Saturday, March 26, 2011

On the Beach

On the Beach:  I've been in a low-down funk.  Big-time Blues.  Winter...The Economy & my lack of employment, friends in peril...the Earthquake, Tsunami & Nuclear Melt-down in Japan...Some of my old Baggage....

The Earthquake and Tsunami were bad enough.  My heart has been aching for the souls who were swept away that day and for the lives that have been set in chaos.  The Meltdown and Radiation have been bringing up fears in me that have been sleeping or buried for a long time.

When I was a kid in school we'd have Air Raid Drills where we had to crouch under our desks and wait for the All Clear.  Adults in my life would talk about the chaos of nuclear/atomic disaster.  By the time I was in 6th grade, I was a skeptic --
One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions..  I called the Fire Drills Crouch -Under- Your- Desk- and- Kiss- Your- Ass- Goodbye.  I was a prolific reader and had, by then, read a book by an English author named Nevil Shute called On the Beach.  The book was later made into a movie.  I found the book horrifying, yet inspirational.  What I've been remembering this past week is that the characters in the book all knew that it was only going to be a matter of time before the cloud of radiation killed them and the story was about what they did with the time they had, before they all met on a beach in Australia and joined together to die.

I was terrified as a kid by the thought of nuclear devastation.  I love this Earth, this World and want to treat it well and to see it treated well.  But whatever power had established the reality of this fear was bigger than I so I drew comfort in deciding what I would do until the time I went to join the  others On the Beach.  

I'd forgotten about this until this past week; the reminder gave me comfort and after a few dark nights of the soul, I'm back on my beach....

As far as Art and Painting go, this has been a week that has produced more thought than action.

A week ago, I entered 2 paintings in a show at my art association.  On one painting, the larger one, I set the sale price as the same amount as my Rent.  On the other, I established the sale price according to what I'll need for Utilities and Groceries.  One of the people in Receiving somewhat scoffed at my pricing, raised her eyebrows, her upturned her lips held a faint sneer.  I could only imagine the criticism going on in her mind....  I explained that I had nothing to lose and might as well ask for what I want and need.  She shook her head as if in disbelief that I could do something so ridiculous.  The look on her face, to me, was judgemental and critical -- negative.  I tried to remember her face and hoped that the next time we met she'd be laughing out the other side & that I'd be laughing and whoo-hooing on my way to the bank. 

This past Monday, I practiced my calligraphy for a few hours.  My 'hand' (like a trumpeter or clarinetist's 'lip') is getting stronger.  Perhaps someday soon I'll be ready to tackle the job of addressing a big pile of wedding invitations.

Painting; I slapped paint on paper, watched it dry.  I started loose and wet and ended up working in lots of color, then watched it dry again.  I scratched paint out, I distressed the paper with sharp objects, I splattered, I used a variety of brushes.  I'm not showing any because they look like tear-covered vomit.  The work I did felt like weeping, like vomiting and after a day of illness, I felt purged and weak.  I'm feeling much better, now.  

Albert, my cat, slept on the keyboard of my computer and eventually, due to a combination of his heat and the computer heat, fried the hard drive on the computer while he warmed his big butt.  This happened when the rest of my life was turning to shit, the day my car was towed to the garage for repairs, the day I was told I didn't have enough students to hold a class, and now, no computer-- all factored-in to my lowering sense of desolation,  bitterness and fear.  But, he's a cat and I knew I should have checked to make sure that the lid to the computer was completely down -- as I've been doing for the past year -- before I left for the day.  I have no excuse or reason except distraction.  (Note to self....)

Or maybe the Universe is telling me something....

I spent the next day in bed and later on, walked it off and worked it out for an hour at the gym.


In the moment, Now, I'm grateful for Enough, to be here, to be me.  I'm grateful that I bought the little Netbook last year that I'm now using.  Holding a brand new computer in Reserve turned out to be an enormous Gift and I bow my head in gratitude.   My mechanic gave me a break on the repair to my car; didn't charge for the tow, got a discount on the new starter from the supplier & passed the savings onto me.  My car shouldn't have needed a new starter as the one that died was only 2 1/2 years old.   I'm grateful to my previous mechanic for sending me to this guy and for the trust I have in both.  There's nothing I can do about not having the interest in and commitment to a class to teach at the moment or the income I won't be receiving.  Another class is scheduled for April and in the mean-time, maybe I'll sell a painting....

"When the Teacher is ready, the Students will Appear."

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