Painting Pictures in the Air (and other things I do with my time)

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Broadband at the new house is slower than dialup. So, I’m using up my phone data to post this.

My health has been worse lately. To say I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle would sound too cliché, but I’m not sure how else to put it. If the cliché fits and all that…

But, things did take a pretty dark obsessive twist right after the move. I’ve never been good at cleaning or keeping house well. I started to listen to the criticism in my head leftover from a verbal attack on my person from someone who thought they were doing my husband a favour by telling me that I was killing him by not doing enough housework.

Now, like many of us who suffer with chronic ailments, I am not a lazy person. I just only have so many spoonfuls of energy. And, housework is one of those things that drains all my spoons quite quickly, leaving me with a total deficit to then be able to look after the kids and do other things I need to do.

My husband never complained about the house and was not pleased that this person had taken it upon themselves to ‘speak for him’. And, at the time, I ignored it and went on.

But, after the move, the critical words in my head had a voice, and it was the unkind and judgmental voice of this person. For nearly two weeks I wore myself out being a clean freak. Like never in my life, I was trying to keep on top of the housework. And, with nothing but the aching in my sick body leftover, I was sobbing uncontrollably throughout the day and the least bit of stress was sending me to the point of wanting to grab my pills and take every one.

Of course, there was no energy to do the therapeutic things that help me cope with my pain and depression. No time or strength to make music or art other than maybe a quick selfie snapped and put up on Instagram.  There was no energy to enjoy snuggles with the kids. There was no energy to enjoy some sexual healing with my husband. I was too exhausted to even read. I tried to keep up with mindfulness meditation, but even that got, ironically, invaded with thoughts of, ‘PULL YOUR WEIGHT. YOU’RE USELESS. GET UP AND SCRUB THE SURFACES’.

I hated this voice.  And, hated how I was feeling. The anger, the rage came in like a flood. A murderous thing, eating at me. I’d imagine him standing there, while I was scrubbing, and screaming at him to fuck off. But, I kept scrubbing.

Until my husband begged me to stop, that is.

See? Telling this person to fuck off, perhaps not to his literal face, but in my head, is the thing I needed to do. And then, I needed to DO something else.

Because… what I do, my life, my house, my value to my husband and kids, is none of this person’s business.

What do I do with my time? I create. I make pretty things. I make music, which is magic. I take great delight in sex and relish it. Believe me, my husband appreciates this more – would rather have this – than a spotless house.

And, sometimes, I meditate. And, yes, I sleep a lot. I sleep to escape the pain and pressure for a while. And that sleep keeps me going when the waking hours are too much.

So. A surface wiped now and then and a sink full of dishes washed on occasion.  I have opuses to write and pictures to take and pleasure to give and books to read…and, this painful life to endure as long as I can…and it is only by these means I have any chance of doing that.

So. Indeed. Fuck off.

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A Thriving Imagination

I recently rediscovered Instagram and, in doing so, the world of “micro videos”. It’s keeping me creatively occupied during this particularly trying time, offering bursts of talent, like shops giving out tiny samples of perfume or food.

It’s the creative flavour of the month, a needful outlet; a challenge, to encapsulate, in a mere 15 seconds, the essence of a song and/or performance.  A calling card, of sorts. Maybe these bite-sized music videos will catch the right ear, or maybe they’ll collect virtual dust like so much of what I do…but, for now, they’re a fun way for me to express.

I say challenge up there, like it’s a good thing. In artistic and (specifically) musical endeavours, this is so. In general, however, I don’t like a challenge. Life overwhelms me at the best of times; I’m just not good at it…this living thing. I struggle. But, art…

I may not be able to handle the struggle, but what I can do is make things of beauty and value in answer to the struggle…not an answer for, but in answer to.

Life is cruel. I hurt. I cry. And then, I create.

Maybe, just maybe, I win after all.

Creative Recycling

Years ago I wrote a poem that I’ve ended up using quite a lot on social website profiles in the ‘about you’ section. It was sufficiently mysterious while also being perfectly autobiographical, and it was easier to copy and paste the poem rather than to think of something else witty and interesting to say about myself. How better to represent myself as the arty ol’ farty I am than to describe myself with a poem? Even so, it’s been a long time since I revisited that poem or even considered it in passing.

Poets aren’t always songwriters and songwriters aren’t always poets. Occasionally, however, the two do meet together in the one, and you end up with Leonard Cohen…and me. Sometimes there are too many words and not enough music, while other times the words are not enough and there must be music to carry the few that are there. Ah, but now, I really do wax poetic. 😉

But, please, indulge me.

And, where do the lost and forgotten poems go? Is there a graveyard for the written and discarded rhyme? You may not remember those scribbled lines. But, rest assured, they remember you. You may forget the words, but the words never forget. And, if you’re quiet enough, you can hear their whispered echoes, reverberating beyond time.

And, this is what it is to be a poet.

And, this is what it is to be a poet who is also a songwriter…and, what it is to be me.

More and More Introverted

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I am an introvert. It doesn’t happen to be one of my many flaws. It isn’t a mental illness. I freely admit that I am mentally ill, with many issues which negatively affect my daily life. However, being an introvert isn’t a negative; it isn’t an illness anymore than being extrovert is.

An extrovert is energised by social interaction. They are the people who have places to go and people to see.

An introvert may occasionally find social interaction interesting and even enjoyable to varying degrees, but they will also find it draining.

The extrovert needs to be “out there” to recharge, while the “out there” will sap the introvert’s battery.

Now, no doubt, my illness compounds my avoidance of many social situations, and can make even shopping or taking the kids to school a challenge. My prevalent state could be called “manic hermit”. The fact that I have…disabilities… can (and do indeed) play on my normal (nothing wrong with it) introverted nature…which can, then, make people think there is something very wrong with it/me. Yeah…I have to fight the urge to do the hermit-thing all the time. As I say, the illness can compound matters.

I do fight/have fought. But, more and more, I enjoy the retreat, the solitude, the away-ness from humans and humanity (how they/it can annoy me).

I find solace in my books, my music, in my thoughts about the nature of the soul. I also find creativity here, in the place of solitude and silence.

I don’t hate people, but I can find them frustrating and draining. At least in large doses! I have people I am quite fond of…ones I am incredibly grateful for, and some I could not do without.

But the dragon (and, the dragon I am) needs her cave. And…that ISN’T one of the things that is wrong with me.

I just felt the need to affirm that.

So, here’s to all of us, introverts and extroverts. Be who you are and recharge as you were designed to.

Baffled

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I envy them, and I honestly don’t understand.

Today has been one of those days where I’m in physical, mental and emotional pain. I’ve spent a good deal of it in bed, but also a significant amount of it in artistic endeavour and expression. There is pain, yes. But, thankfully, there is also creative flow – that, if nothing else, has given me something to post on my Facebook page…and here, of course.

There is comfort in that creative flow.

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I’m grateful for it, the art that takes an idea and gives it a form, a – for lack of a  much better word – life.

An imagination can torment. It can also create great beauty. And, sometimes, these things go hand in hand. At least, it’s something.

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Obsession, Madness, Me

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Obsession is a form of madness. Madness is insanity. Insanity can be, or include, or engender, deep creativity. Creativity is good. And, it’s really the only reason I don’t always mind being insane. But, obsession is bad. It’s exhausting. It’s the opposite of balance. Imbalance and extreme is a part of my nature. And, no amount of creativity (and, I have a large amount) can sufficiently make up for the damage that obsession causes.

This is one reason I continue to meditate. It doesn’t stop my obsessiveness, but it can slow it down somewhat. Otherwise, I am a total train wreck.

I have not been doing well lately. I had been doing better, but then… well, medication fiascos occurred. Madness asserted itself with force. And, my physical health took a hit. It’s all made me want to hide and be reclusive again. The way I feel… the heaviness in my head and chest, makes it very difficult for me to interact with people. It makes me want to avoid them. It’s very frustrating because, as I say, I had been feeling better. This, now, is like another one of life’s kicks in the teeth.

At this same time, I discovered a gps based adventure game called Ingress. I am now obsessed with said game. One good thing is that it gets me out of the house, out of bed. And, I’m good at the game. I like being successful at something. It’s just a shame that I’m not as good at life.

I’m tired. That’s the thing. The intense, inescapable weariness has returned in force. I’m back to praying every night that I don’t wake up in the morning. Of course, I do wake up…and, I go play Ingress. It’s something. Have I mentioned, I’m good at it? Still, it would be better yet if I just didn’t wake up. And, I suppose, would be even more better (betterest) if I could feel okayish again. I mean, I wasn’t totally fine. That’s far too much for me to ask for. But, I was okayish. And, I liked it.

This. This, how I feel right now? This, I don’t like.

Anywho, that’s the latest from me. I felt I better check in, write something. So, I have.