Friday, January 27, 2017

The Eve of the Weekend

This week was incredibly Full and Bursting. Today is Friday and I am quite weary... 
But in a good way.

On Tuesday after work I traveled to the small town where Eldest lives with his family, and I stayed overnight and squeezed my little Evee and helped out Lovely Lu on my Wednesday day off. Nursing is going well, although I am still peeved that the Midwife recommended nipple shields on day 5. A little baby with a little mouth can become nipple confused so easily, and now she struggles to break that habit.


But she is growing and she is eating, and all is well.

Last night at pottery I made handles for my mugs, all my imperfect, shapely mugs. Handles are bizarre and messy to make, but I managed to get them done, adding some 'me' embellishment, to make them my own, as the teacher recommended. He came by and said good job, so I have [some] faith that my handles will hold.



I am becoming more patient. I can feel that I have slowed down, and am breathing through the frustration, breathing through the challenges. I am enjoying this semester so much more than the one in the autumn. In the autumn my energy was all buzzy and jittery. I would get home from pottery exhausted and emotionally bruised. I'm in an entirely different head-space now.

I have not had time to do much drawing this week, but did draw two houses, and inked them.


I am excited about the next one; a regal semi that has survived being in a questionable neighbourhood for well over 100 years. I suppose when it was built, it was not a questionable area though.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Intention : to make something beautiful every day

Creating with Intention


Week 2 of pottery and finally I am making cylinders with careful success.
Apparently I was pulling on the left instead of the right, I blame my mysterious dyslexia. Whatever the reason, certainly the potting and the pulling is happening with ease now, and I have returned to the potting zone. The crumpled pot will be glazed in the Raku outside kiln, and used in my office to house my paper-clips and other bits.


The latest house, vacant and boarded up in Hamilton. It was a fine old mansion, converted into apartments and now it costs less to simply maintain the grounds than to make it livable again.


I liked the upper windows on this house.
Just a brick house with cool windows... I like the front entrance as well. 


Not my creation, but lovely Evee - all wrapped up in her mother's arms.
She looks a little milk-drunk.

Happy Paint Party Friday!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Self Nurturing in the Dark Season : Hiber-Nurture

[Long and pondering post ahead...]

A friend wanted me to reschedule my week so we could meet for a visit. I feel selfish because I didn't want to do this, and struggled with saying no. There have been big changes in my life over the last 6 months, truly wonderful changes but change is exhausting.

With intention I began to journal in the summer - forcing myself to write at first one page a day, and later three. I had to loosen my words from this gummed up self, and I had to pry them out until there was a trickling flow.

Once I was able to write with less prodding and pushing, things began to unlock inside.I registered for a pottery course, which was fantastic because I was able to play in the mud, to touch the clay and be tactile. It was exactly what I needed. 

Then one day in August I thought to myself :  I want a sketchbook. And I began to draw.

And the artist unblocking next led me to stop drinking. Just like so many years ago the artist unblocking led me to stop smoking.

Four months later, I am blissfully sober, taking my third pottery course and still drawing. But my time - all this takes time. Add in a fresh new Grand-baby - and now I am balancing very carefully my spare time. 

Because now I also want to sew - to sew little baby pants - LamPants - that I used to make my own babies. What next? Who knows!

My day off is precious to me. At this time I had to tell her that I can't move around my time for her, that for the month of January I am practicing Hiber-Nurture.  Hibernation and Self-nurturing. 

I had to examine all my emotions, and I had to choose me. I had to also admit that I am jealous of her spare time - she does not work right now - and I resented her asking me to move around my week to accommodate her Yoga class. Maybe this is her way of beginning her own journey.

Friends who are still in an addictive place in their lives - as this friend is - are red-flags. They make up reasons why their addictions are not the same as my addictions. She says her habit of smoking hash every day [not until after 2pm!] is not addiction, because it is helping her to cope with trauma. 

When you stop smoking cigarettes, everyone celebrates with you. When you stop drinking, they pause and wonder why. It is a shameful thing to be addicted to alcohol, and you must be weak. When you use drugs for coping with PTSD, you are above addiction, and seem to have a free pass to smoke whenever you want. 

Something is weird about the way we think.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lovely Little Evelyn Eileen

Probably as I wrote last Friday the birth was happening...

Eldest and his Lovely Lu had a beautiful home birth, with midwives and a doula in attendence.

Evelyn was 6lb8oz, and squirmy from the get-go, rooting around and wiggling. A good survival instinct, she has.


Today she is 4 days old, and Mama Lu's milk is in, her nipples are sore and the new family is managing beautifully. 

Gratified.

And Karen, I know exactly what you meant when you said the circle was complete... I thought that on our way home on Sunday night.

Mimi has muffins to bake tomorrow, and tiny baby pants to sew.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Dance of the Grandmother

I remember having our first baby ~ way back in 1987 ~ Eldest was born in Toronto at a hospital. Somehow I avoided many interventions, and after five days we returned home, and I learned about being a parent and mother and I learned how powerful and primal it all is.

Becoming a parent lifted me out of the dysfunction I had lived with growing up. It was my turning point, and I ran with it, finding my Own Way, making different choices than my sisters had made, than my mother had made. Very different from my in-laws, causing much concern and friction over the years with sister-in-laws.

It sounds trivial when I write that becoming a mother changed my life. I would not say this when in the company of my friends who do not have children, but it is my truth. Becoming a parent made me look long and hard at my own childhood. It made me reject what had been wrong, and embrace those [few] happy, safe memories...

It became my goal as a young mother that my children would have a safe home. A home where they didn't have to feel nervous. They didn't have to feel shame. They could come home after school, after a bad day, and know that home was home. It was warm, it was mellow, the adults were adults and the adults looked after the children.

I changed my past. 

I have been thinking deeply about my role as a grand-parent, as the birth looms [today we are thinking!]. I see how my sister Kathy became a super-grandparent. She and her husband re-defined themselves as grand-parents. It annoys me that they have been absorbed into the family units of their children. I have to take a breath - and let it out. 

I am terrified that I will become that grand-mother. That I will lose myself in the children of my children. 

And then I breathe in again, and out... And I know that I will be myself. I will be there for them, and I will also be here for myself. This is the truth. I will Dance the Dance of Grand-mother.

I just have to learn it.