What a great feeling it was to finish this piece! As I was using a tiny round brush to add bits of Sap Green here and there, I saw floods of light coming from the painting, I believe telling me that she was done, to leave her be, so I listened to that and left her alone … the first time I have seen light coming off of one of my paintings. I wonder what that means?
I did try to neaten up the lower left foliage, but alas, she is what she is. Sigh.
I must remember the Buddhist belief that imperfection is perfection, and let it go.
I am a bit late in blogging tonight, because I got a lot lost looking for new jungle fotos to paint … you see I’m actually going to to something I’ve NEVER done before, which is to paint OVER an existing painting which I don’t like. I’ll show you later which one. I don’t think you’ll mind much. It didn’t turn out so well a few years ago. Alas, they don’t all do, right? My learning curve as a self-taught painter trying to paint amazing Nature, ah!
Because I can’t afford canvases at the moment because of my lovely photo jaunt to Nashville, my only other resort was to switch back to my Rage series on foam core and, well, although I was willing, that just puts me into a whole … set of feelings and moods and alters … well, you know. Ahem.
So this is much better. A long 15 x 36 canvas of Jungle or Tree — yes. That’s the trick, oh my yes. That’ll keep me steady on for about a month, right?
Sigh. Had counseling today, which was most helpful. We address my high school friend’s sudden shocking passing away (I don’t even want to say the word, death right now) (aaahhhh!) (sigh) … (it hurts so much still) … last Friday morning.
I had reached out to my high school friends and some friends in another internet group and it had been helpful, and of course Jason has been very supportive, but my counselor was REALLY wonderful today in actually inducing the TEARS of the thing. You see I hadn’t actually cried about Christy yet. And I did today, tissue and all. It was a good session. It will take some time. I was even tearing up looking at jungle photos, remembering how much she enjoyed my jungle paintings … tonight … still a bit on edge …
and I’m not much of a crier anymore … I guess the medications help with that a lot? I’m sure they do, for real. I do feel emotions but not nearly so intensely as before. They come and they go. Not like before where I’m like a wild person, filled with emotions, uncontrollably.
Of course, my meditation practice helps with this as well, for I am learning how to handle them like you would handle water inside yourself, gently, as it were, not like you can hold water, but with some distance, watching them space, watching them flow lovingly, comfortingly, letting them rise up and out with compassion and analysis.
I never would have been able to do that with the tornadic intensity of the emotions I had before the medications. No way. I had no control at all. I’m grateful.
Getting back to Christy, her memorial service was this morning in my home town, and I have felt that going on, building up all week. I do feel some closure from it now, but I do feel a ton of grief. I don’t feel anger, but a lot of sadness, a whole lot, and shock still, because she was my age, so young still — I feel young still, even at 49 — although as I said before I feel so grateful that she was in a happy place in her life, so merciful for her to pass in her sleep …
It’s not fair. That’s what I keep returning to. That’s what my counselor reminded me of, though, that book before last, The Five Things We Cannot Change. Damnit. Yes. That’s one of them, isn’t it? That life isn’t effing fair. The imperfection of life.
That no one of us knows how much time we have, the reminder that we are to cherish each moment and live our lives to the fullest — just like Maya Angelou — that dear essence of a person who also just passed from us this week — at 86 — who also lived life to the fullest.
We don’t know the time. Never did. I think I was saying that in the last blog. I won’t go over it again.
I’m getting closer to the end of Meditation for the Love of It and I’m feeling really good about it, truly. She is talking about the wakeful state and carrying that bliss with you all the time, and now self inquiry. Lord, but I’m constantly going over myself with a fine-toothed comb. So, I’m on that. That makes me feel good. Not like I’m not guilty of stuff, right? I find stuff with that comb, right? but … I’m on it. Maybe too much. A perfectionist. I have to learn to lay off more. I’m finding the balance a bit more, to be more playful with myself, my Self, and the book is helping me to be more compassionate with myself. My Goddess Mind, right, if you remember me talking about that.
But this constant meditative state, I’m a firm believer in that because I have PTSD. It helps me stay relatively … sane. I don’t know to what extent the medication does, right? I mean I was just saying, how much it helps me, but if I didn’t also do cognitive behavior management, i.e. this gentle meditative work, i.e., mindful loving nudging to lovingkindness like … look how beautiful the world is? be positive about things, Amy, change that loop for the positive or erase that loop entirely and go for silence there, Amy … I mean, over the past 10 years I’ve done a complete overhaul of my psyche.
Believe me, I have.
And still, the alters and flashbacks come, but there is a place for them to come to, a platform, that is cleaner, more compassionate, and healthier, less spasmodic and reactionary. A wiser place for them to come up into, if you will, which is like a more regulated Emergency Room/Trauma Center/Play Room for them, which I/they sorely needed.
Because before, say, 2010, I had no idea what was happening, that I even really HAD alters, memories/flashbacks, yes. I didn’t know that flashbacks WERE alters. Wait, really? Yes. That was a huge realization. Huge.
I cannot say enough about how much my current counselor has helped me to understand my situation and what my brain did to compartmentalize the memories. How she understands me and has helped me to map my insides, my psyche, to unravel the mysteries of my very soul. It has been both terrifying and comforting to reveal, because it has been traumatic to uncover literal trauma of what happened to me and comforting for me to finally come home to myself. Do you understand what I’m saying?
Chipper has gotten to where he takes me for longer walks when we are supposed to go for shorter ones … and I’m getting the point. We’re in no rush … it’s still Spring … it’s beautiful … I’m following him.
He heard me talking about him and his collar just jingled. Time for bed. 🙂 Later, gators.