I Like To Watch

gift of tears
porcelain sculpture, 5″ x 2″
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I had a secret place when I was a kid. It was a short bike ride from home and I’d go there for solace from an intolerable and toxic family experience.

It saved me.

It was a very non-human (except for me) experience; Nature with her greenness and protective forest-rimmed meadows populated by pops of color and a world of insects and birdsong.

It was my safe place.

Safe because no one knew.

No one could find me until I wanted to be found.

My body sank into the good dirt and my mind relaxed itself and dropped the hyper-vigilance.

As an adult I find car is my safe place and has been since I could drive.

I prefer to drive alone. I’ve covered many miles of road just looking..

Looking at stuff..life.

Driving has been/is a spiritual experience for me. Something ‘other’ takes charge as I go along. The logical me steps to the side and the ‘witness’ me takes care of operating the machine (I am a very good driver BTW) while I take Life in.

I have spent a good deal of time in parking lots.

More so now my stamina won’t carry me out into the wilds of New Mexico on road trips.

Nobody knows this about me; the parking lot thing. This is a confession, I guess.

I always wondered about myself but not enough to really figure it out.

It pleases me- parking myself w/ dog somewhere nice and airy and watching..

Watching Life with a capitol ‘L’.

I do this in cafes too.

Most times alone.

People wonder, I tell you.

What is the draw for me? Why the solace in these things?

Because of my dicey upbringing I don’t trust many humans. If I am a moving target there is a built in safety inherent in the very movement.

This is OLD BRAIN stuff I’m talking about here.. not logical or rational.

If you can’t find me you can’t hurt me. (This coming from a 58 yr. old…)

The old brain safety fostered by anonymity has always fueled my creativity and still does today.

I’m just a girl who loves the world and has a hard time feeling safe in it… thus living alone and loving it.

The thing is that the tendency to isolate doesn’t serve me as I really, at my natural and unaffected core am a true lover of people and need and adore to connect.

I am so interested in discovering this ‘safe place’ need and how it manifests for me.

I’m equally intrigued to do what it takes to assure a hefty dollop of connective living which is my best medicine.

Recognition

conversation
“CLOSE” 40 x 40″ m/m
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I’m exploring my new neighborhood which seems cast in endless concrete but there is a little patch of grass Livvy and I go to each early morning and evening for her to relieve herself. She hides in long grasses and gets the privacy any girl needs.

As I wheel around here I have become a pied piper of sorts for kids mesmerized by the wheelchair and teenagers keeping just enough distance to remain cool as they take in the scene of me with dog, roses on the wheelchair, their wee and uncool brothers negotiating me up close and personal and most of all everybody getting respectful and interested attention from an adult.

Coming home this evening there was a white low rider Ford truck whose driver lowered his window and waved to me.

I thought: I can always recognize someone who has dealt with disability in their own lives by the easy effort they exhibit to greet me with none of the usual overcompensatory fear and weirdness which naturally comes with unfamiliarity.

My heart goes wide at the brief but almost sacred recognition.

I suddenly feel beautiful, important, vital and worthy.

Such a seemingly little thing.

But clearly not.

Really not….

I’ve Learned..

felingbetter
“TREE OF LIFE” ceramic, steel 24 x 16 x 3″
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“People will forget what you’ve said

and people will forget what you’ve done

but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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-Dr. Maya Angelou
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Comin’ On Home

she walks
painting on wool flannel
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I find myself using this image I created from so long ago more than any other.

Why?

Well- it gives me a visceral experience of courage, the great unknown, the Big Mystery, hope and the sense of: “What the hell else is there to do, Cath, but move forward?”

I am uninterested in drama and the forthcoming laundry list of recent life ‘opportunities’ is an attempt to fill in THE VERY BIG BLANK I left you all with on this blog:

* move out of long-time beloved home and into rental until new apartment opens up (thinking 2 weeks).
* rental place is very inaccessible, dirty, depressing and dark.
* after over 1 month I must find new place to live as tenants returning to rental.
* move again to hotel w/ cooking facilities
* stay there another month
* FINALLY apartment is ready!!!!
* move in and love it.
* washer and bath flood apartment 3x. Construction company puts me up at Holiday Inn while my floors are jackhammered.
* stay 6 days
* FINALLY I am given the go-ahead to move back home.

And here I sit at my own computer writing to you from my lovely though not as yet fully unpacked, HOME.

Now- for an able-bodied person these challenges would be just that- challenges. For someone in my position with challenged abilities they border on deadly as stress wreaks havoc and fatigue curtails the necessary tasks of living (like eating and exercising and grooming). Yes- I was a dirty girl at times..

I lost weight. I lost functionality. I couldn’t access creativity.

I read. Watched cable TV. Made trips to the library to use a computer. Took Livvy for rolls around parking lots surrounding hotels. Went deep inside myself and spoke to very few friends. I isolated because I had nothing to say and no energy or inclination to be acceptable company.

I got depressed.

Then I got ok again.

And so forth and so on…

I waited in stasis mode for a respite and tried not to beat myself up for all the things I wasn’t/couldn’t/didn’t want to do.

What was the lesson in all of it?

What was I to learn?

This life of mine could be titled: “THE GREAT UNDOING”

Who I was, ISN’T here anymore.

Who I am is a work in progress; messy, raw, real, separate, connected, grateful, angry, tired, curious, lively, fun and not.

Honestly… I’m getting more honest… I am disappointed in myself and others less often. I can usually find the gold given enough time.
What interests me most right now is setting up my life to return into life WITH that very gold; by writing, speaking, connecting.

Moving forward..