“Still More Beautiful Later..”

hand painted silk robes, 1987
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I think about death.

It is the great gift of chronic illness; the impetus to peek behind the velvet curtains our culture has so elegantly hung;

Obscuring the taboo, the sacred, the untidy.

I truly am not in the least ‘done’

However I let death inform my life.

Befriending death allows me to better recognize Life when I see Her.

Steve Jobs’ sister delivered his eulogy.

He lived gorgeously.

Like a rocket.

And died beautifully.

From the tidbits we have been privy to,

You’d think his ‘life-theme’ was creativity..

Surely, that was there.

But there was something else.

The fuel he ran on was other that we knew.

And so..

Befriending death

I add gold to my days

By just keeping my eyes peeled

For Life.

In Steve Jobs’

Life and Death

I found treasure.

Habit


detail of painting, m/m
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I had dinner with a very good friend last night.

I listened to myself tell him:

“One of the big reasons I love being with you is the fact I relax my innate state of anxiety. You are sort of like valium for me.”

That definitely came out all wrong so I backpedaled:

“Not valium in the sense of numbing or providing a buffer to Life.. more like with you, my whole Self relaxes because I feel safe, seen and perfect as I am.”

Hearing this, he relaxed himself and I continued:

“You had the blessing of true and reliable support and nurturing from your folks. That gift gave you the time and space to develop authentically without questioning your worth. I harbor the anxiety I do because of habit and not because I need to perform the endless check system I had in place with a mother who rejected me whose love I needed so badly.

I do NOT need to work so hard to prove my worth.

But the vestiges of the original question remain and amp up my nervous system even when I intellectually know I’m free.

The HABIT of contraction remains.

And when I am around you, I remember another way to be.”

My friend looked at me with a slightly veiled eye

Because he doesn’t really like ‘this kind of talk.’

He humors me because I know he thinks about what I’ve said later when he is alone.

And I’m pretty sure he counts his blessings that he is a foreigner to my battlefield.

I’ve surrendered a long, long time ago

But still find dirt in my fingernails on occasion

From the muscular grip

I need to muster

On this slippery slope.

I honor mySelf

For the woman I have become

With all her sheen and flaw

Because She is here.

And this passage as a lover-of-life

Is an EARNED state of being

And truly not a given.

Sass and Class


“SOME WOMEN ACTING KINDOF SASSY”, 1994, 24″ x 36″, m/m
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This is one of my personal favorite pieces I created back in the mid-90’s.

I have always gravitated toward African art, culture, music and dance.

I think, in this case that the title: “SOME WOMEN ACTING KINDOF SASSY”

Just plain makes me happy.

I love people and their stories.

Everyone has one.

And they interest me tremendously.

You may think a lot of what I post here has nothing to do with either healing or MS

And that I have set you up

By titling this blog what I do.

For me, healing comes in many shapes and colors, thankfully.

I came across this website recently:

It is hosted by a fave fashion company: ANTHROPOLOGIE

Where I go to drool, on occasion.

The site I am drawing your attention to today

Is a virtual gallery of sorts

In which ‘common’ people are exposed for their very UNcommonness.

It makes me feel connected to what is innately good in us all

And helps me reframe my life and days

In search of a deeper ‘listening’

And watching

For our own extraordinariness

Inside what usually passes for ordinary.

Have a look.

And another.

Each offering is so satisfying in it’s own way.

Black Whole


Untitled, 1992, 14″ x 9″, ceramic
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Let this photo stand to prove I made some scary stuff in my art career!

Interestingly, people have often used the word ‘scary’ to describe my work.

I think it is because I allow very primal places to be visible.

Today’s return to posting marks the longest hiatus I’ve taken from this blog.

There is a reason and I’d prefer to stay mute.

But I won’t.

This virtual place you’ve come to

Is about healing

Which, as we know, can be messy.

I am smack in the center of the new realities of my life:

I know what I’ll receive from Social Security Disability

Which is minimal as I never worked for anyone else but myself most of my life.

I’ll receive Supplemental Security support as well.

My family has stepped up to make sure I am not on the street.

It embarrasses me to say that until all ‘this’ started happening in real time

I really DID NOT GET IT;

‘It’ meaning the severity of the situation.

It is one thing to intellectually understand that your life is about to change

And quite another to negotiate the waters themselves.

By ‘negotiating’ I mean recognizing my new means,

Re-prioritizing to food and shelter,

And sitting with what feels very empty, at first.

Absolutely no more making casual decisions regarding money.

I remember my mother on her incessant quest for treasure through all the thrift stores in town.

Her soul was hungry from neglect.

Finding a designer ‘something’ filled her.

For me: I have done the same

With buying books, coffee, clothes, eating out…

All in the name of filling in empty places

With unconscious acquisition

And vague accounting.

By reconciling my financial life

And taking a real look at where and how I have used money

I begin to sense the reversal of

My lifetime of leaking life energy.

I sense that my heights of creativity

Allowed a balance point for the see-saw;

The life-force generated by my art-making

Did a good job of veiling the reality of a vague and untended relationship to money.

So now- I get an opportunity to life differently.

I say that with deep weariness in my bones, yes,

Because I am so damn tired of life-lessons.

People are whispering behind my back: “I wish her life was easier.”

And I wonder about that as well…

I HAVE had what seems like a lion’s share of challenge.

And yet..

The largest part of me keeps dusting her Self off

And putting lipstick on to begin another day.

Truth be told,

I don’t know WHAT I would do at a spa!

All the ‘hard’ stuff I have negotiated in my life

Has allowed my soul to feel lighter somehow,

And quite shiny, in fact.

It is a mystery to me, this phenomenon;

Shouldn’t there be more ease and glide in a life?

I have never once asked myself the question: “WHY ME?”

Because my experience of challenge

Has ALWAYS opened previously closed doors of my Self.

I see my courage, resilience, nod to the Sacred, and an intimate relationship with that which is larger than us, after all.

My heart is more porous and not so guarded.

I know better what Life is because I have the raven of Death on my shoulder.

My tears are wetter and my smile very real.

You are vital to my existence when before, I was sure I could go it alone.

The ‘shadow’ is my very good friend.

She has always spoon-fed me when I didn’t know where to go to feed myself.

I am not afraid.

(For the moment).

I can do this.

Today.

With support.

And gratitude.

That, there is the leavening agent.