Journal page 24:
If I was to title this, I think I would go with “seeds” or “new growth”. It is a watercolor background and when it was dry I just traced some of the lines with black marker.
Once done, I saw seeds sprouting and growing up towards the sun. It may be just what I was thinking at the time…nobody else may see it.
That’s the great thing about unfettered art journaling. Sometimes it clarifies what is going on in our head or our lives.
I actually went into the spare room yesterday evening and with help managed to almost clear it out. It took frequent breaks as the decisions were stressful.
There was saved lumber that had so many possibilities…too many. It is gone except for the plywood scraps that can be used for cut-ins on the new floor. Shelving, doors, scrap trim, and what-not are out of here.
Also gone are several pieces of furniture that were waiting to be fixed-up. We don’t need anymore furniture. At this stage in our lives, we need less.
Three bags of trash are filling the trash can.
One box was taken to recycling.
Two boxes are ready to go to the thrift store.
A box of photos and frames are waiting to be considered.
Evidence of an unwelcome resident of the rodent variety has been uncovered. Ah, the joys of living in the country during the dry season. Steps have been taken to ensure that he knows he is not welcome if he chooses to return, but I suspect he has already moved on.
All that remains is a stove and a microwave that I will be posting to give away. They were acquired when we had plans to make a small “apartment” in case my sister needed to move in with us. She has made it clear that she has no interest in doing that and I am making peace with her decision.
The room is now ready to make-over into a usable and peaceful space for my daughter.
Oh yea…you may notice that I am typing in both upper and lower case letters today. In the back corner of the otherwise empty closet in that room we cleared out, I found a brand new computer keyboard…still in the box. Nobody remembers purchasing it or sticking it in there. It has replaced the one that I messed up yesterday during my ill-fated cleaning spree.
It’s true that when you get rid of what you don’t need, you get what you are seeking!
Journal page 22:
This morning I paid bills.
Then I worked on my art class lesson plans for a bit.
Then I finished cleaning up my studio.
Then I opened the door and walked into the room that I need to empty this week.
Then I turned around and walked out, closing the door behind me.
Not right now and maybe not even today.
I think that I have a “decision limit” in my brain and it has been reached.
Maybe there is a certain amount of time needed to reset that function.
Anyway, some stuff is done including a journal page.
And laundry. Always laundry.
Here is my studio desk right after cleaning:
And after working at it for a bit:
I’m not a tidy artist.
I found this book yesterday when out with my sister and it looks like it could be a positive thing…
And just completed (maybe) journal page 23:
I’ve started going back and doodling details on previous pages so anything is possible on them in the future. I like the sound of that…anything is possible.
Let’s carry that on through the rest of the day…
The quote above was chosen because I actually remember learning about Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in my college psychology class.
Well, and I like the quote also, of course.
What I remember about the hierarchy (and I went and researched it just to make sure I got it right) is that basic needs have to be met in order to move up the scale which is normally depicted as a pyramid. We need to have health, shelter and food. Then we move on to personal relationships and self-esteem. At the top of the pyramid is self-actualization.
This is an extremely simplified version of his theory. I’m not a psychologist although I do remember making an “A” in the course. But that was a very long time ago and I made good grades in several courses without actually learning very much or purchasing the textbooks for that matter. I was one of those obnoxious people that just did well in school. I would have stayed there forever…it was definitely my comfort zone.
Which leads me to the musings of this post…
Today’s journal page:
A quick drawing of a face and let me tell you that it has been years since I’ve attempted that. Life drawing was one of my favorite classes in college. And then once I graduated, I never really drew the human form or face again. In fact, I quit doing art of any kind once I became a “grown-up”.
I started up again about fifteen years ago, but still didn’t draw people. I don’t know why.
I also don’t know why I have chosen to draw this one today and then post it to share with the world (or at least anyone who stops by this blog today).
I’m just tired of being afraid of something that used to bring me such joy.
I’m tired of worrying about trying something and failing at it…
or even more so…
of trying something and not failing and then having to face the next challenge.
The drawing isn’t great, but maybe the true success was doing it and posting it and finding out that I could survive just one tiny step out of my comfort zone.
Journal page 17…
A quiet weekend.
Today begins a new week.
I have an idea for a biggish canvas that I want to work on, but first I need to clear space in my studio.
I have been sorting through the stuff that is in there – trying to be aware of what actually contributes to art-making and what is there to simply make me feel like I am an artist. This process is a lot harder than one might think. I still struggle with saying that I am an artist. I used to just say that I made stuff. So, I’m making progress in that respect.
Anyhow, getting rid of stuff that I don’t need is a good thing. It makes room for what I really need, and clarifies and simplifies the process of making art for me. A studio that is functional is better than a room that looks like a studio in a magazine spread…not that I actually achieved that look, but I kept trying.
Still, parting with stuff that I might need for a future, hypothetical project is difficult.
And that difficulty applies to all areas of my home, not just the studio.
So, today we are redoing the Konmari method for the whole house.
Not the whole house today, of course.
Today is clothing.
I don’t anticipate that there will be a lot to get rid of, but who knows…
Until tomorrow –
Tired today and not feeling my best. The last couple of nights I have had trouble sleeping.
Thoughts from the past have been mixing in with worries and to-do lists of today and prevented the quiet restfulness of sleep to bless me.
The memories are wispy and hard to grasp onto. The vagueness of them is as distressing as the actual memories. Without clear and concrete imaging it is hard to deal with them – to bring them into clarity and bid them goodbye.
Last night as I was finally drifting off to sleep I heard the phrase, “she grew up in houses without windows”.
I remembered it when I awoke.
This journal page is the places I remember living in as a child and teenager…they are not in order. I’m not sure where Dallas fits in and I know that there were sometimes multiple houses in each city.
Other than our time in Huntsville, Texas attending Sam Houston State (where my husband and I met) and a couple of years in Alabama where my husband attended Auburn University, I have spent my entire adult life in the area around Austin.
My kids have grown up here.
They never had to be the new kid.
I picked that quote because I have no idea what this drawing is about. It just happened and is in no way my normal thing, but I kind of like it…I imagine that more work will be done on it in the future.
And in other areas of my life – this quote fits today.
Yesterday, we went to drop off a car load of de-cluttered stuff that had been piling up in the dining room.
We visited a new thrift store set up in an old house. I naturally ended up in the kitchen where there were lots and lots of cabinets with the doors removed and painted a beautiful clean white. On display were lots and lots of beautiful dishes. It was a dangerous situation to be sure.
As I browsed and enjoyed the abundant wonders, I thought about how amazing it would be to have a kitchen that looked like that. I have a kitchen with still unpainted cabinets, half-redone walls, missing trim, a plywood floor and dirty dishes.
Then I stopped.
Nothing in that room would make my kitchen look any better. Adding more stuff would make the issue worse – no matter how beautiful the item is in its current setting.
I am blessed to have a kitchen with electricity, running water and working appliances.
The rest will come with time, effort and money. The money will come if I quit spending it on comfort purchases and attempts at quick-fixes.
Buying and acquiring stuff is an emotional response that I have developed over the years.
The clutter is a symptom that I have been attempting to deal with.
That doesn’t work out too well in the long run.
You feel better for a while, but you’ve only treated the symptom. The cause is still there and inevitably the symptoms will return.
I believe that I clutter to try and protect myself from the difficulties and traumas of my childhood.
A scared little girl wanted to buy the pretty dishes in an attempt to make everything better.
I am not that little girl any longer although she does live within me.
I think I am finally reaching a place where I am realizing that I need to become the adult who heals the scared child within me. She doesn’t need more stuff. She needs to feel protected.
I need to address the problem and not just the symptoms.
I can’t keep ignoring the fear and trying to live as if its not there.
The fear is just as real as the clutter that I try to bury it under.
This is feeling a bit like an overshare, but I know that I’m not the only one living with either the fear…or the clutter.
There is another empty box waiting in the dining room.
What will I find to put into it today…
And what will discarding it reveal?
Journal page number…
Just my opinion…
So much noise
So much activism
So much pointing of fingers
So little love
At the end of this chapter
How will the story read
I believe that nobody will win
And there will be no happy ending
If an act is done out of love, but requires an act of hate or violence to accomplish it, how does that work out?
I believe we call it war.
And we are fighting ourselves.