Artist & Writer, San Francisco Bay Area

Starting and Stopping

1. I’m listening to RadioLab’s podcast called “Oliver Sacks: A Journey from Where to Where” and it has recordings of Oliver Sacks’ writing. That’s right, the act of him writing, where one can hear the scratchings and his thought processes as he puts the words down, as well the conversations and verbal musings as he writes down his words. It breathes even more life into his work, more than he already put there through the words themselves. We get to have a window into the workings of his mind. He died August 30, 2015.
2. I’ve been sick all week, pretty much in bed for five days, since the afternoon on Monday. I was too tired to keep my eyes open, but too awake to sleep. My mom came to check on me this morning, and I told her I was experiencing this feeling of returning health, how maybe life might return to normal soon.  I finally realized that maybe I have the same kind of sinus pressure headaches my mom has gotten for decades. She’s always used sudafed, but sadly I can’t use it because the last time I did was 15 years ago, when I was very pregnant with Enn, and my heart rate skyrocketed to 195 (not exaggerating). At the ER, they gave me medicine that flatlined my heart before re-starting it. GK heard and saw the long beeeeeeeep of my heart having stopped, and he saw it re-start according to plan. I haven’t taken sudafed since then. So what will I do with this sinus headache thing if it becomes a regular thing?
3. This week, home bound because I’ve been laid up, last week, homebound because my youngest was sick and his anxiety + autism needs complicated his return to school. The week before that, it was Thanksgiving, and we scuttled our modest staycation plans because our oldest was sick. My life often comes to a stop for one reason or another, so that as I am finishing up my 3rd week being stuck at home, it’s a familiar feeling. Stop life. Change plans. Defer hope. Just five days ago, I was thrilled because my younger son turned a corner and went to a full day of school despite his anxiety. I could see a next possible positive outcome for him. I could maybe even see a whole slew of positive outcomes, so much so that I could imagine a future for him that had such a sunny glow of positivity that it drove out all my gloomy fears. Then I realized, not for the first time, that maybe my emotional state should be less intertwined with his. I need to establish what I believe is possible, and it has to be based on something that’s unchangeable. Then I got very ill with a simple cold, and I couldn’t even get myself out of bed, and I stopped trying to figure that out.
4. I keep trying to find ways to work around my limitations. I accept now that it’s what I do, this working (drawing, painting, writing, thinking) for the sake of working, even when maybe I shouldn’t. I had been thinking it was because I was a little cuckoo. But I guess it’s more because I love to spend my energy on doing things I love. I’m compelled, I push myself, I want to take this thing that’s in me and get it out into the world. I paint, I make, I write, I teach, I learn, I think, I build. Everything I’ve already done is never enough, I always want more. That’s what is disappointing about the nature of ambition. I can’t make myself not ambitious, but I can at least not let it rob me of enjoyment in the moment.
5. Last week I made it to the 50,000 words mark for the book I want to write, using NaNoWriMo as my motivator. This week, when I’ve been well enough, I’ve worked on my studio website so that I can put my three URLs (LOL) under the umbrella of a main one. I also want to make my art available for buying online.
6. At the very least, I can enjoy doing what I’m capable of doing. And so, I keep painting, drawing, making, writing, teaching, learning... even when nobody notices. At least I can be satisfied by doing my work well, a job well done. Good job, self! haha.
And that’s what brings me to gathering the links I’m sharing in the next post.


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