Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Here goes nothing.....spoken words that is.

Well the time is arriving shortly here when I take on the journey of silence. 10 more days of "trying to get my point across".

Its funny how just the decision to do something extraordinary takes on a life of its own. What follows is expectation, success, failure and all sorts of conflicting emotions that need to be sorted and hung out to dry. But in the end being alive is what matters. How ever our journeys unfold, what's important is that we are alive while we live through them. Not just with a pulse but with fire coursing through our veins; with PASSION.

I feel in a dream-like state. I'm noticing my every move. How I listen, how I talk, how I respond....all with the anticipation of how will I fair when I can not rely on words to get the point across? Interesting observations to say the least. What I am finding most common is that I have no idea what I am talking about! Not in content but in words. I know what I feel and what I WANT to say most times, but the words come out garbled and twisted. Even my best friend is confused by my wordy antics. When I speak it come out alphabet soup! How am I to use a language effectively I haven't even mastered? I'm finding more often than not, that sometimes there just doesn't exist a word for a particular feeling or thought. So how does one get those ideas across?

I'm going to be quiet now.......making sense is overrated.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Day on the Job!!!

The first day at my kids school as the resident artist for the year was surreal! I was completely in my comfort zone. The kids were very receptive and gathered round while I did my preliminary sketches. I will be working on an acrylic painting all week of a sunflower still life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

T x Pp + A = Creation (I can handle simple math)

In coming out of my coma for the last month, I began to think about the process of thought and how it relates to the manifestation of the physical world. What is thought? This invisible sensation....Is it part of or separate from the physical body? A chemical reaction perhaps? The mind-body dichotomy is perplexing.

Everything we create starts with the idea (content of cognition) that becomes the thought (forms conceived in the mind).....from there the magic happens! With forks to eat our food, chairs to sit in, toys to play with, cars to drive, our laptops and computers, to the many buildings that make up our cities....we create a lot of stuff. This physical world is our "proof" of thought. Our hands create what we think. The thoughts we have excite our neurons which fire across synapses and the messages travel from the brain to stimulate the nerve cells that contract our muscles and we move....our hands hold the tools that craft the things we conceive in our minds. God's creation is truly remarkable!

Theoretically "we" manifest good and evil concepts into tangible "products". Its choice. We choose to focus our attention, exercise our minds or power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at solutions or judgements. I have the ability to translate any state of mind into palpable works; through human perceptual experiences, dependant on stimuli from the external world, I can turn thought into positive or negative objects that can be touched or felt.
The same way I receive external stimuli to affect my decision making; I can create works that do the same for others. Creating artwork infused with feelings to evoke emotional sensations that stimulate the mind to action. The power to change the world lies within me - awaiting the ideas to form that cause the thoughts that excite the nerves that move the body that creates the artwork to stimulate someone else's mind into action.
So if I take my THOUGHTS (T) and multiply that by the PHYSICAL POTENTIAL (Pp) adding in my talent for ART (A) I get CREATION..... T x Pp + A = CREATION! (who says artists are bad at math? smile)

Friday, September 24, 2010

When you can't get stained glass......use spray paint!

We are created the way we are. I was born an African American of fair skin. Light skinneded they call it. High Yella. Redbone. Mulatto. Mutt. Stuck-up! All sorts of colorful labels. From the time I entered school to this day I feel the effects of peoples judgements - for and against me just because of my skin color. We haven't even considered my socioeconomic status or my level of education. What I have or don't have. Or what about my choice in dress and appearance? That's an accurate body of information to thrust labels and judgements upon, right? All that nonsense is but mere distraction, a road block of sorts.
No matter what our substance or appearance is, we are all viable. We use what we got to make it happen. Whatever that "it" is. Notice the church with spray painted windows because stained glass is expensive and hard to come by, "not having" doesn't stop them. Isn't the point of the church, to meet together and worship? Who cares what the windows look like? And if you're hung up on what the church looks like...you missed the point.

I listened attentively to a very wise person this weekend. The words cut but I need to hear them. I don't want to miss the point. We talked concerning my art studio. I have been spending alot of time obsessing and worrying about all the fine details in finishing its construction. Like--- the baseboard molding, a few more outlets, a fire detector, and finishing touches on cosmetics...blah blah blah. I am the closest I have ever been to having a pristine space solely for the creation of art. The advice was for me not to loose sight of my goal. (to create) Stop and realize what I ALREADY have. So what every little detail is not in place! What already exist is phenomenal. I was warned against loosing my hunger. There are people with far less and it does not stop them from staying focused on what moves them. No label or status is going to stop them from actively dreaming and doing. The substance is already inside me. I don't need pretty walls to create. The fact that I have pretty walls is simply a blessing. I could be in four walls and a toilet and the desire to create would not diminish. So what I don't have stained glass! Get a can of spray paint! Create! Stop waiting!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Give me another hit daddy....

We all have our drug....our vice, that thing that consumes and moves us. You know, that thing we CRAVE! Whether its a mind altering substance or our ability to alter the mind, we need it. Seemingly at least for the moment. We just "can't" live without it. It's borderline obsession... or a compulsion... or an obsessive compulsion! In any event, we desire to satisfy our oral fixations, fidgety behavior, sweats, hungers, itches, pains, laughter, compulsions of every kind. Good or bad we all have our drug. We all have our price too!

And for the price of about 50 cents over a pack of cigarettes, I gain access into a figure drawing class.

It begins on the drive over. Unquenchable anticipation as if I have a rendezvous with a secret lover. The excitement builds. I can't wait to set up my supplies...my paraphernalia if you will. The clean sheet of paper before me calls me. It knows my name. It knows what I want. Carefully I select my tool of choice. I feel everything. The light in the room. The heat and energy around me. The sounds of noiseless chatter. My body vibrates with excitement. Is that a drop of sweat? I begin to feel lightheaded. It is as though my feet have left the ground and I am floating...invisible. The model is poised. Before I even begin I study the lines and shapes before me. I notice how beautifully the shadows fall in place. The curves and forms draw me in. The first stroke is most satisfying to my addiction, but I need MORE! Three hours of bliss. My hand glides across page after glorious page of nothing more than compressed charcoal making marks on ground up and pulverized dried trees. Yet for me it is the place where space and time stand still. The eternity. The possibility. The miracle.

Now I have to wait a whole week for my next fix. I'll be itching and scratching until the next time. Maybe I'll need four hours....

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about freedom lately. All types of freedom. Freedom of spirit. Freedom of mind. Freedom of speech. Freedom to move. We crave freedom. We even wish we had wings to be free to fly. Then it dawned on me. How do we know anything about freedom when "we" as the human race try so desperately to control everything? We try to control time with clocks, control space with mortgages, control water with bottles, control nature with zoos, control people with marriage. We've become masters at controlling things... or trying to control things. All types of manipulation have become our best friend. When someone is moving too freely we use sarcasm and guilt to try and control their movement.
What are we afraid of?

Monday, September 6, 2010

It Is Finished....

This time of year has always been a time of reflection for me. It has almost been three years since the passing of my father. I love and miss him dearly. Remembering him is sweet.... I had a good long cry and now it is time to move forward and grow. With the kids at "grannybear's" and Stacy working, I spent the day dismantling my father's room. I lovingly save few items that are sentimental and then let go of the rest. The room will be the new room of my dad's namesake, Waveris my son. (who by the way is very excited to get the room!)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blindsided once again....

We all have our stone to carry. Some carry smooth light stones, others heavy jagged ones, and still others may have granite, coral, marble or even coal! Then there are those who have diamonds... Our lot in life is uniquely "ours". I alone am responsible for my attitude and how I choose to encounter life. Typically I go through my day with this realization showing itself in some form or fashion. On the positive side I am a rock able to celebrate my individuality and the freedom of forging my own path. On the opposite end of the spectrum I may encounter criticism for the way I look, dress, think, interact with people or raise my children. Whether positive or negative my approach and response to life's many twists and turns is usually seasoned with ginger. My optimistic outlook is due partly because at a very young age I wholeheartedly believed in myself and accepted my choices, and partly because I am partly insane.
The opinions that really affect me are from my closest relationships. I was never one to acquire the attitude of caring what the populous thought. I am comfortable in my skin. Then there are days like today.... Incapacitated as if in quick sand. One small comment from someone I love dearly has burrowed its way into my self esteem and has taken a gut shot at my pride. Sometimes intellect and logic don't have a defense against the monster of emotion. Somewhere in my brain I know I am not supposed to be emotionally crushed so easily. However, my love and respect for this person has worked against me like kryptonite. I am rendered powerless. Being vulnerable hurts... oh yeah that's what happens when you leave yourself vulnerable. I guess my stone has cracks in it.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Sitting on my porch, early, on a rainy Sunday morning reading a good book. I'm reminded to accept and appreciate the beauty around me. To be still and stop trying to find that peace someplace else. If I just stay quiet for a moment I realize that tranquility is always within reach.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grace leading to gratitude...

As I watch my twins peacefully sleep, tears flow down my cheek. How did we get here? Not existence, but in our particular situation. Choice. We make big choices, small daily choices and every kind of choice in between. I remember praying long and hard for the family I have today. But praying isn’t the only way they got here. God gave grace. Action followed those prayers. My choices followed those prayers. When I look back on the past 8 years of my twins precious lives I see so clearly how I made some sound and just choices for our well being. Then I am equally reminded of the very stupid and damaging choices I have made that could potentially harm the well being of my family. And still God gives grace. I didn’t DO anything to deserve a blessed life and yet God allows me to fall on my face, make my mistakes, have faulty opinions, make poor judgments, think selfishly, and have bad attitudes; all with total acceptance of who I am. Despite my flaws I am allowed to experience some of the most beautiful things in this world. Like a random hug from my son or a kiss on the cheek with an “I love you” from my daughter. I have the ability to watch them while they sleep without a worry in the world.

So I want to take time out and remember what I am truly grateful for…

A husband who is willing to work one million hours to provide for his family and love us beyond worldly limits, a best friend who accepts, understands and loves me just because I am me, a mommy who is a mother, sister and friend, a close knit family, children who exude joy, my first daughter who passed and the lessons she taught me of what family really means, meeting my father – having him live and die with me and experiencing all the wonders of getting to know an entire family I never had before, lifelong friendships, the option to stay home and pursue my dreams, my health, challenges in my life that help me grow into a better person, the free will to choose, my spirituality, and the beautiful details in nature – like: sunsets, the smell of flowers, ocean beaches, trees, birds, clouds and starry nights. I am grateful for the breath of life.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

All's well that ends well...

Well, my "SAVE THE TATA'S" campaign was cut short. I was halfway there with my favorite color being pink and all....however, all the extra attention and test on my breast came back with benign results. Nothing to worry about. Technology showed in cyborg detail the inner workings of my inside parts. Quite amazing really!

This is the time of year when I have all my medical appointments scheduled. I've had my annual physical, nutritionist, GYN, dentist, eye doctor, back specialist, physical therapy and mammogram. So with all my physical test and procedures behind me, for at least another year, my mind is now free to get back to real healing - the healing of the spirit. The art studio as a living an breathing entity is making tremendous progress. The office is painted and I begin painting the bathroom today. I'm super excited!

I need to be in the studio.

Right now I feel like a fish out of water in most situations. As I observe myself while I interact with people, I find my mind struggling to stay engaged. Talk of the weather and what the neighbor did disinterests me. Yet I realize and agree that listening to others is an integral part of nurturing and maintaining that relationship. I'm craving more meaningful content to my conversations. Of course it is because of the space I'm in. When I was not so involved in my own growth I was much more tolerant of the daily "chatter"....I contributed considerably to the chatter as well. But seeing myself in a stagnant state un-nerved me. As progress is being made in the preparation of the art studio I gain strength in character. I am making forward movements towards my goal and that feels healthy. We'll see what I write about when I finally have paintbrush in hand working on and oil painting in my studio!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vulnerability - The road less traveled....

For the past two days and this morning I have chest pains. I am crippled with anxiety. Anxiety is not one of my most familiar emotions, so I am thoroughly uncomfortable. Normally I am easy going and take things as they come, however I am not in my "normal" frame of mind. So I am feeling things I don't like.
Basically, my mind is all over the place.... I got sorta-kinda-possibly bad news from my doctor two days ago. My mammogram came back showing dense masses in both breasts, so I have to spend Tuesday morning receiving a series of test to determine if it is anything serious. I have been getting mammograms for the past 5 years and the recent images are considerably different. I usually don't worry unless there is something to worry about and even then my logical mind kicks in. Remember I am not in my strength. With that said, I'M WORRIED!

My mind races to all kinds of things I can not control in this very instant, which seems to me a crazy thing for the mind to do. Things like: How severe my back issues really are? Why worry when I am doing everything in my power to maintain a healthy back? My families health and well being issues. Namely my mother and both my brothers. The near completion of the art studio which has been "under construction" for more than a few years now. Its completion is so close I can taste it.

And of course as we get to the bottom of the list we get to "the bottom" of what the real cause of my anxiety is.... for the past two days me and my best friend have hit a road block. So severe that the usual courtesies are withdrawn. I spent the first day hurt, crying and feeling ignored (which to me is the worse feeling known to man). Then the second day I was angry and called myself "taking a stand" giving my own silent treatment. That did nothing but make matters worse - for me of course. And now MY calls are being ignored. Touche'! Its a no-brainer...NEVER act out in anger or pain! Stick to the truth about what is felt and RESPOND in love (even when someone hurts you). Only then can you be free from guilt, pain and anxiety. Negative emotions can not touch you when you act in the true spirit of love. That is the lesson in "The truth shall set you free." Where was my sound mind and advice two days ago? I did not respond in love when I was hurt. So now I sit here with chest pains and an upset stomach. Not a place I want to frequent. Its my BEST friend....
I'll get a call, right?.......
In order to take my transformation serious - I'm committed to gut-wrenching honesty with my vulnerabilities. Exposing what my true feelings are so that I may experience them in the moment (and subject them to criticism). To really FEEL in the now and dissect if those feelings really have merit and perhaps change my behavior.
Being vulnerable maybe the road less traveled, but I pray it gets me to my destination.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Construction continues...

While the art studio continues to be in a perpetual state of construction...that is what my spirit feels like - UNDER CONSTRUCTION! It seems that when you are going through life with no real plans, things seem easy. Then the second you make your mind up to make some changes, here come the challenges. I'm ready! Bring 'um on! I will not be shaken by mere mortal toilings.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thorn in my side?

Well at least for me, modern technology has proved to be a good thing. The diagnosis was clean cut and explained thoroughly with charts and graphs to back up the intellect. The epidural was textbook. Everything worked out to the letter. Before the epidural I was unable to walk for several days and then I had to use a cane. After the epidural -I have minimal pain. Prognosis....it depends on me. Will I be a good girl or not and stay conscience of the mechanics of my back? I need to be vigilant against the perils of a poor diet and non-existent exercise. I should be fine if I take care of myself with a healthy lifestyle and NO BUNGEE JUMPING! Awwwww, now I have to cancel that bungee class. I will of course continue therapy on my back and continue to take it easy. A bad back is no joke.

So, NOT LIKE Frida, a broke back is not the thorn in my side.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Catch 22 or Destiny?

Wondering if with "modern science"....Frida Kahlo would have had the treatment she needed? But then would there exist her art?

Relief is in sight....bed ridden now for 10 days, I go in to see a neurosurgeon today. My appointment with him yesterday was very eye-opening. He explained to me on the computer what my MRI showed. Basically, I have one large herniated disk and a smaller one. Other issues included degenerative disks. That was all pretty much known to me already.....he shed light on the topic when he showed me that a piece of my spinal column had chipped off at the disk herniation. The chip is what was re-aggravating the area creating extreme muscle spasms making it unable for me to walk. Thankfully, surgery is not necessary.

I will receive an epidural to decrease the effects of the herniated disk. The chip will reabsorb into my body over time and I will continue therapy to reduce the muscle spasms along with pain management. I should be up and at um in no time. Long term treatment will consist of me being very conscience of my back, physical therapy, swimming therapy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Open and shut case.

Now back to the business at hand....this is no comparison to Frida, but it does make me wonder about the things we do go through and how much of it we pay attention to. What molds us? What influences us? What inspires us? What circumstances bring out the BEST in us?

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Frida Connection

Frida Kahlo - The Broken Column 1944

It has been 6 days that I have been bed ridden. My back gave out and went into severe spasm leaving me unable to walk. I need help to use the bathroom. The pain is so unbearable I don't eat or sleep. After tests and therapy the doctors have diagnosed me with a herniated disk and extreme back spasms rendering me with very limited mobility. The laundry list of heavy duty prescribed drugs are doing nothing to relieve the pain. This is a mere fraction of pain what Frida went through but I can see clearly how my pain has focused my energy towards my creativity. I do admit it is a lonely lot not for the weary of heart!

There is a quiet irony between me and Frida.... Frida Kahlo is one of my all time favorite artist for many reasons. Her imagery hits straight to the heart of her pain. She can show beauty and pain in a harmonious dance on the canvas. Her work screams intelligence, passion and suffering lovingly painted. In studying her life there are so many parallels between us. There are similarities that hit close to home and make me feel like I have known her intimately . Her accident that left her incapacitated for some time is the very thing that transformed her into a phenomenal artist. Isn't that the irony of life? Some of the most traumatic incidents in our life takes us on a journey that transform us into incredible individuals.

Confinement to a bed allows for lots of time to think...