Today is the last full day of the visit with my mother. My mind is full. I miss home my husband, and doggies. And yet I worry about my mother-I think she is doing well enough to be left alone, I worry about her doing too much. Also it has been nice being near my sister and for those who read both of our blogs you know she is going through a difficult time right now. It has been nice to be able to support her during this long, lonely and trying first week. Thank goodness for art-it does "save lives". Yesterday I discovered several packets of Twinkling H2os in my mothers stash of supplies, what fun they are to play with. I love how they sparkle on the page once they dry. I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon playing with them. I just want to thank everyone for the words of encouragement this past week. I've used my blog as a space to vent and it has been good to be supported.
Only two days left of my visit to my moms. I think she will be well enough for me to leave. It has been an interesting visit. Much has been going on not only in my mothers life but in those close to me, there has been much upheaval and pain. I am continually thankful for the life I have and the peace that I have found in it. This week has been a big lesson for me in staying centered and present in the moment, although many times in the moment I wanted to run away screaming. I just kept reminding myself that I was here not for my mother but for myself- that I needed to do this to keep peace inside of myself and that seemed to work. I would often find myself listing things I was grateful for in rather a chant that would help me from losing my temper. Now when I look with fear at all the potential I see as future problems I try and focus just on today. My mother is ok today, I'll drive myself crazy worrying about a future I have no control of and a mother I have no control of. I'll deal with those future problems like the one I am today by being there and being present and being the best person I can be in the moment.
My sister and I have moved into my mothers house and created an art station like no other. The dinning room table is spread with paints, papers, glues, scissors, ect. ect. It is great!!!! My sister is teaching at several venues around the country this spring and is getting ready with ideas and projects. Last night she was working on a class project and I said "show me". So I got to learn how to make little faces using oil paint sticks. It was fun, much of the blending was done with your fingers. When ever I start something I am so uptight and then I relax. I especially like to do things with my fingers I love the feel of freedom I get. Connecting with that little part of me that plays is hard to do but I find it when I finger paint and that is what I loved about this project.
It is difficult to take care of an adult. Especially an adult who is use to taking care of you! I think it might be partly because of my job, I'm a nurse and when I take care of people they usually do what I say. But not my mother. It has been frustrating and a little scary. I'm afraid for her, for fear her pain will get out of control with all the moving she insist on doing. Yesterday she was climbing around in and out of her SUV, the only way to stop her would be to physically hold her down. I finally said "mom you have made me angry and I am slow to anger"-she became quiet and went to bed with a pain pill. My anger is based in fear-fear for her. These past few days have been a learning experience for me in what I have control of and what I don't. All I know is that when I lay my head on the pillow at night I want to sleep in peace. My decisions during the day are based on what I feel I can live with that night when I fall asleep. So far my inner compass is keeping me on course.
We brought my mom home from the hospital Monday afternoon. She is doing well, up and about has taken a shower,playing with her cats and my biggest job is keeping her from doing too much!! Now the fun begins! Last evening my sister, my aunt Deb, and I sat around the dinning room table "crafting". My mom is a collector, her latest obsession is scrap booking supplies. It was like going to store last night rummaging through her cupboards and getting whatever we wanted to use. She had the best collection of rubber stamps and so today I am playing with stamping in my journal. It is something I've always wanted to do, but stamps are expensive so I've avoided them. My mother-she avoids nothing!
The past few days have been busy. I've been away from my computer much of the time sitting in hospital rooms or airports. Unbeknownst to me I tried to fly into Phoenix during one of the worse storms they have seen in years, all flights were cancelled. I missed my mothers surgery!!! I was stuck in LA. Lucky for me I was able to get out on Friday and I was there when they rolled her into her room from recovery. As I had felt, everything went well. Although my mother is feeling very sore and is moving slowly. She is anxious to get home and hopefully that will happen on Tuesday. Thank you so much for all your good thoughts and well wishes they mean the world to me. I even reported to my mom that my blog friends were wishing her well it made her happy.
Tomorrow I head out to Scottsdale to be with my mom for her surgery, she is having surgery on Friday. I feel very positive about this and think everything will be ok. I hope to be able to spend time with my sister creating, I'm taking one extra suitcase full of art supplies. I will miss being at home and the routine of daily life. I tend to find it boring and repetitious when I live it day in and out. But when I'm away I miss it terribly, the dogs, and my husband their little routines. I especially miss my morning cup of coffee in bed that my husband brings me every day I have off! My routines will be missed. I suppose one has to be away from them from time to time to realize just how precious they are.
An eye can threaten like a loaded or leveled gun, or it can insult like hissing or kicking; in its altered mood, by beams of kindness it can make the heart dance for joy. One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye, it trancends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity- emerson. I am taking a online photo journal class from LK Ludwig. One of the assignments was to take photos as if with a glimpse of the eye-very difficult to do. I am always posing my subjects, arranging items, checking the light ect ect. It was difficult to shoot from the hip so to speak. Most of my glimpses I noticed were of my pets I guess they just kept catching my attention. But it is amazing what a glimpse can do-across a crowded room from your husband, during a busy day at work from a co-worker. One glance saying 1000 words can make or break your day. I've heard that the eyes are windows to the soul why should not a glance be a treasured movement.
Creating is always good for the soul. I am involved in a round robin, one that includes a huge book measuring 13x16 inches. Each woman gets to do a spread, I am use to working small so it has been a challenge to think big. Yesterday I got busy with paint and collage sheets of Teesha Moores and used one of my "poems". Listening to good music I created for several hours and totally lost myself in the process. When I was done I realized I had spent several hours free of negative thoughts, that my mind felt refreshed and that I was tired but in a good way. Today I'm going to repeat the process, I'm discovering that it is way for me to stop the process of the negative talk in my mind-to create art.
Just checking in on a Friday evening. It has been a long week at work. Some weeks the days repeat themselves with numbing repetition. I wander through the time in a fog wishing hours away and in doing so wish my life away. I was sent home early from work today and that was fine with me I had lost interest in the day way before it even started. I am new at creating my own joy and that is what I must do-when I get in these bored restless moods I have to come up with a way to stop the process. It is difficult for me to feel too joyful when there is so much suffering in the world today-the news out of Haiti is so sad. It makes ones problems seem selfish, self centered, and small. I can only send prayers and best wishes to the people of Haiti, but those prayers come from a heart full of love and compassion.
Primroses that bright splash of color in the garden section on these grey winter days. I'm feeling a little grey myself today-missing my sister. The joy that company brings is always replaced with an empty hole once they leave. It always takes me a few days to adjust to being alone. I will be in Scottsdale in the next 2 weeks so I will see her and my mother soon. My mother was not as lucky as we had thought, and does have a kidney tumor. She will have to have the entire kidney removed, fortunately her other kidney is very healthy. Removing the kidney will be considered a "cure" and no chemo or radiation will be necessary-Thank goodness! My guts about this tell me that everything will be ok, I just wish my mother did not have to go through something so major. But all in all we are very lucky.
It has been a busy creative weekend in the Lilylovekin home. Sat. was absolutely wonderful, I am posting many pictures. We started at 9am with instructions on how to make paper clay "creatures". My sister already had one made for us in our kits that she then taught us to paint using colored pencils or a dry brush technique. Breaking for lunch everyone was given chile and cornbread, it was a good day for it overcast and rainy. In the afternoon the real fun began, more painting of the "creatures" and decorating with beads, lace, glitter, fabric, ect. The creative energy in the house was amazing it was fun, light hearted full of up lifting spirit. Finally at around 4pm with finished projects in hand everyone went home. Julie's World is an amazing place one that is constantly moving, full of ideas, full of solutions, a place where one walks away from feeling they have been someplace special.
Happy days in the Lilylovekin home, my sister is coming to visit. I have 6 women coming to my house on Sat. and she is going to teach us the magic of paper clay and paint. I'm not going to fight a war about heat this time but am going to put her in the basement. It is crowded and dark but warm, I think a bouquet of flowers and a bowl of chocolates will help her feel welcome. I'm also going to extend my work space so we can stay out of my husbands hair as we chatter and create. It should be a warm peaceful weekend. I love getting together with my sister she inspires me on so many levels. It does not work for us to live close to each other, but I feel in my bones that someday we will and that excites me.
Having to control people and situations can be a very tiring place. Wanting and always needing to be right is exhausting, the only person who appreciates it is you-it leaves one very lonely. I am learning to give up control to live by the motto that it is better to be happy than right. The trick is to do so and not be walked on. It is a paradox that in surrender one finds true strength. By taking time to pause, be still, to do nothing is action in itself. In that quiet place there is often a simple answer. As hard as it may be I can only look at myself and study myself- I only have control of how I act and respond. Do I want to be happy or right?
I've set up a quiet little place in the basement to work. It is warm in our basement we have a pellet stove that burns away with a bright cheerful flame. To my right is my computer that I have Pandora Radio playing through and at my little "desk" I've been messing around in my journal. I can stop and catch my breath and look no further for happiness. I've found happiness in a dark, crowded, overfull basement. On the pages of old books, words pop up, cut out-I arrange them in some sort of order. I call them poems for lack of a better word but they are nonsense except to me. My journal pages are full of nonsensical images cut from magazines colored with crayons, and pencils, words written that make little sense. Its a place I allow myself to play and I LOVE IT!!!
Watching the blue moon holding court in a cloud filled sky as misty waves washed over the bright shiny light, I was filled with a sense of awe. Nature is powerful in its displays of beauty, and 2010 was brought in with glory. During the night I was awoken by distant cheers and fireworks, dazed and confused it took me a moment to realize the new decade was here. But then I buried myself deeper in my warm blankets, and cuddled close to warm little dogs. Today is still and misty as if the world is resting after a night of bright light and noise. Walking along the water front this morning I reflected on the past decade, my thoughts were full. So much has happened, as one gets older loss is a familiar refrain and there has been a lot of loss. But there has been much happiness and joy memories of bright and good times, times of never letting go of. What the next years hold remain a mystery hidden in the mist but I hope to meet it all with grace and handle it the best that I can always trying to remain grateful what I've been blessed with.