Friday, May 23, 2008

Turning over a new leaf in May

And the final one, the only one that was on time.

I'm sad that I won't be in the next Bead Journal Project--too much is going on in my life right now, and I really wasn't able to give it the time I wanted to. But I learned so much from it, and I'll always be glad I participated. I definitely learned a lot about self-discipline and what you can do when you push.

I am determined to turn over a new leaf as this page symbolizes. I am a caretaker. I worry more about other people and their needs than I do about myself. That has to stop. I need to show as much caring for myself as I do for other people. I've always been worried that that's selfish, but I'm realizing that it's just reasonable. I worry constantly about letting other people down, about not giving them what they need. The last few months have shown me that I need to give myself what I need, too. What I need is time, quiet, space...whether other people understand it or not.

I've been mother to my own mother, mother to people at work, mother to friends. I comfort, reassure, anticipate needs. I do the same for my own son, who's the person who should actually be getting those things. And I also need to mother myself enough to bring myself back to health--physically, emotionally, psychologically.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

April BJP

Ah, one of the most emotionally honest and on-point journal pages. Who hasn't fantasized about just flying away? In one of my favorite books, "Time Off From Good Behavior", Susan Sussman says, "Show me a woman who hasn't fantasized getting in the car and leaving home and I'll show you a woman who doesn't know how to drive." It isn't always leaving home--sometimes it's leaving a job, leaving your life. Sometimes the Maine woods sound really good to me. But it's just a desire for escape, isn't it? A desire to have the *ability* to run away from your life, even if you wouldn't do it. To know that I *can* if I want. As my friend Linda likes to say when I'm stuck in a meeting and she's not, "I can go in; I can go out; I can go in; I can go out..." It's the choice that feels good.

April was a month where the urge to escape was at its greatest. But escape from what, exactly? Nothing I could put my finger on.

The ribbon I dyed doesn't look as good on the picture as it did in real life. It was a combination of blues and greens that nearly made me swoon with pleasure. I love color.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Behinder with catchup

Well, enough things have happened since the middle of February that I haven't had a chance to do much beading much less posting. I've had to make my pages more simple since I haven't been able to spend much time on the project. I've finished three more in the last several days, though, and am closing in on the last two.

So here, at my normal late pace, are January, February and March.

For January, I started with one of my favorite quotes from William Blake: "Improvement makes straight roads: but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius." That's what I feel about art, life, everything--it's the crooked paths I've taken that have meant the most to me. I had to laugh because this piece fought me the whole way through--nothing went as I wanted it to, but I was determined to keep it improvisational and let it be what it was. I have time to make pretty things, but even though this is my "ugly child", I love the fact that I let it be. Letting go of control isn't easy for me, but I'm reaching the point where I realize I have no other choice.

And for February, a love poem to myself:

I've spent way too much of my life seeking approval from others, and invested way too much of myself in finding just the right person or thing. I loved the words from Margaret Cho--you have to be the person you want. I'm working on it.

March was my birthday! A little challenging to celebrate, but all the better for it. Sometimes I think that you have the chance to reinvent yourself every day. I'm taking advantage of that more and more all the time. And I'm finding that my true friends are the ones who not only let me reinvent myself, but who celebrate it along with me. You'll notice from the piece that my arms are very, very long, and any figure I bead seems to get chubbier and chubbier with every row. I've decided to think of that as a "feature".

I'm almost done with April and I should be finished with May in the next couple of weeks. I admire the people who can bead a whole piece, but I guess I'll reach that point when I retire.