Switch Focus

After yesterday’s writing fiasco, I’ve given myself a bit of a reprieve.  I don’t think I could ever be one of those artists or poets like Emily Dickinson, who made magic from words with only her own immediate environment to inform her writing. Yesterday’s experience, where my thoughts were like the image of the snake eating its tail, convinced me that if I were to try and be a reclusive artist, I would soon be unable to produce anything.  By leaving home yesterday and going to the climbing gym, where there is no room for thinking, I gave my mind a good rest.  I talked with friends who called me “stranger” because they hadn’t seen me since before Christmas.  We lamented the skiing conditions and talked about spring climbing, and whether or not the DNR was going to close (!) the Mt. Si parking lot and trailhead.

I came home late and bought take out salads and gluten-free turkey meatloaf at PCC for dinner.  Sitting in seemingly endless traffic, I listened to poetry and the rain and didn’t mind.  By the time I arrived, Robby was ravenous (see photographs tab) and I was completely recharged and revived.  Later, I realized why I couldn’t write about what had been on my mind.  I was trying to write about an experience as a mom that I figured was universal, but I didn’t want to tell the story, because I couldn’t do so and keep the characters anonymous.  I wanted to write about my emotional reaction to the statement “that’s what moms do”.  The implication that I deduced was that if they didn’t, then they wouldn’t be fulfilling the “responsibilities” of being a mom.  That statement really bugged me, because I’ve become the kind of mom who actually does things like forget that my kid got out at 2 and leaves her wondering where I am. Sometimes I don’t get dinner on the table until 9pm. I forget to put the laundry in the dryer and my children have to remember when they have tests or projects due on their own. Is that what moms do? Apparently so, because I think I still qualify as a mom and I’m doing it. When I gave this topic a little bit of space, so that it didn’t seem so big and overwhelming, the hairball unravelled.  That irritation was no longer an important thing.  When I made my world bigger, it got smaller.

And then there’s Haiti… I can’t actually finish writing tonight without a mention of the situation there, which truly dwarfs anything I have ever experienced or most likely ever will.  And which, when considered in the context of hairballs, makes my own issues with stereotypes seem rather insignificant.  There is a connection to be made here.  Its about empowering ourselves as human beings, and specifically women (moms), in whatever way is needed, such that the irritations and issues of our own environments do not prevent us from reaching out and giving of our gifts to lift others in the larger world in which we live.  (That is not a sermon, I just can’t think of how to say it other than with “we”)  My experience yesterday, of being twisted up in my own mind with my own issues, were it to be my daily experience of life, would prevent me from being aware and capable of responding to the needs of others, either individual or collective. Essentially, I have to feel good about me in order to authentically give freely of myself.

Today I decided to change tacks again.  I think it might be safer to let the photographs drive the blog rather than to make images to go with the writing.  I had some fun with my camera last night and today.  The images I shot for today are of people outside my home and family… Two very important people!

The guy who makes it all possible

Gene is my trainer at the Apple store.  This isn’t a plug for Apple, but of the skills required by photography, the artistic, technical, temperamental and technological, I need the most help with the latter.  As a matter of fact, I need hand-holding.  A lot of it.  Gene teaches me software.  The Apple store’s one-to-one program is the best. I’m in there at least once every ten days getting my hand held while I learn to do something new in Aperture or Photoshop.  I finally got that jaundiced looking photo of me and the soup (Sunday) looking decent with a few more tweaks this afternoon.

Jen after fixing me up

This woman is a magician.  She straightens me out and unkinks all the kinks in my muscles.  That also helps with the kinks in my mind.  Once a month I get the pleasure of having Jen attempt to undo all the damage I do to my body.  She’s a great massage therapist, but also a sweet friend.  When I told her about my hairball incident yesterday, she didn’t even think I was crazy. I must have told her various versions of that one before I ever considered a graphic depiction or a public confession.

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