Wednesday, July 20, 2011

embodiedness...

as i have said i before i have spent most of my life battling and fighting with my body and that this year is one of the first times in my life where i have started to have a healthy relationship with my body. because in spite of the battle i am so intrinsically bound to my body and bodiedness. i encounter the world via body and when i encounter the spiritual world i do so in my physical body. for example while driving to school today there was a truck that had run off the road...something in that sight triggered my mom's accident for me and for a brief moment i lost the ability to breath, or take my intuitive sense of knowing something...i know when something is true because i can physically feel the truth in my guts and through my chakra core.

last night was another movement in that direction...while taking a break from studying for my final and processing some chaotic emotional dynamics last night i decided to take some photos of my body. having grown up around photographers i have a very mixed relationship with cameras. i love well done photography and am very intrigued with images of bodies and form. i love well done nude and body photographs. yet when it comes to myself the idea of photos, let alone a nude or partial nude photos of myself scares the shit out of me. but i am also drawn like a moth to a flame to the idea of having well done and artistic nude photographs taken of me. as a painter i have always had this dream of dating another painter and painting pictures of each other naked or painting each other...

so last night i decided to try and take some photos a) to break the fear b) to see how they would look. so i did...i took photos of myself that, while artistic were nude. it was such a freeing experience because it was just a form of exploration for myself of embracing my body...i wasn't doing for anyone else or to gain attention but to explore my own beauty and self acceptance. also it was a learning experience as a photographer...to see what i could do playing with the light and camera in my room in the late hours of night. 

this playful time of self acceptance couldn't have happened without the words and action and care of several people...hopefully you know who you are...thank you.









Sunday, July 17, 2011

speaking is hard today

words and the means to expressing what i mean escape me some days...and today is one of those. i feel like nothing i can say is write or communicates what i am trying to really say or the care in which it is offered. being misunderstood is like being a child again watching the rage mounting in my father knowing that nothing i can say rational or irrational will make any difference because he has hit that point in which he can't hear me and my best bet is to go in my room and hide. 

to not be able to truly say what i mean drives me mad...it's hearkens to ex's and friends who never understood me but knew me well...so they thought they knew what i was saying when really they didn't.

often my best friend and i still have those moments where we have to work at clarifying what is *actually* meant by what the other is saying because baggage and old hurts are blocking the path....

i didn't speak for years i couldn't or wouldn't let my heart and truth escape out of my mouth, in blocking my words i blocked myself my essence. i kept my words bottled up because they might lead to being left and the realization that the people i cared about didn't care about me as much as i cared about them. i am still afraid that both of these will happen...that the care and love i think i have is conditional and based on my behavior. that's how i was raise to some extent...the idea of grace and unconditional love were given lip service but i didn't really see them in action. i spent my childhood in fear of doing something wrong that would disappoint most of my family and lead to the hard earned trickles of love and care. not all of my family is like this but enough people on either side that it has lead to that feeling of crazy for me. and two of  the few people who i knew loved me unconditionally are gone. 

so now when i do speak i have a hard time not walking in apologizing or taking it all back because i am afraid that the person i choose to speak to will turn and walk away from me.



Thursday, July 14, 2011

baggage...(NFTPL #54)



perspective determines how one looks at the world...for me one of the major perspectives that have defined how i look at life is my weight...or rather my battles with my body.

since i was six years old i have been aware of these things 1) my body as that of a female, places me in a odd space in society...both being subjectified and objectification 1-b) some how it was my job to keep that at bay, and sexuality was something that had to be hidden, unspoken, and was embarrassing  2) that my body was not acceptable as is...it was flawed and people would dislike me specifically because of my body. at this point i was a skinny kid.

as i took these explicit and implicit "truths" given i was also being told by my grandmother that i needed to learn how to eat and try different foods. even at such a young age i was already suffering the curse of the sensitive and the large at heart...depression. as the baggage of family, friends, death and life began to pile on to my heart they also began to pile onto my body. food became an outlet  for all of those unexpressed things and means to control something in the midst of chaos. then came high school and a year and a half of an eating disorder...the back and forth of starving and binging...my subtle cry for help. it was like smoking in some sense a test to see if i would be noticed, a way to do what was forbidden, and something i knew was bad for me and there for i would do.

on and off the cycles went back and forth. i carried the weight of my shattered family, the need to fill my mother's space, and my own emotional chaos.  like a "cutter" i violated my body time and time again. taking on the pain of others or the pain caused by others as mine to own and mine to fix. i discovered there was a sickening pleasure in doing things that hurt me...like breathing in on a cigarette feeling the smoke filling my lungs and the tightness and hacking cough that comes after or digging my nails into my palms willing myself to wait until i drew blood or having shot after shot of liquor. when i was at the brink of pain and suicidal i would sit there pushing myself with contempt and hatred to keep going take more drink more....exctera.

this year has marked the first time in my life where i have been able to accept and come to terms with my body. most of my life has been fighting or using it to hide and keep people at a distance. it's like a maddening rush of freedom and it makes me want to run wild with the headiness of it all.

what blows my mind most often about this change is the little things that change, like being comfortable being naked, or how i walk and feel in my body.  these are not earth shattering events except that they are for me. as my perception of myself changes so does my outlook towards others and the world. i have more grace for others and i realize that i am valued and should be treated as such in a way i didn't see before.

the thing about love songs and movies....(nftpl #53)

so i realized this thing as i was listening to the i-pod in traffic this morning...the relationship/love songs i tend to like, much like movies and books, tend more often than not to be written by men from a male perspective. when i think about what would be in my top ten list for any of these categories middle class men dominate the list.

since i would call my self a third wave feminist and very much advocate for equality and voice i find this very interesting. is is the insidious cultural indoctrination that the male perspective is the norm through which everyone should see? is it a form of self loathing or hatred? or is it that i an artist and lover am just more connected because of _ to this kind of vision of relationships and love? i don't know...i mean i am very female in much of my functioning and perspectives on life. yet high fidelity, reality bites, chasing amy, and singles are all favorite movies of mine...you know the ones you put on when you just don't want to think anymore. what's interesting is that all four of these movies are about men and relationships...even reality bites is more male than female. they are all tales of wanting and pining for one that you seemingly can't have and yet do in the end. that ache of desire and waiting and finally getting that which you have battled for.

in music it's a combination of this and the frustrations of wanting someone who might be terribly wrong for you but you still want them none the less...mountain by tonic, old hat by harvey danger, aya/shade of blue/red eyes and tears/whenever your ready/ect by BRMC, laid by james, and the list goes on.  it's always been this way when i was a singer it never failed i would alway want to sing the "male" songs because they seemed more interesting than the female.

so what is it? why does a male perspective on love and relationships carry more weight and power with my heart than a female? is it because that is what i miss from my perspective...i don't understand it so it's what i am drawn to more because my brain needs something to work out?  as friends have told me i choose complicated, because i like things to do and puzzles to solve. i don't do simple in spite of cries to that effect. whatever the reason it doesn't seem like it is changing soon.

zombies

let me start by saying that zombies freak me out. ask my little brother and sister in law after watching "zombieland" last year i was totally scared to walk the five steps out of their door to my car. that being said i spent a good six months last year researching zombies, the myth of zombies, and zombie films for a paper i never ended up writing about what the current surge in zombie films, lit, and culture is all about. i believe much like the rise of apocalyptical stories and then vampires, that the cultural saturation of zombies says something major about the underlying cultural ethos of Western society (yeah i know super wordy but what can i say i am a graduate student paying good monies to write like this).

that being said...two nights ago i had this horrific dream that took place during a zombie invasion. now i know from my research and the books i have bought and read on the subject that the reality of this kind of  a thing happening is impossible but tell that to my brain! so anyway there i was in the midst of zombie pandamoium trying to get where ever it was that was safe...usually a coast, almost always the west coast, although i don't know why? anyway it's all stressful and what not searching for weapons and vehicles and food all the while avoiding the threat of evil from formerly human beings. yet in the end what became the most awful part of the dream was not the shooting at and killing zombie (the pacifist in me was cringing) but rather the fact that i ended up alone in a car on this journey...granted i had food, water, weapons, gas everything i needed..except another person to help save off the threat of death. it was the "what if" fears of being alone that really got to me and finally woke me up in the wee hours of the morning.

what in part i got as i was processing this dream, was the revelation that i have all i need to live my life (ie all the supplies) but i am terrified that i will have to continue walking alone through the dark spaces. when i say alone i mean without a human companion..since that is what we are each created for human connection and companionship.  my heart longs to share life with others.

so again i find that i am learning something from zombies!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

getting your ducks in a row

now is the time for getting things together...i had three job interviews today, two tomorrow, two monday and a few more in the latter part of next week. for a long time i thought that i would NEVER nanny again...i had been doing it for almost ten years and was burnt out. but after taking a break for a few months i realized that i really do love being able to share time with children in that kind of setting and how lovely it is to get the chance to have that unique interaction in a child's life.

this was further confirmed for me when i got to visit with some of the children i nannied for in seattle. it has been a lovely gift to still participate in their lives even after i was no longer their nanny. i love these children very much.

so as i am looking to get things in order, the first being a job, i am going back to nannying...until i can get a job in my field or until shiloh and i start making some money with the film work we are doing. the process of getting a job is an action of accepting the fact that i am becoming more of an adult and that is the ability to take care of my self and possibly others.  plus getting a job means paying off debt, paying rent, and actually saving money instead of living check to check. getting a job also means creating space to create because i am able to support myself which removes stress so that the free time i have can actually go to creative adventures instead of stress.

the next two things on the list after procuring a job: getting film stuff up and running and getting a place to live that is closer to school and los angeles.

as i look to this process i am so very thankful for my california family and their love and support...but i also am excited to have a place again with all of my books and art and whatnot! plus it will be fun to share a place with shiloh.  it has been a year and a half since i have lived in an apartment/house that wasn't family but my own. there are good things to both...and once again i LOVE my family here and our living situation!

i guess what the underlying aspect for me, is the reality that i might actually feel like a responsible adult...which means that the idea of having a long term relationship and a child doesn't seem like such an impossibility. the closer i get to feeling both the wonder of doing the things i love and getting my ducks in a row the closer i feel to getting the things i never thought i would have in my life. and that is exciting indeed...granted i still have 2-5 yrs left of school, before i will be ready for anything like marriage or children.

other views of places i have known (nftpl #52)

drove through old haunts in a tuquiouse blue car blaring great music of my own choosing (thanks sonic boom). as i tooled around seattle i realized that part of me misses being here, the history i have with this place, the friends, the memories...the beauty of my native land. i realized that seattle to me is stablity and settling down and marriage and kids and things like that w/o the rock n' roll that my wild heart craves. i do want those things just not in the way i would have had them here. also i do love my life as crazy and wild as it is and the woman i am becoming from moving away.

it is hard to be in that space of missing someplace you have lived and yet knowing in your heart's bottom depths that it is no longer a place for you. this is the feeling that i had while i was in seattle very much nostalgia for what was home for so very long.

then i got home to los angeles and was picked up by my adopted father figure...uncle dan. with in ten minutes it was evident that while in the northwest i had lost much of my hard earned strength and solidness of self. being in my old haunts i had taken on my old way of being...the timid and apologizing girl, instead of the powerful and confidant woman i am becoming. as i processed this shift i realized that i am longing for the day when my being and self-hood is flexible yet doesn't mold to to each place i got. instead i can hold the core of who i am solid no matter what.

i am constantly encountering new ways of seeing and understanding the world...changing views.

already/not yet


 there is this phrase we use in theology to talk about the promises of God that have be partcially fulfilled but have not yet been realized in all their glory (already/not yet)...for example the word shalom represents a vision of wholistic blessing of life abunant, while we encounter moments and spaces of shalom we do not fully live in a place where this exists as it was intended to exist, through out the whole of humanity and created order.

i find that this term also applies to other things in daily life...say for my friends Jesse & Erika who were engaged for a month and a half before they got married last friday. while they were engaged they lived in the already/not yet state of marriage being committed to someone but not yet fully having the rights and priveldges of a married couple in the eyes of others and the law. i think often this already/not yet status is a part of transitions and relationships. like summer transitions from one grade to another...when i saw my godchildren last week they were talking about school and what grades they are going into the next fall. i remember how cool it was at the end of your last day of school to say as you were running out the door i'm no longer a 4th grader i am now a 5th grader even though you actually don't start class for another three months.

often we live this space of things that we hope for but have not had fully realized. that waiting is hard it's like having a vision before the reality of that vision comes. and this is the already not yet of life

Friday, July 08, 2011

escaping chaos

blackbird friends and dogs are stalking me these days, maybe i am just chasing ghosts or being chased by them i don't know.  this i  do know, my heart aches a bit and my head is tired of trying to untie knots i didn't create and can't understand. so instead i go back to old patterns and habits. replacing kisses with cigarettes and beer and bread, hands with poetry and music and unsent letters just to remove the chaos from my head.  the brushes and canvas keep calling my name, reminding me of the relief they offer in the kinetic movements and unleashing the wilds of my head. tomorrow i will in the silence of an empty house paint out the confusion and lies running and doing back flips through my mind. doubts cloud every image i have and i can't hold the reality of truth it slips like liquid in my hands. they are incapable of holding it anymore. my senses memory are still overwhelmed by scents and images and desires but my brain is running scared and wild like a caged dog. fir up and on guard she hits her self with every thing in the arsenal for letting the guard down and risking harm. habits and comforts are not working this time around the bend...back to rooting, back to trusting, back to faith, and music and words i must go. exorcise those demons, of pain and regrets the harbingers of depression and self-hatred. 

Thursday, July 07, 2011

hurting....

i remember sitting in the hospital waiting for answers that didn't come. the reality that my world was irrevocably shattered not yet clearing my brain, but i also couldn't walk into the room where she lay swelled up like a balloon filled with tubes attached to machines. my heart was breaking and i was unable to cry...in fact i didn't cry for three months. and the world suddenly became filled with only two people those who got it and understood that there was nothing they could say to take what happened on a mountain away and didn't try and those who offered contrite words and religious platitudes who thought it was their job to make things better. the former were well received and the latter i offered fake plastic thank you's and plastic smiles. we all grieve in our ways and that is important, one shouldn't be pushed to get over it or whatever.

now my friend is sitting in this same tension with more dire outcomes and i know there is nothing i can say.  i hurt on his behalf and those who are suffering with him in this. the possibility of loss of someone you love is awful. all i know how to offer is presence and listening...as anne lamott says your job is to listen and show up and let God do the rest. so that is what we will do.