Sunday, November 28, 2010

My heart aroused

I’m reading a book right now by David Whyte called “The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America”. The book speaks extensively of the idea that I wrote about in my last post: the fear of engaging in creative acts.

Whyte wrote a poem that he shared in the book about turning his fear into positive energy while kayaking on the ocean. One line in particular stuck out to me:
“Always the energy smolders inside/when it remains unlit/ the body fills with dense smoke”.

I read this and I said, “YES!” This is what I have been experiencing. I’ve been fighting off the creative energy inside of me and it’s been smoldering in such an unhealthy way. Without using that energy productively, it’s just been sitting there, causing anxiety and frustration. When I use that energy positively to create something, it’s like I am a light that has just been turned on. I feel more alive, more peaceful, brighter.

“The Heart Aroused” examines what our lives would be like if we incorporated our creativity into our everyday lives. I think I am slowly working toward a place where this is possible for me. I think I’ve spent years running from my creative energies because of fear, and it’s taking me years to build myself back up to a place where I can regularly utilize that creative energy again. As I slowly reach that point, I’m noticing significant positive changes in the way I feel. In fact, I think reconnecting with my creative, passionate side is going to be a major aspect of overcoming the depression and panic attacks I’ve dealt with for most of my life.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

24 Hours in Tucson

Welcome to Tucson, Arizona! I love this southwestern city. I'm rarely bored and it's always so SUNNY!                                                                               I'm also always trying to convince people to come here and visit me. And I'm sure anyone who has ever had the idea of a trip to Tucson planted in their head by my pleading would want to know: What is it like to spend 24 hours in Tucson?

First of all, this is what you'll see in the morning. Sun! Blue sky! Even in the winter. I think the average is around 350 days.

I'd take you to my favorite coffee shop, The Raging Sage. They've been voted Best Local Coffee Roaster for several years in a row by the local paper.

We would ABSOLULUTELY have to do some sort of hiking. Tucson is surrounded by mountains so it might be hard to choose where to go. This particular picture was taken at a place called Gates Pass and is a relatively light hike. 

Or, if you're tired of the desert, we could head to Sabino Canyon and escape to some greener trails.
A short hike would leave us time to grab some lunch at Bumstead's. They have fabulous sandwiches with names like "The Mullet," "The Porn Star," and "Your Mom". My favorite sandwich includes a combination of portobello mushrooms and peanut butter. Also, you might have to dig your sandwich out from underneath a giant pile of fries. Mmmmm.After lunch we could drive up to Mount Lemmon to watch the sunset. It's always significantly cooler on the mountain than it is down below, so bring a sweater. For the first time during your visit you're going to be cold!

Dinner could be in one of these cool, colorful buildings downtown. And then-
You must participate in salsa dancing! There is a fantastic salsa community here in Tucson and on most nights of the week you can find a place to dance. Don't worry if you're terrible at dancing. It's fairly easy to find a friendly partner who will be willing to teach you the basic moves.
Ok, so we haven't quite reached 24 hours. Hungry? Let's grab some authentic Mexican fast food in Nico's! We'll actually probably be starving after hiking and dancing all day and there's nothing better to solve THAT issue than greasy burritos and cold horchata.

I hope this convinced you that Tucson is as awesome as I say it is. If not, come back again. I have plenty more where this came from!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I went to this fabulous store full of local artists tonight called Bohemia. Bohemia is an art gallery/store featuring all local artists and it greatly challenges my desire to be a minimalist by presenting me with hundreds of incredible works of art that would just look fantastic on my walls. I went primarily to see an art show for Wil Taylor, whose work was amazing as usual.

One of my favorite Wil Taylor pieces.

While I was there I also admired handmade cards, candles, paintings, windchimes, and music. It was while I was looking at a few handmade books that all of these visuals culminated in an inspirational revelation: I could do this.

I didn't think this because the art was simple or easy to make. I thought this because I HAVE created beautiful art. The differences between me and the artists in Bohemia is that they are brave enough to share their work.

Now, I have a new goal. I'd like to have something that I've created presented in a local art gallery. There's Bohemia, and I think someday I could make it there. But first there's a place called Solar Culture. Three times a year Solar Culture accepts admissions and no one is turned away! I'm looking at this opportunity as a gentle entrance into the world of sharing what I've created, and creating things that inspire other people.

Right now I don't think I spend nearly enough time making art. Every time I have a spare moment to create, I succumb to thousands of excuses of why I am going to put it off for another day. Most of those excuses are fear based.

I know I'm not the only artist who deals with these. Raina Gentry, the artist who painted the absolutely beautiful picture above, wrote about this. On the back of one of her pieces I read about her journey to becoming an artist and how she, too, put aside her talents because of fear. I'm so glad she overcame her fear because I am in love with her paintings.

I think I also have something that beautiful to share.

One specific fear that has been stopping me is the fear that the type of mixed media, collage type art that I truly enjoy would not be meaningful to anyone else, or even worthy of looking at. This fear was challenged by stumbling upon Roberta Lewis. Several of her mixed media paintings were featured at Bohemia and they were all amazing. Again, I thought, I can do this!

This, whether it is giving my art to a gallery or simply just spending more time creating art, will take some work. I have to start by actually DOING something. By pushing away the excuses and just making something, even if it's only a tiny drawing. I have to break the barrier of fear and actually be willing to spend time with my art...and myself.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Here'a an idea...

I thought this was a cool idea. Maybe I'll give it a try.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dream Interpretation

I am fascinated by reoccuring dreams. To me, it feels like my subconscious is trying to work through some kind of unsolved problems that I haven't yet consciously acknowledged. I've had the following dream with only slight variations at least 5 times over the past few months and I was wondering if anyone has any experience with dream interpretation. Does anyone have any guesses on what this might be all about?

It always takes place in a large lecture hall. It's a class (usually an English or Social Studies class) that only occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I have regurlarly missed it for one reason or another. There is always a large project that I haven't quite finished and have forgot that it's due. Fortunately, the small blonde teacher with hip, rectangular glassses who is always teaching this class generally either forgets about the project or, for some reason, doesn't include it in our final grade and I am always saved by that. My classments are generally some variation of people I've known in the past. One time it was my boyfriend from college; last night it was a handful of people I was friends with at various times throughout high school.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Art Journaling Pt. 2

I am in the process of writing a couple of different things but I'm not ready to share them yet. However, I'd like to get in the habit of updating regularly so here are some more pictures of my art journal. These are all based on my cross country trip to Tucson in 2008:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art Journaling

Where's the fun in creating art if I don't share it with other people?

I've been working in an art journal for a couple of years now and I've rarely shown it to anyone. I'm feeling more confident these days so here's a look into my artistic mind. The following are all from the days leading up to me living in Arizona!

(I know these are small. I'm keeping them that way on purpose since this is a big step for me-I've never shared so much of my journal to so many people! Maybe if those goes well and I become more brave I will show larger pictures!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wait, I have a blog?

I’ve been absent for a while, but I’d like to start writing again and sharing my writing with others. I don’t have a specific purpose for this blog; I just want to use it to communicate and share with others. So, with that in mind, here is a post about where I’ve been lately:

A few months ago someone posted this viral video on Facebook.

The words, I think began to peel away layers from a struggle that has been building within me. It helped me to realize that, yes, I am afraid of being alone and that, yes, I am currently feeling incredibly lonely. I’m going through a time where many of my friends are moving or settling down or working hard and my social life is not what it once was or what I might desire it to be. I’ve been allowing these facts to paralyze me.

“Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.”

Tanya’s quiet, calm words were a catalyst. I began to stop struggling against the inevitable thinning of my social life that has come from starting over in a new city at an age where everyone is moving and everything is changing quickly. I began to accept that it is not my fault that I am lonely; I have done my best, now I need to let others live their lives.

“You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.”

So instead of moping because I’m not out socializing every day of the week I have decided to embrace loneliness. I am using the time for growth, and to learn to slow down and to enjoy life more. I’m taking this poem as my anthem, letting Tanya’s words be a comforting blanket encouraging me to embrace my time with myself.

“But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.”

This is not to say that I no longer WANT a social life. I’m simply beginning to discover and enjoy the healing freedom that can come from loneliness.