I figured, since so many of you have left lovely letters in my inbox, that I’d update you on where I’m at. :)
Since last we typed, I caught a virus which lead to an ‘exacerbation’ – basically, my asthma got uncontrollably worse due to the inflammation caused by the virus that had moved into my respiratory system. I’ve been on prednisone and a couple of new puffers in order to reduce the inflammation, and I am happy to report that I am *finally* seeing some improvement. I can breathe much better than I could last week, and though I am still coughing, it isn’t quite as all encompassing an experience as it has been. I can make it from the couch to the kitchen without gripping furniture for support (the shortness of breath has been off the hook) which is nice, and I actually managed to eat solid food yesterday.
Yesterday was the first ‘close to human’ I’ve felt since the virus hit on the 5th of September, and I pulled out a limited palette of things to play with in order to remind myself that I *could still paint*. Believe me, after ten days of doing nothing but moving from bed to couch to bed again, one can forget what one is made of, and that was definitely my experience.
I came into the studio and put on a movie on the lap top (Eat, Pray, Love), pulled out a journal a friend made me years ago, and made a solemn vow to myself that I would not judge the outcome. I would just *play* for the sake of playing. I reached for whatever delighted me (in this case, fluorescent pink paint, turquois pthalo, black pen, pink and blue Tombow markers, gold paint, a stencil, a couple of Faber Castell Pitt Pens, and a white paint marker) and I just made stuff for the sake of making stuff.
It was like getting reacquainted with my inner artist, who had been hiding in a blanket fort under a pile of Vicks scented Kleenex.
Oh, hello. Are you still in there? Think you might want to come out and play?
Painting while under the influence of NyQuil is really interesting. There’s something about this stuff that depersonalizes me – meaning, I don’t feel like myself at all while I’m on it. I feel like I’m outside of myself watching myself. It is very difficult to get in touch with what’s happening on the inside of the equation. Numb is a good descriptor, along with foggy, and pretty much ‘out of it’. Still, the flinging of paint without caring about outcomes let me reach through that fog so that I could shake hands with myself once more after ten or so days of being relatively unknown to myself. It was a bit like an archeological dig. Oh, yes. There I am, under the rubble of exhaustion and an overwhelming list of blown deadlines. There I am, still complicated as ever, still grappling as usual, still half bewildered and half determined, still somehow *here*.
I know that in the big scheme of things this ten day ‘down and out’ experience of mine is no big deal. I was able to adjust things, tweak things, beg off, switch out. I survived. My business survived. But it is *scary* when something like this happens and you have absolutely no control over it. There are no sick days to call in. There’s no one to pick up the slack. It’s just you and this alarming new normal wherein two hours of upright are too many, and you can forget about painting or writing anything coherent. You’re lucky if you can make tea.
It’s made me think. Made me wonder how I can create a life in which there is time for the inevitable frailties of the body. Made me miss being partnered up so that when the chips are down, there’s someone there to change the sheets and make the soup. Made me question the way I schedule myself down to the very last second of every single month, week, day, hour.
I’m still thinking.
Meanwhile, here I am, making the most of the time I have with you this morning by coming in here to share that I am alive and mending. I also wanted to share the journaling I did yesterday in my bid for freedom from the artless, NyQuil haze. Click through them to see them full size. They’re unusual for me. A bit on the psychedelic side, colour wise. Looser than my usual fare. Less concerned with outcomes. I like them a lot, and I especially like the honesty in the sentiment I included on gold paper. “I’m willing to find out…”
CLICK THROUGH TO SEE THEM FULL SIZED
In the meantime, there is this amazing Creativity and Wellbeing Summit being hosted by Tamara Laporte of Willowing.Org, and I am going to be a part of it! I hope you’ll register. Participants get free access and all sorts of lovely bonuses, so I hope to see you there.
I will reply with your total and a link to my PayPal.Me page so you can make your payment.
Once your payment is complete, I will send you the link to access your class. If you are already a member in my teaching network, please say so, and indicate the email address you’re registered with, and I will just add you to the class instead.
Meanwhile, go ahead and join me in BODKIN Cafe, where all past and present students in my network play and commune and share.
THIS SALE ENDS WEDNESDAY NIGHT – NO EXCEPTIONS! So, get it while it’s hot. <3
NOTE: This post is part curated from my archives (the Bed Head Diaries), and part present day.
The world is hugely heavy right now, and my life is hugely heavy.
A purse dump of happenings:
I am in the middle of a unexpected move, which is a positive change, (I have a view that isn’t my neighbours doing the naked dash and a dishwasher and a gorgeous walk in shower, and my rent went up but only by about $50 a week), but it’s a change that came at crunch time for several projects I’m working on. This means I am a frazzled mess. Like, seriously frazzled. Grateful for my friends who show up big time and put up with the ‘I’m going to stick a fork in your face’ look that takes over my usually pleasant features while I’m a frazzled mess. And,
I had to put my lovely dog, Sasha, down at the end of May, which broke my heart and broke the dam that held back some long unresolved grief. And,
I am supposed to be going on vacation on from the 13th of June to the 17th of June, and this move, and all the work that is due has to be completed before I leave. And,
Anthony Bourdain died. I can’t even talk about it without crying. You have no idea what he means to me, what role he’s played in my spiritual lineage. I am devastated. And this triggered some more long unresolved grief. And,
My relationship with my ex has shifted from every Friday on my couch to I only ever see him when necessary. We are distant with one another. We are civil, but not warm. We are, finally, exes, and it feels fucking awful and I do not want this even though it’s what’s good for both of us at this time. And,
I have a huge tax bill about to come due, and it is very huge. Did I mention huge? It’s huge. And,
Other stuff I can’t talk about because discretion and not airing other people’s bad behaviour out on my laundry line. And,
The world. This whole fucking world. This scary, enormous fucking heavy fucking world.
This is me today.
I am trying for soft. I am trying for willing to be open to the possibility that everything is falling apart so better things can come together. I am trying for gentle, with myself, with you…
I am luggage under my eyes. I am so stressed, I can *literally* barely focus my eyes, which will *not stop twitching*. I am procrastitweeting and procrastiworking and procrastidoodling and procrastipanicking.
I am spent, but still pushing. I am my shadow written all over my face. I am ‘woe’ and ‘why me’ and #firstworldproblems and whine and wine.
I am also premenstrual, and I have been eating utter crap, and I am retaining water, and my eyes keep leaking without notice.
I am inconsolable, and walking around holding my guts in, and wondering what the point is. I am worst case scenarios. I am unable to recognize my own face in the mirror (who is this haggard looking person?) I am worn. the fuck. out. I am ready for a change, and yet terrified of what change will bring.
I am terrified. I am lonely. I am struggling. I am striving, but definitely not, at this particular moment in time, thriving.
Maybe you are some of the above, too, or all of the above or some combination of some of the above + stuff I can’t even imagine. Or maybe you’re just fine. (Could you send me some of that? With some dark chocolate and a Valium? Thank you.)
Wherever you’re at, I offer you this:
We’re going to be okay. I believe it even when I don’t believe it. I believe it because the story isn’t over yet. There is still story left in the story. We’re just in a really shitty part of the book. Let’s keep reading, okay? Take my hand. Hold on tight. Flip the page.
We’re going to be okay.
This version of the Bed Head Diaries, originally filmed in 2016, felt appropriate to share right now. In it, I talk about ‘your piece of the work’ (and mine) and explore the idea of ‘going dark’ as a form of self-care. I also pull tarot for my peeps this week, and we talk about the 8 of cups.
To sum up:
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” – The Talmud
Hold my hand. We’ve got this. We’re going to be okay.
Good morning, Wildlings! I completely spaced yesterday and forgot to tell you who won. the giveaway! I had the winner picked out out and everything, but whoops! I got to painting, and you know how that is, right?
Anyway! About two weeks ago, I asked all y’all to share my link on social media in order to get entered into a drawing for a free seat in Ever After, and 142 entries came flying in. This is the one picked by random number generation:
YAY! Crystal, I am writing to you right after I hit post so I can forward on your email address to the Willowing Team! Congratulations!
This is an affiliate link. When you purchase the class through me, I get paid for teaching in it. Thank you!
Speaking of Ever After, REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Please use coupon code MAGIC2018 to get 20% off (unless you are an alumni student, and then you should check the EA group/your email for a different coupon code). Class starts July 1st, and I am just one among a whole treasure trove of teachers who will be walking you through the exploration of a particular faery tale. If you opt in to the style development portion of the class, you will also have an opportunity to learn how to make the most of mixed media art classes in order to develop your own artistic voice! This class is truly life changing, and I can’t wait to see you in there doing your thing!
As a teacher on the course, I can give away ONE SPOT for freebies! But first, let me tell you a bit more about Ever After in case you haven’t heard about it yet!
“Ever After” is a mixed media art & style development course with a fairytale theme hosted by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. Tam is joined by 14 popular mixed media art teachers who will all share beautiful fairy-tale & myth inspired lessons with you AND they will also divulge all their hints and tips on how they developed their own style and how YOU TOO can find your own unique voice as an artist! :) Yay!
My chosen fairy tale is The Matchstick Girl. My lesson will explore our creative fires, and how to keep them burning, I’ve not fully developed my class idea yet, but you guys know me! I’ll come up with something! Here are the paintings I made for Ever After 2016 and Ever After 2017:
The Ugly Duckling
Baba Yaga and Vasalisa
Registration opens on May 15th 2018 and the class begins on July 1st 2018.
Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop! :) I can give away 1 space on this year’s Ever After to1 lucky winner, yay! :) And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can up your chances of winning a space by entering all the other give-aways also! :)
HOW TO ENTER
1. Share this give-away on Facebook or twitter (or other social media)
2. Come back here and say “I DID IT!”
3. If you don’t have social media, no problem! Just comment below why you’d like to win a spot!
I will announce the winner on Monday, May 14th!
Here is the list of the other amazing teachers who will be teaching on Ever After this year – they too will be giving away a spot on Ever After so go check them out and enter their give-aways!! SO many chances to win! YEE HAW!!