How Do You Pack Up a Life

Packing up a studio is sort of like creating a time capsule. To place things in boxes. To show importance and respect. You have to be trusted to do this and also place trust in others to do the same for you. My job is a difficult one because I place such great importance on history, the past. If we don’t cherish that past how will we ever respect the future. This summer I am packing and I will be emotional at times but that is what makes my job a great one. For I can be trusted to respect the past.

In order to get to the place of packing I had to first pack up from the city to the country for the summer.  At First I did not want to bring my paints. Well you can imagine what I would do, yes you are right I would paint and enjoy myself. I was not going to. Really I wasn’t.  No honestly. Why don’t you believe me?  ….   ..  /////

Ok you may have been more insightful then I. At the end, after packing all of my underwear, socks, stretchy pants, tea shirts, skirts [?] drawer of toiletries  I thought…hummm what harm will one container of essential paints do? Why not pack two maybe three canvases after all I can’t pack ALL THE TIME.

The first paragraph here is in a sort a retaliation of someone telling me that it has become apparent that I don’t keep my intension. Meaning that I promise to everyone but in reality I can’t do for everyone. So why is this a bad thing? Why do people continually try and forge you into this thing  that is impersonating a sane person.

I don’t feel any strength in anything,, still.  I correct myself I feel strong when I create.

I have to mention that this month I have seen former friends from my husbands time in care. I felt different at first. It’s always strange when you don’t have your deceased one with you. After a bit of strange time you settle in to what you know and feels right. That feeling when you can be open and its not corrected or judged. When your not pushed into pretending that you have moved on and you have taken your life in hand and you have started to make future plans and you now clean your house and you don’t drink that much wine anymore and you don’t need those sleeping pills anymore and you don’t think of him when you fall asleep at night holding his ring on his silver chain you wear ever day and you have started walking and doing yoga and you are no longer eating an entire box of six apple turnovers while sitting in the parking lot. Ya,,, hell your ok.

Sure you are.

When I visited another friend whom still is caregiving and at a very full time. I felt so comfortable. I could not leave. To remember the patients that is required  just to wait for their replies is meditative. I remember just having to focus on my husband. That was all I did for three years. I focused on his eyes to tell me if he was having a headache. I focused on his hands if he was feeling cramped or sore. I don’t think I have ever felt so needed and loved. I know that it can never be recreated nor would I want anyone to have to go through what he went through. But oh do I miss B.

So You may read many posts this summer while I go through the ups and many down days of packing up a persons life.

Please comment if you have questions. I welcome communication especially if you find yourself in the same situation.

 

It’s been 33 months

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This morning I was about to write a mind though, or mind blerp of ‘ what is the difference between grieving, depression or plain laziness’
This is something that I often wonder. Am I a natural born lazy person? There are so many days that I feel it might be the thing, then I roll over and go to sleep. I do know all the lines of grieving, take small steps, one thing at a time, concur it then go on, think of the future, be with friends, get rid of all their things that have memories on and on and on.

Many of you may have heard all these lines from very meaningful people.

Still the feet remain cemented to the floor.

The breaths become shorter, the eyes get so heavy and no matter how hard you make yourself do these things there seems to be no change.
The loss of a loved one could easily become a great excuse to just not do things.
Do the dishes really need to be washed?
Does one really have to change clothes ever day?
Surly peanut butter sandwiches have all the vitamins a person needs. Salads take so much energy to chew.
Is there really a set number of times that a person can watch the same movie?
All of you may be feeling this from time to time, hell I still loop this schedule at times, well possibly more then not.
There is one things that remains my life line and this may certainly be different for all but for me it expression through words, photography, painting and sculpture. For what ever reason when these creative thoughts fall into my mind I act on them. Whether they are selfies and more selfies! whether they are stories, blogs poems or drawings anything! if anyone of these things captures you then run with it. Do it till you have exhausted yourself. Till you fall to the floor and sleep with paint on your body! Yes the dishes will pile up but how many can you eat from at one time. Wearing the same thing is just good economy, you are saving water for heaven sake! This is the only reason I think that I may not be lazy. Is it?
Then there is the phone, that black thing that sits on the ledge with it annoying red blinking light. I feel that speaking sucks my energy what about you? The sun oh that annoying thing that brightens everything around you, so intense it hurts your eyes. I prefer the rain myself, always have even as a child. I could always breath better in the rain. Perhaps that is why I love to lie in a tub with only my nose above the water.

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At the moment there are so many birds outside the window that I feel there must be a feathered conference on this property. I just saw a brown bird with the brightest red beak! There are robins flying in and out of the garden with such consistency. My friend has the most amazing flower garden. I have discovered house sitting, it’s an interesting way to take a break from your own life. Its also a good way to try things like having pets. There is nothing like looking after someones pet to make you realize that it takes far too much energy for the long haul.
Well I don’t know if I have helped any of you reading this today or if I have given you reason to go back to bed ehehhe but if you can have contact with someone even if it’s this big strange world of the internet then I think we will all be ok for another day.
Myself I’m 33 months into it. We were together for 32 years when he died so I will cut myself some slack and try and give myself the time I need to be able to breath without him.
If I can offer any kind of advice at all I would ask you to have a journal for everyone can write words even if you don’t have any talent. Its important to document what you are going through because in the end we have to feel that we are important enough to write about. Even if we do it ourselves. I wish you all a day of breathing and writing even two lines. I do welcome comments remember.
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Photo on 2014-10-25 at 11.41

Maybe There Is No Summing Things Up

I’m sitting here in front of my computer screen, thinking. How do I sum up this month in NewFoundland?
I came with suitcases full of anticipation and direction. As I sit here wondering what it was that pulled me here, I can only make assumptions. Perhaps it is not so important why we are drawn to something or a place but just that we are.
Assuming that a distance place where B and I never went together would somehow put his image from my mind somehow in the background. Well it was anything but. Discovering a new place just brought him more in the foreground but in a different way I think. Again, as I write, new discovered thoughts emerge. Before I came here for the two years that I lived without his physical body in front of me, I just wanted to be with him. I welcomed the idea of crossing over to continue a new life with him.
This month I have walked so many new shores and speaking to B was part of it. It was no longer longing to be with him but accepting the new relationship we have. Him on the other side and me here discovering and enjoying the new experiences while still holding him near. I think that I have [hopefully] discovered a way that I can share and communicate with him but without sadness and longing.
B’s thoughts come to me clearer here, perhaps it’s the moisture in the air hehe. I have not spent time being overly sad. The gift of walking by the ocean daily is truly a wonderful therapeutic session.
Paining? Well not much of that got done, almost completed one 30×40. I will bring it home and then we will see.

Understanding that someone you love does not leave you when they pass on is one of those things that you can tell yourself and god only knows others certainly find this a favourite phrase to tell us. I think now, that it comes when we have reached that point on our own. Thinking back in this past two years I can easily see how someone could completely loose themselves with grief. A friend say one day, grief if you allow it will eat you up. A year ago I would have said bon appetite! Today? As the sun just broke through the heavy clouds I would say, You don’t really want to eat me, I’m not very tasty heheh
Do I feel sad about leaving this island? Not today. With over 2000 photographs and videos and a laptop screaming NO MORE NO MORE! I do think I can remember the feelings enough to make me happy.

My playing by the ocean has brought me a new perspective in the views I look at. I have experimented with images and I do look forward to painting some of them out.

Always I hope that my writing this blog will in a small way help others not feel so alone and if I can find a glimmer of light I have no doubt that you can as well.

Haven’t Made Any Sense Yet

Being by the great ocean seems to be what I needed. I did come with so many intensions, so many things that I was going to do. To do.. To Do ..To Do… Do Do Do
[quote from Across the Universe Movie]
I was so mentally prepared……..Or so I thought.
I had scheduled a couple of days to orient myself…………Clearly not enough.
I filled a suitcase with paints, canvas, markers………….What I really could use are pastels.
I planned on borrowing a bike no less…………….What was I thinking?  Who was I attempting to impress? Myself?
Possibly. It did not happen. 
I have walked and taken more pictures then even I could have imagined. I am picking things up and bringing them home. I have started one painting but clearly it will not get finished. I have gessoed three canvases and have drawn on one. I seem to be able to spend an amazing amount of time looking. I can sit or stand by the ocean and watch every new wave come in. Noticing how everyone is different. There are days when the count of four will bring the biggest wave then it starts again.

Other days its five or six. 

What I have found is that the ocean seems to be breathing. Some breaths are long and deep others short and sharp.
Have I come here to breath? Have I forgotten how to breath? This word has become my most thought about word and most written since I’ve come here. Today I was wondering if I was over stimulated. Too much of a good thing? Could result in doing nothing. So I found refuge, back to my camera.
Photographing things I have picked up in the X-ray method. There is balance, calm, integrity, art in doing this. For me anyway.
I have come to think out here that my ‘self’ my inner being or self has gotten diminished. Not completely for sure and many will think what is she saying she seems to have quite the extrovert personality. You are right on those counts but it’s something different that I am trying to find here.
Purpose? Focus? Goal? Project? Show? New Series? Two years!!!!!! God I can’t believe it’s been that long!
Is this the general path of Widowhood? I see so many that can get going. They seem fine.
So for your viewing pleasure I will include some of my experiments. I’ve talked long enough. Cheers!

 

New Land, New Memories?

I had thought that coming to Newfoundland would somehow transform me. Like my right of passage. “You have grieved long enough now go forth and live, breath as others”

Does not work that way,,, apparently. I am speaking to B more now then ever.

Look Love, check this out!

Ahhh isn’t that wonderful?

I hear youuuuu.

Today I FINALLY STARTED A PAINTING~~~~~~~

Yes finally. The sweet guy at the hardware store only had a hand saw, Yes a friggin hand saw!!!!!!! so I asked ever so sweetly I will pay you more can you cut the 4×8 sheet into four pieces so I can at least fit it in my rental car?

So Sweet!!!!!! Not so very straight but what the hell I can cut it when I get home. Here in lies the dilemma? Do I paint two on each section? Well hell you would think so. But am I? no not at all I have 2 x 4 and I am using 2×4.

I miss talking about my excitement with him. I know al the stuff everyone says but I really don’t care!

It has only been two years and in so many ways the reality is sinking in now. So wait for it!! you think your doing fine your so used to working and living alone. NOpe it does not work that way. There is another blogger that really seemed to be dealing with things in such a mature manner. Man I was impressed and yet felt what is going to happen when they wake up and have this shock of being alone? I personally do not wish this on anyone. I understand from all the grieving  sites and books that we all have to go through it completely before we are over it or at least to the point where we can comfortably put one foot in front of the other and hopefully there is a destination.

I want to move here! I want support and encouragement but I know it will not happen and thus the wind will be stolen from my sails and I will be back where I started.

I can’t argue with people. I rely on my gut instinct and my heart they say what will you do you know no one there.

There is a 3500sq ft church for sale for 55,000.00 asking.  not far from the airport. It could be my place and an artist residency. I could advertise for artists to come stay a month at a time. all year long.

If I do this I can at least go to my ashes and afterlife knowing that I did something for me and because I wanted to. Is that so bad?

To conclude: Its hard making decisions just based on me. No children, no husband, just me. I’m going to be 60 next tuesday. How much more time do I have to do one thing I want?IMG_9155 IMG_9021 IMG_9152 IMG_9168 IMG_9201 IMG_9145 DSC_0081 IMG_8943 IMG_8985 IMG_8833 IMG_8820 DSC_0041 IMG_8746 IMG_8740 IMG_8729

Our Senses Take Us On a Long Trip

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I did not know that one person could grieve a house but apparently I am. I am not speaking mortar and wood and glass but more the feelings and memories that are lingering. this week and last I saw first hand how money makes some people seem as they have been possessed by evil.
I seem to be raw for all of these things hit me hard. I loose control over myself. I sob while driving. I sit by the water to find comfort but even it does not help. Often my head hurts and my teeth ache from nights of clinching my jaw, unbeknownst to me.
yesterday while waiting the the light to change at an intersection the smell of fat from kfc engulfed the van and took my mind back in time. I could see myself with B in the wheelchair waiting for the light to change and thinking how I was going to get him across two streets before the light went red. I remember what I was thinking and feeling as if I were living it for the first time.
When those times come over us there is no stopping them. They have a force that cannot be moved. I understand the feelings of desperation that leads people to building shrines of their loved ones. We don’t mean to create them into deities. For myself I remember a life so full of creating. To live with a true artist takes a certain kind of person. Watching the Pollack movie again with Ed Harris I understood. I felt the frustrations of Lee his wife and though B was not a drunk and filled with problems it was the creating that draws us to them like flies to light bulbs. It truly is as fascinating as watching a child being born.
Hearing Harris’s description of Pollacks desperation in getting out of him the creation of painting. I have been feeling as he described. Trying and ripping your chest open so it can all come out or be released! I have made attempts but as I look at the paintings now I can see that I have modified them. I have toned down the force and agony that I feel so the works might be better sellable. One has come close and I will post it today. Well I better try and get some work done.
Writing does help.
Painting does help.
Sculpting sure helps
I hope sharing helps you.