April 2005 Archives

i can't breathe


I got up this morning and felt a little ill. I think it started a week ago when Bryan and I were attending an arts festival at Daniel's school. After viewing his "wall-a-art" which included painting, digital art, ceramics and poetry, we had the priviledge of speaking with a couple of his teachers. On the topic of college, one of his profs suggested MICA or Pratt.

At that moment the room began to spin.

I guess I have just been counting on the apparent blessing of Bryan's job benefits which include free tuition to University of Maryland for family members. I had pretty much "discerned" that this was god's way of letting us in on what was to be the next part of our son's future. Of course even though we as parents were verbally keeping the option of other colleges open, upon reflection I had felt that financially we were off the hook. Case closed.

Then Daniel's prof had to say those words. And my mind started to turn over the possibilities and the responsibilities.

And to top that Daniel comes home with some horror story of how difficult it is to get into UofM re-telling a tale by his teacher about one of her students who had a 4.3 gpa that was rejected due to affirmative action. Yes, you can get more than a 4.0 these days with AP classes, and honors courses, etc. which in fact, Daniel has taken his share...

but he doesn't have a 4.3.

And he is a white male and there isn't much a person can do to change that.

Now I am not going to get on a soapbox about affirmative action because I don't really have one and this blog isn't about that anyway. It is about the stress created by wanting to provide the best for your child.

...be anxious for nothing......be anxious for nothing......be anxious for nothing...

And so last friday (normally my artist date) I spent the whole day looking at those schools suggested by daniel's teachers, and their price tags. Research is part of my way of solving a problem, and there are some outstanding resources out there regarding college and so I plunged in. I felt better, and a little more informed. I even looked at worse case scenarios (ok I have faith but I am not the optimist in my household-that is my husband's job).

But today I woke up stressed and tired. I even went back to bed. I could tell I had been grinding my teeth because my jaw was sore and my shoulders hurt. All day long I had trouble breathing and tried to ignore it. Maybe I was really sick. My chest felt tight and I couldn't get a full breath of air. This seemed so silly and yet what if something was really wrong...I started thinking about doctors and illness brought on by stress and started to get more stressed. Could being concerned about college for daniel make me unable to breathe?

Of course not.

Turns out I had my bra on too tight.

motherhood's journey

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motherhood's journey


30" x 40" acrylic on canvas

Here is the latest of my "thin places" series. It is similar to my "dancing in thin places" in tone and color, but the theme is the seasons of motherhood. As in the previous paintings, the portals are the doorways to the unseen nature of god and the moments between night and day. The squares in all of these pieces represent the constant changes that exist in reality.

Dancing in a field of wheat in various stages of growth is my woman. Her red dress spins in the tall grain and reveals the beginning of motherhood, the sensuality of womanhood. I thought that grain in its green and gold (planting and harvest) was a beautiful symbol for conception, provision and nurture. She holds in her arms, "birth" the nurturing stage, while also raising her hands to the sky as an offering is her prayer for her child's spirit. My Fibonacci spiral represents the holiness and beauty in her offering. The open bowl is the "letting go" of her child. This is particularly poinant for me with my only son being seventeen and stepping across the threshold to manhood. I was shocked by the moment and shed tears while painting the bowl and spiral. Although I felt this in a linear way, my journey being locked in a timeline, I think that the nurture and letting go are also simultaneous.

Thanks to my good friend jen lemen to suggest that I paint the madonna. We were driving back from that spontaneous trip to new york when she planted the notion in my head. Obviously what emerged was not the iconic madonna and child, but something on a more personal level. The painting that resulted was an expression of where I am at in this moment in time as a mother both spiritually and phisically. Thanks jen for your suggestion and your example of motherhood which also inspired me.

jen, this is for you.


considering daniel

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While young son was away on youth retreat we made an appearance at the art festival at Blake. Here Bryan is viewing Daniel's wall of art. consideringdaniel.jpg

friday at last

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I have been highly anticipating today after a week of business/busy-ness. Today is friday, my weekly artist date and I am going to make the most of it. So here is what is on the wish list of things to do (attempt time permitting):

I will be putting the final touches on my mothernood piece. And I have another blank canvas waiting to hit the easel which makes me very happy (I have stopped stretching my own thanks to a neighborhood art store having a big sale-I stocked up). Yes the altruistic "must stretch my own" attitude went out the window when I saw the fifty percent-off sale signs.

I also have a little gardening to do. I put in my herbs last weekend and am greedily eyeing another section of dirt that could use some herbs. Hey, the more I plant, the more Bryan cooks.

I am also thinking about finishing a chunk of countertop for our kitchen. Our ongoing remodling of this house involves several unconventional projects. Unconventional because Bryan and I just like to try stuff. One of those things was to sculpt/pour a countertop out of concrete. This project I did on my own and managed to pull off the main counter with the sink. But the kitchen island has been waiting for its turn and weather is a restriction because it is very hard to mix concrete when there is snow on the ground. So I started a mold for this next part and it needs some attention before the pour so I may do that today.

Hmmm, suddenly I have too much to do....

Well, it all comes out of having so many options and not enough time (or energy). That is one thing that I hope for in heaven, unlimited energy, time and strength(pouring concrete is a bit of a challenge for someone my size).

I am also anticipating a blissful weekend with the hubby. We will be sans-teenager this weekend thanks to the CRCC youth retreat which Daniel is going on. He has got his own blissful weekend ahead of him thanks to a new love interest but that is another post.

So I am off to fill the creative well. A much needed excercise after tax-time-turmoil.

spirituality of late

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I haven't posted on the state of my spiritual journey lately because I have been in a sort of un-plugged observer mode. Observing in the sense that a person might sit watching a baseball game with unlimited innings. Or maybe more like someone perched on a cliff after a long exhausting hike. I am the hiker leisurely looking down on a beautiful valley. It has been good to sit and rest.

Be still and know that I am God.

That sums up what I have been observing. And here is what seems to be the effect.

wacked with a newspaper


Today I feel like a little dog huddled in a corner while a person towers over me waving a big rolled up newspaper. He is saying something to me but it all comes out like garbled nonsense (ala the charlie brown adult-speak). All I know from the tone of his voice that I have done something wrong or been inadequate in some way.

It is tax time.

The person waving the newspaper is my accountant.

The communication chasm that exists between an artistic and an number cruncher couldn't be any greater. The lingo doesn't line up. Like an italian speaking to a japanese there may be a lot of hand waving but not much gets through. Honestly I think this is why some artists don't do well in business or don't even attempt to. Maybe they are the smart ones.

Don't get me wrong. I keep track of finances and am actually pretty anal about it, but the science of accounting is at the very bottom of my skill mix. Off the chart actually. And so the effort involved in keeping up that part of a business takes mountains of energy. Like walking with your feet duct-taped together.

So I endure the yearly lashing with words like "chart of accounts", "deprieciated assets", and "aging detail" while doing my darnedest to learn what these things mean in account-speak.

I am sure my accountant finds artist-speak nearly as frustrating except this time of year he has an advantage. He is in control. This is his time to do what he does best on my behalf. The thing is he lets me know it and won't let me forget it. This is humbling almost to the point of humiliation which sort of ticks me off.

But put a paint brush in his hand and he wouldn't be able to paint his way out of a wet paper bag.

daniel in dc at dusk

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painting day?


I sort of cheated this week and painted yesterday, but that doesn't necessarily take the joy out of painting today. The third painting in what has unintentionally become a series dealing with my "thin places" is almost finished. This one expresses my seasons of motherhood. But on this spring friday I am torn because my studio looks like a cyclone hit it. So the conflict of cleaning versus painting ensues. What will win? Responsibility or creativity?


good thing about the flu

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There is an upside to having the flu. It is the euphoric feeling you get the moment that the nasty little bug gives up the ghost and leaves your body. I am reminded how wonderful it is to be healthy and vow to myself not to ever take it for granted (which in my humanness will probably last about two days). Having flown while still plagued by the bug I am still left with clogged ears a week later which makes it impossible for me to hear anything outside of my head if I am eating something crunchy. Everything still sounds like I am underwater, but that really doesn't effect my energy level and so I can finally work again and not feel like I have giant lead weights strapped to my body.

What a relief.

To top that we are actually experiencing some warm, spring-like weather. This adds to my overall sense of giddiness, as I am really a warm weather person and Maryland winters have conditioned me to go into hibernation at temperatures below 60 degrees. So today I am slightly conflicted because I am finally healthy enough to get some work done, but all I want to do is go out and play! At least I can view the sunshine out my windows from my desk.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2005 is the previous archive.

May 2005 is the next archive.

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