What a busy month. Whew.
I haven't been blogging nor journaling nor writing much - just mostly handling what's in front of me and taking this time to be introspective. The daily grind of listening to economic and mortgage doom & gloom as yet more crumbling pillars of corporate society take their place in the ever-growing soup kitchen line and beg for change, not to mention reading of certain disillusioned voters who are already quick to blame Obama before he's even taken office ~ it's all made me want to tune out of the whole blame game.
My personal favorite though is the Palin lovers, whose continued devotion to her has this stomach bug of mine sticking around longer than normal. It just serves to remind that the only normal is of the snafu variety.
I've been up to my assets in alligators with studying creativity this fall. The fine art of it as well as my place in it. More on that later. In the midst of all this creative thinking, I wrote a kid's book, which I plan to market here in the near future. Sung to the tune of this little bookie went to market. Wish me luck...and a Newbery Honor.
I've also been pretty busy this fall spearheading my Artist's Way group at church. Our 12-week journey is almost complete and it has gone really well. I gauge this success based on the fact that I have only had 3 drop out - one because she felt too young, and the other two because of work demands. Given the intense, psycho-therapeutic nature of this work, having only 3 drop out is rather amazing. The other nine ladies have proven to be very committed to the journey and we have become a very close-knit group of creative types.
My job, apart from keeping us on task and on time with our verbal sharing and insights, has been to come up with creative exercises during the second half of our sessions, based on whatever the chapter theme happened to be. And so, in the course of the past several weeks, I have schemed various activities ~ ranging from drawing our muses, to making shadow self tarot cards, to playing an art auction game, to making play-doh gifts ~ to this past week's activity for the theme of Self-Protection, which involved creating a recipe for creative living card and asked them to come back with all the necessary ingredients and a way-forward list of instructions for how they can begin to manifest this in their daily lives.
Said recipe for creative living is not to be confused with the cutesy, sprinkle in a dash of joy and add a pinch of variety and spice crap that you see in vile, errr virile e-mails. These recipes are more abstract and methodical, and are very much personal statements that resonate with each individual "concerning all acts of initiative" and creativity.
I have a more general instruction list for living that I've created for myself but I've noticed - because I stare at it each day such that I'm reminded when I am or am not living my list - that I haven't been heeding the first rule on my personal instruction list (a.k.a. the holy grail, secret to my universe stuff that got thrown out with my placental matter but has since been reclaimed in the netherlands of interplanetary, most extraordinary lost and found).
My first rule is to breathe.
How many short shallow breaths can a person take before they finally have to stop and, in Cheech and Chong "oh wow, man" fashion, breathe in the big kahuna? It will be nice for time to tick slower this week. I love how Americans have carved out this entire week practically, where life comes to a virtual halt. People are remiss to schedule things on the Monday and Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, or so I've noticed. And that's fine by me.
Many Happy Returns
Holy Son played in his last soccer game of the season and scored a goal. That was a big deal. He's usually good for one a season, but not always. He mostly plays defense and has yet to really hone his offensive skills. He's almost a foot taller than some of his teammates, so it's a different game watching him run those long strides of his across the field with the ball.
He's gearing up for his jazz band concert tonight ~ last week was orchestra (yes, he's both a jazz spaz and an orch dork). That means we scrap Irish Dance and Scouts and watch him be the bass guitar dude. And he is beginning to look like a dude. Scraggly, shaggy blondish hair that spends most of its time in his eyes. He likes to brush it forward. He thinks the look becomes him. I fantasize about getting the clippers out in the middle of the night and shaving it all off.
He turns 12 this week, and as usual, we have to ownplay-day the age-ay ing-thay in front of all his 13 year old friends. Even though he towers over all of them and runs circles around them socially. Middle schoolers amuse me. I'm at his school every day to pick him up so I get my fair share of seeing them in the action. He's mostly oblivious to all the groupies he has until an adult happens to point it out. Like his former International Studies teacher, who is fond of stopping me in the hallway and pointing out conspiratorially, how my son "always has girls around him. They follow him everywhere!"
But as I say, he's clueless to the attention. He has one particular girl that he likes. I saw her in the school play. She is exactly his "type: - tall, leggy, long blondish hair and is 12 going on 22. He asked her to the upcoming Snowflake dance and she's all excited. She wants them to dress matching - she'll wear a bright fuschia dress and she's hoping he'll wear a matching fuschia tie. I said welcome to the world of girls, buddy. He bought her a snowflake necklace and his all excited to give it to her that night. Age eleven and already a player.
Holy Daughter has her own drama. She's been hanging with a certain boy in class who is the son of one of the most senior elected officials in this state. They are just friends, of course, but the whole class teases them about their chumminess. He's very smitten with her, on account of her being an animated, fearless and captivating extrovert. And she's extremely amused by him. He confessed to her that he was going to vote for Obama, despite his father being a staunch Republican. And he admitted that he stuffed the ballot box with 11 dirty ballots during their class Halloween contest. She thought that was pretty funny. So did I. If his father only knew.
She had a meltdown last week and decided that she's just way too busy with too many extra-curricular activities. Mwah-ha-ha. My evil plan is working. I've been desperate to dump a couple of these for awhile now. Brownies will likely end this year. I'm not sure we'll carry on but we'll have to see how that goes. It's only once every couple of weeks and is right after school, so that one is no biggie. And soccer season is over now, thankfully. That one was 2-3 times a week, although we never did make both weekly practices. The problem with dropping something like soccer is that it's the only aerobic exercise kids that age get. Gym is only once a week for 1/2 an hour and they usually only end up doing lame games and activities.
Ballet is the big issue. She wants to drop it. She isn't enjoying it, mostly because it's so repetitive and her instructor, the studio owner, is always a no-show. Ballet is the one activity I'd like to see her hang onto for awhile longer. She's agreed to see this through until the Nutcracker performance is over and then in the new year, switch studios to a more challenging class and see how that goes.
But during her meltdown she confessed that she's cool with dropping Irish dance, and that tickles me. Irish dance requires insanely high leaps and kicks, neither of which she's been able to muster to a competitive degree. And competition is where it's at in Irish dancing, unfortunately. Not to mention that it's pricey and we're at that stage of having to invest in soft and hard shoes, both of which can be awfully expensive. So, I'm holding the vision that by the new year, Irish dancing will be a thing of the past in this house.
Time has flown since Canadian Thanksgiving. I'm so glad we're not doing the turkey and pie thing again. This year for Thanksgiving, we're heading to our church potluck. It's a great way to be in community with our 'fellow Americans' and best of all, have an opportunity to enjoy the fun and feast without having to deal with a huge kitchen mess.
I'm grateful for the time to relax a moment or two. It's been a hectic fall with little time to chill out and breathe. Big fat sigh.