March Madness

This is my 100th blog post. I’ve been thinking it begged a more extravagant form of performative utterance than this casual mention but it doesn’t. Onward, upwards and all that.

The same holds true for my writing or lack thereof. In my attempt to find new footing and get some traction again, I’ve been over-thinking what major thing I should write about. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and so I guess I shall reorient myself from there – that single step.

I get singular steps confused with big steps. They are not at all the same thing. One is measured qualitatively and the other quantifiably. I suppose if I want to justify my lapse of time, I can, indeed, measure numerically the million little things I’ve done of late.

I don’t know that the fruits of my labor (and loins for that matter) add up to anything of substance and tangibility now. All my vested interests feel that way – bound up in uncertain, future dividends. But process is like that – it can’t be measured with any real precision. To quote T.S. Eliot ~ “what we call the beginning is often the end / And to make an end is to make a beginning.” As winter fades and spring fast approaches, I feel that’s where I’m at; a place of resurrection, rebirth and new beginning.

On that note, I’ve begun the next stage in The Artist’s Way series ~ Walking in This World, wherein Julia Cameron, the author, introduces weekly walks to the “tool box” of spiritual-creative outlets along with morning journaling and a weekly artist date. The first chapter in this new book, no surprise, is about discovering a sense of origin.

Fresh start, clean slate, beginner mind – what a great place from which to embark on a creative and metaphoric spiritual journey.

In this relative state of minding my own business, I’ve been contemplating the mind. I just read My Stroke of Insight, Jill Bolte Taylor’s account of where her brain was at in the days, weeks, months, years following her stroke. I’m also reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and all this brain food has been giving me fodder for thought on the issue of creativity vis-à-vis right and left brain thinking.

Along with this, I’m learning to see negative spaces. Perhaps I should say re-learning. I suspect I was born with that vision but have since forgotten it. Holy Son has a grey and white screened t-shirt that features a woman’s face on it. I didn’t notice the face for weeks. Now that’s all I see. I hope to keep it that way.

It’s starting to work though. Now that I’m beginning to notice negative space, I see a different view outside my office window – the leaves and trees are arranged in such a way as to create a kind of Greco-Roman statuesque face of Picasso proportions. I need to sketch it before a big windstorm comes up and blows the leaves off my face.

Yes, it’s true. I have Picasso on the brain. I headed up Holy Daughter’s classroom art auction project this winter and this is the final result (the background matte was woven by a creative helpmate - one of the other moms who was also juggling a staggering three other classroom auction projects of her own).

It sold last night at the auction for $1050. Unbelievable. And here I was, hoping it might sell for $75.00. Holy Daughter’s creations are second down from the top left and the center image.

Speaking of vision, distant objects have seemed quite blurry to me lately. It’s been a crazy, busy time of late. We’ve been juggling all the usual suspects of after-school arts and scouting round-around madness with the kids, as well as a host of medical appointments, family visits and attraction tours.

I can’t believe spring is almost here – this has been the winter that just won’t end. When it snowed again this past week for like the millionth time here in the past few months, Holy Daughter noted that it must be Mother Nature trying to get rid Herself of the last bit of cold and flakey stuff to make room for spring. There might be something to that.

All I know is I’m ready for spring. Holy Son is off to Washington, DC for a school trip next weekend. He’s most excited about staying at a Great Wolf Lodge during the trip. Holy Hub is trying to keep a low yet high profile at Boeing – a precarious, betwixt and between place if ever there was one. I’m still encouraged that, amidst all their layoffs, engineering jobs aren’t yet being touched. Fingers crossed. And summer is around the corner, for which I have nothing beyond Holy Son’s scout camp in Oregon etched on the calendar to show for it. Holy Daughter is flirting with going to circus camp this summer and I’m flirting with letting her. There are a couple of options in town – an actual circus arts school, as well as a cirque institute. We’ll see how that goes.

Sudden death loomed large on the horizon last week ~ first, with news of Natasha Richardson’s unexpected passing, and next with the shocking news that a friend’s husband had suffered a fatal heart attack on Thursday. He was only 45. She does not stray far from my thoughts from moment to moment.

The kids finish up this afternoon with their Snow White play, which has been playing at Bellevue Youth Theatre to mostly sold-out crowds. Holy Son had a small singing solo in it – he played the role of The Raven and did a good job of mimicking and a great job with his singing Holy Daughter played the Huntsman’s daughter and also gave stellar performances. I look forward to having our after-school time and dinner hour back to normal again.

And to finding time to write again.