Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Clearing the cobwebs

 I have been clearing cobwebs this week, literally and figuratively. Today I worked out in my studio for the first time all summer, cleaning and encouraging little spiders to go somewhere else. It seemed like there were baby spiders hatching as I swept, is that possible, do they do that? They were doing that!

It's been a long rough summer, and the things I have felt like writing about really needed to not be for public consumption. Just how much can one take of reading about craziness anyway? I've had a lot to sort out and come to peace with. I now understand that you can have compassion for someone and not love them, and that's enough.....

This summer for me was about dealing with aging, accepting compassion as a new way of feeling, learning more about who I am and what I want my life to be about, learning how to let go of my child just a little bit more, learning to deal with that lonely hollow feeling a child leaves in the pit of your heart, and trying to understand where my art has gone.....

We had one thing after another this summer, first Gerry's skin cancer, then his dad's surgery, then putting his mom in a nursing home, then his dad going there, then the both of them coming back home, then my mom making herself sick and going to a nursing home, then coming home. Then the worst of all for me.... Wesley went to Boston for what was supposed to be a great internship with WGBH and she got food poisoning the first week there. All alone for the first time in a large city, and she is vomiting for days. I was so scared, I almost got on a plane and flew up there. But she dealt with it like the strong girl we have raised, and managed to salvage the last week of the trip and had some fun. She was home for 24 hours and then left for school. This has been the hardest letting go so far. I think maybe because this is the last year of school and then she really is going to go off somewhere.....

I have puttered around with things to keep my hands busy, because my hands must stay busy. I have driven up and down the highways. I have cooked a lot, learning new vegan recipes, Wes is vegan now. I made soaps, I made pot holders on my mom's old loom that she never used. I love these looms for times when you need to make something, anything.  I have spent a lot of time with my chicks, they are about a week or so away from egg laying time, so excited! I am feeding them an organic (very expensive) vegetarian layer feed, because I will be eating whatever they consume in the end.  I have painted rooms in the house, cleaned closets, worked in the yard, helped move Wes back to school, looked for furniture for her, staying busy, but no art.....

I keep asking myself why I have so little motivation to work with clay. I have this great studio, everything I need and yet I have felt no pull to go to my studio. Then it occurred to me the other night when I was sitting on the porch..... clay is demanding. Clay wants all of your time. Clay caused me to resent the time my family wanted of me. And I got tired of feeling that way. What? you want to eat dinner? but I'm trimming this foot, I have to do it now. What? you want to go somewhere? I just rolled out these slabs, they have to be used now or they will get too hard. What? You want to talk? I need to focus on this math so I can figure this glaze recipe out. Go away, I said in my head, then hated that I felt that way. What do I care more about, my clay or my family? Well, of course.... my FAMILY! so I just stopped, because I can only focus on one thing at a time. I can multi-task like crazy, but it has to be multi-tasking within one project, not several at one time. Clay just asked to much of me. There is only so much of me to go around.

I have done no shows this year, sold no pottery, made no pottery. And my world didn't end. My art bank account has $80 in it, but it never had all that much to begin with. That's the other thing. I worked my ass off, made A LOT of pottery and made very little compared to a salary "normal" people get for the same amount of time and effort. It's just not worth it. I do feel a pull to get some clay in my hands, but maybe just for the fun of making, not trying to figure out how many of something I need to make to break even at a show.

The other thing I have been up to this summer is exploring new career possibilities. Maybe I don't even want to be an artist trying to make a living selling her work anymore. I wrote my first business plan this summer, even wrote out a five year plan which I have never done. I found a business I wanted to buy.... it didn't work out, but it was a great learning experience, and maybe one day I will find the right thing. I have interviewed for a couple of part time jobs. I would really like to help offset the costs of Wesley's college expenses, and selling art is not making a dent in that area.

This summer I felt like I put on big girl pants for the first time. I weathered the storm, and came out on the other side, stronger and wiser. More depressed, but not so much I couldn't function. More of a funk maybe, nothing that needed the meds advertised on TV to solve. I still feel a bit blue, but Gerry has made me laugh a lot, my friends have made me laugh a lot, I got drunk, peed in the front yard, played corn hole, drank bloody marys, went to meditation temples, started doing yoga again, learned more about gardening, learning...... I like learning.......

I feel like I need to find something for this blog to be about, and not just come here to purge the crazy in my life. Some of you still have my blog listed on your blog roll as A Potters Life For Me. It hasn't been that in a long time, sure hasn't been about a potter's life, just a life.....  I wonder sometimes why I even write all of this here. But some of you that read have become great friends and your emails these past few weeks have been so great to read. We are an odd bunch aren't we, all of us bloggers..... maybe this is just my journal now. Sometimes I think, Oh God, why did I write that, but then someone will email or post a comment and say they understand exactly what I was saying or what I said helped them, and then I think, well ok, come on along if you want to. I read blogs that help me, so I suppose its the same here. If nothing else, sometimes it's pretty good entertainment :)
I think I need to lighten up a bit though..... let's see how that goes

PS: after I wrote all of this, I clicked on my spam to clean it up and had an email, in all caps it said:
How would you like to have a nine inch d*#k Tracey Broome?  
well, I'm not sure what that means! but it made me laugh :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Time to be slow.....

“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
― John O'DonohueTo Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

thanks everyone for your emails, I'm good, enjoying my family. It's been a rough summer, more for the blog when I sort myself out...... Meanwhile the beer is cold at Top of the Hill :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

I'll be back.....

I'm dealing with some stuff.....
I'll be back.......

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Writer's Desk

Black and white photo by Barbara McKenzie, circa 1960's, while shooting for her book about Flannery O'Connor's south. Her book was recently re-released by the University of Georgia Press. She was kind enough to dig this photo out of her archives, sign it and give it to Wesley.  The little girl was preaching in a small rural Georgia church. Typewriter found in an Asheboro antique store while shopping with my friend and blogger Meredith/ Whynot Pottery. It creates screenplays now. Tea bowl by Hollis Engley, gifted to Wes while we were in Cape Cod, it leaked and he sent another, but this one holds treasured pens. Lots of connections to my friends on this desk....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

Just looking at a photo of this child melts my heart..... I took Wesley to the airport this morning and sent her off on her first solo flight to Boston. She will be there working with WGBH until school starts, finishing up the edit from the filming they did in Winston Salem, her first internship. I am a proud proud proud proud mom! What a bright spot in my week. She came home last night and we had dinner and got to spend a few moments together before she had to pack up and leave again. My college senior off and on her way..... sigh.......

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bat Shit Crazy

"When you see crazy coming, cross the street"
.... from one of those Oprah people

This past week:

I discovered that it is very likely my dad was not an alcoholic.........

I discovered I can leave my body and watch from against the wall as my mom has a fit and someone besides me caused it....

I discovered what a narcissist is......

I discovered my life has not been at all what I thought it was.....

I discovered there is someone besides Gerry that recognizes my mom is crazy......

I had a nurse tell me I need to divorce my mom.

I wrote a very long post about this, but I'm not sure it should be published, maybe I will edit it when I settle down a bit.

Thanks to all of you for the emails and the last comments. Sometimes things aren't really what they seem to be. The person that wrote that last post has been through some changes.........

Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's a lonely road before dying..........

Gerry Broome instagram

.......And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn...
With every goodbye you learn. 
 Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall

I dreamed I was dying for the past three nights. I am walking around every day among the living dead and their faces are coming home with me every night.  My mother is a child again, a frail and confused child and she cries every day. Her husband is confused and I am trying to keep him company at night, when all I really want to do is crawl in bed and hope for better dreams.

I saw this photo on Gerry's instagram. I don't even know where he is.  I changed his mother's diapers, wiped her ass, fed her, put her to bed, talked to her, loved her and not one member of her family has sent me an email or a phone call to ask about me or my mom.  I have heard from my daughter..... my friends have emailed........ you, my blog friends have offered very kind and supportive words. But here I am with my family...... a step dad that is kind and opens my door for me, buckles my seat belt and that makes me smile..... and my mom. 
I painted her fingernails red today and we laughed about how her mother would never allow her to paint her nails because she would look like a "loose woman".  She is judgmental about "that colored girl", the lesbian with the nose ring and the tattoo that says Oscar, the man with the pony tail. Me and the lesbian are best friends now, the colored girl cracks me up, haven't met pony tail man yet, just heard about him. I found ants all over her night stand yesterday and asked that something be done. Well, a guy came in with a large jug of Ortho poison and sprayed it all over the back of the bed, the walls, the floor. I guess these people are dying in a few years, what's a little poison sprayed about for us all to breathe. I would have preferred the ants if I had known.....  I bitched, he smiled at me and kept spraying.

I am becoming a thorn in their side about the nutrition they provide, tomorrow I told them to forget the meals, I would cook and bring my mom something decent to eat. Why can't we feed old people good food? Why must it be grey and unrecognizable? They scold my mom every day for not walking to the dining area to eat. She won't go. She cries. She says she doesn't want to eat with the old people. The ones with their mouths gaping open and food running down their face, the ones with the oxygen tubes in their nose, the ones missing legs, or hands....they are all alone with no family to help them eat.  It is freaking her out. I went to the desk for the third time today and asked that they please quit badgering her about eating in her bed. She is scared of this place. She knows the routines of the hospital, God knows she has been there enough, but this is a dose of reality she was not ready for. I'm trying to help her through it, but I'm not making friends at this place. 

I feel like I am walking down that lonely road in Gerry's photo. Here I am in my room now with my computer, a ball of yarn and a few books. The thermostat is set on 80 and I am in South Carolina in August. Imagine.......  

I hear Hank Williams singing in my head, "I'm so lonesome I could cry". My daddy used to sing that while he was shaving, with a cigarette hanging from his mouth, standing there at the mirror that was on the medicine cabinet, in his white T shirt and blue jeans, smelling of Old Spice and tobacco. I could lay in my bed and look across the hall into the bathroom and watch him shave. I wish he was here with me. I wish he would come into my room like he used to and kiss my forehead and say goodnight. I miss him so much. He died twenty years ago and I think about him still, every single day. 

So, yes I am planting my own garden. I do yoga every morning, then I meditate for 20 minutes. A few laps in the pool, breakfast of whole grain cereal and fruit, and then to see the dead that are living.........  I have a heightened awareness that is intriguing me. Everything is a slow reality...... I'm just breathing through it. I have learned a lot about myself this year and what I am capable of enduring..... alone. 

Peace ya'll