What is the best way to organize the day?

Intentions are like plum blossoms. They in full bloom are beautiful, full of promise and offer a pastel sky. Coming to fruition is a process of surviving wind, cold, heat or whatever the day brings.

I had in my head that I would complete an image for Shop The Valley at Summerhill. http://www.shopthevalley.ca/ After that I would bring order and clean sparkling surfaces to my household environment. Trying to retrieve the image I wanted to use from my transfer from the old computer (with two hard drives) to my new computer with two operating systems and three storage areas sent me into a whirlwind of confusion. Focus, Finish… were the words that my husband and I spoke to one another this morning after meditation.

So now I am metaphorically standing in a skein of tangled threads. Folders, files, jpgs. wrapping their way around the paths through the new system that is not a system. After four hours, I had completed the image and managed to repack one sublayer of one file on one operating system. Yeah!

We needed groceries, Oh and on the way, my camera has died and we stop to look at cameras. Now I am… count them…. four steps back from getting the house cleaned up. Purchasing the camera… which means learning it, making a case for it and trying to rearrange my finances now puts me three more steps away from my intention for the day.

But Wait! We have to put the groceries away. The phone keeps ringing. One call is from Shop the Valley saying that I should,” Stop production of the postcards.” They have found another artist to make them.

Tomorrow I have to be at the studio by 8 am. I feel frustrated by the way that time has caught me up or I have not caught up with it. I have twelve hours of work in the studio tomorrow so tonight is pretty much it for cleaning. My old self would have pushed on and finished my list for the day.

Instead, I sit down and write my blog, have a jamacian ginger ale and prune down my list to changing the sheets on the bed. If I do anything more than that, I will be delighted by what aspects of my day have been fruitful. My husband told me he loved me. We bought good food. I have a wonderful new camera. Trusting that that which I wish to complete will get done… maybe not on this day. But soon.

There are more than sheets that I have to change. I have to change my mind for a happier life. There are blossoms which are just blossoms. They may never tranform into fruit. But how beautiful are the visions of potential in our lives. Just see.

Winter postcard image

Winter postcard image

Economic Downturns, Looking Backward and Dream Life

I was intending to recapitulate my journal from last year’s journey. The trip through time will continue. But for now I have much to think about…out loud. Recently, I reconnected with some amazing people from my past on facebook and it has given me energy to think about my future with enthusiasm.

We hear the drone of disappointment and defeat all around us. The media is like a fun house of dark glassed mirrors reflecting back not reality but the reflection of a reflection. We are being lead to the ship’s hold of despair where we are, it seems, supposed to just lie down, close the lid and wait until the economic ship reaches some fantasy shoreline. The promised land of future delights will be discovered. “This is your captain speaking.”

I have some difficulty believing what the media tries to create as reality, more difficulty remaining passive and docile when politicians sing to us and the most difficulty of all believing that the limitations we put upon ourselves are anything more than waking dreams.

eyes explore vibrancy

eyes explore vibrancy

Always, there is a door in the wall. It is not a fact that when one door closes you have to climb out of that tiny, sky-high window from the 1950’s that seems to be in every action flick. The wall has a door. Just move around a bit and let the light change over the surface.

So while I had intended to look over my shoulder at the past year, I have been swept up into gazing back over 25 years ago.

What my former students have taught me is that the gift of obsession, the passion for exploring the creative and intellectual skills can make a life. It is a life that is surprising, energizing and ingenious.

I have never been a fan of the ploddingly circling around a pole. The repetition of a job, job, job. Day in and day out knowing exactly what each hour is scheduled to bring is soul killing.

My hope is that during this economic downturn we all “grab the wire” and get ourselves hooked up to a greater source of energy. No Not red bull.

Lying down and enslaving ourselves to the dream life will not bring resolution to either the economic downturn nor will it create the synergy that is needed to revitalize our society.

Get up and dance!

How do we assess our place in the world? New Year’s Questions

Self series

Self series

I grew up in the U.S. school system which pretty much treated us like laboratory rats. We were measured, weighed, tested, assessed and compared from the time I was in kindergarten on.
My report cards kept reflecting that I was “unlike” other students. This presentation of anomaly was particularly problematic in the pool of acceptability.
I was slow to learn to read. Having to stay in at recess and after school until I caught up with the other third graders was humiliating. With hindsight I see what a dedicated, kind and disciplined teacher I had the luck to experience.
By grade eight I was reading at first year university level. We were streamed in grade nine after an appropriately named “battery” of tests. Separated from all of the lower cohorts, I was grouped with only those whose goal was university. In fact, over 80% of those I attended middle school and high school with went on to get a graduate degree as did I.
In grade 12 I knew exactly what position I held in the 368 students who graduated that year. We had access to the information at any time. I fought tooth and nail for position 35 and had aspirations for position 30. My 25 percentile ability in math held me back. Basically, I was informed in curtained language that I was a math idiot.
In grade 11 I and my other “geekdom” dwellers who had scored in the top 95% of all high school students in the United States for academic ability were gathered to sit in chairs in a row on the gym floor. Over 1,000 students were ushered in to look down on us. The honor was usually for the jocks. Once a month the entire school for forcefully herded down to cheer at them. Now it was our turn. There was NO enthusiasm on either side. We felt marked out like trapped animals and they felt hostile at worse and totally bored with our presence at best.
What has the experience left me with? A competitive nature even with myself.
Probably, this is one of the reasons even though I received three academic degrees by the time I was 22 years of age, that I love multi-media art. I work alone. I work without an audience. I work without words. My work is strange, unique and incomparable. What a blessing.

self portrait, too many thoughts, visions

self portrait, too many thoughts, visions