Let it be…

We have reached one of those milestones of life…you know, first steps, first day of school, first date… first signs of menopause………………excellent.  One of those things that you know is coming, that you are prepared for, that you even empathize with others about, while secretly being glad that you are not as OLD as they are.  Well, its here…and I am.

So I dived into reading about this period of life, researching how to cope with it herbally, within diet.  You know, what to eat more of, and what to avoid, to alleviate symptoms.  I am sort of an anti-medication person…well, not sort of- I am.

Of course, it was all the usual things- avoid sugar, alcohol, caffeine, along with any fast food etc.  This makes perfect sense.  The sugar isn’t hard to avoid, except for red licorice…which is a blog post all its own.  I am not a real drinker, so no real worries there.  I don’t eat meat, so except for a wild hair for McDonalds fries sometimes, I don’t eat fast food.

The caffeine…*sigh*  … I love coffee.  I know its not great for me…I have gone without at times but always go back.  I have endured the caffeine withdrawal headaches for 3 days until I could stand the mornings without caffeine.  I have tried to drink herbal tea in the mornings, which is a nice hot beverage, but really?  My sister makes the best coffee in the universe.  I make OK coffee, but for some reason, her coffee is heaven.  I can be doing fine, drinking my wimpy herbal tea in the morning, and then I visit her…all resolve slips away at the thought of a cup of her coffee.  Sitting on her porch steps drinking a cup of her coffee in the early morning mist…that is what perfect is made out of.

We have gotten off track… I decided that cutting down on my caffeine intake would be good- so i bought the “half caff” organic, water decanted coffee beans at the HyVee.  I felt pretty good about this.  I was being responsible about this caffeine addiction thing I have.  I was still enjoying a bit of caffeine, still drinking pretend coffee, feeling normal, yet I was doing a good thing…less caffeine.  >pats self on back, while nodding<

A jeep I was behind while drinking my espresso, and the planets aligned in the universe…sending me a message.

last week I ran out of my ‘half caff’ beans…and i didn’t have time to get to the HyVee…so as I rummaged thru my freezer on a harried morning last week, all I could find was Italian espresso beans…are you feeling it?… do you see the end of this story?  I know, I know…I hear you…you are saying, “why, Pat? why, if you are committed to your recovery, would you still have espresso beans in your freezer?”

And to that I would say, “let it be.  Some things are not meant to be messed with…”

savoring time…

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures- Thornton Wilder

Ah, well, my coffee cup is empty, yet still warm…the woodstove is roaring and the house is quiet in this early morning. I have not written lately– too many things in the way.  Never a moment to sit down and collect my thoughts…and put them into some type of coherent order that is decipherable by another!

The thing that has captured me lately is the good times.  As you know, this ‘turning 50’ thing has really made me shift my thinking.  No longer do i see myself as immortal, or having unlimited time.  No longer do i use the phrase ‘someday’.  No longer do i put things off…well, some things i put off, but not important stuff :).  It may seem morbid, but it has made me live with much more intention.   i was looking back to earlier days in my life, when life seemed carefree …and somehow easier.  But at that moment in time, that carefree time, when my kids were small and i was juggling grad school plus a 2 hour commute each way and a full time job, i don’t remember thinking, “ah, these are the good times!”  The times were good, and i wonder if i realized that.  I think i was just trying to get thru the days, and counting credit hours until my masters was finished.

I want to recognize the best instants when they are happening.  I think some call this ‘living in the moment’.  I don’t want to mark time, or waste time, i want to savor it.  I want to breathe in each moment and recognize it for good, bad or ugly, but i don’t want to miss it in my preoccupation with tomorrow.

i feel…i believe…i know…i don’t know…

sometimes there are things that happen – out of our control – yet they happen.  And regardless of how miniscule the event looks to the outside world, something pivots in our personal universe, like tumblers sliding into place in a million dollar safe…you can almost feel the ground physically shift under your feet.

i had one of these yesterday…huge to me.

And today i find myself making a list of what i believe…sorting my spiritual beliefs into bushel baskets- this is in, that one is out…that one i am still unsure about.

What I believe.

  • I believe that there is a higher power, a spiritual force that is in charge of everything or at least conscious of everything on a spiritual level.
  • I believe that there is a life after death of some type- I believe this has to be for something, some purpose…
  • I believe that all humans and animals have souls- and that we recognize one another sometimes on a soul level, even if not on a conscious level.
  • I believe that souls can have multiple lives or body experiences- i don’t know that all do, but I feel that past lives, memories that don’t appear to be mine, and soul recognition are real things and the the life force that makes me alive stores information from other experiences before it came to reside in my body.
  • I believe that what you do can benefit you or harm you, directly but also in terms of what comes back to you.  Call it karma, but if you do good, I believe good will come to you.  What goes around comes around.
  • I believe if you look for the deeper meaning in things, in life, you will find it- and if you are shallow and look only for monetary gain and pleasure, you are missing out and will be disappointed in your life.
  • I believe in ‘positive energy’ and ‘negative energy’… i think that people share their energy with people and objects around them and that energy can negatively or positively affect circumstances.
  • I believe that if one looks, you can see this energy around someone- some call this an aura.  I just know that when someone is hiding something, is shifty and bad, I can feel it, or even see it in the space around that person- their space looks dirty, and it isn’t a physical hygiene thing, it has to do with their energy, I believe.
  • I believe that stress and worry can affect your physical health…that everything is connected, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

I know there is more, and as I continue to sort this all out, i will add to this list…

and i know what i have is not much…

i know that some people have elaborate spiritual belief systems…i am not there.

I feel like I am in my ‘decluttering’ phase of my spiritual life…weird, huh?

 

 

who ya think ur talkin to?!

“the work of art acts like another living person with whom we are conversing” ~ Anton Ehrenzweig

When was the last time you had a project so deep in your soul that it took on a life of its own?  I have had this happen to me a few times, the most notable being  several years ago.  Being a production potter for years- being used to making every piece look alike- it took some doing for me to get ‘looser’ in my throwing techniques.  Yet whenever I would go thru Ceramics Monthly or other art magazines, the pieces that i admired and even drooled over were pieces that had a gestural quality to them, pieces that had tension and edge…grit.  But looking at all of my little pitchers, lined up like nuns, in the studio…they were prim and proper, no edge…no grit.  And really, I myself am not a prim and proper sort (“omg,” you are saying,”…really!?”).  I was at a loss as to how to begin…how to give myself permission to not make every pot the same…tight and controlled…  but the beginning…it happened –in the most hilarious way…

when we lived on the farm, I used to throw pots in the basement of our house.  Dean, my husband, had put up concrete blocks and 2×10 boards and I would line up pot after pot on these boards as they were thrown.  We had a cat, Kadafy (named after the terrorist of the time), who liked to hang out with me walking the ledge above the pottery shelves, or sometimes sitting on the seat beside me.  Kadafy was a very good studio cat!  As you know, pots are very soft clay when they are first formed, and have to sit out and firm up a bit to handle, to cut off of bats, to trim and sign.  I had this bunch of lidded jars sitting on shelves, probably 3 or 4 dozen innocently waiting…I was off doing other things for the afternoon.  When i returned in the evening to trim these pots, i found a half dozen of them in various forms of mush.  On closer inspection, i spied kitty paws in the clay…it appeared that the cat had hopped down from the ledge and landed on a soft clay pot, and in an effort to recover her footing, had hopped to the next pot and the next and so on, squashing them as she went.  When semi-firm clay is squashed, it makes a farting noise as the air escapes and leaves a pretty good fingerprint impression.  As i stood there gazing at the pots, they told the story, and soon I was laughing so hard i was crying, imagining my poor self assured Kadafy, scrambling from pot to pot, as they disintegrated beneath her feet like landmines.

A seed of an idea began to grow(it took a few years to put this into words)…people go thru life encountering different experiences.  Some biblical references consider people as vessels…like pots.  Upon further spiritual investigation, I felt a divine leading- explaining that as people travel thru their lives, they are marked…marked by things that happen to them, by people that they meet along the way, both good and bad…and they are marked by things that they do to themselves…and they may be marked by their maker, if they choose that. Marks can be decorative, or scars…they can be internal or external…marks can hinder how you move-emotionally or physically, or they can make your moves appear lyrical and rhythmic…

This concept blew me away… helped me to look at imperfect pots in a whole new way….imperfect people too.