Monday, February 21, 2011

Sage Advice

"i do not suggest hypnotherapy and lingerie from ebay.
by themselves or at the same time.."

My friend gave me this sage advice in regards to a solution to depression...
It made me laugh so hard that I had to share it with the world (or at least, with the readers of my blog).

And just an update, I am feeling MUCH better today. I think sometimes just coming out and saying, "Hey, I feel like crap" makes one feel loads better.

Let's Do 52 - Week 8 - Strength/Green

The theme this week over at Paint the Moon's Let's Do 52 challege is Strength or Green. Today at the park I had taken some really nice pictures of spring grass popping up and I was pretty happy with them. But then I saw this chaing wrapped around a tree trunk (I believe it at one point chained down a picnic table) and I knew I had to take a picture of it. It represents strength, both with the tree and the chain, and there's a bit of green too. :) I'm *really* happy with how it turned out...

Let's Do 52 - Catching Up Again (weeks 4-7)

I know...I'm bad. I have failed at my assignments for Let's Do 52. But at least I'm catching up! Here are weeks four through seven. Week eight will follow shortly. :)

I love this picture. This shows a perspective I love - looking at her from the side when she is full of joy. I took this today on the playground. My kids are such a blessing to me...

Delicate or Shadows
I'm not sure this picture totally fits the theme, but you know what? Its my picture and its my blog, so deal! :)

Obsession or Hearts
I took this picture of Zeal playing with his cars - an obsession of his. Here they are, all lined up and ready to race.

Handmade or Macro
So, I chose to do a 'macro' for this picture. I'm pretty sure that just means closeup? I don't know really. :) So here's a close-up of some moss growing on a tree.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Now I...Dance

I am going to make a confession that I am not at all comfortable making. I have been struggling with depression the last two months or so. You may be wondering what this has to do with dancing. Don’t worry…I’ll get there. Anyhow, I’m not talking wake up feeling blue deperession…I am talking knock me flat on my back depression that has had me in tears night after night (and day after day if truth be told). I have struggled with depression before, but never anything remotely close to this. And the strange thing is, this didn’t come on gradually. It just hit me like a semi-truck.

I was talking to a friend a while back and mentioned to him that I haven’t felt truly passionate –good or bad – about something in a long time. In fact, in my last blog post I talked about how my emotions have been subdued, likely as a coping mechanism for the pain I felt in my marriage (pain that I’m thinking now I have never fully dealt with).

During this depression though…well, I tell you…the last few weeks my emotions have been anything but subdued! I have been feeling raw pain like I can’t remember feeling in a long time. It hurts. I feel like pieces of me are being stripped away. I think the best analogy would be a wound that has a scab over it, and has for a long time, and the scab has suddenly been ripped off, leaving an exposed and bleeding wound. Like I said, it hurts. A lot.

Tonight I decided to go outside and exercise. A good friend had told me to get some fresh air to try and help with the depression, and my ex-husband always told me that exercise is good for the emotions, so I figured it couldn’t hurt, and just about anything was better than sitting inside feeling sorry for myself.

I took my i-Pod outside and started working out. I began by running. Then when my lungs felt like they were going to explode I walked. When I bored of that I did push-ups in my driveway. And then some warrior poses and downward facing dogs. But when the Bloodhound Gang came on I started shaking my stuff (come on, who can help it?!). And then one of my current favorite songs, Every Time it Rains by Charlotte Martin, came on and I danced. I danced like no-one was watching (which likely they weren’t), like no-one cared, like I was alone in the world just me and the music. I spun and plied and leapt around my driveway. And I felt good. I felt joy.

When the song ended I lay down on my cold driveway and watched the stars as I listened to some more music. A tear rolled out of my eye, and I realized there is really a thin line between raw pain and pure joy.

Today in church a man talked about having a broken heart for God, and that literally meant we are opening our hearts completely and without any barriers. To quote from a talk by Bruce Porter (found here), “When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are.”

Isaiah 61:1 says that the Savior was sent to “bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Can I get a resounding AMEN to that?!)

I lay there thinking about this, and then God spoke to me. He told me this pain is a gift. Crazy, right? But He said He will be there for me. And you know what? I believe Him. Because with the ability to feel pain, and with the healing He is going to help me though, I will regain the ability to feel joy too, and all the other emotions in-between.

And when that happens, my friends, I will truly dance.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Now I...Write

I used to write. A LOT. It started as angst-filled love poems, incredibly sappy, heartbroken and, in the words of one woman...trite. We won't get into that story. Needless to say, she was probably right, but I will never forget that statement or how it still cuts to the core. Eventually my writing evolved into works I was actually proud of. But what my writing has ALWAYS been is cathartic. When I write I feel like I'm taking a little piece of my soul and pinning it down to the paper, like one would pin a butterfly down in a specimen collection ( wouldn't THAT be a great idea for a poem!). Because of this, not only is my writing cathartic and very personal to me, but its also scary! Its one thing to write some academic string of words and be told its trite. Its another to put your soul and emotions out there and be called trite!

Anyhow, I used to write. And I used to perform. I would read at open mics and perform at SLAMs. I loved it. There was something exhilerating about putting it all out there. It was kindof like the academic, spoken-word variation, of stripping. I was bearing it all, standing there naked, asking for applause, but knowing the audience could just as easily boo me. There is a great song called "Breathe" by Anna Nalick that says this so perfectly: "If I get it all down on paper, its no longer / Inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to / And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd /Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud /And I know that you'll use them, however you want to"

For whatever reason, except on rare occasion, I haven't been writing for quite some time. In fact, its almost as if I haven't felt like I've been able to write. I could go into a long psycho-analysis here about why, and maybe I will in some other post... But as a teaser it involves a husband and learning to shut off emotions so things just don't hurt so bad. One can't just turn off pain, though. When you shut off one emotion you shut off them all. I think my emotions, which used to be so raw, so out there, so on my sleeve, have been dampered a bit, and with that, a bit of my spirit had faded too.

But anyhow - that is neither here nor there. What is important is that I want to write again. I want the words to spill from me like they used to. Right now, for whatever reasons, they won't. But I figure with some gentle nudging, a little poking and prodding, I can coax some of those words (and some of those emotions) out of hiding and onto paper.

Tonight I wrote this. Is it phenomenol? No. Is it even great? No. But its a start, and I'm happy about that. I chose to write in my favorite of all poetry forms - the pantoum, which consists of 10 repeated lines. This isn't a very strict pantoum, as you can see most of the lines are not strict repeats. The poem didn't turn out at all how I intended. I started it, imagining I was going to write a poem about the vast love that can be expressed in silences. Instead, well...instead I got a poem about endings. Hope you enjoy, and wish me luck as I try to persuade the words to flow from me as they once did...

Nothing – A Pantoum

He stares at me, saying nothing, yet
saying everything in his silent
between words.

There is everything in his silence,
and there is nothing.
Between his words
I see truth.

And there is nothing but
a quiet declaration of resignation.
I see truth,
a chasm between us.

He quietly declares his resignation.
His defeat and loss fill
the chasm between us
with velvety blackness.

Defeated and lost,
he pauses.
In the velvety blackness,
he stares at me, and there is nothing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Scrabble Charms

Quite a while ago I had seen this great post over at Chasing Cheerios, where she used her kids' scaled down artwork to make necklace charms. I loved the idea! Unfortunately, the pictures on the link seem to be broken now, so you can't experience the awesomeness. Anyhow, Scrabble tile necklaces are all the rage now, so I decided tonight to try to make some myself.

First I did this one, with a pic of my kiddos, as a gift for my mom. This picture by no means does it justice - its actually rather cute. This was SO easy. I printed off a contact-sized picture of the kids that had plenty of 'white space' around the actual part of the picture I wanted as I had to cut the picture down quite a bit. I then used some 'Glossy Accents' to adhere the picture to a Scrabble tile and make it all shiny and pretty. I also used that to adhere the necklace-hangy-piece (yes, that IS the official name) to the back of the tile. Wait to dry, add a spare chain you have in your jewelry box, and you have yourself a beautiful gift, for less than $2.

I then had to try my own spin. I'd seen a similar type necklace at this great etsy site (I *so* want the 'read' earrings!), and decided to try it myself. I just glued the tiles together using the Glossy Accents, waited for it to dry, and added to the back. I am TOTALLY in love with this! I had to make one for my dear friend Laura too. I'm thinking next I may add a matching hair barette. So fun!

Valentines Boxes

Today I decided to make little boxes for Valentines Day goodies for the kids and my mom. I had found these little cardboard boxes for super cheap, decorated them up, and there you have it - cute V-Day boxes. Not that the kids will care, but Mom will hopefully like hers. Now I just have to figure out what to put in them!

Giggle of the Day

This car was parked next to us today when we went to Swains. We giggled and giggled because the dog totally looked like he was in charge and just waiting for whoever ran into the score to come out so he could drive off again. The pics not great - didn't want to look like a creepy stalker - but hope it makes you giggle too.