Sunday, March 23, 2014

Life in Abstract: thoughts on change and sameness

I have recently become obsessed with a lot of things. Process. New artists. Abstract photography. Vivian Maier's work, newly discovered. Bill Cunningham bicycling through New York with his bright smile and brilliant eye. And that blue jacket. Georgia O'Keeffe's portraits of New York and the cityscapes. Alfred Stieglitz. Their marriage. Pops of color. Reds and purples, together. Random pairings. Togetherness. Opposites. Bargain hunting and treasure seeking at Goodwill. Going there before work some days for inspiration. Pretending to be trying clothes on for size when in all actuality, spying on conversations in the dressing rooms, writing down blips of reality. Admiring the independence and style of fellow treasure hunters perusing where they feel safe.

I've taken a fascination to all things abstract. The undefined. The unREfined. The unaware. Changes in the midst of sameness. Black and white photography with no focus. Blurs. Flashing lights caught on a camera without using a flash. Darkness. Greys. Gray areas. Smeared red lipstick on coffee mugs, resting on legs in black and white. No flash. Flash. The chill of March winds accidentally caught inside the half-open lens.

Abstract moments. If that's a thing. Catching your therapist in a deep breath, hand glance, momentary eye close. Watching a lone rain drop drip down the cracked windshield. Witnessing a colleague slouched over her steering wheel in tears, turned away.

I went to church this morning and then came home and took a really long nap. With as much writing as I do in the constant notebook, I have not written anything about my dad's recent heart attack. In Manila. And the trauma the kids were dealing with. But today after church and then a lunch with church people, I slept all day. I don't have as much of a grasp on emotions or language right now. I haven't processed the whole of this yet. What this means for his future, and mine. I have a lot of processing to do. A lot of words to throw on the page, like Pollock on the floor of his studio. That will be me, frantically penciling when I am capable of emotion. Now it would read numb, because I'm still in the numbing period. I've watched E and Z emerge largely unscathed, still. I've watched the embraces and E groping dad and sobbing. Relief overflows me, as I realize she is not a sociopath and she does experience emotion. And this is a period of grief for all, and you don't have to have someone you cherish die in order to grieve.

When I awoke from the very long nap I did not feel rested. My mom had been knocking on the door, upset that I was not joining her downstairs in the family room where she'd lit a fire. She has been on my case about spending time together. I need space. A lifelong introvert needs time to process. To reflect, without bodies all around. To be alone. Where I've never felt lonely. I crave rest but also just sheer, unadulterated TIME. Space. The ability to empty out in order to fill again. That is crucial for me, and it's good to be aware of what one needs. I don't WANT alone time, I actually NEED to be alone. To find my center again. To be able to give again. To give of myself. To give to others. To feel full and whole again. To not be so scattered, which is the key word lately.

During church I came to the realization, upon discovering we were in the period of Lent, that I needed to give up Facebook and alcohol. Just 40 days. I convinced myself to just give up wine, and to give up posting, but I could have rum and I could still "like" posts and photos. But who are we kidding. Self-control is my #1 weakness, and with my addictive personality I decided it would be healthy to give up both, cold turkey (as much as 40 days can appear to be "cold turkey"). But THEN I convinced myself that I wouldn't write anything if I didn't see "likes" and I told myself I could post once a week, to keep with the writing and all. But if I'm going to stick to this commitment, I have to give up Facebook altogether. I can still write. I started this lifestyle blog mostly to sort out my thoughts, many years ago now. It will be no pressure. I can still write daily, and posted the link in case anyone feels like joining my journey to self. We're all just walking each other home, anyways (Ram Dass, love that quote).

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