Sunday, June 14, 2015

landslide

As it turns out, hate is real easy. Comes naturally. Soothes and seethes and stays put as long as you let it. The more you look, the more reasons there are; to hate. Some people, it seems, are begging for it. Survive on it. Being hated, that is.

Listen, I'm a good Christian girl, and I was raised accordingly. In fact, it was well into adulthood before I felt comfortable uttering the word. Now, I admit, I feel the my version of the force with some regularity. Have named it as such, with some relief. And I can justify it, so long as it's even a little bit justifiable. This involves a lot of finger pointing, gnashing of teeth, heartache. Fists that rattle against the glassed in walls of reality. Hate hurts. But, in the absence of healing, there it is.

Really though, what can you say to those, manipulative, who thwart the worlds of others, for fun? What can you say to the thieves, the takers, grace-fakers, back-stabbing gleeful peace-wreckers?  Those people for whom nothing is sacred. What can you say to them? You can say nothing. Or you can hate them. Sometimes, it's an easy choice.

Initially.

Then, like fog and magic, the choice is gone. Before you know it, you'll hate on instinct. You'll remember, with fondness, a time when you did not hate the world. The world? Yes, because it is the world against you. Such is the result of hating one. One is never enough.

Hate isn't, either. It starts small and then swallows you. Meanwhile, all the reasons in the world won't help you on from it. You know that person who used your heart for kindling? Yah. She's still out there, enjoying the fire. She's fine. She's still taking, in fact; it's all she knows. Your hate hasn't changed a thing, about her.

When everything feels lost, if you look close enough, you'll see everything's not lost, after all. Much is here, still. You've more than survived the burning. You've thrived under it. Grown, even. So you'll let go of what happened. Now matter how much you wish you could change history. You can't. She made her choices. Now, make yours.


As a matter of celebration, in the face of the many hands we've been dealt, here's a photo of me & my little one.
Nose to nose, and happy. As we are, today. As a step-mom, I have been shamed,
whether in reality or in my own head, away from sharing this photo publicly. No more.
We three (our family) remain just this: happy together.
Some may try to steal love, but love won't be taken easily.
(C) Doliente Lifestyle Photography


Saturday, June 13, 2015

pushing clay


The theology of suffering is as follows: the worse you are, the better you become. Pain is painful but it can grow you. Or, something like that.

I left my recent bat-swing, loudly cracking, on the page; as though anger at unfairness is a sport, and I, a gleeful player. It would have been much more ME to quickly solve the dispute I'm having with Reality, with a quippy little poem or silly cartoon in a follow-up by the next morning. Sometimes, I leave things because I feel the need to let my feelings linger. But this time, I didn't feel the need to do anything: too tired, too many other things to do; there's a spin about my world and I'm trying to find my center.


A number of weeks ago, I took myself to Salt Spring Island. Days of grace were spent with The Dear and Wonderful Julie Mackinnon Ceramics, in a pottery class. My first experience with the clay was hesitant, at best. Julie had me handle clay almost as soon as I landed on her doorstep. I felt clumsy with it in my hands. My first creation showed my weaknesses; I made it too thin, it crackled, it had a weird shape. The longer I stared at it, the less I liked it. My first full day of classes was spent at the table, shaping blobs into littler blobs, makeshift vases, pinch pots, and the like. My affinity for the medium and the method grew with each piece. Julie told us our pots would look like no one else's pots, that our fingers would instinctively create something purely us. It's true. Looking around the room, after much was made, proved her point: everyone's creations looked like their creations, each body of work had a distinct feel. By the end of the first day, I discovered my creative niche: cutesy detail work. I'll call it a niche because I enjoy what I made, not because I mastered anything.

The second day of classes, I desperately wanted to sit at the wheel -- a graduation from the pinch-pot --  but found myself approaching the opportunity with more of the same hesitation I'd experienced the day before. Spinning pottery on a wheel has been a dream since I was born, or perhaps longer, and yet, I had to talk myself into actually trying it. The thing is, clay is honest. I was scared. Clay shows what you're feeling and, simultaneously, takes on a life of its own. Clay needs to be mastered, and listened to. Clay is a push and pull, simultaneously.

Julie spent a lot of time talking about how to approach the wheel, how to center yourself, so the things you make stay standing. I spent a lot of time listening to her, and imagining, at her suggestion, where this clay had been before. It's got a long life, she reminded me, it's dirt. I began to wonder at her remarks, when, without changing my approach or my methodology, different pieces were created each time. It was as if the clay was meant to be the thing it became, and my hands were merely witnesses.

Before anything is made, the clay has to be centered. Throw the clay (really, throw) onto the wheel, hit it with the palm of your hand so it sticks, then get that wheel spinning fast. Add water, watch it move in spirals to the edge. At this point, my pulse quickens to think of the work ahead. With a centered body, and strong arms, lean in. Now, push. Down, and toward the center. Eliminate the wobble. Add water as needed. Drown the dirt; push. Repeat until its centered. Create.

I approached each piece with curiousity, as if I was discovering something new each time. My ears were open, and my soul entrenched, in the experience of working with earth. Because I know Julie, and she was gracious enough to let me play around on the wheel for an extra day, I got time on the wheel when there were no other students there. I got to try this centering thing repeatedly, on my own. Beside a world class potter. The stuff of dreams.

Let me tell you: centering clay is hard work. Often, I had to lean my body-weight into the wheel to try and get that lump of matter moving. Add water. Push. Add water. Push. Lean. Scrape. Push. Water. Effort! Push, push, push. Doesn't this clay know I am trying to help it become beautiful!? And then, like some miracle - or, as it felt to me - after much strain, the eye blinks, and the clay is centered.

In so many ways, the clay and the work of it spoke to me, but no moment was clearer than this one. I was working with a particularly difficult wedge of clay. It wouldn't budge. It was stubborn, lumpy, and no matter how much I leaned, wetted, leaned, and leaned, the clay stayed hard, like stone. Funny, too, because it came off the same block as the others. But, this one hurt my hands. There in the sunshine of the morning, hands and elbows and knees covered in slip, I sighed loudly, exasperated at this thing in front of me. It was then I heard a whisper in my soul. It spoke of the push, and the purpose behind it. My breath caught as I thought about how hard I was pushing on this stubborn piece of clay, and suddenly, I felt my spirit shift. I'm this thing. I'm this hard bit. I'm this stubborn piece of clay, with a history, and a future made of shapes, and He approaches me with grace, now if only I would let, give way, and become.

So when I left the island, these thoughts were bouncing around the caverns of my spirit, and I felt grateful for the lesson. I was filled with peace. I said goodbye to my beautiful hostess, I found a spot on the boat in the sunshine. I let the wind have fun with my hair. The boat left the dock, and I sighed again - this time, a thankful pause for the gift of a purposeful weekend. The phone rang. My husband called. In the moments before my feet wandered off the island, our world shifted. The ferry moved along and the island got smaller, and I felt the wheel beneath us kick up speed. Time for centering. Time to be made beautiful. But first, the push. 









Thursday, May 28, 2015

Musical Interlude

Until I get around to taking the photos off my camera that go with my new post -- which was ready over a week ago, if we're counting days (I am) -- please enjoy this bit of musical brilliance. Christine and the Queens hails from France, and has been taking over the airwaves in Europe for some time now, winning accolades and smashing happy eardrums wherever she goes. She's recently released "Tilted", a translation of the song below, to North American audiences. I prefer the French. In fact, I can not stop listening to it. At all. Enjoy.


Christine, by Christine and the Queens:
 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

i do not speak of this

justice is an illusion
oft' clung to, an ideal for those who
still have ideals,
but in the end, start and middle,

is never there.


fairness is a dream
dreamt by those who
still have dreams, by those
who've not encountered the great crush of Reality's taking hand:
fuck your dreams, it says.

truth only matters to truth
and to those who, weariness impending,
exhaustive pursuit neverending,
still chase after it. truth is what happens when we tell it.
but if the lies are spoke first, then the lies become it.
and if twists on truth are then believed, belief trumps it.
truth. ha. truth for some is now whatever this one decides to make it.

there is no better one than she,
this Thwarter so admiring her own games,
this one from whom the devil chose his ways;
behavioral spirals and abject denial's definition;
she can not survive in a world touched by justice.
she can not let her children alone. she will rip them,
limb from limb, heart from loving heart, until they are fragments.

But why? It's a fair question. I used to ask it, too. But then, my moral code has too oft' got a beating.
Being good used to have meaning. It used to matter.

Now there is
no matter
what
this feeling
that she'll just go on and
take
take
take
take
take.
She can
not survive
while giving.