Friday, December 27, 2013

Under Construction--& jazzed about it

in honor of the upcoming new year
a photo booth version of me as Janus,
the god with 2 faces who can see
ahead & behind...

Weather permitted! All 4 of us kids & all the spouses & all the grandkids but 6 (3 married couples) were there. With Kathryn, that made 16 for sitdown dinner. A fine number. Not quite as many as usual (I’m not joking!) but a fine number.

A while back I had a vivid dream. I was in an elevator, going down, all dressed up with nice shoes. I intended to get out at the main lobby level & go out, but I got out in the basement instead. The area was under construction & dark & I was threading through, calling to see if someone could guide me. A worker showed me to an outside door, to an area that was also under construction with busy machines & workers moving things around. He told me which way to go, but said I should hurry because things were shifting & that way wouldn’t necessarily be open longer. I got through there & ended up on a road, not yet paved, but graded as smooth as glass. The edges were freshly & precisely carved, with no vegetation yet.

At that point I woke up & immediately found a meaning: I’d gone into my own ever & always under construction zone, rather than just staying on the surface where things look complete & finished. It made a big impact on me, especially when someone around me did something—or didn’t do something—that would have otherwise irritated me. They’re just under construction, I’d think. Even if I did succumb to irritation, I’d give myself a break: I’m just under construction. What a lovely thought to be able to apply to any situation.

I also realized that even things that look static—a pristine hotel lobby or a filthy ramshackle whatever—require constant construction. Everything is always changing, in every moment, & it takes a lot of effort to keep them the same. Try to keep another person from changing. To do so, you’d have to remain exactly the same. It isn’t possible, or desirable. Give it up. Enjoy the under construction. When you recognize it’s always going on, you can start directing the workers & machinery to move the job—it’ll never be done—in your desired directions.

This is a really good thought at the ending of one year, the beginning of another. Many of us take stock around new year: what we’ve done, what we haven’t, what desires remain & which have changed, what we’d like to accomplish. Knowing that it’s all under construction, always, can take some of the pressure off. It also gives me a sense of support, having seen all those workers & machines busy on my behalf. I’m not in this alone. I don’t even have to know how to accomplish everything I want. I don’t even have to want it all: some of it will just show up, a byproduct of subconscious desires & the fairies of the universe, many of them wearing hardhats, with grease under their fingernails.

That said, I’m pleased with my own elbow grease this year. I’ve set several great projects in motion & have engineered my working space (aka “bedroom”) to allow them to proceed smoothly. This involved what I’m calling a “room tsunami.”

I have my bed set at a diagonal, with a secret little triangular room behind the headboard, one side open as a narrow doorway. There were a couple folding bookshelves in it, with “art supplies” on them, plus “things that don’t know where else they want to be.” That in itself wouldn’t have been too bad, but I was also prone to chucking things onto the (limited) floor space there, which meant that none of it was accessible. Not a very effective use of a secret room.

One of the things I’ve been wanting to do—& not doing—was using the “art supplies” I’ve been picking up from gutters & parking lots & sidewalks for assemblage. This was cluttering up my drafting table, when I did start a project, which then prevented painting. So, I took everything out of the secret room, put the bookshelves together facing each other (they have open backs, so I can still put things on the resulting doubled surfaces) & put a piece of wood on top, so I now have an assemblage surface that I can stand at. I’ve already completed my first project from the secret studio. No, the Secret Studio. It deserves capital letters. Yay!

I sorted through everything I’d taken out & did a bunch of recycling & re-org. Yes, some of the things I’ve picked up or saved are true treasures, but some just require drinking another bottle of a particular kind of juice. If I need that container for a little assemble figured to peek out of, I know where to get it.

A room tsunami takes a while, & looks far worse for the duration, but I recommend it.

Blog alternative: Take a moment to celebrate being (ever & always) under construction.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pink leopard print slipper boots--with pompoms!

playing around with photo booth on my mac

Merry happy everything to one & all.

I've missed several holidays. Well, I didn't miss them, but I didn't tell you that

I had a very thankful Thanksgiving, complete with a traditional dinner of kipper snacks. I am loaded with appreciation for all the fabulosity in my life. One of the things I am grateful for is my feet. Such good standers. Such good walkers. High arch, high instep, 6ish or 7ish extra wide. (Lot like my daddy's feet.) Makes it hard to even be able to get my toes into most boots, since my feet are so volumetric, but I did find a pair of cute little ankle high black suede boots with a zipper on the inside & a decorative button (my housemate Satori said it looked like the love child of hematite & tiger's eye) on the outside. Plus KMart was having a BOGO (buy one get one for a dollar) so I got an airline secret weapon: little girls' extra large pink leopard print slipper boots with pink pompoms! (Keeps the dreaded icy draft that always comes under the seats off of my ankles & makes wandering around in airports extra comfy.)

Friday the 13th occurred the day before I left for Montana & of course I had fun with that.

the winter solstice, which I have decided must be vampires favorite northern hemisphere day of the year, has come & gone & now we are gaining little bits of light per day.

& now it's the day before Christmas Eve. We may get some weather, which could curtail some or all of my siblings' travels to Nye, but even if it was just me & my folks & assorted Christmas Eve neighbors & my second cousin's wife Kathryn (who introduced me to Heinlein, Tolkien & tea) who lives within walking distance of my folks (James (second cousin) won't get home till the day after Christmas) we'll have a lovely holiday. (Hope it's more, because it would be WAY too much food & the other lovely ones would be missed.)

I don't have internet at my folks' house, so I'm trying to just get a little bit done here at Carter's Camp.

The other thing I'd like to celebrate is a superb visit with my son Zach, who made a quick drive from Minnesota to Montana. (Left on a Thursday at noon & headed back late on a Monday night.) A magnificent creature, Zach. Tiffany couldn't come because she had a couple shifts left on her old job & then was starting a new job--which she got at record speed from the sometimes slow-moving Mother Mayo--on that Wednesday.

Anyway, I'm out of here for now! I've been doing some fun prep work on a story, which involves my new fave particle, neutrinos.

Love you all--even those of you I don't know from Adam, or Eve, or pick-your-flavor. There's enough love in my heart for everyone I do know & everyone I don't know, living or used-to-be-living or gonna-be-living-someday. That's a lot of everyones.

Blog alternative:
274. Say an appreciative "No, thanks" to a holiday dessert. (I tried that with ice cream when my folks & I & Pastor Paul & Bev had just finished playing a ridiculous 5-handed 7-card pinochle game, but then there was just a tiny bit left in the bottom of the bucket, so I got some anyway…)