“The Barefoot Artist” (movie)

I came across this movie on Netflix and the description was intriguing even though I’m not generally one to be intrigued by documentaries. This one hit all of my points of things-I-find-comfort-and-use-in. Artist me! Witch Me! Community Me! The Dead Me! Ancestral Healing Me! Philosophical Me!

It is a portrait of one privileged fallible authentic Chinese woman as she struggled to find the place that her passions intersect with humanity. So worth watching, even if you disagree with how she decides to engage that intersection. I am happy to have seen it.

SAD/Depression & Grief, Coming Back Up

It would be too long, even for me, to write out the whole of my world since the beginning of November so I’m not going to try. I had a slow slide into mild depression, the first I’ve experienced since my mother died in 2006. It took quite awhile for me to notice it was more than my regular hermit mode of winter. Partly because some days were better than others and partly because I’m lacking experience in depression and what it feels like. From late 2015 and through a good slot of 2016 my life has been full of stressors. Usual coping techniques began to fail and I didn’t really notice I suppose. It was a bumpy up and down and somehwhere along the line I lost touch with my ever present Joy. It was still there, just not accessible as easily.

My downward swing seemed tied to the lack of sunlight in how it progressed so I bought a lightbox to see if this was so. It is definitely, if not wholly, tied to the diminished number of hours of daylight. What had been choice in how I spent my days became not a choice with the depression, and I felt the choice come back with usage of the box. This brought me gobs of relief that was quickly lessened by our beloved 14 y/o cat slipping out of the house unseen and being gone for 16 days. By his actions in the days prior to his disappearing act we assumed he’d slipped out to die even though he has been indoor only cat for 7 years. We had just informed his vet to mark his file “deceased” when he turned by up about 20 minutes after we returned from the vet’s office.

He’s pretty wasted from lack of food and he was severely dehydrated. He is slowly recouping and I have dubbed him the miracle cat. While I have some caution about celebrating a full recovery just yet he appears to want to live and many of the odd signs he showed prior to leaving are gone. My one friend said he decided to go on a spirit walk and this seems more true than any other reason. The vet’s office felt it was likely he’d been accidentally locked in someone’s garage and that’s why it took so long for his return, and why his body is so wasted. We’re just happy he is back. Immediately upon his return the weight of grief over him lifted from me and I realized just how much the lightbox was helping me. The tangle of depression and grief was bloody awful, and anxiety opted to roll in on top of both.

Grief I have experienced before. Some anxiety I have, too, but the combo of depression+anxiety+grief – well, I can’t really express it. I am thrilled to be coming up out of it. I feel better equipped to identify it in the future. I will be using the lightbox until the days are longer. I will pull it back out in Autumn as soon as DST ends. I don’t want a repeat of the past few months.

This post feels very rambly, but I’m not going to go back and try to tidy it up. I expect to return to blogging with some regularity, but my goals for awhile are going to be small, easily attainable, and things that brings me Joy or I’m not doing them.

Art disappeared from my life and that will definitely return. I have missed it so. That leads into my next post …. which is the main reason I wrote this post, to write the next one. I felt it necessary to explain my absence first.

A funny thing happened on the way to my grave….

(originally posted on this day three years ago, it was a good reminder today)

I am reminded again of how easily I can hold two seemingly conflicting ideas inside of me and be at peace with that. This is not true for everyone. Some people need everything to line up logically and make sense or they must discard what doesn’t. It is how they order their world. Their sense of personal safety and security depends on it. Logical structure, schedules, and outlines hold the edges of their life and such things make them happy.
My sense of How Things Work depends on the idea that not everything is logical, nor should it be.  Everything does not fit together in a Tab A/Slot B way. First draft outlines, dynamic schedules and loose structure hold the soft edges of my life and make me happy. Hard lines constrict me, do not make sense within my world view, and cause me to feel suffocated. It is an interesting endeavor when these two views meet in conversation. I always walk away from those encounters with reinforced certainty of: my POV is as it should be, everyone gets to be exactly who they are, and I am easily okay with that.

Oh, Julian*, you were so right.

*Julian of Norwich – “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”

Love can break you open, if you let it

Anyone who doesn’t believe Love is an actual Force, and can be a catalyst for swift change hasn’t been paying attention. For me, I started a long lonely climb out of the place I had been with the turn of the new year. It felt like an ascent in mud. Then the despair in me broke open. It happened shortly before this past weekend and it occurred via Love. For you-know-who-you-are, I am grateful.

This is the me I always am in my head. I haven’t been the me in my head on the outside of me recently, either in dress, or in what I let loose to the world. Today I returned to dressing the part – the part called Me. Today I let loose the new-old me again. These fabulous pants (I ordered 5 different pair recently from http://www.harempants.com/ ) are so comfortable!

(I tell myself someday I’ll master the Art of Selfie™ w/o a mirror. Some lies are okay to believe.)

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Let Love break you open!

Impact and obliviousness

It’s been an interesting 24 hours. I have spent decades underestimating my impact in various spheres of my life. I never fail to “dog head” when my oblivion is brought to my attention. Like, wut?

It has now hit the level of embarrassing. In efforts to keep my ego in check I have put on blinders, and as beloveds shifted away, I thought I spoke into a vacuum. What and how I expressed myself mattered little, I surmised, ignoring that all of us have impact larger than our awareness.

I have been purposely removing those blinders and paying attention in my offline life for about 4 months and with a concerted effort starting 2 1/2 months ago. (Yes, I know the exact date I moved from “things take time” to “START NOW”.) It hasn’t yet bled over to my online life.

In the last 24 hours I’ve been having front-and-center plus behind-the-scenes conversations with a number of folks ~ their impressions of how I present myself online consist of a gamut of viewpoints, covering a great range, but a couple of core things overlap.  It has been fascinating, in the best sense of that word.

What I do know is that my online self used to be a really close match to my offline self, and the chasm between the two has grown. (There are a hundred reasons for it, but none matter to the point I’m writing about.) I started righting that with the magical turn of the calendar page, but it is a slow process, with backslides. Time is the only proof that will show it, so you’ll just have to trust me. Or not. Your choice.

Here on this blog is mostly Boneweaver, keeper of the Dead, chronicler of the learnings and foibles of walking my spiritual path. Other venues have seen SJ PJ, *rawr*ing up a storm. Neither of those is all of me. Both of those are not all of me. (Never will *all* of me be out there. C’mon, I’m pretty open, but I keep more than half of me to myself.)

I desire to pull the edges of that chasm closer together. I don’t wish to eliminate the chasm – the abyss in the center is where the Mystery lies – but I wish to move back to where when I met someone offline who had known me only online they would say, “You’re just as I thought! Except nicer.” (What can I say, text reflects me harshly. I try not to use too many extra words. *looks at length of post* I have really edited this down from what’s in my head – I swear!)

I wish to reflect more of me in all of my online spaces. Compartmentalization of me has not been good for me, and as I have impact with what I choose to put out in the world, it has not been good for others, either.

One thing that I am just getting brave enough to put out here is the art I do. I don’t often see myself as courageous, but with my art, every post is a steeled-nerve act of bravery. I’m taking lessons from someone who has been refining her skill for decades. They are donation-gratefully-accepted-free lessons through Facebook. You can find the first lesson HERE. It is my gift to myself, conquering the fear and rewriting the old story that I can only art in abstract because the skill of realism died with my father.

And now it’s your turn — what would you like to see more of from me? I really am interested to know.

(And I’m going to hit publish before I chicken out, so read through the typos, please.)

Emotional wisps, treacherous illusions

My equilibrium is very uncertain during trying emotional times. As I slip I will try to grasp at a feeling, begging it to be the branch protruding from the cliffside that halts my descent. It disappears in my grip like wisps of smoke would. I see my hands convulsing – open, close, open, close.

As I fall toward the abyss, I wait for the cushion of darkness to numb my thoughts and hide my hands from my sight, so at last I may rest.

What about you? How do you “find your emotional feet”?

Invisible Illness and the Apple Cider Vinegar Brigade

I was going to transcribe the audio file even knowing how horrid my typing skills are. But I’m not. I recorded this in the car on my way to Tai Chi and I am posting it here, unedited, with stumbling over words and verbal corrections intact. Road, car, and traffic noises are my background music! You may need to increase the volume. It is a YouTube link, but no pretty pictures, just audio. The blog post I reference is the post previous to this one.