Friday, December 30, 2011

Ego, art, and why do you create?

Why do you create?  Is it because what you create is your passion and you couldn’t imagine yourself doing otherwise?  Do you create because you believe that the world needs to hear or see what you have to say? Would you still create if you there was no audience for your work? 

As a writer I think the answer is a mix of both.  Writing is a form of communicating.  One could argue that all art is a form of communication of course but I think every writer has an audience in mind when they set pen to page and begin to create even if that audience is one’s self or if it is purely imaginary.  As a blogger putting my work out to the world on a regular basis it is obvious that I want people to read what I write.

However, with writing it is nearly impossible for me to separate my voice from the work whether I am writing in my journal, for my blog or an academic paper for school.  Though my audience is different in each case, and thus the style may vary, my voice is always there.  I think the struggle for me is with other forms of art, in particular with dance or performance art.  I have found it is very easy to start to create solely based on what I think an audience may want to see and thus run the risk that the final creation will be lacking in spirit.   

Perhaps it is because when I produce a show there are far more material factors thrown into the mix, like ticket sales and making sure that I am able to pay performers and cover other expenses so I often feel I have no choice but to keep the audience in mind.  As a solo performer, the response from the audience is so immediate and their approval and applause can be very addicting.  I think every performer who has experienced that high that comes with a great performance, one that not only feels good to the artist, but that the audience enthusiastically responds to and obviously loves, has the desire to recreate that feeling.   

James Kaelan talks about the ego and art in this video from What's Your Calling.  It has certainly given me food for thought, especially with the creative struggles I’ve been having of late.  
So I’m curious, why do you create?  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Terpsichore's Whisper

Terpsichore - [turp-sik-uh-ree] the muse of the dance, Gk. Terpsikhore, lit. “enjoyment of dance,” from terpein “to delight” + khoros “dance, chorus”

If I think back over the past year or so I’m not sure I could pinpoint the moment that I first acknowledged what was happening.  There had been signs along the way of course.  I’d begun to use a bit less care than usual in putting on stage make up because the excitement of the transformation that usually accompanied it simply wasn’t there. I remember beginning to work on a new piece and the idea of making an entirely new costume just seemed like too much of a bother.  And there were the times when after hours of listening to song after song I finally just settled for a bit of music because I’d committed to performing at a show and I had to pick something to dance to even if it didn’t speak to me the way music used to.

And finally there was that moment, actually there were many of these moments, when after all of the planning and the practice that leads up to a performance, I found myself standing backstage waiting for the lights to come up so I could make my entrance and instead of the expected excitement and usual nervous jitters I felt nothing…and all I could think of was that I couldn’t wait for the show to be over.  And when, after it finally was, people congratulated me on a job well done or they told me that they loved a particular performance I resisted the urge to walk away because though I said the words of thanks, and told them how I was happy that they’d enjoyed the show, inside I felt like a bit of a fraud.

Looking at that statement it might seem that I am being a bit melodramatic; after all I’m not someone who is well known outside of the local dance community.  I’m not a full-time performer who makes her living on the stage.  If I disappeared forever no one is going to make a documentary about the great legacy that was lost because I’d not had the forethought to pass my ideas and talents on to some young protégé (How’s THAT for melodramatic?).  But however small or great my contributions to the dance world might be, I’d always felt that what I brought to the stage was something that came from a place of honest inspiration. 

Every piece I’d done whether it was something silly about the feeling one gets as a child when seeing the first snow fall of winter or a more serious piece about struggling with the darkness of depression or just something fun, like belly dancing to a bluegrass song just to see if I could, my heart was fully in it.  Even in the darker pieces there was a joy that I felt in being on that stage and in sharing the story that I was there to tell through dance.  The experience filled me to the point of overflowing and I felt that what spilled over was a gift that I willingly gave to the audience. 

So, while it might sound melodramatic, it is true that lately I have I felt like what audiences had seen was not my best work, not because I’d had a bad performance or I’d worked any less hard physically in creating the show.  In fact during this entire time I worked harder than I ever had before, thinking that if I just practiced more, challenged myself more, and pushed myself more that I’d regain what it was that I had lost.   I didn’t feel like a sham because I’d not put in the hours prior to performing, but because I’d stepped on that stage to present a piece that was not filled with that same spirit.

I am a firm believer in the idea that the show must go on.  I’ve no illusions about every performance being one that is perfect or that the every audience will love.  There will always be times that getting on that stage will be a struggle; the previous performance I may have tripped on my costume, or the DJ presses play and the music that comes out of the speakers isn’t the version I expected, or I have a cold that I’m fighting off, or I’m just too damn tired, or I just had my heart broken, but I always manage to get on that stage anyway and, until recently, most of the time once I am there all of that falls away.   I will always do what I have committed to doing which is why, even when my heart has not been in it, I’ve managed to somehow get myself up on that stage anyway, but, with a few exceptions, unlike those other times when I might just be overtired or hungry or sick, the feeling doesn’t pass and I feel a bit like I’m a puppet pulling my own strings, going through the motions of the performance.

This is where I find myself today.  And this is why I’ve not posted to the blog in over a week.  Most of my writing over the past several days has been centered on this issue because writing has always been one of the ways that I work things out.   The loss of connection to inspiration can be a very personal and sometimes painful experience and it is often one that is worked out in solitude.

My thoughts have gone from one extreme (ceasing performing all together until I figure this out) to another (dropping all other creative pursuits except for dance until I figure this thing out) and I’ve not yet found an answer.  I do know I don’t want to stop dancing.  I also know that I have experienced fallow times in other creative pursuits, including writing, and that with time even the most barren of creative times have always had an end.

So I guess  the closest thing to a conclusion that I have come to is that this isn’t something I can bring to an end solely through the force of my own will.   I perhaps have a bit of soul searching to do, taking the time to seek out and reconnect with the reasons that I began performing in the first place, but in the end, I must to be patient and willing to wait this out.  I hope that it will not be too long before I once again hear Terpsichore’s whisper. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Spinster New Year

They’re here.  I’ve seen a new one every few days over the last couple of weeks.  There was the one about women who buy themselvesfake engagement rings to wear home on Thanksgiving to avoid prying questions about why they aren’t yet hitched.  About a week later there was the story of two women posting ads on Craigslist for temporary holiday boyfriends so that they could have someone to bring along to office parties, family holidays and to kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve.   And of course the ever popular how to hold your head high if you can’t get a date for New Year’s Eve.  Yes folks, it’s the time of year for all of those articles about how much the holidays suck if you are single.

First let me say that for various reasons I am not a big fan of Christmas.  In fact, last year I rented a cabin in the woods and sat out the holiday altogether.  This year it is my one day off with no plans and so I’m thinking a day on the couch, with some good movies, a bottle of wine and some expensive cheese are the way to go.  So whether or not I am single on Christmas has never been a real issue since my preference leans much more towards the quiet of a solstice morning sunrise.  New Year's Eve however is a totally different story.

I love celebrating New Year’s Eve.  One, it is a secular holiday that anyone can celebrate without stepping on toes or inadvertently misappropriating someone else’s cultural traditions.  You can wish practically anyone a Happy New Year and they will have no reason to be offended.  Two, New Year’s Eve is a holiday for adults. Why?  Because New Year’s Eve does what no other holiday does, it is the big annual reset button.   It is our chance to acknowledge that another year has passed, to reflect on everything good or bad that happened in our lives, to toast our accomplishments and to wipe away our failures and disappointments.  It is the night that we say, “I’m going to do better in the next year.”

In other words, we get a redo. 

And so New Year’s Eve is a night that I want to be surrounded by a hundred people all toasting away their regrets and looking onward to the future.  I don’t want to spend it with some date that I’ve scrambled to find at the last minute in order to be assured of a midnight kiss.  I want to have my dearest friends around me.  I want to be with those who I celebrated my ups with and those who caught me when I was tumbling on a down.  These are the folks who I want to clink champagne glasses with.  These are the people I want to kiss when the number hits zero and the ball drops.

In fact as far as the kissing goes, being single on New Year’s Eve is pretty much the bomb.  After all we single folks get the fun of free range lips.   There is no agonizing moment of searching the bar or club to find our date at five minutes to midnight, only do be disappointed that they chose that moment to go break the seal and wind up missing the kiss altogether.  I happen to be a HUGE fan of kissing so midnight is a moment I do not want to miss.

Finally, I do count myself lucky when I say that I’ve never had a family that cared about what my relationship status is.  I have never had to endure the pestering and prying questions that some of my single friends have had to endure.  My family has always been more concerned about whether or not I’m actually happy with my life.  Maybe some folks do feel so much pressure that they go buy fake engagement rings to avoid the questions.  Personally I think an appropriate response to why someone isn’t yet married would be, “If you really want to see a ring on my finger, then why don’t you buy me one? After all Christmas is just around the corner.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It is the time of year to think about gifts and gift is also the theme of this month's NaBloPoMo.  Tonight I am in receipt of the gift of time, because I finished my last final exam of the semester.  I have one paper to make some final edits to before turning it in and then, for the next four weeks, I will find myself with  an extra 18 hours a week of unscheduled time.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Giving or Receiving?

It's time for another NaBloPoMo blog prompt post about gifts.

Which to you enjoy more giving or receiving?

I love receiving presents.  Really I think anyone who says that they don’t is not being honest.  Okay, I know we’ve all had bad gift receiving experiences where you wonder if the person giving the gift might actually be trying to tell you how much they really don’t like you, but for the most part being on the receiving end of a gift is a pretty good thing.  It’s especially wonderful when you open the package and it is obvious that a lot of thought and care went into the choosing of the gift because what you find is something so perfectly you.

Which is why, though I love to be on the receiving end of a gift exchange, I enjoy giving presents far more than I do receiving.  Knowing what it is like to receive that perfectly chosen gift, creates within me a desire to bring that feeling to those I care about.  There is something wonderful about finding or making the perfect present for someone you love, and knowing that what you are giving them will bring a smile to their face.    Making someone else feel good, makes me feel good in whatever form that takes, a hug, an ear in a time of need or a thoughtfully chosen and given gift.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Spinster Nesting: The Great Sorting

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” – William Morris

One my New Year’s resolutions is to make the spinster nest more livable and that is going to mean getting rid of stuff.  Over the past two years of being in this apartment I’ve tried to convince myself that all that was needed was for me to simply be better organized, that all I really had to do was to find just the right bookshelf or the magical number of storage bins and my home would be orderly and clean.  It’s time for me to face the fact that the clutter and disarray that is my living space has a lot more to do with the quantity of stuff I own, and very little to do with the quality of my organizational skills.

Just to be clear, I’m not what you’d call a hoarder.  I don’t have years upon years of newspapers, magazines, tin cans or mail piled around my house.  What I do have is a sizable yarn stash, years of collected costuming, books upon books upon books and basically a two bedroom apartment’s worth of stuff that I am trying to cram into a very small one bedroom apartment and an overflowing storage space in the basement.  When I think back I realize that I really didn’t do a very good job of sorting things when I moved in, and since then I’ve only added to what I’ve already have. 

My home doesn’t feel like home…it feels like I live in a rented storage unit.  I want this to once again be my space, not my stuff’s space.  So I’m going to do something about it. 

I don’t plan to wait for January 1st to begin what I see as The Great Sorting.  This week I have final exams for school, including a four page paper that needs writing, which will pretty much fill every moment of free time that I have over the next four days, but once that time is complete I’ve no excuse to delay beginning.  And truthfully, I don’t want to delay, the state of my apartment has been driving me crazy for months. 

I have given some thought to what criteria to use to rid myself of the objects that clutter my space.  I know if I let myself I will always find some reason to keep something because I might use it in the future.  Then I came across the quote above by WilliamMorris, a nineteenth century artist and writer.  I thought what better standard to use for deciding what to keep and what to pass on, throw out or donate? 

I honestly don’t remember half of what is in the boxes currently packed away in storage, and if I don’t recall what’s in them, and if in the past two years I haven’t felt compelled to dig them out and open them, how useful can their contents be?  In addition, from my seat here at the table as I let my gaze wander around my living room, I can count five objects that I like but which I’m certainly not in love with. On top of that I can think of several people in my life who would find those objects beautiful or useful; which means that I don’t really have a reason for keeping them, other than just to have them.

As with nearly everything else that goes on my life, once this process begins I will quite likely be blogging about it.  This sorting of things is going along with my sorting out other priorities in my life and as with any sort of change or transition I expect that both with bring up quite a few interesting things to write about.  So stay tuned…

Sunday, December 11, 2011, wait you said a whole month of blogging?

You may have noticed that my month of blogging has hit a bit of a bump.  I’ve not posted the past two days.  Now, I could say that I actually wrote during that time but that the words that traveled from my brain to the screen were simply not worthy of being shared, but I’d be making that up. I could say that while I really wanted to write, I’ve been far too busy and too tired which would be much closer to the truth.

Unlike when I was blogging in October however, I’m not going to give up on the idea.  Yes, I missed two days but I’ve got 20 more days to go and if in the end I get 29 out 31 days, I’d say I’m not really doing all that poorly. 

So onward then!  This next week will be  more than a bit crazy for me with two final exams and a final paper due, so I’ll likely be overtired and thinking too much about the quadratic formula,  macroeconomics and the nature of evil, but I’ll muddle through.

After all, isn’t that what caffeine and blog prompts are for?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Favorite Gift

This month’s NaBloPoMo theme is gifts.   I’ve not yet discussed the topic and I’m in need of a bit of inspiration this evening so I am making use of today’s prompt.  Which is….

What was your favorite thing you received below the age of 10?

I lived in a small New England town until the age of nine, when we moved to an even smaller New England town. It was in that first town, when I was about six years old that I got the idea that I wanted to be a dancer.  I wasn't quite sure what kind of dancer, but I was pretty positive I would grow up to be either a ballerina or a Rockette.  So I started taking dance lessons.

My instructor’s name was Mrs. Richardson and she lived alone in a small house on a hill across town.  She had a fluffy white cat that was at least twice my age and she grew the sweetest cherry tomatoes I ever remember eating.  Her dance studio was small, even to my child sized eyes, but it was sunny and it had the requisite barre and walls lined with mirrors.  There was small record player and a piano. Dressed in our pink tights and black leotards we danced to the music of both.  She was forever telling me to stand up straighter and to quicken my tap steps. 

I remember her as thin, and light on her feet.   Watching her demonstrate ballet positions I thought she was the most graceful women and dancer I’d ever seen.  And when she showed us tap steps in her high heeled tap shoes I was sure she must have been sisters with Ginger Rogers.  I didn’t know much about her and so I invented a story in my mind about what might have brought her to this town where she taught us. I imagined she must have been a famous dancer who traveled the world until her career was brought to an end due to heartbreak or tragedy.  I’m not sure I actually knew what heartbreak or tragedy was then but they used those words a lot in the movies, and it sounded romantic.

I loved dancing, and though I may not have been the most attentive student (I had habit of moving as the music moved me, and not always in the steps she was trying to teach us), she was patient and seemed have a knack for bringing my attention back to where it needed to be.  I took lessons from her for three and a half years until my father took a job further north and it made sense to move closer to his work.  

On my last day of class, when the lesson was complete, she asked me to stay for just a moment.  I waited in the studio and soon she came in with a small box which she opened and tipped forward so I could see the contents.  I peered in and inside I saw the tiny delicate figure of a ballerina in arabesque that had, until now, been standing on top of the studio piano since I’d first started taking classes.

Mrs. Richardson removed her from the box and handed her to me.  The dancer was small, maybe six inches tall, and long limbed; she had dark hair and her costume was a burgundy velvet bodice with a black and cream lace tutu.  There was a wire stand attached to keep her upright and if it was positioned properly, she would appear to be balanced on the tip of one of her black toe shoes. She had hand painted rosy cheeks, red lips and a red flower perched over her left ear.  She was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen and I was in disbelief that my teacher was giving her to me.

“Stand up straight,” she said as she placed the miniature dancer into my hands, “remember to practice and keep dancing.”

She returned the dancer to the box, which she handed to me.  The she gave me a hug and I left.

I never saw Mrs. Richardson again after that, but I kept the doll for years, through several more moves and once across country and back again.  At some point a cat of mine chewed on her foot and my brother accidentally stepped on her making her head permanently crooked.  In the end she was finally lost to the waters of a flooded basement along with some beloved children’s books and several journals.

It’s been nearly 20 years since I last saw that tiny ballerina, and while she was beautiful and I remember her fondly, she isn’t the gift I am writing about.  The real gift that I was given that day was the words that Mrs. Richardson spoke to me, “Stand up straight, remember to practice, and keep dancing.”

I never did become a star ballerina (too tall) or a Rockette (tall enough but just never had the courage to really go for it) but, I continued to study dance. And though I gave up formal study for several years, I did continue to practice when I could.  If there was music I moved to it since, really, I’ve never been able to stop myself from doing so.  About six years ago I began to study a very different style of dance, belly dance.

So while I may not have been perfect in my practice, and yes even now my teachers still must remind me to stand up straight, I have never stopped dancing. 

Thank you Mrs. Richardson, for this gift given to a nine year old girl at about this time of year 30 years ago.  It was certainly never forgotten, and it will always be one of my favorites. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm tired...but grateful

Today has been a very, very long day and so I'm only up for writing a very, very short post.  Under normal circumstances I'd not write at all, BUT I am totally committed to completing this month's NaBloPoMo, so while it might not be long it is at least...well, at least it's a blog post.

Today I spent too much time on my feet, too much time walking in the rain and barely survived a personal caffeine shortage.  However, despite the fact that I'm exhausted, overall it wasn't a bad day.

It began with an unexpected early morning visit from a friend who always manages to brighten even the gloomiest of cold, rainy days.  Later, another friend who discovered that I'd left my wallet at home bought me a coffee at my favorite local coffee shop.  The afternoon was much improved when I was invited to meet up with a different friend for dinner and though I could not join him, I very much appreciated being asked.

I've said before that I am grateful for the wonderful people in my life.  Today, which could have just been one more uneventful, dreary and wet day, was much improved by their existence. So thank you to all of you...I hope I can return the favor and bring a bit of cheer to you when you need it.

Good night!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Pre-New Year's Resolution

Today I set the alarm for 6:30 because I needed to get to the grocery store early enough to do my shopping and make it home by 9:00 to start work.  I had some essentials that I had to pick up (toilet paper, kitty litter and, well, food) and if I didn’t take care of it this morning my next possible free bit of time would not be until Thursday evening after 7:30.  The litter box and my need for toilet paper were not going to hold out that long.

I managed to get to the store, purchase all of the necessary supplies, catch the bus just in time to make it home at 8:50, put the groceries away and started working promptly at 9:00.  Working at home does have the benefit of my office being less than ten feet from my kitchen, which makes for a very short commute.  I worked until 1:00.

1:00 until 2:00 was spent doing some much needed household chores (dishes, taking the garbage out, cleaning the toilet, mopping up old coffee spills from the kitchen floor).  After this I went to meet a friend to discuss a possible documentary project and then home again to pick up my books for school.  I arrived back at the spinster nest about 20 minutes ago.

For the past few months this has been my life.  Always on the move, always on the go, never really getting to the point of resting because even when I sit still, my mind is thinking about the next thing I will be doing. It isn't that I'm not getting things done, it's that I'm spending ALL of my time getting things done.  

Thankfully the semester ends next week.  After finals are over I will have more time to myself and while I think that I’ve planned my class schedule much more wisely for the next semester, I do know that I need to figure out exactly what my priorities are because I can’t keep this up for an extended period of time.  I love all of the things that I do, but while I might be a super spinster, I’m not Super Woman and at this rate I will eventually burn out.

So let’s call it my pre New Year’s resolution.  Over the remaining weeks of December I will come up with a plan to not spread myself quite so thin in 2012.  My New Year's resolution will be to actually stick to it.

Now, I wonder if I can get in a load or two of laundry done before bedtime…

Monday, December 5, 2011

Folks, we need options...

“I’ve met this really wonderful person, who I really, really like…but I’m just not sure I want to be somebody’s boyfriend.”

The above was expressed by a friend of mine who recently started dating someone new after an extended period of being single.  While he very much seems to be enjoying the process of getting to know this person and spending time with them, he also has concerns about giving up the things that he has come to value during the period he has spent alone.   There is a lot of freedom that goes along with being by yourself; your life and your time are yours to do with as you see fit and that is something many of us give up when we start to feel that familiar tickle of falling in love.  

Of course we are told that this is what is supposed to happen.  You are supposed to meet someone, fall head over heels, move in together and perhaps even finally take the walk down the aisle where the two become one and live happily ever after.  Even if a couple never takes the step of formal vows, there is still more often than not the expectation that the ‘we’ is now more important that the ‘I’ and The Relationship becomes the guide for nearly all future action.  We are no longer two individuals, but half of a pair and somehow this is supposed to make us feel like complete people. 

And perhaps that is the problem.  We aren’t ever really given any other options, we are either single or not.  While I have no plans to ever live with someone or to marry, I do date and I do like to have, you know, companionship.  I also believe it is possible to love someone and to have a shared experience without having to merge every part of your life with theirs.  In fact for me, keeping my life separate is very likely going to be what would allow me to have a more fulfilling long term romantic relationship than if I live with someone.

You see one of the best things about spending all of this time alone is that I have come to know myself in a way that was never possible before.  Not only have I had the time and space to get to know myself inside and out, but I have also found ways to meet all of my needs on my own.  Everything from buying groceries to figuring out what to do with my time on the weekends has been thought about and decided upon by me.  And one thing that I have come to learn is that I don’t need another person in my life 24 hours a day to meet my needs or make me happy.   

What does this mean in terms of relationships?  It means that anyone who may be in my life is there because I want them to be there.  It means that I can spend time with them without any unattainable Prince or Princess Charming ideal hanging about in the back of my mind.  They don’t have to be anyone other than who they are because whatever they bring into my life is a bonus and a gift.  In addition, I am also more able to give freely of myself because I can give without expectation.

Most of us do this already with our friendships.  While there is an exchange of affection and love in a friendship, we don’t have the expectation that any of our friends will be the piece of our personal puzzle that makes us feel like a whole human being. 

So maybe we need to find a new ideal.   Perhaps what we should be doing is learning to be whole individuals first because the fact is that no one can do that for us, not a friend or a lover.  Whether we live alone, as part of a couple, forever dating or as frequently visiting neighbors across the hall, the only person who  can make any of us feel complete is us, and if we attain that first we might find  we are better equipped to give of ourselves without giving our self up.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A quote...

It is nearly 11:30 and I’ve not finished the blog post I wanted to share today.  I started working on the post too late and the idea turned out to be larger than what would fit into a few quick paragraphs. So I have set it aside to be finished at a later time, hopefully tomorrow. 

Instead I am going to share with you the following quote.  It was my mother who introduced me to Olive Schreiner’s writing many years ago.  These words are pertinent to the post I started working on today and the story has been a favorite of mine for a very long probably isn't too difficult to figure out why.  

“I saw a woman sleeping. In her sleep, she dreamt life stood before her and held in each hand a gift -  in the one hand love, in the other freedom - and she said to the woman, ‘Choose.’ And the woman waited long: and she said, ‘Freedom.’ And life said, ‘Thou hast well chosen, if thou hadst said 'love’ I would have given thee that thou didst ask for; and I would have gone from thee, and returned to thee no more. Now, the day will come when I shall return. On that day I shall bear both gifts in one hand.’ I heard the woman laugh in her sleep.” -- Olive Schreiner, 1901

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Snakeskin Picnic

“The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.”  - W. E. B. Du Bois

I took a walk through some local woods with a friend today.  We paused in a sunny spot near an abandoned quarry to have a picnic snack when he noticed the dried snakeskin lying across the pebbles next to us.  The skin was small, only about a centimeter in width and perhaps twenty centimeters long.  I could imagine that a few weeks previous to our arrival a small garter snake made its way across the same sun warmed gravel, using the sharp edges of the rocks to aid in the removal of its old skin.

A snake can be nearly blind until it sheds its outgrown skin and so the process is vital to its survival.*  Seeing the skin reminded me that as human beings our vision can become fogged by hanging onto parts of the past that we have outgrown leaving us blind to the possibilities that lay ahead of us.  It also brought to mind how sometimes the bumpy and rough spots in my life have been helpful to my own growth, for it is often the darker times that have allowed me to see that which I needed to shed and it has been in the struggle of letting go that I have found the strength to move forward.  

*Snakes have a transparent "scale", called a brille, that covers the eye.  The brille is a part of the skin and becomes clouded as the snake nears its time to moult.  The brille will be shed along with the remainder of the skin allowing the snake to once again see clearly.    

Friday, December 2, 2011

Revoking My Invitation to the Pity Party

No one can bring me down like I can.  I’m truly my own worst enemy when it comes to my own imperfections.  I can spot one tiny personality flaw, focus on it with eagle eye precision and then zoom in until what was the size of a pebble is now a looming mountain and I am sitting glumly in its shadow.  And once I am there, I begin to tell myself that if I really was the together person I profess to be, I wouldn’t be sitting there wallowing in unhappiness over being less than perfect, which of course only serves to underline the point that I am horribly, horribly flawed.

Being the prepared person that I am have a bag of tricks that I rely upon to pull myself out of such slumps but sometimes no matter how many gratitude lists I make, or long walks I take, or how supportive the friends I call upon are, my mind simply won’t turn around and before I know it I’m sitting on the couch, two cups into a bottle of red wine, weeping over episode upon episode of a BBC period drama. 

Before you ask, there isn’t any major problem going on in my life right now.  Last night’s boo hoo fest was 100% self inflicted, likely brought on by being too tired (why don't I take care of myself better?  I suck.) and worrying too much about how to accomplish my ever lengthening to do list (why don't I plan better?  I suck).  This is good and bad.  Good because if I talked myself into it, I can likely talk myself out of it.  Bad because I was able to bring myself there in the first place.

So yes, that woman who was sniffling on my futon while watching Masterpiece Theater on Neflix?  Yes, the one who was only one kitty cuddle and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s away from being a spinster stereotype? Last night, that woman was me.

Thankfully today is a new day and I have managed to pull myself out of my mini-wallow. Really, it doesn’t count as a full on wallow unless it includes one 24 hour period of not leaving the house.  Tonight I will be venturing out to listen to a friend’s band, perhaps dance a bit and uninviting myself to any more of my own pity parties.

Here’s hoping Friday night treats all of us well. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo (Take Two)

In October I signed up to participate in NaBloPoMo and made a commitment to blogging everyday for one month.   In the end I decided I simply had too much going on to complete the task and I abandoned the attempt.  I did say that I would take up the challenge at a later date with the hope that November would prove to be a better month for doing so.  It wasn’t.  Now it is December and I’m choosing to once again take up the challenge of trying to write some sort of blog post daily for this month’s 31 days. 

Life has slowed at least a bit since I’ve taken the remainder of the year off from performing and my time will become even more mine with the end of the semester in two weeks.  While I do plan to make sure that some of this time is spent in relaxation, I also want to use some of it for focusing on creative pursuits that I’ve not had the time to give special attention.  Writing is very high up on the list of things I’d like to focus on.

So here we go again.  Thirty-one days of blogging.  Wish me luck!