Floating a Little

 

 

• Post Title and Inspiration:

Mary Oliver — Still, what I want in my life is to be willing to be dazzled–To cast aside the weight of facts–And maybe even to float a little above this difficult world.

Quiet

Quiet.

Emmett is done breakfasting for the moment, his fresh bowl of moist food sampled, ready for him when he returns, now that he is sure of it.

The furnace clicks off after smoothing out the early morning chill.

The shades are up, inviting the gray light that creeps color into the ribbons on my door, the pens in my cup.

Birds warble far away, filtered by thin walls, thin glass.

The day opens.  I will not rush to fill it.  I will allow the quiet.  And breathe.

Pouring Icky a Cup of Tea

My therapist and I have embarked on a different form of therapy.  It’s a combination of hypnosis and guided imagery to help me desensitize to traumatic memories.  She warned me that I might leave our sessions feeling worse for a while.   She was right.

Still, I’m optimistic and, as always, game to try something new that might up the quality of my life.  Feeling icky is nothing new.  Icky and I are old friends.  I know how to shake its hand and pour it a cup of tea.  The possibility of feeling better is an incredible motivator, even if I can’t feel the motivation right this minute.  All I can do right now is put the kettle on and go back to see my therapist next week.

I’m still on the Adventure.

The Pointy End

Most days, the amphetamine I take for Binge Eating Disorder lifts the depression end of my Bipolar stick.  It will feel like a Lost Day when I wake up in the morning, but then the Vyvanse kicks in and functionality returns.

Other days, like today, the drug doesn’t do a thing.

Weird that.  But drugs and their supposed effects are weird and ephemeral.  And there’s no accounting for the weirdness of brain chemistry.  Or the weather.  Or Mercury’s pull on the tides.

All I can do is shift my stick into low gear and jettison any plans I might have made.  Self-care becomes the priority.

The most important thing is to avoid beating myself with the Stick, and to keep the pointy end aimed elsewhere.  Let that be a warning.

The Weekly Penny Positive

I think I got this deck of cards from RubyDogArt on Etsy (though my memory on this is Fruit Loopy).  The art on the face cards was so beautiful, I just added borders and quotes to match.  They came together faster, though that meant I could spend more time exploring borders.

Happy Valentines Day

(I bought myself a dozen white roses, so I’m feeling quite fantasy-loved.)

And Now For Something Completely Different…

(Gosh, Monty Python fits Everywhere)

Last month a magazine put out by our local paper sent a reporter and photographer to my house to interview me about my art.  This was wildly unexpected, but turned out to be a fun day.  Anytime I can talk about my art and what it means to me is a Good Day.

The article came out in Green Country Living on Sunday (“Green Country” is what this part of Oklahoma is called).  At yoga class on Monday, lots of the ladies beamed at me and said they’d enjoyed the piece.  I hadn’t seen it, but my yoga teacher brought her copy for me (It came out as a Sunday supplement).

The story was pretty lame, considering all the things the writer and I talked about, but the photography was lovely.  I’m glad to have these professionally staged shots of my work.  That makes the unfortunate prose worth it.

If you really want to read the article (starting on page 60), you can do that here, but I’d give it a pass.

 

February is a Verb

My brain Februaried this morning.  It does that sometimes.  It woke up anxious and running from the nightmare that chased it into the morning.  Gray, frigid, murky, my perception Februaries only in black and white, good/bad, can/can’t.

I Februaried my therapy appointment today, siting weather (both internal and external) as my reason for cancelling.  Guilt, failure, rotten self-esteem February around me like Pig Pen’s dust cloud.

There are at last count eleven different art projects sitting around the house half dressed.  Flitting from one to another to find something that might unFebrury my mind makes me February even more.  It’s a Möbius strip.  I am Schrödinger’s Cat.

I vowed to find something else to natter at me on the TV, but I Februaried “Bones” again.  For the third time in a row.  I can’t summon the energy or interest to search for anything else, so I recite the dialogue along with the characters. I try to find something new to notice, but I February instead.

My youngest grand-nephew plays basketball on Saturdays.  He’s eight and fun to watch, but I’ve Februaried his games so far.  Everything (note the black or white thinking) is too hard.  I even February the effort it takes to turn a noun into a verb.  My mushy brain doesn’t want to work that hard.

And on top of it all, today is my blog’s ninth birthday.

Like most bloggers, I go through bouts of wondering if it’s time to call it quits.  But as long as I continue to February and unFebruary, A Mind Divided remains important to my sanity.  And for a bit of birthday fun, I Februaried some notable events from 2011:

  • Twilight: Breaking Dawn was the Number 3 Top Grossing movie of the year.
  • My dad died.
  • The Beaver, Mel Gibson’s first movie after his psycho-meltdown, was released.
  • We killed Osama Bin Laden.
  • Flowers of War was also released, a Christian Bale movie no one saw.
  • Heaven is for Real was the Number One bestseller in Non-Fiction.
  • The Big tsunami devastated Japan.

To try to UnFebruary this list, I should add:

  • Captain America: The First Avenger was released.
  • My grand-nephew, Zane, was born.
  • Melissa McCarthy won an Emmy for Mike and Molly.
  • C’Mon by the Minnesota group Low was voted the Best Indi album of the year.
  • The Congresswoman who got shot in the head, Gabrielle Giffords, walked back into Congress.
  • Rolling Stone voted Adele’s 21 as the Number One album of the year.
  • A 71-year-old woman foiled jewel thieves with her handbag in Northhampton, England.

Yeah, Gran definitely Februaried those idiots.

Once Upon a Time

Over the flu and in the Grey, which often happens after I’m physically ill.  It’s a melancholy, weepy place where regret and self-pity slink from shadow to shadow.  I have to be vigilant here, which pisses me off, so there’s a lot of bouncing around in the mist.

The thoughts generated by my gray matter here are particularly sneaky.  The Almost True and Slightly Off entice me into following them down paths that grow darker bit by bit.  Like a Grimms’ Fairy Tale, I end up lost in the woods.

So I pull out my Bag of Tricks and rummage through until I find a compass.  Or a sandwich.

The first Bad Day, nothing in my bag helped.  Nothing pointed me in the right direction or comforted me.  I panicked a little bit.

Then, like a Fairy Godmother, a memory slipped through the fog.  I remembered making a set of cards a few years back that helped me through a similar Forest, so I pulled Larry and Bernice out of my bag and we started leaving bread crumbs.

I’ve only traveled with Bernice so far, but I’ll get Larry to join in today.

I also stumbled across an Emotional Health Assistant Ap called Youper.  It’s a sort of daily check-in with an AI therapist to capture mood and thoughts with very nice guided meditations and exercises on gratitude.  Of course, it’s not really an artificial intelligence, just an algorithm that responds generically, but if I squint just right, I can pretend it has a beard and pointy hat.

Companions make a dangerous journey more tolerable—and it is dangerous here in the Grey. While the light is dim, it’s enough to keep going. And I’ve got plenty of sandwiches for all of us.

 

The Weekly Penny Positive

Since I’ve been housebound the last couple of weeks with a weird cold/flu combo, I’ve had to follow this axiom—looking forward to my Art Journal Round Robin Group starting up again next month, letting the banter and good writing of all 12 seasons of “Bones” counteract the bathroom-bound moments, the simple joy of a Jello cup, Emmett’s cat-psychic move to sleeping on my bed instead of under his blanket, falling asleep on my bed while arting.

Yesterday I was able to keep down (in?) Minute Rice cooked in chicken broth, so today I’ll chance foraging for Fresca and Kleenex.  The sun hides behind clouds this morning, but I’ll bring my Light with me.

 

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