Monday, March 28, 2011

Finished Project

I meant to bring my new pencil box to work today, but I walked out of the house without it. I think it's finished, as I added the last necessary coats of Mod Podge yesterday. Still, since it's at home, I might add a couple more coats to the inside tonight. I don't think I can have too much coverage on the paper liner.

I've also got the beginnings of two other projects going. One is something I've meant to do for three years with all the bits of paper I brought back from New Orleans. The other is something involving coconut shells and fishing line and song lyrics that will merge into a mobile of some sort, though exactly how that's going to work is still evolving.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Creation is the Ultimate Act of Faith

One of my favorite lines from Rent is, "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation!"

It doesn't matter much what you're making. What matters is the act of creation.

Make love. Make dinner. Make music.

Make someone happy.

Make a joke.

Make someone's day.

Make a dream come true.

Make a piece of jewelry. Make a date. Make time.

Make space.


Make it happen.

Whatever "it" is, whatever you're dreaming, it's up to you to bring it in to being. If we are truly all divine, then it is within the act of making that our divinity becomes visible to others.

What kind of god are you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Feeling Worn-Out

I don't actually feel much like posting, but I feel like I Ought To post anyway, in great part because I don't feel like writing anything. I've been in a funk for a couple days now, and nothing I've done has really shaken it. It's hasn't been affecting my practical life; I've been keeping busy cleaning the house, working in the garden, making crafts, and doing stuff for school, but I'm still feeling empty. There's a great deal of satisfaction, but very little joy in what I'm doing. It's all been very matter-of-fact. I feel drained. I have all these ideas, but I'm making them happen without any energy behind them. Everything seems a little flat.

I don't know if there's a cure for worn-out-ness, except to live through it and wait for it to go away. This is the time when I need to be around people, even though I'm not very good company. More specifically, I think I need people to be around me. I am tired. I want someone to hold me, and pet my hair, tell me they love me, and that it will pass and I will feel better. I want to retreat into my books and not come out for a while. I want something so sad, or so wonderful, or so beautiful to happen that it will make me cry, and then I can go back to living, feeling a little less mucky, a little more clean. I want to sleep until I wake up feeling refreshed, until the sunlight speaks to me of possibility, and hope, and fulfillment of dreams. I want quiet beauty to come to me; I don't want to have to go chasing after it. I am not feeling fierce or fiery right now. Not at all.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


My garden is finally starting to green again. The lilac bush has buds. The peony, which I thought we'd lost this winter, has a bud. The lilies and the spiderwort are starting to green up, and the leaves of the lavender plants are getting soft and fuzzy. I still need to take a look at the azalea, the asters, and the hydrangeas. I know that most of my solar LEDs didn't make it, which makes me sad, because I loved seeing them change colors in the garden. Oh yes, and I need to clean the back yard. There's been a whole winter's worth of dog outside. I know it's not going to stay this warm, but it's lovely for now, and I intend to celebrate!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday is Journal Day

Today's project in the Crafter's Devotional is to personalize a journal. I used to be the blank-book queen. I've journaled since I was a kid (I think I got my first journal in 1st grade), and I've always had a love of empty notebooks. The potential and the possibilities that live between the pages inspire me. I still love blank books, but I find that I use them less and less. I type faster than I write, and I can think and revise and rephrase without having to muss my pages with crossings-out, and I'm enough of a perfectionist that there's always something a little sad about the first time I make a mistake in a blank book. Even white-out doesn't really solve the problem.

There is something rewarding about having my thoughts and idea out in the world for other people to read. As my friends and I have scattered ourselves physically, the hopes and dreams, fears and worries, successes and struggles we might have shared over pre-class smoothies, or sitting in chairs in Douglas Lounge, or just chatting on the phone, become the stuff of livejournal, facebook, blogger, and flickr. Since I do most of my journaling on-line now, my version of personalizing is a little more flexible, and a little less permanent. It's not hard to change fonts and layouts, colors and background images. Maybe today would be a good day to review my profiles and do some updating and rewriting as necessary.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Meditation Space - Overview

New Meditation Space - Overview

I finally finished arranging my meditation space / altar, and I'm very pleased, so I figured I'd show it off!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reposting the Awesomeness

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

- Rosemarie Urquico

Creative DNA

I'm working my way through a new book, The Crafter's Devotional. It's not exactly a workbook, and it's not a how-to book either. It's a set of 52-weeks worth of ideas and activities to help spark and nurture creativity. Today's entry asked an interesting question, along the lines of: If you had to only make one kind of art for the rest of your life, what would it be? What medium expresses your soul?

I'm not sure I have an answer. I am reading a book about assemblage right now, so that seems very appealing off the top of my head. It uses a lot of the same techniques and materials as a lot of other crafts I like. I can include beading, decoupage, altered books and scrap-booking, and all sorts of other things. The trouble is, I don't think I could ever actually limit myself to one medium. I enjoy dabbling in things, and although sometimes I do wish that I had more skill in one area or another, I'm generally thankful that I don't actually have to choose. Jack of all trades, master of none, is a very comfortable place for me to be most of the time.

The question did bring up another idea though. I have this old day-dream of some day making a living (or a retirement) running a small shop where my friends and I can sell our arts and crafts. I have so many talented friends: jewelers, photographers, a leatherworker, musicians, fine artists, seamstresses, assemblage-makers... the list just goes on. I wish there were a place I could gather us together to share our work and our worries, our joy, our struggles, and our successes. It would be wonderful if we could actually sell some stuff, but the real point is to have a community of people who encourage us to make what we want to make, and to have a place to share those items with the world. I've always imagined it being a little shop in a New England-ish setting, with lots of sunlight pouring through the windows and tons of foot traffic wandering past and drifting in because something in the window catches their eye. I don't know what we'd call it. I already have my own "brand", and most of my crafty friends do too, so we'd need a name for the shop that was its own thing. In the spirit of creative dreaming, I'm taking suggestions!

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Altar, New Beginnings, New Action, New Power

I set up another new altar today, making a total of three in the house. Now we (Is it we? I don't know. I'm wondering about that.), or at least I, have one one each floor. My goal is, eventually, to have one small sacred space in every room of the house. They will each have their function, a purpose that goes along with the room they are in. The one in the office is dedicated to joyful work, stability, and money. The one in the basement is all about foundations and grounding. And the one I just set up in the bedroom is actually more of a meditation space with a very clean, simple feeling to it. I have my staff and my sword standing there, and a white pillar candle on a black holder, two empty silver-colored dishes which will eventually hold salt and water, and my new deck of Medicine Cards and the book that goes with them. That's all. It's very simple, and I like it that way. The wall above the altar is probably going to get decorated very elaborately, but I don't want to rush in to hanging things. I want to take my time and make some careful decisions about what really should go up there. I've been wanting an altar upstairs for the longest time; I'm glad I finally got around to making this one work.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What About Everything?

I'm going to be thirty this year. I'm not entirely happy about this fact, but I can't do anything to change it, so I suppose I ought to get used to it. It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with being thirty. Or twenty. Or forty. Or any other age, really. It's just that thirty feels like the end of a lot of things in a way that no other age has. I keep thinking about the things that I *haven't* done. There are a million things I have done. I'm married. I have a house. And a dog. And three cats. I love my job. I have a car that runs, and some really nice guitars. I've got enough money in the bank to pay my bills.

And I'll be damned if I don't keep looking around and thinking, "Ok, so what now? 'Cause really, this can't be *it*. Is this it? Is this all there is?"

What about all the things I haven't done? What about all the people I haven't been? What about the opportunities I missed? The dreams I neglected? The desires I pushed to the side? What about the doors that are closing that I can't get to open again? What about the roads I can't walk down any more?

I am really, really, really sooooooooooo not ok with this. I don't like anything that limits my options. And I don't like being told no. And thirty is feeling a lot like the universe holding up a big sign that says, "NO," in bold, black letters.

And so, a couple of songs that express the feelings a whole lot better than I can.

What About Everything by Carbon Leaf

Holiday quiet on these streets, except for some stubborn leaves
That didn't fall with the fall, and now they clatter in vain
Holiday sky, midnight clear
Wind is high, hard to steer
Old muffler rumbles like an old fighter plane
In search of some rest, in search of a break
From a life of tests where something's always at stake
Where something's always so far
What about my broken car?
What about my life so far?
What about my dream?
What about.....

What about everything?
What about aeroplanes?
And what about ships that drank the sea?
What about...
What about the moon and stars?
What about soldier battle scars
And all the anger that they eat?
I am not in need

Get away and come with me
Come away with me and we'll see
If I was right on that night, that a future was made
Before time takes each year, like a knife cuts it clear
It's school, then work and then life that just sharpens the blade
I think about time for fun
I think about time for play
Then I think about being done, with no resume
With no one left to blame
What about fortune and fame?
What about your love to obtain?
What about the ring?
What about....

What about everything?
What about aeroplanes?
And what about ships that drank the sea?
What about...
What about the moon and stars?
What about soldier battle scars
And all the anger that they eat?
I am not in need

Holiday quiet on these streets, except for some reason me
The hometown harbor lights bright, the sailboats clatter in vain
Holiday sky, midnight clear
Wind is high on this pier
I find it hard to complain when compared with what about...

What about everything?
What about aeroplanes?
And what about ships that drank the sea?
What about...
What about the moon and stars?
What about soldier battle scars
And all the anger that they eat?
What about...
What about aliens? What about you and me and...
What about gold beneath the sea?
What about...
What about when buildings fall?
What about that midnight phone call...
The one that wakes you from your peace?
Well, I am not, I am not, I am not in need

Birthday by The Cruxshadows

Roll out of bed, look in the mirror
And wonder who you are
Another year has come and gone
Today is your birthday
But it might be the last day of your life
What will you do if tomorrow it's all gone?
You won't be young forever
There's only a fraction to the sum
You won't be young forever
Nor will anyone
Look at your life, who do you want to be before you die?
Look at your life, what do you want to do?
Look at your life, who do you want to be before you die?
Look at your life, you haven't got forever
And tell me what really matters
Is it the money and the fame?
Or how many people might eventually know your name?
But maybe you touch one life
And the world becomes a better place to be
Maybe you give their dreams another day
Another chance to be free
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Look at your life, who do you want to be before you die?
Look at your, what do you want to do?
Look at your life, who do you want to be before you die?
Look at your life, it all comes back to you.