Wednesday, June 29, 2011

goodbye horrid view obstructing picket fence!

will eventually replace with a steel railing (kind of country modern or something) but for now this secure rail will keep me from tripping over the edge. not kid friendly but my niece and nephew and friends 'kids (except Lanham) are old enough. will have to train pound puppy in fall not to leap. this place is in serious need of paint job (most fixtures removed, just need to pull lighting and fan units {shocking I know!}, sand sills and clean walls then painting will commence) well and a new ac. the 1988 unit just isn't cutting it and is sucking power (Ching, Ching, Ching). two-three more bids to go to get new one up and running.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

more ripping and rolling

that's true

"a flower cannot be opened with a hammer." "you can beat one into submission but not into sanctification" how is it that we can extend kindness to another (most others) over manifestations their human frailty, but often we break out the hammer upon the self, as though we could beat and shape ourself into a rightness? how is it that we can wish/pray/bless another with the desire that they be happy and free from suffering; but see ourself as selfish when we ask for the same? why is extending loving kindness to oneself seen/felt as selfish? may you be happy and free from suffering. so ease to gift. may I be happy and free from suffering. stumble. awkwardness.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Only a Sojourner: Protected from Nothing; Sustained in All Things

Only a Sojourner: Protected from Nothing; Sustained in All Things: "I offered a Benediction today for some folks who had gathered together around some common soul-yearnings. Some in this particular gathering ..."

grossness. yuck.

this is what is under your carpet after 25 years. yuck.

omg yucky!

25 year old carpet holds a ton of dirt. yuck! at least I now know all windows need checked and recalked. seems during windy rainy storms water blows in or at least there are water stains on underside of carpet. had planned on reframing windows bungalow style anyway, instead of sheetrock. bumped that job up a little sooner than expected. plus am probably going to adjust, re-level sub floor before flooring. well at least I am getting a peak at the bones and it's a small sheltering nest, so very doable. even marble round fireplace has to go. will match firebox backing to concrete counters I am doing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

little bit of manna

these keys cost...well let's just say I'll be paying on them until I am 79 1/2. oh such a weird thought. though I will put them to great use.

and other things on manna front. a month or so ago I was describing the hermitage to one of my grand girlfriends. mentioned that the previous owner was hauling of stove to "stove heaven." she was like, ding ding, "I just happen to have one in my garage left over from recent renovation. think god must have been saving it for you. would you like it?" (paraphrased). "ummm. yes please and thank you."

well and then there is also the fact that when I was ooo-ing and awing over the online marketing of a near by place, another grand girlfriend said, "do you want me to call the agent for you and get more details?" "mmmmmm. i don't know...well ok." she did, so I set an appoint to go look. I picked out a few nearby places to check while out there. these keys go to the third place I looked at. the first place was too hot (big, plus pool and too far from work), the second place was too cold (sterile with it's leveled mowed pasture) and the third was just very right (all microforested, small shelter, just right a spot for woodshop, another for two-d work and covered areas for stitch stitching my tubes and so much more.

another weird manna moment is a month before I saw my microforest I'd sent my roommate (from 30 years ago) a list of what I'd like in a nest/ in a home base, kind of what I thought my soul needed. I had totally forgotten this email until she sent it back to me when I threw down a contract on the microforest. so glad she did because my now microforest matches my hoped/dreamed for list. god is so weird in a good way. he probably got a good laugh by the fact that he had to email me back my request so it would actually dawn on me that it had been given. so weird. if Earl was my last chance angel, I could totally see him doing something like this and rubbing it in in a good way, saying, "see Grace, this is how it really works."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

tomorrow (now today)

I buy my first ever microforest, my first ever home in the woods. my microforest is awesomely wonderful; I can't think of a space more peaceful or perfect for me. the house has potential with good bones, it will take a bit of work to make it home, a nest. i need a nest. it has a porch (a bit shallow, I'll need to expand it) and a porch is key since i prefer to spend my moments out of doors. vintage champagne 1988 carpet gets ripped out very first thing. it's filthy and faded. I am excited about my microforest and hermitage; til I catch myself weeping. I know it will be good; I know it is what I need and something I actually want; I know god works this way. but then I know that I can't even begin to understand, so I stop trying and just accept the gift. so i'll be a fixin her, giving her a good kick in the pants and shaking her up, and making sure I dedicate plenty of time for upcoming show lest I get lost in functional installation art (aka home renovation and furniture building). well...and some kayaking and watching the pound to add four legged tribal member come fall. funny that i coined that phrase relative to my history. sad funny. but mostly sad and pathetic. never did fit much into groups or that group, was always a bit to different for the comfort zones, questioned to many things, was a little more raw and experienced more gray than could be tolerated, well ... truth be told, my fingernails are always dirty no matter how I try. i couldn't and can't survive in tribes or families or other groups that don't have capacity to live and breathe forgiveness and mercy. I've found because of our humanness, breathing forgiveness and mercy daily is a part of all healthy relationships. cognitive ideations of forgiveness and mercy from a distance are not the same as living and breathing these relational things. just not. I've come to accept that I will always have dirty fingernails, it is just part of who I am and that kindness far outways "rightness." when we allow rightness to trump kindness, everyone looses.

it's raining again; reviving the living again. I do love the smell of rain.
the road to my microforest

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

hey! there is wet stuff falling from the sky

what the heck is it? it splatters atop the cars, beads up and rolls down, it makes a thrumming continuous sound, the pages of my book saturate and wave up. yay! it smells good to! I do like the rain and have been missing it.

hmmm. didn't last long and it's still dry below the bellies of our transport. the sky says it may release a little more for it's clouds are low and laden.

would have liked to put on my black raincoat today and strolled through my old park as i used to in the warm spring and summer rains (well ok year round since h-town is usually warm enough for strolling in rain year round). will have my own micro forest soon; will have to test strolling under the laden needles...hopefully it will rain again this summer.

oh well today will be a stitch stitch while listening, yes it's true, the commodores...but definitely can't not enjoy the old tunes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

i will knot

i will bless
i will not curse
even those who
see me as enemy

and i will move
to my woods
where i will
feel the weight
of the night sky descend
smell the stir
of air brushed from the
tip of the bird's wing
taste the dappling glistens
dancing down from the canopy
hear the scent of the needle
strewn forest floor mist upward

i will cut the
waters slowly and steadily
with my paddle

i will stitch black hides of tubes
build legs of bed and chair
nail boards of floor
roll paint of walls
trowel concrete of surfaces
scratch words of heart
and i will listen

i will continue
to prepare the ground
of my unreadiness

perhaps i will come out
though i can't think why
i would want to do that
(besides work)

the grill will be near
and the frig stocked.

though you may think god is absent from this or my writing or my life, again you are wrong in your many many assumptions as is each of our human habits of mind. i think god is in every moment and does not abandon. he (this pronoun is just easy for me) is right here, right now for you and for me.

bless and do not curse
ok i will try again

evening table setting

I keep telling them

that they'll hard boil those eggs every time they summer nest in my tubes. they do it anyway. first year I thought they knew what they were doing in terms of incubation. nope=hard boiled
cool but heat not good

Saturday, June 18, 2011

happy almost father's day, padre!!

prepping trash for new space

prepping harvested accumulated urban trash for my hermitage. these stools have bent plywood butt and back plates. one has some gosh awful padded junk. I think I will cut new plywood back and butt plate and attempt bending plywood technique to match others. though perhaps I could cover one shaped seat with plastic and when wood is prepared clamp it to seat shape I want it to match. just thinking about how to do it. also, lot of work, but contemplating using wood like my oak planter boxes to make hardwood floor. like a real old fashioned one. hmmmm. I am suppose to be making art, but really won't this be art?

Friday, June 17, 2011

amazing how things survive

morning harvest. surprised at garden's capacity to survive scorching sun and lack of water to produce healthy fruit. ok. well arugula is shot to hell and poblanos keep flowering but not fruiting.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

when the world slides sidewaysthis is safe fodder for my frustration

OMG! RANT to follow. Don't be confused this is a judgmental rant.

periodically i google book authors i might like to read and skim through a preview of their book. today i stumbled on this and got kind of hung on it. maybe this author has something worthwhile to say but he just kind of rendered himself spiritually impotent by his faulty logic or at least what I consider faulty logic.

in defensive driving, they say when we drive the same route habitually, we stop seeing what is really there and we don’t see what is actually there. this is often how people on bicycles and motorcycles get killed. how many times have i driven my regular route and realized, dang i don’t remember the last ten minutes. did i stop at the light? was it red or green? and i wasn’t even on my cell phone. yet i was on the right path. or what about the times i’ve intended to go somewhere else, to make a turn that isn’t my usual route but still needed, only to suddenly find myself back home because i did what i always do even though i was suppose to be somewhere else at that moment. or when i pick up the phone still to buzz and say i am running late...oops. don't do that (bad example).

does not appearing to follow the same path i am on really mean that the other is not seeking god? perhaps they are just ahead of me or a smidgen behind. i definitely can be on the same road as another and not see them. sometimes i have waited for them by temporarily stopping or slowing. sometimes i have to catch up. other times i simply miss them. or on some days, i simply don’t note my fellow travelers. i get the gist of what this guy is saying, but dang to come to the conclusion that someone is not seeking god because i don’t happen to notice them on the road. the main text may say it is a narrow path/road but it certainly doesn’t say it’s so short i should be able to see everyone on it. the pattern i see in the main text, is christ swerving and stopping for those the religious say not to on a regular basis. during that error (ha)/ era it really pissed of the people of the church/synagogue. then again perhaps it is not the other not on the path...

I am off kilter today and this stuff is just a really safe target for my frustration. i try not to get mad at specific people (my bad), so i am going to let this one go as a totally sideways vent. i had left it in draft format for several weeks, but today, just want to let something fly.

Location:Villa De Matel Rd,Houston,United States

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

paradoxes. yes.we each have stood or are standing on both sides of fixing and abandoning.

Parker Palmer
"we are surrounded by communities based on the practice of "setting each other straight"--an ultimate totalitarian practice bound to drive the shy (or hurting) soul into hiding...communal processes...supportive but not invasive. they probe questions and possibilities but forbid us rendering judgement...the key to this form of community involves holding a paradox...we must come together in ways that respect solitude of soul, avoid the unconscious violence we do when we try to save each other, that evoke our capacity to hold another life without dishonoring it's mystery, never trying to coerce the other into meeting our own needs. it is possible for people to be together that way, though it may be hard to see evidence of that fact in everyday life. ... my evidence comes in part from my journey... from healing I experienced as a few people found ways to be present to me without violating my soul's integrity. because they were not be driven by their own fears, the fears that lead us either to "fix" or abandon each other, they provided me a lifeline to the human race."

i find the parallels of personal/spiritual journey with my teaching practices and trends in collegiate art foundation programs, interesting. the kind of community (the one that is not propelled by fear in which fixing and abandoning dominant) above is the kind I want to be a part of, as well as the very thing I attempt to cultivate in my studio classes (art). it reminds me of what I hoped for with my chapelwood girls a decade plus ago (I think they've carried it into their futures of today when I see them interact still with one another), it is what I hope, experience and continue to longingly grow with my grand girlfriends and my Thursday morning "bestest" of girlfriends of 17+ years.

if I try to "fix," if I abandon, I leave an emanating wave behind me of unconscious, unintended, violence that propagates forward into lived behaviors, backwards into distortions of memories and histories, inward into the wounds of heart and mind. we each have stood or are standing on both sides of fixing and abandoning, to think not, is to live in blindness.

fixing or abandoning students is equally destructive in both life and the classroom. it is actually a difficult practice to make a space for real listening (which, in my mind, is the connective tissue of community) were one neither fixes, saves or abandons. i simply cannot fix or save another. i certainly may try to both of our detriment. abandonment is even easier. how many times have i caught myself mentally drifting when a certain student is talking on and on to me? i abandon that student each time i do not redirect my attention to actually pay attention to them. yet each time i open myself to really listen, healthy/good things happen. the more i listen, the more the other lays down drowning mechanisms developed in the wanting to be seen. many times i have feared that if a listen, i will be sucked into a needy little world. yet a safe space is created for that student to connect and springboard forward from. with each listening, I've noticed the students begin to listen to themselves. in the short run it is hard work, I find focus difficult. it takes students a while before they realize they are heard and seen. at that moment, I have witnessed them to begin reciprocating and listening more to their peers. it is amazing and unpredictable what comes from being seen and heard.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

flora therapy before auto-antitherapy

oh and even of my artist/horticulture suggested this very plant for... YES!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

caregiver or codependent?

yesterday (now last week or so) I was sitting with a group round a table, we filled the space. a woman came and sat down alone at adjacent table. as is my habit, I shifted my chair so my back was not to her and opened our circle to make room for her to participate. one of my peers noted and commented, "we know who the caregiver in our group is."

I actually found this terminology not offensive but a bit distressing. one, because for most my adult life I have not considered myself in this way and have not considered that I may be codependent in a way that isn't healthy. I've had a practice of noticing and making room for the other, have been extremely aware of physical presence. I recently read an odd statement, "I am empty because I am so full of you." crap. that is my whole adult life. I have detested going into bars because I feel like a sponge soaking up the lonelies and sadness (I realize not everyone in there is lonely or sad but I seem to pick up on those that are). I remember becoming aware of these feeling in college. it's like I am a lightning rod, a sponge, for other people's unfelt (denied) feelings (unprocessed, at least momentarily denied, hidden or simply pushed to the side in an instance of pretending life is not as it is). how can this be?

I am intuitive, which I think functions as my senses constantly pull from signals around me (even the fat seams of cheap socks, or the rubber boots squiggling on my trucks back window where they ride is a constant input) and with people signals I jump to viscerally felt conclusions without a language based process (understanding).

this gets confusing. is this feeling I am experiencing yours or mine? if I live in close community with another, it becomes even more inseparable and messy. is this a type of unhealthy codependency? I now believe it is because it makes me so full of another, it is difficult for the me to swim to my own surface into awareness.

I spent two decades hunting things in my childhood that simply aren't there. I tried to heal within myself phantom wounds that were not mine. i tried to fix brokenness in me in places that were not broken. I lost sight of what belonged to me, those things I actually did need to work on as well as my own strengths and goodness. I've spent a long time not even knowing what I like to do, what brings me contentment and joy. this is not anyone's fault, not even my own, it is simply how I process what surrounds me and enters in, something I am only beginning to learn to navigate. I suppose this sponge, lightning rod like attribute is a common characteristic of an artist, the capacity to listen and connect.

so I've begun trying to practice a different kind of sensing, a mindfulness (a wakefulness that allows me to recognize internal things that emanate from me and distinguish them from those around me). still am in very informal phase of practicing. brain is full of readings from an expanse of fields--sociology, psychology, contemplative faith-based, art world, learning/education theory and practice, each of these different arenas the authors keep saying the same things, using the same verbiage with matching meanings applied to unique situations that overlap in the human spaces of kindness, compassion, curiosity, connection, contentment, community and even creativity.

side thoughts:
a codependent caregiving is not equivalent to people pleasing or at least not on the surface.

wish my hermitage was ready.

Location:Athens, GA

Thursday, June 09, 2011

a little looking before the thinking starts for the day

oooh. if not suffering from overpopulation or extreme hunger, these are Bambi resistant. yay! and they are perfect for my grow zone and soil type! wonderful!

university of georgia horticulture gardens.
though i am a maker and a maker of art. many photos aren't meant as art objects, i simply find the act of shooting soothing. i liked shooting before the smart phone, yet i simply didn't do it because i didn't want to carry or break out a camera. the other thing i love and simply can't go back to a dumb camera for is capacity to focus and white balance (of sorts) through the touching of the screen where i want the camera to collect info for and adjust to that specific data.

Location:Sanford Dr,Athens,United States

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

may i throw up now!!?? please.

took scenic route (right thing to do); shorten trip by 50 miles, lengthened time by 1 hour. knew this going into it but always choose scenic over hwy. but the one hour (or felt like) of switch backs and hairpins ranging from 15 to 30 mph....well may i throw up now!! the curves were perfectly banked. some engineers and road gurus perfectly designed this road dropping out of the smokies. it was like skiing down a black (slightly large exaggeration). in spite of the perfect banking that pulled one straight through each curve (wait bad can one go straight through a curve...ponder); one guy this morning didn't make it and flipped and smacked into an embankment. not a good sign when the cops have traffic stopped and are measuring, csi-like, skid marks and various other relevant data.

i've now settled in for deep thinking or assume it will be since i've arrived at a thinktank. really what is a think tank? a weapon of brain destruction or clear like container to pin in the thinkers? perhaps a little of both? hope there are not to many innocent bystanders harmed in the thinking.

wiki says, "A think tank (also called a policy institute) is an organization or individual that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economy, science or technology issues, industrial or business policies, or military advice. ...

...While the term "think tank" originated in the 1950s, organizations date to the 19th century. The Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) was founded in 1831 in London. The Fabian Society in Britain dates from 1884. The Brookings Institution began in Washington in 1916, After 1945, the number of think tanks grew, as many smaller new think tanks were formed to express various issue and policy agendas. Until the 1940s, most think tanks were known only by the name of the institution. During the Second World War, think tanks were referred to as "brain boxes" after the slang term for the skull. The phrase "think tank" in wartime American slang referred to rooms in which strategists discussed war planning. The term think tank itself, however, was originally used in reference to organizations that offered military advice, most notably the RAND Corporation, founded originally in 1946 as an offshoot of Douglas Aircraft and which became an independent corporation in 1948...

...The first American think tank was the Brookings Institution, founded in 1916 as the Institute for Government Research (IGR), with the mission of becoming "the first private organization devoted to analyzing public policy issues at the national level."[16] The Air force set up the RAND Corporation in 1946 to think about air power.

In 1971 Lewis F. Powell Jr. urged conservatives to retake command of public discourse by "financing think tanks, reshaping mass media and seeking influence in universities and the judiciary."[17] In the following decades conservative policies once considered outside the liberal mainstream--such as abolishing welfare, privatizing Social Security, deregulating banking, embracing preemptive war—were taken seriously and sometimes passed into law thanks to the work of the Hoover Institution, Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and smaller tanks.[18][19]

Think tanks help shape both foreign and domestic policy. They receive funding from private donors, and members of private organizations. Think tanks may feel more free to propose and debate controversial ideas than people within government. The liberal media watchgroup Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has identified the top 25 think tanks by media citations, noting that from 2006 to 2007 the number of citations declined 17%.[20] The FAIR report reveals the ideological breakdown of the citations: 37% conservative, 47% centrist, and 16% liberal. Their data show that the most-cited think tank was the Brookings Institution, followed by the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies...."

hmmm. ok. we'll see. but really has me pondering is weird parallels with my bro...
my bro's place in Oak ridge, TN

my place within a five days, not in oak ridge.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

eighteen wheeler herds

I hate being pinned in on interstate in midst of 18-wheeler herd going 75 mph. no I am not texting and driving.

definitely in Arkansas.

the twenty year old waitress just called me "hon" and "sweetie" and the guy at next table, "sugar." oh wait! my dad got special treatment, "honey babe." then again my mom's nurse and aids' did grab my dad's legs and whistled just the other day. hot for just shy of 80. aaagggghhhh.