In Which Time Passes

Eesh… it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. Over a month. Yet again. I want to be pouring myself out more creatively, and I have been as best I can, but there is just so little time. We’ve also made the decision to keep my son home for at least the remainder of 2020, so I will have remote schooling on top of caring for my daughter, who’s preschool is also postponed until January (maybe). This Covid-19 social distancing has me busier than ever.

Yet I find myself completely content and happy this week, finally. I have been really enjoying the time with the kids. I started focusing on my health, and have been making some progress in controlling inflammation and getting my energy levels back, which I may talk about at a later date. I’ve embarked on a year long spiritual and hopefully magical journey of inner work and met a wide network of very sweet people online in the process, all also working on themselves. I’ve taken it upon myself to do one active activism something a week, which in these crazy times of ours is so important. I’ve continued my education into being an ally. And I continue to create whenever possible and am building into my creative work that actually makes me money. Also, we recently adopted a bunny, and that has been a fun addition but extra time in caring and cleaning out cages. So, I don’t know.

I’m going to make the attempt to use scheduled posts, and try to set some up every week, with progress photos of my current work. I’m going to try to get more poems and songs up. But mostly I’m just trying to stay afloat and find the happiness I can. Do the good in life that I can. And try to be a little bit better every day. Which is all that any of us can really do, right?

Musings on Revolution and My Current WIP

So I had an audacious goal of being able to write one short story a month in addition to making slow progress on my novel. That hasn’t exactly gone as planned. But I keep plucking away where I can. My current WIP is a dystopian short story, and I reread it after a long break away, and these couple of sentences stayed with me so I wanted to share the passage.

“Watching him, it became clear that this was a ritual to Tom. Elisa noticed how deliberate he was in his movements, and it dawned on her how even the simplest of actions could be one of revolution.”

As usual, I find messages to myself in my writing when I go back to it after a long time. And what an important message this one is in this day and age, and to me at this point in my life.

So often I find myself juggling the day-to-day obligations and living with my inner world and the larger circle of society at large. This can be a struggle, and frequently I fall into the trap of going on autopilot or I start feeling like certain things I have to do are a hassle. I know many others feel this way too, and in truth, our current society is designed to make us be this way. But our reality is a blending of the micro and macro. And how we set our intentions in our blending and in the actions we take determines so much of the experiences we have. And even the bleakest or most boring of moments can have meaning. Something as simple as doing the dishes can be an act of love or magic or meditation or even revolution. And there is something to be said for waiting until the time is right. Actively observing. The key word is active.

This is a lot of random musings, but I think this will be something I explore more in the coming months.

My Time of Year

The end of August and beginning of September is the time of year that I get super productive and active. My motivation goes into full throttle, I accomplish a lot through the autumn months, and then it begins to wane in December as we approach the shortest day of the year.

I wonder if it’s biological – if my DNA remembers ancestors of mine gathering the harvest and preparing for winter. Or maybe it’s because my birthday is at the end of August, and this is “my” time. Or perhaps it’s merely Pavlovian with my years and years of starting school at this time, with all the preparation that went with it. Whatever the reason, and it may very well be all three honestly, I love this time. I love starting new projects and  recommitting myself to whatever ongoing projects I’m working on, I love the bustle and activity, I love the feelings I get running through my veins as the quality of the sunlight shifts and autumn starts to show itself.

Do you have a certain time of year that feels like yours?

The Sound of Silence

Despite my resolution to do so at the beginning of the year, I have not been posting more regularly here. I have not been churning out creative work at the pace I had hoped. I have been having to work through a lot of internal stuff again.

I feel ready to begin the next chapter of my life, and I feel trapped in a cycle of mere existence. Like a snake midway through shedding it’s skin but unable to break out entirely, I feel awkward and stuck. Things are shifting, but not fast enough, and I feel like I’m missing out on the time with the kids that I so desperately crave. I also feel like the universe is mocking me and piling more on top of me lately.

Then all the pain in those around me weighs down. The separation of the family at the borders, knowing the irreparable damage being done to those kids. Knowing the damage being done to so many kids around our country in general. And knowing that all of humanity could be living in abundance and have the freedom to pursue their passions right now, if we used technology to work with nature, if we set aside our hatred and our greed, if we stopped viewing others as “less than”… we could accomplish so much good. What we are and what we could be are so vastly far apart right now, I grieve.

But I have been grieving fairly silently. I have gone deep inside myself, to the very depths of my being, and such a journey is always traveled alone, out of necessity. I’m only just now struggling to the surface.

I don’t know what the future holds, either for myself personally or for us as a nation or a species. What I do know is that we have to make the choice to stand up for ourselves and others, for what is right, even if the cost feels too high. Maybe my personal struggles right now are a reflection of the larger struggle of humanity, as we work to evolve. It’s a thought.

The Fires Burning Within

I have been feeling this increasing need to create for several months now. I’ve laid a lot of groundwork, have my pieces all laid out on the game board, but things keep getting in the way, not least of which is my refusal to ever work myself sick again. Not excuses, just frustration at the delay.

My goal is for all my creative endeavors to be fueling each other, for the art and writing to flow back and forth, to use them as inspiration for both my music and my costuming. My husband and I are talking about starting to sell homemade bath and beauty products which we did as an offshoot of our Fairy Magik label years ago but at the tail end, so we didn’t give it a very good go. To do all of that while taking in freelance sewing work and spending more time with the children. But to do more than chip away at that requires me first and foremost getting out of this stressful and physically exhausting job I’m currently in, which we’re working on.

I’ve been posting older work on Instagram to inspire me to continue chipping away, but honestly, by the time I sit down and have a few minutes to work, it’s so late at night that I’m spent and can’t tap the space I need to be in. Everything comes in it’s own time, and I feel the “soon, the time isn’t right just yet, but soon”, but patience has never been one of my strongest points. So the fires within continue to burn, to grow, threatening to overwhelm me.

When I finally unleash the fire, it will be a sight to behold.

A Dip Into My Past

This past week, while waiting for people and on mini breaks at work, I read through my blog from the very beginning, way back in 2012. It was an interesting trip back for me. Eye opening, and very helpful in finally honing in on the next direction of my life.

The first few years of doing this blog focused a lot on writing as that was what I was prepping for release into the world. I also kept talking about music and art projects that I wanted to tackle. And I really miss having projects that I am passionate about. I miss all parts of that process.

I also posted my dream schedule of balancing parenting with being a freelance creator, and I am so far from that dream at the moment, it is laughable. Working full time (plus) in theater left me with barely any other creative time, let alone quality parenting time, and while the job was fulfilling in different ways before the leadership shift and it gave me the stability to get a mortgage and health insurance to have my 2nd child, I was so much happier when I was only working part time for them. Then going back into a different full time position doing bridal alterations has been draining in a very different way, and because of the hours the shop is open, even though I am physically working less hours, I still feel like I never get to see my kids or create anything extra. Especially since I’m still self-healing from last year. I feel all this pent up creative force longing to burst forth though.

So, the goal for the past couple of months now has been to be freelancing by the end of the year and becoming the at-home parent. Once that happens, I will still do some alterations. I will do some costuming work too as it comes up and as I can find time to do it. But I want to focus the bulk of my energies on my kids and on creating my own work again. I need to feel that passion for creating that I get sucked out of me by scraping myself dry through overwork.

Current Affairs

I’ve thought a lot in the past couple of weeks about what I can say to help with what’s going on lately. Life feels more fragile, a little more tenuous in the face of it all. But the truth is that life is always fragile. History is full of brutal manmade destruction and rife with natural disasters even while it is equally full of soaring beauty and truly wonderful levels human achievement. We are being reminded almost daily that everything we know can be snatched away at a moment, outside of our control. And we can either fear that and go on autopilot, or try to deny it and escape reality, or we can accept it and work to live up to our potentials in whatever stretch of time we have. And if we’re not striving towards the third option, what’s really the point?

So do what you have to in order to practice self-care. Heal yourself to the point where you can turn off the autopilot and stop the escapism for little stretches of time at first and then longer and longer moments. Find a life of meaning in whatever you do, and if something isn’t working, don’t fear changing it. And don’t be afraid to shine your inner light. Also, if you feel like you want to change things, find ways to help where you can. You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone. You can’t control the way the world operates, but you can control how you operate within the existing parameters and work to change those parameters.

Finally, if you really want to change the world, stop letting assholes win. If all the caring, empathetic people in the world would adopt this attitude individually and collectively, things would change so fast. Stop supporting those who don’t value their fellow human beings, whether it be the big fish in the small pond or the sharks in the ocean, small-town sleezy landlord or big time Hollywood producer or career politicians at any level. Stop giving them your money, stop giving them your time and attention unless it’s to rub their faces in their misdoings and say “no” very loudly and repeatedly until they get the message. If you are going to start demanding the best of yourself, demand the best from those who profit off of you as well. There is so much potential power there.

It is hard not to get caught up in the fear and the drama. But that let’s those assholes win, and that is the one thing I refuse to do.

I Am Ready

“I am ready” is a thought that’s been rattling in my mind during my moments of relaxation and meditation that I manage to grasp. I’ve been waking up with it, even delirious from staying up too late prepping things for my sister’s wedding and dealing with a teething baby again, and now that I’m in recovery mode from all that, it’s becoming more and more insistent.

The only problem is that I have no idea yet what I’m ready for. So that’ll be interesting to discover.

Some Thoughts on Life

I’ve been listening to some random lectures and talks online while sewing in recent weeks, and a couple of things I’ve heard have stuck with me, so I wanted to share my thoughts on them.

The first was a positive, truly inspiring lecture, and the line that stuck with me was when the speaker was telling everyone to stop comparing themselves to others, that we each have a purpose to fulfill here in life. And the line was that we are all puzzle pieces making up the world, and the puzzle pieces fit with other pieces to make the whole, and without even one piece, the picture is incomplete. So we’re all vital, we’re all important. And it’s our connections with each other that are truly the most important thing. I thought that was truly lovely.

The comparison game is such a tempting one, isn’t it? And we’re bombarded all the time by advertising and programming that tells us to fall into that trap so they can sell us crap, and the prevalence of social media in our lives makes it oh so easy to constantly compare and then bring ourselves down by our lack. We spiral low, shop to make ourselves feel better, drown our sorrows in more media or unhealthy habits, and let ourselves get trapped. It’s terrible. But I have learned to look at my twinges of jealousy as the sign markers for where I need to grow and direct my life. My friend is traveling off to far lands while I’m trapped with a baby and no money? Plan a day trip or weekend trip with the family and crash with friends. Someone I know released a single or put out a new book? That little pin prick is the drive for me to carve out a little time to create. And continue to make differences where I can. But this metaphor of a puzzle is one that will help quell the twinges all together, I think.

The second was a psychologist speaking about something that touched deeply on my spiritual awakening that occurred several  years ago, and I’m going to be deliberately vague because it’s very personal to me, but mainly what she said cast the entire experience in a very negative light. And I reflected on this a lot, and I’ve decided that I still am glad I went through my experiences because of the profound growth that I’ve had. There was a catalyst, a rebirthing, and then a test, all in one, and there were risks involved, but because I stayed true to myself and listened to my heart, it was a test I passed. It was necessary for my evolution, and this speaker would have cast me as a victim. And I don’t know if she truly sees the world that way, or if she’s just out to make more clients and make a buck.

So here it is, any period of growth is tumultuous. Any true spiritual experience has risks because we live in a materialistic age and have lost a lot of the knowledge of the spiritual so you enter blindly. But I know that everything in life has a positive and a negative side – the same tool can be used to heal or to harm. And it is each of our own responsibility to guard our own paths. To a lesser extent, we can help guard the paths of those we love, but really it has to come from within. We need to decide the things we value in our hearts and souls and then not waver from those values. Because it is when we become untrue to ourselves that others can manipulate us.

Anyway, those are my random thoughts.

Life and Love and Creativity

I have been absent again from posting here lately. The baby has been teething and starting her one year growth spurt, and I have also snuck away on a few short trips with the family, visiting the 1000 Islands and Buffalo/Niagara Falls. It is so much work to travel with kids, but the time with friends and getting close to nature was well worth the effort. I feel more grounded, more accepting of the current state of affairs in my life, and ready to allow myself to expand again after feeling retracted for so long.

My time to create has been so short, and this was one of the biggest things I had to come to terms with. Almost all my efforts right now are going into creating my sister’s wedding dress and jewelry. The only writing I’ve been doing lately is an occasional email or letter, and I haven’t had any time for music or painting. Because my energies are being poured into my family and into the work that allows us to survive, and that is where they need to be right now. Because the love I have for my family and the joy I experience witnessing my children grow makes the sacrifices worthwhile.

All this to say that my creativity is not gone; the fire has merely been stoked, waiting the right opportunity to blaze once again. In the meantime, I will guard my embers and feed them as I may.