the sun burning a thin sliver  between grey clouds.

--More tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Six, Day Four

I'm thinking that writing in the morning isn't all that great.  Because my mood isn't that great.  Up at 2 am, after not getting to bed properly until after 11 pm.  Because I read Chapter six up till the exercises in the back.  Haven't done those yet, but did the exercise on my feelings about money.  At this point in time?  

Why is it that these chapters seem to follow some pattern in my life?  Certainly Chapter Three fell in line with our diabetes experience--kind of in the way that I began to explore childhood.  And anger.  This week in money.  Is this the synchronicity?  

-----this is where I take a small break----------

I write at night, after everyone (mostly) in up in bed.  Because I can't write well with others around.  But I can write when others are asleep.  Problem is, then sometimes I get sleepy, too. 

DS's blood sugar was 73 last night--three over the minimum.  So I had to think about that.  What to do?  I ended up going downstairs to the kitchen, looking in my stupor for juice, and thinking there was none.  To my amazement there was cranberry in the fridge, and so I began to measure out a 1/4 cup.  That didn't seem right, so I tried hard to get my uncooperative brain to kick in and tell me what 4 oz. looked like.  I finally created a crack in the wall and got in far enough to remember that 4 oz. translates into 1/2 a one cup measure.  Then I had to stew about whether or not to give him the full 4 oz., seeing as the blood sugar count was only three points above the 70 mark.  Sigh.  I drank one oz., and gave him the other 3.  I determined that was going to be good, and went back to bed.  I was still awake at 2:30, but elected not to go back in to recheck the sugar level.  I figured this would be enough, based on past experience.  This morning he was 113, and grumpy.  

Me too.  I was thinking to myself, "why couldn't this have been DH's night to check?  I have to be at the gym for 7 hrs, and on top of things.  Crap!  And now because I'm thinking about this in the middle of the night I too awake, even though I'm tired.  This sucks!"  etc.  I'm not as grumpy with DH now that I know that he didn't even hear the alarm, he was sleeping so soundly.  In a way that makes it easier to deal with.  Not sure why.  

Oh yes, I almost forgot.  DD's alarm went off at 6:10 am, which is what she sets it to for school.  Only there is no school for her today, or tomorrow.  And she's sleeping over at a friend's house as I write.  Which means that the radio station she listens to to wake up, chosen for it's slight bent toward obnoxiousness so that she isn't as inclined to go back to sleep, was blaring for a minute or two before it registered with me.  I got up, had to turn on her light to see what I was contending with, and proceeded to try and figure out how to silence the thing.  I found the "radio off" button, hit that, and hoped I wasn't messing things up for her later on.  (And I should worry about that?!?  The damn thing was waking us all up, too early!)  

Five minutes later, it was blasting again, and again I got up to fix it.  I turned it down, and then off.  First I had to stand there holding it (the clock radio) for a minute with it bleating it's loud morning jokes in my face before I decided what to do.  I am *so* not a morning person, and it really take quite a lot to set my brain to it's proper function.

When my own alarm went off at 6:40, DH got up and started breakfast (bless him).  I stayed in bed an extra 8 minutes, and then trudged down and stood in the kitchen, which is my norm.  I must be such a charm in the mornings.  Not.  I fuzzily began the lunch bag for DS, cutting the sourdough bread DH finished making last night, weighing it (4 0z. exactly), carefully scooping chunky (the wrong kind) peanut butter into a tablespoon measure (7 carbs), and measuring the last little bit of 8-carb strawberry preserves from the jar.  This makes a 52 carb sandwich.  

Next, while the pancakes were on the griddle, DH cut up an apple (again, another exact 4 oz. (not planned!), and I added another 13 carbs to the count.  DH went outside to retrieve the newspaper from the middle of the driveway so that the carpool person wouldn't run it over, and I flipped the current pancake, adding 32 more carbs to the count--97 altogether--for the 3.75 oz. slice of homemade pumpkin bread DA brought us yesterday when she came for dinner.

DS, as one would expect, was hard to rouse this morning, getting up about 14 minutes before his ride arrived.  This means checking the blood sugar (wash hands first!), determining the carb count for the two 1/2 c. pancakes (with the whole wheat, 46 carbs) + homemade blackberry syrup (26 carbs for two tablespoons) = 7 units of insulin.  DS complained that he couldn't get the needle to poke his arm, and tried the other one instead.  I walked away, finding this to be helpful.  DN arrived to pick him up, and he still had one pancake on his plate.  I sent DH outside to stall DN while DS ate the remaining cake, as it was already covered by the insulin and he needed to eat it.  

Seven thirty five, and he was out the door.  I was still grumpy and tired, and ate my two pancakes at the table while DH sat in the living room and read the paper.  I put a few things into the dishwasher, and headed to the computer/laundry/work room to sort things out and put things into perspective.  It was here, in front of the computer that I learned DH never woke up at 2 am, and slept quite soundly.  And it was here I softened within, and am at peace with the fact that I was the one who had to get up (it *was* my night anyway), in spite of my busy day.

If I'm not too crazed, and DS's Halloween costume dilemma has been solved, I will check in again before bed, which is my norm.  But I wouldn't hold my breath.  Who knows, though--I'm beginning to like my Nighttime Pages...


DS has decided to be Joe Biden.  We found a mask to copy from


His friend is going as Obama.  Problem solved!  Still not sure what DD is going to do, however... but she doesn't have school tomorrow, so there's time to work on that.

I made it through my crazy day, and got my Silver Sneakers Resistance Tools Choreography Design credits.  Got DD and friend to church, got the Rocky Horror ticket, taught my two classes...

Now, on to the Chapter Five questions!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Six, Day Three

Feeling neutral today.  Actually, it was a day of getting caught up with bills and paperwork, tying up loose ends, some laundry, a big of housework.  Totally ran out of checks to pay bills with, so had to order more, and make transfers.  I swear, I can't seem to hold in my memory the things that need doing *when* they need doing.  It seems the more I hold in my thoughts, the more likely something else is spilling away.  Billy Collins said something about that in his poem, "Forgetfulness."  Now I'm distracted, and am going to go looking for the poem to post here.  I'll be back shortly.

Okay, here it is, and following that is a YouTube video to listen to, just so we don't forget.

 The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart. 

Billy Collins

That's how I am these days - so distract-able.  Or it is "distractible?"  Somehow I think it's the former.  I realise that if I didn't go back and correct all my typing errors this would look more like this:

...somehow I htink it's the bormer.  I realise that I didn't go balck and corrnt all my typing errors this would look more like thsi...

And I wasn't even the one on 2 am duty last night.  Tonight's my night.  Tomorrow is a busy day.  I teach Pilates, take a SilverSneakers workshop, and then teach weightlifting.  The DS has drums, DD and her friend go to church group, after which I need to sneak over to the theater and get a ticket for Rocky Horror for the friend.  They're seeing it Friday night.  

Brings back memories.  I first saw TRHPS (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) when I was thirteen.  The line wrapped around the block, and we finally got in sometime near midnight. We did this quite a few times, and each time it got harder and harder to hear the actual words. I bought a book, and the LP.  One night a few guys all gathered around a VW bug and lifted it up, then set it back down in the street.  

Later, on a trip to London, DA and I saw "Pirates of Penzance," and I met lead-pirate Tim Curry backstage, and got his autograph.  I was eighteen, and my London experience was great.  It was the height of the (post-)punk movement, and it was the year the Pink Floyd movie "The Wall" came out.  We saw it in the Queen's Theatre, or something like that. Then we continued on to Scotland, whereupon I came down with tonsillitis. (I still loved it, though, and seven years later returned with DH on our honeymoon.)

Tim Curry as the Pirate King

So, I'm off to read some more about God and money...  still trying wrap my head around that one.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Six, Day Two

Day Two this week... I've almost lost track of time!  On Frontline was the scoop on the war in Afghanistan.  Saddened, I got up to give DS his insulin and a bowl of applesauce, washed some  dishes and scrubbed half-heartedly at the countertop to soften the sourdough starter drippings, and sat down here.  First I checked the stats on my blogs, a useless activity most of the time.  I did make almost a dollar today, though, on my knitting blog.  Yahoo~

Its too bad, but I'm coming to realise that being an optimist is hard work.  I'm finding out that in many cases there is just no way to make people who dream up bad things to do to others can't always be made to see another point of view.  For instance yesterday's arrest of two skinheads plotting to kill students in Tennessee, and ultimately targeting Sen. Obama.  I just looked this up and saw an image of a young man in a black tank top holding what looks like an automatic weapon.  That the two said they "would and were willing to die in the attempt."  

It is such a blow to think a person can't be turned around to see the good in everyone.  My grandfather was in a concentration camp just before WWII really got going.  He was released, and never returned home, coming here to live.  I'm having trouble thinking about all of this, and am finding that words are not serving me well right now.  

*   *   *   *   *

Halloween is coming up, and DD and DS don't know yet how they're going to dress--hopefully with items from around the house!  Which is what I used to do... one of my more memorable costumes consisted of my stopping a few yards away from the house and flipping my long hair over my face, and holding it in place with a pair of sunglasses.  Don't quite know how I came up with that one, but it worked.  I think I did this with a black wig, too.

Other fun ones: the time I dressed as Prince, complete with satin pajama pants I converted into something a little more flashy, adding a zipper in the front--a sort of diagonal fly--and some gathered purple lace up the side of the legs.  I wore high-heeled black boots, a white Value Village waiter's jacket I embellished with silver ribbon and "rhinestone" buttons.  I wore dark mirrored glasses and penciled in a hint of a moustache, which I must admit confused a guy at a party I attended.  After watching a conversation I was having with someone else, he finally plucked up the courage to ask, "I gotta ask you, are you a guy or a girl?"  I smiled at him from behind my shades and breast-concealing jacket and said, "yeah, I'm a guy."

One year I was a hybrid, a sort of thing I did often--a Japanese Punk Witch.  Kimono, fishnets, high-heeled boots, chain belt.  Another year a friend and I attended some Halloween function at the University dressed as The Two Gentlemen of Verona.  We made feathered caps by covering Cool-Whip bowls with velvet fabric.  Tunics and legging, and we were there!  And another year, also in college, friends and I attended a party, the theme of which was "come as your favorite person who died a violent death."  A friend and I went as Sid Vicious and Nancy.  I was Sid.
Well, it's an early day tomorrow for DS, who is going into town to see The Three Musketeers, so off to bed I go.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Six, Day One

Week Six!  Recovering a sense of abundance.  A God who can be involved with money?  I'll have to read up on this.  I'm of the variety that feels that God and money aren't really linked, but I guess I'll be open-minded.  

I still need to do a check-in from last week.  And the week before....

Last week I considered church to by my Artist date.  Is this a cop out?  I went by myself, and it seemed like a good thing to do.  And I felt inspired, and better than I did before I left the house.  I'm thinking this could qualify.  

1. How many days did I write?  Probably two in my leather journal, and four here.  A bit of a drop-off, which I'll try to remedy this week.  I realise now just how much of an impact it makes to do this writing thing every day.  Gets the creativity flowing nicely.  Or, better than it was. Yes, I do like them.  No, they're not yet my Morning Pages, more like my Nighttime Pages.  

Hmmm, the Page-And-A-Half Truth Point?  I think that's probably true.  Get the junk out in the first few paragraphs, and then the truth comes out.  Yes, I think so.  

2. Artist Date--church, as I just said.

3. Did I experience any Synchronicity?  Hmmm.  I don't rightly know.  Nothing comes to mind.  Oh, wait.  Yes, if this qualifies-- I was reminded of the fact that I said yes to doing a reading/workshop/program thing about Creativity and Spirituality in January.  It occurred to me shortly thereafter that this Artist's Way lark might be just the ticket for informing what I would say about writing and the spiritual life.  Not that I'm feeling very spiritual most of the time; that's something else I'm hoping to reclaim.

4. Any other issues significant to my recovery?  Other than I know more now that these Pages are necessary?  Perhaps that I'm realising more and more that getting out is important.  That getting adequate sleep is crucial.  That blogging isn't such a bad thing after all.  I am being creative when I add to my blogs, and I'm writing more on each one.  I feel creative when I blog.

So, I'm up to bed, and going to read some in Chapter Six.  

I'll leave this with one of the items I wish for:


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Garrison Keillor and James Taylor

Originally uploaded by AtlantaTwin

Garrison Keillor and James Taylor at the Prairie Home Companion show. This was the sixth encore brought to us by Alicia's yelling! Garrison was actually singing "How do we get these folks to go home?" to Auld Lang Syne. James Taylor responded "They don't stay this late for me!"

Uploaded by AtlantaTwin on 1 Jul 07, 6.27PM PDT.

Artist's Way Journal - Week Five, Day Seven

Checking in.  

I haven't done the questions at the back of Ch. 5 yet. Hope to do that shortly.  

Today at church I was reminded that I said I would take part in an evening or two dedicated to talking about how spirituality informs writing, and vice versa.  This will happen early January, and I'll have gotten through Artist's Way sometime in December, so it should be a help in finding things to talk about.  

So, did I do an artist date?  Maybe church.  My heart was still bugging me this morning, and also during the night when I checked DS's blood sugar, which was just under 250, so I didn't make him give himself a shot.  I had trouble getting back to sleep, worrying about not covering this high with a unit of insulin, although
 the latest specialist said that the "sliding scale," which tells how much more insulin is needed to cover for carbs eaten, if any, makes it such that I only have him give himself an injection if over 250.  Well, 247 is close, so I stewed.  Fortunately in the morning he was down to 110 or so.  But, I was still feeling twittery in the nerves and heart, and was really questioning whether I should be driving to church, which is 20+ minutes away.  

I went anyway, as it was our "tribe" day, which means we are responsible for coffee hour food, readings, collection baskets, oblations, etc.  It was well worth it, as I began to feel better just driving in the sun to church, and when I got there there was choral group from another nearby church singing with our group.  Especially during the bread and wine it was nice to sit and absorb all these beautiful voices, either with eyes closed, or open enough to take in the variety of faces belonging to the voices.  

Afterwards DS and I drove around, looking for pumpkins.  When we got home, he took the design logo for Transformers, and carved that onto his pumpkin.  (Quite intricate--I'm hoping it lasts until Halloween!)  All day I meant to write, but as always, I've pushed it off until now.  It's tempting to go to bed early, and get up early--for once!--and write then, when I'm supposed to!

I listened again to Garrison Keillor's monologue, which was a variation on the "Tomato Butt" theme, one he told years ago about landing a particularly good and watery splat, square on his sister's posterior.  I think this one was even better.  I can't wait to find the podcast in my iTunes library.  One of my favorite things is to listen to stories, and listening to Keillor is especially nice.  Of course, the Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean, is good, too, and McLean admittedly tells a good yarn, but Prairie Home Companion will always hold a special place in my heart.  

So, I'm going up now to write in the leather journal.  Check-in tomorrow, and a new week to start on!


Stuart McLean

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Five, Day Six

Wow--I'm definitely falling off here.  Okay, I have written some in my other journal, but this is just ridiculous!  I know I said I was going to cut myself some slack, but this much?

I can see the benefits of writing a lengthy journal entry every day, as it gets the creative juices flowing.  This is very true.  And now that I've read all of Chapters 3 and 4, I can also see how denying myself a week of reading would be good, too.  Nothing getting into my head, influencing what I think about.  But, in this climate, where so much is centered on politics, the election, the economy, it's hard not to hear about it!  Or, to think about it in the least!  

It's all well and good to say, "Okay, I'm getting my feet wet this time around, so that next time I do this program I'll do it properly!"  But, truth is, there will always be something threatening to derail me!  Granted, this period of time is much more extreme than the norm... especially when you add in DS's diabetes.  

I'm going to be really grumpy if Obama doesn't win.

Grumpy?  I've been really grumpy these days.  I'm losing my cool.  I'm yelling from time to time, mostly at DS.  He's behind on homework, and when I ask him to work on it he loses energy.  When I point this out to him, he finds some reason that this isn't so.  Okay, he's 13.  And he's newly diagnosed diabetic.  But!  This isn't new behavior.  So I grump.  When was the last time he cleaned his room?  What month?  I can't remember.  

I'm grumpy because Thursday was a busy day, and DH was working on his windshield wipers when I needed him to get DD from school (thereby giving me more time to get ready for work).  DId I ask him to do this?  No.  So, can I expect him to get it that I needed that help?  Not when he's focused on a project.  I stormed out, and drove to work in a big steam, knowing I wouldn't be teaching a great class that night.  (That evening DH was quite nice, however.  He must have figured that something was up.)

More later.  Today I'm canning apples that multiply when my back is turned.  And the house is a wreck!  How is it that a little bit of cleaning gets undone so quickly?!?

*   *   *

Finally in bed after a long day in the kitchen.  I feel strange.  My heart has been acting up again, and although I’m not too concerned as this has happened before, it still feels weird.  I’m light-headed, and I get these odd twinges like little nerve shocks.  I’m so tired, and yet putting this down in my journal feels so much like too much complaining.

So, where was I?  Chapter Five, finally.  I’ve not done Ch’s 3 and 4 justice, but that’s just going to have to be the way it is right now.  I’m doing what I can, trying to fit this program into my currently altered life.  DS is handling the diabetes fairly well for a 13 yr. old, but it is hard for him.  So, I skimmed over these past two weeks, and pretty much the same for this week, too.  Not even an Artist Date this week!  I still have a chance tomorrow, though.

Chapter Five is full of hard words about self-murder, wanting to be left alone, blind to the poisonous grip of self-destructiveness.  So now I’m going to discover the ways I’m destructive to my self. I already know it, but delving deep into the how and why will be interesting, to say the least.


The Virtue-Trap Quiz

  1. The biggest lack in my life is…Time.
  2. The greatest joy in my life is… being successful at something creative, like writing; receiving acknowledgment for my work.
  3. My largest time commitment is… kid stuff: homework, handling DS’s diabetes, drum lessons.  Then there’s work, which I haven’t been devoting as much time to lately, although I do need to get busy with that.  Housework needs doing desperately, but I’m spending lots of computer time, and that’s taking away from keeping up with the house.  (Obviously it’s not that important to me, or so it might seem.)
  4. As I play more, I work… about the same, I think.  I was going to say “less,” but I’m not so sure about that.  I would make sense that I’d work less, but when I’m not “playing” I’m procrastinating.
  5. I feel guilty that I am… taking too much time doing computer stuff, like Facebook, blogging, looking up how Adsense works, etc.  If I wasn’t dong those things, there would be other things I’d find to do.  At this point I’m not playing Mahjongg and Freecell, which used to consume a lot of my “free” time.  I guess some of these other things are a little more productive… but I’m gauging productivity by what might add to our income, or help out globally, rather than whether I got to play or not.  I feel guilty that I’m not writing nearly as much as I was, and than I’ve let the submission process go far too long (in my opinion). 
  6. I worry that… my desire to be more creative will create stress between me and DH because I would be spending more time writing and submitting, and doing activities related to this (readings, workshops, etc.).  I worry that this diabetes stuff will be too consuming, and I worry that DS will continue to have trouble remembering to bring his homework home, and to get it all done.  I worry that I’m not doing a good enough job around the house.  I worry about the economy and that our accounts are going to continue to go down and down.  I worry that DH won’t get enough work.  I worry about our health, even though, for the most part, we are okay.  I worry that I’ll lose my writing abilities, that I’ll keep dropping out of the submission game, that I’ll lose ground.  I worry that I’m not that great of a writer, and that I’ll continue to not get my work published in the “better” journals. 
  7. If my dreams come true, my family will… ??  I don’t know.  If I get my book mss. accepted for publication, my family would be pleased.  If my family were to become totally accepting of my true nature, that would be a dream come true.  It depends on how that question is viewed as to how I answer it.
  8.   I sabotage myself so people will… not be angry with me.  Or if they are already displeased, they won’t be likely to be as hard on me.  I know this one well, can see it happening in DS’s behavior, too.  I sabotage myself so that people will not be frustrated.  Better me than them, or so I tell DH sometimes.  Then I get mad at myself for being that way.
  9. If I let myself feel it, I’m angry that I… give up things I want to do as frequently as I do.  Also, see part two of question 8 above.  I’m angry that I let myself spend so much useless time when I could take some of my alone time to write and revise.
  10. One reason I get sad sometimes is… because DS has more issues than I think a kid should have.  …because DD needs more exercise and I have trouble fitting in the time at the gym after school.  … because DH is frustrated with his work, or lack of it.  …because I miss being more highly creative.  …among other things.


Forbidden Joys, An Exercise

List ten things you love and would love to do but are not allowed to do. 

Hmmm… does that mean that I don’t allow myself, or that my family doesn’t allow me… or both?

  1. Spend two weeks on retreat.
  2. Go out with friends weekly.
  3. Go visit out-of state friends on my own.
  4. Take a whole day to devote to writing.
  5. Take a personal vacation every year, maybe even twice.
  6. Take yoga classes.
  7. Become certified to teach yoga.
  8. Go on retreat to Ireland.
  9. Get rested, and stay rested.
  10. Keep fit.


Wish List, An Exercise

  1. I wish I was good at yoga. 
  2. I wish I was stronger.
  3. I wish I could buy an Apple laptop.
  4. I wish I could get an SLR camera.
  5. I wish I could get my poems into Shenandoah, Crazyhorse, Ploughshares, etc.
  6. I wish I could sleep really well.
  7. I wish I didn’t worry about what other people thought about my taking time to write.
  8. I wish I could go to Europe again.
  9. I wish I was more self-confident.
  10. I wish DH was totally accepting of my need to be creative.
*   *   *

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Five, Day Three

I kind of left yesterday's post hanging.  And I'm not going to be tying up any loose ends today. 

Heading in to be part of a reading in Seattle.  I've sort of narrowed down the poems I'm going to read, but not totally.  This is the first time in a long time I haven't written notes about what I'm reading beforehand.  I'm only going to be reading for a few minutes, so I don't think I need any lengthy discussions or explanations.  

The washing machine isn't spinning.  There must be more than just the $.06 I pulled out of the pump...  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Five, Day Two

These morning pages have become spotty lately.  It seems that there is so much happening, and when I do have a moment to write I do other things.  I'm seeing some patterns here, and need to try to correct them.  

I'm really tired.  Up again at 2 am, and in the morning I feel disconnected.  Last spring, when I was experiencing anxiety attacks for about 3-4 months, I felt this same disconnectedness, and can readily attribute it to lack of sleep.  I need to get more; problem is, in the evening I get a new burst of energy (sometimes) and use that time to do somewhat unimportant computer things.  I guess I should cut myself a little slack, as some down-time is necessary once in awhile.

Speaking of that, I was just on Yahoo and caught sight of a side article about some UFO sightings made available through the UK National Archives.  So, I took a look, and found it quite interesting.  A pilot, during WWII, ordered before leaving the ground to fire at the unidentified object, tells his story after 30 years of being ordered to keep silent.  In the air, he'd selected 24 missiles, and shortly thereafter the object vanished, moving at quite high speeds. 

I'll need to bookmark the National Archives site for future reading.  My DM and I have always been open to unexplained phenomena--ghosts, other-worldly beings, etc.  One might think that strange as I also believe in the Creator.  I'm an Episcopalian, and I'm very inclusive of race and persuasion.  (I could go on about this part of it, but then I'm getting away from the original topic.)  And I do have a place for belief in beings other than ourselves, all part of the whole that came into being through this Creative Energy some spend a lifetime trying to explain.  I have a place in my beliefs for the marriage of God and science; it makes sense to me, and many scientists hold that the beginning of things likely had some spark of divine inspiration.

Like I said, I could go on.  

** Little aside: I'm finding that maybe I shouldn't just limit myself to poetry, but am not sure what other avenue I could explore with regards to submit-able writing... Maybe it'll become more apparent in the next few weeks.  If nothing else, if all I get out of these 12 weeks is some good exploration through the morning pages, it will have been worth it.  Even though I'm *so* not doing this "correctly."

More later...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Four, Day Seven

This one is going to be short.  My family and I went to a church retreat over the weekend, and which I enjoyed it, and have always looked forward to it every year, this year was not the best.  I'm fatigued from the middle night blood sugar checks, and keeping on top of the carb/insulin situation.  Doing this meant I could no longer let DS totally run free with the pack of boys, but have regular check-ins.  He couldn't just eat wherever/whenever he wanted to, and I had to follow at a distance with our carb book, and make guesstimates about cafeteria waffles and the evening's pasta dinner.  This shouldn't be so bad, but it's hard!!!!!   

On top of it all, DH is feeling the reality of having a 13 yr-old with diabetes, and worrying about the long-term ramifications of this disease.  I know for a fact that a person can have a good life and be active if they are wise with their treatment plan.  My friend who has had Type 1 for 29 years seems to be doing quite well.  And eating better than she might if she didn't have diabetes.

Moon over the dry grass

So, tonight's writing will be short.  I haven't even finished Ch. 3, let alone Ch. 4, and our group will start Ch. 5 tomorrow!!!  So, I'm going to read until I fall asleep, and see where I get to.  I must remind myself that this isn't my only opportunity with the Artist's Way--I can do this again, and hopefully be more on track with it.  But, I do plan to stick with the program as long as life allows.  

The weather for the retreat was beautiful.  If I hadn't been so wiped out and weepy this morning, I would have had my camera for the service on the beach this morning.  Yesterday the sky was very blue, and the autumn colors strikingly beautiful.  This morning the clouds had rolled in a bit, and beneath this grey curtain the sun burned white hot on the water, or so it seemed.  Truthfully the air was crisp--just this side of bearable through my thin layer of fleece and jean jacket.    

DH didn't want to go to the service; didn't want anything too touchy feely.  It wasn't.  It was nice.  I talked with a good friend, and watched the kids and toddlers playing in the sand while the service was going on.  Out on the water some distance away four otters swam.  The ferry that went Port Townsend to Whidbey Island was littler than usual.  Actually, the older ones were replaced out of necessity, and it is mostly required that one makes reservations to cross.  

I was sad about DH not going, but I do understand.  I almost didn't go either.  DS did go; he spent much of the retreat with friends, and I was glad for that.  He needed that, and they had a good time.  One particular friend took quite an interest in DS's diabetes, and wanted to learn more about it.  DH has been quieter, and I think he's projecting into the future with concerns about how the disease will affect internal organs, lifespan, feet, and overall quality of life.  We both agreed that if a cure were possible in time, we'd go for whatever it took to make it happen for DS in a heartbeat.   

Yesterday I walked with my good friend, and it was really good to talk with her.  I don't get to spend a lot of time with friends, and it's such a good thing to do.  So important in so many ways to share all sorts of things.  We walked just about to the lighthouse and back, and ran into DH, who took a walk on his own.  Later DH and I walked down to the beach and attempted to read and sleep in the sand.  I nearly did sleep, even though the cool sand and driftwood felt hard under my hips, and was eventually brought back to reluctant wakefulness by my cell phone buzzing in my ear--a call from DD wondering where we were.


GF's and my shadows

In the evening GF and I finished looking at her photos from a recent trip to Barcelona, Italy, and France.  Very beautiful--I would love to visit.  (I also want to return to Ireland, where we were this past summer--everything green, and DS with no diabetes that we knew of.)  

So, I'm off to bed, maybe to read a little more in the book, and to do some sort of check in.  


Friday, October 17, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Four, Day Five

Question #3 from Ch. 3:

List Five Childhood Accomplishments:

1. Straight A's in the first quarter of 6th grade.  
2. Winning $30 in the football pool.
3. Winning $30 at bingo once.
4. Seven years of ballet, several years of horseback riding.  I did get a trophy and ribbons for some of the classes I entered.
5. Twelve years of piano.

I really don't know if the last four can be considered accomplishments.  Not really, and certainly not 2 and 3.  

Childhood treats?  My grandmother's plum dumplings, for sure.  Also Chinese food, lemon meringue pie, cherry tomatoes, and schnitzel.

#2. Five traits I liked in myself as a child...

Wow.  Um, I was fairly decent at drawing, and other kids seemed to think so, too.  I used to worry that things were feeling pain--this is quirky--like my socks if they were sticking out of a closed drawer.  I'd open the drawer, and free the socks from their pain.  I had lots of friends.  I loved to read.  I enjoyed playing the with kids in our neighborhood daycares, and took them for bike rides sometimes.

#4.  Three obvious "rotten habits" and three "subtle" ones:

Useless computer stuff, like checking the stats on my blogs, excessive Facebook use, and other computer time that takes away from my submission and poem revision time.

Being disorganized.

Staying up so late I don't get enough rest.

Not eating as well as I should.

Not getting enough cardio exercise to balance out my weights and Pilates. 

Agreeing with those who tell what I really should be doing, just to placate them.  (Even though I get mad about it later, and wish I had more backbone.)

--More later.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Four, Day Four

It's official--the October 15 deadlines for book mss. submissions have come and gone.  In a way it's good, because I don't have to worry about getting them out.  But, I'm sorry to have lost those opportunites.  So, I'll look to the end of the month deadlines, and try to get my book out.  

I'm feeling lost again this morning.  Tired from the 2 am blood sugar check, which made me stay awake because DS's reading was high--that, after a nice low reading before bed.  What's up with that?

I teach both Pilates today and weightlifting.  And DS has drums for the first time in two weeks.  He's terribly behind in homework.  I'm tired for him.  We are all of us going to a retreat this weekend, which will get us more behind, be challenging for carb counting and getting injections on time, not to mention lack of sleep.  But, it will be an opportunity to chill out in some other ways.  And take naps.  I hope to take advantage of that.  And to write.  I might not go to the planned Saturday morning program...  we'll see.  

I'll check in later.

*   *   *   *   *
Later it is.  Once again I've been procrastinating.  DS managed the day fairly well, and his blood sugar went as low as 92 midday.  However, it went back up to 207 later on.  Not sure what to make of it, but it is averaging lower now, which is encouraging.  Let's hope this weekend doesn't send him over into a higher range again!

After teaching I feel better.  Always good to get the blood moving, and teaching brings me into a different place.  I try hard to engage my students; I want my classes to be fun and challenging.  I'm not always "on," but when I am it feels so good.  I love that feeling of connection with the people in my class, and I dearly enjoy them--they make the class for me.  It feels good to move, and I dream of doing more yoga.  I can see why people are so taken with it.  It's amazing what the body feels like after a day or two of doing yoga.  I once took a three-day workshop with other instructors, and by the end of it I felt as if I'd had a good massage.  And, it was a very spiritual experience for me.  One I'll have to (try to) describe sometime soon.

** Artist date:  I'm going to try to get away by myself during the retreat.  Walk the beach, or something water related.  Maybe take a nap!

Now it's late, and I'll need to be on top of things if I'm going to manage the 2 am blood test.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Four, Day Three

I'm still back in time, but I've decided that this is the way it was meant to be.  This is the first time of doing the Artist's Way, for me.  There will be other times, and each time will be different. I don't have to be hard on myself for not "doing it right" right now.  Just the fact that I'm as attentive as I am is good enough.  No one expected diabetes to come into our lives right now, and we adjust accordingly.  

That's still quite rough, and I find that I experience the gamut of emotion all in one day.  The highs of "this will work out," when DS is happy and handling the shots well and his blood sugar is down to a respectable level, and the lows of "I can't believe we are doing this," and "this is for the rest of his life," and "I feel so lost."  Because of this I opted to *not* skip poetry workshop this evening, and went anyway.  Everything was covered here on the home front, so really there were no worries.  But I still feel strange leaving, when this is all so new.

Photo taken by DS this past spring

I'll try Task #1, still from Chapter Three--

>Describe your childhood room.  What was your favorite thing about it?  What's your favorite thing about your room right now?  

I had two rooms as a child.  One I spent time in on weekends and two weeks during the summer.  It had a big shelf in it along one wall, made by my dad, each cubicle painted a different color.  I kept lots of little things and books in it.  I had another shelf I seem to remember as more of a natural wood color, and in this one I kept all of my horse statues, most of them my Breyer collection.  

I had stereo, which was exciting to me, as I could play music in my room, and headphones my dad never used--big comfortable ones that allowed me to hear all the little nuances, catch the movement of music from one ear to the other--it was through these I listened for hours, over and over, Pink Floyd's The Wall, fascinated by the lyrics and the creativity of the music.  I'd sit on the floor, back against my twin bed, headphones on, and the album cover and insert with all of it's wild drawings and lyrics for each song, in my lap.  Lyrics have always been important to me.

There were various stuffed animals, Barbie things I sort of liked but not too much, and a spring horse I rode when I was five or six, yelling "hi yo Silver!" when I thought no one was listening.  There as a white dresser my grandfather made, and a little white chest of drawers that held my socks and underwear.  A pink vinyl case for my toe shoes, and I'm sure I put my white straw cowboy hat and $1 real leather garage sale cowboys boots somewhere in the room, maybe in the closet.

In the closet I hung my clothes, including the red and royal blue ski parka I wore, though I really didn't ski until high school--I took riding lessons, or just rode my own horse.  On the shelf of the closet were things I didn't use all the time, some blankets and pillows, and the little three legged piano my mom swore played on its own while she was alone in the house, taking a bath.

The bed was small, and on the nightstand I had a little pink and white alarm clock that rattled back and forth when I needed to be up for dance lessons.  Later my first clock radio played music to gently let me know that we would soon leave for the stable for lessons with Bob, or to a horse show.

Later I left this room, preferring the space of the rec room upstairs, a new room added on when I was older.  It had a pool table in the middle of it, my dad's weights, and a black vinyl wrapped and studded bar with a little t.v., and a red shag rug.  I bundled my old sleeping bag, some sheets and pillows up there, my clock radio and some books, and slept under one end of the pool table.  My old room was where I went to be alone, or to change clothes.

What did I like about this room, the old one?  It was small, and housed just me.  There was just me--no other siblings to share with.  Although I *did* sometimes wish I had an older brother.  

Tomorrow I'll describe my other room.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Four, Day Two

Anger, Synchronicity, Shame--I read about those last night, finally.  I'm only over a week behind.  And I'm sure I shouldn't be reading anything right now.  How to catch up?  Like this:

Chapter Three, Detective Work, an Exercise

1. My favorite childhood toy was a white fir cat, for one, and many other stuffed animals.  I used to pack them up in the Italian prune tree in the back yard for adventures.

2. My favorite childhood game was ... hard to pin point.  I loved playing Yahtzee and Kismet with my dad, "what contains the Universe?" with my self and friends, (best played at night while sitting on a bed in a dizzying state of wonderment), Monopoly.  There was another game played on a board with marbles, but the name isn't coming to me.  Frustration might be the name...

3. The best movie I even saw as a kid was first Lady and the Tramp, and later Star Wars.  Anything that involved talking animal that were (to me) cute, and anything that called into play fantasy.  Star Wars captured my desire in a strong way, and I imagined going into space.  Not to mention the fact that I had a "thing" for Mark Hamill, and later Harrison Ford.

4. I don't do it much but I enjoy retreats.  I've done maybe three retreats, and I like being away, either with a group of women, or just one, for some time to work as long as I want to on my writing.  This I love.

5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself go out more.  I'd let myself be lighter at home, more fun with everyone instead of "bogged down" in mood.

6. If it weren't too late, I'd travel by myself.  I'd love to have the challenge of going overseas on my own, choosing my own direction, choosing how long I would stay in one place.  It would be open-ended, and I would run into the unexpected, especially that which I'd learn from my self.

7. My favorite mental instrument is...

* Okay, I love this mistake I just made.  I looked at the book in my lap so quickly, I translated "musical" as "mental."  I left it that way so that I could come back later and do something with it.   Well, I'll give a shot right now:

... Sudoku, the Imagination, Music...

Let's try this again.

7. My favorite musical instrument is even more difficult to say than the toy or the game.  I played the piano, but didn't do that well with it.  I still love to listen to it.  I like all instruments together.  Classical/Spanish guitar is wonderful as are the drums -- all sorts.  The harp, flute, and anything played together that recreates a minor key as in Yiddish music, Middle Eastern, etc.  I love Celtic music very much, and medieval music, as well as music played on the didjeridu.  Hmmm... can't find a favorite right now.  I love Rock, Hip Hop, and some Techno, too.

8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is not a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.  I spend more on "things" than entertainment, although some of those "things" become my entertainment, or rather, shopping for them is entertaining, some of the time.  

9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her time.  That's what I ultimately don't give myself enough of.  I spend the time I have on surfing the internet to check up on my blogs, or play on Facebook, or whatever, and don't take the time to write.  This is especially bothersome when I think I've got a good space of time alone to write, and I don't do it!

10. Taking time out for myself is good for the soul.  Something I need to do better.

11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming I'll appear irresponsible.  The time spent doing what I want to do often ultimately makes me feel guilty.  Maybe DH will think I don't do enough around the house, or whatever.  

12. I secretly enjoy reading when I can.  Or, I secretly enjoy reading fantasy.  Although this is not so secret.  I just don't read a whole lot.  I love the comics because they're short and doable in a sitting.  It *does* take me some time to get through the Sunday editions because I take time to read and reread, taking in the illustrations, etc.  I love Harry Potter, Inkheart, Inkspell, LOTR, and other such books.  

13. If I had had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be free of guilt, happy with my talents, enough that I might push them further.  I did have a lot of support with regards to the arts, but also coaching on being sensible, which I am not, very.  I'd try new things without feeling like I should be doing something else that makes someone else happy.

14. If if didn't sound so crazy, I'd write a fantasy book.  I'd write a book targeting the middle teen to adult audience.  I'd start a journal and take submissions.

15. My parents think artists are fine, as long as one has something that brings in money.  

16. My God thinks artists are important.

17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is that I can't see getting past my guilt.  I can't see feeling strong enough to make peace with thinking I'm spending not enough time around the home, getting what needs doing, done.  

18. Learning to trust myself is probably going to be hard.  I'm not sure yet what I'm trusting.  

19. My most cheer-me-up music is Celtic, and some Rock, as long as it is positive in nature.

20. My favorite way to dress is creatively.  It might be dressy, or chic.  Or just some black workout clothes with DH's old worn-out jean jacket with the frayed sleeves.  And some sunglasses.

*  *   *

Okay, now I'm on to Growth.  And still the Tasks at the end of the chapter.  I'll check in later.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Four, Day One

Truthfully, I have not even finished reading chapter three.  I don’t remember what was said about Synchronicity, or anything that might come after that.  So I’m going to try to catch up this week.  Oh so hard!  Crap—Week Four is the week I’m not even supposed to be reading, which, I’m sorry to say, isn’t going to be possible.  I will be looking up things  to do with diabetes—no way around it.  So how do I make this work?

Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this.  Maybe I should cut my losses and do this some other time, seeing as life is a little different right now.  Maybe it’s best to just focus on DS’s diabetes, and call it good. 


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Three, Day Six

It's quiet.  DS is sleeping after having his blood sugar checked twice.  We're all wiped out, and on edge.  It's hard at times for DH to take a calm approach, but he's doing pretty well.  As long as we realise we're all in this together, and that no one is doing a "bad" job.

I want to find some creativity today.  Something other than the enormousness of the info we're absorbing.  I'm hoping I can do that for a little while, maybe exploring our new territory.  I told a friend on Facebook that this is a little like having moved to a new country, where the customs are all different.  We'll get used to them, and and make our way more easily in time.

I'll return later on.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I just got back from the bank, the post office, the music store (to get DS's drum teacher's number to let him know why we missed Thursday's lesson), and the grocery store.  

It's weird what goes through your head when something new is in your life.  When I drive by myself I start thinking about things in great detail, and what I experience on the road is no small part of that:

At a four-way stop I look back in my rearview mirror at the older couple I've sort of cut off to get in the lane I needed to be in, and imagine what they're saying about me.  Since I couldn't fit behind them in line (no more room to squeeze in) I had to get into the right hand lane and merge when I could.  So, seeing a window of opportunity I sped up and merged.  I signaled in plenty of time, so I wasn't being pushy, but some people just aren't into letting others merge, even if they realise that the person trying to move over might want to turn left at the 4-way stop.  Road ownership is a big thing to some folks.  So here I am, ahead of them, but not gloating about it, thinking 'if I was talking with them face to face I'd say I'm sorry, but my son has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes--I've got rights here.'  And when I was trying to back out of my parking space at the grocery some guy in a big truck (bigger than he needed to drive, I'm certain)(I'm getting catty now) was taking his time going by, some hard smirk set on his face, and again I'm thinking "look dude, if you had a child who was just diagnosed with diabetes you wouldn't get so macho with me, would you?"

The mind can be pretty one-sided when it wants to be.  And when I got irritated with the women who were parked in the middle of the intersection, probably looking for something in their car, I drove around, and something in my brain said, "you know, you don't really know what their story is.  Maybe it's worse than yours.  Maybe it's not, but then, compared to what they know, maybe it's bad enough.  Everyone has a story; everyone has something that is challenging in their lives at various times, and who's to measure on some scale what more important, and anyway, I'll get where I need to go in due time, and it's really okay."

Rambling is sometimes a good cleansing mechanism.  Gets it all out.  Grammar can be fixed later.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Three, Day Five

We're home now.  My journal writing is sporadic, fitted in between visits from doctors, nurses, diabetic experts, financial/insurance people, etc.  My mind is taken up with testing blood sugars at the right times, calculating carbs when we don't have the cheat sheet right in front of us, (taking calculations from the wrong column in the book and having to make DS eat more to make up for my mistake), measuring yogurt with a cup measure, the honey with a teaspoon.  Setting the alarm for 2 am, for another blood sugar check...

DS has been good about giving himself shots, which amazed me completely.  I really thought this would take a long time, but he is determined.  He is still anticipating the sting, and the inevitable pain that comes with the larger night-time dose of Lantus.  He's given all three shots since we've been home, but with great trepidation, first just touching the needle to the skin, wincing, and backing off, then finalizing the place and just going for it.  I find myself looking at his wall, commenting on all the Bionicle posters, how it would be neat to laminate them for preservation.  DS is frustrated, angry.  Maybe this Artist's Way is his journey, too.  The first doctors we met told us that working with Diabetes Type 1 is more of an art than a science...

I have a need to document exactly what happened in detail the Tuesday we went from first diagnosis to admission.  

>Admission--admitted to the hospital; admitting to ourselves that our first suspicions were right; that we are scared.

I write in fits and starts.  

I wonder how my life will unfold, what his life will open up in the future.  And why this? Why him?  As he said on the first day, sleep-deprived, food and water deprived, deprived of answers, of hints:  

Why does everything have to happen to me?  

Not everything, I told him, not everything.

This is a poem I found on the Diabetes Health site:

"I Am" Poem

This is a poem submitted to Diabetes Health by Lori Pujol on behalf of her daughter Shannon, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on January 7, 2006. She wrote this poem for her 7th grade English class this past January.

I am athletic and a diabetic.
I wonder if I will ever quit basketball.
I hear the ball bouncing on the court.
I see me in the hall of fame of all the sports I play.
I want to score 1,000 points in my high school career. 
I am athletic and a diabetic.

I pretend no one knows I’m a diabetic.
I feel my body shaking when I am low.
I touch my fingers when I have to test my blood.
I worry that everyone will think I am different. 
I cry when I lose my diabetes supplies. 
I am athletic and a diabetic.

I understand that people think I ate too much sugar. 
I say, I didn’t–diabetes happens to one out of every three people.
I dream that they will find a cure.
I try to raise money for the diabetes foundation.
I hope everyone else will too. 
I am athletic and a diabetic.

Time for bed.  After sleeping on a fold-out chair for three nights my own bed will be welcome.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Artist's Way Journey--Week Three, Day Four


I've missed a day. It was a full day, a hard day. DS is settling into a routine of counting carbs, testing his blood sugar, calculating how much insulin he will need to cover his meal, and receiving at least five shots a day. There have been educators coming in to talk with us, a dietician, a psychologist, case worker, several nurses and at least three doctors, and that's missing a few others. Yesterday DS was so tired by the end of it he was relieved to have some time, just the two of us, to watch Iron Man. Maybe that was my Artist Date for the week. I enjoyed the movie--we enjoyed it together, escaping the realities of what lie ahead for us when we leave here.

Today he gave himself two shots for the first time. We're very proud of him for this, and hope he'll continue to do so well when he is at school, and having to both check blood sugar counts and administer his shot before eating lunch. We'll see how it goes... maybe I'll try to be there that first day...

I've not been much good at writing in my journal. I want to be, but am feeling much burned out by all of this sudden change to all of our lives. DD is spooked, and DH is sad, but doing better. We even talked for 30 minutes on the phone this evening, which we never do. It's amazing how we can find the good in a hard situation. And a writer friend, who is also Type 1 diabetic, said that in a way she is healthier now than she was before all of this happened to her. She has been on insulin for nearly 29 years, and is active and creative, bright, and encouraging.

So, I haven't gotten much past the Anger chapter in the book. My timeline is completely off. I might read some tonight, and I might not. Today I felt great sadness, strong anxiety, hope, fatigue, and some strength. It's amazing what one can experience, all in the space of just one day. So, maybe I'll read one more chapter, and see what that brings me.

I'm trying to believe myself when I tell myself it's okay to say I don't want visitors. The nurses support that by telling us that our family comes first--we need to take care of ourselves rather than having to manage others. And this morning I couldn't imagine at all having visitors other than those who were scheduled to teach us. So they might not understand that need to pull inward, so they might feel cheated, but I don't feel much like sharing my confusion and grief in a visual way. There is time for that, when I've gotten more used to this new fact of our life.

DS is doing well enough right now. I expect this will all drag him down for a time before he resurfaces and has the strength to move on on his own. And maybe he will surprise us with small accomplishments, which, if you think about it, are really big ones, seeing as he's never had to do this before, and will be doing this "diabetes stuff" for years to come. Maybe there will be a cure in 10 years, maybe not. We can always hope, and continue to do what we do, and hope that we bind ourselves together stronger and stronger all the time.

That's all for now.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Three, Day Two

There is a rainbow outside. DD saw it on our way to school. I'm glad she pointed it out. I might have been slow on the uptake. I just cancelled my Pilates class in order to take DS to the doctor, to check out his perpetual dry mouth/throat and excessive thirst. May the rainbow be with us. I'll admit it--I sincerely hope it isn't the precursor to diabetes, which my mom has. Hers isn't the "bad" kind. I admit, I'm gathering too many facts and making a rash diagnosis even before I hear what it really is. That is my particular demon.

So, this is the week to address Anger. We'll see how that works... I'll check in later.
* * * *
I'm writing from the hospital. Turns out DS has Type 1 Diabetes. I can't quite take all this in right now. I'm only going to put this in right now, and go back to his room. I feel so bad. And worried. I know it'll all work out okay in the long run, but right now it feels like so much to take in. And I'm not even him!
I'll check in again, hopefully later. This journey seems to have split into two streams...
I know this is going to hit harder very soon. It was very hard this morning. I cried before I left the house to pick DS up from school to take him to the doctor. And when she confirmed my fears, and sent us on our way, something clicked over into autopilot. I'm going to run out of gas at some point, and have to deal more intimately with the emotions. DS is placated right now with a new bionicle and a new copy of Iron Man, so I sneaked out to check my mail. I won't stay out long.
How appropriate that the anger phase comes this week. I don't know how consistent I will be with this, but I may continue to post as life progesses with Type 1 diabetes. I'll keep us posted, so to speak.
Be well, please.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week Three, Day One, and End of Week Two--Check In

Okay, I managed to write on my blog seven days in a row.  I wrote in my leather journal six days, missing one in the middle of the week.  The experience was a good one for me, because it got me back to a "mandatory" daily journal-write.  I'd been getting pretty lax with it--very sloppy.  I was good about daily journaling before, and this came about because of Lent.  Instead of cutting something out, I took something extra on.  (Well, okay, I did try to cut out most sweets, and that worked pretty well, tho I cheated on my birthday, which always falls during Lent.)  

Admittedly these morning pages serve well to unblock by the very act of having to write.  I think it feels good to type.  I had some repetitive stress issues with my hands due to over-use during my several years with a knitting business.  But I still hand-write, and am doing so most every night since starting Artist's Way.  None of the writing felt stupid--I have done this for long enough to realise this all comes to some good.  And much of the writing had to do with questions in the book, so I did my best to answer as many as I felt I could.  

I didn't encounter any real surprises in the writing.  Just felt good that I was writing more often again.  There is something about filling up pages that is satisfying to me.  I'm hoping to fill the entire little leather journal by the time the 12 weeks are up.  

My Artist Date, as I said before, was a combined effort:  taking DS to the Lego event, and taking time out by myself to take photos and enjoy the creations of others, all the while eager to see how my own photos turned out.  And, yesterday I went to church, which was good, as I miss going more often than I used to.  The stand-in vicar is a lovely man--tall with big framed glasses and short grey hair, and a Southern accent.  He has Parkinson's, and had a procedure done to alleviate the shaking, and it has worked well.  As it was what Grace Episcopal Church calls First Sunday, the kids went up to sit around the vicar while he told the homily.  And this guy is a great story teller.  This time it was about St. Francis of Assisi, and he told it well.  After church people collected outside to have their pets blessed, which is always fun to see.  Especially to see this tall Southern man hold a little hamster in his hands as he blessed it.  Not to mention the proud look on the face of the little girl who brought the hamster.  There were lots of dogs, a couple of cats, and no guppies.   

Anyway, I went to Grace by myself, and in a way it was an Artist's Date for me.  Very reviving, and this is one of the points made in #7 regarding making a Life Pie, each piece representing sic different parts of your life:  Spirituality, exercise, play, work, friends, and romance/adventure, with the purpose of seeing where you are lopsided in your pie.  So yesterday was a spiritual recharge.  

(Another recharge is seeing Obama leading the polls, at least for the time being--but I won't go there.)

So, my so-called Artist Dates felt good, both of them.  This week I need to take a more "official" one.  Wonder what I'll do?

I don't know that there were any significant issues that arose this week.  Nothing out of the ordinary, at least.  I feel pulled by the usual issues--the kids and school, and the anxiety relating to that, the economy, the direction the markets are taking, disbelief re. Palin's presence at the debate (but, again, I won't go there), my worry about DS and his symptoms of dry mouth and what that might mean, my DD and her unhappiness at not really having made friends yet at school, and so on.  I'm still a little cluttered to have dug deep enough at this point.  

So now I head into Week Three--Recovering a Sense of Power.  And I see that the first sug-heading is "Anger."  Am I ready to head into that direction?  I really don't know, but I do know that head into it I will.  

Deep breath.  Find that place of release, that point of having achieved a full breath.  Tomorrow, Pilates.  A new sessions for my class, and maybe some new people to teach.  That in itself is an adventure.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week One, Day Seven


Yesterday was my Artist's Date, which is a little bit of a cheat, as I went to the BrickCon (Lego convention) with DS.  But, I'm going to defend this by saying that I spent time there by myself, photographing the wonderful ways people created things with their bricks.  I took some 300 photos, and loved it.  DS was in his element, having met (again) some Lego gurus he conversed with/shared Bionicle creations online with.  One was a woman from Anchorage, AK, who makes fabulous things from Bionicle parts, not the least of which is a 10 pound dragon, made from some 2000+ parts.  Here is a photo (which doesn't do it justice), and it's creator, "Roa McToa":

We were there "after hours," as DS was quite engaged with his
 fellow creators, and I was loving the fact that he was making these connections.  I must mention that "Roa McToa," as the designer is called online, is creative in other ways as well:

"My Online Name(s): Roa McToa and Archinto. If you see Archinto anywhere, its most likely me, or an instrument!
My Occupation(s): My main trade is Violin Making. I build them from scratch, and they have dragon heads for scrolls. I have made 3 instruments so far, 2 violins and a viola. I am currently working on my fourth instrument, a violin. I also repair violins and violas, and can do some pretty complex repairs..."

To read more about this amazing woman, visit:  

This is a person who is living creatively, as it seems.  (A more detailed look at Roa's creation.)

*   *   *

So, I still have my old Legos, at my DA's house. The house I grew up in, with my Austrian grandparents.  The Legos are probably still in a box in the room my grandparents slept in, the one I wrote a poem about (which is coming out in New Millennium Writings in November).  

I remember a Lego house I painstakingly made, with a roof I made of basic bricks, and which took hours.  (This is when bricks were in colors Red, White, Blue, Yellow, and Black.  I did actually have a window, which was unusual.) Anyway, I layered the roof as one would shingles.  Anyone who's ever worked with Legos knows that you can only apply the 'right' kind of pressure.  If you press the bricks together too hard, you risk collapse.  Finally, I had completed my house, roof and all.  I wish I had a photo.

My enjoyment of this creation was sadly short-lived.  My piano teacher (who lived across the street) had a grandchild, or other little one over, and they decided to pay us a visit.  Of course, the child was quite taken with the little house, and it didn't take more than a little push on the neat roof to cave it in.  It had taken such a l
ong time to get right, I never did it again.  

I do know there were plenty of other times I did pursue things I felt strongly about.  But this was just one of those times I had to let it go.  

*   *   *   *   *

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Week Two, Day Five

The rain's settled in.  Fall is officially here.  Today is a day over the water:  taking the ferry to Seattle for a meeting for Crab Creek Review, and then I'm taking DS to the Center for the Lego event--Brick Con.  Might be a cheat to say this could well be my Artist Date!  I might break away for an hour and do my own photographing.  Admittedly, this is something I will enjoy doing, and when I thought I might not be able to go, I was disappointed.  

What are other lives I'd live?  Originally I said I'd be:

a healer
a yoga master
a photographer
...and two others I now can't remember! I'll fill those in later.

So, what else would I be?

a successful writer
a musician
a tour leader/traveller in Europe
a hang glider/something to do with flying
a successful blogger

I'll have to think this over during the day.  

There is not much in my mind right now.  Still foggy from the stomach bug.  Will hopefully catch up more later....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Artist's Way Journal - Week One, Day Five

Today is a drizzly day.  I have a stomach bug, so I'm not high energy.  DD still feels yucky, too.  

So, what are my main activities this week?  

Poetry Workshop
Teaching Pilates/weight-training
Going to a meeting/Lego even with DS
Starting work on choreography for a class at work
Making yogurt/washing dishes/driving kids to and from school...

What do I prefer doing?  Poetry workshop the most.  I want to go to the meeting, but am having difficulty balancing driving for that, and also the timing.  I don't want to impose too much on DA or DH, even though they've offered--somewhat reluctantly.  And I understand why--it involves ferries, lots of driving back and forth, parking downtown (if I take the car over)... and my stomach bug.  I'm feeling stretched, and much less than creative.  

I didn't mention that one of my main activities this week is a whole lot of time spent managing the blogs!  That was one of the first things on my list when I hand-wrote in my journal last night.  I seem the have the energy for the blog thing, and all else is going by the wayside.  I am *so* not disciplined!  What do I make of this?  In a way I am being creative with the blogs, but in another way it is taking me away from the creativity of making poetry.  

In developing the choreography for my job, there is a lot of creativity that goes on there, and a lot of challenges.  But lately I've been avoiding working on it.  I still have about three weeks or more to do it.  It's just best to get started early enough to have time to work out the bugs.  

Furthermore, I've all but forgotten about the Artist Date!  Help!  I'm sure something will work out.  

*** Something to think about: 

"My aim is to put down what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way I can tell it."
- Ernest Hemingway

"Being a poet is one of the unhealthier jobs--no regular hours, so many temptations!"
- Elizabeth Bishop

I think I'll stop here and hopefully pick up later.  


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Little Aside

From The Writer's Almanac this morning:

Words of wisdom

by Anonymous

Health Food 

An apple a day
Keeps the doctor away.

Proverbial Advice on Keeping Healthy 

Early to bed and early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

After dinner sit a while;
After supper walk a mile.

If you wish to live for ever,
You must wash milk from your liver.

He that would live for aye
Must eat sage in May.

Button to chin
Till May be in;
Cast not a clout
Till May be out.

Our fathers, who were wondrous wise,
Did wash their throats before they washed their eyes.

The head and the feet keep warm;
The rest will take no harm

Use three physicians' skill: first, Dr Quiet,
Then Dr. Merriman and Doctor Diet.


When black snails cross your path,
Black clouds much moisture hath.

Evening red and morning grey,
Are the sure signs of a fine day.

Red sky in the morning,
Shepherd's warning.
Red sky at night,
Shepherd's delight.

I before E 

I before E,
Except after C
(Or when it's 'eigh',
As in 'neighbour' or 'weigh')

Stalagmites and Stalactites 

The mites go up 
And the tites come down.

Recipe for a Pleasant Dinner-Party 

A round table, holding eight;
A hearty welcome and little state;
One dish set on a time,
As plain as you please, but always prime;
Beer for asking for—and in pewter;
Servants who don't require a tutor;
Talking guests and dumb-waiters; Warm plates and hot potaters.

Anonymous words of wisdom — from the Faber Book of Useful Verse (buy now)

It's the birthday of Wallace Stevens, (books by this author) born in Reading, Pennsylvania (1879). His father, a successful lawyer with puritanical leanings, wanted his son Wallace to also grow up to be a lawyer and thereby "make something of himself."

Stevens was an excellent student. He went to Harvard. He wanted to be a journalist, but after a couple of years of writing for a New York paper, he decided that he would fulfill his father's desires and go to law school. Afterward, he took a job with the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, where he was in charge of inspecting surety claims; he eventually became vice president, and he remained at the job for the rest of his life.

Each day, he walked the two miles between his home and his office, and during these walks to and from work, he composed poetry. He said, "I just write poetry when I feel like it. I write best when I can concentrate, and do that best while walking. Any number of poems have been written on the way from the house to the office. I carry slips of paper in my pocket and put down ideas and notes. Then I hand the notes to Miss Flynn [his secretary], and she types them out. They're pretty indecipherable when she gets them. When they're typed out, they go in the folder."

Some people thought it was odd for an insurance executor to write poetry. Stevens did not. He said, "It gives a man character as a poet to have this daily contact with a job." And he said, "Poetry and surety claims aren't as unlikely a combination as they may seem. There's nothing perfunctory about them for each case is different."

His first collection of poems, Harmonium, was published when he was 43 years old. In 1955, just months before he died, he received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his volume Collected Poems. Stevens said, "After one has abandoned a belief in God, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life's redemption."

He wrote:

Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.
Take the moral law and make a nave of it
And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,
The conscience is converted into palms
Like windy citherns, hankering for hymns.
We agree in principle. That's clear. But take
The opposing law and make a peristyle,
And from the peristyle project a masque
Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,
Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,
Is equally converted into palms,
Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,
Madame, we are where we began.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®


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