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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I am to Toast as Altogether Morris is to Hammy Hamster.

I see a psychologist pretty often and it is a place of safety and trust. I talk, I cry a lot, and she shakes her head at my penchant for self-subversion. She is kind and insightful.

It wasn't shaping up to be a challenging day but then I got into the heavy duty stuff and I've been toast for the day. It's incredible how draining it is. Where is my frickin' cheese!

I love to sing, I sometimes still have hope/dream that I could be a singer in my own band, or just have a someone to accompany me. I love to perform and am a big hammy hamster. Altogether Morris is an inspiration for me, he doesn't care what people think, he just rolls out of his little cedar chip nestbed with his omnidirectional hair and plays his tiny little rodent heart out. Who the heck was the first person who discovered hamsters and guinea pigs? Oh yeah I was takin' a swig out of the local waterhole this morning and check out this little whisker, sniffy and chompin' action by the bullrushes, a gaggle of little furry potatoes that squeak. Might kinda put you off your starches.

I am tenuously hopeful that some day I can move through this deeply, deeply entrenched conviction that I must everyday, by my actions, earn the right to live. It's crazy that I believe this, when I have so much to be thankful for, so many reasons to live, people who love me in this world where billions of people scrap it out everyday just to live. I think I sound arrogant it's too easy to get caught up in this downward spiral. I want to feel grateful, to have a grateful heart, but instead the sadness, the guilt, consume me. I never feel I am doing enough, to help people. There are so many people in my life who are always helping others, being thoughtful, sensitive to others. I just get overwhelmed and freeze in inaction. I'd like to feel useful.

Yep, just another uplifting blog from yours truly.

Peace everyone.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sleepus Interruptus and a Trickster Eye

Awake since 1:30 am. Mind full of things - don't know why I woke up but it's a WIDE awake.

I was initially pondering my "lazy" eye. And I just read a friend's blog about choice wrt to many many issues including our ethnicities. She is very wise and a much deeper thinker than I. Coincidentally another blog of someone dear to me (also wise and deep) was about choice, so I guess these things are gonna happen in threes.

My right eye likes its independence. It looks at whatever it wants whenever it wants. Only when I close my "good" eye do I see what my personal trickster has been up to. I know it's said many elsewheres that tricksters end up only fooling themselves, nonetheless, my Indy Eye just keeps on.

I should clarify, I also know what my prefers-to-be-a-cyclops eye is looking at when I receive all manner of looks - curious, quizzical, friendly waves, etc. - from people I didn't think I was looking at. Here's an example of how it gets me jumbled up aka tricked. I was at an Art Event a couple weeks back, talking with a friend and another classmate smiled and waved at me I thought "Ahhh Coyote Eye my clever friend - getting me into trouble"

I did not choose my wonky eye - strabismus did. My brain at the age of - oh, yeah, birth - was not a seasoned center of dispute resolution. Both eyes campaigned hard, but could not reach an agreement, so my brain, like King Solomon, chose instead. The right optic nerves perforce began what is close to a half-century work action. Kind of ironic really: right eye - work action (left-wing joke - sorry).

Living with this eye is an interesting adventure. Reportedly, it would work very well in someone else's head, a head with optic nerves o'plenty. Apparently the technology for a successful relocation does not exist yet? According to my eye doc anyway, but he's a big bag of himself and, I suspect, a stupey pants.

So depth perception is fun. When I knock over stuff (like my tea last night), drop stuff, run into stuff, try to grab something, drop a wheelbarrow on my forehead (it is possible), give myself a black eye - well guess what, sometimes it is not a success story. And what is even more interesting, some people have called me careless, accident prone. Yes, I find all kinds of tiny little bruises peppering my arms and legs (and head) from time to time (aka most days) and instead of a compassionate response, I don't know something like "you Ok?" I am instead greeted with shaking heads, stares of disbelief and a perception of me as a tainted specimen. A factory second as it were. Why do we most often go to a negative ascription of character when witnessing an action that falls even slightly outside the usual?

I did not choose this. In the big scheme of things it is not a dire issue, it is a minor flaw, I can't even bring myself to claim it as a disability. Still it has shaped me, my life, my interactions in this world.

What is a dire issue for example is the ubiquitous practice of raping of women that STILL goes ignored. I can even say it is a sanctioned even encouraged act of violence because it is so prevalent - someone must have said it was ok to do. It is a weapon of war. And this war is ultimately a war against women. I'm pretty certain this is not what women have chosen. But it is an act rooted in the objectification and commodification of women. So long as men see women as property, as an object, as less; rape will continue.

So, it finally dawns on me that in one of my favourite movies "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers", said seven joyously sing a song about the Sabine women - a kind of older brother DIY instruction on how to get a wife. Seems to me that the Rape of the Sabine women was not a joyous event. I can't watch this movie anymore. It's so depressing and discouraging seeing how entrenched rape of women is, in this world. Course now the earth - mother earth - is being systematically raped, has been since "progress' (the noun).

So again, we make what difference we can. Teach our children to have respect for all peoples. Teach them alternatives to violence, give them, encourage, lots of choices. This is not what some people might call spoiling a child, it is instead part of nurturing. Nurturing compassion for and in a child (and in ourselves) makes our world a little less violent.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stinking Cold and the Merits of Dust

Title pretty much sums it up. My head feels like it's about to come away. Yes, I'd love some cheese thanks! No appetite.

Beautiful day, but was at school making things, it was very productive, and I hope to become even more productive in the gardening and looking after the house sense.

There is so much humour in the world ptl. Not that I believe I just think pmhp is too hard to write.

My artist pals and I have been having some great discussions and they have these amazing ideas about themes and constructs for shows and art interventions, where there is always a bit of the social flavour as well. It's not wrong to want to bring some kindness into a person's life, or some clarity for that matter. It's how to go about it without destroying the person that's the rub. Class should be interesting tomorrow. We shall see how the the dust settles. That's the cool thing about dust - it always settles. We should all embrace the merits of dust.

Perpetual chaos does not have to be the default position. Although it is true that when things are going well (it does happen) I find myself in this anxious state, waiting for the axe to fall, the penny to drop, the shit to hit the fan, the chickens to come home to roost, the cows to come home, for hell to freeze over, the fur to fly, for Elvis to get the heck away from the stinkin' Stuckeys already!

OK, time for sleep. Nighty night.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Magic of Blurting and Tilting Heads

Caught a cold - and I'm not that good a catch - ooh, so many levels of meaning! Rain and wind - foggy brain.

Got a call from a former co-patient at Homewood, had absolutely no memory of this person, which I'm pretty sure wasn't great for them. Felt very surreal. Oh,well. Blackouts without the hangover, yee-haw!

I used to drink a great deal, a young person in the military I guess. Now I get sick when I drink, likely because of the meds I am on, which has probably been a very good thing. I want to drink sometimes though, if it's a day where I happen to be feeling something, sometimes the lure of oblivion is pretty tempting. But I cope poorly in other ways so there's no danger of canonization! Esp as I'm not Catholic.

I think that that the human body can connect outside of any cognitive realm or awareness with other humans due to our electric and magnetic fields. I think that's why hugs are so wonderful. I think we all have the capacity to feel a physical and positive connection with each other, I think it has already happened millions of times all over the world and all through time. I think it is something that people who study these kinds of things can measure already. I think it's a large part of what informs our intuition, what sends flags up our personal masts.

I have met many amazing and talented and beautiful (inside [and out too]) people while at school - two women in particular. They are such deep thinkers and take their time and are patient and carefully reason with info that comes to them, their wisdom is inspiring and I want to be more like them. Much of my life when ever someone asked me a question my mind would just go blank - I realise now it was (and still is sometimes) a fear response. When I give myself time, or the situation allows for it, I have a better chance of arriving at something more intelligent to offer, sometimes I just blurt stuff out. That's when people's heads tilt in a quizzical fashion.

I watched "The Hurt Locker" last night. I just kept thinking, poor bastards , if the depiction was accurate (and it probably was except that the reality is likely far worse), it's just insanity, situations that are chaos, unreasonable, indescribable, soldiers returning home to a world they can no longer relate to. It so very tragic - which is a woefully inadequate word.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Holy Lost My Mind Batman

Must be tired. Boy, I really got on the proverbial soapbox last time huh. Yikes.

It's stormy again, it's late, did I mention the tired thing? We're springing ahead today - sounds motivating, don't want to get left behind.

I wove a little basket today, and worked on some other projects. I wish I could be more like a regular person, I wish I didn't jump at the slightest sound, it's like I'm in a perpetual state of disassociation and everything happening around me is received as wee sharp darts piercing my numbness. For someone purporting to be numb I sure cry a lot, but only when someone is nice to me or asks me how I'm doing (see: nice to me). I am unprepared for niceness, quite stymied indeed.

I have a big family and am proud to say one of my sisters has joined the land o' blogs as well. I think she has a great deal of wisdom and a lot to offer, so it's very cool that she is writing. She is a huge support in my life. Without family I would find a little hole to disappear into.

I guess many of us, if not all, want to be who we are meant to be - if indeed that is possible - part of the fate vs chaos discussion I suppose. Yet I think we are born with a distinctive and pure essence and if we are really lucky we get nurtured into the fullness of this essence.

But then again, maybe thinking about this stuff is like that wonderful quote (whose provenance I cannot recall - but I think it was someone native to Turtle Island) that says something akin to: All this time I waste worrying whilst a great wind is bearing me across the sky.

AKA Get over yourself and live in the moment, deal with what is here... and now. OK. So I (warning: entering into made-up word territory) pendulate from poster child for spontaneity to bedroom pod.

Well that's enough of that. I love reading quotes, love succinctness; words right at the root of a matter. I celebrate the gifts I have and comfort the empty spaces.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Some People Say Stupid Shit (me too)

I've been finishing my BFA through Emily Carr and every Friday is an art history class. Yesterday we were discussing contemporary Chinese art and there were some truly awful comments comparing labour costs in China compared to Canada, or the US or Germany. There was this willful ignorance and sense of white entitlement pervading the room. Stupid, offensive remarks about how people living in China can survive making a pittance a day and I felt outrage. How the hell did this person know anything about how well (or if) a person can live on less than $1 per day. I was so angry and appalled I was speechless, I don't know either but I will not presume to know, and would not assume that anyone, regardless of where they live, feels remotely affluent with such meagre earnings. There seemed to be this underlying blame the victim, blame the poor person attitude. Argh.
I have so much wealth living in Canada. Attending an art class, having the time to spend to make art - this is such luxury, such good fortune. And I wish everyone who enjoys such richness would acknowledge it and also see and do what they can to share this affluence with others who - through no fault of their own - live in poverty, who scrabble and are faced with agonizing choices everyday to keep their families alive. And for those who live where there is no work, there exists the child sex market overflowing with demand from white western men. Egregious - this is beyond war crime, it is crimes against humanity, where are the trials at the Hague? The world needs to hunt down and prosecute these animals, pedophiles, to the fullest extent of law. Where are the consequences?
There is so much hypocrisy in our world wrt how we treat our children, we have robbed them of a healthy planet, a gargantuan global market relies solely on the sexual exploitation of children, sick sick men with disposable income choose to spend their wealth hurting rather than helping women and children.
I know that just being alive I have the capacity for great love and great cruelty. Everyday I make the choice to try to be the most compassionate person I can be - and sadly I am not successful everyday, but this is the best goal I can think of, and the best way I can use my wealth, my good fortune in all its guises.

I can guess I need to make sure I am doing every thing I can to sustain places of compassion in our world

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amygdala - deedah - and Zombies. Nothing New Under the Sun

So all this new research is out suggesting a much closer biological / psychological link as evidenced in how our brains process and change when experiencing trauma. The area(s) of our brains that is (are) very active whilst we are in a daydream state apparently get hard-wired to our amygdalas as a result of the traumatic event(s). And all those big brainy folks finally have proved (aka conceded) that one doesn't have to experience trauma directly in order to develop PTSD. GENIUSES!

Last time I checked, my brain has always been connected to the rest of my body. Of COURSE there is a bio-psych link. And being traumatised is not always about having our lives threatened - not sorry DSM-IV. I am human, just hearing about someone else's horrific experiences gets to me. I was once a therapist, so I heard a great deal, and it is incredibly humbling to have met so many people who have retained the courage to keep living - in loving ways too. Sometimes I don't want to live, and I often feel anger instead of compassion. And I think that it can take a great deal of courage to end your life, or to choose to live, neither is an easy choice. Sometimes the emotional pain is so physical - more bio-psych link.

What remains true, I believe, is the persistence of the "symptoms". For me this is the direct evidence that anyone who lives with PTSD knows to be true. We get hard-wired. We get stuck - sometimes in a kind of frozen or numb state (and if we are overmedicated, the numbness removes us from the feeling world) and , for me anyway, envious of the living-energy we see in others.

In this case, I detect hopeful underpinnings (yes hope!). That is to say, if my brain can get hardwired one way, is it not also true that there is some way to repair the wiring? My brain is powerful, look at all of the weird shit it does - I think it is capable of changing back. I am waiting for research to catch up. Yet, art helps me channel some of this misfiring brain into less destructive actions.

So, thank you universe for art. And here's to all of us out there, with or without voices, let's take care of ourselves. Let's be kind to us.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My First Time - Emotional Remoras

Having an off day day and thought this would be the best time to blog. I've been wanting too, mostly because I have so much crap swirling around in my altered brain and this seems like a good way to empty it out. Plus it's raining and windy out.

Some of my art.

I just reconnected with Homewood, a facility in Guelph Ontario where I received a lot of help, and realize I miss it there. I miss the safety I felt. Good and kind people.

I am angry about what has been robbed from my life, I didn't choose this. I try not to sound whiny but I have a right to my anger. I am certain PTSD and Depression meet the criteria for contagious (infectious sounds too positive).

I am a horrible friend because I am too afraid to commit, or to offer intimacy. I'm not good at sharing. And I'm convinced that everyone will betray me anyway. I get startled, irritated, defensive and paranoid with the slightest change in my surroundings. I have nightly terrors (I think this is where horror movies come from). I want love but I fear it will be taken away, so I keep those walls firmly installed.

I live on Vancouver Island, a staggeringly (is this a word? No bother I'll just make it up, our culture is replete with new words and budding wordsmiths) beautiful place, yet I hate the sunshine (hahhah! I bet you thought I was going to say rain!) it deepens my guilt. I have read and heard (been told) many times how guilt and shame are harmful feelings to carry around - but I didn't ask for them either, guilt and shame are like little emotional remoras. Virtueless little suckers.

When I challenge the guilt, I can find justification for all of the contributing factors. There is nothing positive that I cannot turn to a negative. My clouds are lined with lead.

WOW, I feel better already!

Well, I am an artist now, which really helps me. It's very meditative and there is little social demand. I can only last a little while around other people, then I start to get agitated and unfocussed, terror steals in and I get the urge to run away. Sometimes grocery shopping is pretty intimidating, especially as I have a gift for selecting the longest lines. My addictions are food and cheap clothing

I guess I want to say that I know there are many of us out there, living with these invisible carry ons. I know a lot of us live in isolation, literal or otherwise. Part of me wants to connect with others who share similar experiences and feelings, another part of me is terrified of being ridiculed and rejected. Yet I wish to write. I wish to hear from others. Being in Homewood helped me feel like there was a place I could belong, that I could feel trust again.

What do others think?