topiary cats

topiary cats

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Studio

The other day I finally unpacked my art stuff. I've been slowly working myself up to begin painting again. To finally make some progress in my Lands of Space series. To finally do a portrait of Daya.

And it starts with my least favorite task: cleaning my palette. I hate cleaning my palette. It's been sitting for almost a year and some of the paint piles are still wet underneath. :)

I wonder if I would get more work done if I painted in acrylic......I can go FAST in acrylic. But I hate glazing in acrylic, and the fast drying time is as much as curse as it is convenient. And I spend a lot of time trying to keep the palette from drying out. Oils teach me patience and they smell sooooo good. If there was a linseed oil room freshener I'd use it. Or maybe I'll get clever and put a little linseed oil in my oil burner. I guess, for me, it's like making pancakes- the low heat (slow drying time) and a little patience make much better results.



Misunderstood Serenity

I always wondered why is it that people assume something is wrong with someone if they are quiet? They think somethng is wrong and you just don't want to talk about it. They don't understand that you are just experiencing peace.

For the last few days I have been basking in a blissful calm serenity, and when I am in this state I am not in the mood for conversation. Especially at work. I keep to myself as much as possible.

Does silence scare people? I understand that this culture is one of neurotic noise, external action, extroversion, pushing, going up.

But for those of us who aren't like that, leave us alone and stop thinking something is wrong with us when we are simply quietly serene.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Haiku

rain has many drops
impossible to catch all
even in the sea

Patanjali

"When you are steadfast in your abstention of thoughts of harm directed towards others and yourself, all living creatures will cease to feel emnity in your presence."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I Messed Up!

Thank Goddess kids are forgiving and don't remember everything!

Daya didn't take much of a nap today, so she was full-fledged Madame Crankypants at 5:30.

Which is too early for bed and too late for a nap. But when the child is crying and laying down on the floor face down with her butt sticking up in the air, well, something has to give.

I said 30 minutes. Which turned into 45. I woke her up. Bad idea. So I waited a few minutes, then put her back to bed. Worse idea. Now she still wants to sleep but can't fall asleep properly.

It's been quiet in there...so hopefully she'll stay asleep. She keeps waking sporadically. Have been kicking myself for the past hour.

Crap she's up again.



Saturday, February 24, 2007

Fun and Special Game

I'm feeling much better today. It's nice to have a day where I don't have to do anything. I feel like I should take Daya to the park or something, but I just don't feel like going out.

Madame D found a new game to play this morning. A very Fun and Special game. It involves sticking a toddler spoon so far into her mouth, down her throat, that she pukes. She didn't get upset, she puked a bit, then smiled and offered me the spoon.

Ah well, she needed a bath anyhow.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dear God

Dear God,

Thank you for the difficult days when my heart gets very tired. It's easy to be happy and blissful and spiritual when days are good. But life isn't always as such, and it's days like today that I can really see and know how strong my connection is. Thank you for the experience of being able to connect when feelings are tough. Thank you for the contrast that enables me to know my true nature, even when juxtaposed with other things within.

I know that the true testament to faith, and applying the strength of a spiritual fundation happens when we are faced with adversity, whether circumstantial, physical, or emotional. Thank you for being such a strong presence that I can rest in when life gets weary.

Thank you for giving me peace and calm when I am feeling down.

Love,
J

Thursday, February 22, 2007

MAD

When I'm mad, I can shoot laser beams out of my eyes.

Yes I really can.

And I'm SO MAD right now but it'll blow over.

Crappy co-workers are just part of life.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Evening Solitude

Night time starts when Daya falls asleep.

This is my favourite time of day, when the world starts to settle down. Here is the stillness and solitude that only the darkness can bring. Deep silence is difficult to find in the city; our culture is one of neurosis and noise. I need silence like oxygen.

Often, I wish to live in a society that values reflection, introspection, slow movement, and quiet. Treating others gently. Noticing small things. The secret to having enough time is to stop rushing around. Rushing is pushing, forcing. It blocks flow.

Today on one of my commutes, I cannot remember if it was morning or evening, someone ran up behind me and roughly shoved me aside without a thought or a word of apology, just in hopes of catching the train. For something so meaningless. I do not get angry at these occurrences; I just observe it. I think it's sad, the way we treat each other in general. No wonder people die of heart attacks right and left. Living in that sort of mentality. In New York City, everyone seems to be getting from one point to the next as fast as possible, then rushing madly to something else. People miss the journey altogether, much less enjoy it. How our society has become so neurotic we can't even recognize it anymore. The mindlessness of the media. People get so upset when their expectations are disrupted. Everything now. And we wonder why our children are so neurotic. I think the detachment from nature has everything to do with it.

In my heart I am not in this city. I am back smelling the grass, feeling the dampness of the earth on my hands. I can feel the silence of an open night sky, the wind rustling in the trees. The embrace of Gaia. We always end up being where we need to be in the right time; I have trust in flow. We are always taken care of. She always sends reminders, when I need them the most.

And as antsy as I am getting, to get back to more natural surroundings, I still feel I'm not quite finished here. Not quite yet. Almost.

Fragments

Sometimes little fragments of a long-past conversation resurface periodically. I have a recurring one, here at work.

There's a girl who works here. She's young, pretty, smart, athletic, and very good at what she does. She's basically a nice person. She grew up with money and has money, a nice home, nice boyfriend, etc. And she said something in a conversation, last year, that I still think about. A small, almost hidden comment. I forget the actual context...but it may have had to do with shopping, athletics, something along those lines. She said, perhaps not verbatim but close enough, "You do these things, to try and fill the emptiness inside."

Something about the way she said it, the tone, the air about it, implied and took for granted that the others in the conversaton knew and understood exactly what she was talking about and experienced the same thing. And I could only think to myself, how very, very sad.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Last week, I knew this would happen, and so it did.

I received my final divorce papers today. I'm not sure if that's ironic or not, but I'm so very happy.

Here is my small testament to the power of conscious, focused intention, positive thinking and action.

*I could not afford a lawyer to represent me for my divorce.
*My x could, because his girlfriend paid for it.
*The end result of the divorce is that I paid nothing, and the divorce was on MY complaint, not his. And it's in the papers. This is highly unusual because he was the one to initiate the divorce. Generally the plaintiff and the one paying for the divorce calls the shots.

The whole situation started as scary and hostile and hurtful, then I decided to go an alternate route. I did loving-kindness meditation for his lawyer, and almost immediately everything changed around to be in my favor, while she still held the integrity of representing her client.

When I went to her office we had a very pleasant and friendly meeting. We actually got along quite well. I think it suprised her.

And I have a divorce on MY terms, with cruel and inhumane treatment by him on record in paper.

*If someone doesn't have a criminal record, it takes, on average, 5 years to get them deported. In this case, it took just over 2 months.

Last I heard he was getting married again. At least this time, there is an official legal record of what really happened, that he cannot lie about.

This is the best Valentines day gift ever.

RADIX AMORE.

Back to Basics

It is now time for me to resume my night-time and early morning meditations. I started last night, and this morning. Already I feel better. Very peaceful and energized. Full. Plugged in. Bliss.

Right now the only child-safe place I've found for a little altar is in the window in my bathtub. That's just fine with me, I spend a lot of time in the bath. Recently I got one of those things that turns your tub into a jacuzzi, and it's pure watery bliss. I like to sit in the bath late at night with the bubbles going at full force and chant mantras. I love water, it is my native spiritual element.

But it's time to resume my regular daily meditations. And resume my meditation journal.

I need to get back on my structured daily household routines. Which includes updating my control journal.

For whatever it is that I need to learn, I am open and ready.

Toddler Mayhem

Daya's doing really well. 15 months old and she's almost half as tall as I am. Last night she slept through the night without any cold medicine. I really hope all those colds are over for a while. I read somewhere that vitamin D helps a lot. I'm going to try that.

She's had another mental development spurt, and she's into everything. Really, she's very cute and a lot of fun. Most of the time. She was not fun on Sunday when she put my keys in the bathtub and it took me a half hour to find them, forcing me to cancel plans.

I wasn't very happy about that, but I can't get mad at her or blame her...she's just being a toddler; that's what they do. What I CAN do is hang my keys in the hook in the coat closet and severely restrict her access.

Daya's into unpacking and stashing. And sharing. The other day I went to pick her up from the sitter, and F. was feedng her farina from the pan. Daya finished, and F. put the pan and the spoon down. Daya took the spoon and fed herself a few times, then she got some farina on the spoon and ran over to me to share.

Some things, though, I definitely do NOT want to share, like the half-eaten-already-chewed piece of cheese she picked up off the floor.

Oh, I'm going to see Stuart Wilde speak in Las Vegas in May. Am looking forward to that.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Elevator Talk

A group of us were going up in the elevator with our various lunches. One man had a sandwich and two yogurts.

He picked up the yogurt and regarded it carefully. Then he turned to his friend and said, "Is this women's yogurt?"

After a pause, he then said, "That's ok. I'm comfortable with myself."

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Great Divorce

I have just received word that my final divorce papers are in the mail.

What a relief, it's nice to be able to shut the door on that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Chickenshit

Very early this morning I popped out of my body again. Well, halfway. I sat up out of my body. I was totally lucid and thinking clearly, and knew exactly what was happening. I thought, "I'm going to have a walk around". And I thought nice good divine thoughts. Then, my mind went to all the scary creepy stuff I've encountered a little too often...you know when you think about something just because you don't want to think about it?

Which of course put an end to the whole thing. I'm so mad at myself.

It's such a cool feeling, the feeling of being separate from your body. It's a light, sparkly feeling. I wish I knew how to induce it at will.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Noisy Neighbors

So I have these really loud neighbors. There's no loud music, the late night noise has significantly improved after my second written complaint when the landlord threatened eviction. But the ceiling thunder. Is awful. I really almost lost it this weekend, I was on such a thin string. All day. Every day. I'm not so unreasonable as to not expect a little noise, but what they have going on upstairs is excessive and definitely not normal.

Their response to my speaking to them in person (twice) is less than encouraging. All they do is get hostile and defensive and complain to me about how loud their neighbors are, as if that's justification for their noise. They think I'm horrible and crazy, and I think they're loud and rude. Cats, if someone came to me and said I was doing something to bother them, I'd at least apologize.

I spoke to the super today, who is going to speak to the landlord. The truth is that I do not want them to be evicted. I don't think that's right. I told the super that. They have 2 little kids, and I'm sure they are nice people. Nice loud people. Ironically I've heard nary a sound from them this evening, which makes me feel bad about speaking to the super. Like I have to keep justifying it to myself. I actually have to keep reminding myself that this amazing quiet is not the norm. Remembering what it's usually like.

And I feel bad for complaining. I hate conflict. I'm not very good at it. But on the other hand I'm proud of myself for standing up for myself. The truth is that the ceiling thunder has really affected me lately. It sounds so stupid but it's true. My nerves have been on edge and I've been much more irritable. My wonderful friend Y. was kind enough to listen to me vent the other night, and she said I was being too nice to the elephants upstairs. She said the thunder would drive her batty too, and it would get ugly. Actually everyone I've mentioned it to has said pretty much the same thing.

It's not my intention to cause problems for anyone. I want peaceful and positive resolution with this. For everyone. But I just don't know what else to do. The thunder is NOT normal, despite what they say. I certainly have never encountered anything like it before in any apartment I've lived in, even when the nocturnal guy lived right above me. And despite my efforts to resolve this, the thunder remains an issue, although not late at night.

This leads me to question the boundaries of 1. learning to transcend irritation and simply not let the noise bother me (I tried, I really did, it didn't work) and I know this is actually the more powerful way, to be unaffected or 2. learn some other sort of lesson in this that I'm unclear of at the moment. I hope it gets clear really soon.

I hope this works out. I do have concern for the elephants, whether or not they would believe it. I don't want them to be upset. But I do tend to put that concern for others over healthy concern for myself, and it's a new feeling to put concern for myself and my needs on an equal level.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Awe of Gratitude

All of us have the light of divinity within. All of us can learn to access it and let it soak into the entirety of our lives. There is a question in a teaching I heard somewhere that asks what do the great spiritual masters have that the rest of us ordinary people don't? The answer isn't that it's something different- we all have that divine bliss and grace- the difference is that's ALL they have. So they actually have much less than we do. That is the incredible lightness of being.

To parapharse an Indigo Girls quote..."We own nothing, nothing is ours...but this poverty is our greatest gift..." To have nothing, to be nothing, is absolute freedom. That is the ultimate connection with god. In losing everything, you become everything.

I can't say I'm quite there yet in my own life.

It's so amazing to know what true gratitude is...being in a state of gratitude is the most powerful spiritual experience I can think of that quickly and directly plugs me in to the bliss of the divine. It is so powerful one can't help but cry, because it's just that awesome.

When I was a child I'd very often cry when I prayed, at the sheer bliss, joy, and awesomeness of god. I still do, sometimes. To be a part of that is the greatest gift imaginable. We are as much a living part of god as god is a living part of us. It is a warm, peaceful, yet electrifying feeling in the heart, that spreads through and around our entire being.

What more could anyone truly want?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Nose Dribbles

Yep someone's sick again.

And that same someone doesn't sleep well with a drippy nose, making very interesting nights for me. The cool thing, though, is that even when Daya is sick and feverish and stuffy, she's happy. she never stops singing and dancing. Daya might be a booger, but she's definitely not cranky.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Athena

I have been thinking quite a lot lately, but when I come to blog it seems I haven't got much to say. I've been meaning to write about Athena for a little while now though.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been spiritually oriented. I have always felt a divne presence, always been able to tap into the feeling of that energy. I've spent my entire adult life exploring myself in relation to god, and really focusing on that connection. That exploration sure has taken me to some crazy places.

I was raised Christian and held on to that pretty strongly until I left home. But children will do what is natural to them, and the goddess was always natural to me. I imagined her presence everyhere, and even drew traditional goddess symbols without ever having seen them before, without knowing what they were. I had a specific connection with Athena from a very young age. I can't say why it was Athena exactly, but I liked her a lot. I drew her constantly.

I still haven't totally figured out how specific deities play into the big picture of things, as my spirituality these days tends to be more formless. But humans are part of god and as such the things that humans give life to in our hearts are as real as anything physical. The amazing thing about the godforce is that there are no limts to its expression- and those expressions of specific deities are simply parts of a whole, as we humans are ndividual parts of a whole because everything is connected. So I think it's pretty cool to have formless and form simultaneously. They are mirrors for us to look into and see ourselves. Conscious slivers of divinity broken down into pieces that we can relate to on a more personal level. God will speak to us in whatever form we resonate with or whatever form we need, and if that form is Isis or Idunna or the Morrighan, well, so be it. God is huge- more vast and huge than the whole of humanity put together could ever possibly comprehend. I think it's extremely good-natured of god to break itself down into different identities for us.

So Athena. I cannot deny her presence. I do not pray to her, I do not even refer to her specifically most of the time. I go through long periods without even thinking of her. But she's there and has never gone away. She is a constant solid presence, very subtle in her movement.

She's got a pretty cool birth story. Her mother was Metis, a goddess of wisdom. Zeus swallowed Metis and Athena sprung fully grown and clothed from Zeus' head, giving him one hell of a headache. She is the divine feminine who will not be suppressed by masculine yang. Ancient Greek society certainly was not woman-centric, in fact the ancient Greek ladies had a bit of a rough time, yet Athens was named for her, and she is immortalized as an astoundingly powerful goddess.

I think sometimes specific deities come to us in a lifelong relationship because we need them, somehow. We need something they stand for. They help us to see that we hold the same qualities they do, and they are here to teach us to discover these treasures within ourselves and how to effectively use those gifts.

Some people may never experience this, and there's nothing lesser about that. The important thing is communication with the godforce, in whatever capacity we need. The method doesn't matter as much as the relationship. A relationship not bound by the constraints of religions, but one of freedom in which we can experence our own connection to the divine in a way that is as unique as each of us are. The word religion comes from the Latin religare, which means to bind. But knowing god is freedom, and god certainly cannot be bound the way our human minds can be.

I believe that the more we participate in this divine relationship and acknowledge it in every fiber of our existence, the more that relationship plays out and works wonders in our lives. The more we open ourselves to it, the more it is there for us.